Synopsis: Special Agent Scott Irons is a mutant with the Special Mutant Affairs Command and is on a mission to help infiltrate a gang with criminal ties to a terrorist group in the Philippines. Things don’t go according to plan and Scott quickly finds himself over his head. Bodies are swapped and identities are stolen in this tale of action and betrayal.
Author note: The rules governing mutant classifications for this story might seem similar to other stories or universes, however I didn’t follow anyone else’s cannon.
- Class A Mutant: One who’s change is limited to a permanent change to the mutant’s body: A mutant who has blue fur, an extra set of arms, or cat’s eyes.
- Class B Mutant: A mutant whose power limited to his body-Shapeshifting, strength, speed, super senses, regeneration . . .
- Class C Mutant: A mutant who has gained a type of psi-power: Telepathy, empathy, far-sight, astral projection, precognition . . .
- Class D Mutant: Energy manipulation - Shoot lasers from his eyes, or blasts his enemies with fire, teleportation, force shields, telekinesis, elemental control, energy absorption . . .
Chapter One ***
The rain was a steady annoying drizzle, just enough to obscure visibility, but not enough for Scott to turn on his windshield wipers. ‘At least traffic is light this far out from the city,’ Scott thought, as he turned onto the private road that led to the “Farm.” The entrance was easily missed unless you knew what you were looking for due to the wildlife that had been allowed to grow along the public road. Scott’s first impression had been that this was a place seldom visited. It was an impression the Agency had deliberately cultivated.
The private road made a sharp turn to the right and Scott lost sight of anything except the dense underbrush and overhanging trees. Here the rain was almost unnoticeable and Scott was forced to turn on his headlights in the pervasive gloom. The agency’s security team would now have him under observation and Scott knew how jumpy they could be so he maintained a slow steady speed. After a few minutes the road turned to the left and Scott slowed to a stop in front of a heavy wrought iron gate that blocked the drive. In prominent view was a sign with bright red letters that read:
THE USE OF LETHAL FORCE
Scott stopped his Corvette next to a kiosk and rolled down his window. The cold damp air of the Pacific Northwest invaded the warmth of his car causing Scott to suppress a shiver. He pressed his index finger against the digital reader and typed in his PIN. A second later a metallic sounding male voice said, “Good morning, authentic please; Budweiser.”
Scott glanced at his watch checking the date. It was the 3rd of April. This month they were using beer on the odd days and cars on the even days. “Special Agent, Scott Irons; Sierra Alpha 33 Delta Alpha Alpha tack Delta Charlie; Corona.” He replied, using his team identification code and the next type of beer in the alphabet.
After a pause the voice replied, “Agent Irons, you are authenticated and cleared to proceed.” With that the gate started sliding to one side with a faint clanking sound. Scott drove through the gate and after a few minutes he cleared the tree line. The road now sloped down and then leveled off before leading to the “Farm.” The compound ahead of him didn’t look like a farm. It consisted of a series of low brick buildings and an oddly large parking lot. The whole thing was surrounded by a chain-link fence with barbwire along the top. It was called the “Farm,” Scott had been told, because it had once been a secluded farm before the agency bought the land. They’d wasted no time in knocking down the original buildings, but the name had stuck.
When Scott stopped at the next gate it was manned by a pair of tough looking security guards wearing green digi-cammies. “ID card?” The guard asked, while his partner covered Scott with his M-4. Scott handed him the card and the guard placed one end of it into a handheld device. There was a pause and then the device beeped indicating that it had read the chip embedded in the card. The guard now extended the device toward Scott. Without being prompted Scott leaned forward to look into the glass plate on the top of the device. After a moment there was a second beep as the device completed the retinal scan and a light turned green. At this the guard handed Scott his card.
“You’re cleared, have a nice day, sir.”
Once through the Entry Control Point (ECP) Scott drove to the parking lot and noticed that the rain had turned into a light mist. It was mid-morning and the lot was only half full so finding a spot wasn’t a problem. Even so Scott was now in a hurry. He’d spent the last month on R&R waiting for an order to report to the farm. It had finally come in yesterday in the form of a simple text.
Report to work. 3 Apr; 10:00 (L)
He’d needed the downtime to decompress from the cluster fuck the last mission had turned into, but after two weeks he’d been ready to return to duty. He hated D.C. in general and politics in particular. It was even worse when politicians got directly involved with an operation. Scott shook his head just because you were the Chairman of a committee with oversight of the Agency didn’t make you qualified to run an Op or interfere with field work. When he’d checked in he’d been instructed to wait until contacted to return to work and that he’d been reassigned. The agency was forming a new team, SA33DAA-DC, and they’d let him know when they were ready. Most of the members of the agency wouldn’t know what it stood for unless they had the clearance. Scott, however, had the clearance and knew based on the nomenclature that this was going to be an interesting assignment. The SA stood for Special Access which was nothing new for Scott. It simply meant there would be very few people who would know the full scope and nature of the missions they’d be assigned. The first 3 was a standard code for operations and the second 3 meant this was the third operations team in the special access operations section of the agency. The DAA stood for Direct Action Authorized. This was agency speak for the team was authorized to use lethal force when on mission at their own discretion. But the, “tack Delta Charlie” was new for Scott but he knew it stood for Deep Cover.
