David was up the town with his friends, it was getting late, but was still quite hot, and there was a moderate amount of daylight left. He decided he was going to leave pretty soon, he had no money left and besides, it was getting boring. "I'm gonna go home, I think, see you guys later."

"Ahh, is poor widdle mummy's boy up too late?" said Scott

"Yeah, right, I'm surprised your mum lets you cross the road alone, I'm just going home 'cos it's boring up here with no money."

"Well, see you tomorrow." said Peter

"Probably." David turned, looked both ways and crossed the road. On the other side, he was just turning down a side-street that was a short-cut to his road, when a large car pulled up beside him, a mirrored window wound slowly and smoothly down, "hey, kid." said a voice from inside the limo, "know the way to Sun Hill?"

"Sure." said David, "you go down that street there, turn right at the roundabout and head straight on past the Fire Station. You'll meet it in the end."

"Thanks kid. Here, have this watch. I've got plenty." the man held out a very expensive-looking watch, it was digital and could hold phone-numbers.

"Woah, I can't take this!"

"Sure you can. With compliments, my boy." the man pressed it into his hand, closed the car's electric window and drove away quickly. David was stunned, and confused, the car hadn't even gone the right way. He shrugged and put on the watch. He walked slowly home, toying with the strange gift. He never noticed the small needle that injected something into his arm, and dissolved away. It left no trace...

"So, how is our latest experiment coming along?"

"Just fine, Doctor, the subject is already infected with our little creation. Soon we will see signs of symbiosis, following the assimilation, replication and integration that is taking place now. We do not have long to wait."

"Excellent, continue monitoring the subject."

"Sir." the young rogue scientist turned back to his screens.

"Ooh, my head..." David woke up, sat up and blinked, he was in a hospital. "What on Earth...? This has got to be a dream. Different from the rest, though. Clearer."

"You really shouldn't be getting up, you know. You've been very ill with a fever, you've mostly been sleeping the last few days." said a nurse

"So this isn't another dream?"

"No. How do you feel now then? Since you're awake you must be getting better."

"I feel fine." the automatic response was more than just custom, David realised, he did feel fine, he felt better than fine infact.

"Here, let me take your temperature." the nurse held out a thermometer, David placed it in his mouth. A few minutes later it beeped, his temperature was at thirty-seven point five degrees Celsius, "well now, that's the fastest recovery I've ever seen. Last night you were sweating, crying your head off at something to do with large reptiles stalking you. The night before that it was hidden people spying on you."

David blushed, "how long have I been in here?"

"Three days, don't you remember?"

"Well, the last I remember was going to sleep the night I got back from the town, the night I got that watch off that bloke in the black limo."

"We noticed the watch, you're still wearing it. Started screaming blue murder if we took it off you."

"well, when do you think I can leave here?"

"You could discharge yourself now, but I'd recommend against it. Another night or two to make sure you're clear of the virus would be best, in case you have a relapse or infect someone else."

"Right you are, and besides, if I stay in here another night or two, it'll be the weekend, and I won't have to go back to school." David grinned

The nurse winked, "it's probably best if you didn't go back too soon anyway, you could still be weak from the virus."

"You're the doctor, er nurse. Whatever."

"So, how is our subject now?"

"Fine, sir, he fell asleep earlier today, just as you predicted."

"Excellent, that means he'll be asleep for some time as he changes. It was a good idea of mine to add a time-lapse anaesthetic to make sure he doesn't go about scaring anyone or alerting people to my presence, that would be...unfortunate. An entire town disappearing would mean an end to my working here, and this took so long to set up. Fetch him tonight."

"Sir!" said the scientist, "I'll send someone right away."

"No, I want you to do it. Then I know who to blame if it goes wrong, and who to reward for a good job. You know how I reward those who work well for me, and you are my best scientist, and my best creation."

"He's gone! He's been taken, I tell you!"

"Calm down, you're talking about kidnapping, and that doesn't seem very viable, does it. Why would anyone kidnap him from here?"

"I...I told you about the limo, and the watch, it must have been him!"

"Wouldn't that guy, whoever he was, have kidnapped the kid before?"

"In the street, with everyone watching?"


"I'd wait until I could get him without being seen. Something in that watch made the kid ill, and then made him sleep, and that was then they got him."

