Shawkingly Good Christmas Break by ArrowQuivershaft

Sorry for the wait! Here it is!

A Shawkingly Good Christmas Break

Written for Arrow Quivershaft

--Author's note: Since I have trouble finding this sometimes in first person stories, the name of the main character is Colin Sparks. Also, I shall not apologize for the rather bad pun in the title. Merry Christmas, Arrow! Merry Christmas, everyone else!--

December 14, 2015
Planet Earth, Sol system

It was business as usual at the US Missile Defense Agency. The major wars had all ended decades ago, and it had been just as long since anything had ever happened. "This has got to be the most boring job ever," was a common quote, and it was well founded. Nothing ever happened.

Well, almost nothing.

"Sir, the long range scanners are picking up a reading... It seems to be a cluster of missiles approaching from deep space..."

"Really? Let me see..." He took a moment to examine the radar screen, "MEN! Incoming missiles have been detected! Prep the intercept missiles to neutralize the threats!"

"On it! Hurry up you lazy bastards, MOVE MOVE MOVE!"

At this point, the office went into a near frenzy to try to scramble enough intercept missiles to destroy the hundreds currently flying at the planet. After half an hour of preparation, they had the whole defense fleet of missiles ready to shoot as many out of the sky as possible.

A short while later, a firestorm of reentry flares appeared as the incoming missiles hit the atmosphere.

"Fire everything!"

The fleet of intercept missiles flew up and started to pick away at the incoming missile storm. Each one that was destroyed dissolved into a cloud of silvery gas, which drifted down towards the ground. It was quickly becoming clear that there were just too many incoming missiles for the defenses, and all that could be done was to wait and hope that it was possible to recover from the devastation.

When the first ones hit the ground, everyone was expecting the area to be blown to smithereens. On the contrary, they just dissolved into more of the silver gas just before impact, which spread quickly and dispersed seconds later. Everyone was clueless as to what just happened. The missiles did not seem to have done any damage whatsoever, and by the bewildered looks of the civilians, the air was still breathable. So much for nothing happening at the MDA!


//Life is too much of a routine\ I thought as I walked to my first class, //I mean, really. We work, we play, we eat, we sleep, we live, we die. Why can't something just HAPPEN?!?\

As if on cue, a storm of meteorites hit the atmosphere and produced a bright flare. I stared up at it for a second before pulling out my phone. //There wasn't supposed to be a meteor shower today... Sean would've told me about it..\ My dormmate, Sean, was an astronomy major and was always telling us about some new thing, like "Orion is looking bright tonight" or "Ooh, haven't seen Mars that clearly before," so I was wondering- BANG BANG BANG The sudden noise almost caused me to drop my phone.

What in the...? I looked up to see what appeared to be missiles flying up to meet the meteorites, destroying some of them in the process. This got me worried, why would someone be shooting down meteorites if they weren't going to hit the planet? As I realized this, I saw one flying straight towards the courtyard! The flare had worn off and it was actually a silvery missile! Panic struck up in the courtyard and we all ran for cover. I saw a cloud of metallic silver gas rush past me before dispersing, and I stopped running. Where was the explosive "Boom" noise that would indicate the missile had hit? As I turned around, I noticed that everyone else had stopped running as well, probably wondering the same thing I was. In fact, there wasn't even a crater. It was as if the missile had just... vanished into thin air.

Then I remembered the gas cloud. Maybe the missile had done just that - vaporized and dispersed. But why would someone go to the trouble of shooting a missile whose only purpose was to evaporate? Then it hit me: a chemical attack would do that! "Oh sh-" I sprinted back up to my dorm and slammed the door shut, locking the deadbolt in the process. I turned off the heater and basically made the room as airtight as possible. My roommate, Ben, pounded on the door about halfway through the process, and I hurriedly let him in and re-locked the door.

After we had completely finished, we just sat on our beds, exhausted from the panic.

"Hey Colin?" he asked after a few minutes.

"Yeah?"

"If that was a gas bomb, how are we not dead yet? I mean, everyone stood there for a while before it clicked and we took off for our dorms."

