Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The "Best" RPG Ever-33

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The wolf followed them out of town. Zack paused, kneeling over to speak with him for a moment. "Are you planning to come with us today?" The wolf barked what seemed like an affirmative. "We're fighting undead. I don't know if you were listening to what the Captain said, but they don't die like normal monsters. They're not natural." The wolf made a slight grunting noise.
"He says he doesn't care," translated Katherine. "The pack's going out to fight, so as a part of the pack, he's going out to fight."
"Well, okay then. Just wanted to be sure," said the knight, nodding at the wolf before standing up again. "I guess we're going west," he said. "Who has the compass?"
"Oh, I got it!" said Mika, holding up the navigational implement. "We should be going...that-a-way!" She pointed enthusiastically in the direction of west with her free hand, and they started off that way.

"By the way, the new armor looks great~," said the witch.
"It really does," said Katherine with a nod. "Sells the whole 'knight' look a lot better than the default stuff you started out with."
"Yeah, well..I'm just glad it actually has pants instead of a skirt," said Zack. The others, however, could easily see him blushing slightly and his tail wagging a bit more from the compliment.
"How'd you find one that fits so well, though?" said the catgirl. "I mean, it looks like someone tailored it to you or something."
"Some kind of magic with the gem of brightness thing," he said. "The shopkeep used some kind of pearl thing to make it adjust its size some."
"Well, no wonder it shows off your mmffg mgh mmn!" Katherine started to say, but Nora put a hand over her mouth, preventing the rest of it from coming out.

The psion glared, pulling herself out of the elf's grip. What? she telepathed privately.
I don't have to read your mind to know you were going to bring up the curves, she responded. Just let him have this.
Okay, okay...

Before long they encountered a few walking corpses—more skeleton than person in their looks—shambling in the general direction of town. They were still a short ways off, and hadn't noticed the party as far as they could tell. Katherine sorted through her collection of daggers to find the one decorated with red, and fiddled with it briefly until it gained a wreath of fire around its blade. Zack drew his weapon and muttered some sounds he understood to be his new spell; a kind of white fire-like aura appeared around the blade, which he readied for attack.

The knight moved forward first, enough to be in whatever equivalent the undead had to sight. They made some kind of rattling noise and started running toward him. "Whoa, fast undead!" he said, dodging out of a clumy swipe by one of them and bashing another's side with the enchanted blade as it arrived. The bones that took the hit turned into ash right away and fell to the ground, causing the rest of the body they had been attached to to crumple over and lean nearly at a right angle to that side, but still continue standing somehow.

Katherine sent her blade toward the third one, and as soon as it was close Nora pulled out and amplified the fire into a ball of fire big enough to encompass the entire walking corpse. With some effort she kept it going for several seconds before it died out, leaving behind a badly burned skeleton, but still a mobile one. It started to run at the psion, but the wolf tackled it onto the ground, cracking most of the still-intact bones on it into pieces under his weight. When the animal jumped back off of it, it flailed ineffectually, no longer able to get back up.

Meanwhile, Zack continued to duck around the assaults of the other two skeletons; swipes with bony fingers and efforts to bite him were met with more swipes from his sword, some of which they dodged while others caught bits of their body and dismembered them further. When he took off one of their arms it writhed on the ground and nearly grabbed him by the ankle before he jumped back.

Mika moved in closer as he backed away and shot a gout of dark fire from the tip of her broom at the pair. To her surprise, they kept moving, shambling quickly toward her despite clearly burning up, and she took several steps backwards before losing her footing and tumbling over onto her back. "Waah!"

Zack stepped between the walking corpses and the witch and gave a low sweep with his sword, clearing most of the still-living bits on the ground and knocking out what was left of the skeletal legs, causing the remainder of both to tumble onto the ground as a tangled pile of half-burned bones, still trying to move themselves around in a disorganized fashion that just made the entire pile rattle disconcertingly.

While the elf and psion had another go at incinerating what remained of their opponent, Zack offered Mika a hand to help her back onto her feet before stabbing and hacking at the pile of bones until it was a pile of unmoving ash. He kicked at it a few times to be sure there weren't any intact bits left and then sighed, sheathing his weapon and releasing the spell on it.

"This doesn't really seem like it's gonna be as hard as it is just tedious," he said.
"I dunno, the real problem with undead is numbers," said Katherine. "How many d'you think there are closer to the source?"
"I guess we'll find out."

Breakfast done, the party split up, the two friends taking on the tougher task of looking for some kind of rentable office space while Aria and Clera looked for paper and writing utensils to buy. "So you're like..a fusion of two people now?"
"To...some extent," she said, thinking carefully. "But I don't seem to have conscious access to Clera-from-here's memories or thoughts while awake, not counting the ones that were communicated to me in the dream. It seems more like...her impulses just arise as my own occasionally."
"It sounds a little like my relationship with the sword demon. Except that in my case the impulses are murderous and get harder to say no to the longer I go without feeding it blood, and if I draw the sword they just take over completely for the most part, and...yeah, I guess it's pretty different actually."
"Do you know of any way to alleviate that?"
"Well...there's a section of my skill tree dedicated to control and suppression, that kind of thing. I'm sure whatever build we get will require dumping a lot of points there since I can't exactly help execute a plan when I' know, totally crazy. Heyy!"

The shifter snapped her head to the side, abruptly halted in place, and backed up, requiring Dr. Kellen to turn around and backtrack a few steps to see what she was looking at. "What?"
"Office supply store!" She pointed dramatically at the sign above the door. "Didn't fail my spot check this time!"
"Your what?"
"Um..sorry, gamer joke. It's like...if you're playing a tabletop game sometimes you roll a die to see if your character notices something in the envirnoment, and if you fail it you don't see it at all."
"So you are using jargon to describe the experience of noticing something that is there," said Clera flatly.
"Well, it's—it sounds dumb when you put it that way."
The winged girl tilted her head slightly. "I did not mean to insult you."
"'S fiiine," she shrugged. "Let's just go inside." Her chipper manner returned as if it had never left. "You look for big paper and pushpins, and I'll see if they have a pack of colored pens or something."

The answer to Katherine's question: Lots. The first few clumps of undead weren't much larger than the first one, but as Zack led the way over a hill his head first poked over it to see some twenty or so walking corpses milling around each other, and then immediately ducked back out of sight before they could 'look' his way (or however it was things with half-rotten or nonexistent eyes saw).

"..That's too many to just rush at," he said. "We need some kind of plan."
Mika spoke up: "Well, are there lots in a small area? As long as we have the element of surprise I could use a pumpkin fire-bomb to probably knock over a lot of them."
"...You can make a pumpkin fire-bomb?" said the knight.
"Sure! I've been learning new skills too. It's like a combination of stuff from both of the demons I've absorbed so far."
" much delay can you put on it?" asked Katherine.
"Well, it's more like a...nitro glycer-thing. It explodes when the pumpkin bursts."
"Which means you could make a number of them...and I could probably float them around so they'll come from different directions and the ones that survive will go looking for us in all the wrong places."
"And then we can just chase them down in small groups, and clear out the rest," said Zack, nodding. "Good."

Mika poofed one of the explosive fruits into her hands and carefully lay it down on the ground. Then she did the same thing another four times, each one seeming more difficult than the last until she nearly toppled over from the weight of the last one, and as soon as that was safely on the ground she tumbled back onto her butt, panting. "Phew...that's...really tiring. I'm just gonna sit this fight out if you don' mind."
"Hopefully your luck will keep us from accidentally driving them this way," said the catgirl, nodding. "I'll keep track of them just in case." She made a gesture toward one of the pumpkins and lifted it into the air. It was heavier than the knives she was used to, but she'd taken a few more points in this skill and really just needed to concentrate to bring it a decent range around. Eventually she had a supply of two on either side of the crowd of undead and one directly opposite the party's hill.

Lifting one of the ones on the left in preparation to throw, she looked to Zack and Nora. "Ready?" They nodded, and she threw that one. It crashed through one of the skeletal heads on the way to the ground, shattered and exploded in a gout of dark fire like a magical grenade. The walking corpses, as expected, turned toward the direction it had come from and began to give chase. Then another bomb hit them from the other side, and they scattered in collective confusion.

