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FerrenWolf

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About FerrenWolf

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  1. (edit 6/15) Story is complete! Sorry it took a while, please enjoy! (Will delete Story Added from title in a few days) --------------------------- Each step I take is a step closer to certain death. The further I descend down this cave, the more I believe I’m heading down into the underworld, where I will be taken across the River Styx and meet with Hades himself. Every fiber in my body is telling me to go back, that I should not risk my life with such a perilous task. But my father taught me that I should always strive to achieve my goals, to never give up and never give in. I keep his words deep in my heart, to preserve the good parts of his memory. My father died when I was a child. I don’t remember much about him now, but I hold onto what I can. Memories of my first lesson in swordplay comes to mind. He told me that a true warrior uses his mind as much as his strength. Though I sometimes wonder if he said that just to convince me to attend school. But he also taught me about virtue and honor. How to treat others. How to follow my word when I give it. So I don’t understand how he dishonored himself and his family name before he died. The full details are unknown to me, and no one else seems to know either, but somehow my father performed a deed so abhorrent that the leader of my city, Perokles, exiled him out of town. I remember crying, bawling like a newborn baby, when my father left. I wanted to go with him, but he insisted that I stay in town to support my mother, who could not leave due to her health. It was two months later that I heard of his death. No one told me how he died. My mother died of heartbreak several months after that. Since then, I had been raised by a farmer, and I became learned in his craft. Though I became competent at farming, I couldn’t help feel that my life’s path was derailed. I thought I’d become a soldier in the Athenian army, and that I would live or die with the honor of a soldier. Although I had a stable life on the farm, my father’s tarnished legacy haunted me through all those years. Whenever I visited the city, everyone either gave me looks or pretended I wasn’t there. They knew whose child I was. Other kids would fight me, or steal what money and supplies I had, and no one would help me, even if I was attacked in public. Even though I became a pariah in the city, I followed my father’s words of wisdom as best as I could. Deep in my heart, I could not believe that my father could perform a sin so egregious that his name could be tainted forever. So I thought that if I could live a virtuous and honorable life, that maybe society would judge me solely on my character. That didn’t happen. I tried to be patient, and I tried to be kind, but the other residents never treated me equally. They only saw the shame cast down by my father’s shadow. And in Athenian culture, once your honor was disgraced, that became your permanent label. I thought about leaving the city multiple times. To change my name and become a different person. But I couldn’t let my father’s memory stay sullied for the rest of time. So I sought a meeting with Perokles, since he branded my father as a dishonorable man. It took me multiple tries until finally he granted me ten minutes of his time. I pleaded my case to him, and I hoped that I could convince him that whatever my father did should not stain his family name. But everything I said wasn’t enough. After more pleading, he finally gave me a chance. He assigned me a challenge: slay the legendary minotaur and all will be forgiven. And that’s why I’m here now, in this cold, dark cave. After months of tracking, I finally pinpointed the location of where the minotaur dwells. At least, I hoped I did. Rumors had a tendency to spread like a plague, and most of them were not true. But I found some commonality in all the stories and information I came across and with that knowledge I found this cave. Armed with a torch and my father’s sword, and wearing his old armor, I’ve been traversing this cave for at least an hour. I’m not sure how far I’ve traveled, as I take cautious steps to make sure I don’t fall or catch myself running into anything that might kill me viciously. Like a minotaur. Stories say the minotaur is fifteen feet tall, and that even his hips rise higher than most men. They also say his hide is tough, like steel, and that no simple blade or arrow could harm him. You need the finest blade ever forged in order to even have a chance at inflicting any wounds. And then there are tales of the beast’s ferocity. When he smells blood, the minotaur will use every ounce of his primal strength to kill you. He has the dexterity of a man but the strength and the rage of a bull. Every man has a fear. The minotaur has none. How do you fight against such a monster? My hope is that I won’t. That I’ll be able to find the beast sleeping and I’ll be able to kill him without confrontation. But I’m not holding my breath. I’m not sure how I expect to best the monster that has defeated dozens of challengers and soldiers, trained with years of experience, when I’m only a self-taught swordsman. But if this what I have to do to restore my family’s honor, then I will have to risk my life despite improbable odds. Never give up, never give in. Something crunches at my feet. Startled, I jump back, but when I get a better look with my torch, I