• Published 5th Apr 2020
  • 2,187 Views, 140 Comments

Ponid-21 - Cadenzel Washington



What starts out as a simple medical trial, becomes something much stranger as the patients notice some odd symptoms like horns and wings...

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The Seventh Day (Down the Lift and Into the Lab)

The Seventh Day

I woke up. Same bright lights, different day. I didn’t have a dream last night, probably because I woke up earlier today. I knew I’d be doing all sorts of extra testing today, but I had no idea what that entailed or what kinds of things I’d be subjected to. Still, I was determined to find out what the heck is going on with this whole project.

I also wanted to find out more about Franklin and what exactly was going on with him. What exactly was his deal anyway? The obvious answer was he wanted to make money. He had mentioned that he had invested a lot of money into “Project Alicorn”. However, that answer alone didn’t feel right. He also said he had put in “years” into this project which makes me think this is something more personal to him. I could help but raise my eyebrow at the fact that he said years since this pandemic hasn’t been around for more than two years. Well, I’ll just file that in the “Franklin is hella suspicious” folder and do what needs to be done today.

The next thing I did was check myself for any changes. At this point, the changes almost didn’t phase me. Almost. The “under-the-waist surprise” made me realize that this condition could still catch me off guard. I took in a deep breath and started to inspect my body.

I remembered that I had started to grow fur on my ears, so I decided to check those first. They were now completely different, having now completely wrapped themselves up in a lavender coat. The shape had changed too, but it still had human characteristics to it. They were still positioned in the same place, but I know a horse’s ears are more lined up more with the top of the head, so I’ll be expecting that at some point.

While examining around near my head I noticed two things. First, there was a pink streak going through my hair, looking more like something that would belong in Meghan’s hair than my own. However, upon touching it I could tell that no dye had touched those locks of hair. The second thing I noticed was that my hair was being parted in the middle by something. I moved my hand and felt a large bump that tapered to a small point. It was a small bump, maybe an inch or so out of my forehead. The headaches I had a few days ago now made a whole lot more sense.

Having thoroughly examined my head, I moved down to look at my torso. The fuzz on my chest hadn’t grown all that much. My left arm on the other...hoof showed far more progression. There was no indication that I had ever had a hand on that arm, just one solid purple looking equine hoof. The changes seemed to stop just before my elbow, but I knew that would change soon enough.

Meanwhile, my right arm had decided that it needed to play catch up as it had started to change as well. Oddly enough though, only part of my right hand had changed. My four fingers had merged into two large “hoof fingers'' and it was shaping up to be a proper look hoof. My thumb however, was still entirely human, hanging off my hoofhand like it was some vestigial dewclaw. It was the most bizarre looking thing I had seen, and this is coming from the guy that currently has a stubby unicorn horn jutting out of his head.

The only thing I found I couldn’t examine was my backside. There didn’t seem to be any sort of physical protrusion back there, but I did feel a slight itch back there which implied that something might be coming out of there soon. Given what I’ve seen from other people, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that it was going to be wings. I’ll probably end up dealing with those soon.

Finally, I decided to take a look down below my waist. Aside from the...awkward changes I saw yesterday, my lower half looked almost unrecognizable. My legs were fully covered in fur and my tail extended out further, mimicking the hair colors now adorning my head. The tail didn’t quite look full length but I suspected that it would get there soon, perhaps even tomorrow.

I sighed. I wasn’t going to get a lot done just sitting here and wishing these changes would reverse themselves; I needed to be proactive. I decided to get dressed, taking a bit longer to accomplish since my new limbs made assembling my wardrobe difficult and I set off for some breakfast. I had the feeling today was going to be a long day.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

My meal in the cafeteria was more lonely than usual. Ordinarily, I could find at least one or two of my “Magic Meeting Room” friends also dining around at about the same time I was, but I was up much earlier thanks to the additional testing. Thus, there were only a scant few staff members milling about the place, leaving me all alone. I sighed as I dug into my eggs and bacon.

I was perfectly content with just eating my meal in peace, but it seems that fate had other things in mind as I saw a familiar face come up to me. It was Nurse Akai and she had heterochromia, confirming that I hadn’t just seen things yesterday.

“This seat taken?” she asked politely.

“Naw, go ahead.” I say, motioning to the empty chair. She pulls up a chair and sets herself down. She grins at me and I return the smile in kind. “So, I see that you decided to get injected.” I point my hoof-fingers at my eyes. It was only at this point that I realized human gestures that used fingers would be pretty much useless to me. Despite my difficulties, Nurse Akai seemed to understand what I meant.

“Yeah. I figured that if we wanted to learn about this transformation, it would probably help to have someone who knows a great deal about science and anatomy to experience the changes first hand. So I took a sample and used it on myself.” Akai explained.