Once most of their backs were turned, Zack charged up the hill, re-enchanting his blade again on its way out of its sheath, and ran after the largest group, hacking through them from behind. The wolf followed after him, tackling one of the back-row ones to the ground with its weight and then hopping out of the way of an attack straight on top of another, and continuing this pattern with anything in range. The psion lent her fire-dagger to Nora as a source and she moved to the top of the hill, spinning it out into a giant fireball to engulf anything that had been knocked down but not taken out by the first bomb.

The undead on Zack's side began to turn around toward him, but he kept slashing. When they started to get too numerous to fight he turned around and fled in the direction opposite the hill. Those on the other side reached the bomb stored there and Katherine flung it directly upward into the air; it quickly fell and landed directly on one of their heads, exploding in another black fireball. Nora followed this up with another flamethrower-like stream in their general direction, intensifying it enough to reduce them to a pile of ash and wriggling bones.

The knight made it to the pumpkin opposite the hill and picked it up one-handed by the stem before quickly tossing it backwards into the crowd following him. Before the smoke from its explosion cleared he was charging back through them again, slicing mostly at intact legs, arms, and torsos to keep them from moving around too much. Another explosion sounded from the last of Mika's creations as those undead which hadn't noticed him reached it, and he went that way to start clearing out anything still moving while Nora arrived to clear his group out.

Soon there was nothing but partially-charred, barely moving bones in any of the piles, and Zack began the work of tracking those down and smiting them the rest of the way to ash. The wolf followed him, sniffing at and kicking around some of the dust in an effort to expose anything the knight missed. Nora methodically concentrated fire in small sections of another pile until it seemed like there was nothing left, and then blew a gust of wind across the ash to reveal what really was left, and repeated this until they really were all gone. Eventually they had eridacted the whole group, and met (Mika joining as well) in the middle, roughly where the crowd of undead had been in the first place.

"Hey, we're not bad when we work together, yeah?" said Katherine, grinning.
"I'll still be glad when this is over. I feel more like an exterminator than any kind of hero," said Zack, crossing his arms.
"I helped!" chriped Mika.
"Yep!" the catgirl nodded, and patted the small witch on the head a couple of times. "If we can catch them off guard making a bunch of pumpkin bombs to set off like this is probably the best plan we've got in absence of some kind of cleric with a real 'turn undead' spell."
Nora smiled with the group, but once they had turned to continue toward the source of the trouble she frowned slightly, thinking. Those men who had kidnapped her had said something about her being a priestess...if only that were true, maybe she could have some sort of anti-undead power. But it seemed like everything she had was specifically natural in nature (for want of a better phrasing), and not at all tuned to combat the unnatural. Well, at least the fire magic was working for them.

"How do you rent office space in a fantasy world?" said Lynn. The two friends were walking along the streets in hopes of finding such a thing.
"How do you rent office space in our world?" replied Rayna. "I have no idea. We never did that kind of thing."
"Nope, never were in that kind of business. Illusion-veil-whatever sense telling you anything?"
"Not particularly. For this I think we'd have to ask around. Maybe some kind of businessperson?"
"What's a businessperson look like in a fantasy world?"
"What's one look like in our world?"
"Suit and tie, or maybe a dress. Formal clothes," Lynn shrugged.
"Or it's casual Friday and they're literally indistinguishable from normal people."
"Is it Friday?"
"I dunno. I'm not sure if this world even has the concept of a week."
"Can't you just sense what day it is or whatever?"
The foxgirl looked up in the sky, shielding her eyes with a hand over her brow. "...Theraday. Whatever that means."
"I feel like we're getting off track."
"We are getting off track."

Rayna approached the next stranger she saw. "Excuse me, do you know anything about how someone would rent some office space? Like, one office?"
"Uhh..there's a community center over on Foxview," he said after a second of thought, pointing a vague direction. "They have rooms people can use for stuff like that, I think."
"Ah, thanks," she nodded.
A couple of seconds later, Lynn asked: "Do you have any idea where Foxview is?"
"Sure, this way. I can see street names if I focus just right."

As she led the way to their latest destination, the foxgirl hmmed to herself. "Say Lynn."
"Have you ever—I mean, since we got here and this stuff happened to us," she said, gesturing vaguely at her body's present state, "—have you ever wanted to...y'know...touch fluffy tail?"
"No," she said flatly.
"Aww, why not?"
"Because you're my best friend, and I respect you way too much to think of you like a stuffed animal. Or a real animal, or whatever."
"I wouldn't mind, though, really. It really is remarkably fluffy and soft," she said, bringing it in front so she could hug it briefly before letting it go back to its duty of helping her balance or whatever.
"I really don't want to," she shook her head. "Do you have weird new instincts that want to be petted or something?"
"Nooo, but I am a little curious what it feels like. I guess it's not fair to ask it of you, though. You've already found someone to pet, right?" She stuck out her tongue.
"Oh, come on! You gotta make it about that?" she said, looking away in annoyance. "I also respect him too much, for your information."
"I get it, I get it. Your relationship's not to that level yet. I'm sure it will be in three, maybe four more dates."
Lynn was blushing furiously by this point. "Can we just change the subject please?"
"Okay, okay. Anyway, I'm sure Rose wouldn't mind helping me out with this at all."

"The weird dragon girl? Isn't she kind of a pervert?"
"You've barely even met her."
"Well, I listened to what you guys said she acted like, and I think we're dealing with a perv here."
"If she is, she's the nicest one I've ever met," said Rayna, "maybe not including myself. Hey, we can do a trade! She lets me see what her scales feel like in exchange..."
"Oh wow, you're serious." Lynn frowned. "Are you sure your mind hasn't been screwed with on the way to looking like that?"
"Mn..maybe it has? Not nearly enough to stop being the same person, but I feel a little curious about things I didn't care about before, maybe, or didn't have available to be curious about. Anyway, I like it. Don't you like the way being with Rast makes you feel?"
"I...yeah, I guess so," she said, blushing again. And then snapped: "Hey, I thought you said you'd change the subject!"
"I did, it just looped back around on us. Your new boyfriend is like a conversational boomerang."
"I'll make your face like a boomerang in a minute."

After clearing out a few increasingly large groups of undead, what awaited the party over the next hill was a strangely barren-looking patch of land. There was grass and occasional trees everywhere before, but this area was just dust, dirt and rocks. Zack instinctively stopped shy of the sharp border between nature and not as soon as he saw it, leading the rest of the party to pause behind him. "..What is this?"
"I don't..i-it looks like.." Nora stepped a little closer, and kneeled next to the border. "Th-there's nothing there...the elements related to life are gone here."
"It looks like dark magic to me," said Mika. "Nothing tasty like a demon, but..."
"I would guess our necromancer. Or whatever is making the undead," finished Katherine. "I don't sense a mind anywhere over there, so it's probably an artifact like the captain said."

There was suddenly a kind of...pulse. All of them felt it, and instinctively stepped back; about an inch's thickness of grass out from the previous border suddenly withered and died, expanding the dead land out further. "I think we've got more problems from it than making undead," said Zack, fighting that instinct to step up onto the dead land. There wasn't any immediate harm to doing so; it was just dirt after all.
The catgirl nodded. "Either way, we already signed up to deal with this."
"I would guess that pulse meant it just summoned more skeletons," said Mika, "should I start..uh..."

The knight followed Mika's eyse forward again. A whirl of bones and body parts was coming up from the ground, rising up past a hill opposite them, quickly placing and knitting itself together into a gigantic body.
"Yes, make a bomb. Soon as possible," said Katherine. "Keep some energy for running or flying."
"This should at least be a more interesting fight," said Zack, unsheathing and re-enchanting the sword again. "I hope you're ready, I don't see any way to keep that from noticing us."
The towering mass of misshapen, rotting body parts finally formed a head, complete with a pair of big curved horns fitted together out of a bunch of smaller fragments of bones. There was what looked like a handle of a weapon glowing a deep purple color lodged into its chest, the rest of whatever it was buried deep inside its body. As soon as the whirlwind of forming parts concluded, dropping a few unneeded bits and pieces unceremoniously to the ground, it opened its "mouth" and somehow generated a loud, rumbling roar from it, before beginning to charge straight at them.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


(Related to Inheritance

Probably the shortest period, at least recently, between one caption and a "sequel" to it.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Midas Journal 24

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I am enough of a dork that when I realized today was the real-world, actual full moon, it motivated me to push my way through writing this entry about what happened on the full moon so that it would come out on the day of a real full moon. It might be apparently one of the tiniest full moons available, but I'd rather not wait several months or years or whatever for a supermoon, and I doubt anyone else wants to either, so...