"That's a very complicated thing to do, don't you think that theory is a bit extreme?"

"No! can't you find out if anyone saw anything even remotely suspicious last night?"

"Well, the doctors should have seen something. What makes you think this is a kidnapping, anyway?"

"He said he wasn't going to leave until the weekend, and why would he leave in the middle of the night?"

"I suppose you're right. I'll get onto it, but I'll not call in the police until we have something for sure."

The nurse left the office, and headed straight for her patient's bed, the window near it was open. Since it was getting cold, she decided to shut it. It was only then that she realised that there was no pane in the window. Something had got in there, and had possibly got out through it as well, "well, that would explain how nobody saw anything, but I wouldn't like to think about how anyone could have climbed in through there, and carrying a sleeping body out and down three floors as well would be nigh-on...impossible. I wonder, maybe they didn't get back out there, or didn't even come in there. Then, they either walked right out the front door, or they didn't leave the building. Oh my god. This is bad, definitely bad. I can't even tell anyone, the staff would have seen somebody, so that rules out that option. All of them know me and him, and would have told me had he left with anyone. That leaves the roof, or the basement. There aren't any side exits that would have been taken because they are all near staffed areas. That means that whoever kidnapped him must have known the lay out of this building, and probably the rota's so they could slip past anyone who would worry. It must have been planned by someone from the inside. Someone very clever. If I'm right, this means trouble."

David woke up. Something was wrong, though he couldn't tell what. He appeared to be in the same bed in the same building, but...it wasn't the same. Maybe it was colder, maybe it didn't smell quite the same, but it didn't seem the same. "Hello? Anyone here?"

"Yes? Do you want anything?" a male doctor walked into the room carrying a clipboard, he noted down several things about David as he walked up to him

"What happened to the normal nurse? Where is she? Where is this?"

"You've been ill, my boy."

"I know that, that is why I'm in hospital. Duh, dumber than advertised."

"You were ill again, and have been moved to a different location, the nurse doesn't have clearance."

"If this place is meant to be different, how come it's so similar?"

"It was made similar to keep you at ease until we could tell you more, now go to sleep, my boy, the fever is still in you."


"Yes. Good-bye, I have other patients."

After the man had left, David looked around carefully, "yeah, I'll bet. I swear I've seen him before...the car!" these last two words were spoken virtually silently, David now knew he was in trouble. There was something about this place that said 'you'll never get out alive', it was completely silent, he couldn't hear anything apart from his own strangely-loud breathing. In the hospital - David was sure he wasn't there now - he could at least hear other people, the rest of the 'ward' was empty. It wasn't restricted, it was too open for that, David knew he had to find out what had happened to him, and quickly. He looked at his watch, the strap had started to cut into the skin around his wrist, it was uncomfortable. He took it off. Underneath, the skin was red, raw, and right in the middle of the watch-imprint was a raised pimple, a spot like acne. He scratched it absently, but swore softly when he looked down to see that he had torn off a strip of his skin, he swore more as he realised that it didn't hurt. He peeled it off to see that below it was a new layer...of something that looked like scale. He looked carefully at the rest of his arm, he could faintly see the scale beneath the rest of any skin that was open to the air, he didn't bother to check the rest, he was probably being watched. He slowly turned over and pulled the covers over his head, they probably hadn't bargained with this, he thought. He commenced to peel skin off of his arms and legs. He paused when he got to his fingers, this would hurt if whatever was happening hadn't reached the tips. He suddenly realised what to do: he clenched his fists, and the skin stretched. He could feel that it was loose, it was safe. He peeled off the skin at his fingers and toes to reveal hands and feet that were suspiciously claw-like. When he had finished, his entire body and legs were revealed to be green and scaly. He hadn't the heart to peel the skin off of his head, that would mean...much more was wrong, somehow. So, he thought, what do I do now? It would be obvious that he knew something was wrong, and he wasn't sure whether he could get away when they saw how far...it...had progressed. He'd have to make a break for it tonight.