realize I had stepped on a skeleton hand. Holding my light further in front of me, I examine the area around me. A chill runs down my spine. Strewn along the floor are skeletons, broken bones, and even some old corpses. I nearly hurl at the putrid smell that permeates the air. I could guess who created all this death, and my stomach twists into a knot. The discomfort from wearing my father’s ill-fitting armor becomes more pronounced. But after some pep talk, I steel myself and press forward. The tunnel opens up into a larger room, with a ceiling that hovers twenty or thirty meters above ground. The area is shaped in a circle, and is wide enough that I could pick up a stone from one end and just barely reach the other side if I throw it. I do what I can to avoid stepping on the bones that cover the ground, but I have to watch each step as there is a fair amount scattered. I go from skeleton to skeleton, examining what remains of each body. With so many remains around, I can’t help but wonder who each person used to be. Who they were, how they lived, what they looked like, and why they came here. Did they also have something to prove? Each one came here from different walks of life. Yet despite the differences in their origins, all their paths ended the same: they all died here, left to become indiscernible bones, warnings for future intruders. Maybe I would be joining them soon enough. A heavy snort makes the back of my neck crawl, and as the ground starts to tremble I turn to look over my shoulder. Something comes straight at me, and in a terrified panic I roll off to the side just in time before a giant axe slices the air where my head had been a moment ago. I scramble up to my feet, nearly falling back as I try to create some distance from my attacker. I hold up the torch I still have in hand and my blood goes cold when I see my assailant turn around. He’s got dark, piercing eyes, a nose that snorts hot air at the end of an elongated muzzle, and two thick, sharp horns jutting from the top of his head. He’s not fifteen feet tall, but he still towers over me with his wide, hulking body, his musculature barely hidden beneath his brown fur. “Wow,” I mutter under my breath. After all this time, I finally found what I was looking for, yet I still can’t believe I’m staring at a real life minotaur. Unfortunately I can’t admire this beast in front of me because he’s trying to kill me. He steps forward and swings his long double-sided battleaxe again. Fumbling, I manage to unsheathe my father’s sword and hold it up. The axe connects with my blade, but the powerful swing easily knocks my sword off to the side. I cry out in pain as the force numbs my hand, as though I had swung at a brick wall with all my force.The stories were certainly accurate about the minotaur’s strength. I know there’s no margin of error in this fight. If that axe hits me anywhere on my body, I’m done. After I block his attack, the minotaur is in close range, so he tries to throw a punch at me. I move out of the way, and his bulging arm brushes past me. With his body off balance, I think to counter and swing for his exposed back, but as I make to swing my sword, he shoves his shoulder into me. Now I’m the one readjusting my footing, so the minotaur takes this opportunity to use his axe again. He attempts a horizontal cut, but I drop into a crouch and let the axe fly by above me. I rush forward, trying to use my speed to get in a few jabs. But my movements are awkward and clumsy, and my sword is too slow. The minotaur easily parries my attacks with the axe handle before kicking me square in the chest. With a cry of pain I collapse back, the force sending me tumbling. I groan as I end up on my back, my torch and sword clattering on the floor, but I don’t have much time to recover, as the minotaur’s already on the attack. He swings with an overhead motion, and I just barely comprehend the situation in time to roll to the side. Crunch! The whole room shakes as the battleaxe punches into the stone floor and sends bits of rock and shattered bones with its shockwave. I retreat to put some distance between the minotaur and me. The minotaur’s struggling to pull out his weapon, which embedded itself fairly deep into the ground. I think about picking up my sword and attacking him while he’s unarmed, but I realize my efforts would be futile. I can’t fight the minotaur like a soldier. Firstly, I’m not one, and secondly, everyone else tried to fight like one and got themselves killed. I have to find another way to defeat the minotaur, a way suited to my skills. I let my uncomfortable armor falls in a heap at my feet. I roll my arms and enjoy the freedom of movement they have now. Next I grab my torch and sword off the floor but move back towards the edge of the room. That’s when the minotaur finally pulls out his axe from the floor. The breaths from his nose get fiercer. I guess battles don’t normally take so long against him. But he’s more furious now than before and he’s charging towards me with a roar. With my heart thumping in my chest, I hold my position, eyeing that great axe of his. The beast pulls back to one side and swings it towards me. Once I see the minotaur commit to his swing, I leap to the side and hope that I got away in time. There’s another awful crunch that echoes around the room. I sigh with relief when I find my body unharmed and the minotaur’s heavy axe wedged into the wall, one blade stuck and the other sticking out, level to the minotaur’s chest. The beast tries to pull it out, but