“So you just injected yourself with a vaccine and used it?” I asked.

“Well, it wasn’t quite that simple. Not all of the vaccines developed here actually ended up causing these transformations.” She explained.

I raised my eyebrow. “That’s...news to me. I was under the impression that everyone who had received this vaccine was transforming.”

She shook her head. “No, there were some unusual symptoms but overall, nothing that would physically reshape your anatomy. We had multiple different variants of this vaccine that’s being tested in order to iron out any wrinkles the vaccine might have.”

“Like transforming into colorful ponies?” I bluntly replied.

Nurse Akai cleared her throat. “Yes. That’s obviously something that wouldn’t go in the final version.”

I frowned. Given how cloak and dagger all the doctors have been, I’m finding it hard to take any of them at their word. But Akai felt different. She was willing to go against rules for the sake of my and my friends. Taking a concoction that you know turns people into ponies and using it anyway because you want to be more empathetic to your patients is pretty crazy. I shook my head and sighed.

“Honestly Akai, I’m finding it hard to trust any of the doctors in this place, given what’s happened to me.” I admitted.

“Hey, it’s okay. I don’t blame you for thinking that.” Akai sighs and looks down at her food for a moment before turning back to me. “Actually, how about you call me by my first name...as a sign of trust?”

“Oh?” I cock my head.

“Yeah, we’re talking casually and this isn’t an examination. You can totally call me by my first name.” She smiled.

“Alright then, what’s your first name?” I inquire.

“It’s Shinzo. Shinzo Akai.”

I chuckled a bit. “My Japanese isn’t all that great but...I could have sworn that Shinzo is typically a guy’s name.”

Shinzo gives out a giggle. “Yeah, it is. I was named after my grandfather since he had just passed away when I was born and it seemed like a good way to honor him.”

I turned away. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize your name had that kind of value attached to it.”

She smiles and shakes her head. “Oh no, don’t feel bad. He had lived a good life and from what my parents told me, he was so excited to have a grandchild.”

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, out of all the doctors and staff people here, I do actually trust you the most.” I said. It was true. Going out of her way to take the injection isn’t exactly something a person would easily do just to go along for the sake of covering something up. Still, I had to be wary since I still didn’t know everything.

“Well,” Akai got up and stretched. “I need to get going. Good luck with the testing. I’m sure it’ll go well. If you feel like talking again, feel free to give me a shout.”

“Alright, thanks for talking with me.” I replied as she walked away. Well, no getting around this now. I have to go into the lion’s den and meet up with those scientists who will probably be poking and prodding me. Time to kiss my kidneys goodbye. I clean up my table and head out the door.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

I had grown pretty familiar with the rooms I was given access to. The familiarity of the building and the faces I recognized were a small comfort in this trying time. Now I was going to have to leave that all behind and subject myself to poking and prodding. Why did I agree to this again? Oh right, to see how far this rabbit hole goes.

I got instructions with the letter Doctor Matt gave me and they told me to take the elevator to the 7th basement level. I took a deep breath and called for the elevator. Shortly after, the elevator arrived and with some trepidation, I boarded the lift and watched the doors close. There was no going back now, I was committed to this.

The trip down wasn’t too long, but part of me was hoping it’d be longer. I was still hesitant about doing this because of all the unknowns. I then thought about all the friends that I had made since coming here, imagining their warm and inviting faces. That’s right, I wasn’t just doing this to satisfy my own curiosity. They had as much right to find out what was happening as I did. I might have been a bit hesitant to do this, but I can do this so the others don’t have to be subjected to this.

I heard the elevator chime, indicating that I had reached the intended floor. As the doors pushed open, I looked into the room beyond. It was just a simple hallway with the same boring walls, leading to a glass door. Beyond the glass, I could see a large wooden desk with a bored-looking secretary typing away at her computer. I briskly walked through the hallway and opened the glass doors.

“Uh, hello?” I spoke as I approached the desk. “I was told to come down here by the Doctors for additional testing. I’m Penn.”

The secretary looks up from her work, unphased by my appearance. In fact, she seemed to shift her head to try and glance at my back, as if expecting something there. Upon finding nothing, she gives me a slightly distrusting look and starts typing at her computer. “Let me see if you’re in here.” She utters with the same excited tone one would give if you were watching paint dry. “Ah, here you are! Yes, Penn.” She says, her scowl softening. “Yes, you’ll be taken to Lab 2. Just head down that hallway and it will be the first door on your right.”