Entry: May 15

Obviously I was busy all of last night and then some of this morning. I'm writing this in the afternoon and I should be exhausted after not sleeping for like 48 hours but even after being pretty active all night and all day since then I feel so full of energy I'm surprised I'm not vibrating right now. The point is I guess that the full moon is really something, for werewolves at least. I feel like I should talk about last night. It was a pretty big deal overall, I guess.

Let's start with the afternoon, after school. I got a bag of some of my stuff and headed toward Lues' place, and ran into Brian a few blocks out. “Hey!” I yelled and waved at him, and he stood still so I could run up and jump on top of him, hugging him and planting a kiss on his face. He returned both, and since we both knew we wouldn't be able to do this for a while we let it go long and a little heavy. Finally we let go, both panting, and he said, “ ready?”
“Y-yeah. I'm pretty excited, actually.”
Brian smiled. “Lemme get ready, then.” He started shrinking right away, and set me down on the ground, still holding on to me as he rapidly approached my height. His hair puffed out, the fluffy white ears and tail grew into place, and I could tell he shifted to female just before our heights matched. Then Brie's chest pushed itself out into mine, her tail wrapped around mine, and she nuzzled me a little bit as she continued to shrink the rest of the way down to her usual size.

We let go a little later, once we'd had time to fully catch our breath and my legs didn't feel quite as weak. Brie took in a deep breath and huffed it out. “Well, this should be int'resting if nothing else.”
“Y-yeah,” I said.
“Sooo, tell me about the new member you 'made'?” She led the way, and we started the trip through the last couple of blocks to our new alpha's house, the tips of our tails still curled around each other the whole way. I gave a short version of what happened with Chris, and she listened and nodded.

It was still an hour or two before sunset when I knocked on the door. “Come in!” said Lue's voice from inside, and after Brie and I shrugged at each other I opened the door and stepped inside. After a brief search we found Lue on the couch with Chris leaning over on top of her, the side of her head firmly entrenched in Lue's chest-mounds. I noticed the giant ponytail from the day before had been let loose into its true form as a big cape of hair falling all the way down her back.
“...Have you two just been there all day?” I said.
“Nooo,” said Lue. “We changed clothes, see?” She gestured at what she was wearing, an extremely baggy shirt and equally oversized pair of shorts. Chris was in a slightly loose t-shirt and some gym shorts. “Anyway, we had to go to school—different schools, even. Chris just got here before you two.” I noticed she didn't say anything about Chris having gone home the night before, but decided not to bring that up.

“Well,” said Brie, “What all're we doing tonight, anyway?”
“The aim is to eat before sunset,” said Lue, “I've got some stuff going in the kitchen. We can introduce each other and all that, sort out anything about pack structure we need to—not that there's much to do with just four people, but it's worth setting a precedent.” I noticed while she was talking she ran a hand down Chris's back along some of her hair, just idly petting her, and Chris didn't respond beyond a slight wiggling of her head. “After that, the moon rises and we can all see each other's full-wolf forms...which I've been looking forward to for a while, honestly...and then...” Lue let in a pregnant pause.
“ what?” I said finally after a few seconds.
“You know. We can hang out and have some fun, that sort of thing,” she said innocently, shrugging.
“You made it sound a lot more ominous than that,” I said, putting my hands on my hips.
“Eh...we'll see.” There was an egg timer 'ding' from the kitchen which I swear couldn't have been choreographed better in a movie. “Oh, food's done!” Lue gently pushed Chris up to a sitting position and then stood up and went off toward the food.

Chris slowly opened her eyes, seeming to only just now notice she wasn't on top of Lue anymore. “Mnh..oh, hi!” She popped up energetically and hugged me right away, her tail whipping back and forth in another mile-a-minute wag. “Kaela, I dunno if I can ever thank you enough!” she said.
“Um..y-you're welcome.” I patted her on the head a couple of times until she let go on her own and turned to my boy/girl-friend.
“Ah! Are you Brie?” she said.
“The same,” she nodded, and offered a hand. “You must be Chris. Nice to meet you.”
“Yeah, you too!” She shook the offered hand excitedly. I was starting to get the impression that she has only two speeds: 'too much' and 'stop'.
“Looks like everything's done!” said Lue from the kitchen. “Come get some food~.”

There was a lot of it. It looked like she'd made an entire medium-rare steak for each of us, along with a huge loaf of bread and a variety of veggies. Honestly, I had no idea Lue could cook at all before this, but everything certainly looked good..not to mention how it smelled.
Once it was all on the table and we all sat down, our alpha said, “Well, it seems like we've all met each other now, at least as far as knowing each others' names. And everybody here is familiar with Kaela's unique powers, without which very little of this situation would be possible.”
“Err...yeah, I guess that's true,” I said.
“It's probably a good idea to keep any future pack-mates in the dark about this until and unless there's some reason they need to know about it. Aside from special cases like Chris here, of course.”
“I'd appreciate it, yeah,” I said. I suspect Lue wants a huge pack like her old one eventually, and the idea of that many people knowing about my powers is a little scary. I mean...sure, there's a lot of people who know about them already, but that many more and total strangers seems a lot worse.
“Good, good,” she nodded.

“Hey Lue,” said Brie after we had eaten quietly for a minute or two. “Uh, where are your parents, anyway?”
“They rented out a hotel room for the night,” she said.
“Oh.” A few seconds later, I think it hit all three of us at once. Brie blushed as much as I did and said, “Ooh. Y-yeah.”
“So we have the place to ourselves until probably about midmorning,” she pressed on like nothing had happened. “Anyway, pack structure. I hope there's no disputes of me being the alpha.” I shook my head emphatically, and nobody else said anything. “Good. I've already made Kaela my beta; only the two of us have the right to officially test potential new pack members. Beyond that there's no need for a terribly complicated ranking. Maybe we should just go for seniority for now...if you're okay with that, Chris?”
“Mmh?” Her mouth was full, so she had to take a minute to swallow. “Why would it not be okay?”
“Well, it would make you the current omega,” said Brie. “I guess that doesn't really mean much anyway, though, right?”
“I don't care if I'm omega,” she said, “I'm just happy to be here~.” Her tail started wagging again, whiffing back and forth across the hole in the back of the chair.
“That settles that too, then,” said Lue.

“Enough business! How was everyone's week?”
“Weird,” I said.
“Same,” Brie nodded.
Really weird,” I amended. “Weirder than any week before, which is saying something. I've had like seven straight weeks of weirdness. What about you?” I nudged Chris, whose mouth was full of steak.
She chewed and gulped it in. “I mean, pretty normal up until yesterday...and then kinda weird? But not bad-weird,” said Chris. “Wait, do you mean what really happened this week or what I remember happening this week?”
Lue shrugged. “Real is increasingly relative. Did anything weird happen in your 'new' memories before yesterday?”
“I guess not...some stuff that would've been weird to me before, but feels normal now though?” she said, looking a little confused.

“I know I brought it up, but maybe we should get off of how weird,” I suggested. “Overall I had a good week.” I looked at Brie. “I stopped feeling like I was a monster...mostly. I came up with some ground rules I probably needed like four weeks ago. Also I have a...?” I paused. “Uh, romantic..someone to kiss, anyway.”
“Just say 'girlfriend', I'm a girl right now,” she said with a teasing grin. “Anyway, glad I could help.”
“Best week of my life~,” Chris half-sang. “Both memories, actually. This-me has always wanted to be in a pack, but I'm a gigantic softie and I never learned to fight...”
“We love softies in this pack,” said Lue, grinning wide. “Or...I do at least. And that's most of what counts.”

Once we were finished eating, Lue lead the way to her bedroom and opened the door. I should mention that in the time I've known her, I've never actually seen this room before. It's huge. I mean, compared to a normal bedroom at least. There were two queen-sized beds and a desk inside and even with that a ton of floor space left over. Also, the beds and a lot of that floor were covered in a large collection of stuffed animals. I couldn't help but think the collection was cute, but maybe a little extreme.