Scott walked into the operations building passing quickly through a security check point and headed to the elevator. Since this was a single story building most people would have found it odd to have an elevator, but Scott was used to odd things when it came to the agency. The doors slid open and Scott pressed his hand to a glass plate above a bank of buttons. There was a ding and three of the five buttons lit up. Scott pushed the button labeled “T” and the elevator began a smooth descent into the underground labyrinth.
When the door opened Scott saw on the wall across from the elevator the Great Seal of the Special Mutant Affairs Command (SMAC). SMAC was the direct action arm of the Mutant Affairs Agency (MAA). Ignoring the ostentatious symbol Scott walked down the corridor not seeing anyone he recognized. Feeling ready to get back into the thick of things he headed to the team briefing room. He had to swipe his ID card and type in his PIN before he heard a click as the door unlocked. When Scott stepped in he noticed that he wasn’t the first person here, even though he was ten minutes early.
“Kevin! I thought you were working out of the Atlanta Office.” Scott moved forward offering his hand.
“Scott, God, now I know I’m in trouble!”
Scott felt his hand engulfed by the lager man’s callused grip. “Hey, that was just bad luck. And you’re one to talk, weren’t you in Panama when that mutant terrorist group attacked the canal?”
“Sure, and if you’d read the report then you’d know I was the one who stopped them!” Kevin replied, laughing and lifting his hand to make a fist. For a second his dark skin appeared normal then he spread his fingers and electricity arced between them.
“Care to shake,” he said, extending his hand to Scott.
Before Scott could respond a woman’s voice said, “Same old Taser.”
At this Kevin laughed and moved around Scott to greet the tall thin blonde woman wearing a white lab coat.
“Dr. White, it’s good to see you! I didn’t know you’d be on the team.” Kevin exchanged a warm handshake with the doctor and then turned back to Scott. “Scott, this is Dr. Debbie White, she was our team doc, when I was working out of the D.C. office.”
Dr. White stepped around the big African American agent to give Scott a slow once over. “Agent Irons, or should I say Eros? I’ve heard about you.”
For a second Scott thought about offering her a hand but changed his mind since she knew his code name. “Nice ta meet ya Doc.” He touched two fingers to his temple in a mock salute.
“Hi, I’m Chris Collins, I go by CC.” At this Scott noticed that a young man had come in with the doctor. He couldn’t have been more than five feet tall with a lean almost androgynous frame. New team dynamics always being a little awkward Scott moved over to Chris and extended his hand hoping to make him feel welcome. He was surprised at how soft Chris’ hand felt. This wasn’t the hand of an operations agent.
“So what do you do for the agency, Chris?”
“I’m a C8 mutant. However, I’m limited to just two primary psionic talents.”
“I see, and what are. . .” Scott started to ask only to have Dr. White clear her throat.
“I think we should wait until the rest of the team is here before getting into that, CC.”
At her comment Chris seemed to wilt, “Yes, ma’am.”
Scott glanced back and forth between Chris and Dr. White unsure about what was going on. Sensing his friend’s confusion Kevin spoke, “Debbie is more than just a doctor, she’s also the team trainer. In addition to specializing in mutant physiology she is also a mutant.”
Before Scott could respond the door opened again and two more figures entered the room. Scott instantly recognized Director Cox the new SMAC chief. Even though he’d recently been promoted into the position he’d worked for decades in SMAC. His rise from running the training and administration arm to director had been surprising to most agents. He was a tall man with a face that looked like it had been carved from granite. His dark hair was touched with silver at the temples but he emitted a masculine vitality that was almost tangible. Out of the corner of his eye Scott saw Dr. White blush slightly and nod toward the director. She seemed flustered by his presence.
“Agents, please have a seat.”
As Scott moved to take a seat at the table he had his first real look at the brunette who’d followed the Director into the briefing room. She had the athletic build of someone who was into CrossFit and a quiet air of competence that Scott had learned to associate with experienced field agents. She also looked very young, probably only a year or two out of the academy. She wasn’t particularly pretty. Her facial features were an odd mix of too much nose, low cheek bones, and too much chin. The term, “Horse face” popped into Scott’s mind. She was also missing the curves that Scott preferred in the women he dated. Once they were seated around the table the Director started talking.
