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Ch 6:4

“‘New Atlantis?’ What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Grim mumbled. Bahari glanced at the smaller boys and smiled.” I’ll tell my higher ups that you’re here! This is the only room that can support you with air bubbles,” she said,” to travel the city, you’ll need to change forms.”

Bahari pulled a lever on the side of the shell shaped desk, revealing a small room to her left.” This elevator will begin the transformation process. It is painless, but if you feel any distress, push the large red button inside,” Bahari explained. She then lead the group inside- Grim had to dip his head to enter. Bahari then closed the elevator’s doors and left.

Grim slid onto the floor. There was one large vent on the floor.” Hey, there’s no water in this thing,” Grim noted. Marcus pointed out the elevator’s window opposite of the elevator’s door.” Are those buildings? I can sense souls from them,” Marcus said. Grim scoffed.” Rome also has large buildings.” Iowa looked down into the vent. There was gurgling noises emanating from it.” There’s water getting in.”

It didn’t take long for a small puddle to form.” They wouldn’t drown us on purpose, right?” Iowa asked. Marcus dipped his finger in the water.” I’d assume this will change us,” he said, letting out an airy laugh,” that’s what Bahari said.” He then picked at his hand. The water was up to their ankles.” My hand is turning soft,” Marcus mumbled. He looked shaken and was glancing around the small room for anything out of place.” Relax,” Bahari’s voice came from a speaker hidden from them,” the softening is necessary for your skin to mold into whatever you may become.” They could hear fainting humming before Bahari spoke again.” Oh, you won’t be growing scales it seems. You’re becoming a squid hybrid.”

Marcus suddenly shrunk down to nearly half his height. At the same time, his skin turned nearly as white as his hair, which became the same rubber-like softness of his skin. His antlers reduced into small, brown nubs on the upper sides of his head. His legs split into two each, and then the change was done. His upper body was still mostly the same.

There was enough water to reach Grim’s waist- making Iowa almost completely submerged- and gave Marcus enough water to swim freely. Grim only had a few seconds to register Marcus’s changes before he and Iowa changed themselves. Both their sizes reduced dramatically too. Grim became some sort of jellyfish with a hood that was white like his hair. The rest was black, besides his mostly unchanged upper body.

Iowa became a small, brownish-blue axolotl. He was still bi-pedal, despite being changed more into his animal than the others. He still had about the same anatomy, but with extra features like webbing and gills. His stitches were replaced with deep scarring.

Finally, the elevator door opened with its contents fully submerged. Waiting outside of it was an octopus hybrid with a body similar to Marcus.” Welcome to New Atlantis, boys!”

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