“Welcome to my place,” she said cheerfully, “c'mon in.” As soon as we were inside she started clearing off the beds, grabbing the stuffed animals and tossing them casually off toward the far sides of the room, humming cheerfully to herself the whole time.
“Uh..well, I guess the sun hasn't set yet,” said Brie, waving vaguely at the big window opposite the door we'd come in through. The sky was starting to turn yellow-orange, but it felt like a good ten minutes at least before the sun would be all the way down. “Are we just gonna stand here awkwardly waiting for it?”
“No, silly!” Lue looked up from her progress frantically clearing her second bed. “If we wait 'till sunset, we all change at once and it'll be really hard to appreciate each other's full wolfy looks. We can take this extra time to change one at a time and enjoy the experience.”
“I...guess that makes sense?” I said, not sure I really understood. My 'new' memories have been alone or just with my parents every full moon, so this was more or less still uncharted territory. I guess it sounded kind of fun, though.
“Well, why don't you go first?” she said.

“Okay...” Changing to werewolf form is like flipping a mental switch, and then letting the results play out. It takes more mental effort to control specific parts changing, and it doesn't hurt regardless. I've heard that for people who were bitten, it hurts the first time. I changed in a matter of seconds, my body being covered with fur, my feet reshaping into larger versions of a wolf's hind paws while my hands became more paw-like with padded palms, my face extending out into a muzzle. I also stretched upward, my muscles tensing, and on top of having taller feet my body itself grew a few inches...maybe half a foot or so? I'd picked slightly loose clothes more or less on instinct to wear that day, and now they stretched tight against me. I don't look muscular at all in human form, but something about shifting to full werewolf gives me some real tone all over the place, more of an athletic look than anything else but including a slight six-pack even!
Also, my bust grows a little bit, which is a little bit of a weird thing to have happen, and which I almost forgot about and had to scramble part-paw-hands up under the back of my shirt to unhook my bra before it started squeezing me, and let it fall through to the floor. For some reason, being full werewolf seems to mostly eliminate the need for support, even with the larger size, so usually I would just take it off after getting home the day of a full moon.

“Phew..okay?” I said, gesturing vaguely at myself.
“Very cute,” said Lue, grinning. “You even look a little buff like that.”
“Me next?” said Brie, and our alpha nodded. This was at least something I hadn't seen before, someone else not in my own family changing, so I watched curiously. Brie was wearing a button-down blazer, and unbuttoned it before she started, then undid her bra (possibly reminded by my own, I guessed). Her body shimmered with snow white fur almost instanstly, and then she stretched upward, her usual soft look hardening to muscle visible even through the thick fur as she went. I felt myself blushing slightly as I saw her breasts growing a little bit too, and then paused as she stopped growing and I realized we were actually about the same height, which means she'd grown more and faster than I had.
It's weird how expressions work for werewolves. Normal dogs don't really do things like smile or frown, but even having muzzles we sort of manage to get recognizable expressions out of them in addition to the more whole-body-based communication. As Brie's changes finished she smiled over at me, some red from a blush visible through the fur, her tail wagging rapidly, and I found myself doing the same set of expressions back.

“Ooh, equally adorable!” said Lue, snapping us out of it. “You're like a complimentary pair, even better together~.”
“Eheh,” Brie laughed nervously. “Are you gonna go next?”
“I'm saving the best for last,” she said, shaking her head. “Chris?”
“Yeah!” Chris changed rapidly, fluffing up all at once and hardly growing at all (in either the height or the bust department). Actually I think the only height gain she had was from her feet shifting to wolf-feet, and her clothes, tight as they were, didn't seem to show off any gain in the muscle department either. All the same, I couldn't help but think she looked like a big fluffy teddy bear or something.
“Well, I've already seen it,” said Lue, “so what do you two think?”
“You called us cute after seeing that?' said Brie, “Chris looks like a big puppy...”
“Or a huge stuffed animal!” I said.
“Yeah. Makes me want to squeeze her and feel all of the fluffy fur at once.” Chris just giggled, her tail wagging rapidly as ever from the compliments.

“Alright, the moon's almost out,” said Lue. “Chris has already seen me change too, so I want you two to reeaally pay attention.”
“Oh...kay?” I said, not sure why she made it sound like it mattered that much.
“Here I go!” Lue began to change a little more slowly, starting from the all-human form she usually seemed to have. First her ears and tail grew out, and then fur started to slowly spread down along her face. She began quickly growing taller, and even her arms and legs visibly lengthened as fur spread out down them from her torso. The oversized clothes started to get tighter on her, and I realized that instead of just her chest growing, her entire body's figure was getting steadily more pronounced: Wider hips, longer legs, deeper curves in general. “Mmhh..” Her voice, coming from her throat, was a little lower in pitch than usual. Her face pushed out into a muzzle as the shirt pulled up off of her midriff, showing off a very solid six-pack. Her limbs looked muscular and toned, too, I noticed, and she just seemed to keep growing and growing.
Finally, the change completed, and Lue let out a soft “Aah...” in a deep alto I would never have recognized as her voice, stretching her arms up and then letting them down again. She was really tall, maybe a foot taller than I am as a guy—definitely taller than any of us anyway. The strength that she always had, that seemed unexpected coming from a small, slim girl, was entirely on display, yet somehow avoided detracting from a very mature, womanly figure I swear any girl would kill for. Her fur was a mesmerising pattern of darks and light browns all the way around; it looked rough but very well-groomed.

“Well..?” she said, looking at us expectantly.
“,” I stammered. Seeing all of that, I felt an unexpected emotion...something like pride? I felt happy to have such an obviously strong, beautiful alpha. But she was also imposing, and it made me initially nervous about talking to her.
“Amazing,” said Brie for me.
“I admit, this is really what I consider my true form,” said Lue, casually catching the hem of her shirt and flipping it off of herself and away. Of course she'd been going braless all along, but it didn't really expose anything much. Werewolf fur is usually thick enough to cover...things. “I burn off moonlight by changing to this when I'm gonna be home for awhile, or to go to bed, rather than looking part-wofly all the time like you guys. I actually looked a lot like this as a werewolf in my old life too, except of course for all my favorite parts.” She squished her chest together with her hands briefly to emphasize what parts those were.

The three of us were more or less just staring at her. But she was...clearly enjoying it, beaming with her tail wagging almost as fast as Chris's, so nobody felt the need to stop. She turned her face toward me and said, “Isn't that really uncomfortable on you? It looks sorta tight.”
“Oh, uh..” I blinked, and after a pause realized she was talking about my shirt, and probably wanted me to take it off. Probably not just because it looked uncomfortable, either. But before that had clicked in my mind I already had it most of the way over my head because the instinct part of me that wanted to do what the alpha wanted me to do picked up on the fact that she wanted the shirt off before the rest of me could catch up, and now they'd already seen my bare upper body and it really was kind of uncomfortable so what was the point of trying to force it back on anyway?
“Oh, you have a light underside!” said Brie while I pulled the top the rest of the way off and let it awkwardly hang on my hand for a moment, unsure of what to do with it.
“Uh—yeah, I've always looked just sorta like a normal gray wolf, fur-color-wise,” I said. Lue came closer, gently lifted the shirt away from me and tossed it at the same corner of the room her own had gone in, which I looked toward just for an instant and noticed had been joined by Chris's shirt at some point.
“It looks great on you!” Brie smiled brightly.

Then, she reached forward and brushed her hand across my stomach, and I shivered, unused to the feeling of someone else touching my body-fur. Just the wolf ears and tail are sensitive enough spots, but a blanket of fur covering every inch of skin makes every touch, anywhere, run least when it's someone I'm as “friendly” with as her, anyway. Apparently not bothered by my reaction, she leaned closer and slid her arms around me, more fur sliding against my own, and then pulled me into a hug close enough to squish our breasts against each other.
“Uh, um..” My face would be blazing red if it wasn't covered in probably was red even then. But my tail was still wagging and my arms disobeyed an order to push her off or hold still, wrapping around her and pulling her into me instead. “Mnn..mrf!” She was starting to run her padded hands across the fur on my back now, and I couldn't react to it like a human at all, starting to bark softly instead.
One of my hands ran down her back from the top of her head to stomach level, feeling soft, fluffy white fur all the way down. I don't know when her top got removed, but it wasn't there anymore. Brie's muzzle brushed against mine in response, and I stumbled backwards a couple of steps in a state of sensory overload, and then fell back onto one of Lue's beds with her still on top of me. She leaned over and we turned until we were on our sides instead. Our tails were starting to tangle up with each other, and our hands moved across each others' backs, trying to explore every inch of velvety fur. We had both making small, high, cute sounds in our throats, barking and yipping to each other between nuzzling.

