Joe Bates Saga

Chapter 40

As the car pulled into the driveway, Joe began to detect the familiar sensation (pain) of the yeast infection. It was time to apply more of the medication, he thought. The shower must have washed away whatever remained.

As they entered the house Joe followed Linda until they reached their respective bedrooms. Linda hardly spoke as she drove from the health club. She was probably waiting for Joe to speak, but Joe didn't know what to say. What happened at the club was hard enough to accept, much less attempt to explain.

He had clearly been taken by one of the young women he had met in the exercise class. Susan was perhaps nineteen or twenty years old, about the same age as Joe now appeared. Susan had obviously assumed that Joe was a young woman of her age group and tried to initiate a friendship. Nothing wrong with that. But to Joe, who mentally was still pretty much a thirty year old guy, it was a very different thing to carry on a conversation in the shower with someone who looked as Susan did, while they were both buck naked.

It didn't matter that his own appearance was little different from Susan's. That was a whole separate problem in itself. No matter how different he looked, no matter how different he now felt, Joe apparently maintained the male penchant for visual erotic stimulation. Or so it certainly seemed.

Linda, on the other hand, found it quite amusing to watch this once quite macho male, who now possessed almost exactly the same physical characteristics as his intended prey, still exhibiting the typical masculine urge to chase after attractive women.

Sure, it hurt to see Joe so obviously drawn to someone so much younger than she was, but of course, Linda couldn't completely blame him, since it was really her idea for him to come along to the exercise class.

Besides, he was plainly no longer physically incapable of "fooling around" with a woman, unless lesbian-like activities were considered. And, except for what they had experienced together, it appeared to Linda that Joe's sexual orientation was slowly adapting to match his new gender. Or so it had seemed to Linda.

The incident confused Joe too. He had already conceded that his sexual interests and urges were undergoing a complex transi- tion, but the locker room experience reminded him that though his masculine instincts seemed to be on the back burner, they were far from dead.

Not that his changed body would allow him to satisfy any of those familiar urges when they did surface. Nope, that was quite impossible. He might still imagine making love to Susan, or Linda, but physically, he was now just as female as either of them.

He might still imagine driving his "manhood" deep into Susan's feminine softness. But he had already experienced the sensual satisfaction of someone else's maleness filling his own now totally changed parts.

Like most young men, Joe had displayed the typical male fascination with the almost exotic aspects of things female, breasts, bras, silky panties, vaginas. They were so different, so mysterious, so much more complicated than equivalent masculine things. That was how it seemed. Sure, maybe they were softer, smaller, and physically weaker, but, behind it all it had always seemed to Joe that the average woman was privy to some great secret of life that would always be unknown to the male.

Suddenly, all that changed. Now Joe no longer had to hope for a quick glimpse of thigh when a pretty woman's short skirt accidentally hiked up. He had his own smooth shaven legs. He could wear nylons any time he wanted, and his legs probably looked good as any real woman's, from the tip of his toes, to his, yeah, that too,

He lay back on the bed and gently placed the palm of his hand on his changed pubis. Nothing at all masculine about this anymore. As exotic as it gets, right down to the yeast infection.

Joe thought about the way everything had been, only a week ago. Funny how long ago it already seemed. It was becoming hard to remember exactly what it had really felt like to have a penis, scrotum, testicles, bulging out from his crotch and flopping around when he walked. He tried his best to recall the exact sensation. It wasn't that easy anymore. He kept imagining everything feeling as it did now. Sure, the feeling was similar, but, of course, not really the same. He wished he could still make love to Linda. He even wished he could pee standing up one last time, just so he'd have the feeling, the sensation, to remember. He'd probably be this way the rest of his life, and even though the idea no longer seemed all that terrible, it would surely have better if he had known it was going to happen.

Or would it? If you were informed that tomorrow you would be different, female if you were male, male if you were female, what would you do? How would you prepare for it? Joe wondered what Norm Peterson was thinking and doing, right about now.

Joe got up and went into the bathroom. Time to take care of that little problem. He unbuttoned the shorts, and pulled them down, then did the same to his panties.

There it was, below the thin, soft, pubic hair. A real vagina. His very own. He could touch it, feel it, any time he wanted. He knew how it felt, opened slightly, when he became excited. And right now, it itched, a lot. Not the good "tickle" kind of itch, like at first, either, but more of a painful "burn" kind of itch.

With an open palm, he massaged himself, first along the top, enjoying the rather familiar penis-like feeling of his clitoris, then slightly lower, where a burning itch was the primary sensa- tion.

Except for the pain it was causing right now, he was getting accustomed to his sleek new shape. In the mirror, he looked just like a normal woman. No difference. Why then, did those girls in the locker room still seem so exciting?

