The Colony
V. Ducain

Chapter One
First Day : The Awakening

A powerful sneeze jerked me awake.  A half dozen rapid-fire sneezes followed the first one, then I yawned and stretched.  Rubbing a hand across my face, I immediately realized something was not right, “What the. . .”  Then I recalled the last thing I heard and felt, and tried to get up in a hurry, only succeeding in falling on my face  A flash of blinding white pain shot up between my eyes as my nose met stony ground.  “Uhhg!”

Holding hands over a now very sore nose as thoughts raced through my mind, “Ooww. . . hmm?. . . this feels odd. . . really odd. . . all wrong. . . doesn't feel like my face at all. . . all covered with hair. . . no, not hair. . . feels more like fur. . . face is all covered with FUR. . .”  I now saw my hands were also fur covered and it looked like I had claws too, then I noticed I could see something sticking out from my face like snout or muzzle, like a dog or a cat has.  “Damn. . . that is a muzzle!”

Looking down at my fur covered arms and chest, I barely noticed I also had what looked like a pair of fur covered human breasts.  Feeling the rest of my face and head as I stared down at my fur covered torso, “feels more like a cat's face then a canine or human face. . . big cat-like ears. . .short cat-like muzzle with whiskers. . . thin lips. . . typical bare furless nosepad. . . Gawd, what a big set of long sharp fangs. . .”

Blinking rapidly to clear my tear-filled eyes, I held my hands out from my face enough to clearly see them.  As my eyes cleared, I saw all but the palms of my hands were covered with fur, short dense black fur.  Flexing my hands, opening and closing my fingers, I stared at my hands.  I saw I did have claws, sharp, curved, black, cat-like retractable claws.  The palms of my hands and underside of my fingers were covered by soft black fur-less pads, like the ones on on a dog's or cat's paw, but more like thick soft calluses.

My gaze moved from my hands up my fur covered arms, and on down to my furry chest.  Stunned is a very good description of how I felt due to what I had discovered so far, but I was not stunned enough to overlook two very obvious swellings projecting out from my chest. . . projecting way out.  “Tits. . . real fur covered tits. . . gawd are these things big. . .” ran through my mind as I ran my hands over what I saw growing from my chest.  “They are breasts. . . real breasts. . . real fur covered breasts. . . What the hell is going on here?”

It was hard to pull at least part of my attention away from my new pair of chest ornaments, but I finally managed to run my hands over the rest of my face and head again as I continued staring down at my fur covered torso and breasts.  By touch I could tell my face was definitely not a human face any more.  It was definitely a cat's face, more like a puma or leopard's face then a lion's face.

My hands were definitely hands, not paws, and seemed more or less normal, except for the fur and short heavy semi-retractable claws.  My claws were shiny black and very sharp.  The soft furless pads of my palms hands were coal-black, fairly touch sensitive, and noticeably thicker then the skin of my hands used to be.  The fur on my forearms and hands was a very dark gray, almost black, with noticeably darker jet black leopard or jaguar-like markings.  The thick soft fur covering my belly, chest and breasts was a lighter dark gray.  I had a thick coal-black mane of still soft, but coarser human like hair.

Before my self-examination got any farther, which I guess really did not take that long, my full attention was captured by a rapid series of sneezes, or snorts, along with the accompanying jerky movement of a large warm furry body I belatedly realized I was laying against.  I realized for the first time since waking up I was not alone as I stared at the sneezing puma-headed cat-woman who began moving, then sat upright beside me.  She yawned and stretched, then she obviously noticed her furry hands and arms, I guess like I did when I first woke up.  Not moving a muscle, I watched as she examined her torso and feline face it was with obvious stunned surprise.  It was pretty clear, whoever she was, she had undergone the same transformation I had.

I was very careful to avoid making any sudden moves.  I figured I probably looked a lot like her, and I did not want to frighten her.  She had the same kind of sharp semi-retractable claws I had, and I did not want to learn the hard way just how sharp they are.

