Chapter 15

Megan stretched groggily and opened her eyes. The hold of sleep on her was still strong enough that she didn't feel ready to move.

Her memory returned, and with it a sense of alarm. Shit!! she thought. They hit me with a sleep dart! They must have been watching the ship! Sissy, we have to get out of here...

Confusion flooded her when she realized she was in an enclosed room, not outdoors. She and Sissy had been near the ship when Sissy went down with a sleep dart. Then one hit Megan. She'd tried to pick it out of her, hoping she hadn't got a full dose. They must have caught me! she screamed at herself.

She tried to rise, and felt physical confusion on top of mental. Something seemed wrong with her body.

Her jaw dropped as her arm came into view. She froze into immobility.

Her arm ended at mid forearm. There was no hand. The stub of her arm ended in a padded paw of the type she had seen on the "dogs."

No, she thought, no, no, no, no...

In near panic, she kicked her legs into view. As she'd feared, both legs ended above the knee, with paws similar to those on her arms -- she found that both arms were shortened now.

They turned me into a dog! Why?? And what did they do with Sissy?

And where are my clothes?? she asked herself, growing still more frightened and angry. There was no sign of her flight suit anywhere. Nor her shorts, or shirt. Nor her underwear. Megan gritted her teeth in fury. The violation of her privacy involved in stripping her, knowing that men, the "gods," had done it, angered her almost more than the involuntary surgery to which she had been subjected. No man had ever seen her naked, and she'd intended that none ever would.

She whipped her head around at an unexpected noise, and saw that a roomful of other "dogs," surgically reduced women like herself, were behind her, all apparently asleep. One of them had made a snorting sound in her sleep. That had been the noise.

The dogs all shared the same large, padded mat, about fifteen feet square, that Megan had been sleeping on. Megan tried to roll onto her other side for a better look, and the discomfort on her backside resolved into a tail that seemed to have been grafted, somehow, onto her backside at the upper end of her buttocks. Like the tails all of the "dogs" she had seen had sported. Damn it, she thought, damn it!

The oddest thing was that though she hadn't realized the tail was there, its presence felt somehow natural, as if it belonged there. Certainly there was no pain from it, nor from her amputations. Obviously some recovery time had been involved. She had absolutely no sense of time having passed since being shot with the dart while trying to help Sissy. But clearly weeks must have gone by.

She rolled the other way, off the mat, and, much more easily than she expected, got up to stand on her four shortened limbs. While feeling very odd, it somehow also felt natural to be standing that way. Like the tail, it seemed right. More mysteries to attribute to the unremembered time since the dart.

She regarded her surroundings, struggling to stay calm. She was in a room that had no visible door, nor any windows. Soft light came from glow-globes in the ceiling. There were bowls at one side of the room, each seeming full of food or white liquid she assumed must be milk, each one directly below a nozzle from the ceiling that Megan suspected must refill them. There was a portable toilet of an unusual squat design... it occurred to Megan that the toilet was shaped in just such a way that she would be able to use it, straddling it with her abbreviated legs. There were three metal pipes, a horizontal one hanging from two vertical ones attached to the ceiling, whose purpose eluded Megan until she saw the drains below them. Shower, she decided. There was nothing else in the room, no furniture of any sort.

Examining the other women, the clones, more closely, she saw that there were seven of them. More specifically, there was one for each Aurora crew member. The chocolate-skinned one cloned from Tanisha Ologwu was easy to spot, and the black-haired one based on Heather Lopez. Further away, Megan saw, with a tightness in the pit of her stomach, was the golden hair of her sister Janica.

Each "dog" had a tail, like Megan's, matching her skin tone.

Megan was startled by a sudden clacking sound, which was repeated a second later and then ceased. The clones began stirring -- it must have been a wake-up signal, Megan decided -- and all quickly rolled to their feet.

The clones immediately headed, on all fours, over to the food bowls, sharing them because there were three of them for the seven clones. Each clone, Megan saw, had the usual blank, placid stare of any of the "girlimals" Megan had seen, with the exception of the dollies.

Megan had avoided looking directly at the clone with Janica's face -- she had become accustomed to seeing it reproduced everywhere she looked, but she still fumed inside that Janica's genes had been used in such a way. But the Janica-clone came into her field of view anyway, trotting on all fours toward the food like the others. Some extra degree of alertness in the clone's face suggested to Megan that perhaps it was Sissy, though she reminded herself Sissy was a dolly, not a dog. But if they turned me into a dog, she thought, maybe they did it to Sissy too.

