It was Friday night at 8pm, and Terry Mason sat alone in front of a computer terminal inside isolation lab 1 at the Nanos Corporation's R&D center. He was surrounded by a sea of sterile white lab equipment, computers, microscopes, and other various machines which hummed and glowed. His coworkers and assistants had gone home hours before.
Terry was typing away at the terminal in fits and flurries mixed with sighs and groans. His eyes never left the screen however.
>engagetestseries /target chamber_delta /family 1,2,3
>Nanobot Response Successful: Engaging Test Series
>Test Series Complete
>DNA Results - Delta
> Sample A: Male, Healthy, Viable -> Nano Family 1, Generation 32201
> Result: Male, Corrupt, Not Viable
> Sample B: Male, Healthy, Viable -> Nano Family 2, Generation 12885
> Result: Female, Unknown
> Sample C: Male, Healthy, Viable -> Nano Family 3, Generation 4401
> Result: Female, Unknown
Terry sighed loudly and began speaking to himself. "Billions of dollars of equipment, the finest geneticists, and all it can say is unknown. What a waste."
"Maybe if the operator wasn't going on 60 hours without sleep?"
Terry nearly jumped out of his skin.
"Jesus Dave, you scared the hell out of me. Don't sneak up on me like that!"
"Sneak up on you? I knocked several times, and the warning alarm went off when I opened the door. You need to take a break."
"I'm fine. Our analysis equipment is another story. How can it determine the DNA is female without being able to tell if it's at least human?"
Dave Pembrek was extremely worried. He had never seen his friend look so ill. The dark circles under Terry's eyes were nothing compared to the gaunt look he was beginning to see in his face. And it was obvious he had lost a lot of weight just from the extra material held up by the tight belt around Terry's waist.
"Fine? Terry, we've been working together for 12 years, and before that we were roommates at college. I've seen you nearly every day for half of my life. Believe me when I tell you, you are not fine. I've never seen you so sick."
"Dave, I appreciate the concern, but this work is important. We are so close to a breakthrough. The company needs this break to satisfy the investors."
"Bullshit. Don't try that line with me. Maybe that worked with your coworkers, but I'm the CEO remember? I want to see this succeed just as much as you do. And how would the investors feel if the lead developer were dead?"
"I've taken some naps. I will be ok. I can handle it. I know what I am doing."
Dave's voice began to rise. Despite their friendship -- no, because of their friendship -- he wasn't going to back down.
"Terry, you're getting some rest. You're getting some food. And you're not to come back here until you have had plenty of both. I didn't want to do this, but I am canceling your key card until you are better. Now do you want me to take you home, or should I call security?"
Terry sat in stunned silence, staring at Dave. He was too tired to think of a rebuttal, and he could feel a wave of nausea building, a regular occurrence lately. Terry knew he was right. He looked away, his face reddening slightly.
"I'm sorry." Terry sighed as he spoke. Tears formed in the corner of his eyes as he fought off a wave of emotion. He briefly wondered why he had been so emotional lately, but he chalked it up to lack of sleep.
"Hey, man, it's ok. You're my best friend. I just want you to be healthy. Now come on, let's get you home."
Terry stood up to gather his things, only to have to quickly run over to the trash can and empty the meager contents of his stomach. Dave shook his head as he helped him clean up.
Dave softly encouraged Terry. "Come on buddy. Let's go." He put his arm around his friend, and walked him out to the parking lot. Terry felt a tingling warmth build near his stomach, a sensation he had recently started to experience when Dave was around. He had only managed to avoid it before by being surprised.
"I am giving you a ride home, and don't even think of arguing." Dave said firmly.
Terry stayed silent as they got in the car and left the parking lot. Dave eased the car onto the highway, keeping one eye on his friend.
"Do you want to tell me what is going on? I know you're a work-a-holic, but you've really taken it to an extreme. Security logs show you hadn't left the building in 3 weeks, and you've blown off every invite I sent you. It's not like you."
A worried look flashed across Terry's face. He was too embarrassed to tell Dave everything. How could he? Terry didn't even understand it himself.
Dave continued to probe, "Is it a woman? I know what heart break can do to a man."
"I just haven't been feeling like myself." He replied, avoiding the conversation.
The last several months had become a roller coaster of emotion. Terry had starting to feel envious towards women. He wanted to be like them, though he couldn't explain why. It had gotten so bad he had even gone so far once as to ask a woman where she bought her outfit. She was wearing a beautiful flowered sun dress, and he marveled at how gorgeous, young, and alive it made her appear. She looked surprised at first, then gave him a smile (a knowing and friendly smile that reminded him of conversations between women) as she told him about the dress. He thought he would die of embarrassment.
The worst of it, Terry wouldn't even admit to himself, like the odd feelings he got whenever he was with Dave. The whole experience left him feeling a mix of shame, confusion, and disgust with himself which only seemed to get worse. He didn't want to damage a life long friendship either, which just added to his pain.
