The long-range bomber rumbled ahead.
“Our targets are all government installations in our attack on Paris. Crippling this enemy stronghold is a major step in winning the western front in Europe,” an intercom crackled.
“We know, flight lead, we know,” one of two airmen packed into the gunner’s cabin said, heard only by his companion. “Been quiet so far.”
“Those new jets are really something, huh?” the second gunner said, peering out the sighting bubble at red-starred escorts. “Nice that the Russians lent us some.”
“How do you think they compare to those new French models?”
“These Mikoyans won’t be scrap when we’re through with this, so that’s one difference.”
The intercom crackled once more. “Gunners to attention! We’re being flanked by several enemy squadrons.”
“Shit...here they come, get your targets locked, Seymour!”
“Whoever gets the most degens wins,” Seymour said to his fellow tailgunner. “You have any in view yet?”
“Not y...oh fuck!” The airman watched as one of the friendly escorts went down in flames. “Found ‘em!”
“Those the new…um…what’re they called?” Seymour asked.
“I don’t fucking know, shoot ‘em!”
But before they could get a single shot off, a staccato rattling filled their views with smoke.
“We’re going down, Jim,” Seymour lamented. The bomber’s altitude was dropping fast.
“We’re over their territory...we’ll die if we’re lucky -- oh fuck!” An explosion knocked both gunners out.
“G-god damn my head’s pounding. You alive, Seymour?”
“‘Fraid so, Jimmy.” Their craft was crumpled against the Earth. The rear cabin, where they were, was suspended in the air along with the rest of the tail section.
“Might be able to slip away into the countryside --” Jim’s words were interrupted by a singsong, feminine voice.
“You’ll be coming with us. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you enjoy it~” Deceptively strong arms grabbed both gunners by their collars and dragged them outside.
“Do you think these two participated in the Porto Massacre?” Another degen asked.
“They will atone, either way~” the first voice said.
“Get fucked,” was Jim’s response. He looked up at their captors -- Transformed, no doubt about it. They had that unnatural perfection in their features, among the other telltale signs of those who’d undergone the Change. For one thing, they were all female. One of the soldiers who’d grabbed them literally had blue skin, if the first few details hadn’t given it away. She acknowledged them with a smoldering gaze.
“Such rude words,” she said with an aloofness in her voice. Gesturing at her comrades, she commanded “stand ‘em up!”
Seymour and Jim could only look at each other as the degens surrounded them.
“Seems you’re the only two survivors...a pity. But fear not, there are plenty of other test subjects we’ll be willing to introduce you to. Take ‘em back into the city! The good people in the Compound will sort them out.”
What was going to happen to them?
“We’ve got girlfriends back at home,” Jim said, defiant, as his captors led them down endless hallways. “Human women, mind you. Good Christian girls, unlike you freaks.”
The apparent leader of their captors simply turned her head and winked at him.
“We are all but mighty servants of the mighty Goddess,” she sang. “If you’re lucky, Her light will touch you.”
"Filthy degens!" Jim added. The targets of his outburst laughed.
“I thought that word referred to gamblers…” one said. The lead gave her a look.
“They can have their silly names for the time being. It won’t matter all that much, soon enough.” She gave the captives a knowing look, affixed with a coy grin.
“Please just kill us…” Seymour said.
“Oh, but what a waste that would be! You two will be beautiful,” the lead said, ominously.
“We’ll never be like you,” Jim spat. “Our friends have broken your lines wide open. They’ll be here before long. And they will fuck. You. Up.”
One of Them struck Jim in the stomach with the butt of her rifle.
“We will fix these bad manners of yours, my dears,” she said. “And you will thank us for it~” The captives looked at each other with undisguised fear.
The two prisoners awaited their fate in a dingy room. Both sat restricted, bound to large leather chairs facing a single window. Shadowy figures moved behind the window, obscured by the tinted glass. A door below and beside the window concealed an unknowable fate for the captives.
“You can hear the distant explosions, right Seymour? They’ll get us out.” Jim tried to maintain a veneer of confidence, but it was getting hard. In a couple ways. Bindings made it impossible for him to even turn his head; the only indicator of his comrade’s presence was panicked breathing.
