A fan-fic set in the Unveiled Legends universe by Reel123. Set during and after Existence
Emergence - Cold-Hearted: https://www.deviantart.com/reel123/art/Emergence-Cold-Hearted-tf-436479912
Chapter 1: A Dark Future
Daniel stirred from his unconsciousness slowly, his mind fuzzy...then lurched awake as he felt his hands bound. He barely moved a millimeter, tied firmly by the ankles to the chair he was on and his arms cuffed behind the back of it. He couldn’t tell exactly where he was, but it looked to be a cabin, obviously still in the woods.
“Good, you’re awake,” a voice, cold and calculating, said behind him.
Daniel jerked his head to the left, following the man’s movements as he stepped in front of the chair. He would’ve jumped if he had been able to as he recognized the man: a thing he’s killed not long before (he thought), gunshot wound. His surprise turned to anger and he spit at the man. “What the fuck do you want, freak?” he demanded. “Torture? If you wanted to kill me fast, it would’ve been in my sleep while I was unawares.”
The creature looked like a man, in a dark trench coat and thick shades, but Daniel had seen under those glasses briefly; this thing was no more human than the rest of them.
It removed the glasses swiftly, glaring at him with bright-orange eyes. “Believe me, monster, the pain will be the least of your problems by the end of this. It’s an unfortunate side-effect; the aftermath will be the real punishment.” He paused, then continued: “And my name’s Ethan, the man you killed was my father.”
“I don’t give a shit who or what you are,” Daniel spat, wrestling futilely with the handcuffs. “You should’ve just disappeared, all of you. Humans are the masters of this world and have been for centuries. We...” His words turned to choking as Ethan grabbed him by the throat.
Ethan’s words were low and dangerous as he said, “I was going to just let you go after we finished talking, so you could tell the others of our mercy...” his eyes narrowed to slits, “but I’m going to send a much clearer message to them, whether you agree to deliver it or not.” His other hand slipped inside his coat and he slowly withdrew a small vial of green liquid. Daniel didn’t know what potion it was or the monster’s intentions with it, but for a split second his arrogance slipped, showing fear, before he spat on the vial and was back to his former arrogant expression.
“Poison?” he laughed, a smile perking at his lips. “A dead man doesn’t make a good messenger - ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales,’ as they say.”
“You only wish,” Ethan hissed, uncorking the potion with a flick of his thumb. “This is a very powerful potion, one normally used only by Mystics, but is perfectly safe for humans as well...have you ever heard of a veil potion?”
Something clicked in Daniel’s mind. “A potion that turns you freaks into humans? A glamour like that shouldn’t even affect me!”
Ethan wrapped his right hand around Daniel’s mouth, forcing it open as he moved the vial closer. “You’ll be screaming one way or another in a moment, but behave until then and I’ll remove the cuffs - it’ll lessen the pain immensely when you’re forced to all-fours.”
Daniel tried to fight, to get away or at least close his mouth, but Ethan’s grip was firm and in the next instant the contents of the vial were in his mouth and he clasped both hands around Daniel’s mouth, holding it closed and forcing him to swallow.
Daniel immediately went limp, gagging as the liquid rushed down his throat. His vision almost instantly went fuzzy and he just barely saw Ethan pull up his own chair and sit in front of the cabin door in it, watching him intently.
At first, the fuzziness was all that happened and his vision quickly returned, but it brought something with it: pain - no, AGONY. It was like his head was in a compress, bones breaking and shifting all at once. He tried to say something and screamed incoherently instead, writhing in his chair as his body felt like it was blazing. It only lasted a moment, at which point Ethan snapped his fingers and the cuffs and ankle restraints fell away, just like he promised - but there was nothing Daniel could do to escape as the next stage began. He fell forward onto his knees, eyes clenched tight and hands balled into fists as the pain returned...and then the changes started...
His hands were the first to change, fingers extending by several inches and becoming scaled, almost like...
A scream tore from his lips as talons exploded from his fingertips, slicing into his palms. He had just enough coherence to unball his fists an instant later (pain is an excellent motivator), but his focus shifted as his chest bulked up, straining his shirt as his body gained muscle and mass. His legs, however, were changing differently, becoming paws rather than talons. They were soon covered in gray fur. If he had had the ability to think AT ALL right then, he would’ve realized he was turning into a Gryphon...
Dark blue feathers quickly spread across his torso as his stance shifted, putting him on 4 legs from his hands-and-knees position. His face was quickly covered and for a terrifying second he found it impossible to breathe. He gagged, trying to choke down air, and then his teeth started fusing, pushing out of his mouth as a single fused whole. It was at that moment, as the bony mass split in half to form a beak and he could finally breathe again, that he realized in horror he was becoming one of THEM. He tried to scream at Ethan, to yell profanities and curses at the sick monster, but what emerged was a bird-like screech, filled with fury and hate and anything BUT human. His skull finished reshaping and his ears, which had been growing longer and pointier, moved to the top of his head, taking on an almost feline look - the signature ears of a male Gryphon.
Finally, simultaneously, a pair of feathered wings and a furry tail tore his already-shredded shirt and pants apart respectively, leaving him panting and dazed on the floor as an enormous Gryphon.
His heart was pounding and his head felt like it was in a vice from the aftershock, but it quickly passed and all that remained was fear - not of this freak, whom he now knew wouldn’t kill him (he didn’t have to, the Hunters would do the job for him), but of his own bleak and terrifying future. “Oh, God...” he tried to gasp, but only a long trill emerged. He couldn’t talk...
Ethan finally rose from his chair, slowly approaching the newly-minted avian. Daniel gazed up at him fearfully, tears filling his golden eyes. Ethan stared at him for a second or two, then shook his head and turned toward the door. “I suggest you run,” he said quietly, the tiniest hint of pity in his voice. “They’ll have heard your screeches and will be here at any moment...” He stopped at the door, not looking back but lowering his head and closing his eyes. "You're a real piece of shit...but you're young and could still change for the better. The veil will wear off in 4 days. Survive until then and this nightmare will be over for you."
Next Chapter: https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2187140-Gryphon-Paladin---Chapter...