Maybe it was because these new breasts and this vagina were somehow already familiar, just a part of his own body. They were just always there. He washed them when he bathed. When he had to pee, it was with this. And if he were to experience genital sex from now on, it would have to be with this, this vagina. Intrigued at that thought, Joe cupped the soft moistness of his vulva in his now smaller hand. If he would ever have a son or a daughter, assuming it might still even be possible now, he would have to be its mother. He certainly couldn't impregnate Linda, or any other woman, with this changed body. But, it wasn't so bad, Joe thought. I don't really need my penis anymore. Not really,

A lot of people go through life like this, they don't think anything of it. Of course, they generally start as little girls, and then slowly begin to acquire the characteristics of a mature female. Joe woke up like this, a mature male when he went to bed, like this the next morning. Not exactly the same thing as growing into it. No matter how normal, or natural everything actually felt, it could never really BE normal, not for him. Maybe he'd always feel more like a guy with tits and a cunt. And, maybe he'd always want a woman, not for some lesbian activity, but, like always, like before, like a man wants a woman.

As Joe bent over to gaze at his genitalia, the wide neck opening of his relatively sheer little blouse hung open slightly and his breasts became visible. At least what could be seen above the bra. Maybe these were beginning to "feel" normal too, but they still caught his eye whenever he first saw them. Did real women feel the same about their breasts? Did they eventually get used to having them? Probably, He hoped so. But until then, it was a strange thing to be able to give himself a little peep show thrill when he saw what he had become. Kind of fun too, in a weird way,

Joe stood up and grabbed the Benadryl. He opened the cap and squeezed a bit onto his fingers, then daubed some along his painful vaginal opening. The warming numbness quickly overcame the burning sensation. Then he took a panty liner and placed it in his underwear. Pulling up the panties, Joe snugged everything in place, and then pulled his shorts to his hips. After he buttoned up, he ran his hands along the sides of his hips, tracing the widening pelvic bones.

Well, this 'little girl' has an appointment, Joe thought, examining his still developing curves in the mirror on the wall. Joe gathered up his things and brushed his short hair. Might as well look good for Norm, he thought.

Linda was watching television in the living room when Joe came out. "Will you be gone long?" She asked when she noticed how Joe was dressed.

"I don't know. Maybe only a few hours, or maybe all night. Don't wait up." Joe went to his car and buckled in. Then he started the engine and backed out the drive. As he drove to the hotel, Joe wondered what Norm Peterson had picked to wear. What would he have put on if he knew he'd be looking like this in a few hours?

Joe drove into the parking lot and locked his car. He wondered if Norm got a rental car. Probably. They rented them right in the hotel lobby. Joe noticed the bellman watched as he walked to the elevator. Why not? He did have a nice butt, and the shorts did little to hide the new curves. He intentionally added a little more movement to his hips. Flirt.

Norm answered Joe's knock almost immediately. He was obviously very eager to get going. "Hi, Joe," he said, shaking Joe's hand. "How about a quick drink?"

"No, not for me. Thanks."

"Well, pardon me, but I think I'll have one more. I'm so damn nervous I think I might pee my pants."

"I really suggest you go, one last time," Joe said, grinning at this man, who was so obviously excited. "It might be the last time you get to use that thing."

"That would be just fine with me. Just fine with me."

"OK then, let's get going," Joe said as he watched Norm quickly down a straight scotch.

"Yeah, I'm ready. Look at this stuff."

He went to a suitcase and opened it. Inside was a long dress made of satin, obviously in a size that fit his male body. There was a lot of underwear too, various bras, a panty girdle, and some black nylon or silk panties. They weren't new either. Norm probably had them for some time. They looked as if they had been worn. So, Norm Peterson dresses up in women's clothes, who'd have guessed.

"Are you planning to wear this stuff?" Joe asked, trying to suppress a laugh.

"Joe, I can't wait to be able to really wear it, and have it really fit.

"Norm, I don't think," Joe stammered, "I really don't think you'll end up the same size, I mean, I'm a lot different now, we're all a lot different."

"I don't care, Joe." Norm said, not ashamed at all. "If it doesn't fit, if I end up smaller, or even larger, I don't care. At least I'll be a woman. That'll be enough for me."

"I hope everything works out. Let's get going. If you want to take this stuff along, it's all right with me."

"Let's take your car. I ordered a rental, but I really don't want to drive. Maybe I won't be able to in a little while."

"I hope it won't hurt you that much."

"Aw, I know it won't," Norm said. "I know everything will be just great."

"I hope so." They went down and walked to Joe's car, Norm carrying a small suitcase containing the women's clothes.

"Nice car." Norm said. "I had a little Mustang when they first came out. Guess I liked it then too, but I like my Lincoln now."

"Wait and see what happens. You might look and feel very young again, real soon."