He thought about staying home and becoming a hermit, but he wasn't about to abandon his life's work. It was too important. So he had resolved to just live in the office, drowning himself in work.
Dave could see Terry staring off into the distance. He didn't want to push too hard, but he cared for his friend.
"Look, if you don't want to tell me, it's ok. But you should tell someone."
Terry nodded. He was too tired to begin to deny something was wrong, and Dave's kindness was just fueling his guilt.
Dave pulled the car up to Terry's house. He walked up to the door and made sure he made it inside.
"Will you be ok from here?"
"Yeah. I think so."
Terry continued to look away from Dave, feeling ashamed.
Dave put his hand on Terry's shoulder. "Hey, it's going to be fine, alright? We'll get you some rest, and in a couple of days you will be back to work."
Terry blushed again as the warmth from earlier returned.
"Uhm, thank you", he managed as he closed the door.
"What is going on with me?" He said to himself, leaning back against the door. His thoughts were interrupted by a deep yawn. He knew Dave was right, he was exhausted. He couldn't remember ever being so tired. He managed to drink some water before he nearly fell into his bed, falling asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow.
On his way home, Dave worried about Terry. He wondered how he could help him.
"I know," he said to himself. He picked up his phone and dialed.
The next day, a still exhausted Terry awoke to the sound of banging on his front door.
Terry opened the door, covering his eyes with his hand to keep out the bright sunlight.
"Denise? What? Why are you here?" Terry asked groggily, still half asleep and feeling like he had been run over by a truck.
Denise Richards was the company's HR director and long time friend to both Dave and Terry. After speaking with Dave about Terry's condition the previous evening, she had come up with a plan with Dave to make sure Terry wasn't alone for the next couple of days. Today was her shift.
"Because I am your friend," Denise answered. "Do I need any more reason? Now are you going to let me in, or are you just going to stand there drooling?"
Terry was exhausted, but he didn't want to be rude. He led her inside, only to find himself slammed with a wave of nausea. He ran to the bathroom, dry heaving over the toilet.
After Terry stopped, Denise helped him clean up a little.
"You look terrible. I had no idea you were this sick."
"Neither did I."
"When was the last time you had a bath?" Denise asked, sniffing the air.
"Why don't you hop in while I get you some ginger ale to sip on?"
A half hour later Terry was out of the tub and sipping on some ginger ale.
"Thanks, I think this is really helping." Terry was grateful the nausea had subsided somewhat. "Ginger is magic," he added.
"You're welcome, and yes it is. Now, are you going to tell me what is going on?"
"I've just, well. I've just been working too hard. We're so close to a working prototype, and..."
Denise huffed, cutting him off. "You've always been a hard worker, but come on. You look like death. And you haven't been able to look me in the eye since I got here. You never have been able to lie to me."
Denise and Terry had dated in college, albeit briefly. Dave and Terry were always doing something together, leaving little time for Denise. When Dave had dragged Terry off to a party on their date night, Terry made up a story about working late in the lab. To prove a point, Denise showed up to the same party, embarrassing Terry and eliciting numerous apologies. They remained friends, but their romantic relationship ended. She had teased them both ever since.
"Besides, I talked to your boyfriend. You hadn't left the office in 3 weeks? Jesus Terry," Denise added, emphasizing her concern.
Terry sighed, brushing off Denise's joke about Dave. She was always like that. He slowly began to explain.
"I just haven't been feeling like myself. My body feels, well, disgusting, and I keep having the strangest of thoughts. For some reason I can't look at a woman without wondering what it would be like..."
"I think you know what sex is like, Terry." She smiled at him, trying to lighten the mood, but Terry didn't crack.
"...to be in their shoes." Terry was a shocked he had actually said it. It was the first time he had put it in words.
They both sat in silence. Denise felt surprised as well. She had always known Terry to be a rather typical straight man, by nerd standards, apart from his inability to leave Dave's side anyway.
"I am just really confused. My emotions are all over the place. The only time I feel better is when I am at work. For some reason, it is comforting," Terry added.
He told Denise the story about the woman in the sun dress as well as several other incidents he couldn't explain. He was interrupted by a wave of nausea which had slowly returned. Sweat was beading up on his forehead.
"I really think you should talk to someone about this, Terry. I knew a girl in college. You remember Jen Tilly?"
"Yeah, she was your roommate wasn't she?"
"She was, well, special. When I first met her, she was called James Tilly. She was miserable as a man but very happy as a woman."
"I had no idea. She was so pretty. Dave wanted to date her."
Denise laughed. "Well, she didn't want to split you and Dave up any more than I did."
Terry finally smiled. "Oh, hush. You know we're just friends."
Terry continued sipping his ginger ale, but he was feeling worse not better, despite Denise's attempts to make him laugh.
Denise noticed the sweat on his forehead and that he was clutching his stomach, looking even more ill than when she arrived.
