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Ok. Let’s try this out:


TF, NSFW, 18+

(TW for description of medical issues)
There’s an old song on the radio that gets you every time you hear it, from the very first line.

“My body is a cage”, it sings, and if that isn’t a fucking mood.
The lock on yours is an autoimmune disorder. It was genetic, the doctors explained. No one’s fault. No obvious trigger. It could have happened at age nine. It could have happened at ninety.

No cure. Just treatment.
On good days the pain is a background noise. It makes your movements a little stiffer and slower than they should be, things that used to be so easy now slowly drain your energy bit by bit.
On bad days you feel like you’re operating a puppet, and the strings that haven’t been cut entirely have been replaced with barbed wire.
Your family’s sympathetic, but there’s only so much help they can offer. Friends are always happy to see you, but it’s frustrating to realize how many things you can’t do anymore.
Half the drugs you’re given make you sick and the other half make your head feel like it’s full of wet felt. You save those for when there’s no other choice.
You talk to friends online. Communities for people with the same or similar problems.

A few begin to discuss...alternatives.
A lot of them talk about the Korps. You go so far as to have a private Discord chat with a couple who could bring you in, but at the end of the day it’s still a biological solution, and you’re not sure you trust flesh and blood.
(The RCGs _do_ sound nice, though.)
Another whispered to you about the joys of service. To become a drone among thousands, faceless, featureless.

You honestly thought about it, but it wasn’t quite...you.

You like being you. You just don’t like the body you’re forced to do it with.
You tried to just make the best of it. It’s not easy.

You’d just gotten back from another series of infusions, your chest and back aching from the effort of driving, when an account you didn’t recognize messaged you.
“Have you seen this?”
You hadn’t.

“UpConn Labs seeking chronic illness patients for new synthetic process clinical trial. Qualified participants must pass psychological evaluation.”
You’d never heard of these guys. Still, something about it sounds interesting. Like this might be an answer.

You think about it for maybe an hour before you start filling out the application.
You’re surprised to get a response back the next morning. They want copies of your medical records from ALL your doctors. More details of previous treatments.

Good thing you work from home, you’re going to be on the phone all morning getting this together.
It’s only when you notice you’ve been having everything faxed to an out of state number that you realize you never checked where these guys are located.

...oh, that’s gonna be an expensive plane ticket.
You’d started to worry about how much this was going to cost when the email comes in: You’ve been accepted, pending the psych evaluation - and UpConn will cover the cost of a business class ticket and hotel.

Things are looking up!
For once, time passes quickly as you get ready for the trip. You don’t tell people much. Just that you’re going for an experimental treatment, and you’re not sure how long you’ll be gone.

It IS a long flight, but you get lucky - the seat next to you is empty, and you can relax.
The hotel is pretty nice, too. Accessible features, a walk in shower, and a gorgeous view of the city skyline. If you weren’t so nervous about tomorrow it could almost be the vacation you keep promising yourself you’ll take.
There’s a car waiting for you after breakfast, but the drive over to the lab isn’t long enough to ask your driver much. They seem friendly, though.

Cute ears, too.
You’ve sat down with plenty of psychiatrists and psychologists before, but this one was nicer than most.

You’re not having a good day, but she just asked what could be done to make you as comfortable as possible, and arranged for it.
Once you were settled and the usual boilerplate questions were done, it turned into a nice conversation, even if you didn’t quite follow some of the lines of questioning. (Did having a favorite flower matter? And who even owned a black and white TV these days?)
You’d finally relaxed when she asked the dreaded question:

“Can you tell me one thing you like about your body?”
Her head tilts, and one eyebrow rises. “Not even the fact that it’s yours?”

You snort. “Is it? Sometimes I feel like I don’t have much of an alternative.”
Her smile gets a little wider, her eyes a little brighter. “Well, what if you did?”

“I...uh. I mean I’d...” You have to stop yourself from stammering. “I’d want to know more.”
Her voice gets quiet and serious as she slips off her glasses. “Even if I told you there’s no going back?”
You don’t hesitate this time.

“In that case...”

She stands, and offers an arm to help support you, giving you the time to find your footing again.

“Welcome to the pilot group.”
As much as walking down to the exam room sucks, you’re grinning. Your heart feels like you could fly, and your mind is buzzing with excitement as the therapist leaves you to wait for the head of the trial.

Whatever comes next, you’re on your way.
“Hello there!”