The sun must have finished going down, because I could feel the force of the full moon on me now, not just maintaining the werewolf form but making me feel wild and full of energy. I'd always felt a kind of nervous, twitchy energy when I was alone on the full moon, and it felt somehow like I finally understood what all of that energy was for. However extreme I thought the experience of petting each other when we were still mostly human was, this was several times more. Even without being attracted to girls just now, the feeling of Brie's chest squished against mine was very nice, the way my hands felt tracing along her curves and finding a solid, strong body beneath the soft fur was fascinating, and her doing the same to me was almost more than I could take. It didn't feel like we were ever going to stop...neither because we had to nor because we wanted to. In fact, we pushed each other's pants off onto the floor to find more fur to touch, and slowly rotated until we were aligned with the bed, our heads resting on a pillow when they weren't being lifted up to rub against each other.

It must have been at least a few minutes later when I finally started to be able to perceive the world beyond the two of us again. I could pick up more small noises from the location of the other bed. It wasn't just Chris's voice, either; Lue's strange new deeper voice was barking and churring in excitement. I had a stray thought similar to “so much for not fully trusting her yet” before Brie's nose rubbing against my cheek, and I started to vigorously nuzzle her back again.

I don't know how long this lasted. It must have been at least an hour before Brie and I finally, mutually pulled our faces away from each other. During that time we'd rolled around over each other a few times and our legs had managed to get just as tangled up in each other as our tails. We were panting rapidly and blushing brightly for a short while longer before finally regaining the ability to speak.
“Hh—heehee,” she giggled first, softly. “I dunno whether to say 'sorry, I don't know what came over me' or 'you're welcome'.”
“Um..I'm leaning toward the second one,” I said, rubbing her ears again. “...phew. That was really...that was something though.”
“It was...and still is,” she grinned mischievously. “Whenever one of us turns into a guy later this will really be an interesting memory to think back on.”
“O-oh, wow. Yeah.” My entire muzzle was burning up again. “At least we're still in some underwear...”

I leaned up slightly on an elbow, looking over her at the other two, who were still tangled up in each other. Chris was on top of Lue with both of them in a similar state of undress to the two of us. I noticed that our omega's fur was thick, solid black all the way around, and the difference in size between the two of them really did make her look like a teddy bear Lue was hugging. “Mnh...they're still...”
I leaned back down, and rubbed her ears a little, drawing a pleased, relaxed sigh. “I'm more glad I met you every time we see each other,” she said quietly.
“Me too,” I answered.

“Hmmh..” By now we'd pulled our upper bodies far enough apart for there to be just a little bit of space between our breasts. One of her hands slipped into that gap and a finger gently traced the outer edge of one of mine.
“O-oh, uh...what're you..?” I started to ask, but in that time she placed both her hands gently on my chest and then traced her fingers upward along each, drawing a very pleasant, tingly feeling all the way up. I let out a very human “Mmnnnh!” at a sudden flare of pleasant, tingly feeling between my legs, which of course also brought my face back to the temperature of the inside of a volcano. “Wh-what was that?!” I half-whispered in an effort not to shout and alert the others.
“Wanted to try something...I hope it didn't upset you too much,” she said.
“We're not really attracted to each other right now, but we have an awful lot of power over each other's bodies,” she whispered. “So it looks like we can use that to just make anything feel good if we want.”
“Oh, w-wow, that's kinda really pervy...” I whispered back.
“If we weren't 'romantic someones' to each other, maybe,” she responded, sticking out her tongue. “C'mon, I wanna know what you felt a minute ago.”
I felt excited about the idea, but I restrained myself. “J-just once though, no more. There's a reason we decided not to be opposite sexes right now.”
“Okay, okay...”

I put my hands on her breasts cautiously, still feeling a little weird about it. But they felt good, covered in the same silky fur as the rest of her along with what was underneath being squishy and pliable. I knew I was blushing again as I thought about how remembering this would eventually feel as a guy, but I pressed on anyway. I didn't do exactly what she'd done, instead just gently squeezing at them, but I asked my power to make it feel the way she'd made me feel a moment ago. Right away, Brie started wriggling around slightly in place, and let out a long, sighing “Ooohh...” in response, confirming it had worked.

As soon as that was over, I disentangled myself from her and pushed off, and accidentally rolled off of the bed. It didn't hurt but it made a clonk noise louder than any sound either of us had made in the past...however long since sunset. I sat up and Brie leaned over toward me. “You okay there, silly?”
“Yeah, I'm fine.” I looked over toward the other two, where our alpha was picking up the other girl and placing her in a sitting position at the same time as sitting up herself.
“Well, that was loads of fun~,” said Lue with what I swear was a knowing smile. “Don't you agree?” She turned to Chris, rubbing her ears a bit.
“Yes, it was—uh, fun,” I said, blushing more in spite of myself. “I really think that's enough 'and then' for tonight, if we can please move on to something else?”
“Okay, but just 'cause you asked,” said Lue, standing up.

The rest of the night was not as extreme. None of us seemed to feel like putting any clothes back on, it felt like fur was enough, and I stayed close to Brie most of the time, hugging and petting each other nearly nonstop (to be fair, Lue was doing that with Chris, too). We ran around in the back yard at one point to burn off some energy.

Somewhere in the early AM, Lue pulled me aside, to the opposite side of the house from the others, and asked me a question. “So you've more or less confirmed how your powers work by far as being wish fulfillment, right?”
“Yeah?” I said. It sounded like she had something to say, which she did.
“When I first heard that I didn't think it was right, ' know, when you bumped into me when we first met, I wasn't really thinking about being young again at all. Actually, what I was thinking about...well, about eighteen years ago a couple from my pack had a miscarraige. The baby would've been a little girl, and actually a great-grandchild of mine. I was reflecting on that loss...I realized she'd be about an adult by then, and feeling particularly bitter about it. I must've run into you because I was lost in thought, not paying much attention to the world around me...awful thing for an alpha to do, y'know, even one with as much respect as I'd earned. It happened...right after I had a fleeting thought about me being old, having lived long enough...wondering if I would take a deal for her to survive that day instead of me.”
“So...wait, you think that's what happened?” I said.
“I'm...almost certain it is. I, Lue, had a great-granddad who everyone says was a great alpha, maybe the best in a long time, but he died the day I was born. In my new memories my thoughts of being an alpha always used to get a little scrambled by his legacy—worry I won't ever be that good. Isn't that weird?”
“But now you're...but, wait, are you just..?” I said, not entirely sure how to express the question.
“I'm nothing like I was when I was young,” she said. “I mean...when old me was a young man, the world was a different place and he wasn't anything like I am now even accounting for that. A lot of my ideas and thoughts are a hundred percent new-me.”

“That's a you're like two people in one?” I said.
“I guess,” she shrugged. “It's nice though, it feels like a real unfair advantage that I'll try and leverage as much good out of as I can. I didn't have to really die for the girl to live, I more or less got to see her grow up. My great-granddad isn't really dead, he's in here,” she poked her head with an index finger, “with all the experience of making and running a pack I could ever need. I don't even have to ask for advice because I already know what I'd say. But it is pretty weird, yeah, if you think about it at all.”

It finally hit me. “My power can literally bring a person back from the dead,” I said slowly. “That isn't...that's...”
“By all accounts, our world has afterlives,” she said. “At least a few. I don't think those who own them would be happy if you went around trying to empty them.”
“But...I can...should I? Shouldn't I?”
“I don't know what you should do,” she shrugged. “But if I were you I'd think carefully before doing anything. What my story means is that your power can reach back into history as far as it wants to and it's willing to shuffle things around in weird ways. If you go trying to, say, wipe out all the diseases or something there's no telling how it'll do that, or if the world you wind up with will be one any of us could recognize. It hasn't been a trickster genie yet, right?” I nodded. “—But you give it a big order like 'nobody ever dies again' and not exactly how it's supposed to accomplish that and the result might be that everyone already died ten years ago except you. Fixing one person at a time based on particular wishes probably won't wreck things too badly too fast, especially since it seems like accidents like me are nearly unavoidable, but there's no rulebook for this stuff. As far as I know—and I've seen a lot of things, you know—nobody's ever really had a power like yours before. I mean, even if someone did and kept it a secret surely they would either have tried to fix everything already or become the supreme ruler of the world, and we don't have either of those things. So if they did try one of those two, for some reason or another it didn't work.”