"I think we should get you to a doctor."
"I guess I can't really argue with that."
Terry stood up, but he became dizzy and collapsed back onto the couch.
He didn't want to scare Denise however, so he tried to keep the humor going.
"Houston, we have a problem."
"That is obvious. Can you make it to the car, or do we need an ambulance?"
"I think I can make it." Terry said, not wanting the embarrassment.
With Denise's help he made it into the car. She was too worried to go to an urgent care clinic, so she headed for the nearest hospital.
When they arrived at the hospital, it was clear Terry was in bad shape. He was deteriorating quickly. He was rushed through triage, given nausea medicine and fluids, and an x-ray was taken. Doctor Clayborn was stunned when it came back.
"I will be honest I've never seen anything like it Mr Mason. We shouldn't be able to see the outline of your circulatory system in an x-ray. But we can. We're doing blood work right now, and we'll notify you when it comes back. If I didn't know any better, you have the worst case of heavy metal poisoning I have ever seen, but at these levels, you should already be dead."
Terry nodded, worried. He knew of one reason this could happen, and it could mean the end of everything he held dear as well as his life.
"Denise, I need you to call Dave."
"I figured you couldn't do without your boyfriend."
"Stop, please, this is serious. Tell him we may have a breach and to bring the C&C equipment here quickly."
Denise fumbled with her phone and called Dave, explaining the situation and relaying the request. Terry pressed the nurse call button and asked to speak to the doctor.
"Nanobots? Seriously?" Doctor Clayborn asked. "How do I even treat this?"
Terry answered solemnly, "I recommend isolating me immediately. If it is what I think it is, they could spread."
Thirty minutes later, Dave arrived at the hospital with one assistant and a cart full of equipment.
Doctor Clayborn had placed Terry in the isolation ward as suggested, but since Denise was already exposed, and since she insisted on staying, she was allowed to stay with him. Dave had entered the room in an isolation suit, wheeling in some of the machinery. He quickly unpacked it.
Dave was alternating between typing at the console he had setup and giving Terry worried looks.
"Would you just tell me already?" Terry was exasperated.
"You already know what is going on."
"Of course I already know, but I want to know how bad."
"You have been infected with all three families of nanobots, several different generations. They have replicated, and they are changing you... have changed you."
"Changed me? How much?"
Just then the gruff voice spoke up over a speaker. "Heavy genetic modification. You're past the threshold. If the process doesn't complete, you will die."
Jim Hall, the assistant Dave brought, was one of Terry's coworkers. He had been outside the room doing his own monitoring. Other than Terry, he was the most knowledgeable about the workings of the nanobots they had developed, and Dave had insisted he come with him.
"If the process completes, I won't survive! Family 1 is totally not viable. It has failed every test. We have to at least deactivate it, or I else I am a dead man."
"You're wrong. F1 is the only thing keeping you from being a dead WOMAN. It's slowing down the transformation process, hindering the other families. Either way, your DNA says you're female now. You would already be singing soprano if it weren't for F1."
A flustered Denise finally yelled out. "Would someone just tell me what is going on?"
Jim replied. "We've been developing nanobots."
"I know that. HR director. Remember?"
Jim continued flatly. "We built them based on genetic principles. We created three families, and each generation they improve, like survival of the fittest. Our goal has been to make sweeping genetic changes and to propagate those changes on the macro level, without killing the patient."
Terry added, "To test it, we have been converting male human tissue to female human tissue. I've been infected."
A knowing look flashed across Denise's face. She looked into Terry's eyes. "That explains a lot, doesn't it?"
Terry nodded and sighed.
"Look Jim," Terry said "we have to do something. All of them together will just tear my DNA apart, leaving my a blob of cancer. I am too far gone to turn them all off."
Jim replied, "We don't even know if the shutoff command will work, and if we turn them all off you will stay sick. They shouldn't even be replicating as it is. The control field at the isolation lab should have killed them in your body if an infection were to occur."
"That is why the only place you felt relatively well was at work, isn't it? Do you think it slowed them down?" Denise asked.
"What is she talking about Terry?" Both Dave and Jim wanted to know.
"I think I may have been infected for months."
Dave found for the nearest seat and collapsed into it. The one thing that could sink all of their dreams was if nanobots got out and caused an infection.
"Look Jim, I am dead either way. Pick the best family of bots, and deactivate the other two. I am too sick to look. I will trust you. If it doesn't work, we did our best. Don't blame yourself."
Dave's world was spinning. He was on the verge of losing his best friend, his company, and maybe even his freedom.
He was brought out of it quickly with a slap to the face by Denise who began yelling.
"Snap out of it Dave and do something!"
"Do what!?" he yelled back.
"Dave, this is the only option. You need to execute the containment plan. You should go."
"I won't leave you here alone."
"I'm not alone Dave."