When she suddenly realized she was not alone, and finally noticed me staring at her, she froze in startled surprise and fear.  Her ears laid back and she gave me a silent snarl, just like the alarmed big cat she appeared to be.  I was relieved when she just froze and stared at me, and did not flee in panic, or attack.  Her ears stayed back as she stopped snarling, then her ears slowly raised as we just cautiously looked each other over.  Then another series of sharp sneezes from nearby caused both of us to look around at another cat-woman waking up just a few yards away.

Only now I took more notice of my surroundings.  I immediately saw there were several dozens, or even hundreds, of sleeping furry cat people almost carpeting a boulder strewn mound in a huge grotto-like cavern.  Here and there one would start sneezing and wake up and start looking themselves over with obvious surprise.  Looking around for the first time, I suddenly realized my sleeping neighbors were all centaurs!  Half human, half cat centaurs instead of the half human, half horse kind.

Now I knew why I fell on my face when I first tried to stand up as I tried again and struggled to my four feet.  Although I felt a little awkward and unsteady on my feet at first, I was surprised how natural and normal it felt to be standing and moving on four feet instead of two.  I had a more or less normal human torso from the waist up, mated to the body of a big cat, like a leopard or puma.  As I examined myself again I could not help but take full notice again of the pair of good sized furry breasts I had, just like everyone else seemed to have.

My neighbor also staggered to her feet, then staring down at her body and four legs she exclaimed, “Oh, good God!  What the hell's happened to me!?”

Her voice sounded a bit odd, but I had no trouble understanding her.  I looked around at all the waking and still sleeping furry bodies as I replied, “Don't ask me, I sure as hell don't know what happened.” and thought, “Not for sure anyway.”

Everyone around us seemed to be the same kind of female feline centaurs.  At least as far as I could see everyone seemed to be females.  Looking back to my neighbor I said, “I know I was human.  I assume you were too, weren't you?”

Still looking at her furry body she nodded, then looked around as she said, “Yeah, I was human.  Do you think everyone else was human too?”

I noticed how she was feeling her breasts, like I was also doing, like they were as new to her as the rest of her body was, as I replied, “Yeah, if we were human, then I guess they were too.  Uhhmm, were you also a guy?”

xxx Her attention snapped back to me, as she jerked her hands away from her breasts and looked like she tried to put them in pockets she did not have.  I could not keep from smiling at her reaction, as I said, “Sorry, didn't mean to embarrass you.  I was a guy too, and I was just curious.  I noticed everyone in sight seems to be female.”

She shook her head as she ran her hands over her furry body again and said, “No.  No, you didn't embarrass me.  It's just that this, this all so unreal, but it isn't a dream, this IS real!  But, who did this to us?  WHY and HOW the hell did they do this to us!?”

As I checked out my new body again, especially my good size yet very firm breasts I replied, “I have no idea who did this to us, or why anyone would turn us into. . . 'feline centaurs'.  Maybe whoever did this will be willing to tell us why they did it.”

Still shaking her head, my neighbor muttered, “I gota be dreaming.  This can't be real.”

I commented as I looked around at our surroundings again, “If this is a dream, no matter how weird it is, it's the most realistic dream I've ever had, but I really don't think I'm dreaming.  It just does not feel like a dream.  You know what I mean?  I bopped my nose on the ground pretty hard just after I woke up.  That hurt, hurt a lot, and as far as I know you can't really feel pain in a dream.”

I carefully reached over to lightly caress the soft reddish brown furry on my neighbor's shoulder.  As she looked at my hand with an odd neutral expression I said, “Uhh, I'm. . . Uhh, or I was. . . Uhh, Michael Smith.”

The semi-anthropomorphic puma's face smiled, then my neighbor said, “Yeah. . . I guess I was Master Gunnery Sergeant Zander Brown.” Zander looked down as she cupped her breasts in her hands and said, “Still mostly brown, but I guess I'm not really Zander Brown anymore.”

Caressing my own breasts I said, “Yeah, I see what you mean.  How about Zandora Brown?”

Still looking down at her breasts she said, “Zandora?  Well, I guess it fits better then Zander.  But this is really weird.  Not only do I have tits, which is disturbing enough, but they're also FURRY tits.” Then she looked at me and said, “So, I guess if I'm Zandora, then you're Michelle now?”