I took a minute to process all of that. She didn't say anything more. Eventually I said, “You've really..thought about this a lot, huh?”
“I didn't want to mention it to you until I had. And now you can think about it too. Mention it to Brie if you want...I didn't feel like that was my place. But not tonight!” She ruffled my hair and rubbed on my ears a bit. “Tonight we're supposed to be having fun and your girlfriend is probably wondering what we're doing way over here all this time. So c'mon.” I followed her obediently back to the others, trying my best not to think about it.

I'm still trying not to think about it. Maybe she's right and I'd wreck everything trying. I want to ask someone else about it, I want a lot more than just what I think to be behind whatever decision I make, but I don't know who I should really trust with the idea. Lue's right though, my power can reach back in time if it wants to. If I want it to then I can make it. If I really tried to do something crazy then I can push its effect back in time as much as I want, which means there's no time limit—not at as long as I'm alive, at least. One more reason to keep Rio's self defense clause, but other than that I have time to think this through and not do something rash and stupid and break the universe like an idiot. For as much as I (still) don't like the idea of potentially brainwashing people, breaking the universe would be a lot worse.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Midas Journal 23

Entry: May 13

At lunch, I sat with Adena again. She had kind of a lopsided grin on her face. “..What's with you today?” I said.
“Mmh? Oh!” She looked at me as if noticing me for the first time. “I had another date with Rhia last night. It's so easy to be a boy now with the extra tail, and we got to be together a lot longer than before because of it. Not that she knows that's why, just that I agreed to stick around a lot longer.”
“You do remember she goes to the same school as us,” I said, a little quieter, “and has cat ears. Right? About as good at hearing as ours are.”
“Hmhmhm,” she laughed in her throat. “I'm not that foolish. We have different lunches, and her class is way on the other side of the school. On top of that, I have a spell up to know whether she's within a certain radius, and it's not going off.”
“Okay fine, but you and I are also not the only ones with animal ears and knowledge of magic here, either. Someone who knows what a Kitsune is capable of could rat you out.”
She just shrugged. “That's a risk I'll have to take. Any-who, it's a low enough chance of happening that I'm fine if that's how it comes out. It'd have to be somebody willingly talking about a stranger behind their back, or else betraying a friend like me...both delicious forms of mischief to cause.”

“Sooo...judging by your, uh, distraction before I started talking to you, I guess it went well?” I said, deciding that convincing her to be smarter about when and how to talk about it probably wasn't worth the trouble.
“Yep! It's funny, I'm a girl now, but I can remember how good it felt as a boy, kissing her and cuddling up to her last night, and just...mmm.” She closed her eyes, smiling and blushing slightly. Popping them open again, she said, “Do you ever get that with your boyfriend? Or, have you gone back and forth enough to know?”
“” I thought about it for a second. “We've sorta been together with each other both ways, so...I dunno, when I think about him I think I kind of default to whichever sex is opposite mine right then. Maybe something about how his power affected me, though...”
“Heheh, I can't wait for the big reveal then. If things don't go boom too badly maybe we can see what it's like to reverse roles, too. Otherwise, I dunno...I guess I'd consider looking for a boyfriend for a little while instead.”
I sighed to myself, still unable to believe how casual she was being about possibly losing a relationship—one she seems to like more and more—to this 'game' of lying and deceiving. Still, I tried convincing her not to do it, and it just doesn't feel like my place to interfere past that.

This afternoon, Lue ran up to me, waving, as I was walking back home. “Hey!”
I stopped and let her catch up. “Um..hi,” I said, “what's up?”
“Brian told me you got him into the pack last night,” she said, grinning. “Good job! Now we can at least sorta call ourselves a proper pack. In fact I have even better news—a possible fourth member!”
“Uh-huh..” I said, cautiously. “Anyone I know?”
“I don't think so, but one can never really tell. There are some problems though—well really more like one major problem—and as my beta I expect you to help me fix it.”
“Rrright...what kind of problem?”
“Well, for one thing, this guy is not a werewolf. In fa-act, he's totally uninitiated in magic in general. As far as I can tell he wanted to believe werewolves exist so bad he managed to just sort of pierce the veil on us. I caught him staring at someone's tail with a look of shock on his face.”

“So, why's that such a problem?” I said.
“Well I can't exactly bite him!” she said, agitated. “People would know!” I can remember as well as she does that it's illegal for people like werewolves who can make more of their kind out of normal humans to intentionally spread themselves (in our case, bite people), except in some really specific conditions. Well, I say 'illegal', but it's not a law on any books anywhere, it's just that other races (including much more powerful ones) don't like the idea of the whole human population being subject to a mad dash to make as many humans as possible turn into each of the numerous kinds that might be in competition for that. I can say as a “former human” myself I agree with the sentiment. But that's not what my question was about.
“I mean, why do you care about getting him in the pack,” I said. “You don't know the guy—right?”
“I care because he really wants to be a werewolf,” said Lue. “and I have lots of experience from my past life helping newbies adjust to the lifestyle, so to speak? I'm sure if he's in my pack then we'll have a quality werewolf in a few years. Someone else? Not so much. And now that he knows about us, he might get someone else in trouble for biting him—he's really that into the idea.”
I crossed my arms. “So you think a total stranger is gonna be able to pass your test, then. Even if the thing you're asking me to do, you wouldn't have met any sooner or anything.”
“That's perfectly fine,” said Lue, waving a hand dismissively. “He can be a trainee until we get to know each other better if he doesn't pass right away. It's not much different from a 'fight me' pack letting someone go through multiple trials if they fail the first one. And if at some point I figure out he'll never pass, then you and me, we've got lots of ways to make sure he can't take revenge for being banned out of the pack.”

I sighed. “So where is this guy, anyway?”
“He's at my house~,” she said in a singsong voice, her mood obviously soaring from my half-decision to do what she wanted. “C'mon!” She grabbed my arm at the wrist and started on a dash toward her house, halfway dragging me along.
“H-hey! I can walk, you know!” She slowed down a bit and let go, allowing me to rub at the grabbed wrist until it stopped hurting from Lue's death-grip.

“I can't help but wonder, though...” I said after a minute or so. “You...really like seeing boys get turned into girls, huh.”
“Hmm? Whatever would give you that idea?”
“Well, it's the first thing you asked me to do, even though there were other seemed really happy to meet Brie. And now you're so excited and eager for...this. I find it hard to believe you'd just let mister 'wants to be a werewolf' try and join our pack this way entirely to help him.”
“Hmph.” She gave a small frown. “For the record, it always helps a pack to get a new member if they're worthy, so I'm helping me and us in that way. But if you must know, it's not so much the changing itself as the results. It's partially a my-new-life thing and partially because I get to be young again. I find that, maybe something in my makeup or upbringing or whatever makes me really enjoy the cuteness and softness of fellow girls...and in fellow werewolves, fluffiness too. I'm sure you can understand that much.”
“Er...” I thought about being with Brie, both female, the night before, and felt some heat in my cheeks. “Y-yeah, sure.”
“On top of that, I know I won't be romantic with a girl. After all that initial attraction to boy-you and the way our friendship since then went, I'm not bothered at all by you in that way because I can sort of think of you as a girl all the time. And this being my new life and all, I don't want to be 'in that way' with anyone for a while. Like I said before, I've got things I want to do with this life that'll be much easier if I'm unattached for at least a while.”

“So what you're saying is, if you have it your way our whole pack will be girls...aside from me or Brian being male. You know how that might look from the outside, right?”
“We don't have to all be girls all the time,” she said with a shrug. “Not with you in the pack, especially, but even if you left or didn't want to there are ways...”
“Well, I'll warn you I'm not gonna give this guy the impression he has to be stuck as a girl,” I said. “Not with the amount of control I have over my powers now.”
“Nor would I want you to,” she said. “All options on the table. But if he stays a boy, it really means he has a power to go back and forth, right?”
“Yeah, I guess..that's right,” I said, nodding slowly.
“Like I said, there are ways.”