The doctor (you think he’s a doctor, anyway) is a friendly looking red headed man in a white coat, a black polo, and slacks. You sort of wish you’d dressed for a little more style than comfort now, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

“So, let me explain a few things.”
You’re pretty good with tech jargon but it’s hard to follow some of the denser explanations. Still, you get a pretty clear picture of what they’re looking to do.

A new method to map and model brain activity. To capture the mind, and transfer it.
“There’s some debate on if we actually move your mind,” he admits, “or just create a hyperaccurate simulation. But if it’s indistinguishable from the original I find the difference rather academic.”
“But I’m still me?”

“Absolutely. Your mind, your memories, your spirit, however you wish to look at it.” His smile goes up to his eyes. “You’re still you.”

The next question is pretty obvious too.

“So where would I go, exactly?”
“Right into this,” he answers, and opens a cabinet to pull out what looks like a huge chunk of steel wool under a lucite dome.

“This is our masterpiece. An entirely synthetic brain.”
“What’s it made of?”
“Twenty compounds with names as long as your arm, fiber optic nerves, and quantum foam processors.” The doctor cradles the brain like a newborn. “It’s a revolutionary leap, and you’ll be one of the first to take advantage of it.”
“There’s a body to go with it, right?”

You’re willing to _temporarily_ be a brain in a jar, but there’s limits.

Fortunately the doctor just grins as he puts the brain back in the cabinet. “Of course! One that we’ll customize and set up based on your psych profile.”
“Entirely unique,” he promises, “and entirely yours.”
“So,” he asks as he leans in, voice hushed with excitement. “What do you say?”

You can’t hide your smile as you reach out your hand.

“When can we get started?”
The answer, it turns out, is right now.

Within thirty minutes of signing the consent forms and the inevitable NDAs, you’re lying on your back in a hospital bed, head shaved beneath a small jungle of leads and wires, an IV line in your arm.
“No food or drink overnight I’m afraid. We have to make sure there’s nothing that could interfere with the procedure in your system - just the drugs we’ll be administering.”
Apparently a big piece of the breakthrough involves a custom blend of hypnotic induction and psychoactive drugs.

You’ve never tripped balls for science before. This should be fun.
As it turns out you’re put all the way under before they start working on you, and maybe that’s for the best.

It feels weird enough when you think it’s just a dream.
It feels like you’re an ocean, teeming with so many forms of life. The memories, feelings, sensations, and inspirations layered atop each other, swirling and shifting, seemingly endless.

Except someone just pulled the plug.
You remember the grilled cheese you made yourself before the flight. The way the bread crunched beneath your teeth, and how the melted cheese oozed on your tongue.
You taste the first boy you ever kissed.

You hear the girl who took your virginity as she gasps in your bed.

You wonder what it will be like to fuck in a body that works.
The ocean grows shallower, as if it’s being drained into some fantastic bucket.

Your dad reads your favorite bedtime story.

Your fingers tingle as you make a snowball.

You’re stumbling through your backyard, the sun warm on your face when you trip - you fall - it hurts!
The pain you’d been desperately trying to escape seems to grip every part of you. No respite, no relief. Every nerve searing and screaming.

It’s so much - too much!
You scream and scream, begging for relief, and to your shock it comes in a wave of cool balm, and a gentle whisper.

“It’s nearly over. You’ve done so well. It’s almost done.”
The ocean is drained now, and the water has taken all the fish and plant life with it. Vibrant colors have faded to the bleached and faded shades of a desert, clinging scrub and a few last skeletons atop the exposed bedrock.

You. The very immutable core of yourself.



b r e a


The last of you tumbles into the abyss, and your eyes flutter for the last time.

At the moment the final pebble crumbles, your heart stops.
You think it’s dark, and suddenly you know what “dark” is.

You’re surrounded by warmth, and you know you’re floating.

There’s a low buzz (voices) you can’t quite make out, and your ears twitch as you try to listen harder.

Your fingers flex, and you remember them.
You decide you should be breathing, and your eyes fly open in shock when it doesn’t *hurt.*
Still, there’s a weird sensation in your (?) new (!?) body (!?!) - like you’re trembling, but it’s right down to your component atoms, so full of energy and potential that it’s pouring out of you.
“Oh!” One of the voices says. “Hey, you’re awake. Can you hear me?”
You try to say yes but it’s a buzzing, mushy sound. Like your throat doesn’t know what to do with the input.