“Y-yeah...we’ll pay ‘em back double. T-these freaks won’t know what hit them…” Seymour’s fear was much more poorly disguised. He pondered his fate in the cell they shared. The Parisian offensive was going to turn the war on its head, break open their adversaries’ closely-guarded core. But now Seymour and his squadmate Jim could only await rescue in the underbelly of the French capital. He prayed that whatever sinister designs his captors had would be foiled by the invading force; it was well known that prisoners of the Transformed suffered fates worse than death.
“Freaks? I’m truly sorry you feel that way,” a feminine voice articulated over the intercom. “We only seek to make your stay in this facility a pleasant one. Anyway, let’s get the testing underway.”
“We’ll not tell you anything, bitch!” The first prisoner screamed and thrashed against his restraints.
“Fiery...that’ll be useful,” the voice on the intercom spoke. “Begin Targeted Change Test #35: Succubus.”
“They’ll be here for us any moment, Seymour…” A door opened to reveal one of their captors, a well-endowed woman wearing some parody of a lab coat.
“This might sting a bit…” she said cheerfully, withdrawing a syringe and injecting infernal liquid into Seymour’s arm.
“I...what the fuck…” Seymour felt the pain give way to an insidious warmth that travelled up his arm and into his chest. He couldn’t help release a nervous laugh at the bizarre tingling that was starting to localize in various parts of him.
“I’m good, I’m good...sorry.” An alarm started blaring. An intercom crackled to life as an urgent message played.
“All available units to the south entrance! The compound has been breached!” The woman with the syringe looked up, and let out a small ‘tsk’.
“You wait right here,” the woman said, before briskly striding out of the room.
“Sounds like the cavalry’s here, Jim…”
“I know, I know. Let’s see if we can get these restraints off and meet them halfway.” While Jim struggled against his bindings, Seymour was having more and more trouble ignoring the sensations playing across and under his skin.
“Whaddaya think is going to happen to me? ‘Cuz of that syringe lady…”
“Don’t think about that now. It was a dud. A placebo.” Seymour could already tell that was false. Bound as he was, he already could tell he felt different. Looked a bit different, too. His skin was taking on something of a...glossy sheen? Was he sweating? It must have been a trick in the light. The subtle change in tone...Seymour’s thoughts were interrupted as he heard a click.
“HaHAH! I’ve done it again.” Jim stood up, free of his bindings. He rubbed his wrists and neck, before turning to his fellow captive. “Here, lemme get you. We’re gonna find some weapons, and fuck up some whores.”
“Yeah…” Seymour realized he was spacing out. He felt….really...good. This wasn’t...no. ‘I mustn't consider these things,’ he thought. He’d never be able to go home again, if he became...one of them.
“Here we go…” Jim said. Seymour rubbed his own...softer...more narrow...wrists as he was freed from the chair. It wasn’t a trick of the light. The color of his skin was changing. He was always a pasty white boy, but now it was turning more...red? Like a dull scarlet. Seymour stole a glance at Jim, who was checking the door. He hadn’t seemed to notice yet.
Don’t say anything.
“Well, wouldn’t you look at that. Dumb bastards just left it unlocked!” Jim walked into a larger room, while Seymour trailed behind him. Techy-looking consoles leaned against the far wall, and an upraised platform faced the window. The room was empty.
“Typical gathering place for the assholes to watch us, I guess.” Jim said. Seymour said nothing. He felt a mild pain across his chest, which gave way to the same warmth he’d felt after he’d been shot with the needle.
You’re on your way to perfection.
“Let’s see if we can find some sort of armory,” Jim directed. Seymour had no idea where that would be. The compound seemed huge, going by the path they were led down when they’d first been taken here. That walk had seemed to last a lifetime.
Jim and Seymour stepped into a hallway. The rhythmic sound of gunfire could be heard, but it was distant.
“The fighting sounds like it’s down that-a-way,” Jim observed. “Shall we?
Head deeper into the complex. You are not ready to face the intruders.