I shook my head and said, “Mmmm. . . No, I don't think so.  I just don't think I'd feel comfortable being called Michelle.  Besides, I really don't I look much like a Michelle, it's too, too human sounding.  Now Zandora, that's a fairly exotic sounding name and it. . . well, for some reason it sounds right.”

Zandora cocked her head as she took a good look at me before saying, “Mmmm, well if you think Michelle is too human then how about. . . Shadow Cat or just Shadow?  An old girlfriend of mine had black tiger-striped gray cat she called Shadow Cat.  You have leopard markings instead of stripes, but you're about the same black on dark gray color.”

After looking at myself again I nodded and smiled as I said, “Yes, I guess Shadow might fit, but it's kind of. . . corny.”

Zandora grunted at this and said, “Ohh. . . Well then, did you know the tips of your ears are white?  So, how about White Tips?”

I said, “Ohh, they are?”, as tried to pull an ear down, so I could see for myself if my ears had white tips.  Although my ears were a lot bigger, they were not that big, and I discovered I could not pull my ears around far enough to see any easier now then I could have done with my human ears.  I also noticed the very tip of my tail was white as I nodded and said, “Well yeah, I guess White Tip would be okay.”

Since everything else seemed the same, except for their color, I assumed my face was the same cat-like anthropomorphic face and head Zandora and everyone else seems to have.  Our new faces were very different from human faces, but they were also familiar feline faces, and not at all disagreeable. . . at least I did not think so.  Our foreheads were much higher and broader than any normal feline.  This made sense since I assumed we had much larger brains than a normal feline.  Our eyes seem to be a little larger than big cats like pumas or leopards.  Although Zandora's face was almost pure feline, it seemed more expressive then a normal cat's face, at least as expressive as a human face.  Probably more expressive given the way our large and highly mobile ears twitched and flipped around to add emphasis.

As I studied my still-sleeping and awakening neighbors Zandora asked, “I wonder why they, whoever they are, dumped us in here?”  Here, was a huge cavern with a partially collapsed ceiling and a big hole through the cavern roof.

Turning my attention to our larger surroundings, I replied as I studied the huge cavern we woke up in, “I don't know for sure, but this appears to be a fairly safe and sheltered location.  Maybe they put us here to make it harder for people to panic and run off before everyone's woken up.  Or, they could have put us here because there might be something really nasty out there they didn't want to find us before we all woke up.”

The large hole through the cavern's roof let in more then enough daylight to easily see all but the farthest deepest shadows of the huge grotto like cavern.  The hole through the cavern ceiling took up between a fifth to a quarter the width of an oblong cavern chamber two to three hundred feet across, and about twice as long.  A large part of the cavern's original volume had been filled up by a huge mound of blocky jagged boulders when the roof collapsed.  Over time, dirt, leaves and other debris from the outside had been blown or washed in through the hole, covering most of the jumbled pile of boulders with a thick layer of earth, leaving only the bigger boulders sticking up through the dirt.  The hole let in enough light for a fairly dense growth of low-growing plants to grow over most of the earth covered mound, with a few dozen actual trees, tall thin spindly things, but still trees of some kind, growing on the top of the mound.  A small waterfall gushed from a small fissure up near the top of the cavern to one side of the hole, to fall into a crescent-shaped pool of water which filled about an eighth of the cavern on one side of the mound.  Dozens, if not hundreds of noisy birds nested in the nooks and crevices of the cavern's upper walls and ceiling.  All in all, the cavern with the sun light reflecting off the waterfall and the pool of water was quite beautiful.

As I was admiring the view I was suddenly nearly overcame by a surge of, of scents, a range of scents I had never experienced before.  They were all so distinct, so vivid I was momentarily dazed until I was taken by another sneezing fit.  When I finally stopped sneezing, I could still smell thousands of vivid and distinct scents.  I just stood with eyes closed, savoring all the wonderful new scents I could smell now.  Out of all of the wonderfully vivid scents, I could pick out a pleasant musky scent, a scent I realized was Zandora's personal scent.  As I savored her scent with my newly awakened sense of smell, Zandora was suddenly gripped by a fit of sneezing like I had just recovered from.