"I hope so. That'd be just a little extra benefit," Norm said, more as if he was talking to himself than anything. He wore casual slacks, with a knit pullover shirt. Nothing in any way feminine. Apparently he had figured on wearing the dress all along. It would look rather strange if he wore it now, and Joe figured it very unlikely that it would fit him later.

When they got inside the car, Joe noticed that Norm didn't buckle his safety belt. He objected. "How about buckling up, Norm, please?" Joe asked in a friendly way.

Norm looked slightly irritated, but began to fasten his belt. "You young people, do you really want to live forever?"

"Not forever. Just as long as I possibly can." Joe started the engine, and they drove to Honeybone. When they arrived, Joe and Norm went inside. Joe's badge allowed them to pass the security guard, who didn't personally know or recognize Joe. They went straight to the Avionics Lab, and Joe was glad to see that the Lab Technician was not there. He wondered where he might be.

"Please stand by," Joe advised Norm. "I'll look around for the technician."

"Do we need him?"

"No, of course not. But I'd like to know just where he is. I don't want him disturbing us."

"Good idea. I'll wait."

Joe went to the break room, and as he suspected, the techni- cian was lounging in one of the comfortable chairs, watching TV. He apparently had nothing to do, and was just passing time the best he could. Joe went back to the Lab and found Norm intently inspecting the electronic devices.

"So, you know what all this stuff is for?" Norm asked Joe.

"Yeah, most of it." Joe answered. "All we'll be needing anyway."

"How long will it take to set everything up?"

"Not long. Maybe ten, twenty minutes."

"Good, Good. Is there anything I can do to help?"

"Well, you can take this little stool and place it inside the cage," Joe said, looking Norm straight in the eye and grinning. "You might as well take a seat while it happens."

"Yeah. Yeah. Good idea. Good idea." Norm was obviously getting very nervous.

"Are you OK? You seem kind of jittery."

"Hell yes, I'm nervous. I'm scared to death."

"We don't have to do this, you know. The whole thing is your idea."

"Yeah, I know that. I know that. I want to do this, I have to do this. You understand, don't you?"

Joe looked at the man. No, he didn't really understand. He had never experienced the urge to do what Norm was about to attempt. But he realized that Norm's problem was quite real, just like Karen's had been. If it would help to make his life complete, then why not let the guy try it. What was the harm? Norm had already lived a fairly complete and very successful life as a male, if he wanted to try to live the remainder as a female, what could it possibly hurt? Joe had experienced no such desire, and yet even he was starting to accept what had happened to him accidentally. Maybe it would be really fantastic if, for some reason, he had the urge to become female even before it occurred.

"Norm, I don't think I'll ever completely understand it, but if this is really what you want, I don't see any reason to prevent you from giving it a shot. I just hope you like what happens."

"I want to try it." Norm said, looking Joe in the eye.

There was very little to do. The transmitters were already in place, and the antennas were connected through the shielding. Apparently, all Joe needed to do was set the proper frequencies and gains, power up transmitters, then start the recording/playback equipment used to modulate the signal. The idea was amazingly simple. If the frequencies were right, and the proper modulation was used, the resultant radiation would result in controlled cell damage. If the genetic changes were just right, almost anything could happen. One result might be to modify the code that determines gender. There were probably others, many others. They were fortunate that the acquisition system on the Learjet had recorded every signal they had been subjected to. The only unknown was the strength of the signal. For that, they'd have to make an educated guess. Better to guess too weak than too strong. Of course, it would need to be at least to some minimum strength. Better to work up to it slowly.

Joe set the transmitter strength to less than ten percent of what had been used outdoors at the airport. The cage would tend to contain the signals, helping to reflect them around inside, sort of like a microwave oven. Instead of heating the material inside, it would probably (hopefully) just initiate the desired cellular changes.

Change the genetic makeup of the human body. Damage or distort Y chromosomes so that they appeared to become X chromo- somes. And, when that happened, any person inside the cage with XY chromosomes (male) would suddenly seem to have XX chromosomes (female). It was that simple, and almost that quick. A radiation injury creating genetic mutations that turned men into women. Or, at least, men who looked like women. Males who functioned like females, in every way.

Joe knew from personal experience what it was like. And it wasn't bad. It felt pretty good, actually. The additional symptom, a very youthful appearance, was simply an added benefit, the cause for which no one had any theory as of yet. In fact, no one yet even knew the ultimate extent of it.

"Are you ready?" Joe asked.

"Already?" Norm repeated. "You have everything set?"

"There wasn't much to do. Everything was already set, except for the frequencies and the correct tape. I've given it my best hunch on the power setting, and I don't think that will be a major concern."

"What do you want me to do?" Norm asked.

"Well, if you think you're ready, go in and sit." Joe grinned. "Make yourself comfortable. This should take about twelve and one half minutes, if everybody's best hunch is correct."

"That's it? Just go in and sit?" Norm repeated. "That's it?"