Dave took off his containment suit, causing everyone to gasp. He walked over to the hospital bed and took Terry's hand, surprising everyone in the room. Terry felt a strong familial warmth spread through his body along with a subtle tingling between his legs, and his mouth hung open. Had he been standing he would have fallen over.
"Jim, what will the result be if you do what Terry suggested?" Dave asked, looking into Terry's eyes.
Terry answered before Jim could speak. "He doesn't know. We've never done live test subjects, remember?"
"Give me your best estimate, Jim."
Jim sighed. "Fifty percent chance he lives. 100% chance he becomes a woman." More so than he is now, he added under his breath.
"And we have no alternative?"
"No. If we don't do this, he will be eaten alive by cancer from the genetic damage already done. I'm surprised he is still here honestly."
Dave continued to look into Terry's eyes. Terry looked back and nodded, adding a squeeze of his hand, causing a surge of the tingling warmth.
"Get Doctor Clayborn. Let's get it done."
Half an hour later, Terry was prepped. Doctor Clayborn had placed him in a drug induced coma, as the pain from the transformation would likely be terrible. The doctor and his team stood by as Jim typed the commands into the console and pressed enter.
Terry woke up slowly. She knew where she was and what had happened, though she was afraid to confirm it. The long hair dangling onto her shoulders was a dead giveaway though. She didn't need to look any further, yet anyway. She saw the medical monitoring equipment, and she was glad she was no longer in the isolation unit.
She looked over to see a sleeping Dave curled up in a reclining chair, and she was hit with a warmth that spread out from her stomach, reminding her of when Dave held her hand before he went under. "He stayed." Tears formed in her eyes.
Terry looked down, overwhelmed with emotion, only to catch a glimpse of her feminine hands and arms. To her amazement, instead of being upset, she felt strangely happy. "So pretty," she thought.
The scientist in her began to think of the hundreds of things she would have to check, like DNA, hormone levels, MRI scans, and more. Although she didn't look forward to having to be the guinea pig. While she was lost in thought, Dave stirred.
"You're awake." He said.
"Yeah it looks like..." Terry had begun replying only for her eyes to widen at the change in her voice. "Oh wow." She put her hand to her throat, feeling her missing Adam's apple. "It feels... ...funny."
"I bet. Though I will say you look beautiful. How do you feel?"
Terry turned beet red. She hadn't been awake as a woman for 10 minutes and already she had been told she was pretty.
"Tired. Thirsty." She said, changing the subject. "How long have I been out?"
"You've been out 6 days. The transformation finished 2 days ago, but they wanted to let your body recover more. You lost a lot of weight. They said you will want to eat to build up your strength."
"I guess I could do that. I do feel a bit hungry."
"Good. I'll go get the nurse."
Terry watched Dave walk out of the room, then turned away suddenly when she realized she was watching his butt. "That didn't happen" she told herself.
Terry spent the next two days being poked, prodded, and scanned. She didn't think she had any more blood to give, and she was sick of being wheeled around in a chair. Doctor Clayborn also insisted on a gynecological exam, much to her disappointment.
Later in the afternoon Terry was sipping on some water while her thoughts lingered on the exam when Denise walked in the door carrying several bags.
"Oh Terry! You look so much better. I am so glad. How are you taking it?"
Terry nearly spewed water everywhere, remembering the probing of the gynecological exam.
"It's impossible to deny you're a woman when your feet are up in stirrups and you're getting overly friendly with a speculum."
"Oh my gosh, your voice!" Denise practically squealed. "Oh, I feel for you. I really meant how are you taking being a girl. It looks like you're getting a pretty thorough introduction though. No woman likes going to the gynecologist."
"Maybe it's strange, but it doesn't feel bad at all. I felt so wrong before. Doctor Clayborn thinks it is because the nanobots altered my brain, changing my gender identity before everything else. It made my body feel foreign to me. Now, well..."
"Wow. I bet Jen would be shocked to hear all of this."
"She may want more than that. Listen, I don't think you should tell her, or anyone, at least for now. If her experience was like mine, she may want to be transformed, and there is no way I can guarantee her safety. And if the nanobots are really out in the wild, people may seek them out, putting themselves in danger."
Denise replied softly, "I didn't think about that."
"I mean, it's not that I don't want to help people. I really hope this means we succeeded. I just don't want to cause legal problems for Dave."
"We'll get there, right?"
"Yeah, I am hopeful. What is in the bags?"
"Are you ready for your new wardrobe?"
Denise pulled out several pairs of panties, jeans, yoga pants, bras, t-shirts, some dress shirts, two boxes of shoes, and one beautiful flowered summer dress. Terry gasped at the sight of the dress, eliciting a tear.
"Here you go. They have measured you so many times during the transformation, I was able to get your sizes exactly. So all of this should fit. I got you some jeans and t-shirts, just in case you were too uncomfortable with the dress. It's still going to look girly though. I hope you don't mind."
"I guess I am going to have to get used to it," she said, eying the dress. "Anything has to be better than this hospital gown though."