Sometime after Zandora stopped sneezing, I opened my eyes and looked around.  Things 'looked' the same, yet everything seemed different, new, with an added dimension.  It took me a few seconds to realize things looked the same but seemed very different because of my newly awakened, greatly enhanced sense of smell.  My surrounds had changed in profound ways I just did not have any words to describe.

I finally noticed Zandora looking around with a bemused expression and asked, “Zandora?  Do you. . . Do you smell what I smell?”

She just nodded, then said after a long delay, “Yeah.  I, I think so.  Ohh Jeeze!  Do you think this what a dog smells?  It, it's almost like I can actually see the different scents!  Uhh. . . White Tip, are you smelling things this way too?”

I softly replied, “Yeah, I, I guess so.  I didn't think of it that way, but yes, I guess I can almost see the scents drifting in the air.”

It took me a while to get used to my greatly enhanced sense of smell, at least partially get used to it.  My greatly enhanced sense of smell was so nearly overpowering I almost did not noticed my vision and hearing were also enhanced.  My vision was very sharp, I could easily make out small details even in the far shadow-shrouded corners of the cavern, and I seem to have excellent color vision even in dim light.  My hearing was also noticeably better with my mobile ears moving to focus, like twin parabolic microphones, on any sound which happened to catch my attention.

As I studied my surroundings again, opening, expanding my conscious awareness of my new enhanced senses, I realized there must be three or four hundred feline centaurs laying on the mound among the plants.  Although the fur color and markings of my sleeping and awakening neighbors varied wildly, we all had a common scent and the same physical features, so I assume we were all the same 'species'.  We all had thick manes of long fur or hair, a lot like human hair, growing on our heads and part way down our necks and backs to about the bottom of our 'upper' shoulder blades.  The rest of our bodies was covered by a short to medium length coat of dense soft fur, marked by a number of different color patterns.  My mane was jet black, with large jet black leopard like markings scattered across very dark gray, almost black, dense fur coat, which became lighter on my belly and chest, and darkening to jet-black on my tail, feet, hands, and according to Zandora, my ears.  The almost silver-white fur of my tail and ear tips were very distinctive and noticeable.  Zandora had a coppery-blond mane, a reddish-brown fur coat with lighter tan or cream colored belly and chest fur, and basically puma-like markings.

This time, I also noticed something odd about the 'birds' sharing the cavern with us.  I touched Zandora's shoulder and pointed to some of the closest 'birds' and asked, “Zandora, do you notice anything. . . odd about those birds up there?”

She looked where I pointed and said, “Well, I don't recognize their species, but they look like normal birds to mmuhhaa. . . What the hell!  Those things aren't birds!  They have teeth in those beaks!”

Zandora gave me a startled look, I nodded as I said, “Yeah, they do, don't they.  I don't know that much about birds, but there seems to be something else. . . Oh, yeah, their wings have got at least one clawed finger.  Do you see it?”

Zandora studied the birds a few seconds then nodded and said, “Yeah.  One clawed finger, good sized claw too.  Those things can't be birds.”

One of the others who was also awake, overheard me talking and calling my companion Zandora.  She stared at Zandora a few seconds with an obviously puzzled expression before cautiously approaching to ask, “Zandora?  Zander?  Is that you Master Gunnery Sergeant Brown?”

Zandora frowned as she studied the brown-maned tan-coated brown tiger-striped individual a few seconds before replying, “Who wants know?”

The newcomer's stance stiffened and straighten as she replied, “Machinist Mate First Class Kidd, John Kidd.”

Zandora looked surprised and relieved as she said, “Kidd, that's you?” Then Zandora smiled as she said, “Yeah, I am, or I was Zander.  My friend here suggested Zandora fitted my new. . . appearance better.” Zandora tapped her head as she added, “but as far as I can tell everything up here is the same.”

Zandora said, “White Tip, this is John Kidd.  I've had the misfortune of knowing this squid for almost ten years.  John, this is White Tip, who use to be a Mr. Smith.  I just met him. . . Uhh I mean her only a few minutes ago when I woke up beside her.”

