Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Looking for short story critique - highly advanced spy tool mysteriously given life

Just one thing I’d like to mention: The reason I don’t give a description of the form that the character picked out for themselves, is that this story is more for personal use. It’s really only going to be shared with people who know how my character looks or posted online alongside a ref-sheet (once I get my hands on one)

with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy my character’s backstory and I’m excited to get your help to improve

I woke up, slowly, to a blinding white room, with a huge mirror on one of the walls. a grainy voice spoke loudly from the other side of the mirror “commencing testing with test subject 3435A: Nanobot based spy.” A quiet moment passed, then a clear voice spoke, “take the form of a dog.” “…are you talking to me?” I responded. There was confused muttering coming from that other room before a scientist emerged from a hidden door. Speaking sternly and clearly now, the scientist said “3435A, take the form of a dog” … wait, so I’m

“I-I don’t know how.” The scientist raised an eyebrow and tilted his head. A few moments of silence passed, but eventually, the scientist shrugged and returned to the other room. Soon I felt drowsy and heavy, the grainy voice came back “test subject 3435A, Failure. Please prepare-” I was asleep before I could hear the rest of that sentence.

When I awoke again, I was in a dumpster and could feel a small zap striking my back every few seconds. I moved over to inspect where the sensation was coming from and found a small charging bank snapped in half, flickering with electricity. “I suppose that’s why I’m awake again” I mumbled to myself as I crawled out. So, they threw me away. But if they see me as a failure, then what was I supposed to be? That grainy voice said something about a nanobot based spy, am I made of nanobots? Is that why they expected me to be able to shapeshift? I thought to myself.

Come to think of it, forget what I’m supposed to be… what am I other than a failure in the eyes of my creators? … I was not prepared to answer that existentially dreadful question, so I locked it deep in my subconscious for the time being and worked on the assumption that I was just a person made of metal. After all, I was aware of my own existence, I had my own thoughts, and I was certainly feeling things, upset, to name one of them. I think that makes me a person.

Day after day after day, I woke up a shambling silvery blob. I travelled at night to get as far away from that lab as I could, without being seen. I felt stuck. I knew that if I integrated into society, it would give me a solid stepping stone into; however I wanted to live my life, but doing that would be more than difficult in my current form. I could only think of one thing, figure out how to shapeshift. I didn’t know for sure if I even could, and I certainly had no clue where to begin, but what else was there for me to do?

It took lots of trial and error, I spent weeks trying to learn how to manipulate the nanobots that I supposedly was made of. By the end of two months, I had figured out how to become a… slightly taller silvery blob. It was a very minor shapeshift sure, but I was exhilarated! It meant that I really could do this. After another two months, I could even change colour!

The most exciting part was that process only got faster as I built on my growing knowledge. By the end of the following two months, I had learned how to be multiple colours and how to make primitive limbs! After a grand total of ten months, I was a full-on shapeshifter! I experimented with a few different forms, but this one was and still is my favourite. Now that I had that down pat, it was time to work on the other goal I had set my sights on, integrating into society. The most challenging part was probably getting the paperwork sorted so that I legally existed, but that’s a pretty dull story filled with confusing paperwork. I’m sure you can guess most of it anyway so I won’t go into detail. I will say though that that’s when I picked the name, Ari.

Come to think of it, that’s where the part I haven’t talked about ends, but I suppose I’ll skim over the rest for the sake of finishing the story.

After that, I just worked jobs where ever I could get them. I didn’t need food or water or even a toilet, so I lived cheaply and saved up lots of money. I bought a lovely house pretty quickly… but I didn’t move in. I had become a part of society, but now I had that next goal in mind. I didn’t want to do some tedious job every day of my life, so I did something different.

I rented it out and kept working, using the combined income to buy another lovely house even quicker. Then I repeated that process, another eight times. The one I moved into, after all that, was a two-story oak cabin, a little way from the city on a big green block where the perimeter was lined with trees.

Along the way, I practised controlling my nanobots and learned how to use them in heaps more ways. I also subconsciously sexualised the idea of being an inanimate object as a coping mechanism for that question I buried in my subconscious way back, it allows me to usually vent those thoughts without getting depressed by them.