Terry undid the hospital gown, threw it on the bed, and grabbed a pair of plain white panties. She stepped into the panties and pulled them up to her hips. The material hugged her form.
"Well, that is different. It is snug but comfortable. It feels so soft too. Men's underwear is nothing like it."
"Wait until you get some sexy panties," Denise said, adding a wink.
Terry blushed as she pulled out a bra. She kept turning it over, like it was some sort of cotton Rubik's Cube, trying to figure out how it went.
Denise laughed. "Here, you put your arms through there. It may help to bend over and get your girls in the cups. Then pull the straps back and clasp them together."
Terry slowly managed to get the bra on, fumbling several times with the clasp before she managed to close it.
"What do you think?" Denise asked.
Terry adjusted her breasts for a moment, then stood in front of the mirror. She looked at the image of a girl in her underwear. Her breasts sat perfectly in the bra, forming modest cleavage. Her eyes wandered down to her waist, which narrowed gently, only to flare out again at her hips. The flat crevice between her legs was unmistakable. She was a woman.
"It's surreal, to say the least. The bra at least feels ok. My nipples were so sensitive in that gown I was getting nervous just moving. I think they needed some padding. Every time the IV line moved across one it sent a shock through my body."
Denise giggled. "Did you notice you stripped in front of me without a thought?"
Terry began turning red. "I didn't even think about it, did I?"
"You're just one of the girls now. It's natural."
Terry didn't know what to say and opted for silence. She slipped on the dress and a pair of ballerina flats and looked in the mirror again. Denise stepped behind Terry and began brushing her brown hair, pulling it into a bun as she changed the subject.
"So where is Dave?" She asked. "I thought he would be here, considering how he acted the last week."
"I finally got him to leave me alone so they could do tests. He is trying to deal with the decontamination process at the office. He should be back any time now."
Denise smiled. "I knew you two were close, but I didn't realize you were that close. When I saw how he acted when you were sick, it took me by surprise."
Terry looked away and clutched her hands together near her chest, remembering how Dave wouldn't leave her side. Feelings welled up within her she couldn't explain, or at least she didn't want to explain.
"Oh wow. You even act feminine."
"What do you mean?"
"The way you held your hands to your chest, making yourself smaller, it was so feminine. Your other mannerisms appear feminine too. You're even talking like a girl. Have you noticed?"
Terry sat with her mouth open a little bit for a moment before replying. She knew her body changed, but she hadn't considered how far the transformation had gone.
"I had no idea. I really haven't had time to experiment to see what is different."
"Oh, so it has to be an experiment?"
"I'm a scientist after all. Science is safe, real, and tangible. I can understand it, even when the world is so confusing." Terry replied.
Denise smiled. She remembered in college how Terry could nearly always be found in a lab or in front of a computer. It took her or Dave to drag him away from it.
"So what are you worried about?" Denise asked.
"You tell me. You're the one that always knows what I am thinking."
Denise pondered for a moment before replying.
"How do you feel when Dave is around?"
"I don't know. Happy? We have been friends a long time, and I know he really cares."
"Yeah, like before you transformed, when he took your hand. How did that make you feel?"
"It was reassuring. I also felt, I don't know. Tingly. I am sure it was the nanobots though."
Just then Dave and Doctor Clayborn walked into the room.
"What about the nanobots?" Dave asked. He stopped when he saw Terry in her dress. Both men stared with their mouths agape at the beautiful woman. Terry saw Dave's reaction, and his presence brought back that warm tingling feeling Terry couldn't explain. Was it really the nanobots? She wondered.
"Nothing, girl talk." Denise said knowingly. "Don't worry about it."
Dave and Doctor Clayborn just looked at each other. Denise had noticed both Dave and Terry's reaction, but she didn't say anything. A devilish grin crossed her face.
"Dave, Terry really needs someone to help her with some experiments though. She needs to see how different she is, specifically what responses she has that are feminine or masculine. Do you think you can help her with that?"
Dave gave Denise a funny look as the doctor shook his head.
"Would you really do that for me Dave?" Terry asked, naively.
"Why can't Denise? I mean, wouldn't she know better than me?"
"Nonsense!" Denise said. "For any proper experimentation, you need a control. Since she was male before, you need another male for a proper comparison. Isn't that right, Terry?"
Terry nodded gingerly. She wasn't sure why she felt so excited.
"Uhh, well, sure. Ok. We can do that." Dave replied.
Doctor Clayborn cut in. He needed to get this over with so he could see to his other patients. Although he briefly considered giving Terry a lecture on the birds and the bees.
"Well, Ms Mason, it looks like you're going to have plenty of help getting back on your feet. I think we're going to go ahead and release you. Miraculously, you're fine, at least as far as we can tell. I want to see you in a week for a followup though. Be sure to get plenty of rest, and report anything unusual."