“Ok. Little bit of an issue there but I think you’re getting it. Try again?”

There’s a sound of hands coming together in a clap, or maybe a high five.

“Yes! Better! One more time!”
You focus on that voice and gather your will, pushing it into each syllable.

“I. Hear. You.”
“You bet you do! Welcome back!” The voice coughs, and you’re pretty sure they’re blushing when they speak again. “Or, welcome, I guess, since technically you haven’t been here before.”

You manage an oddly wet, rusty sounding chuckle, and try to open your eyes.
“Whoa, slow down. Not quite yet.” There’s a gentle hand on your shoulder and you’d swear it’s familiar. “Gotta do some tests first.”

Right. Of course. Tests. The trial.

You. You’re the trial. You did it! They did it!

Whatever - it worked!
They start with some of the same questions you remember from your psych interview. Your name. Where you grew up. Favorite food, childhood best friend.
Everything seems sharper now, though. Clearer. You can recall everything perfectly. With your eyes closed it almost feels like you’re there in that moment, reliving each one.
“Ok, we’re looking good!” The voice pauses, and you’d swear they’re blushing again. “I’m Dave, by the way. Sorry for not introducing myself. I’ll be your tech for this phase of the trial.”

“Hi, Dave.”

“Ready to open your eyes?”

You do your best to nod.
It’s all a bit of a blur until your eyes adjust and focus on the ceiling tiles above you.

“Good job!”

You turn your head towards the sound of the voice and it takes your breath away because even that simple movement is so *smooth.*
“It...doesn’t hurt.”

Dave smiles at you, and he’s really cute. A bit mousy, with light brown hair and eyes hidden behind glasses, but adorably so.

“That’s the idea! So - audio processing is good, speech center is working, vision...how many fingers am I holding up?”

“Looking good there, too.”

You let your head roll back and you realize there’s a sheet covering you from the neck down.

“Can...can I see?”

“Almost there,” Dave promises. “Snap your fingers for me?”
That takes a little concentration, but not much, and the second time is a lot easier.

“Motor control!” He slides off his chair and walks to the foot of the bed. You realize he’s got something shaped like a pen or a stylus in his hand.
“Last big one - can you feel this?”

The sheet rustles as his hand disappears under it, and you can’t stop yourself from laughing and kicking as he starts tickling the bottom of your foot.

“T-ha-tick-haha-TICKLISH! Fuck you!”
“Sorry! But now we know your sensory nerves are good!”

You find yourself needing to catch your breath as you nod. That’s kinda weird. You’re a robot now. Why are you breathing?
“Sympathetic nerves,” Dave answers. You must have said that part out loud. “Your brain translates remembered actions and functions to what your new body is doing.”

His hands grasp the sheet. “Speaking of, you ready to take a walk?”

“Oh. Oh, yes.”
There’s a click and a humming sound. He must have pressed a switch at the foot of the bed, because it’s gently raising you to a standing position, the sheet sliding off as Dave collects it in his hands.

“No peeking - there’s a mirror in the next room.”
You roll your eyes, but don’t look down.

“Try taking a few steps.”

It’s shockingly easy, even with the challenge of not looking at yourself as you do it. Your legs almost bounce like they’ve got springs in them, and it makes you laugh as you make a circuit of the room.
“Hey, hey! Walk, don’t run!”

You blink as you turn to look at Dave’s grinning face.

“Oh. Was I running?”

“Juuust a little.”

“Sorry.” You’re not sure if you can blush, but it feels like you should be. “Guess I forgot what that was like.”
Dave takes your hand with a little squeeze. “No harm done. Follow me?”

You nod, letting him lead you into the hall and across the way. It’s basically an empty room, but you see what’s probably an observation window on one side, and what must be a standing mirror under a sheet.
“Stand there, and I’ll take the cover off.”

Your stomach is full of butterflies as you face the mirror, and you can’t stop yourself from closing your eyes again as the cover is pulled away.
“Here you are...”

Your eyes open, and it’s not at all what you expected.
Even when you were healthy you’d been big and stocky.

This body isn’t rail thin, but it’s lean. Lithe, almost. You’re pretty sure you’re a couple of inches shorter.
Your “skin” appears to be a golden, translucent material. Almost like the ballistics dummies you see on TV shows. But there’s no internal organs you can see. No skeleton.
Your hair appears molded from the same material, and you recognize your face instantly. That’s leaner too - a bit more well defined - but still with a bit of soft roundness - and your eyes are faintly glowing with white light.
You look down at your torso and realize you must be naked, but there’s a confusing lack of definition - among other things - and the part of your brain that stores pop culture references takes over while the rest of you is still in shock.
“What kind of idiot makes a robot you can’t fuck?”
You can hear Dave choking on a laugh.