He had a point, and I started thinking about it, "Maybe it's slow acting and they were hoping we would assume that it had just vanished?"

He shook his head, "Nah, gas bombs would scare people too easily for that. What I want to know is where the shell went."

"Yeah, I don't think we have the technology to make something just vanish without making a noise." I reached for the remote, "I'm gonna check the news, see if there's anything on this."

I turned on the TV and switched to a news channel.

"-shampoo. Give your hair a shine that’s just sublime!” We both groaned at that and waited for the ads to finish, “Welcome back. This is Paul Everson with breaking news. This just in: an entire fleet of ICBM class missiles ‘hit’ the western half of the US,” They played a video that looked like it was taken from an iPhone camera, “As you can see, the missiles never actually hit anything, just dissolved into a silver gas that dispersed almost instantly. We have it that the MDA tried their best to stop them from getting near, but the amount of missiles was just too great. As of yet, there is no information that the gas has any effect, although there is speculation that terrorism was involved in the strike," someone ran up to Paul and whispered something in his ear, "Hold on, we’ve just got word from the ISS. Apparently, one of the missiles ‘hit’ the ISS while one of the crew was on spacewalk. Thankfully, his tether saved him from certain death, but the gas cloud was traveling fast enough to damage one of the station’s solar arrays, and a repair mission must be attempted.”

They played a slightly scratchy sounding recording of a man, “Ok, rotate the gimbal… What is that? It looks like a missile…It’s fine, the trajectory will cause it to… What?!? AAGH! It’s ok, the tether… the tether saved me. The missile just turned into a cloud of gas, it spread out and hit the station. It looks like the panel’s been snapped off… Yes, I can see the broken piece. There doesn’t appear to be any other damage, but a replacement array will be necessary.”

“We have experts working on what effects the gas might have, but until such time as they can give us an answer, we’re still in the dark. We’ll keep you updated when we receive more information. Until then, this is Paul Everson, signing off.”

We just sat there digesting this information for a little while.

“Hey Ben,” I asked, “If the missiles hit the ISS, wouldn’t they have to have come from deep space?”

“Possibly. ICBMs travel into VERY low sub-orbit, but usually not close enough to where the ISS is located. Too bad they just vaporized, we might have been able to reverse-engineer them.”

While we waited for the news to come back on, Ben decided to look on the internet for something related to the event. “Here’s something: Telescope discovers several metallic asteroids headed in our general direction… That looks promising… ‘Are we really alone?’ Scientists think that a UFO was sighted… no… Oh, here’s one. Oh, wait, it’s a news clipping from the cold war…”

The next few minutes basically passed in that fashion before the news came back online.

“Hello, this is Paul Everson with an update to the missile strike. Apparently, the trajectory of the missiles show that they arrived from a location outside of the Moon’s orbit. This brings the question back: who shot the missiles in the first place? Some people are starting to think that aliens did it just to mess with us, but as of yet they have been discredited as conspiracy theorists. Also, nobody has managed to obtain a sample of the gas yet, there is just no traces left of it anywhere. We’ve inquired about what this could mean, and this was one scientist’s response.”

A rather disgruntled looking scientist came on camera, “We have analyzed the air and soil in the vicinity of where one of the bombs hit, and there just isn’t anything out of the ordinary. It appears to be just a completely ordinary environment, like it never even happened!”

“Hopefully the gas was just something that aliens assumed would poison us and just ended up merging with the atmosphere. Until we have more information, this is Paul Everson, signing off.”

The rest of the day passed with us listening to the periodic news updates. I had phoned my family once I was sure the panic was over and people stopped overloading the cell tower, and they were just fine as well, though also shaken. As of yet, nobody had figured out if the gas released by the bombs had any effect whatsoever, or had even continued existing. There was literally no trace of it anywhere at all. Eventually, we just gave up on trying to find out what was going on, since nobody else seemed to know either, and we went to sleep to see if anything would be different in the morning.