The doctor turned to Dave and continued. "As we discussed, I will keep this confidential, at least for now, but I would like to write this up in a medical journal, especially if your technology is going to have medical uses. And I would like to be involved in any human trials. This technology promises to be revolutionary in medicine."
"Thank you for your consideration doctor, and it's a deal." Dave said with a hint of relief.
Clayborn continued, "Now Ms Mason, I will have a nurse come in with your discharge papers. If you would just give us a few minutes, we will have you out of here. One other thing, it isn't a bad idea for you to avoid being alone for the next few days. You've been through a lot."
"Thank you doctor. I really appreciate what you've done for me."
"You're very welcome." He smiled as he left the room.
On the way out of the hospital, the trio planned for Terry's care.
Denise spoke first. "You should take her this weekend. I have to visit my family. She has enough clothes for a few days, but when I get back I will take her shopping. I assume you don't want to do that anyway, right?"
"Uhh, right." Dave answered. He didn't know the first thing about shopping for women's clothing. Neither did Terry for that matter.
"That should give you both plenty of time to experiment. Do let me know the results." Again, Denise tried again not to emphasize 'experiment' or 'results,' but Dave picked up on a hint of it nonetheless, leaving him feeling confused.
Dave and Terry found themselves alone in Dave's car.
"So, uhm, how is the decontamination going?"
"Technically, you're still on rest and your keycard is still off."
"Come on, please."
"Ok, fine. But we're only talking work for a moment. I don't want to make you sick again. Jim is working on it. The containment field in the isolation lab apparently wasn't strong enough to eliminate all of the nanobots. He is trying to figure out why. Fortunately we haven't found any evidence that they have spread beyond your body. Your house was clean. So was the hospital. That is all I am saying for now though."
Terry nodded. She knew better than to argue with Dave when he had his mind made up, but she was still curious. It shouldn't have been possible for the nanobots to survive.
"So, are we staying at your place or mine? Mine is nicer, you know. Your house is barely furnished as it is."
"Ok, fine, let's go to your place. It's not like I need to get any of my clothes."
They both laughed.
"Did you ever figure out what you wanted to do about your name?" Dave asked.
"Apparently Terry is androgynous. So I thought I would just keep it," Terry replied.
"I'm glad. I can't imagine having to remember to call you something else."
A few minutes later they arrived at what could be described as a small mansion. A gate opened up letting Dave's car in. "Being rich certainly had its perks" Terry thought. They parked and headed inside.
"So what are we doing tonight?" Dave asked.
"I really do want to see how far the transformation went. Denise said my mannerisms and even my speech are feminine now." Terry replied.
"She is right about that." Dave had caught himself watching the sway of her hips as she walked into the house. He wasn't sure he wanted her to know that though. He was surprised at how totally female she had become. A tingling feeling began to spread through his abdomen.
"So would you care for a drink?" Dave asked, trying to think of something else.
"Just a drink? I think I could take the whole bar." she said with a giggle, eliciting a laugh from Dave as well.
Dave poured them a shot and a drink. They both downed the shot and took their drink to the couch. They chatted while they drank.
"You know, since you're wanting to experiment, I bet your alcohol tolerance way down."
"Oh yeah. I saw on my chart, I am down 50 pounds. I think one of the strangest feelings is just how light I am. I haven't weighed 120 pounds since high school. I guess I will have to be careful."
They both began nursing their drinks. An awkward silence had stopped the conversation momentarily.
"Well, you look amazing." Dave said.
Terry blushed at his words and looked away. Dave knew he was avoiding awkward silence with an awkward topic, but he hoped teasing his best friend would make things seem normal. He thought for a moment, got up and grabbed a pad of paper, and then sat back down next to Terry. He scribbled a few words on the paper.
"Blushes at compliments?" Terry asked with a slightly raised voice.
"I am writing down the evidence of your changes. You never used to act like this, and I thought you wanted to document it? You know, for science?" He grinned mischeviously.
"Right. Ok. Well, that is embarrassing." Terry responded with a short giggle.
"How is the drink?"
She giggled again. "I am already a little tipsy."
"Giggles when drunk." Dave spoke as he wrote on the paper.
Terry rolled her eyes, then leaned over to grab the pen, giving Dave a full view of her newly acquired cleavage. Dave's face reddened a little as he felt a twitch in his pants. His body wouldn't let him forget he was in a room alone with a beautiful woman.
Terry, who was now in charge of the pen and paper, sighed as she spoke. "This is hardly scientific, especially with the alcohol. Oh well, we'll do what we can. Let's start with the body, skin differences." She was writing with her right hand as she spoke.
She held out her left arm to Dave and asked innocently, "what do you think?"
Dave responded. "Clearly you have lost most of your arm hair. Your arms are smaller, and your hands are very feminine. You have long thin fingers, and even the shape of your nails is feminine."