it’s wedged deep. I don’t take any chances, though, and I jab my sword forward. The minotaur has to leave his weapon in order to avoid my advances. He takes a few hasty, heavy steps away, but he seems more annoyed than worried. In fact, he seems just as content in using his meaty hands to tear me apart as his axe. With a bellowing roar, he runs at me with his head down, just like a wild bull. Without the axe, he’s even faster, the powerful muscles in his legs allowing him to sprint with great speed. I sidestep away, like before, but this time the minotaur makes contact. It’s not direct contact, but he catches my arm and I’m pushed away. I fall down, but I hear the minotaur crash into the wall as his momentum carries him all the way to the edge of the room. I get back up, but I notice my arm throbs painfully. I’m thinking the bone might be fractured or broken. This is an issue because I’m also breathing heavily, fatigue settling in as a result of exerting so much energy into my weak frame. The minotaur senses that I’m tiring out and I can almost hear a satisfied grunt, as though he knows he’s going to be victorious in this battle. But I show him no weakness and no intention to back down. I reposition myself in the room, and then I egg him on to come at me again. That gets his rage flowing once more. With another thunderous roar he rushes towards me, but this time I’m able to time my jump better. Using every ounce of strength I have left, I thrust my body to the side, not even bothering to land on my feet, and I roll several times on the ground. “ROOOOAAAAGHHH!” The cave shakes once again from the beast’s heavy impact. Eventually the ground stops shaking and there is finally some stillness in the air. Only the sounds of heavy breathing echo through the silence. I blink several times until my vision stabilizes. Once it does I can finally see that my plan worked. The minotaur is hunched over at the edge of the room, where he ran into his own axe, still stuck on the wall. He tries to pull himself free, but the axe is buried too deep. I can hear him whine and whimper as he loses strength in his body. His breaths soon become labored and eventually, they stop altogether. Picking up my sword, I approach the minotaur with caution. I don’t know if the beast is actually dead yet, and I don’t want to be caught unawares. Even motionless, the minotaur is still an imposing figure. Hunched over, he’s still taller than I am, and his hulking frame would swallow me whole. But when I poke him with my sword, he doesn’t move, so I finally relax and let my shoulders down. I had done it. I had defeated the minotaur. I’ll finally be able to restore my family’s honor. I would have jumped and cheered for joy if I wasn’t injured and exhausted. Suddenly the minotaur’s body trembles, and I jump back, raising my sword in alarm. But the minotaur is still stooped over his axe, and I can see that he’s not actually moving. It seems more like his body is spasming, as though afflicted by a sudden illness. As the minotaur shakes something more is happening. His fur thin, retreating back into his body, until what’s left is just the skin underneath. Next he starts to shrink, his towering body soon about the same height as mine. His muscles dwindle, too, his bulging mass disappearing until what’s left is a shadow of the beast’s formerly mighty stature. The once terrifying beast, undefeated and ferocious, now looks comparatively to a human. Actually, only its head remains, but even then something is off. I walk closer, and I can discern that the head doesn’t quite fit the body. Sure enough, when I push the side of his muzzle, the head is light and turns slightly. “A mask…?” I grip both horns and pull up, and the head comes off rather easily. It really is a mask. So this hulking beast, with strength that could rival ten Spartan soldiers, is actually just an average man with a minotaur mask? This could not be possible, I thought, yet I had just witnessed the inconceivable. My next question becomes, who was wearing this mask? I set it down and lift the dead man’s head up so I can see his face. With a gasp, I flinch and step back. He was my father. It had been years since I had seen his face, but there’s no doubt that’s him. For some reason, my father had been the one wearing the mask and slaughtering men as the legendary minotaur. But this made no sense. He was supposed to be dead. Everyone told he had died. How could he be here, now, more than ten years later? Then another realization hits. I had killed him. My own father. The confusion and the shock numbs me to the core, and I find myself collapsing onto my knees. My head’s a raging river full of mixed emotions. I thought my father had died, but when I found out he had been alive, he is dead once again, this time by own hands. There had to be an explanation for all of this, and I had a guess who might have it. The journey back home is long and rough, as my mind’s having trouble keeping itself together. I want to understand what happened, but all these “what if” scenarios are poisoning my brain. Home can’t come soon enough, because I want to get to the bottom of what happened. I stare down at the minotaur mask I took with me. This mask must hold many secrets that could solve this mystery. Perokles tasked me with slaying the minotaur, and the minotaur ended up being my father. That could be no coincidence. The time it takes to reach my city is able to ease my mind a little, but I’m still determined to find my answers. I immediately head to the center of