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Jonathan lay down in what appeared to be a large glass tube with a pad. There was a funny, creamy taste in his mouth from something the doctors had asked him to drink. They said it would help their laser's resolution. Laser therapy was a new procedure, not many people had heard of it before. He didn't like the thought of taking off his clothes before getting in the tube, but was reassured by the doctor's professionalism. He felt secure. Above him, on the other side of the glass, was a mirror in which he could see himself clearly. He reached out to touch the glass, but found that it was much farther away than he had expected.
His legs felt odd. He looked down and could see his toes becoming round, the skin bunching up as the bone beneath them became smaller and sliding away. Before long, the sensation had spread to his entire foot, wrinkles forming while the support beneath it was becoming compressed and pulled away. He got the distinct impression that he was shorter than he used to be. His kneecaps sank into the skin, becoming smaller until they blended in with his legs. The legs themselves felt heavy as the skin began to tighten around them, pulling them even closer to him. He felt like he didn't need them anymore.
He stirred a little, an uneasy sensation coming from hips. Curiously, he reached down and felt his tailbone with his right arm and found it easily. The bone was pushing out, growing and stretching into a bony tail. He wrapped his fingers around it as it became longer. He could feel it fill his hand, becoming thicker as muscles began to affix themselves. With a soft *snap, * he felt the bone break into two segments. *snap snap snap,* the tail continued to divide until a new set of vertebrae had formed. He stroked the base of the tail, its length having exceeded the confines of his hand, as he tried to flex it against the pad beneath him with the new muscles.
He winced as a fine mist was sprayed at him from the surrounding tube. He shivered and grabbed his shoulder with his other arm and marveled at how smooth his skin felt. He could see a light sheen to it created from the light above him. It had also darkened, as though he had been nicely tanned. He stroked his stomach as he took in this latest change. The stomach had rounded as well, though it looked pale compared to the rest of his darkening skin, even lighter than he had been before getting in.
Wide-eyed, he noticed his erection growing. Nobody had told him about this. It stretched longer, impossibly long while growing thicker and wider. It lay against him as it crept upward, warming his belly. A deep routed sense of embarrassment was at least partially relieved as his abdomen creased and swallowed his genitals from sight to complete their transformation in privacy.
He took in a deep breath, and saw his chest rise considerably. He exhaled, but it did not seem to sink all the way back down. He took in another deep breath, this one a bit larger than the one before and his chest remained larger still than before. He rested his hand on his belly and felt it billowing out, swelling and expanding, rounding his whole torso. With a start, he realized that each breath pushed out his chest further.
Looking over his bulging waist, he wiggled his toes again, and could barely feel the movement. His thick legs, nearly withdrawn into his body, now ended in fat blobs, with his toes barely poking out the top. His tail, however, had become much more impressive. He stretched it with pride, feeling it growing. It rubbed against the pad as it pushed its way out, becoming thicker. It was flaring out at the end, and he could feel it becoming flat and spread out, the beginnings of a fluke, he knew. His back lengthened as well, sending it further away from him, as he felt his spine adjust to the tail, creating whip-like tension that he'd eventually be able to command with ease.
Reaching down to feel his tail again, he found that his arm couldn't quite reach that far. As he inspected it, he could see that his forearms were getting shorter and the skin bunching up, just as his legs had. The excess didn't sag, it just got thicker and bloated. His hand was much more interesting to watch. It shined as another spray of water covered him, sending a chill down his spine. It was a glistening jet black. While his arms were getting shorter, his hand was growing longer. The fingers were stretching and spreading out. He clenched them together, and found it hard to do. The muscles simply weren't there anymore. He let them spread apart, revealing webbing between them. He poked it gently with his other hand, his arm having trouble bending far enough to reach. The webbing was growing, pushing at his other hand gently, and spreading his fingers apart as it became thick and fleshy. It had appeared that he had been holding his hand in place, but now he realized his wrist had been continuously pulled back, and his fingers had been growing just as fast.
It was becoming hard to bend his neck, but a second inspection of his belly showed a distinct contrast of its creamy vanilla color to his body's deepening black. He placed his thickening hand on it, and felt startled by the dynamic movement he felt. It was bulging and swelling, stretching and growing beneath his hand. It pushed out, thrust out with a vibrant life of its own. A surge of growth pushed his hand off its expanding girth. In intense fascination, he put his hand back on top of it, only to have it thrown off again. Another spray of water made him squirm, and his back arched from the new support his tail gave him. With his legs gone, his tail had thickened greatly and now blended almost perfectly with his body.