“Thank you!” I politely reply. That odd look she gave me was a bit of a worry. Was she expecting me to have wings? I mean, the itch back behind me seemed to indicate that I was going to get some soon, but were there others like me who got special treatment? Well, there were people in Lab 2 that could probably answer those questions so I guess I’d better head over there.

Traveling down the hallway, I come upon the door for Lab 2 and open it up. Just from a passing glance, this place seemed to scream “Science Fiction Lab” very loudly. There seemed to be a lot of equipment here, some of which I knew their functions but others I had no idea about. Of course, I’d love to know what they do. I’m always eager to learn. As I looked around, one of the scientists seemed to take notice of me.

“Ah, hello! Just the person we wanted to see!” The scientist approaches me in a somewhat jubilant manner. “You must be Penn. Come over, Sit! Sit down! We’re really excited to have you here with us.” He motions to a clean looking silver chair. I was worried that the scientists would treat me with apathy and a lack of compassion. The scientists being overjoyed feels almost worse in some ways. It feels like he’s overcompensating.

“You’re laying it on thick, Tyrell. You’re scaring him.” Another scientist a few feet away proclaims, in a slightly scolding manner. This guy gets it.

“Am I? I mean I know socializing isn’t my strong suit but I didn’t think it was THAT bad.” Tyrell replied.

“So much for ‘Third Times the charm’ huh?” The other scientist scoffs.

“Oh and I assume you think you’re just a bastion of civility, Julius? Last I recall, our blue friend James got absolutely spooked when you made a joke about dissecting him.”

“I cannot confirm or deny that this incident occurred.” Julius quickly replied.

“Uhm...can I ask you guys a few questions?” I hesitantly ask as I take a seat in the chair.

“Oh! Sorry, yes.” Tyrell shook his hands and moved over towards me. “Sorry about that, hi I’m Tyrell and this is Julius but uh...you probably already knew that from our bickering.”

“We’re not exactly dispelling the notion that we’re an old, married couple.” Julius jokingly quipped.

Tyrell ignored him and continued. “Anyway, you said you had some questions for us?”

“Yeah, I do.” A huge wave of questions flooded my mind; Why was I changing? What is all this research for? Why was all this stuff being hidden and kept secret? But out of all the questions, I think one of them seemed to be the most prominent. “Will I ever be able to turn back to normal?”

Tyrell and Julius were silent for a moment. They looked at each other and then Tyrell looked back at me. “We’re trying to find out everything about what’s happening to you and those like you. If something caused you to start transforming, then there’s certainly a way to change you back. Rest assured, we’re gonna find out what’s going on.”

“Okay, follow-up question, why is everything being kept secret from us? It’s very stressful not knowing exactly what it is I’m dealing with and with everyone being so evasive and secretive I just feel incredibly scared about what’s happening! I just want to know what the hell is going on!” I blurted out all at once, in a loud voice. I didn’t mean for all of that to come crashing out but after a week of pretending things were alright, I just couldn’t hold things in anymore.

“Penn,” Julius said firmly but calmly. “It’s clear to us that this is taking a toll on you. The transmutation of one physical body is not something that usually happens to humans. I won’t pretend to know what that sensation is like but we’re trying to learn as much as we can about this phenomenon and we’ll share what we find out about you.”

“Are you willing to share about what happened with the other two people you had here?” I reply. I wanted to know who those other two people were and what they had in common with me. I might be able to find out more than what those people were telling me.

“Well,” Tyrell began. “There’s a lot to talk about in regards to those two, far too much to go into right now. But hey, I can give you their names and you can talk to them on your own time, does that sound good?”

“Sure, I guess.” I nod.

“Okay, now, if you’re ready, we can do some tests with you. Take off your pants.” Tyrell says nonchalantly.

“Excuse me!?” I sputter out, dumbfounded.

“I mean, we can’t exactly do a good observation of you if we can’t see all the different parts of your body. Don’t worry, you can keep your boxers on.”

Julius smirks. “The Master of Bedside Manner, ladies, and gentlemen.”

Tyrell shot a glare at Julius while I did as I was told and taking off my clothes except for my boxers. “Alright, now I’m just gonna give you an examination like what those doctors have been doing for a while, sound good?” Tyrell asks.

I nod.

Tyrell nods in kind and takes a look at my changed body. Like he stated before he was going about it in much the way that the doctors were looking at me, however, the vibe was subtly different. He looks over at my horn and starts to look at it intently. He takes out a measuring tape briefly before returning it to his pocket. “Horn has grown out 2 inches. Please note that this seems to be shorter than the previous two instances.” Tyrell says in a methodical manner. I was feeling uneasy for some reason, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.