When morning came around, nothing seemed different. We got up, got ready, and basically started the day with our first periods. //Well, yesterday was definitely eventful,\ I thought as I sat down and took out my laptop to take notes, //I guess I can’t complain, something DID happen. Oh well, back to the ol’ grind, I suppose.\

The rest of the week passed in a boringly normal fashion. I can’t help but think that after something interesting happens, normality seems even more monotonous than usual. Oh well, life is life, I guess. Anyway, it turns out what had happened was only the tip of the iceberg. When Saturday came rolling around, the world would never be the same again.

I woke up at around 10:00, glad to be able to get the extra sleep. Christmas break had started, so we didn't really have to worry too much about any homework for the time being, so Ben and I decided to take a walk outside and just enjoy the day. It had snowed a decent amount overnight, and I scooped up a bunch and started eating it. Boy, this was near-perfect snowball material! I glanced over my shoulder to check he was still there, and hit him right in the chest with it.

"Oof! Oh, it's on now, Sparky!" he shouted and immediately gave a return shot, which I dodged as I reloaded. We continued with our snowball fight for a good 20 minutes, and some of our dorm mates had joined in as well. Afterwards, we went laughing back into our rooms to warm up.

"Did you see the look on Josh's face after I hit him in the ear?"

"Yeah, he looked a bit like an electrical outlet. It wasn't as good as your face when I caught your snowball and hit you with it though."

"Yeah, nice catch. You have wicked reflexes today," which was true, I had managed to get hit only a few times by dodging out the way. It was weird, I could see them very clearly coming towards me as if in slow motion but not in slow motion. Eh, must've been in the zone.

"Nice hat, Ben," I said as I noticed him wearing what appeared to be a feathery owl hat. You know, it's funny. I could've sworn he wasn't wearing that while we were snowball fighting... Come to think of it, I don't remember him ever buying that hat either.

"What hat?" Huh? What does he mean 'what hat'?

"That owl hat you've got. It's cool."

"I'm not wearing a hat..." he felt the top of his head and pulled, then exclaimed "Ouch!" and immediately rushed into the bathroom.

I took off my hat and rubbed the back of my neck... What the? I pulled out what also appeared to be a feather from my neck, which had actually hurt quite a lot. I ran into the bathroom beside Ben, who was now rubbing where his ears had been, and jumped back in shock; I also had feathers for hair and my eyes were starting to go orange! Ben, who'd just noticed me, did a double take at my plumage and said simply "What. The. Hell."

"I... What... I don't even..." I stuttered as I tried to comprehend exactly what happened. I have feathers. Hawk feathers. With hawk eyes. Am I dreaming? I plucked another feather "Ow!" Nope, not dreaming. Okay...

It suddenly dawned on me: "Ben! You wouldn't happen to remember the missile thing that happened on Monday, would you?"

"Of course I... You mean you think this is related?"

"Duh. The rockets were said to have come from deep space, right? So maybe someone launched a load of nanobots at the Earth for whatever reason in the missiles and they did this to us. Hang on a sec," I ran out of the bathroom before he could reply and turned on the news.

"-seems to be everyone that got in range of the gas. These minor transformations seem to be spreading at a slow rate, however, and we may need to wait and see what the completed effects may be. We ask that everyone remain calm and tune in every half hour where we will have more updates as this progresses."

I looked over at Ben, who had come out of the bathroom, and sure enough, his feathers had migrated down his face slightly and his eyes were starting to turn black. I went back into the bathroom to check on myself, and my eyes had gone completely orange and the skin around my nose was starting to turn yellow. When I opened my mouth, my teeth seemed unnaturally smooth and looked as if they were starting to merge. So I was going to have a beak, neat!

Ben and I were both furries, so we were not entirely freaked out by what was going on. At any rate, we both seemed to be turning into our favorite animals, so we couldn't complain much. My only fears were that the transformation would not stop at the halfway point and instead completely morph us into animals. If that were to happen, there was also the question of whether or not we would keep our minds when it happened, and either way was pretty scary.

