Chapter 2: Hunter: Who am I?
I remember the first time I changed. I packed the muscles onto my little five year old body. I was a late shifter even though I had wished for it so badly. Being the youngest of three boys can be pretty difficult, especially when the others can shift and you cannot. Even when I began to be able to shift, I felt behind the curve.
You can change everything about your appearance, from changing eye color to the tone of your muscles. There are a few restrictions though. I can't get any taller, as much as I wish I could. It also doesn't change your actual physical or mental prowess. This was the problem growing up. I always was able to look just as sharp as my brothers, but they were actually
stronger than I was. I could hide the bruises, so they didn't know I was hurting, but at some point I just broke down. I had to get out.
I never had many friends in school and kept mostly to myself. I would shift every morning just like everyone else, but I was usually pretty modest about it. While most people were catching the latest fads like the movie or sports stars, I just made sure I looked clean enough not to stand out or look like a solid activist. I got good enough grades to get into a reputable college - a feat none of my brothers achieved - and lived my own quiet life.
As soon as I finished school I moved into one of those young adult complexes. They are all the rage, but I hate it. George and Demetri are always telling me how jealous they are that I get to live in the complexes. They are still stuck at home and apparently 'all the coolest parties' happen in the young adult complexes. Not really my cup of tea.
The only thing that really keeps me going is the work I found. I work in a high tech research lab owned and operated by the City Council. The research lab, going by no name and not really known to the public, is running many different experiments across a range of topics. The one I happened to be placed on continues the feverish research into shifting longevity. At a certain age, different for everyone, the ability to shift becomes more and more painful. Until at some point, you can't bare to shift, resulting in living out the rest of your life in a miserable solid state.
The work is well funded, so I didn't have concerns about job security, but sometimes I wonder if this is time well spent. I wonder if maybe people ought to just own up to their solid state. Is appearance that important? Really? But of course I know better. I don't have the
energy to join all the outcasts who join the solid state activists. My life isn't so bad.