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The Unveiling
by Sly Squirrel
©2003 Sly Squirrel -- all rights reserved

This is the moment. This is the day.

All the hardship, the terrifying failure, the demeaning jeers, it all leads to this moment, this shining glass cocoon which will metamorphose my life. A wall of reporters surrounds me; the wall sparkles with lens reflections and flashbulbs. I open my arms to the press, presenting soon-to-be-squirrel body. "This is the day," I say triumphantly, pausing for emphasis, "This is the day when all I've lived for becomes mine!"

Today I fill my grand design -- today I see my stars align.

I take my time stepping into the Tank's chamber, giving the press plenty of time to take pictures and record my comments. Most are in awe, but a few critics off in a corner chuckle at my audacity. They've come to see me fail.

So this is my final test.

The chamber closes around me with a soft click. Ice cold nutrient water starts to pump into the chamber; I grab the respirator and strap it onto my face. In a matter of seconds, the anesthetic would erase my consciousness so that the Tank could work its magic.

This is all I've lived for... Working second and third jobs just to feed the effort only hardened my determination to reach this moment. All the legal battles didn't shake my desire; the FDA wanted my new hide skinned before I even had it ready for this day. They thought they had me against a wall -- but Destiny called, so how could I let myself fail?

And I am here. Damn all the odds, I am here.

The crowd is applauding now. I pause to mentally check over all my calculations, making absolutely sure nothing would ruin the moment. Satisfied, I turn to the wall of cameras, beaming. I'll sit forever with the gods after this, I know it!

The world closed its eyes as the Tank flashed brightly. The world opened its eyes to find life changed forevermore.

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