“This is Special Agent Rhonda Torres. She is your team leader. Rhonda, please begin.”
The director’s words caught Scott off guard he’d been expecting to be the team leader. He quickly suppressed those thoughts and looked at Rhonda.
“You’ve each been selected for this mission based on a review of your psychological profile and mutant abilities. Each of you is a mutant with a power rating of 4 or higher. However, it will be Chris’ power that is key for this assignment, although each of you has a talent that will be needed for the mission.”
Scott glanced at Chris and then back at Rhonda, “What exactly is the assignment? And what do you mean each of you?”
Rhonda gave Scott a level look, intended to quiet him down, and continued. “This is a special access black Op.” She said, without needing to since all of the agency’s operations in this directorate were considered ‘black.’ Rhonda paused as if to make sure she had everyone’s attention. “The only people who know what I’m about to tell you are in this room. You will all be answering to me and I report to Director Smith.”
An op this tightly compartmentalized wasn’t odd but Scott couldn’t resist the urge to annoy Rhonda. There was something about her serious brass-tacks approach that rubbed him the wrong way.
“So what do we do if something happens to you?”
“It’s your job, Agent Irons, to make sure nothing happens to Agent Torres.” Director Cox said giving Scott a hard look.
At this Scott nodded. Cox had only been the director for six months but he had a ruthless reputation. Scott remembered going through his training program when he’d joined . . . Surviving that six month course had been harder than anything Scott had ever done in the field.
“We’ll be going after a mutant gang known as the Fists of Anarchy located here in Seattle. They have been dealing a new drug called, “Bliss” for the last six months and have recently been recruiting expensive mutant mercenary muscle. Our job is to find out why and either pass the information on to local law enforcement or to stop them if needed.”
“Why does the SMAC care about a local mutant gang?” Kevin asked. “Isn’t this something the FBI or the U.S. Marshals could handle?”
“They came onto our radar because they’ve been bringing the drugs in from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, to be exact. The money from the trade is being used to fund a mutant terrorist group in the Philippines. The agency doesn’t care about the local gang, but we need to end the cash flow financing the terrorist ring.” Then the Director added, “But now, with this new development, we are concerned that they might try something big here in Seattle.” After he spoke the room was silent for a few seconds. Then Rhonda picked up a remote control and hit a button.
At the front of the room the video wall came alive. The image on the screen was of an extremely attractive woman with fiery red hair. She was wearing tight fitting dark leather and her hair was moving in a halo around her head in defiance of gravity as she floated a few feet off the ground. But that wasn’t the most disturbing thing about the picture. The woman was splattered in gore and lying on the ground around her were the dismembered bodies half a dozen soldiers.
“This is Cindy Snow, aka - Carnifex. She’s a high priced Merc with dozens of confirmed kills and even more unconfirmed. We don’t have a full report on her powers but she’s a powerful E-Class energy manipulator and might have physical powers that could be either a B or C class mutant. Don’t take her lightly she could be as high as a level seven or eight.”
Rhonda glanced around the room before continuing. “She’s extremely dangerous however, she’s got a weakness. Apparently, she’s really into sex and I mean really into it. She’s been observed participating in orgies and from reports we’ve put together she tries to get laid once a day. We’re not sure if it’s a factor of her mutation or just a lifestyle choice, but she goes through men faster than most women change their socks.”
“Well, that explains why Eros is here,” Kevin said, looking over at Scott with a smirk.
Scott shrugged, “I can’t help it if women love me, but I thought I was here to protect Agent Torres.”
“I disagree,” Dr. White chimed in, “as a C4 Projective Empath, I’d say you can control how women feel about you. A pity your ability is limited to the opposite gender.”
At this Scott affected a hurt expression. “Doc, I’m not just a C4 Empath, I’m stronger and faster than a norm, low velocity bullets don’t hurt me and I can regenerate from most wounds in minutes to hours depending on how serious. That makes me a hybrid, B6-D4 mutant.”
At this Rhonda interrupted, “We’ll go over each agent’s abilities later. For now I need you to focus.” Once she had their attention she continued, “The mission is a Delta Charlie, or a Deep Cover mission and Carnifex is the key. According to Intel she’ll be in Seattle by next week, ten days from now at the most, and will need to make contact with the Fists. Our job is to intercept her before she makes contact and replace her with one of our agents.”
“Ah,” Scott said with a smirk and a glance at Rhonda. “That means you must be a shapeshifter.”
“I’m not a mutant,” Rhonda replied haughtily.
“Then how will we replace Carnifex?” Scott asked. “I can’t shape shift and Taser there is an D7 energy manipulator and very good at zapping people. But he can’t do undercover work. The doc isn’t a field agent and neither is Chris.”