I went out into the hall to see what everyone else was turning into. A few people were sitting in the break room, and I recognized a few instantly, and one was a little confusing. Zach's a fox, knew that, Jack's a golden eagle, yep, Sean's a... Cow? What? And Hawken's a falcon, yeah he's ironic like that.

"Yo, Sparks!" Hawken said, "Nice plumage you got there," those four and Ben were the only other furries in the dorm that I knew of.

"Hey 'Falcon', you don't look too bad yourself. Did you know that Sean's favorite animal was a cow?"

"No, I thought it was a horse. Care to explain, Sean?"

Sean cleared his throat, "Well, I'm not really sure why I like cows. They're just... Cool."

I nodded, "I see."

At this point, Ben came out, saw Zach, got a mischievous grin, and said, "So, Zach, what DOES the fox say?"

He snorted "The fox says shut the fuck up, thank you very much," and everyone laughed.

"Anyway," I said, "what does everyone think about what's going on?"

Jack nodded, "I kinda like it. It's not as if it's turning us into anything we don't want to be, I mean, everyone is their favorite animal, so, yeah. I'd love to see the TSA after this, it's probably going to explode with people talking about the change."

Everyone agreed with him and we spent the next hour or so just talking about what we thought was going to happen next. Ben, Jack, and I had to take our shirts off after about the 30 minute mark due to the small wings we were growing becoming uncomfortable. This was actually a relief to us because if we were going to change all the way, why would we have separate arms and wings?

By the time I got up to go get some late breakfast, the change had gone to below our stomach area, Jack and I had finished growing our beaks and talons, Zach and Sean had grown muzzles, Sean had hoof-like hands, and Zach had paws.

Ok... What should I have for breakfast, I thought as I read the menu, cereal would be fine, but I kinda want an English muffin... Wait what the?!? I looked around and realized I was still walking down the hall towards the cafeteria, yet I had read the menu on the wall quite accurately. I looked over at a quarter someone was flipping into the air and could very easily read the minting date (2003) and the words 'In God We Trust' before he caught it again. Hawk vision, cool.

I got to the cashier (who was a sheep), bought a muffin with scrambled eggs, and immediately ran into the issue of eating with a beak. Ok... How to do this... I tried just biting off chunks but had no way to chew them, same with ripping them apart with my talons. Eventually, I just beat the muffin and eggs into a mushy pulp out of frustration and ate it with a spoon. I heard sniggering and saw Jack, who was swallowing bacon strips whole lengthwise like an actual bird.

Muttering because I hadn't thought of that, I finished my breakfast paste and Ben and I went back into our room to play some video games. I then realized my new hands, with their backwards facing thumbs, weren't exactly suited to using a controller. I started muttering again when I realized that Ben, as a PC gamer, could use a keyboard just fine with only a little practice.

"Whatcha muttering about?" Ben asked.

"Huh?" I was sure that he wouldn't have been able to hear me. I got up and started walking towards the window, "You seem to have already mastered some of the nuances of your new anatomy and... Dude, that's creepy..."

He had followed me with his eyes as I walked over to the window, turning his head around definitely more than was humanly possible.

"What's creepy?" he looked down, saw his wings, and said, "Well, that's not weird. I suppose you were referring to the fact that my head is on backwards?" I nodded slowly and he said, "Isn't that something that most birds can do? Turn their heads at least 180 degrees?"

I tried and found that I could look a little farther than directly behind me, "Huh, cool. Owls can do it... What was it, 270 degrees, you said?"

"Yeah," he turned his head about that far, then all the way around again, "Well, I'm glad a panic hasn't broken out yet, I was sure that would happen at some point."

"Yeah, me too. First missiles, now polymorphing, what next, superpowers? Let's check the news, maybe they have something to say about it." I turned on the TV, which was already set to the news channel, and waited for the next of their bi-hourly updates to the situation.