"That's it." Joe said again. "You probably won't feel a thing."

"How long will it be before it takes effect?" Norm wondered out loud.

"I don't know that. It happened to us overnight. No reason to suspect it to be different for you."

"Well let's get on with it," Norm said, rubbing his groin, feeling his penis, probably wondering what it might feel like down there when that appendage was no longer present. He walked into the cage and slowly sat on the stool.

Joe closed the door, and went back to the transmitters. He toggled the power switches on each, then started the cassette tape.

Norm quietly sat on the stool, unashamedly fondling his penis through his trousers.

"Do you feel anything?" Joe asked.

"I don't know, I don't think so, I mean, no. Nothing."

Time passed. Joe glanced at his watch. "How about now?" he asked.

"Nothing." Norm responded. "Should I feel something?"

"I don't know, probably not. I don't remember feeling anything." Soon, twelve minutes had elapsed. "Another thirty seconds, and you'll be ready to wait it out." Joe exclaimed.

When the time was up, Joe powered down the equipment. Norm got off the stool and opened the door to the cage. He came over to where Joe was standing, and watched. "So, that's is all there is to it?" he asked.

"Seems too easy, doesn't it?" Joe joked.

"Are you sure it's going to work?"

"Norm, I'm sure of nothing." Joe admitted. "But we'll know soon enough, won't we?"

"What now?"

"Well, if you remember, we agreed to call Dr. Krell." Joe said. "Are you ready?"

"I guess there's nothing he could do about it now, is there?"

"I don't think there's much anyone can do about it. If it's going to work, it's probably happening right now," Joe commented.

"I don't feel anything." Norm said.

"Not yet, but you will." Joe went to the telephone. On the desk were the numbers of everyone on the team. Joe spotted Karen's name and number. He picked up the handset and punched in her number. Karen would be more understanding of what they had done than Dr. Krell. He knew the man wouldn't be very sympathetic with them taking matters into their own hands. Karen would. She had gone through the same thing. She had told Joe about it, about how it felt to want to be a woman more than anything else. Enough to submit to the risks of surgery. The cage was so clean, so complete. She'd understand.

"Hello." Karen answered the phone.

"Karen. This is Joe."

"Hi Joe. What's up?"

"Karen... I... We... We've tried the cage," Joe blurted.

"Tried the cage?" Karen repeated. "Joe. Just what are you saying?"

"Norm Peterson. I've powered up the cage for him, and he tried it."

"He tried it?" Karen said incredulously. "He tried the cage? Why in the world would he want to do that?"

"Why would you try the cage, if you could?"

"You mean, He wants to change sex?" Karen asked, not believing what she was hearing.

"Yeah, that's right." Joe admitted. "That's exactly right."

"Where are you now?"

"At the lab."

"How's he doing?"

"OK I guess. We can't see any change, at least not yet"

"I'll be right over."

"I was hoping you'd say that."

"See you in about thirty minutes."

"I'll be looking forward to it."

Joe hung up the phone. Now there was nothing to do but wait. Karen would take care of everything.

"Who was that?" Norm asked.

"Karen, Karen Simpson." Joe responded. "She's coming over now. Be here in thirty minutes."

"What should I do? Shouldn't I be doing something?"

"I'd sit down and enjoy it." Joe advised. "These might be your last few hours as a man."

"Yeah, you're right. I guess I should celebrate, shouldn't I?"

"I wouldn't do that yet. Not until you wake up alive tomorrow, no matter if you grow tits or not," Joe grinned.

"Man I hope I end up as good looking as you. I mean, I realize I'm a lot older, but if I can just be half as good..."

"Who knows? With what all seems to happen, you may even get younger looking than I seem to be getting."

The time passed quickly, and soon Karen joined them. She wore blue denim jeans, and a pink T-shirt. But she didn't look pleased when she came through the door. "Joe, why in hell did you do this?"

Joe looked at her and smiled. "Do you really think Dr. Krell would've let Norm use the cage if he asked? I mean, the damn thing is Honeybone's property, you know."

But what if it kills him?" Karen asked. "That is a possibili- ty."

"He seems to be doing all right."

"I wanted to do it, and I ordered Joe to help." Norm volun- teered.

Karen looked at Norm. "How are you doing?" she asked compassionately.

"Fine. I'm feeling great," Norm answered.

"I hope you stay that way," Karen said curtly.

"What do you think we should do?" Joe asked.

"Why ask me now?" Karen countered. "Do whatever you want."

"Take me back to the hotel?" Norm volunteered.

"No way," Karen said. "You'll be spending the evening at Hillcrest. Maybe even the next few days, if this thing didn't already kill you."

She went to the phone and punched some numbers. She spoke softly into the phone so softly Joe couldn't hear, and then hung up. Then she dialed again. "I think you better get over to Hillcrest," Karen spoke into the mouthpiece. "We've got our first cage test case."