"So," said the nurse as she descended into the bowels of the hospital, "there is more to this place than meets the eye." Beverley had gone down three floors below where the elevators stopped, at ground floor, and had passed the emergency generators and heating equipment. She was now in a large, spacious room wherein were banks of computers and large steel containers that were several feet across and touched the ceiling. Everything was spotless. Not what was expected in a room far below where anybody normally went. There was another stairwell that led down into another passage that led far off into the distance, about a kilometre. Beverley travelled down and through the dark passage, at first sounds of the traffic above could be heard, though this dimmed and disappeared, as Beverley was travelling down as she went along. Eventually, the tunnel emptied into a large cavern. There were many doctors and nurses here as well, although Beverley could tell that what they were doing was not normal surgery, not in a place like this. They all had special badges on where their name was normally, all she had was a name tag. She quickly removed it, if she wasn't here legitimately, she'd bluff it. Walking confidently in and around the complex, Beverley located a map. She had no idea what she was looking for, although one look told her that she had better guess right. There was a doctor walking carefully through the thin crowd of people, he passed close to Beverley, who got an idea, "erm, excuse me, but could you possibly tell me where the new...patient is? He was brought in here last night, from the hospital above ground."

"Ah, new here, eh?"

"Yes, I'm slightly lost. Don't tell anyone, this is what I've always wanted for a job."

The man grinned, "I know the feeling, experiments like these are difficult to get into. Cross-species transplantation and fertilisation, and genetic alteration are interesting but not entirely legal or ethical. Still, it's for a good cause."

Beverley grinned, this man was convinced he was doing right even though the ends weren't justified by the means, "I agree. Anyway, about the 'patient'? All I remember is his name."

"Don't worry, I know who you mean. David is designated as experiment E-22, I'll lead you to his room's observation booth. Here, I had this map made by a friend of mine, tells you all you need to know. I'll also get you a badge, it'll be from a scientist who got too involved in her work one time."

"In what way?"

"Well, let's just say she was working in genetic alteration at the time. Come on." The man led her to a room where he rummaged in some draws for the badge, and then she was led through a few sets of double doors and up a flight of stairs. The room she was finally led into had several monitors showing the patient's heart-rate and brainwaves, and a few other readings. There was also several other views of the room and one or two that were currently showing the bed covers. "The boss is taking special interest in this one, don't know why."

"All I know is that he was the one who started the process, some kind of watch."

"Now that is interesting. Oh well, I'd better get back to work. Maybe we could...go out."


"Tonight, I'll see you at six in here, okay?"

"Sure, see you later." Beverley said as the man left, "remind me to give you one of those watches." She turned back to see that her patient was looking stealthily about, he was going to escape. She realised she'd have to help him, even if he did look like some kind of dinosaur. The computer on the wall behind her was linked into the network, through it she located a command that the bosses had obviously tried to hide. It was a command to release some sort of mutagenic gas into the atmosphere of the cave and seal it off. The program was set to go off with a delay of five minutes. She'd teach them to do abhorrent experiments like these. Before that, she had to find a way to get herself and David out.

David was pretending to be asleep when a voice said, "Quick, follow me if you want to get out of here alive."

David pulled down the covers from his face and realised that it wasn't anyone friendly, they had tricked him! He jumped out of bed and clawed at the man, who fell back screaming. After a quick look around, he could see that the only way out was the way everyone else had come in. He burst through the doors and quickly took out the two guards who were even then leaping into the ward. A stairway led up, he rushed up it to find himself in a control room. There was a bank of computers lining one wall, the window covering the other showed his room. A woman was standing facing him holding a gun, David started, then realised who it was "Beverley! It's me!"

"My God, David? What have they done to you, you scared the life out of me. I didn't expect you to look like this!"

"Well I didn't expect to see you here, how'd you find me?"

"Used my brain. Anyhow, it's time to get out of here, and quickly before the trap goes off."

"Trap? What trap?"

"They'll use whatever was used on you on the rest here as a final test of it's functionality. I set it off early. Quickly now, follow me, I'll go first." She led away quickly up a hidden flight of stairs that led to another passageway. This eventually came out far away from the cavern, in the woods. They kept on running as the rumbling grew louder, after a few hundred yards of stumbling through the woods, they stopped and looked back as a dark form ran out of the hidden entrance way seconds before it exploded. The figure was thrown clear. He landed with a thump that sounded painful. David and Beverley ignored the smoking ruins of an exit and proceeded to look at the still form.

"Wha...what happened to me? AAAAARGH!"