"Welcome back. This is Paul Everson with another update," He looked like an elk, which I thought was hilarious, "The riot in west Seattle is calming down, they seem to be accepting their situation," Ben and I exchanged a glance; so a panic HAD broken out, "The change is still baffling scientists, who have told me yet again that there is no possible way for this to be happening. They said that they would keep working on it, but they still have nothing to go off of. Rest assured, however, that they are trying their best to discover the cause of this, and maybe even a cure," Ben and I exchanged a glance. Would everyone want that? "In related news, physicists are saying that the avian morphs, when the change is completed, may even be able to fly with their wings," it took a second for me to realize what he had said. When it clicked, I realized that I was an avian morph, and that meant I had a chance of being able to fly. Wow, "Also, don't worry about having to eat special foods because you're an herbivore or carnivore, it seems that everyone is still an omnivore. It is going to be a very strange Christmas this year for all of us, but it may not altogether be a bad one. Remember, we will be giving news updates every half hour. Until then, this is Paul Everson, signing off."

Ben and I sat there for a long while. We both might be able to fly. I was thinking about this when Ben suddenly shouted "Ouch!"

"Woah, what the?"

He pulled his pants down a bit in the back and I could see the beginnings of a tail there, "This thing. It just appeared out of nowhere and it felt like I got stabbed or something."

"I think I may have a similar problem soon," I said as I felt my own tail starting to grow in and preemptively sagged my pants a bit. I looked back at my wings and extended them. It was weird, like they were another set of arms that I'd had all my life.

"Dude, you can actually see those growing, look at that," Ben said, amazed.

I looked over and they were definitely growing at about half a centimeter per second. I folded them back up and said, "Lemme see yours."

"Ok, hang on," he got up and spread his wings, which were about 3 feet long each, and flapped them a few times, "It's strange how natural it feels... Flying will be awesome, I hope they get big enough," He flapped them again before sitting down and starting a game of Starcraft.

I looked down at my tail, which was starting to grow reddish-brown feathers, and fanned them out. A red tailed hawk. I wonder how whatever caused this knew what our favorite animals were. Eh, I'll leave that for the scientists to find out.

We went out to get lunch (which was an adventure to eat my sandwich, I wound up just slicing it in half, rolling the halves into tubes and swallowing them like that. Ben got soup, and was very obviously trying not to laugh), and spent the next few hours watching the periodic news updates. The change finished at around 3:20 in the afternoon. I hadn't really looked over myself until then, wanting to get the full effect.

I went into the bathroom and stripped off the rest of my clothes. I had a slightly off-white color on my undersides, with black spotting on my chest and stomach. I noticed, with some disdain, that my junk had disappeared, but then I remembered that it was internal for birds. I looked around at my back and wings, which we're mostly dark brown with some white patches around the small of my back, and my tail, which was entirely brick red, except for the tip, which had a dark bar and a gradient to white. All in all, I looked exactly like a humanoid adult red-tailed hawk. And yet... I was still definitely 'me'. The overall shape of my jaw was the same, and I could recognize my face's base shape. Something I hadn't noticed before were two lighter stripes of feathers above my eyes, like eyebrows, and I could control them as such. Neat.

Ben pounded on the door, "Oi, Colin, you done in there? I wanna take a look at myself."

I looked down at my groin again, looked at my pants on the floor, looked down again, shrugged, and opened the door.

"Cool, thanks," we traded spots and he shut the door, and didn't seem to notice I wasn't wearing pants for a good 5 seconds, during which I guessed he was staring bewildered at them. He stuck his head out of the door and asked, "Are you really not wearing pants?" I nodded, he looked at my feather-covered crotch, shrugged, and disappeared back inside the bathroom.

I chuckled softly and went into the hall so I could spread my wings out entirely. I would have to say that my wingspan was a good 12 feet or so. The next news update was coming in about 5 minutes, so I wanted to see of anyone had tried flying with their wings. I went back inside and laid down on my bed, noticing that Ben had also decided to forego pants. Chuckling again, I turned the TV back on.