the city to find Perokles. It’s midday, so the roads are busy and market is bustling. Many of the locals notice my return, and they keep their heads down, pretending not to notice me. I talk to the ones less familiar with my background to see if they can help me locate Perokles. It takes a while but I finally track him down to the produce section of the market. I spot him talking to a vendor with a cart full of melons. He’s wearing a purple chlamys, a symbol of his status in the city. He and the merchant seem to be having a friendly conversation. Perokles always did his best to acquaint himself with everyone in the city. He wanted his people to spread positive words about him and his leadership. Funny how easily a smile could disguise the vile and vicious nature of a person’s true character. I set down the minotaur mask and my bag. “Perokles!” I yell and the crowd around us silences. Perokles straightens and looks around to see who’s calling his name. But he doesn’t have to look long. The people around us shift and step aside, leaving an unobstructed path between him and me. When our eyes meet, I see his eyebrows rise in intrigue. “Isidore?” His smile breaks for a moment. He fixes it instantly, but I know how he is truly feeling. “You asked me to kill the minotaur…” I reach down and hold up the minotaur mask. “...and I have slain him.” His mouth opens and shuts as he tries to find the appropriate words. “You killed...him?” “Enough games,” I say. “Tell me the truth about my father.” I expected some kind of confusion, if Perokles really didn’t have a connection to my father being the minotaur. Instead, to my surprise, he lets out a laugh, as though someone had told him a funny story. “You really did kill the minotaur.” He taps his chin in thought. “I admit I’m speechless. I didn’t think you’d actually succeed. I just wanted you out of my hair for good.” He pauses. “It was amusing to picture father killing son.” Then he smiles. “But it’s funnier that the son would kill the father.” My blood is boiling now with every word that comes out of his mouth. “So, you knew the minotaur was my father. How? How did this happen?” “Your father shamed and embarrassed me and this city. Exile wasn’t punishment enough. So I forced that cursed mask onto him, and he became the legendary minotaur.” I begin to understand. “You weren’t actually going to restore my family’s honor, were you?” Perokles busts out laughing. He seems so out of character, yet the rest of the spectators are unchanged by these revelations. “Now you’re getting it. No one’s ever survived against the minotaur. You would either die trying or come back a failure. Admittedly, I’m impressed you succeeded. But look around you. Does anyone actually care?” No one does. There isn’t anyone who’s willing to offer a voice of support. All I see are the same glares and frowns that have followed me all my life. “You’re nothing here,” Perokles says. “Now go away, boy, we’re through with you.” He gestures me away, then turns back to the melon vendor. The crowd jeers at me. They tell me my father’s worthless and deserved what he got. They yell insults at me, and some even throw old produce. Everyone is content to see me humiliated, to see the man at the bottom of the ladder suffer and flounder like a fish out of water. Am I not a man? Do I not have skin, hands, body, and a face just like theirs? Yet they treat me like some kind of animal, or rather, some kind of monster. Ready to flee, I reach down to grab my bag. But my hand brushes over the minotaur’s mask, and I’m reminded of my father once again. I remember the good times we shared and the lessons he taught me. Despite what he did, my father was a good man. But the public never gave him a chance. They cast him out, and Perokles cursed him. How was that fair? How was that just? “Perokles!” I shout out to him. Annoyed, he turns around. “What is it now?” “You are right. I am nothing to you, to everyone here.” I hold up the minotaur mask, and he tilts his head, curiosity piqued. “I think it’s time I become something.” His eyes widen in horror as I place the mask over my head. Immediately hot pain washes over my body. My vision goes black, as the mask doesn’t fit over my head correctly. But I feel the curse spreading. I can hear the crowd gasping, some telling each other to run away. My skin prickles and itches, and I can tell that’s fur spreading over my body. Next, my muscles start to spasm and I feel my clothes straining. Suddenly the world comes into view again. I see some people staring, some are praying, and some are running. I hold my hand against my face, and I can feel the unfamiliar contours of a muzzle. That’s when I realize my head and the mask have become one. Looking at my hand, then down my arm, I can see that my limbs are thicker. In fact, my whole body has changed, hulking muscles covering my torso and limbs. I can tell I’m taller, as my perspective now looks down on everyone else. I’m becoming the minotaur, and all the size and power that comes with him. As my transformation starts to reach its end, I notice purple in the corner of my eyes. Perokles still stands there, mouth open wide in shock. Just his face fills me with anger. My sight becomes hazy as I give into my emotions. I cannot think. I cannot control. I can only feel. And I only feel rage. Before I give up my human consciousness and give into feral fury, I hear the sweet sound of Perokles’ terrified screams. The city saw me as a monster, so I gave them a monster. But really, who is the true monster here?