We arrived at Lue's house, and I followed her inside. She strolled into the room with a cheerful “I'm ba-ack~!”
The guy in question was sitting in one of the living room chairs. He was wearing a dark t-shirt with a wolf on it and jeans; his hair was dark and kind of wild. He seemed a little pudgy, but it was hard to tell exactly since his clothes were pretty loose on him. “Oh, hey.” He stood up, and turned to face me, his eyes wide as he clearly looked at my ears and then tail. “Um—this is your uh, beta?” he asked, looking at Lue.
“Yep. Be nice to her.”
“Sure.” he held out a hand as if to shake, stepping a little closer. “I'm—”
“Hey-hey, no touch!” I took an emphatic step back away from him before he could accidentally brush my shoulder or something. My powers informed me he wanted something, and wanted it bad. It felt like more than enough desire to change him if a stray hair of mine touched his shirt. “Not until I explain something, at least. We can wave.” I waved at him.
“O-oh, okay?” He waved back awkwardly. “Well, I'm Chris...uh...sheesh, those really are real huh?”

“I already showed you mine,” said Lue impatiently.
“Y-yeah, I'm just...having a hard time believing it still.”
I cleared my throat to get his attention again. “My name's Kaela. What did Lue tell you about me?”
“J-just that uh, it was illegal for werewolves to bite people and you might have some kind of other way to um. M-make me a werewolf?” he said nervously. It was a little weird having someone else act a little intimidated by me, even just a little bit, but it occurred to me the first thing I'd done was snap at him not to touch me, and after that first impression he was trying to ask me for something, after all. Oh well.
“Right..” I folded my arms again, “let me explain. I'm not just a werewolf. I have a kind of...weird power recently, since I turned eighteen. If I touch someone, that power can...change them. A lot.”
“A lot?” he repeated.
“Right. It usually grants what someone wants, but it turns them into a girl in the process. And it basically rewrites history so it's like they were always that way.” It feels weird how good I'm getting at explaining it to other people. It's only been a couple of months since all this insanity started, and now I seem to mentally register it as almost normal.

“So, if I..if you did that to me, I wouldn't..?” he started, looking very concerned.
“You'd still remember everything you do now,” I explained patiently, “but you'd also remember a different version of events. Since both of us would see you change, Lue and I would remember both versions, but everyone else—anyone else you know—would remember the 'new' you. I'm pretty sure what would happen is it would reach back and make your parents werewolves too, and probably change some other things as a result.” That was what had happened with 'making me a werewolf'. I guess in theory I could actually make it so that someone had been bitten at some point, but that felt like it would defeat the point of me changing him instead of Lue or someone else biting him.
“So...I could really be a werewolf, then?” he said nervously. “At the cost of...”
“You don't have to be a girl forever,” said Lue. “Kaela here's talented enough to give you the ability to go back to boyhood if you like, and drag the memories along with you.” I found myself blushing and giggling slightly at Lue calling me 'talented'. “But you'd have to put up with turning into a girl at least once.”

“ that really it? You could..I could really be...?” he said, looking like a kid who'd just been told the entire contents of a candy store were free for the taking.
“Right,” I nodded. “But I won't do it unless you absolutely want me to.”
“Well, I do want it,” he said. “All my life, I've wished werewolves were real, and now they are..! And, and you can...I could really...yes. I really want it. Definitely,” he said, looking straight into my eyes with a determined expression.
“Okay then. You might want to be ready to sit down, it's uh, kind of a rush,” I said, moving a little closer. He nodded and back up until his legs were touching the chair he'd been in, and once I was close enough I looked at his face and waited for one final nod from him before reaching forward and gently brushing my fingers across his cheek.

The effect was instant. A wave of change rippled across his face, removing facial hair, smoothing skin, and rounding its shape out into a very feminine look. Suddenly I noticed he had bright, sky-blue eyes, and on the girly face they did a lot to give him a cute, innocent look. Next his hair grew out, straightening and taming itself until it framed the small face on the front and just barely touched his shoulders on the sides, while a lot of the back gathered together into a ponytail which rapidly grew longer and longer until its locks swung down to the top of his hips. His ears popped, first the left and then the right, instantly into tall wolfish ears, their fur the same black as his hair except for a bit of gray near the tips and some fluffy tufts of white on the inside.
“W-whoa..” All of this happened so fast that he had just now had time to react. “Aah..” He shivered as the change to his skin spread downward, visibly racing along his arms. His sleeves cut off of the rest of his shirt and slid down off his shoulders, growing longer and fanning out wider near the ends. His shirt's collar pulled itself free, turned white, and spread out a bit too, while the rest of the shirt slid downward, showing off a bit of his smooth, hairless upper chest and leaving behind just a pair of straps to hang itself off of.

“O-oh, it'” he mumbled incoherently, his voice beginning to subtly change, as the shifts to his body's shape spread downward. His shoulders began to narrow, his arms thinned, and he started to get shorter. The graphics on his shirt started to fade to black as it pulled itself slowly, steadily tighter against his torso and especially his stomach, clinging close against the slight pudge there just in time for it to start retracting and flattening inward. His stomach also curved itself in on the sides, and then his hips responded by steadily pushing themselves outward, growing the tops of his legs with them.
“Ahm..mmn..” He wobbled unsteadily as his stance and center of balance began to change. His pants, which I now noticed had been getting steadily tighter on him and turning from blue denim to black cloth, began to change to thinner material and pulled taut against a pair of man-legs before squeezing them slimmer and slimmer. As the material of the pants shifted more and more, it began to turn translucent, showing the smooth skin on his legs and a pair of underwear clearly halfway between boxers and panties, the leggings unusually long but tight on his widening legs and hips while a plaid pattern faded to solid pink and the top rim was beginning to grow frills.

“W-wa..aah..” Chris's cute face started to blush as the shifting underwear pulled tight enough now between his legs to reveal a bulge, and furthermore that said bulge was diminishing in size. His voice now sounded like a young boy's, and it brought my attention back up to his head. His mouth was open, his teeth visibly growing longer and sharper and his tongue hanging out slightly as it too lengthened. His shirt had lost its pattern entirely by now and turned dark blue; as his height continued to sink downward it finally hung low enough to cover his groin, only to split itself apart right in the middle at the hem. The cut traveled upward, the two sides splitting outward, as it quickly formed an upside-down V shape and revealed his now paper-flat stomach's belly button, and a bit of cloth beneath the shirt which was forming itself into a bra.

“Ah...aaaah...arf!” I heard Chris's voice rise even more, sliding up out of male range, followed by a dog-like bark as suddenly a tail burst from his lower back. It was covered in thick, fluffy fur, black like his ears and hair with a white tip. The new appendage swung itself around awkwardly, which combined with the unsteady wobbling from before caused him to topple backwards into the chair right away.

The pants had converted entirely into a pair of tights, and beneath them a brilliant pink, frilly pair of panties showed only a very small bulge left of the new werewolf's manhood. He barked again, in an even higher pitch than before, and then yipped excitedly as what made him male slid the rest of the way inward, bringing the underwear firmly flat down there. She blushed even brighter at this, but the changes continued anyway, her chest immediately starting to push forward and stretch the top out. “Aah—awa..wwaah..!” She let out noises halfway between human 'aahs' and wolfish barks as her breasts continued to steadily develop. At the same time, a pleated skirt grew out from the top of the tights, slinking down along her wide hips in seemingly an effort to hide her exposed new underwear and privates. More white cloth grew itself out of the back of her shirt, adding even more to flow around about the new outfit.

“Ahm..mmh...mmnn..” Chris (whose name I noticed hadn't changed at all as memories of her already being a female werewolf entered my mind) squirmed slightly on the chair, her eyelids sinking down over her eyes and her already bright-red face blushing even more, as her breasts continued to grow and grow. Slowly, a white-petaled flower seemed to bloom itself out from her hair just under the left ear, growing out (even though it was obviously made of cloth) into a very cute accessory to match her increasingly adorable new form. “Mn..hhhh...” she took a deep breath and sighed as her breasts finally finished growing, winding up bigger than anyone else I've changed before and, along with her wide hips, giving her a soft, plump look.

“W-wah!” She opened her eyes and raised her arms in surprise, seeming to suddenly remember there were other people in the room. “Oh my gosh, that was so—I was, I mean you know like—you weren't kidding about that being a rush!” she said excitedly, her voice high and squeaky, but clearly a mature girl's all the same. “Oh man oh man!” She hopped up and pounced at me in a sudden hug. “This is even better than I coulda ever imagined! Thank you sooooo much!” I discovered she was about equal height to Lue (so, shorter than me) as she buried her face in my chest, her tail whipping back and forth like an electric fan.
“'re uh, welcome.” I felt myself blushing slightly as I awkwardly patted her back a couple of times. “Y-you should thank Lue, though..this was more her idea...”
“Yeah, okay!” she let go of me in an instant and pounced just as eagerly at my alpha, who opened her arms to accept the hug and then returned it willingly, her hands rubbing up and down along Chris's back a little.