"Welcome back, this is Paul Everson with a news update on the change. It seems that it is finally over, with it ending at around 3:20. Indecent exposure seems to be a thing of the past, with our new fur, feathers, and scales. The Seattle police force asks, however, that anyone with external genitals please at least wear shorts for modesty purposes. Avians, we have great news for you. It turns out that yes, your wings are big enough for extended flight," Ben and I high-fived at that, "As with everything, be safe and avoid airplanes. The government doesn't need a reason to put a license on flying. All of us land bound animals seem to be able to comfortably walk on all fours, and run almost as fast as our animal counterparts. Any aquatics, your tails are good for swimming, too. We had a report from the ISS, for whom the change has apparently just started. They're in for a bit of a shock when it finishes, heh. We will have one more update in an hour, but this event seems mostly over, so until then, this is Paul 'Elkerson', signing off."

Ben immediately hopped up, pointing at his wings, "Alright, I'm going out to the courtyard to see if these things aren't just for show. You can come along if you want," and he rushed out the door.

I got up and followed him, hearing my talons click on the tile floor. I looked back and could see tiny scratches where we had been walking. I winced; the janitor was going to kill us. Anyway, Ben had somehow already climbed halfway up a tree when I got out to the courtyard and I yelled "Dude, aren't you going to practice?"

"Well," he yelled back, "I think I have the gist of it down, I'm just going to wing it, heh, and hope for the best."

"Alright, your funeral," I spread out my wings and flapped them a bit, feeling how the air passed over my feathers. I then got hit in the head by a lump of snow from a branch of the tree Ben was climbing as he launched himself off of it. Brushing snow out of my eyes (carefully so I didn't stab myself), I saw him gliding around above me. He gave a few more flaps and disappeared over one of the buildings with a "Woooo-hoo!"

I thought about that for a bit, wondered how hard it could possibly be, looked at my wings again, and started climbing the tree. I understood how Ben had climbed so quickly when I felt my talons dig into the bark, and I easily reached a decent height. I looked into one of the windows, saw Jack, caught his attention, waved, and launched myself into the air. I half expected to fall like a rock, but my wings caught the air and I started gliding. I flapped my wings a few times, feeling muscles in my chest work, and followed Ben over the building. The feeling I got from flying was definitely exciting. The thought that I was actually flying without external aid was amazing. I Ben circling over the wetland a few hundred yards away (I could still make out small details on him), and I flew over to him.

"See? That wasn't so hard, now was it?" he chided, laughing.

I couldn't help but smile, "Isn't this great? It feels so amazing! I'M FREE!" I shouted to nothing, doing a flip in the air.

Ben, laughing along with me, said, "Race you back to the building!"

"Sure, why not?" a barn owl wants to race a hawk? Was he serious? Okay, see him at the finish line!

"Ready? 321GO!" he said and took off before I could react. Oh, it was on! I launched myself after him, gaining altitude in the meantime. After a minute or so, I saw him looking wildly around trying to find me, eventually looking straight up and seeing me. I went into a dive, tucking in my wings partially, gaining speed as I shot past him and pulled out of it just feet above the ground. I was now not only moving faster than him, but was ahead by a large margin. I flew up and landed on the roof, laughing as Ben started circling around me, panting.

"You... You little... How did you... Why did I want to race a hawk?" he lighted down on the roof next to me, and we both burst out laughing, "Well, I at least I could win at hide-and-seek, your heart is beating really fast, I can hear it," he could hear my heart beating, what?

He must have seen the bewildered look on my face, because he said, "Oh, right, I never told you. All owls have great hearing, but barn owls have such sharp hearing that we can hunt in complete darkness by sound alone."

I wasn't sure what weirded me out more, the fact that he could hear my heart beating, or the fact that he seemed perfectly comfortable with that. Well, I guess I could count the number of feathers in the heart-shaped ring around his face if I really wanted to, so I couldn't really complain.

Ben lifted off again, "I'm gonna fly around for a bit longer. You can come along if you want."

"Ok," I lifted off after him and we spent the rest of the daylight just soaring around. We were joined by Jack partway through, who was also obviously happy to be airborne. At around 4:20 it was getting pretty dark out (Ben didn't agree, but he had built in night vision goggles) and I thought it would be a good idea to land before we had to kamikaze into a pond because we couldn't see the ground. We flew down and landed in the parking lot, then went back up to our rooms.

