1 Where it All Started

Thursday, August the Nineteenth, 2:07 a.m.

Kelsey Hayden stared at her hands, aghast at what had just happened. Raising terrified eyes to the mirror, Kelsey covered her mouth, stopping a scream from clawing itself out of her throat. She removed her right hand from her mouth but kept the other one over, too frightened to move it away lest she should scream. Slowly lifting her right hand up, she tentatively touched a finger to the furry ears that now protruded from her auburn head. Wolf ears, something in the back of her mind whispered. Oh, shut up, she shot back as she carefully experimented turning her ears back and forth. They moved at her command. Something furry brushed against her leg, and she jumped, looking down. A soft, silky auburn tail coiled around her left leg, matching the color of her ears. This, altogether, was too much. Not even caring who she woke up, Kelsey opened her mouth and screamed.

Thursday, August the Ninth, 7:30 a.m.

Ayumu wasn't the type of person to freak out over something. He rarely freaked out, and when he did… Well, he didn't. But now, as he lay in his lotus-silk bed, he was sweating, his breathing was getting faster, and his pulse was elevated. His left hand, which he had been staring at for the past fifteen minutes, was a grotesque, green-brown hue, the fingers now as large as sausages. As he watched, it suddenly morphed into a slim, tan arm, then changed into a skinny, pale arm. He let it fall, and then yelled for his mom.

Thursday, August the Twenty-Second, 12: 25 p.m.

Natasha knelt in the smoldering charr of debris and smoke. Tears streaked down her soot-blackened face, dropping onto her faintly smoking hands.

"What have you done?" she whispered.

Thursday, August the Seventeenth, 3:24 p.m.

Doctor Baleson turned white. Chase balked at the door.

"Is… is there anything wrong?" Chase asked carefully, avoiding eye contact and trying to sound sane. The doctor began to slowly advance across the room, his hand holding the syringe quivering slightly.

"Doc… what are you doing?" Chase gripped the doorknob. He only had half a second to react when Doctor Baleson lunged at him, the syringe held high. Jerking aside, Chase dodged, screaming.

"Are you mad?"

"Stay where you are!" Doctor Baleson barked, before throwing the syringe at Chase and reaching for the Emergency button. Wincing as the syringe shattered, Chase leapt forward, trying to wrest the doctor's hand off the button. It was too late. The siren exploded with sound, and Chase sank to the floor, holding his head in his hands as his ears rang. He didn't even struggle as someone ridiculously strong hauled him off the floor, tossing him into the back of a truck like he was a sack of potatoes. Someone waiting there leaned forward. Chase felt a prick in his arm, and then he went limp.