  2. Of course I want to see everyone getting big, but I went with the contrarian vote just because I'm curious how a "no" would shape the story But I am looking forward to the next part!
  3. Mystery and a cliffhanger! The break from the main flow of the story was well done, and I commend you for having the courage to step away from the main storyline like this. I think it's interesting that you deliberately kept the gender of the intruder vague, and which, depending on what happens in the future chapters, will say a lot about what the underlying purpose of this chapter is. Great job, and I look forward to what comes next!
  4. Each installment is so good and just makes me crave for more chapters! I can't wait to see where all the set up with the red and white canisters, and not to mention Whitaker's likely(?) revenge will lead to down the road.
  5. This is a great introductory chapter. Got some interesting characters and I'm hooked on the plot already. I look forward to the next chapter!
  6. Thank you very much! This story is just a one shot, but I'm working on more stories to post on this forum.
  7. Got a growth focused short story for you all. It was inspired by some conversation with Vertical. I hope you enjoy! Synopsis: Junichi doesn't like his boss, Oswin, and how he subtly intimidates the smaller employee or manipulates Junichi to work longer hours. Unbeknownst to Junichi, there are bigger changes stored in his future. ------------------------------------------------------------ THE OFFICE KING “Junichi, Sam’s got the flu, so we need you to pick up where he left off.” “I’m sorry, sir?” I spun around in my chair, looking up to find my boss Oswin standing over me with manila folders in his hands. With all the papers in them, the stack had to be one and a half inches thick. He held them out in front of my face. “Organize the info and set up a slide show. Have it ready by tomorrow, got it?” “Uhh…” I wanted to say no, that my day was almost over and that I was all set to go home. But the way his dark eyes bore into mine, the way he held his body over me, I felt a bit of fear, and I just couldn’t say no. My hand gingerly reached up and grabbed the folders. “S-sure.” “Good. Get to work.” After he walked away, I stared at the ball and chain in my hands. I thought about the extra hours I had to put in again. What was it, four times in the last three weeks? And it seemed like Oswin always chose me for extra assignments, like a student using the same pen for tests. A hand to my shoulder interrupted my thoughts. “Ready to get out of here?” I looked up to find Soroush, one of my close friends here, staring at me eagerly, his briefcase slung over his shoulder. “According to the Waze,” he said. “We should get to the theater right when the trailers start.” “Oh, Soroush, well…” I hated disappointing my friends, so it was difficult to tell him about the change in plans. “Os asked me to stay late tonight.” Soroush’s face fell. “Don’t tell me you said ‘yes’, J. C’mon, he already made you stay late on Monday.” I threw my hands up to show that I was powerless in this situation. “I couldn’t say no. Like he practically forced the project on me.” My excuse didn’t matter. The disappointment on Soroush’s face was clear as day. “I can’t go the theater by myself.” He sighed. “I guess I’ll head home, then.” His shoulders slumped, almost causing his briefcase to slip off. As he turned to head out, he said, “You know, you really gotta learn to stand up to him. He’s going to keep treating you the same way. Anyway, hope you don’t stay up too late.” I tried to apologize. “I’ll buy the first round next time!” Soroush merely raised his hand before falling out of sight. With a sigh, I turned back to my desk.Separating the folders, I began organizing the information to get an idea of what the presentation would involve. From the labels I could tell it involved the drug we were developing: Stoses. One folder involved production costs, another had information on ingredients, a third mentioned trial results, and there were a few more folders discussing other aspects of the drug. I found a flash drive tucked in with some pages. Plugging it in, I found even more data, though many of the files were digitized versions of the physical documents. After some browsing I found one file called “Investor Presentation.” That had to be what Sam was working on. I double clicked the icon. “What? What the fuck? Is this it?” The presentation only had six slides. Only six, including the title slide. I couldn’t believe this was possible. Did Sam really have the flu, or did he fake a sickness to cover up his procrastination? I checked the other files in the folder and found a document outlining the structure of