I fluttered my wings again, they felt alive, wanting to be back in the air, "I can safely say that that was the single most fun thing I have ever done in my entire life."

Ben looked over at me, a grin plain on his face despite the lack of an expressionate mouth, "I agree. Flying, Colin, truly flying! I mean, I always wondered what it might feel like, but woah!"

"Yeah. Who needs jetpacks?" We both laughed, "There is still something I'm not entirely sure of, though..."

"What would that be?"

"Why shoot those missiles at all? This is probably their only intended purpose, so why spend the resources doing something that had every possibility to crash into something uninhabited and nothing would happen?"

Ben blinked a few times and thought about it for a while, "Well, the only reason that I could possibly think of is that they had so many resources, or so much time, that it would make no visible difference to their system. This obviously isn't purely beneficial, what if it hit some 'we are the best things in existence' planet? I guess it may be some huge practical joke, not really intending to do either good or harm, just to do it. Aliens, you never know, right? Anyway, we should do something, I'm bored. Ever think of that? Something neat happens and then the humdrum of existence seems even more dull. I'm gonna play some League."

"Ok, you do that," I started up my Xbox and began playing Call of Duty. The majority of the people online weren't in the general area of the nanite cloud, likely because they were still shell-shocked. Eh, their loss. It became apparent that having hawk-like reflexes was good for FPS games, and I quickly soared to the top of the scoreboards. Being really good had its disadvantages, however, mainly because people love to blame their lack of skill on the good people hacking.

"Quit cheating!" shouted one annoying dude who sounded like he was in his pre-teens after I killed him for the third time in a row.

"I am not cheating!" I said back. Why do people always assume that?

"Oh yeah? I can tell you're using an aimbot. AND super reflexes! HAAAXXX!" Ben looked over, obviously able to hear the conversation with his owl ears, and started giggling.

"Wha-?! I can see you coming a mile away!"

"Somebody get a moderator!"

"What the fuck?!!" I muted him, and said to Ben, who was still giggling, "People these days, am I right?"

"Yeah. I just went 28-3-5 Heimerdinger mid and people are harping on me too. I guess you must suffer to be good. Anyway, I'll leave you to your annoying pre-pubescents," and he turned and started another match.

Shaking my head in disbelief, we kept playing for a few hours, then went down to get dinner. I was smart and ordered chicken soup this time (earning a weird look from a rooster morph sitting nearby), and thankfully had little trouble eating it. Well, if there was one downside to being something capable of self-powered flight, it was the lack of usable teeth. Eh, it wasn't a big deal. I had a feeling I was going to be eating a lot of non-solid food in the near future, though.

Back in our room again, Ben and I kept playing video games until around 10:00, and then we went to sleep. As I laid there, I thought about the day. It had definitely been the strangest day of my entire life. I mean, it's not everyday that you get morphed into an anthro of your favorite animal, is it? But even though it was weird, it may have also been the best. Aside from the fact that I would have to relearn how to eat food, I could fly and see with extreme detail. I'd have to say, though. Whoever shot the nanite bombs probably had more in mind than a practical joke. The world just had a wake-up call that there are in fact aliens out there, a big part of the population now has the abilities granted by their respective favorite animals, and any that thought humans were the best things in existence were now forced to rethink that philosophy. It may cause some problems down the road, sure, but we're humans. We can adapt to whatever's thrown at us. The world will spin on, and everything will become the new normal.

And with that happy thought in mind, I went to sleep, wishing that this all wasn't just a dream.

I went home to see my family over break. My mom had turned into a bobcat and my dad was a wolf. I showed them how I could fly, which they thought was awesome, and we basically went on with our lives. Even if this Christmas break was a weird one, as I thought before, it was easily the best.

Merry Christmas, all of TSA Talk!

Any tips on my writing would be very much appreciated. I am still new to it, and my stuff still seems thrown together to me, so anything would be nice. Thank you all in advance!

Shawkingly Good Christmas Break

ArrowQuivershaft

27 October 2018 at 21:47:11 MDT

awareqwx's story for me that year.

Redtail hawk TF

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