"Yeah. Yeah. You'll never guess. Norm Peterson. The president. No, nothing yet," Karen used the professional tone she always used when speaking to a doctor. Joe always knew when she was speaking to Dr. Krell. Karen hung up and looked at Joe, then at Norm. "Dr. Krell will meet us at Hillcrest," she said. "Mr. Peterson, Norm, I hope, for your sake, that you haven't hurt yourself really badly."

"I'm more than willing to take that chance." Norm said, his confidence fully returned.

"Can you feel anything, is anything happening?" Karen asked.

"No, I don't think so," Norm said. "Not yet anyway."

"I think we better get over to Hillcrest," Karen exclaimed. "I think this is going to be a long night."

They left Honeybone and drove the relatively short distance to Hillcrest hospital. Joe and Norm followed Karen to Dr. Krell's offices and took a seat as Karen attempted to arrange a private room for Norm. It might be a very strange night for him. It would surely be a long night for them all. Soon Karen came back into the office and told them to follow her. She took them to an admittance desk where Norm was required to complete a series of long docu- ments. There was no escaping the legal system, no matter what.

Finally, Karen led them to a room at the end of a hallway on a seemingly unoccupied floor. Joe didn't know there was such a private place in the small hospital. Karen presented Norm with a hospital gown, and asked him to go disrobe and put it on. He already was fitted with a wrist band name tag. Joe left the room while Norm changed into the gown. Perhaps he would soon be one of them, but not yet.

As they stood in the hallway outside Norm's room, Karen spoke to Joe. "I don't think it was very smart to use the cage without talking to Dr. Krell," she said, speaking low enough so Norm wouldn't hear.

"Norm wanted to try it. He wants to become female, just like you did. I thought you'd understand, if anybody would."

"I understand. And I appreciate it," Karen said. "But you just don't know what this might do, It can easily kill him. It could cause almost anything. Death might even be one of the better possibilities."

"But it's also very possible he'll end up like me," Joe countered. "And if he does, we'll all be ahead of the game. Right?"

Karen smiled. "You shouldn't have done it, Joe," Karen said softly, her voice changing tone. "Dr. Krell is really pissed."

"He'll get over it. Sometimes it's more successful to beg forgiveness than to ask permission."

"You're not being a team player," Karen almost whispered. "Work with us."

"This is personal. It has to do with Norm, not just the interests of science."

Norm opened the door. "You can come in now, ladies," he said. "Not that this thing hides very much." As Norm went to sit on the bed, it was obvious that the gown was completely open in the back. His hairy back and butt were completely exposed.

"I think I'm starting to feel something," Norm said, speaking very low. "It kind of itches here, and here." He rubbed his chest around his nipples, the other hand around his crotch.

"Well, that is where we were hoping for changes, weren't we?" Joe said lightly.

"But, should it itch?" Norm questioned.

"I don't really know." Joe answered. "I guess I slept through the main part of it all. I think Tim did say it tickled, or itched, or something like that. And it might hurt a little too."

The bed was drawn back, and Norm leaned back on the pillows, a strange look on his face.

"Is something else going on?" Karen asked.

"I don't know, I don't know," Norm said. "I am feeling something. I can't explain it exactly." He rubbed his stomach.

"I want to take a blood sample," Karen said. "We should have done that before we drove here." She went out the door to get the needed paraphernalia.

"My stomach really is starting to feel funny, Joe," Norm said, when Karen left the room. "Do you think it might be from the cage?"

"It could be." Joe said. "There are a lot of things that are going to change. I suppose that you can feel it happen. But I am surprised it might be starting already."

"I can't explain it," Norm said. "It feels almost like there is something moving around inside me."

"Well, tell Karen. Tell Dr. Krell." Joe advised.

Karen came back in the room. She was pushing a small medical cart which contained all sorts of supplies. Taking a needle and syringe, Karen wiped Norm's arm with an antiseptic cotton ball and drew a blood sample. She also used a small wooden scraper to take some cells from Norm's inner cheek. Saying hardly a word, she left the room, taking both samples to the hospital lab for analysis.

"I guess she'll be doing that quite often, right?" Norm guessed.

"That's for sure." Joe agreed. "Probably every hour or so, at least. You might as well try to adapt."

"I'm feeling really unusual, Joe." Norm said. "I'm sure something is happening."

He covered himself with the sheet, leaving his upper torso exposed. Then he pulled the hospital gown up, revealing his chest.

"Look!" Norm exclaimed, as he rubbed his hand across his chest, which was much hairier than Joe's had been.

Some of the coarse black hair actually came out, sticking to his fingers. Some remained, but that was starting to fall out too. The same thing had occurred to the others. Joe had only a little chest hair before, but, of course, he had virtually none now, except for the very light "peach fuzz" that covered his entire body.