He took her hand and arm each in a hand, causing a wave of warmth to spread from Terry's abdomen into the rest of her body. She felt the tingle return between her legs as well, although she didn't understand why. "Maybe it isn't the nanobots," she thought.
Dave began lightly stroking her arm. He had mixed feelings, but his arousal wasn't at all confused. He looked into her eyes.
"Your skin is so soft," he said. "Is it like this everywhere?"
"How would I know," she stammered slightly, feeling overwhelmed.
Dave let his hand slowly travel up her arm to her shoulder and then on to her neck.
"I don't know if I have ever felt softer skin," he added.
He caressed her face, causing her to take a noticeable breath in. Both of their hearts were beating faster. She leaned into him, softly rubbing her face into his hand, and closed her eyes. After a moment he took the hand away from her face, leaving her with a sense of longing.
"Wow, I don't even know how to describe that," she said. She looked up at him, realizing she was shorter than him now. She had never really noticed how good Dave looked with his short brown hair and trimmed beard. He was definitely an attractive man. The tingling between her legs had given way to a building pressure and a feeling of wetness.
"Oh my god", she exclaimed.
It was too hard for her to deny at this point. More than just her body had changed. She knew the signs of arousal in a woman, and she couldn't deny any more that what she had been feeling with Dave was attraction.
"What is it?" Dave asked, slightly worried.
She wrote down something on the pad and let him see. She didn't think she could say it. On the paper she had written "sexuality changes, attracted to men?"
Dave read the paper, then looked back at Terry, unsure what to say. He knew he was feeling it as well, but Terry's recent manhood made it awkward. Looking at her though, it was hard to deny she was beautiful.
Terry looked back into Dave's face, the face of her friend who had shown just how much he cared when she was on death's door. She felt drawn to him and his kindness, and she felt comforted in the knowledge he had taken care of her.
"Are you sure? I mean, don't you need to confirm that scientifically?" Dave asked.
Terry wasn't sure what to say. She was getting too excited to think logically. She had finally begun to realize her position. She was a woman alone with a man, a good looking man, at his house sharing a drink and holding hands.
"I mean, have you ever wondered what a kiss would feel like?" Dave asked. "You know, as a woman?"
"I am wondering now," she answered, looking into his eyes, her lips drawing into a subtle smile.
Dave couldn't help but stare back. Her eyes are beautiful he thought. They were bigger than before, round and innocent looking. She was beautiful. He looked down to see her lips, slightly fuller. He leaned over slowly as her eyes closed.
"What could one kiss hurt?" he whispered.
Their lips touched, neither of them realizing they were still holding hands. They pressed into each other, making their hearts pound. Terry's whole body was tingling. She was nervous, but she didn't want this to stop. They stayed like that for several moments.
Dave began to feel a sense of urgency. He pressed into her lips, moving his hand around back to her face, cupping the back of her neck, gently stroking her soft skin. He knew he wanted her badly. His penis was now straining against his pants. He couldn't believe how excited he was already.
Dave opened his mouth and pushed his tongue forward. Terry responded quickly opening her mouth and accepting his tongue. She moaned softly, surprising herself. She couldn't believe the involuntary noises she was making.
"I can't help but respond like a woman," she thought, as they continued to kiss.
Terry's arousal had turned into a feeling of emptiness. She needed him to be closer to her. She pulled out of the kiss and gave Dave a look of primal hunger. Dave didn't wait for her to speak. He scooped her up and resumed kissing her, carrying her to his bedroom.
Dave let her stand, as he stood behind her, pulling her close. He kissed her neck eagerly. Between the kiss and the prickling of his beard, she was in heaven. She moaned again, loader. Dave unzipped the back of her dress, and she let it fall to the ground.
Dave ran his hands down her side, stopping at her hips. He spun her around and resumed kissing her lips. They held each other close. Terry could feel Dave's erection pressing against her. She thought how she would have felt repulsed a month ago, and yet today, she wanted nothing more than to feel that erection. She imagined it pressing into her, causing her kisses to become more frantic.
Dave laid her down the bed and let a hand brush past her bra, expertly finding a nipple on its way. She moaned again uncontrollably. She had no idea women could be this sensitive.
Dave laid next to her, resuming their 'one' kiss. Terry thought she should feel more nervous, but she knew Dave would take care of her and keep her safe. She felt safe and secure in his arms. She wanted to explore this with him. Dave skillfully unclasped Terry's bra, freeing her breasts. Her nipples were already standing stiff. He slowly felt her left breast, placing a thump on her nipple as he cupped and massaged it.
Terry's back arched as she moaned, breaking their kiss. Her eyes were wide with astonishment. Dave took the opportunity to lean over and gently kiss her nipple, placing his left hand over the other.
She knew she would let him do whatever he wanted to at this point. She was melting in his hands. Her panties were soaking wet. "He hasn't even touched me down there," she thought. What had started with tingling had grown into a deep ache between her legs. She wanted him more than she had wanted anyone in her entire life, but Dave was taking his time. She needed him inside her.