I shook hands with John and found myself sniffing her scent as I said, “Pleased to meet you, John.  You know, you really don't 'look' like a John any more then Zandora looked like a Zander or I looked like a Michael.”

I noticed John had a narrow jet black stripe running along the center of her lower torso's back from her shoulder blades to the base of her tail.  As I traced the stripe with my tail, something I found easy and natural to do, I said, “I see several others with tiger markings, but none of them seem to have a black stripe like this one on their back.  How does Blackstripe sound?  It would be a better and more descriptive then John, especially since you have a really nice pair of tits now.”

Looking down at her rather ample breasts with a sour expression, John said, “Yeah, I see what you mean.  I don't know about Blackstripe, but I like it a lot better then Jane or Mary or something like that.”

Zandora smiled as she asked, “Well then, if yea don't like Blackstripe then how about Firststep?”

John looked momentarily puzzled then grunted before replying, “No.  I don't think so.  Blackstripe will do.”

Zandora said to me, “Old Johnny boy, or should I say Blackstripe, warned some jump school newbies about watching out for the first step on their first jump.  A minute later the AC hits rough air, just as he happens to be starting down the stairs from the upper deck, so he misses the first step, and falls down the stairs, breaking a leg in the process.  Later on, as he was hobbling around on crutches someone had the balls to tell him he should have watched out for the first step.”

I laughed and said, “Ohh, I see.  Maybe Firststep would be a more descriptive name.” When John, or Blackstripe glared at me, I smiled as I added, “Or maybe not.”

I asked, “Zandora, if you and, uhh, Blackstripe know each other, I assume you were together before you woke up here?”

Zandora looked thoughtful as she nodded and said, “Yes.  We were on the way back to the States.”

This confirmed what I suspected since I first woke up.  I asked, “Did you two, and about 270 other military personnel and dependents, hitch a ride on a chartered over-powered 747 after your own transports took damage from bird strikes?”

Both Zandora and Blackstripe gave me a speculative look as Zandora replied, “Yes.  We were. . . You were on the 747 too?”

“Yeah, I was.  I overheard the consulate representative arranging for your passage on the flight.” I looked around then asked, “How much you want to bet almost all the people on that flight are here?”

Blackstripe looked around thoughtfully as she asked, “You think so?” She looked at Zandora and said, “It may be selfish to feel this way, but I hope so.  At least we'll have some people with us we know we can depend on.”

Zandora nodded in agreement, but I had to ask, “Are you sure?”

Zandora said, “If our people are here, then yes, we're sure we can depend on each other.”

“Well, I hope you're right, but are you sure all of your elite macho super-soldier types will take their transformations as calmly as you two have?  I'm pretty damn sure none of your training did anything to prepare you for anything like this.  You sure they'll accept waking up with furry tits and a pussy. . . and what about their families?” I asked.

Zandora sighed then said, “No, my people won't go off the deep end. . . At least I'm pretty sure they won't.”

I asked, “Just to satisfy my own curiosity, what were you and a bunch of dependents, with kids, doing crowded on those military transports?  You people must have been packed in like sardines, not a good thing to do with all those kids I saw.”

Zandora and Blackstripe glanced at each other before Zandora said, “I guess there's no reason not to tell you.  We were stationed at an 'overseas' training base where we provided Special Ops training for personnel of various 'friendly' countries.  Since the existence of the training base wasn't classified, and the base was about as secure as any overseas training base could be, facilities for dependents were available for base personnel.  When the base was unexpectedly ordered closed, all US military personnel with dependents living on the base were the first to be pulled out with very little warning.  So, most of our people with dependents were shipped out together on the first available transports, and the rest you already know.”

As Zandora talked, I noticed a blond-maned cat-woman with a reddish puma marked coat, waking up nearby.  She had what was obviously a very young infant, or 'cub' cuddled up against her.  I gestured toward her and said, “Unless I'm mistaken, the only people on board the plane with infants or children were your people.  I think you should find some more of your people and gather up the children and their parents.”