It was also evident that Norm was already experiencing some initial breast development. At least it was surely affecting his nipples, which were becoming noticeably larger, already too big for a male, and slightly cone shaped. The transition was obviously starting, which surprised Joe, who had figured it would be hours before anything happened.

Norm looked down at his changing chest, rubbing the hair off with both hands. He gently massaged a developing nipple and looked up at Joe, who watched with great interest. "This is amazing," he exclaimed. "Just look at this, Joe. It sort of hurts though."

"Yeah, I think I know how it feels." Joe told him. "Mine still hurt too. I don't know when it'll stop, but I sure hope it does."

"Is this what it feels like for a girl?" Norm asked inquisi- tively.

"Beats me." Joe said. "I wasn't always one either, remember." He grinned. The same questions went through his mind last week.

"I didn't think it would be like this," Norm went on as he continued to examine and stroke himself.

"What about your... you know..." Joe asked. He was really surprised at how fast the changes were taking place. There was no way it could have happened to him and the others this quickly.

Norm grinned and looked down at his crotch, still hidden by the sheet. "I don't know. Maybe we should take a look." Before Joe could object, Norm pulled the sheet away, exposing his genitalia. They both looked in interest.

Norm's penis was still there. He still looked quite male, and Joe figured there was no change evident yet. Norm knew better. He could feel something happening, and he reached down and lifted his penis up, checking the underside. "Look at this," he said, holding his penis up so Joe could see.

The opening of the penis had shifted. No longer at the tip, the urethral opening was now well under the corona of the head, and pointing down. The change was underway there, too.

"Yeah, Tim said he noticed that happening too," Joe said. "But eventually you'll look normal again, normal for a female anyway."

"I really think I need to pee," Norm said suddenly. "I'm not sure I can even do it now."

"Why not?" Joe asked. "Just be careful where you aim. In a little while, you probably won't be able to stand up as you go. I'm telling you, you're gonna miss it when you pee, I'm pretty sure of that."

Norm looked at his penis, feeling the little opening, gently touching other places that apparently now felt strange to him. "This is weird. This is really weird."

"Isn't it what you expected?" Joe asked.

"I don't know. I guess I didn't think much about how it might happen, just what it would be like afterwards."

"As fast as everything's happening, most of this'll be over by tomorrow morning," Joe theorized.

"I've just gotta urinate." Norm said, sliding his legs out of bed. He hopped out of bed and went to the attached bathroom. He didn't close the door all the way, and from the shadow Joe could tell that Norm attempted to go while standing. Joe figured doing that might be a problem. It probably was because he heard Norm voice an expletive, then sit on the stool. He heard the urine hit the water in the stool. Enjoy it, thought Joe. It might be the last time for the old equipment.

Soon Norm came back out. He had a grin on his face. "I just peed on my own feet. I finally had to sit just to hit the stool. I'm telling you, this is weird."

"It gets weirder," Joe said. "Just wait till it's gone completely."

"I don't mind." Norm countered. "I've dreamed of this."

"Well, it looks like it's going to happen." Joe said. "I hope you still like it tomorrow."

Norm pulled the hospital gown tight around his chest so that his rapidly developing nipples showed. He looked down at them and grinned widely. "Joe, I'm going to have boobs. I'm growing real breasts," he said proudly.

Joe looked at the outline of the areola, which already seemed to be larger than even moments ago. The transition was proceeding at an amazing pace. "You'll need that bra in no time," he teased.

"Yeah. Yeah. It's really happening!" Norm said happily. "It's really happening."

Karen came back into the room. She heard what Norm said. "What's happening, Norm? Is everything all right?"

"It's happening!" Norm repeated. "Breasts! I'm really starting to get breasts. My penis is changing too!"

"The transition is already starting," Joe said. "Physical alterations have begun."

Norm lifted the hospital gown proudly. Joe couldn't believe the way the changes were affecting the man. Apparently, he really did want to be feminized.

Karen examined Norm's developing chest with great interest. "I wish Dr. Krell would get here," she said, almost under her breath.

"And look at this!" Norm added, pulling the sheet away. He was so taken with what was occurring he had lost any sense of modesty.

That didn't bother Karen, who closely looked at what was happening to the man's genitalia. "Hypospidias. I think that's what it's called, hypospidias, something like that."

"You've seen this before?" Norm asked.

"Well, I haven't personally, but I've read about it in school. I believe it is a relatively common genetic deformity."

"You mean I'm going to stay like this?" Norm exclaimed, noticeable alarm becoming evident in his voice.

"Norm, I don't have any idea what's going to happen," Karen said defensively. "You chose to try this before we had time to methodically step into it. Who knows?"

Joe interjected. "As quickly as everything is happening, why don't we all just wait a little while and see how it turns out," He said, trying to calm Norm's concerns a bit.