"Freeze, mister! Back off a little, David, you'll give him a heart attack. Right," said Beverley as David did as she asked, "who the hell are you?"

"I-I was caught by the blast, let me think a moment...the last I remember was running...ah yes. I'm Miles, Steven Miles. I think the gas caught me a little. You-you'll have to trust me, I need to get to my ship to stop the effects. Help me up, my girl, and don't lurk in the shadows, you poor thing, I know what has happened to you."

David stepped forward as Steven was pulled up

"How did you get out? There was no warning of what I'd started."

"Well, that badge is bugged for starters Once you left the complex, I knew what you'd done. Secondly, I was the one assigned to oversee David here. I was lucky I didn't try to rescue you straight away, I saw what happened to that man sent by the boss to see if you knew what was happening to you. That was a pretty nasty clawing you gave him, young man."

"Who are you?" asked David, "and tell me who you really are, why are you here?"

"I really am called Steven Miles, but I can't tell you the rest at this time, it may not be safe. Follow."

"I can kill you in moments if you make one wrong move, so don't."

"Yes yes, now just follow me, tread exactly in my footsteps if it makes you any happier." the man lead them through the darkening woods for quite a time before he stopped at an unobtrusive hill. He brought out a small device and pointed it at the hill. A door opened, and the man walked in, he beckoned for the others to follow. The door slid silently shut once David and Beverley entered.

Inside the ship, lights were coming on. A screen lit up to show several views of the forest outside. There was the normal view, a heat-lit green-coloured view and a thermal view that was showing anything emitting heat. "Come on, come on. The chairs in here are much more comfortable." Steven busied himself with a hypodermic needle. He injected something into his upper arm. "There, now I can relax. Shields are up, so are the screens. Computer, switch to motion-tracking heat sensors." as he said this, another screen lit up, this one was showing four views all around the ship, some things could be seen in the foliage near the hill, they advanced and walked up onto the hill.

"Sit down, we are perfectly safe in here. Just in time too, it's getting dark. Hunting hour."

"And where is...here?"

"My ship. I am from another planet, well, I was born on Earth, but now work for another planet. I'm here to stop the man who did that to you." by now, Beverley had sat down, but David's shape made that impossible in the normal chairs, Steven fixed that, "computer, raise a couch suitable for David here to lie on." there was a glow in the floor and a soft bed-like piece of furniture rose. David climbed on, and relaxed.

"Steven, look, what are they?" Beverley motioned to the screens, where several animals were now lurking, their shapes were unclear in the thermal sensors.

"They, my dear, are earlier experiments of the doctor. They gained those superb forms, but lost their brains. They are hunting us."

"Superb forms? You admire his work? What are you?"

"No no, I admire the forms, but I abhor how these experiments were done. You could go out there, you see, and take most of them on and win. A human would have been killed in seconds."

"Well, do you have anything to put me back to normal?"

"Sadly, I don't think so. I would need some normal DNA from your body to be able to do that, and I don't think there is much of that left."

"What about my hair?"

"You haven't any left, it all fell off."


"Well, I may be able to find some from that nose. Careful..." Steven got up and pulled at David's nose, his entire face came off in a grisly mask.

"Yow, what have you done?"

"Now that goes with the rest of you. Look in the mirror." a panel in the wall slid upwards to reveal a mirror, David looked and saw a monster. He was about two metres high, and had massively powerful legs and arms. The hide was like an alligator's, and his face was elongated in a toothed snout. He looked like a velociraptor, he even had a tail that was growing longer by the hour. The last of his clothes had fallen off as he had jumped out of bed, he guessed. "Is that really me?" he asked plaintively as he gingerly touched the mirror with one claw, "I'm...a dinosaur."

"I'm afraid so, and there's no way back. Unless..." Steven picked up what was left of the skin that had been covering David's face and ran it through the computer. "Computer, is this a sample of human skin?"

"Percentage human skin is point oh-two-five overall."

"And is that wholly available for reconstruction of subject's DNA?"

"Probability of reconstruction is point oh-one percent due to massive amounts of partially and totally non-human cells."

"Damn, it doesn't look like there's much luck, there's only bits that are human, although it's worth a try. We only need one fully human cell to return you to normal, David my boy. Computer, begin reconstruction of human subject's DNA. Attempt substitution of patterns once as much of the code has been retrieved as is possible. Base this upon subjects B and C."