“Nah. If there’s some sort of armory, it’ll be far away from any of the entrances. We should head the other direction for now,” Seymour said. Jim looked at him in the dim light, pondering for a moment.
“Good idea. We’ll be able to flank them if we’re armed, so that’s the priority,” Jim agreed. Seymour arched an eyebrow. The fool-- no, his friend, hadn’t noticed the continued changes, it seemed. Seymour could tell in his mind’s eye that his face was subtly changing structure and shape. It was starting to look considerably more feminine.
They continued down the hall, peeking in doors as they passed.
“Hey, uh, Seymour, how’s your French?”
“I only learned some basic phrases, unfortunately. But that sign there says ‘Arsenal’, so I feel like that might be a good indicator.”
“Well I guess that’s as obvious as it can be. Let’s go.”
Seymour felt his body changing gradually, fitting an exaggerated, feminine mold. The tent in his fatigues over his growing bosom was unmistakable now, and he wasn’t sure what to do about the swinging gait his expanding hips were giving him.
Flaunt it. Jim will see the light.
Seymour did feel amazing. It was getting more and more clear -- they’d been fighting for the wrong side. He -- he wouldn’t be ‘he’ for much longer -- was certain of it, now. A manic grin crossed his face. Soon, very soon, he’d share this gift with Jim. They’d both pick names befitting their improved selves. They’d bond over this shared experience, and be lovers in the new world. But for now, ‘Seymour’ plodded along behind her comrade. They continued on, following the signs to the best of their ability.
“Here we are...ah, of course it’s fucking locked. And the degens stripped us down, so we don’t have any tools to open it. Guess we’ll just have to search around for a key. What a pain, huh….Sey...mour?” Jim turned around, witnessing her in all her new-found glory. She had bright red skin, and her beautiful features were framed by straight plum hair. Her uniform had rewoven itself to hug her curves in an exciting way. Seymour spoke with a new, liquidy voice. It sounded like silk.
“Hello, Jim. I have something I’d like to share with you. We were such fools, fighting this gift --”
“Sorry,” Jim said through gritted teeth. He threw a right hook at the demonic, scarlet woman that had once been his comrade. Seymour raised her left hand in an instant, and interrupted the attack with a firm grip on Jim’s wrist.
“Is that how you’d treat a dear friend?” ‘Seymour’ asked, intercepting Jim’s left swing as well. “Now then,” she purred. Jim stood, frozen in place. She could see the fear in his eyes, the realization of what was happening. Awareness of the insidious warmth spreading across his skin from the twin points of where ‘Seymour’ held his wrists. Jim’s own transformation progressed much more rapidly -- Seymour had willed it to.
“What’s...happening to me!?” Jim yelled.
“It’s so wonderful,” ‘Seymour’ lilted. “I’m so glad I could do this for you.” The newly minted demon watched with glee as the resistance slowly melted away from her companion. She watched the same changes that’d happened to her take place in real time. Jim’s locks exploded in a hurried growth, quickly surpassing his companion’s in length. A moan escaped Jim’s lips, which had plumped up somewhat. The rest of his face followed suit, taking on an alluring beauty.
“H-holy fuck. I...this is...oh my god...why does it feel so good…” Jim’s voice climbed a couple octaves as they looked at ‘Seymour’ with a frenzied look that matched her own. “I...thank you, sister.”
“I’m so glad you’re happy, beloved.” The two she-devils looked at each other. The one who had once called herself “Jim” had satin skin which was a deeper crimson, and voluminous black curls which cascaded down her back. They embraced each other.
“Let this be the first day of our wonderful new lives,” Samantha husked. Jamie agreed. They heard the sound of booted footsteps on the floor, rapidly getting louder.
“Hands where I can see ‘em!” The two turned to see a group of soldiers, former allies, approach them with weapons drawn. They surrounded both girls.
“Cuff these degens, Private Roberts!”
“Can we help you?” Jamie asked. Her voice was like melted chocolate. The question was rhetorical. Both girls knew how these poor unenlightened souls could be helped. The soldier apparently called Roberts, moved in and grabbed Jamie by both wrists, binding them.
His hands felt warm, for some reason.