[Comic: 694]

   The triumph lasted about eight seconds. Then Fitz tried to move Will’s arms.

   Will’s body was still strapped to the chair, only now with Fitz inside it.

   Will calmly walked up to him, slapped him across the face a couple of times, and informed him: "You… are a moron."

   "I rearry… really thought," said Rikk, slurring the words a bit in Rumy’s unfamiliar mouth, "I really thought he had something worked out there. Like, after the mind-transfer, his straps would automatically release, or he’d unstrap one of your hands right before it…"

   "When somebody has the TALENT to throw medical science ahead fifty years, and doesn’t think to PATENT his invention, you’re generally dealing with a guy a few cheerleaders short of a SQUAD. Help me here," said Will, unstrapping both Rumy and Rikk. As the role-player in the group, he seemed to be having the easiest time with his new body… it was very weak, but Will knew that wasn’t his fault, and that made the weakness much easier to bear.

   Besides, he didn’t have any gender issues. Rikk was keeping his hands away from his body, as if touching any part of it to any other part would be indecent.

   "Please," said Rumy, just starting to assimilate what had happened to her. Everything was different. She tried to stand and the body was top-heavy, lurching, weights in all the wrong places. She brought up her hand–no, not her hand–to touch her face–no, not her face… "Please."

   Fitz strained and strained against the straps with a fury that Will himself would be hard-pressed to match. His dream, his very life was about to end, just because of one stupid mistake… no, no--!

   "All right," Will said. "Keep that headgear on, you two. I’m going to try and switch you guys back first… but I don’t understand this machine too well. Anything goes foul, like Liverspot Boy here gets in one of your bodies, I’ll need the other one of you to help me restrain him. Okay?"

   Fitz’s arms–Will’s body’s arms–ripped loose from the chair.

      Will gaped for a second, which Fitz used to attack the straps on his shoulders.

      Rikk and Rumy leapt from their chairs, ran a couple of steps, until Rikk tripped over his feet and fell, tripping Rumy.

   Fitz was now nearly free…

   Will pulled the second switch again, the one that had switched him and Fitz before. Another crackling burst.

      It worked. Sort of. Now Fitz was back in Fitz’s body, his hands on the controls, and Will was in the chair with one ankle strap to go.

   And worse: Fitz immediately shouted out, "He’s still coming, Rikk!…" He was LARPing a much better Will than Rikk had LARPed Rumy.

   Will yanked off his skullcap, undid the final strap, and launched himself at the professor as Fitz pulled a third switch.

   There was a roll of thunder and a flash of fire, and when Will got up Fitz was extremely unconscious, and the machine a smoking ruin.

   "Hai-YAH!" yelled Rikk in Rumy’s body. He kicked Will in the butt with all the force he’d learned from watching Bruce Lee movies while studying.

   And fell over.


Fans is copyright © 1999-2016 T Campbell, who grants permission for the creation of any noncommercial fan works.