the presentation. At least Sam did something useful. Following the outline, I ordered the digital and the paper folders so I could read and summarize the appropriate information. After about an hour, my back muscles felt tight, since I hadn’t taken a break in a while. So, I stood up and headed for the restroom. Empty chairs and empty cubicles greeted me, a sight not so uncommon anymore. Still, the faint noises of conversation and keyboard clacking echoed in my head, and I hurried towards my destination. I trundled down the hall, exhaustion nipping at my ankles. Washing my face would feel so good right now. But as I pushed open the restroom door, it got caught against something behind it. “Oh, let me get that,” a meager voice said. I heard some rumbling and squeaking and the door opened fully, revealing a short elder lady next to a cleaning cart. “Mr. Kuroda! I’m sorry, I thought the building was empty.” “That’s-that’s alright, Marianna.” I backed up so she could push her cart out. “They had me staying late again. I’ll be quick! It’s just me here,” I said as I stepped inside the restroom. The door shut with an echoing bang. “It’s just me.” The cold water stung my face, but the shock helped to refresh my mind. I splashed myself a few more times then stayed hunched over the sink, beads of water streaming off my chin and nose. Then I looked up and stared at my reflection in the mirror. I felt some relief that my coworkers were out of the office. They wouldn’t see my droopy eyes, my disheveled hair, or the ugly stubble that would never grow into a full beard. Stepping back, I got a full view of my frame. Worm. Slim. Noodle. I had heard these nicknames and more because I’d always been skinny. I ran daily, but genes also helped keep the excess weight off. Maybe being a string bean is what attracted Oswin to target me for extra tasks and late nights. I was like a stick to his six foot, muscular physique. Maybe he thought his physical presence could intimidate me into doing the work. “Well, I guess it works,” I said, mumbling. I certainly hadn’t been able to say no to him every time Oswin had asked. I grabbed some paper towels and dried off my face. “Let’s just get it done,” I said to my reflection, before crumbling the towels and tossing them into the trash. “Welcome back, Junichi! Took a scenic view of the floor?” Oswin was waiting for me when I got back to my cubicle. With his back against one of the walls, he folded his arms across his chest. I knew it was an act when I saw it. He wanted to appear bigger and wider, subtly intimidating me with his size. Even the pat on my shoulder as I sat down emphasized the strength in his arm and the size of his hand. “Sorry, I was in the bathroom.” “I figured, I’m just joking,” said Oswin. “How’re things with the presentation?” The big man leaned against my desk, causing the wood to groan. “Stilling getting into it,” I said. Then I added, “There’s a lot here.” The subtext of my statement didn’t make it far through his thick skull. “You’ll do great. You’re one of my best workers. Here…” He slid a bottle of water I didn’t notice sitting on my desk and sat it next to my computer mouse. “Always good to stay hydrated, am I right?” Another hard pat, then creaks and groans as Oswin stood up back on his feet. “Keep it up, Junichi.” I waited until Oswin walked halfway to his office before I flipped him the bird. “Fucking asshole,” I said under my breath. I hated that he made me stay late for this stupid presentation. I hated that he had to check up on me, like a school kid doing his homework. I hated the way he had to show up everyone in the office. I hated his stupid grin. I hated-I hated-I hated. I inhaled deeply then exhaled. Then I did it again. And again. I didn’t have time to internally rage against my boss. I just needed to finish this presentation, go home, and sleep. Maybe I could just call out tomorrow. As I reached for the computer mouse, my hand bumped against something. It was the water bottle Oswin had left for me. Well, at least that was a nice gesture, even though we do have a water station just down the aisle. I unscrewed the top, finding the cap seal already broken. He didn’t even have the decency to find me a new bottle? Whatever, at this point I didn’t really care. I took a swig and got to work. The next half hour was rough. My tired mind couldn’t process the data and the numbers. The letters would mix and blur out after I’d gone halfway down a page. Sometimes I’d have to go over the same paragraphs multiple times just to confirm what I had read. Just getting one slide written seemed like a monumental task. At one point I had to take a break. I finished up the bottle of water and stood up to get some more. The walking felt