"I have to go to the bathroom again," Norm said. He slipped out of bed and went into the bathroom, closing the door this time. Joe could hear the tinkle of urine in the stool. It only lasted a few seconds, but Norm didn't come out.

In a few minutes, the door opened and a very noticeably changing Norm Peterson walked out. "I really feel like I have to pee, but I just can't."

Joe looked at the man. "Norm, I think you should look in a mirror," he suggested.

"What's the matter?" Norm asked.

Joe smiled. "I think you'll see that your face is changing, too. I never would have guessed that anything could happen so fast."

Norm went back into the bathroom, and looked into the mirror. He moved his hand to his face, feeling the new softness that was taking over his skin. Norm's features were actually becoming subtly softer and thinner. Already it seemed that ten years had been swept away. The crow's feet around his eyes were still there, but were much reduced. He had obviously shaved his face before entering the cage, but the area around his cheeks and mouth where the beard would form had changed, the hair was lighter, thinner. Absolutely no trace of whiskers. Also, Norm's eyes were somehow changing. It was hard to describe, the changes were so subtle, extremely small, but still, there was no doubt that something major was going on. Norm just stood in front of the mirror, looking at himself as if he never saw his body before.

"What do you think?" Joe asked, breaking the silence.

"I can't believe it," Norm said. "It's really happening. I'm really turning female. I'm really changing."

"Yeah, It really happens," Joe agreed. "Just wait, it's just started."

Norm moved his hands down to his chest, carefully feeling growing breasts, inspecting his changing appearance in the mirror. "It hurts," Norm said finally. "I like it, but it really hurts."

"What hurts?" Karen asked.

"My chest, my breasts, " Norm said, suddenly sounding embarrassed. "My breasts hurt when I touch them."

"I think that might be normal," Karen advised. "Breast development is usually accompanied by some discomfort." She sounded almost as if she were reading from a textbook.

"Mine hurt, too," Joe added. "I can feel every step when I walk. Sometimes it's worse than others."

"I think that pain will subside eventually," Karen said. "When I started hormones, I had some pain too, but now I don't notice anything, except when I change progesterone intake. Both of you will probably follow the normal female cycle automatically."

As he watched Norm examine his changing body, Joe put a hand to his own breast, feeling now familiar softness, and then the slight pain from the large but still tender nipple. Having breasts was an interesting experience. They were a lot more than just soft pillows designed to please men. He could forget about them sometimes, but something always seemed to remind him of their presence. Just the movement of walking caused them to jiggle enough to feel. Especially when they hurt. When you leaned over, when you rolled over in bed, The sensitive little buggers had ways to let you know they were there.

But they felt good too. As Joe slowly stroked his own breast, feeling the slick nylon of the bra, he sensed a stirring in his crotch. There was no doubt, his nipples and clitoris definitely seemed to be connected in some pleasurable way. The changes he had undergone certainly made his body much more sensual, more respon- sive. He was always much more aware of it now.

"I think I'd better lie down again," Norm said suddenly.

"Is there a problem?" Karen asked.

Both Karen and Joe watched Norm in awe.

Norm looked at them. "I'm not sure," Norm said. "I feel funny, really funny. Not bad, not sick, just, funny."

"Is there something we can do for you?" Karen asked.

"No, no thanks." Norm considered. "I think I'll be ok, I guess. I can't explain the feeling, I just itch all over. And I feel kind of sleepy."

Karen helped Norm into the bed. "I wish Dr. Krell would get here," she said. "I know he was working on a plan for when we tried this with a dysphoria patient. He might have some ideas."

Norm lay back on the pillow and closed his eyes. In a few moments, he was obviously sound asleep. Joe watched, and realized that the same thing had probably occurred with him, and was why he didn't remember the change as it happened. Apparently, the urge to sleep was uncontrollable. Probably all of them had slept through most of the change, whether they even realized it or not.

Karen and Joe stood there, watching Norm as he slept. Finally Joe spoke. "I guess it's best that it happens while you're unconscious."

Karen smiled. "He certainly seems to want this."

"Yeah, that's what I thought. I can't imagine it."

"I can," Karen said simply.

"What now?" Joe asked.

"I wish Dr. Krell would get here," Karen said again. "He might have something else. I don't know what else we can do. I'm glad you called me, but I wish you would have called him first. I had to pull some strings to get Norm in this room."

"I wanted you to be the first," Joe said. "I figured Dr. Krell would be pissed."

"Yeah, I suspect he'll have some words for you, Joe," Karen said grinning, "but I think he'll understand. He's really a great guy."

"We'll see." Joe said. He liked Dr. Krell, but he knew that Norm would have waited years to do what he had just accomplished. That wasn't fair at all.

Just then the little doctor came into the room. "Well well, Just what have you done now, Joe?" he asked.

