TF, NSFW, 18+
(TW for description of medical issues)
“My body is a cage”, it sings, and if that isn’t a fucking mood.
No cure. Just treatment.
A few begin to discuss...alternatives.
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’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.
“UpConn Labs seeking chronic illness patients for new synthetic process clinical trial. Qualified participants must pass psychological evaluation.”
You think about it for maybe an hour before you start filling out the application.
Good thing you work from home, you’re going to be on the phone all morning getting this together.
...oh, that’s gonna be an expensive plane ticket.
Things are looking up!
It IS a long flight, but you get lucky - the seat next to you is empty, and you can relax.
Cute ears, too.
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.
“Can you tell me one thing you like about your body?”
You snort. “Is it? Sometimes I feel like I don’t have much of an alternative.”
“I...uh. I mean I’d...” You have to stop yourself from stammering. “I’d want to know more.”
She stands, and offers an arm to help support you, giving you the time to find your footing again.
“Welcome to the pilot group.”
Whatever comes next, you’re on your way.
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.”
A new method to map and model brain activity. To capture the mind, and transfer it.
“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?”
“This is our masterpiece. An entirely synthetic brain.”
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.”
You can’t hide your smile as you reach out your hand.
“When can we get started?”
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.
You’ve never tripped balls for science before. This should be fun.
It feels weird enough when you think it’s just a dream.
Except someone just pulled the plug.
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.
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!
It’s so much - too much!
“It’s nearly over. You’ve done so well. It’s almost done.”
You. The very immutable core of yourself.
b r e a
At the moment the final pebble crumbles, your heart stops.
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.
“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!”
“I. Hear. You.”
You manage an oddly wet, rusty sounding chuckle, and try to open your eyes.
Right. Of course. Tests. The trial.
You. You’re the trial. You did it! They did it!
Whatever - it worked!
“Ready to open your eyes?”
You do your best to nod.
You turn your head towards the sound of the voice and it takes your breath away because even that simple movement is so *smooth.*
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?”
“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.
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!”
You find yourself needing to catch your breath as you nod. That’s kinda weird. You’re a robot now. Why are you breathing?
His hands grasp the sheet. “Speaking of, you ready to take a walk?”
“Oh. Oh, yes.”
“No peeking - there’s a mirror in the next room.”
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
Your eyes open, and it’s not at all what you expected.
This body isn’t rail thin, but it’s lean. Lithe, almost. You’re pretty sure you’re a couple of inches shorter.
“Is...is something wrong?”
“I guess it’s not quite what I expected.”
“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?”
“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.”
Your reflection grins back and winks at him. “Well, it’s not what I expected, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad!”
“Now - what about the color? Can that change?”
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.
“Oooo. That works.”
Moving feels so GOOD. You’d forgotten how simple and good just shifting your weight from side to side could be.
“Thanks. You’re pretty cute too, you know.”
He doesn’t seem to notice you walking over until you’ve leaned in to kiss his cheek.
“Really. And you’re welcome.”
Your eyes are twinkling with mischief as you lean in to whisper in his ear. “Hold still. I want to try something.”
You imagine a pair of hands kneading your back and shoulders, forming and drawing out the excess material you’ve been gathering.
They sinuously move through the air, gently rounded tips developing as they form.
“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.
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.