Before anyone could reply Director Cox cleared his throat. “You’re correct Agent Irons but we won’t be needing a shapeshifter, we’ve got something better.” At this he nodded to Rhonda, “Please continue Agent Torres.”
“Eros, you’ll make contact with Carnifex. You shouldn’t have any trouble seducing her. Once you’ve got her alone and off guard we’ll capture her and I’ll take her place. After that I’ll make contact with the Fists and bring you along as my boy-toy. The mission parameters are deep cover. The objective is to get actionable intelligence on the terrorist group operating out of Mindanao.”
“You’ve said you’re not a shapeshifter, that you’re not even a mutant. How will you replace Carnifex?” Kevin asked, sounding puzzled. “You look nothing like her.”
“That’s where I come in,” CC said, speaking up. When Rhonda nodded for him to continue CC looked at Kevin. “I’m a C8 telepath but I’m limited to two primary abilities. I can cause anyone within about twenty feet of me to fall into a deep coma. They’ll stay in that coma until I or another telepath wakes them.”
“That doesn’t sound like level 8 power.” Scott muttered.
“It’s my second ability that caused the level 8 rank. Once someone is out I can drain their mind. I can pull all of their memories, personality, and sense of self into me. I can hold up to five minds at one time.” There was a stunned silence as the team regarded the unassuming little man. “What I’ve taken I can put back or if I’m holding more than one person, I can put them into whichever body I choose.”
Kevin broke the silence with low whistle. “I’d call that a level 8 ability.”
“Let me get this right,” Scott said, “you can take a person’s mind and put it into another person’s body?”
“As you can see,” Director Cox interrupted, “this is an ability that the Agency doesn’t want the public finding out about. It gives us a huge advantage in our mission to protect the public from rogue mutants and terrorist organizations. We can have agents replace anyone and unlike a shapeshifter who can physically mimic a mutant, Agent Torres will have all of Carnifex’s powers while in her body.” Director Cox nodded at Rhonda, “Agent Torres has been working with both Agent Collins and Dr. White getting used to Agent Collins’s power and learning how to adapt quickly to a new body. This is why she’s the team lead, and why it’s your job, Taser and Eros, to back her up.”
Scott glanced at Agent Torres noting her olive skin and the slight fold at her eyes and blurted out. “You’re Philippine aren’t you? I bet you speak Tagalog.”
Rhonda grinned showing perfectly white teeth, “Of course. If we’re going to infiltrate a terrorist group in the Philippines it would be a good idea if someone spoke the language.”
Kevin and Scott exchanged glances thinking about the implications. Then Director Cox stood up, “I’ll leave the rest of the mission brief to your Team Leader. Agent Torres, you’ve got one week to get ready and into position.”
Scott looked over Kevin and grinned. “It’s been a couple of years, Taser, are you sure you’re up for this?”
“Talk’s cheap Eros, let me see what you’ve got.” The big black agent replied.
Scott blurred forward driving a jab into Kevin’s ribs. The big man grunted at the impact and staggered back a step. Scott danced back before Kevin could counter punch but as he did electricity shot from Taser hand. Scott tried to dodge to one side, but as inhumanly fast as he was the electricity followed him. When it struck, Scott arched his body, every muscle locking up for a second.
“Damn it, I forgot how much that hurts.” he growled. “When did you learn to make it follow your target like that?”
“A couple of years ago, it was Dr. White how helped me figure it out.” Taser said, rubbing is stomach. “Nice jab.”
“Next time I won’t pull it. So, what’s the doc’s story?”
“Hmmm, what do you mean?” Taser flicked a hand toward Scott and more electricity arced out. This time Scott was ready and jumped forward doing a front flip over the bolt of energy and before Taser could cause it to circle back around he swept Kevin’s feet from under him. The bigger man turned the fall into a roll but lost control of the lightning bolt and it slammed into the far wall of the gym.
“Torres said everyone on the team was a mutant except her. So what is Dr. White?”
“I think she’s classified as an B5 because she’s far smarter than even a genius. I hear she’s scored perfectly on every IQ test they’ve given her. She also has x-ray vision, like an instant MRI, so she is a D2 as well. She’s exceptionally good at getting the most out of anyone she’s training.”
“Like helping you direct your lighting?”
“Yup, or this.” Kevin flicked both hands toward Scott with fingers spread apart. As he did five smaller bolts darted from each hand arcing toward Scott.
“Shit!” Scott cursed trying to dive over the energy again. This time Kevin was ready and caught Scott mid-air. The force of the bolts threw him back five feet and he hit the mat twitching and jerking as his muscles locked up.
“Fuck! That hurts.” Scott climbed to his feet shaking his head ruefully.
“It’s a good thing you heal fast, Eros.” Rhonda said, announcing her presence and drawing a laugh from Kevin.