"And what are subjects B and C?" asked Beverley

"Myself and you, Beverley." Steven took blood samples from the both of them, and then filled in data on David's previous statistics. He explained that the people he had been sent by had already mapped their own as well as the human genetic structure, and as such could generate proteins for use that would fit in a human DNA sequence, although the differences for every individual couldn't be filled in as easily (every human has a different genetic structure overall, although most of the pattern is the same for everybody). The computer estimated several hours to retrieve as much human DNA as possible, and then several days to add new patterns until it fitted. Even then, the probability of return to what he had been before was very slim, although it was quite possible that a viable human genotype would be constructed, if not phenotype.

"If this doesn't work, you can always come with me."

"Go where?"

"To my home, out there. I've been itching to show off all that I have, and you two are the perfect people to do that. Tell me, what do you now have here David? Beverley?"

"As a non-human, nothing, I'd be locked up in a building somewhere, or simply killed."

"And you?"

"Well, I'll probably be fired for trespassing, and I'd have to quit anyway as I can't trust anyone anymore. Just how big is that organisation that I've stopped?"

"Well, I hate to say it, but this is a small branch. They'd track you all over the world if they knew it was you."

"They do, for certain."

"In that case, this is soon to become a council of war. We must get back into the complex to download as much information as possible, and there may be a possibility of finding the one thing that will change you back into a human for certain, David."

"What is it?"

"The watch; unless the design used on you has been changed from the earlier ones, there is a part of it that takes a sample of your blood and stores the code. It was used to find out what had actually changed in their creations so that they could get their muto-gene to work."

"How did it work, by the way?"

"Well, the short version is that the microscopic multi-celled animals lock onto your blood cells to get the energy they need and a sample of your code. They clump up into a micro-organism that lives in your lungs. Originally each part of it had DNA from several animals - there can't be too many types or it gets too large - which it looks through to find one that is the most similar to your genotype, although sometimes I think it's been altered for only one genotype. It then reproduces many versions of that code by splitting up after rearranging every part of it to match up to the one it has chosen. Those small parts infiltrate many other cells and alter their structure to match it's own. After that it moves into another cell and does the same, and again and again. Rather than waiting until the changed cells (which divide faster through alteration, a dangerous method that generally kills the subject) take over, it changes what's there already. Individual traits are reflected by changing as little as possible to achieve the new form."

"My God, that is amazing."

"True...hey, how did dinosaur genes get into it?"

"The being responsible for this isn't from your planet, I'm afraid. We've had examples from that era for millennia. They've evolved, though, that's how come your brain is still big enough for rational thought."

"What about the others you spoke of before? The one's that have surrounded this ship?"

"Early attempts."

"But...can't you change them back?" asked Beverley

"All of them? There are hundreds of them, and most of those aren't sentient, they'd need educating again."

"But...but...they are - were - human."

"I know. Tell you what, if you can download everything you need from that database, I'll change back as many of them as possible, even if that means taking them to my planet for re-educating. The rest can stay here, no one will believe them when they say they became an animal, and most would be smart enough not to say anything anyway incase they get locked up as mad."

"Oh thank you thank you!" said Beverley as she hugged the man, then, blushing, she let him go.

"My pleasure," he said, blushing too, David realised it obviously was.

Several hours later, as morning was breaking, the three of them were making their way back to the hidden entrance. They reached it in good time, the entrance was blocked by the fact that it had caved in. David dug at it with his powerful legs and arms, and soon had it cleared. They entered the tunnel carefully, David first, followed by Beverley with Steven at the back. Inside the cavern, it was dark. Steven had brought a powerful torch, which revealed hundreds of sleeping forms, and several half-eaten corpses. Whatever had been hunting knew a quicker way in, and was probably watching them even now. "We'd better get moving, this may be easier than I'd thought. Let's just take the main computer, the power's off here and we need all of them up to access the network anyway. I'll do that, with Beverley. You go find that watch, David. Whatever's in here won't attack you first, it'll be myself and Beverley. You match their strengths, we don't, not even together."

"But...I'm still scared of the dark. Only human's make their own demons, but this time there really is...something...out there. I can smell it."