His neck had gotten thicker, too. He looked up at the mirror above him, finding it easier to do than looking down at his pulsating body. His neck had widened to the width of his head, and had the same bright cream color his belly had. His hair looked matted down from the bursts of water from the tube, but looking closely he could see that much of it had melted away, showing the same shimmering black skin that now covered the rest of his body. Behind his eyes, however, the skin seemed to lighten again, making his eyes look bigger than they truly were. It seemed to grey as he watched it, trying to catch up to the creamy hue the rest of his underbelly sported.
Feeling what he believed to be a sneeze, he wrinkled his nose and squinted, preparing for it. The sensation passed, but the mirror above him showed that his face has stayed that way. He breathed in sharply and his nose moved up even further, more so than he could have done on his own. The septum melted away as it pulled back even further, creeping toward his forehead. Folds of skin inflated around is face, making it feel as though his eyes were sunken back while his nostrils flattened into his head and continued to move back. His skull moved about, rearranging itself to adjust for his new blowhole.
Watching the mirror, his back arched again, this time from discomfort, as his jaw shot out, creating a muzzle. His whole face was pushing out, becoming larger. His mouth became wide and his lips pulled back so tight that he no longer had lips. His jaw dropped as each one of his teeth seemed to tighten, remolding to become sharp cetacean conicals. His forehead ballooned outward, racing to catch up with his jaw. He started to cry out, but was silenced in fascination as he understood the echo it created, too subtle to have been picked up by human ears. The ears that he did have had melted into the sides of his head, just as his hair had.
Another spray of water swept his body, keeping his now rubbery skin wet. The once cool blast now felt warm against him, his skin having begun to puff out with extra insulation. He moved his arms, flapping them against his bloated sides. His hands had become round paddles and he felt them spreading out in all directions, fanning out into immense rudders. His arms, somewhere in between his shoulders and these wings, shrank close to him until his body swelled out to engulf what remained of them.
His breathing came in sharp bursts, his blowhole flexing open and closed, his lungs expanding his entire chest with each one. His neck continued to swell, pushing his head back to align with his spine while it fattened to blend in with his growing torso. He saw above him, at the top of the tube, another mirror that he hadn't seen before. He squirmed uncomfortably, feeling something digging into his back just bellow his rib cage.
Rocking side to side, he finally discovered what was causing the pressure. There was a small triangular fin poking out of his back, pushing outward at a determined pace. He rolled himself onto his side, letting the fin escape from beneath him and straighten like a sword being pulled from its sheath, the cartilage groaning as it stretched outward. Rolling all the way onto his belly, he marveled at how his back rose like a mountain behind him, shimmering under its watery veil and rippling with powerful muscles still sliding into place. Above it all towered his new dorsal fin, reaching upward to the glass. He lay there as a perfectly formed orca, in a shallow pool created from the excess mist sprayed on him. He was tall for a man, but still puny in size by orca standards.
The final change came over him slowly at first, in tune with the myriad changes that had occurred throughout his body. Now it had become an intense, pervasive force that gripped him, making him grow. He billowed outward, his flanks swelling, his back arching upwards and bulging out. His tail shot out from him, his wide flukes smashing against the end of the tube, bracing his body so that it pushed him forward, rubbing against the pad as his head rushed toward the other end of the tube. His dorsal tapped the glass above him with every breath, until it was forced to curl to the side. His gently rounded beak and face were pressed against the glass in front of him and still his body ballooned outward until he could feel the cold glass against his flesh.
No creature this large had ever been in this tube before, and it was not able to withstand the primal force within it. He could feel it cracking against his back, the pressure becoming too much. He flexed every one of his new muscles, bending his back and shattering the confinement, water splashing out and his fins falling out to drape over the sides. Water fell from the ceiling, a fail-safe flooding the room to keep his new body wet and offer it mobility. He looked around, craning his neck to see the room around him from the orca's perspective, his large black beak between his eyes reminding him of who he was.
It was not difficult to find a buyer. There were no regulations against acquiring a captive orca that had given written consent. He would not be able to keep his old name, of course, but he had provided a list of acceptable alternatives to be chosen from at his new home, "Not Shamu," written and underlined at the bottom. He would be cared for well at whatever park he ended up at. He had pioneered an alternative to live capture, now he needed only to wait to see where he would be sent.
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