“You said to meet down here for training. Care to go a couple of rounds?” Scott asked trying to sound innocent. Just then the door opened and Dr. White with CC in tow stepped into the Agency training room.
“Ah, everyone’s here,” she said. “Now agent Torres has been working with CC for a couple of weeks getting used to his power. We need to acclimate you as well, Scott.”
Kevin glanced over at Scott and grinned. “Why would you need to acclimate Scott? I thought Rhonda was going undercover on this mission.”
“I am, but once we’re on mission we’ve got to be ready for anything.” Rhonda replied. “Every plan needs a back up option.”
“Besides,” Dr. White interjected, “Agent Torres needs more practice getting used to different abilities. We’ve been getting her used to using telekinesis, since we assess that’s the primary ability Carnifex uses, but there are some indications that Carnifex is a hybrid mutant. We know she’s an D-class but we suspect she’s also got physical abilities. She might even have some empathic ability based on the ease with which she attracts sexual partners.”
At this Scott started backing up, “Hey, hold on. Have you seen how hot she is? I mean from that picture, even covered in blood, she was smoking. A girl like that wouldn’t need special abilities to get a guy in the sack.”
“Never the less, we need to prepare.” Dr. White stated. “CC if you’d be so kind.”
“Hold on a sec. . .” Scott started to say and then slumped to the ground.
“Holly crap, you didn’t even move.” Kevin exclaimed looking at CC.
“Why would I need to move?” CC asked, “My power is psionic, as long as I’m in range I can put anyone without psi-shields to sleep. I don’t even need to see them. However, to do a transfer I need skin contact.”
“I’m ready when you are.” Rhonda announced moving to lie down next to Scott on the mat. A moment later her eyes were closed and she was unconscious.
CC glanced at Dr. White who nodded. “Taser doesn’t need the training but both Rhonda and Scott do. Go ahead.”
The little man moved forward and knelt between Scott and Rhonda. He reached down pressing a hand into each of their foreheads and closed his eyes. He remained that way for a few seconds and then sighed. He opened his eyes and stood up looking at Dr. White.
“All done. Shall I wake them all at once or one at a time?”
“Best do it one at a time. Let’s start with Agent Torres.”
“That’s it? Just a few seconds and you’ve switched them?” Kevin sounded a little awed.
“You were expecting flashing lights?” CC sounded amused. Then the little man nodded toward Scott’s body. A moment later there was a deep masculine groan. Scott’s body stirred and sat up. Rhonda lifted a hand to rub her eyes and then paused to look at it. Then she glanced down at her chest before looking over at Dr. White.
“You know, this is the first time you’ve put me in a man’s body.” Rhonda slowly, carefully, stood up and stretched.
“Scott?” Kevin asked giving his old friend a questioning look.
“No. I’m Rhonda.” Scott’s body started to move into a series of yoga stretches Kevin had never seen Scott try. “I feel bursting with energy and every sense seems supercharged.” she noted moving from one pose to another. “I’m much more flexible than I was expecting. What kind of training does Eros normally do?”
Kevin shrugged, “He’s been into martial arts for as long as I’ve known him.
“This is the first time I’ve been in the body of mutant whose abilities are primarily physical. I can’t wait to see how strong I am.” Then she touched her throat, “My new voice will take some getting used too.” Rhonda glanced down at her still sleeping body then over at Dr. White. “He’s the backup. Are you going to wake him now or did you want to wait awhile?”
“Now, I think. You’ve been in several mutant bodies learning to how rapidly adjust. We need him to get comfortable in a woman’s body in case something happens to you and he has to take your place and go undercover. I also think it will be good for him to see what it’s like to be a normal human.” Dr. White mused.
“Wait, you’ve been in other mutant bodies?” Kevin asked, feeling a little slow and then added, “Scott’s the backup for Rhonda? Ha! I can’t wait to see his reaction when you tell him that tidbit.”
“Of course. How else was I supposed to train for this mission? Waking up in a new body for the first time is shocking. Also, learning to move things with just a thought took some training. Just like learning to shoot electricity from my fingers. Normally, we leave whoever is in my body asleep while I train. It avoids unnecessary questions and awkwardness.”
“Electricity? Wait, have you been in my body?”
Rhonda snickered in a very un-Scott way, “No, Taser, I’m just messing with you. As far as you know.”
Taser gave Rhonda a suspicious look and shook his head, “Didn’t you just say this is the first time you’ve been a guy?” He glanced over at CC who just grinned.
“Go ahead and wake Scott up.” Rhonda folded her arms across her chest and smirked down at her sleeping body.