She had grown impatient. She began to take off Dave's clothing. She removed his shirt first, but it only made her want him more. She almost came when she saw his chest. He clearly worked out. His muscular frame had been hidden by his clothing, but topless he was chiseled like a model. Her eyes traveled to his hips, where something about the line of his pelvic muscle made her shudder.
Dave undid his pants, and pulled them down, leaving his underwear. Terry's eyes widened as she saw the rather large tent his penis was making. She began stroking it through his underwear, causing Dave to groan. He no longer cared about Terry's former gender. This was a woman in front of him, and he was going to have her. He would make this woman his the way men have done since the dawn of time.
Dave laid down on top of Terry and resumed playing with her nipples, causing her to moan again. She rocked her hips against Dave's erection, as she wrapped her arms around him and dug her nails into his back.
He couldn't take it anymore. He pulled his underwear off, freeing his erect penis. It stood out and up proudly. Terry felt drawn to it. She was nervous, but she wanted it inside her. He quickly pulled her panties off as well, and pushed her back down with his weight.
Dave slowly let the underside of his penis slide across her wetness, massaging her clit. Terry's hips were bucking, desperately seeking penetration. She had lost the ability to form words. Her world was closing in. All that was in it was her and him, and the incredible pleasure he was giving her.
Dave let the head of his penis touch her entrance, stopping to look into Terry's eyes. She looked back at him, bucking her hips again, except this time she pushed his glans into her slightly. Terry gasped as Dave continued to slowly push his very hard penis inside her, feeling her lips as they closed over every inch of his manhood, finally kissing the base of his shaft.
Terry let out a long moan. She felt complete. Up until that moment, she had was just ok with being a woman. Now she knew, she would never go back, even if she could. She was in heaven.
Dave slowly drew his penis back, feeling Terry squeezing to keep him in as he did so. He then slid it back in again, eliciting another long moan. Dave had repeated the process a few times when Terry's moan and contractions told him she was having an orgasm. He wasn't about to stop with just one though. He had prided himself on his ability to make a woman come, and he wasn't about to let Terry down.
When she settled down, he had began pumping steadily. She was bucking against him, trying to fuck him, just as much as he was fucking her. Terry locked her legs around Dave, trying to draw him in deeper. She wanted him as deep as he could go.
He felt an orgasm building, but he wanted to make sure Terry had another. He held on as much as he could until he felt her contractions milking his penis, sending him over the edge. He pressed himself deeply within her as he unloaded his seed.
Terry could feel the build up in Dave's penis, although she didn't know it meant he would come. When she felt his penis twitching and the extra fluid he had released, it was the hottest thing she had ever experienced. It wouldn't be until later she was reminded she wasn't on any birth control.
They collapsed with Dave still on top of and inside Terry. They lay there like that for several minutes, holding each other. Neither knew what to say, but they both felt love.
The weekend passed quickly, as the two scientists 'experimented' like bunny rabbits every which way possible. The pad they so innocently started writing on quickly began to look more like a Kama Sutra scorecard.
Denise stopped in Sunday evening to see how they were getting along. When they both answered the door in a robe, she smiled broadly.
"Hey you two. How was your weekend?" Denise asked with a hint of mischief.
"Great, I think I am really starting to come to terms with my transformation," Terry replied. She flashed a grin at Dave.
Dave stayed silent, afraid of the wrath of Denise he thought might have to endure for having had sex with a vulnerable Terry.
"How did your 'experiments' go?" This time Denise added heavy emphasis, causing both Terry's and Dave's face to redden.
Denise laughed. "I knew it! Hah! I'm not surprised though. If you had been gay, you would both be married by now anyway."
Terry laughed as Dave scratched the back of his head feeling dumbfounded.
"It's ok Dave. Don't be embarrassed. I am happy for you. I just hope you used birth control. Remember, Doctor Clayborn said you are a healthy woman, Terry. And healthy women can get pregnant."
Terry's eyes widened as Dave was suddenly looking for something on the floor to distract himself with.
Denise laughed "Oh wow, really?" she exclaimed. "Well, I am sure Dave will take responsibility. Don't forget to invite me to the wedding."
The rest of Denise's visit was uneventful, although Terry and David mostly remained in shock, neither of them having given serious consideration to the consequences of their time together.
Nine months later, Denise's words seemed to be prophetic as the newly married couple had their first child. (Denise was the maid of honor.) The Nanos Corporation was in the process of getting FDA approval for a huge number of new treatments, and it appeared that Dave and Terry's dream would come true.
As for the nanobots, Jim Hall did his best to contain the situation, but the truth was he had no idea how the bots had evolved to endure the decontamination processes. Within the year, there were 3 cases of spontaneous gender change around the country, the first of their kind, and the nanobots were implicated. Fortunately the army of lawyers at Nanos had kept everything quiet, at least for now.
But that is a story for another time.
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