"Your eyes will adjust in time, but here, take this." Steven handed David an extra torch, "I took it just in case, and I want to get out of here as soon as possible, before they all wake up."

"I wouldn't worry, I took three days to get past this stage."

"True, but the gas is in greater volume, more of it entered their systems, it'll be over quicker. Much quicker."

"But, Steven, won't the main computer be...too big?"

"No, remember, it's from my planet. At least, I hope it is."

The three split up, David moved off alone. He made his way down one flight of stairs, through several areas, up a different flight of stairs and entered the control room to his ward, he looked about carefully, but couldn't see a way down. The door in was at the bottom, but there was no easy way down, so he smashed the window and jumped. He landed easily some twenty feet later, and retrieved the hateful watch that might just save him. The door was locked, so he kicked it until it caved in and he entered the main complex. He knew where he was now, and where to go.

Steven and Beverley weren't having as much luck; They had found the main computer (about the size of a Terran notebook, with several modifications), and had disconnected it, but it was hooked up to an Earth file server, although this was small enough to carry once all the myriad leads were disposed of. Most of them were network leads. "Damn it, but I'll have to cut the rest." said Steven, as he busied himself unscrewing the monitor and power supply leads.

"Whatever you do," hissed Beverley, "do it quickly, and don't look up, we're being watched."

"Shit!" breathed Steven, "now, carefully, reach back into the pocket of my jacket, I have a small gun there. It holds several shots with enough power to knock out whatever it is that is watching us."

Beverley did as he was told, but failed to find the weapon, she told Steven this. He swore silently, "does it look like it is intelligent?"

"No, but it does look quite hungry." Beverley began to panic

"Damn! Don't move, I'm almost finished." A few seconds later, Steven stood up slowly and turned round. what looked like a relatively-small T-Rex was stalking them, it saw Steven move. It stopped breathing when Steven looked up, but it turned its head to keep them both in view. "It can't see us very well in this light, and it only sees things that move, so don't. This particular type is slightly more intelligent than the Earth type, if something moves and then stops, it remembers it. It knows we're here."

"This is not good, right?" said Beverley, her eyes widening when it leaned forwards and sniffed

"Definitely not good" said Steven

"Okay, so now what?" asked Beverley as the creature moved forwards

"I don't know..." as Steven said this, the creature suddenly stopped and turned before letting out a terrifying shriek. It started spinning around, clawing at something on it's back. "It's David!" shouted Beverley

"By God you're right, he's beating it!" the struggle lasted a few seconds before David got a grip which he liked, and bit deeper. Once he had almost-closed his powerful jaws, he twisted them and ripped out a lump of the dinosaur's neck. The T-Rex stiffened and fell as more and more of the back of it's neck was systematically removed by a ravening David. Once the beast had fallen, David still did not stop. Steven stopped Beverley from going any nearer, "He's not responsible for his actions right now, hormones are coursing through his body and he's just acting on instinct. He'll calm down soon." they had to wait a few minutes before David slowly stopped and looked up. "What...what happened to me?"

"Don't worry about it, you beat the monster, that's all."

"I've been eating a T-Rex! My god, what have I become?"

"Forget about it, it's over. Bloodlust, that's all."

"I know, I know, but it felt...so good, I want...more."

"You are controlling it, that is what matters."

"Come on, let's get out of here." said Beverley

They headed for the exit, this time David was at the back. "One thing I'll say about you is that you were fantastic in action." said Steven, "we may need you again."

"Can I be trusted, that's all."

"Sure you can, there aren't any ways out big enough for another animal big enough to cause that again."

"But, back there I realised how hungry I was before I fully realised what I was doing."


"So I enjoyed eating raw meat, a lot!"

"You still managed to stop." they came out into sunlight a few minutes later, it was only then that they realised that David had dropped his torch in the control room, "I told you you didn't need it, didn't I?"

"True, all I want to do now is get home."

"We have to get you back to normal before you can go back to your parents."

"I know...but when I said home I meant...I meant the ship."

"Oh, so you want to come with me anyway? I could always use your help destroying the rest of Molt's work."

"Great, I couldn't stand normality again after all this."