“Ugh.” Rhonda’s body groaned and a delicate hand reached up to rub her temple. “Did anyone get the number of the truck that hit me?” Abruptly, Scott sat up and looked around, “Wait, what?” He looked down at his chest and clutched at his new tits through the t-shirt and sports bra and gasped.
“Easy on the assets, Eros.”
Scott glanced up and then squinted at his old body. “Fuck. What the fuck did you do to me?” Slowly, awkwardly, he climbed to his feet. “Why does my vision suck?”
“That body has twenty-twenty eye sight, it’s just the senses you’re used to are much sharper than a normal human’s senses.” Dr. White replied.
Rhonda circled Kevin slowly, her senses on hyper-alert waiting for him to make the first move. Kevin faked a jab throwing electrical energy toward her. For Rhonda time seemed to slow down. She dove under the lightning strike closing half the distance to Kevin by turning the dive into a front roll. Coming to her feet she continued the upward momentum in a jump that would be impossible for normal a human.
Kevin reacted quickly stepping to one side and unleashing a second arc of electrical energy. In the air Rhonda had no opportunity to dodge the strike. She felt it hit her left shoulder and instantly her body’s mutant gift dampened the affect. She grunted in pain landing in the spot Kevin had just vacated. The smell of burnt hair and t-shirt filled her nostrils as she lunged toward Kevin using a flying punch.
Blue-white energy coalesced in front of Kevin intercepting Rhonda’s strike and pain arced through her fist in an explosion of force and sound. Undeterred, Rhonda spun around dropping low and kicking out a leg. The spinning leg sweep was too fast for Kevin to track and easily knocked his legs out from under him. He hit the mat hard and tried to lift a hand but Rhonda was on him grabbing his chin with one hand and the back of his head with the other while dropping a knee to Kevin’s chest.
Rhonda twisted slightly and Kevin slapped the mat with his free hand.
“You got me, again.”
Rhonda stood up and then offered Kevin a hand. “You have good control and I didn’t expect the energy shield you used.”
Kevin grinned and took Rhonda’s hand. “I’ve been working on defenses. Everyone expects me to just shoot lightning bolts.”
“Powers are fine, but the real test of a fighter is what she can do with and without abilities. Learning to fight without these enhancements gives me an advantage now.”
“You seem to be adjusting quite well.” Dr. White noted, looking up from the clipboard where she’d been taking notes.
Kevin and Rhonda both turned to look at the doctor. “Yeah, normally I’m only in a new body for an hour or two. I’m finding that the longer I’m in this body the more natural it feels.”
The doctor nodded. “Yes, as I thought. You have been a man for just over twenty eight hours and already you are moving in a more masculine way. Even your speech patterns are changing. I’d like to have you take a few tests to see if your thought patterns are shifting.”
“Sure. Are you concerned about a long term swap? The plan is for me to spend anywhere from months to years as Carnifex.”
“We haven’t done any true longitudinal testing. The longest swap, using CC’s powers is one month. There were no unanticipated side effects. No loss of memory or change in base personality. There were a number of secondary personality changes but those were expected.”
“How is Scott doing?” Kevin asked trying to hide the smirk. He remembered the look on Scott’s face when he was told they’d stay swapped for a day or two and had to hold in the laughter.
“He isn’t adjusting as well as Rhonda. I don’t know if it’s because Rhonda is more used to swapping bodies, if the female mind is more agile and better suited to changing circumstances, or if it’s just his poor attitude.”
Rhonda grabbed a towel from the side of the mat and started drying off. “It could be any or a combination of all three. Have you done anything to motivate him?”
“What would you suggest?”
“I’ve been talking to CC. I think I know just the thing.
Scott climbed out of the lap pool trying not to wince at the way his one piece swimming suit clung to his body and was stretched tight against his flat crotch. He never liked clothes that were tight in the crotch but now it felt like he had no choice. He was sure that part of the reason Dr. White insisted that he did an hour in the pool swimming was to force him into clothes that reminded him of his missing equipment. He was also keenly aware that Rhonda had shaved her lower regions and the suit displayed his camel toe for anyone bothering to look.
“Stupid fucking girl swimming suit.”
His body hummed with endorphins from the workout and he had to admit that Rhonda might be horse-faced but her body was in amazing shape. Scott’s metabolism plus his mutation meant that he didn’t have to be a gym rat to have an incredibly fit body, but he’d always enjoyed working out. Rhonda’s body on the other hand needed the exercise to stay in shape. She’d also made it clear that if he didn’t stick to her workout plan while they were training she’d make his life hell. Scott squinted up at the clock.
“An hour and ten minutes in the pool. She can’t bitch about that.” Then he shook his head feeling the long braid slide across his back. “This sucks.”
“What sucks? Being a woman?”