Tyrell continued to examine me, going around behind me and looking at my back. I felt the cold touch of his hands, causing me to tense up briefly before returning to my previous stance. After prodding my backside, he turned back to Julius once again. “No wings are shown to be growing as of yet. Trend seems to be gearing toward being in an earlier phase.”

He moved back in front of me and held my fully formed forehoof and started looking at it. After getting fairly handsy with it, he did another turn to Julius. “Subject has a fully grown hoof and is observed to be in line with previous assessments.” Wait a minute, that was it. They were talking like I wasn’t even there! That felt...not great if I’m being honest.

“Hey uh...I’m right here you know.” I blurt out.

“Ah...is there something wrong?” Tyrell asked, genuinely wondering what was wrong.

“You’re talking about me like I’m not even here.” I bluntly state.

Julius is the one to respond this time. “We’ve grown accustomed to doing scientific observations with things that...typically aren’t able to talk. Just another notch in the Best Bedside Manner, eh Tyrell?”

Tyrell gives a groan, clearly having dealt with Julius’ ribbing before. “The last two people didn’t mention anything about that.”

“Doesn’t mean they didn’t feel it.” Julius retorts.

“Well, I’ll change that if it makes you feel better, Penn.” Tyrell replies.

“Yeah, that would mean a lot, thanks.” I tell him. It’s amazing how well I’ve been able to change people’s minds about things. I feel like I’m on a massive streak of making friends in this place. It’s like I have a knack for creating friendships or something.

Tyrell continues his observations, now with a newfound respect and addressing his observations by using my name in his notes instead. It certainly felt a lot better than just being called a "subject" all the time. As the observation was winding down, I decided to pop another question at him. “Hey Tyrell, what exactly is all this research for?”

Tyrell breathed in but paused, clearly thinking of a purposeful response. If he was a computer, you could probably see the loading hourglass icon in his eyes. “Well, this facility and the facilities that are surrounding it are taking a look at things that require having a sensitive look and is something you don’t want to have too many prying eyes looking at. Like, did you know that in the Pacific Northwest there’s a huge Redwood tree that’s even taller than the Statue of Liberty?”

My eyes widened, thinking about how large such a tree would be. I'd been to the Statue of Liberty before and knew how large that was so to imagine a tree even taller than that was crazy. “No, I hadn’t heard of that before.”

“Well, it’s one of the largest trees on the planet and because of that, it might attract a lot of tourists and they could potentially damage the tree. That’s why only a select number of people know its exact location. What we're working on here follows a similar concept.” Tyrell explained. “We have something that people would be in awe over that it could attract the same kind of people to our facility wanting to be nosy tourists as it were.”

I nodded. I may not have liked the fact that I was being kept in the dark but I did think Tyrell’s explanation made sense. Maybe there is something that these people are just out to protect from others?

I mentally slapped myself. I’m still turning into a horse, these people are keeping secrets from me and I need to find out about what’s happening to me and my friends. I can’t forget the entire reason I decided to do this testing in the first place!

“I still think I’m entitled to at least know what is causing all these transformations even if I don’t get to personally see it.” I said, crossing my arms in displeasure.

Tyrell shook his head. “I’m sorry Penn. I’m just not allowed to tell you what we’re working on.”

Augh!” I angrily blurt out, throwing my hoof and hand into the air. Unfortunately, I was unaware of what was happening near me, causing me to thrust my hoof into Julius’ face, smacking him. He winced in pain and worse yet, he lost his grip on his tablet causing it to hurtle towards the ground.

“Ah!” I yelp in surprise and horror, seeing the expensive piece of tech about to be ruined. I reach out to grab it with one of my hooves.

What happened next was a bit of a doozy.

First of all, I was able to save the tablet from being crushed. Having to replace hardware like this was expensive and no one likes seeing scuff marks on your tablets. Now ordinally, such actions of saving something from falling on the ground is met with sighs of relief and the occasional “Nice catch!” from the people observing the situation unfold.

Needless to say, that did not happen. What did happen is that my hooves, the thing I instinctively use to grab things, had, in fact, not been the reason the tablet had been saved. I couldn’t explain what I was seeing. I know it’s become almost mandatory that I have something new and bizzare happen to me that I simply can’t explain and this here was no exception. I just stood there, mouth agape, staring at the unusual sight before me. I could only see Julius and Tyrell out of the corners of my eyes but they seemed to share in my confusion. The room was eerily quiet.

All three of us were dumbfounded because the tablet was floating in a sparkly purple semi-transparent cloud.

“I...what…” was all I managed to utter out before I fainted from shock.

Author's Note:

Well, I'll have to just leave you on that cliffhanger for now! Sorry for getting this one out so late, I'll try and get it out earlier in the day next time!

Once again I'd like to thank Courage Fire for her help in editing this chapter!