souffle_girl Messages: 316 Registered: February 2014 Location: Italy
Down the Rabbit Hole a Whateley Academy fanfiction
by Souffle Girl
I slowly came back to my senses in what looked like an hospital bed.
"Ash? Ash?" a girl's voice was calling.
My sight focused on an image; a round, dark skinned face, puffy cheeks, long black curls and hazel eyes full of worry. I groaned, and the girl's expression immediately brightened.
"You're awake! How do you feel?"
My head was aching as if an hammer was pounding it. "My head hurts..." I said, but something was amiss. My voice was wrong, much higher pitched than normal, and my body felt all messed up too, as if someone had shifted all my parts around.
I managed to drag myself up to sit, and the sense of wrongness returned. It was when I looked at my arms, hands and body that the difference really hit home.
My arms... my chest... everything had changed. I let out a squeak, suddenly feeling very awake; as unbelievable as it was, I was a girl!
"What... Who are you? Where am I?" I blurted out, starting to panic, "And why the hell am I a girl?"
The girl was once more worried; she took my hands and squeezed them, and suddenly I felt my heart slow down and my mind clear.
"Ashley, you're in the clinic," the girl said, "you and Tina had an accident during your virtual reality training session and they had to pull you out. I'm your friend Lindsey, remember?"
Again, I felt a pang of anxiety. "I... I don't know anyone called Lindsey! And I'm not a girl! My name is Ashton and I'm a boy!"
The girl looked hurt, and even more worried, "Ash, you haven't been a boy for three years now..."
I stared at her in complete bewilderment. This was... impossible! It had to be a dream!
"Chris... Where is he? We were together..." I muttered,
"You mean Tina? She was in girl form for the training. You know she never leaves Poe in boy form. She's OK, but she's still unconscious, she doesn't have your regenerative power,"
"What? He... He's a girl too?"
The girl - Lindsey - stared at me, confused. "Uh... Maybe I should call a doctor, you're obviously still confused. Just wait here, 'kay?"
However, as she disappeared out of the room, I couldn't help but getting anxious again. I had to know what was going on; what had happened to my body. I stood up and managed to shamble to a bathroom, ignoring the feeling of the hospital gown I was wearing as it slid over my skin in all the wrong places.
Again, as I stared into the mirror above the sink, I screamed. As if my eyes and touch hadn't been enough, the face in the mirror confirmed to me that I looked like nothing but a girl.
I was sitting alone in a waiting room in what I learned was called the Doyle Medical Center. Lindsey had brought me clothes that fitted my new looks - loose pants and a t-shirt she claimed she'd found in my room. As far as I knew, I never owned something like that, nor the feminine underwear that came with it. I put on the panties out of necessity, but I refused to wear the bra.
Instead of answers, all I collected during the short time I had been awake were more questions. My first reaction to this place was that it was just a dream, but could a dream be so vivid and feel so real? And if I wasn't sleeping, then how was it possible that I changed into a woman like this? I knew modern surgery could mold a boy, especially someone as short and scrawny as me, into a very convincing girl. Did some pervert kidnap me and surgically made me look like a woman? But if this was the case, how could I explain Lindsey? Her concern looked very real to me... was she just acting?
The door on my right opened, revealing a middle aged man in white coat. His bald head and round glasses made him look just like an egg.
"Miss Saunders," he called to me, "please come in."
I cringed at being called a Miss, but at least it looked like they knew my name. I followed the man inside a small doctor's office, complete with an examination bed, and sat down on a chair in front of a desk when the man invited me to do so.
"Now, can someone please tell me what's going on?" I finally asked.
The man sat down and removed his glasses, then went on cleaning them on his coat.
"I'm Doctor Redd, and I'm in charge of your case. Miss Grey - Lindsey - tells me you don't recognized her and was surprised that you're a woman. Tell me, what do you remember about your time before waking up here?"
I sighed, trying to sort out all the stuff in my head. "Doctor... I'm really confused by all this. To answer your question, the last thing I remember was walking down a road with a friend. And I could swear I was a boy back then! My name is Ashton Saunders, and I can't understand why all of you think I'm supposeed to be a girl named Ashley."
The man put his glasses back on, then remained silent for a moment, clearly processing the information I gave him.