“Is...is something wrong?”
You frown, turning yourself back and forth in front of the mirror.

“I guess it’s not quite what I expected.”
Dave pulls a tablet out of his coat pocket. “Oh - ok. So, I think I can explain. Your profile and the test results suggested you’d do best in a more flexible form.”
That sounds familiar. In fact, just before they put you under, you remember the doctor using those words to describe the new you.
“I thought he meant, like, an expanded range of motion.”

“Well,” Dave admits, “there’s that too. Hang on just a second, though.” He’s tapping buttons on the tablet, and you feel...weird. Good! But weird. Like something warm is growing in you.

“Ok - you ever see Terminator?”
You turn just enough to give him a look.

“Would someone say yes to this if they didn’t like sci-fi?”

“Point. But - yeah. Think of the liquid metal guy.” He points at the mirror again. “I just unlocked some functions. Try thinking about what you want.”
It takes a few seconds. Belly tightening, your core and chest defining themselves. You watch the smooth flatness between your legs shift, feeling material smoothly reshaping and concentrating until you’ve got a thick cock and a nice set of balls.
An idea strikes you, and your body shifts more. Breasts swelling, hair growing, hips filling. You can see your butt rounding a bit as you turn a bit to look at yourself in profile.
You leave the penis as is for a moment, then shiver as you feel it retract, lips and slit forming as your clit shapes and positions itself.
“Oh. Wow.” Dave is practically a tomato now. “You’re...uh...you’re really picking that up fast.”

Your reflection grins back and winks at him. “Well, it’s not what I expected, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad!”
You let yourself relax into something more neutral, running your hands down your skin. A little pliable beneath your fingers, but warm and firm after that initial give.

“Now - what about the color? Can that change?”
“Dunno,” Dave says with an excited gleam in his eyes. “Why don’t you try?”
You think about that for a few minutes, not really looking at yourself in the mirror. Trying to imagine what different tones or textures might be like. How they’d look and feel.
There’s an itchy sensation that starts at the soles of your feet and slowly creeps upwards. You focus on the mirror and see the medium that now makes up your body darkening, almost seeming to harden.
As it ‘sets’ your skin becomes a rich dark blue, with a faint metallic sheen in the light.

You watch, fascinated, until it hits your neck. You close your eyes as the itching spreads upwards and then slowly fades, the last tingles from the roots of your hair down to the tips.
When you open your eyes they’re now shining with gold light, and your hair is a gleaming silver that matches the nails of your fingers and toes.

“Oooo. That works.”
“Holy _shit,_” Dave breathes reverently as you turn around in an effortless little pirouette.

Moving feels so GOOD. You’d forgotten how simple and good just shifting your weight from side to side could be.

“You’re gorgeous!”
You can blush, it turns out! Sort of a honey gold shade beneath the blue. You like how it looks almost as much as how it feels.

“Thanks. You’re pretty cute too, you know.”
“I. Um. Really? Thanks!”

He doesn’t seem to notice you walking over until you’ve leaned in to kiss his cheek.

“Really. And you’re welcome.”
The way he’s looking at you is stirring something you haven’t felt in a long time. Not that you were comfortable enough to act on, anyway.

Your eyes are twinkling with mischief as you lean in to whisper in his ear. “Hold still. I want to try something.”
Your core gets a bit leaner as you concentrate, your arms and legs a bit slimmer as you will your body to restructure and redistribute itself again.

You imagine a pair of hands kneading your back and shoulders, forming and drawing out the excess material you’ve been gathering.
There’s a feeling of pressure before the first tendril rises out of your back, followed by a matching one on the other side of where your spine would have been, and two more at your shoulders.

They sinuously move through the air, gently rounded tips developing as they form.
You wrap two around Dave’s waist and another around his arm.

“Tell me to stop,” you murmur before lightly kissing the shell of his ear, “and I’ll stop.”

His little moan of encouragement is all you need.
Your last tendril gently guides his head to yours as you kiss, tongue sliding against his lips as your hands find his belt.

You’d never been so forward, but you’d always been trapped in bars of bone and sinew before.

Your door’s been opened.

Your cage is gone.
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