Posted by: lordkyler | July 18, 2009

Animoids – The Book?

Since I started the Animoids series as a stick figure comic book, I have tried putting it in written form several times, with different tones ranging from serious to humorous, and I’ve since decided that the latter approach is clearly best suited for this idea. After all, the idea of someone swinging around on a twelve foot tongue is just too funny to play straight. As such, I present a (somewhat dated) draft of Animoids as a book. This is the first two chapters of the best draft.  (My earlier writing was clunkier, as you can see, but I will be re-writing this sometime)

Chapter One

Henry McCullough walked down the corridors of the Lincoln Medical Research Labs. The Lincoln center was founded to research cutting edge medical technologies for troops.

Henry was working on CR-39, test named Sarax, a Chemical designed to aid in skin grafts by bonding the skin samples together. Today, the test subject was a small Meller’s chameleon. Henry was a scientist that was going to perform another test on it. Henry waltzed into the testing area, giving the guard a small mock salute. The guard grinned and rolled his eyes slightly. There was a kind of in-joke between them.

The security guard, named Larry, frequently talked of his years of experience in the army, while Henry often referenced his years at a prominent advanced college. Brain vs. brawn jokes were frequent, often, and usually fairly dumb.

“So, Henry, off to dump gunk on a lizard with all your expertise?”

“Well I thought you might want to do it.” Henry replied, straight faced. “Make sure that you aren’t pointing the hose at yourself when you turn it on.”

“Aha, aha,” laughed Larry sarcastically. “Say, did I ever tell you about when a buddy of mine back in Desert Storm…”

Henry cut him off. “Yeah, I heard about a million times.”

“Whatever. Hey, need any backup in there? Those lizards can be awfully tough. You should see all the flies he’s mugged.” Larry sniggered appreciatively at his own joke. Henry pushed past him into the testing area.

He was lifting the lid to the cage when a witty reply struck him. He turned around and was about to ask Larry if the flies were personal friends of his when the chameleon snapped. It leapt up on Henrys lab suit, and scurried down his back. Henry, surprised threw his hands up in the air and started scrabbling at his back. Larry laughed, until he saw the tube of Sarax spraying in the air. He ran into the room and tried to grab the hose. Henry could feel the little claws on the chameleons feet scratching him. He whipped off his shirt. The chameleon jumped off. Larry snatched at the writhing hose and almost caught it, but it slipped out of his hands, and fell, spraying black oily Sarax on the slightly bleeding back of Henry as he bent over trying to catch the hyper, crazed chameleon. The Sarax, a significant amount of it, found its way into his blood stream. He was out cold before he realized anything. Larry saw his friend on the ground, with chemicals spewing over him, put two and two together, and hit the alarm button.

Chapter Two

Henry woke up three months later. He was in a secluded hospital bed in a quiet room. Looking around he saw he was under a plexiglas dome with air holes drilled in it. He felt a bit drowsy. He tried to reach up and rub the drowse from his eyes, but found his hands were bound.

This came as a surprise to Henry. “What’s happening?” he muttered to himself. He could understand the restraints, sort of. He was skinny, and fairly strong. He took gymnastics classes in his spare time. But the dome puzzled him. It wasn’t as if he could break the restraints, so why in the world would he need a dome? Was he under life support until recently? If so, then why have restraints? People depending on machines to breathe for them were not generally the ones flailing around. His head was spinning, and thinking made it worse. He lay back on the pillow. Suddenly a chime sounded. Henry heard a door open and close behind him. He struggled against the collar around his neck and looked behind him as well as he could. He saw a windowed viewing area behind him with computers in it. Wires ran from the room to the dome, and into him. He heard footsteps on the other side of him and turned around the other way. He moved his head too quickly, and a pounding headache slammed into his cranium like railroad spikes. Through the glass, he could see Jim Daiken, a colleague and good friend of his.

“Hey, uh Jim,” he squeaked out. “What happened?”

“Well, what’s the last thing you remember?” asked Jim. He had a quiet understated voice that made you want to listen to whatever he was saying.

“Well, I was bending over to get the chameleon, and then I’m here”

Jim inhaled, and let out the breath in a long sigh. Henry recognized this as not a very good sign. “Well, some of the chemicals in the test procedure got into the scratches on you, and then to your blood stream, and from your blood stream to the rest of you.”

Henry noticed Jim’s use of technical term, and realized that Jim was using science to distance himself from the situation. Jim only did this when actually describing something scientific, not when talking to people. Except when there was bad news. That was another bad sign. “So, what happened from that?”

“Well, maybe you should wait until you’re feeling better before -”

“No. I want to know now. Continue with the explanation.”

“Well, okay, just a sec while I turn you around.” Jim wheeled the bed with the dome around so it was facing a large screen. The screen had Henrys vital signs on it. Henry pulled out the video cord and plugged it into a laptop. Henry watched the screen through half closed eyes and watched Jim access the Labs network and pull up a file from his computer. “This is what I used in the briefings about your condition.” Jim said, and double-clicked on it. The file opened, and Jim hit the play button. Surveillance footage of the incident in the testing room began rolling. Henry watched, mildly frightened.

“After the events in the testing room,” intoned Jim’s recorded voice, “Henry McCullough was taken to the Intensive Care Unit. After we observed what was happening, he was moved to a secret location, and all information about CR-39 was classified, and moved to the location as well. In the past two months, [“It’s been three now,” said Jim from the computer,] we have learned more about these substances- and Biology in general- then we’ve learned in the past three years of our studies at LIncoln. Henry now appears to be going through a metamorphosis, and each of his cells has a counterpart chameleon cell, coming from some DNA that got in from the chameleon. It’s all tied to his central nervous system, and if he ever comes out of his coma, he should be able to consciously switch between them.”

Jim stopped the video. Henry looked at the DNA strands that were linked together on the screen. “So, let me get this straight,” he croaked. “I can change into a chameleon?”

“Well, look on the bright side,” said Jim with a barely concealed grin. “You could be part hamster. Or possibly part lab rat. Chameleons aren’t the worst thing to be able change into.”

“Oh, really.” stated Henry rather sarcastically.

The grin on Jims face broke through. “Yeah. Really.”

[Notes] The chapters are short, but to the point. The re-write will have more detail and length. Also, the accident will be changed to the more plausible “accidentally injected self instead of lizard while distracted.” Technical details, (further developed since this draft was written) will be more explained, and Jim’s “technical terms” will actually be more scientific than  “Well, some of the chemicals in the test procedure got into the scratches on you, and then to your blood stream, and from your blood stream to the rest of you.”

Any comments, ideas, or constructive criticism are welcome. Enjoy.



  1. […] As you may or may not know, Animoids was being developed as both a comic and a book. This is an excerpt from the most complete draft, although it was written quite a while ago. The previous section is here. […]

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