Scott looked over at CC and Dr. White as they stood up from where they’d been watching him. “I didn’t see you there.” Scott muttered hating the whiny sound of his voice and his duller senses. In his body he’d have heard them and smelled them before spotting them. He was rarely surprised. “And no. I mean being a woman is weird. My balance is off. I’ve got parts that jiggle where they shouldn’t and I’m missing things that ought to be there . . . but no. It’s the loss of my powers. Everything seems dull and colorless. Smells aren’t as potent, my hearing lacks depth and richness, and I’m slower and soooooo weak.”
Dr. White gestured at the chair she’d just been using, “Please, have a seat.”
Scott shrugged, even if Rhonda’s tits were smaller than what he preferred in sexual partners he was hyper aware of how his boobs bounced and moved. Particularly, in a swimming suit that lacked the support of a bra. He also noticed that CC’s eyes were glued to his chest. He picked up a towel dried off and then moved to the chair and wrapped the towel around his shoulders using it like a blanket to help hide his chest.
“Okay. What now?”
“I think I’ve been approaching your training incorrectly. I wanted to acclimate you to a female body since you are the backup and there is a small chance you might have to become Carnifex. I’ve been having you do physical activities designed to help your mind adjust to your body. This approach worked well with Rhonda. She has adapted her fighting skills to incorporate the use of your powers. The way she holds herself, her mannerisms, and even the way she moves, she is becoming more masculine.” Then the doctor gestured at Scott, “Just look at you, with your legs spread in a most un-ladylike way. Women don’t put their private parts on display like that.”
For a moment Scott thought about pressing his thighs together then obstinately refused. “I’m not much of a lady doc. I didn’t agree to be Rhonda’s backup. Just focus on training her and things will work out.”
“Perhaps, but you are a part of the team and need to be ready.”
Scott folded his arms beneath his breasts and glared.
The doctor shrugged, “We didn’t want to alarm you earlier since it is very unlikely. However, you should know that a plan never survives first contact with the enemy. If something happens to Rhonda you are going to take her place as Carnifex. We will, of course, swap you out as soon as practical but you might end up spending a few days in her body. You need to be ready.” The doctor looked over at CC. “We need to do more to train Scott’s mind. I think an approach similarly to the way we train telepaths would work well in this case.”
Scott glanced at CC, “How will you do that?”
“I’ll absorb your mind again. While I’m holding it I can put in a psionic blocks and compulsions. Then I’ll put your mind back in Rhonda’s body. Your job will be to beat down the blocks and resist the compulsions. I’ll be working with you to, teaching you mental disciplines to help you.”
“Wait no messiiinn . . .”
Scott slumped in his chair and CC grinned over at the Doctor. “I love doing that while they’re talking.
Dr. White clucked her tongue, “Don’t be petty, dear.”
CC placed a hand on Scott’s forehead and concentrated; nearly a minute passed before he dropped his hand and stepped back. “All done.”
A moment later Scott’s eyes fluttered open. “. . . ing with my mind!”
“How do you feel?”
“Fine.” Scott looked between the two, “You did something, didn’t you?”
“Tell me your name?” Dr. White asked.
“It’s Rhonda Torres.”
“And are you male or female?”
“I’m a woman. Come on doc, what’s going on?”
“Wow, you’ve gotten better with that CC. He doesn’t even realize what he said.”
“I’ve substituted Rhonda Torres for Scott Irons in his mind. He thinks he’s saying Scott but he’s actually saying Rhonda. I did the same for his gender.”
Scott got to his feet his face turning red, “What are you talking about?”
Debbie White pulled out her phone and set it to record. “Tell me your name and gender, please.”
“I’m Rhonda Torres and I’m a woman. Now what’s going on?”
Debbie handed the phone to Scott and pushed play. Scott watched the video and almost dropped the phone when he heard what he’d said. “What the FUCK!”
“In your mind you think you’re saying one thing when you’re actually saying something else. That’s the mental block. You’re job now is to break the block. You’ll need to record yourself, but once you can say that you are Scott Irons and that you’re a man, I’ll consider having CC to return you to your body.”
“No way doc! You said a day! Besides, this is embarrassing.”
“Breaking down mental barriers is one of the exercises we use to train telepaths. Learning to build those mental shields and breaking others down is a great way to strengthen the mind and will.”
Scott wanted to argue but he shut his mouth and handed the phone back to Debbie.
“Now, be a good girl, go get showered and meet Tiffany for your makeup and etiquette lessons.”
“Yes ma’am.” Scott said, spun around on his toes, and hurried into the changing room hips moving in an exaggerated sexy gait.
“Very well done, CC. He acted like having makeup and etiquette lessons are normal. Did you do something to his mannerisms?”