“You're quite welcome,” said Lue, grinning at me over her shoulder. It was a very 'I told you so' kind of grin, and I couldn't help but feel it was about the new girl being obviously happy as a girl even though we hadn't argued about that at all.
“Heehee, yeah! New alpha!” Chris drew herself back out of the hug just enough to look in Lue's face again, and her ears and tail suddenly drooped a bit. “New alpha? Urr, do I have to fight you?” I guessed that her memories finally caught up enough to inform her of the normal way to get into a pack.
“You're lucky you don't,” said Lue, “I can tell just from your hug you're a huge softie. But—” she cut off another cry of 'new alpha' before it could begin, “There is a test. I have to know I can trust my pack, so we pet each other to force our instincts to show our true feelings about each other.”
“Oh, okay.” I tilted my head slightly at just how casually she accepted such a weird and sort of overly-intimate test, but didn't say anything. “That sounds a lot better than tryin' to fight someone,” she said. “But um...we just sorta met. I dunno if..”
“You can take the test more than once,” said Lue in an encouraging tone. “And not passing doesn't mean we can't hang out. If anything, getting to know each other better will make it easier for you to pass.”
“Yay!” Fully out of the hug by now, Chris gave a celebratory leap into the air, arms in a big Y shape and clothes and hair all fluttering around in response. (She was facing away from me but I'm sure Lue got a full view of the girl's new assets bouncing from the maneuver, too.) “S-so I can take the test now? Or um, do you think it'd be better if I wait first..?”

“Now's fine,” said Lue, and gestured to her couch. “Take a seat.” The newest werewolf nodded and obeyed, and she turned to me. “Well, do you want to do the honors?”
Me? No way,” I shook my head. “If you're uh, done with me here I'm sure I can find my way home.”
“Don't be silly, you're already here, so as my beta you should at least observe the test to see whether you agree with my decision or not,” she said with a bright smile. I sighed and went over to the chair Chris had been in recently while Lue moved slowly up to the couch and sat down right up against the new girl, on the other side of her from me.

“Okay, so I'll go first,” said Lue. “You let me know if you're feeling uncomfortable or anything, okay?”
“O-okay,” she nodded, starting to blush again. Lue gently wrapped her arms around her and began to grow her own ears and tail out, the tail curling forward toward Chris's and beginning to slide around it at the base as it formed. By the time it was full-length, my alpha's tail was already mostly wrapped around the other girl's, the tips slowly across each other. Chris shivered excitedly, her arms wrapping themselves around Lue in another hug.
“Mnh.” She grunted, seeming to already have trouble forming words. That seemed like a 'good' sign, I guessed.

A pleased, eager look on her face, Lue reached her hands up and gently put them across Chris's huge ears, every one of her fingers finding a nice big patch of fur to brush around. The other girl's response as the petting began in earnest was a soft “Aah..mnn...mrf!” She continued to bark in her throat, holding Lue more tightly as she began to nuzzle her. Lue leaned forward, slowly pushing Chris backwards and down until she was leaning against the armrest of the couch and both of them were coming uncomfortably close to me. I edged toward the other side of my chair, trying to suppress my own tail beginning to swish back and forth as I saw her obviously passing this part of the test. Somehow it seemed like I could feel the immense gratitude from her at having an apparently long-held dream of being a werewolf fulfilled, and it seemed obvious somehow that her response to me would've been even stronger...which made me even more glad I hadn't agreed to be the one to do it.

After a while Lue slowly released the other girl's ears, her hands slowly sliding down along Chris's cheeks to her shoulders. She leaned back again, Chris following her and continuing to nuzzle, until they were both sitting up again, and then slid her hands down more, past the chest to the inward slope of her stomach, and down along that to her hips. Finally Lue released her entirely, and she finally started to pull her head back from Lue's, audibly panting rapidly from the recent experience.
“Aah—um,” she stammered out between gasps. “D-did I pass?” She didn't seem to mind having just done something really embarrassing at all, I thought.
“Heehee, well. I certainly think so. You?” Lue looked to me, and I noticed her face was actually slightly red.
“Yeah, it uh, certainly looks like you trust her a lot or w-whatever,” I said.

“So now it's your turn to pet me,” said Lue. “Basically you can be in the pack if you want to at this point if you do that, whatever the results. Buut, if you don't like my reaction then you can back out.”
Her breath finally starting to get under control, Chris stuttered, “Oh, y-you want me, err..”
“Yep,” my alpha nodded cheerfully. “You have to do it to be in the pack, it's the rules.”
“O-okay. Um..” Chris's tail swished around slightly, and seemed to rediscover Lue's still wrapped around itself. Then she hesitantly put her arms around her, and reached her hands slowly upward.
“It's alright, don't be shy,” said Lue softly, in a kind sort of tone. I noticed Chris's arms were shaking a bit, until she finally managed to reach the ears and slowly ran her fingers across them.

“Mmh..” Lue closed her eyes and smiled slightly as she began to pet her, and gently returned the hug, but that was about it. She seemed fairly relaxed, and not excited at all. After a short while, she said, “Okay, that's prolly enough.”
Chris let go right away and drew back slightly, her ears drooping and her tail doing what it could toward the same while still tangled up with another one. “Um..I-I'm sorry, I'm not very good am I...”
“It's not that, you're perfectly good at it,” said Lue. “I just don't know you too well yet. That's not surprising, since we just met today.” She gave a kind-looking smile. “But you see, I felt nice and calm in your arms. I already know you're not gonna hurt me from your reaction, which is a nice start. If you wanna join the pack, it'll be easy to get to know each other after that.”
“O-oh! So, I didn't fail or anything?”
“I already said you could be in if you want.”
“W-well, I do want!” she said excitedly, and suddenly grabbed Lue in another hug, most of her tail slipping free of the tangle so it could start wagging again. “New alpha!”
“Yeah, yeah, new alpha,” said Lue, patting her back a couple of times. “Congrats.”

Pushing Chris slightly off of her, Lue said, “So! I'm sure you're both aware, tomorrow night is the full moon.”
“Yeah..” I said.
“I'm sure you can get the word out to Brian, I'd like us to have a get-together then—here, say. A time to all be together as a pack and more or less solidify our structure a bit.”
“Um, you mean being here, a-all night?” said Chris. “Like a sleepover?”
“Yeah, basically a sleepover I guess,” said Lue. “But as a pack. And we'll all be covered in fur. Any objections?”
It took me a second to realize she was addressing me. “Huh? Oh, yeah, no. I kind of guessed you'd want to do something like that. But uh...about Brian though.”
“I..we were talking yesterday and it might be better if both of us are girls, so we don't, you know...and anyway, it'd be weird to have a sleepover with a bunch of girls and one guy anyway.”
“Be my guest! The more the merrier,” said Lue, giving a thumbs-up. I should've guessed she'd only be happy about both of us being female for that.

“Okay. So I really do have some homework to catch up on, especially if I'll be busy all night tomorrow,” I said, standing up.
“Sure, sure,” Lue nodded, and drew Chris a little closer to her again. “You're free to go.” She reached up and tickled the tip of one of the other girl's ears, which she responded to with a surprised yip. “We'll just be here for a while, I think. Pack induction and all that.”
“Uh-huh. You, uh, do that.” I headed out the door as quickly as I could, not really wanting to be party to any more of it.

It's pretty clear by now that in addition to everything else Lue wanted someone she could pet into a frenzy who wouldn't get embarrassed and stop like me, and wasn't my boyfriend or girlfriend. I didn't tell my power to change Chris in quite the way they did, I just let them do their thing, which means...I don't know, somewhere in there he wanted to be like that? Or...maybe what he wanted was to be a werewolf appealing enough to Lue that she'd let him into the pack, in which case maybe my powers reached out enough to tap into her desires to change him? I guess it falls under my 'stop worrying about it' category as long as she's happy, and well...she certainly is that. I'm a little nervous about what might happen tomorrow night, even with someone like that to distract Lue. But I practically agreed to it as soon as I let her bring me into her pack, so there's no use worrying about it too much now. I definitely should make sure to get plenty of sleep tonight, though, even with the full moon kind of giving werewolves an energy boost all night to stay up with.