They finally confirmed it. My form was one of the extinct Rhynchocephalians order. That probably doesn't mean anything to you, so let me start over.
On the morning of the Change I was awakened by a loud yell from my father, now a low-degree bear. My mom, Changed into a large tan rabbit, was startled and leapt straight into the wall, knocking herself unconcious for ten minutes.
My sister Amanda had turned into a catmorph, and her fraternal twin Ruth into a dog. They were still sleeping, curled up like normal lazy animals. Amanda says she woke first, realized what had happened, and started figuring out the extent of her Change. She was going to need some new bras, as her mid-degree form had four breasts, but she rather liked her longhair orange tabby coat and later decided to go nude like all her friends.
Ruth woke next, confused by the lack of colors. She had gone low-degree, but her head was almost completely Golden Lab. Amber was up on her bed, trying to figure out this new dog that smelled like Ruth. I had thought her voice was high, loud, and whiny before the Change.
The whole family gathered at my door to see what I was, but I had crawled under my covers, and all they could see was a blue tailtip. Finally, mom shooed everyone else to breakfast, and pulled the covers back. There, in my place, was a rotted skeleton.
Just kidding. I had turned into a lizard.
Yep, a lizard. If I had thought about it before that day, I probably would have picked some kind of mammal, maybe a hamster or a rhino. Somehow, though, this lizard form felt right in a way the others wouldn't have.
Anyway, she left me alone and went to breakfast too. When I finally came awake, I uncurled a bit, and realized that I was uncurling. I was dark green, light on the underside; my upper lip was rather like a turtle's beak, and I had a tail. I grabbed my robe and went out to the kitchen with a grin. Saw the menagerie. Turned around without a word, and turned on the living room TV.
The NBC affiliate was on a test pattern with an indian that looked like a wolf. Whoever drew that quick sketch must have had a great sense of humor. The ABC station's Action Seven News was on a replay of the President's national address, and I thought, "Gee, he managed to turn into a bald eagle. What a media-feeding phony." The CBS channel was having a roving cameraman wandering the halls of the station, following an orange fox that could only be Bill Wood, interviewing people at random. The security guard-turned-warthog, the editor-turned-mouse, and others. It was no surprise to find that the weather woman, Robin Marshment, had... Well, let's just say that "red-breasted" didn't do her justice.
After breakfast, I took a shower. I was lucky, because I was the only one that wouldn't need fifteen or twenty towels. Of course, I took this opportunity to examine myself fully.
I would later be classed as mid-high-degree, as I was mostly human structurally, but my appearance was completely reptilian. All hair was gone, which was something of a blessing. I had long thin fingers, three and a thumb on each hand, with small nail-claws. This was going to make typing a bit harder, but that's no matter.
Besides the small row of spines on the back of my neck, the biggest change was my tail. A little longer than my legs, and thick as my arm, it was blue at the tip, breaking into blue patches and speckles, turning green by the upper third.
I stepped into the warm stream and sighed, it felt so good on my back, dripping down to my tail. I turned around, and felt the water cascsding down my front. A rather unusual sensation caused me to look down. I had turned a warm rich golden brown, but what caught my attention was a complete lack of "twig and berries" as Simon of SNL fame had once put it. I gasped quietly and bent my tail forward between my legs to see more closely. My finger ran over a small opening.
The cloaca is a wonderful thing. A small crescent-shaped horizontal slit, the cloacal vent empties the cloacal chamber, where ural, fecal, and seminal matters come together to be expunged. The monotremes, reptiles, birds, and fish all have members with cloacas, and it can easily be mistaken for a vagina by the uninformed.
I thought I was a woman.
After drying off and putting on my robe again, I looked up reptile vets in the phone book. Finding only two, a Chester Blaise and a Reginald Lacerno, I called the latter, knowing that most people would be calling Blaise. Ruth was playing outside with Amber, who was completely freaked out, and Amanda was drawing herself in the mirror. I was so very relieved as the bullmorph doctor told me all about cloacas.
Enough about my nether regions. The summer was fun, as I learned how better to control my color-shifting, which seemed to be natural and not a Power. The biology department at UNM decided that my form was one of the Rhynchocephalians order, which, except for the Tuatara, had been extinct until the Change. There were about five known Rhynchocephalians (I love that word) given new life by the weird occurrence that early June morn.
Apparently, the Rincho-sef-aliens (repeat three times a day for good measure) had beaklike upper lips like mine, and my species had a chameleonic skin-changing ability, though my blue tail pigmentation seemed to have no use. More tests were run, and it was discovered that my "third eye" (I didn't mention I had one?) helped me choose the right color for a situation somehow.
One day in early August, I was resting on the roof, basking like lizards do, watching the birdmorphs heading to and away from the airport two miles away. I had a clear view of the Sandia Mountains, where Albuquerque's TV and radio signals were broadcast.
I yawned, stuck out my long thin tongue to catch the breeze, when it happened.
The back of my hand tingled, and when I looked at it, greenish static appeared on my handscales. I concentrated, and it formed a circle. I heard a faint buzzing in my ears. After a week or two, I had learned to pick up and process radio and TV indoors, though it still only appeared in shades of green and brown. It seemed to be my only Power, until school started again.
The first few weeks of classes were, to put it delicately, interesting. Mr. Fabrega, my Latin teacher, had turned into a european hamster (Cricetus cricetus), and his wife, who taught Spanish in mid-school, had become a black cat. Mr. Kailer, my new history teacher, had become a mid-degree ratmorph that day so long ago, and had adapted extremely well, sharing his anecdotes as the previous class had heard them.
That September, right after my 18th birthday, my instincts awoke. I had heard of animal instincts being seperate before, but mine seemed to be mathematical. In Algebra2, I looked at y=2x2+12x-3 and heard the roots in my head. I shrugged and worked out the problem, and it matched what I had heard.
Pretty nifty, right? I sure thought so, as my homework was a breeze. They hadn't implemented Change classes and counseling that year, but were planning it for the next.
College would definitely be interesting.
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