Back at the ship, the computer had finished searching for any human genes. Steven told it to stop, and plugged the watch into the computer via a very small interface port. "Computer, download all genetic information stored in this device." said Steven

After a few minutes, the computer bleeped and reported, "transfer complete, genetic code matches with fragments obtained from sample. Now preparing anti-muto-gene."

"Wait a minute, how on earth could something that small contain everything about my genetic structure?"

"The memory chips are very compact, my boy, it's easy to hold it all, especially since the machine reads the genetic code and compresses it into protein order, makes it an eighteenth the original size, it only needs on half to figure out the other side, and three base pairs equals one codon, and three of them equals one protein."

"Still, pretty amazing."

"True. But I bet you're glad to know you'll be returning to humanity soon."

"I sure am, I sure am."

One hour later, David was injected with the anti-muto-gene. Eight days later he was human again. This transformation was somewhat different to the original, as putting on weight is easier than getting rid of it, and destroying extra bone growth and muscle growth is virtually impossible, so the gene left excess bone on his body if it could help it. Consquently, David had an extraordinarily tough skeleton and cardio-vascular system. This led to enhanced strength, speed and endurance. His muscles would always remain larger than normal due to the excess weight that he had to move, despite the fact that dinosaur bones, like bird bones, were hollow (and strong, too, due to their internal structure). Certain muscles (such as the heart and leg muscles) would not shrink as they were frequently used. Most of his organs were larger than they had been before because his dinosaur body had been so big, and so David was somewhat taller than he had been before. A large shock came when his snout fell off, the human visage had been concealed below the dinosaur one, and had replaced it like a worn out tooth, which fell out and regrew also. Well, mostly. Having fangs, however unobtrusive, looked pretty smart, he thought. After downloading all of the genetic information from the main computer, there were hundreds of people who they could return to humanity. One by one, over several months, they were all found and re-injected. They eventually changed all those affected back into humans, minus those caught by the blast that Beverley had set off. Nothing could help them due to the fact that it had been gas, and not the 'watches', that had implemented the change. All that they could find were rounded up and taken off planet, although some were never found...three of these were the overseers for that branch of the horrifying 'Project Gene Therapy', details of which were found in the stolen computers. They had won the battle, but not yet the war.

"Cleared it with them?" asked Steven as David ran up and into the ship

"Yeah, told my parents I'd got a job that involved travelling."

"Good, wouldn't want them to miss you." said Beverley, hugging Steven

"So, what do we do now?" asked David, whose voice no longer sounded like he'd swallowed a snare-drum

"We can only go on looking here on Earth for the missing twenty-one. You'll be spearheading that operation, Dave." said Steven as he pointed to him

"Wait, twenty-one?"

"Yeah, you know, they're the top of the top." said Beverley with a grimace, it was clear what she thought of them.

"But I was experiment number E-22. The records state that...something was done to the twenty-one top brass. Designated E-1 to E-21."

"But what?" she asked

"Enhanced empathy, possibly extra-sensory powers, and something about detecting when people are near them, as well as many other things. This was done via implants, which would still function in their new state," David got worked up more and more as he quickly went to a computer terminal and looked up the reference, "yes, look, it says here all about it."

"Damn, I hadn't checked what else they were going to do to you, David my boy, looks like we could be in trouble." Steven swore again, "this is something new."

"I don't think anything was done to me, I would know, besides," David ran out of the room with a devious grin on his face, "I think I have part of the answer." when he came back in, he looked slightly different...

"AAAAARGH!" said Steven, he leant back on the console.

"Don't worry, it's still me. Exo-suit. I had it made to look and function like my dinosaur body."

"If that doesn't let you sneak inside their operations, it'll at least scare the hell out of them!"

"Great isn't it? Armour-plated power-assisted fully-integrated weapon-bearing exo-suit. Pretty neat, huh?"

"Sure is, but I think it's real." said Beverley, pushing a sequence of buttons on the pad behind her, "take it off to prove it's not."

After several minutes of trying, David spied the computer screen:

Lock-In engaged. Suit is fully self-reliant.

"Aw, come on! Let me out!"

"No, not yet, having a dinosaur guarding the ship makes me feel...safe. What do you think, Steve?"

Steven laughed, "definitely, definitely."

The ship moved silently off into Hyper Space, toward Steven's home, with cries of "Aw, come on guys? Let me out? Please...?"