Megan started to speak, and got as far as "S..." when the dog with Janica's face caught sight of her and suddenly stopped dead, with a very non-clone-like look of shock and amazement on her face. The Janica-clone managed to whisper a single word: "Mig!!"

Megan felt the world spinning, and she had to spread her legs apart, all four of them, to keep from falling over. She could only think: It's Janny it's Janny it's Janny...

Before Megan could say a word in response, she managed to notice that none of the other "dogs" were paying the slightest attention to her or to Janica. Though some were facing in her direction, all remained intent on eating. Finally Megan was able to choke out: "Janny! It's really you!"

Janica came towards Megan at a stumbling run, and stopped a few feet away, still looking stunned, seeming only to have wanted a closer look. A hug, of course, was in no way possible. "Mig! How did you get here?? What are you doing here??" Janica stopped speaking suddenly, a look of disappointment spreading over her face. "Just one more thing that doesn't make any sense. Now I know for sure this whole thing is a dream."

Megan shook her head quickly. "It's not, Janny. Or if it is, I'm the one having it. I am here. I came to rescue you. And the others..." Megan looked again at the others, still lapping up food from the bowls, still with no show of concern for her or for the drama playing out in front of them. Several, she noticed irrelevantly, were wagging their tails. Still do not know how they do that, thought Megan.

Standing there staring at Janica, Megan became aware that the muscles of her own buttocks were twitching in alternation, rhythmically. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw her tail waving back and forth. Is it automatically going to do that when I'm happy or excited? she wondered. Like when I see the sister I came light years to try to find? She looked back at Janica, still stunned that she was here.

Amid the inevitable pushing among the clones for the limited number of bowls, tempers flared slightly on occasion, and sporadic yips and barks could be heard, those amazingly authentic barks such as Megan had heard from Jason's "dogs."

Janica inclined her head towards the others and sighed. "That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. Impossible stuff. None of them have said a single word the whole time, and none of them even seem to recognize me. Not even Heather! They just act like dogs. It doesn't make sense. It has to be a dream." Tears began flowing from her eyes. "Except I can't wake up!"

"The whole time? Thirty years??"

Janica gave Megan an are-you-crazy look. "Three days, Mig. I woke up here, and I can't figure out what I'm doing here or what the hell happened." She blinked, another part of what Megan said evidently having played back in her head. "And what do you mean, you came to rescue me? How could you know, and how could you get here in three days? See, that kind of thing is why I know it's a dream." Her eyes narrowed. "And why do you look older? You look at least twenty. You're, what, fifteen? No, sixteen."

Megan, desperate to break through Janica's resistance to reality -- Megan was sure she was going to need help from someone who actually knew what was really happening -- Megan said, "I'm forty-six, Janny. I told you, you've been gone for thirty years. So it makes sense I look older, right? Think about it: are dreams that self-consistent?"

Megan turned as an odd sound came from the area where the clones -- apparently they must be clones, not the real crew, into whose midst Janica had been thrown for whatever reason -- and gasped in shock. One of them, the Heather one, had her face pressed firmly in between the buttocks of the Sabrina Marion clone, and it appeared, from the movements Megan could see, that the Heather was licking the Sabrina's vaginal lips. The Sabrina had her eyes closed, her mouth open, obviously very aroused by the attention.

What shocked Megan most of all was her own reaction. She felt a need building in her, a need to do the same thing she was witnessing. To lick and to be licked. Some dog-like behavior Megan had not previously seen on this planet seemed to have been programmed into these clones -- and, in some way Megan couldn't fathom, programmed into her as well. It had to be that. Megan enjoyed oral sex on occasion, but not to the point that seeing it done would make her wish she was doing it. She'd never been a voyeur in any sense. The men of this world must have done something to her beyond just surgery. This was a liberty they had taken with her mind, somehow, in the same way they had taken liberties with her body.

Megan was actually getting wet. And she didn't know why.

Feeling her face flush, she looked at Janica, whose face was also bright red. Janica whispered, "We all do that. I don't know why. One more thing that doesn't make sense."


Janica bit her lip and nodded. "There's this really weird... push, inside. Like I... want to even though I don't want to...

"I know. You don't need to explain." Janica's words had perfectly described what Megan was feeling.

In all the weirdness, at least something seemed to fit together in Megan's mind. "They messed with you, Janny. Your mind, not just your body, and that fits with thirty years of memory being taken away. I mean, if they can make you do this kind of thing..." She gestured once more towards the clones, and the sex scene in progress. "...then blanking out thirty years in your brain is no trouble at all!"