“Yeah, blocked his normal male mannerisms and added Tiffany’s. Now when he moves he will instinctively move the way Tiffany does. She’s one of the most feminine women in the facility. I also added a compulsion to wear dresses and to look and talk as elegantly as possible. I think that’s why he was happy about getting those new lessons.”
Dr. White shook her head, “The most fascinating part is that he hasn’t noticed anything different. How long before he breaks down the blocks?”
“The way I built them? A day or two if he works at it. Also once he has then he’ll be able to gradually start noticing the other things. From there it’ll be interesting to see if he wants to break down those barriers or if he’d rather keep his feminine mannerisms.”
Rhonda slid into the driver’s seat of Scott’s car and fired up the Corvette’s big V8 enjoying the deep throated growl of raw American horse power. She was carful to take it easy since she wasn’t used to the sports car. “So this is what it feels like to be a mutant special agent on Spec Ops pay.” The Agency had a normal pay scale for its employees but then there was the specialty pay. Powerful mutants got more money as did Agents with higher levels of training. Scott was obviously at the top of the pay chart.
Rhonda felt a flash of jealousy. “If Eros wasn’t such a scatter brained dip shit he could be the Director someday.” She shook her head at the wasted opportunity and the lack of ambition. Instead she focused on keeping the powerful machine within the speed limit. It took over an hour to get to the non-descript coffee shop, one in a thousand in the Seattle area.
When she entered the shop a couple of the other patrons, big rough looking guys, glanced at her and then away. ‘That’s right bitches. I’m a bad ass guy.’ She felt a surge of pride. Normally when she showed up at a place like this the glances were predatory. The men didn’t care if she wasn’t very pretty, they just saw tits and a pussy. Now there was a quick evaluation and then a look away. Her posture screamed confidence and the large athletic male body she wore warned the other customers that she wasn’t someone to mess with.
“I’ll take a double espresso.”
“Sure. Can I get a name?”
The barista winked at Rhonda. “I’ll have that ready in a minute. Is there anything else you . . . want? I’m happy to service-er-serve my customers.”
‘Wow, I wasn’t even using Eros’ powers on her. That’s a little ridiculous, no wonder Scott has such a huge ego.’
“Just the coffee. I’ll be right back, if that’s okay. I need to grab something from my locker in the Y.” As she spoke Rhonda made eye contact and using Eros’s empathic power pushed a sense of boredom at the teenager girl.
“Sure. You can use that door. It brings you in behind the main desk.”
One of the unique features of this coffee shop was that it shared a building with a YMCA. Rhonda hurried to the lockers by the main desk. She pulled out a key and opened the locker using her large male body to block it from view. The only thing in the locker was a cell phone and a charger. She grabbed both and after locking the locker returned to the coffee shop.
Once settled into a table she plugged the phone into the charger and powered it up. She noticed she had one missed text message.
Unknown: It’s been three days. Report.
Rhonda felt her heart race. The Shadow Lords were both patient and powerful. She still couldn’t believe they’d reached out to her, a normal human, right after she graduated from the academy. At first she’d thought it was a test being run by SMAC to see if she was susceptible to being turned. Then she’d assumed she was being recruited into an internal affairs arm of SMAC. It seemed obvious to Rhonda that with its vast power SMAC needed a way to police it’s agents so they didn’t abuse their authority. Over time she’d come to realize the organization calling itself, “The Shadow” wasn’t part of SMAC. It was bigger. Her contact called himself a “Shadow Lord” and he’d been willing to show her how powerful the organization was and what it could do for her. Once she learned how much they could help her with her career in return for her loyalty she’d leapt at the opportunity.
Rhonda: The plan is proceeding. I’m training. We are waiting for word that the subject has arrived.
After she pushed send Rhonda sipped at her coffee and surfed through Scott’s phone. ‘Wow, how many women is he seeing?’
Dr. White had insisted that they pretend to be each other which meant trading phones, clothes, and even cars. The last had caused Scott to throw a very feminine temper-tantrum. Evidently he was emotionally attached to his car. Rhonda shook her head. Scott was handsome, but there was no way so many women would be interested unless he was using his powers.
“God, men have it so easy. Just fuck and go. No concerns about getting pregnant, being called a slut, or having periods.” She mused quietly under her breath while looking through Scott’s text messages. “Too bad I’m not due to start for another two weeks. I’d love to watch Scott deal with my period.” The idea made her chuckle. Just then the phone buzzed.
Unknown: Change of plan. While the subject is powerful, the better opportunity is within the Agency.
Rhonda felt a flash of intense anger. She’d risked everything when she made the deal with the Shadow. There was no way she was going to give up on her goal. A powerful mutant body would give her what she’d always wanted. As Special Agent Rhonda Torres, there was only so much she could do or how high she could go within the Agency. Then additional messages started flowing in and she felt her first thrill of excitement.
“Oh, now this is interesting.”
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