Joe looked at the man. He wasn't sure what to say. "Norm wanted to try the cage himself, and I helped him do it," Joe said simply.

Dr. Krell looked at Norm but said nothing. He looked back at Joe. "And what if the transition kills him?"

"I'll take that chance." Norm said with authority.

The little doctor looked at Norm, who was awake but very groggy. "And how are you doing?" he asked.

"It's happening." Norm said. Even as tired as he had become, the excitement evident in his voice.

A look of surprise came to Dr. Krell's face. "Yes?" he exclaimed. "You say it's working?"

"Yeah, It's already starting." Norm said. "Take a look, doc."

Norm pulled the gown away, exposing his developing chest. He was obviously pleased with what was happening to his body.

Dr. Krell looked in interest. He went to the bed and touched Norm's breast as if not believing what he was seeing. "How long has it been?"

Joe looked at his watch. It was three hours since he had powered on the transmitters. "About eight or eight fifteen," Joe said. "I exposed him for about twelve minutes."

"Well Joe, it looks like you did it." Dr. Krell said. "Mr. Peterson here seems to be feminizing quite like the rest of you. I hope that he is satisfied with what he has done to himself." He seemed a bit irritated, but also excited.

"I'm pleased," Norm said. "It's like a dream coming true."

"Have you been in therapy, or spent some time in RLT?" the doctor asked.

"RLT?" asked Norm.

"Real Life Test. Have you tried to live the gender you think you want to be so much?" Dr. Krell explained.

"No. I haven't done that," Norm answered. "But I know what I want."

"I hope you do Norm, because you don't have much choice now, it appears." Dr. Krell said. His voice was stern but kind.

"I'll live with my decision." Norm said with conviction.

As if satisfied, Dr. Krell turned to Karen. "Did you help with this?"

Before Karen could say anything, Joe broke in. "I called her after we finished with the cage. She had nothing to do with the decision."

Dr. Krell ignored Joe. "Did you take samples?" he asked, speaking to Karen.

"Yes, sir," Karen said obediently. "I drew blood fifteen minutes ago. I also took a Bucal smear."

"Very good," Dr. Krell complimented. "We must continue that every hour. I'm amazed at the rate of progress."

"How long do I have to stay here?" Norm asked. He had covered himself with the gown and a sheet.

"I'd like to perform a quick physical exam as soon as possible," Dr. Krell answered. "And, if you will permit it, I'd like to photograph the transition as it takes place."

"I don't mind, I guess," Norm agreed. "But when can I leave here?"

"I don't know, Norm," Dr. Krell answered. "I can't hold you here against your will, but I'd like to learn as much as possible about what is happening."

"I'll cooperate as much as possible," Norm said. "But I don't want to spend days or weeks in this room."

"I don't think that will be necessary," Dr. Krell said, smiling. "If you remain healthy, I suppose you can get out soon, maybe tomorrow, if everything transpires similarly to the others."

Norm seemed pleased with that information, and he lay back and closed his eyes. Dr. Krell looked at him closely as he lay trying to sleep.

"Karen, do you have a thirty-five millimeter close by?"

"I'll see if I have mine in my car." Karen left the room immediately.

"I don't want to get the photographer tonight," Dr. Krell explained. "But I would like to get a still picture history of this event... If you don't mind," he asked a very drowsy Norm.

"No, no that's fine, Norm immediately agreed, glad to help and just happy to be undergoing the transition.

"While we're waiting for Karen, I think I'll examine you, if you don't mind," Dr. Krell continued. "I'll be asking everyone to leave the room, "

"No, No, It's all right," Norm said. "Joe can stay. He's already seen what I look like anyway," Norm said, grinning.

Dr. Krell looked at Joe, and then back at Norm. "So you don't mind if he stays?"

"No, not at all." Norm said. "He can do anything he wants, and it's all right with me." He looked at Joe as he spoke.

"I'll stay, if you don't mind."

"Stay," Norm said. "I want you to."

"I find it amazing," Joe said. He was fascinated with what was happening to Norm because he knew the same thing had happened to him.

"Yeah, me too," Norm said. "Do you realize, if this works, the whole concept of gender, maybe sex even, will change complete- ly?"

"I know," Joe agreed. "I've seen a few other persons who felt like you did, and I'm sure that the cage, or some thing we could develop like it, would revolutionize their treatment."

"And Honeybone has the answer," Norm said, thinking aloud. "I think we might have a whole new industry here." Honeybone was a diverse company, into many areas of electronics and avionics. The medical field would probably be an easy transition.

"Let's see if we stay healthy before you make any long term plans," Joe suggested.

Norm looked at him. "We've got to get the attorneys working on this immediately," Norm insisted. "Dr. Krell can join us if he wants, but we've got to protect the company's interests." Norm Peterson was changing to a woman before their eyes, but he remained a businessman.

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