Janica stared at Megan a long time, and finally said a long, stretched out, "Why??"

"I don't know that, Janny. But you know who, don't you? The Hercules cult! Those men you were taking into exile on Aurora. They got loose somehow, and they're responsible for all this." She swept her short arm to indicate their surroundings. "You know what kinds of things they were doing to women back on Earth. This is way beyond that, but it's their style! And I've already seen women here, with surgery to look just like these ones do, these... Did you figure out these are clones? That doesn't fit with your three-days thing either, but if you're willing to believe thirty years have gone by, they've had plenty of time to make those." She gestured at the clones again.

Now all of the clones were engaged in back-door oral sex, in three pairs. Megan felt a strong tingling between her legs, and a tickle as a dribble of sexual juices ran down the inside of her thigh. And to her intense shock, she suddenly realized that she not only wanted to do what she was seeing the clones doing, she wanted, most of all, to be doing it with Janica. She had already felt afraid of what was happening inside herself, but this took the fear to a new level. She had never, ever imagined having sexual feelings for Janica. Wishing for intimate, erotic contact with Janica, to Megan, was the same as wishing her food would dance. The idea was too strange to have ever entered her head.

Trying to slap her mind onto a different track, she said, "You hungry? We should eat." Even that brought unwanted associations to Megan's mind, and she decided immediately not to tell Janica that the meat in the food was not only human, but that some of it was from clones who were literally Janica's identical twin sisters. And that the same was true of the milk.

It was food, though, and was clearly all they were going to get. There weren't any alternative menus on a table with an attentive waiter ready to take their order. And Megan was really hungry. She trotted over to the nearest bowl.

There was, as it had not occurred to Megan until this moment, no alternative to eating it the same way the clones had: like dogs. Suppressing a groan that might have put Janica out of the mood to eat in that same way, Megan gritted her teeth, and bent down to eat straight from the bowl, to encourage Janica to do the same, then remembered Janica had already been doing it for three days. Or perhaps thirty years, as the case may be.

The last of the food and drink vanished, as Megan let Janica have the final scraps, leaving Megan slightly unsatisfied and thinking they'd probably better get in on the feeding earlier the next time.

No, thought Megan, with a sinking sensation. That unsatisfied feeling isn't from food. She looked at Janica and felt, now, an intense gravitational attraction, pulling her towards Janica as if a basic force of physics were controlling Megan, something that couldn't be evaded or ignored.

She looked at Janica's eyes, seeking help. Janny knows what I'm feeling right now, Megan told herself. She said so. She's felt that same need, that same helplessness. That thing the men did to us, put inside our heads. She tried hard to hold Janica's eyes, but her own eyes kept flicking back towards Janica's backside.

In a hoarse whisper, feeling her face burning, she stammered, "Janny, I... Could I... Is it okay..."

She saw then that Janica's eyes were wide, her mouth open, her breath coming in brief pants. Janica nodded her head spastically, and closed her eyes. "Please, do it, do it, do it..."

Megan shuffled as quickly as she could around and behind Janica, and saw that Janica's vaginal slit, very swollen, was shining with milky beads, some already dripping down to her thighs. Janica was so aroused she couldn't stand still. Her hips were quivering, twitching.

It was, for a time, Megan's last observation of anything outside herself, outside her own need. She moved forward and pushed her face hard against Janica's butt, her tongue reaching. Janica shifted her stance slightly, arching her back to bring her vaginal lips within easier reach for Megan.

Megan began lapping eagerly, pushing her face against Janica so hard she could feel Janica's buttocks squeezing her nose closed, so that she had to time her licks around her breathing. She knew the tip of her nose was pressed directly against Janica's anus, but she didn't care. She listened to Janica's uneven, gasping breathing, for signals of whether she was hitting just the right spot. She forced her tongue between the folds, now wet with different fluids from the two of them, searching for Janica's clit, finding it more by listening to Janica's reaction than by feel, licking around it, caressing it with her tongue, riding with Janica's movements, her spasming hips, until Janica's entire body quaked and she cried out.

Megan experienced one single instant of elation, a feeling of success, and then it was drowned by wave after wave of shame. This is JANNY's butt my face is in, she screamed at herself. How could you, Megan?? What if Mother saw? Megan felt the full strength of the memories of every time in her life she had disappointed her mother, had done something she had known was wrong, had blindly gone ahead and done something she had known she shouldn't do.

She dropped onto her side, hiding her face as well as she could with her arms, and lay there and cried, her body shaking with the overwhelming shame. She could hear Janica crying in the same way.

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