As the 'woman' woke up sneezing and began to take notice of her surroundings before she noticed her own transformation, she discovered what had to look like three huge cats staring at her.  Not so unsurprising, she froze in terror.  I got a whiff of what I had no doubt was the scent of fear.  Her ears laid back, she snarled, displaying some very sharp feline looking fangs.  I also noticed the claws of her forepaws were a lot bigger then her hand claws.  I realized we'd better do something to calm her down before she panicked and possibly hurt someone.

I quickly said in a soft non-threatening voice, “No, don't be afraid.  We won't hurt you.  We are not animals!” as I backed away a few steps, pulling Zandora and Blackstripe back with me.

She seemed to calm down, at least a little bit, then she noticed she was as furry was we were.  She stared at her arms and hands in surprise and obvious disbelief.  We just stood back and watched as she discovered her furry breasts and feline face.  Zandora was the first to realize the woman had not yet noticed the small cub who was also waking up.

It looked like the cub might be hurt by her own mother before she was noticed, so Zandora rushed forward and snatched up the awakening cub.  Zandora's sudden move momentarily panicked the cub's mother who leaped up and away before she saw what Zandora held.  She just stared at the now wide awake cub in obvious surprise until Zandora said, “Careful, you could have hurt her.”

The mother gasped, “Da, Da, Darrin!?” Then she looked up at Zandora and asked, “Is... is that my Darrin?”

Blackstripe said, “Darrin?  Are you Kathy Renshaw.”

She looked at Blackstripe in surprise as she asked, “How did you. . . Do I know you?”

“I'm John Kidd, or I was.”, Blackstripe replied.

Just then Zandora exclaimed, “Hey!”, and held the cub out away from her.  As the cub began squirming and whining Zandora said, “Ahh, Kathy.  I think you better feed little Darrin.”

Kathy gingerly took the cub from Zandora then with a comically mixed look of affection and near panic she stammered, “Bu... but how?  If this really is my Darrin, how am I suppose to feed him?”

Zandora rubbed a breast as she said, “Well, how do you think you're gona feed him?  I can tell you he, or she knows where to look for food.”

Blackstripe laughed and said, “Oh, so that's what happened; the little one tried to latch on to one of your tits.”

I examined my breasts again and compared them with the others, then said, “Hmm, I guess our nipples don't stick out nearly as much as yours do Kathy because you're lactating.”  I noticed the nipple of Zandora's breast which little Darrin tried suckling was sticking out a lot more then the rest of ours, except for Kathy's of course, and commented, “Looks like our nipples are very responsive, or at least Zandora's are.”

I just smiled at Zandora's frown then watched with fascination as Darrin quickly found a nipple and began eagerly nursing.  It was also fascinating to watch Kathy's initially doubtful expression change to one of joy.  As Darrin nursed, it seemed Kathy, momentarily at least, forgot about her transformation.

About a minute after Darrin began nursing, Kathy looked up at us and asked, “What's happened to us?  How did this, this happen to me?  And what happened to John and May Ann?”

I shook my head and replied, “I don't know any more then you, but we think everyone on the plane probably ended up here.  We don't know how, why or who kidnapped us and changed us into feline centaurs.”

Zandora added, “I think White Tip is right about everyone being here.  So, I'm sure May Ann and your husband will turn up here somewhere.” As she said this, a loud roar, or scream, followed by some yelling tore our attention to a near by disturbance.

As I headed in the direction of the yelling I said, “It sounds like someone isn't taking their transformation as calmly as we did.  We better see what we can do to calm things down, and if someone doesn't take charge real quick there could be unnecessary bloodshed.”

As Zandora and Blackstripe started following along, I asked, “Will you back me up if I need it?”

Zandora and Blackstripe looked at each other before Zandora shrugged and said, “Sure, lead the way.  As long as you act like you know what yer doin', I guess we'll back you.  What's the plan?”

I said, “First, we see what the trouble is,” I pointed to a large column-like boulder toward the top of the mound and continued, “then I climb up there, get everyone's attention, and take charge.  Simple.”

As I hurried off toward the boulder with Zandora, Blackstripe, and Kathy following along, I heard Blackstripe snort and mutter, “Yeah, real simple.”

Continued in
First Day : Introductions

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