"Was this friend of yours, by any chance, a girl called Christine Vaughn?" he asked, "or a boy called Christopher Vaughn, perhaps?"
I felt immediately better hearing the name of my best friend Chris. He was my only hope in the madness I was going through. "Yes!" I replied, "Christopher! Is he here too?"
"He is," the man stated, an uncomfortable twitch of his mouth betraying that he had to restrain himself from adding something else. "And he is OK, even though he still didn't recover from whatever happened to the two of you."
"So... you mean you don't know what happened?" I asked,
The man took a deep breath, then leaned towards me, his hands resting on his desk.
"You and your friend were going through a virtual reality training session when the program malfunctioned and sent both of you into an epileptic seizure. We managed to pull the two of you out, but you both were unconscious." The man sighed, then went on. "Ash... As hard as it this situation is on you, it looks like you're suffering from some kind of amnesia. You used to be a boy called Ashton, but that was three years ago; when you manifested as a mutant, you slowly changed into a girl. It's not uncommon, and the stress of the virtual reality accident might have caused you to remove the event."
My eyes went wide, showing my increased confusion. "What? Manifesting? What does that even mean? And I swear I used to be a boy just before blacking out... a sixteen years old boy!"
The man looked even more troubled. "So you don't remember being a mutant?"
"No, Doctor; I don't know what a mutant is in the first place!" I replied, half scared and half annoyed, "As far as I know, mutants are the stuff of sci-fi comics. Are you telling me I'm some kind of superhuman?"
For the first time, the Doctor was caught speechless. Strangely, I felt almost proud that I managed to shut him up on his own ground. He finally managed to snap out of his wonder and began to talk again.
"Wow... this is really... disturbing. I suppose we're going to have some explaining to do..."
"In short, you want me to believe that when I was thirteen I turned into a kind of supergirl, super strength and fast regeneration included, and that I've been spending my high school years in an X-Men style school; that everyone in here has superpowers of some kind, and that I somehow forgot all of this due to an accident?" I asked Doctor Redd, my voice sounding mocking despite my best attempts to stay polite. "Pardon me, but this is complete nonsense; there's no such things as superpowers in the real world. And even if I wanted to believe to all af this, I have actual memories of my life these last three years, not some made up fakes."
The doctor sighed, stared at me, and spread the content of a large folder over his desk. Health certificates, medical examinations, x-ray scans, all belonging to Ashley Saunders. According to the man, me.
"And how, exactly, do you know for certain all of that wasn't virtual reality? Our simulation systems are very complex and lifelike, how could you possibly distinguish real life from simulation when you don't remember being hooked up to the machine? With the program going haywire there's no telling what it showed the two of you."
I stared at him as if he was crazy. "What's this, a cheap sci-fi movie?"
"I'm sorry Ash, I can't logically rule this option out. And neither can you."
The thought sent a shiver down my spine. Was it possible that all my memories were fake? "This is... It can't be... there has to be a rational explanation for this! You're just trying to screw with my mind! Who are you and why are you trying to make me believe in all of this? I'm not a girl, Doctor! I'm a boy!"
"Ash, calm down. I'm here to help you. But think, what's the most likely hypothesis? People have known you since you enrolled, I saw you around campus a few times myself. You have a history, Ash, a life as a girl. People that know you, places you went to, all of this," he said, pointing to the papers on his desk, "What do we have to think of all this evidence? That it was all made up? That we all were manipulated into thinking you're a girl?"
I was staring at him again, in complete denial, when someone knocked at the door and soon a nurse stepped in. "Doctor Redd, Vaughn is awake," she said. The doctor asked me to follow him out, and in the waiting room I found myself face to face with a girl that caused me to gasp in shock.
She was quite tall and definitely beautiful, with her flowing honey gold hair and shapely body; but she had a honest to God pair of dragonfly wings sprouting from her back, and insect like antennaes on her forehead. But even more disconcerting was the fact she was the spitting image of my best friend Christopher.
"Chris..." I managed to mutter, as more pieces of this frightening puzzle fell into place, "Is that you? It's Ash..."
The girl looked at me, at least as shocked as I was, and threw herself in my arms.
"Ash... Tell me this isn't real!" she pleaded.
"No, Chris, it isn't. It can't be!" I whispered, but a thought lurked in the back of my mind. What if it was?