good. Stretching my legs and getting my heart pumping a little more eased my head a bit. In fact, I felt much better once I got back in my seat. My fatigue seemed to dissipate and my mind felt clearer. I could process all the data much quicker, and my fingers, itching to type, filled slide after slide. I had no idea where this new energy and focus came from. Maybe Oswin was right about needing to hydrate. “Making good progress?” I nearly jumped in my chair. I hadn’t even heard Oswin coming by my cubicle. My heart raced in my chest by the sudden surprise. “I, I...yeah,” I said dumbly. Why did he come back so soon? I glanced at the time and nearly cursed. More than an hour had passed since I had seen him. I couldn’t believe it. Meanwhile, Oswin briefly checked my current slide. “I’m glad to hear that.” A hand rested on my shoulder. “I’m on my way home. You’ll get that finished by ten, right?” “Uh, um, y...yes, sir!” I said with shaky breath. For some reason, the air felt thinner, and I couldn’t draw as much as oxygen. Oswin didn’t seem to notice, though. “Attaboy. Finish up and get some sleep.” When he left, I turned back to the computer intending to work on the presentation. But my heart was still beating at a mile a minute. I knew something was wrong. I didn’t think I was experiencing a heart attack. Instead, with my thumping heart, sudden alertness, and hyperfocus, I was reminded of times when I drank large amounts coffee too quickly and how the caffeine affected my body afterwards. Except I didn’t have any coffee since six in the morning. I only drank… I froze as I stared at the small bottle of water in front of me. There’s no way. I picked the bottle up, holding it close as I peered at the liquid inside. Obviously it wasn’t coffee, but could Oswin have added something to the water? Then I remembered a product our company made years ago. A tasteless liquid supplement to add vitamins and caffeine to juices, smoothies, or any kind of drink. That asshole drugged me! My fingers rapidly tapped against my desk. I could imagine the big stupid smile Oswin would be wearing right now. I stood up and threw the bottle as hard as I could towards his office. The bottle didn’t even reach half the distance. As the bottle bounced and rolled harmlessly down the aisle, I took a moment to recollect myself. Maybe it was an accident. He could have used the supplement for himself and I got a little bit of it when he filled the bottle. That thought made me gag. Did I really drink from the same bottle Oswin used? Also, I couldn’t be sure that I had actually been drugged. Maybe I was experiencing a second wind. Or something. “Dammit, dammit, dammit.” I was wide awake now with an incomplete presentation. Time continued to tick with each moment I debated with myself. Finally, I said, “screw it,” and continued working on the presentation. Maybe Oswin drugged me. Maybe it’s in my head. But certainly he would fire me if I didn’t come through by ten AM. So in the silent office, I kept on working on this damn project. “Hey, you alright? Hey!” I jolted awake. “What? What’s going on?” It took a second for me to calm down and to take in my surroundings. Familiar faces stared at me with unease as I looked around wildly. Around their shoulders they carried purses or messenger bags, which they set down as they each got to their cubicle. Cubicle. I was also in a cubicle. My cubicle. With my computer still humming and papers still covering my desk. I turned to face the one who roused me and saw it was Soroush. “Did you sleep here?” he asked. My eyes felt dry, so I blinked a few times.”I...I guess so.” My computer screen displayed only black. I tapped on the mouse and my presentation came back on-screen. I briefly scrolled through the project, each slide complete and full of information. Soroush leaned forward to get a better look. “Wow, you actually finished it?” “Yeah…” And then apparently passed out afterward, I realized. “What time is it?” My vision was still a bit blurry so I didn’t bother looking at my computer for that info. “Oh, it’s uh...9:30. Speaking of, bossman said to make sure you were ready with the presentation in time. Want some tea or coffee? He said you’d probably need an energy boost.” I couldn’t stand to think about caffeine at this moment, especially after the rush I had last night and the subsequent crash that followed. But grogginess still swam in my head. “Sure, I’ll take a tea. Maybe one with just a little bit of caffeine.” “You got it. I’ll have it waiting in the room for you,” said Soroush as he walked off towards the drink station. I nodded absentmindedly as I got to work transferring the project file onto a flash drive. As I entered the conference room, I saw Oswin waiting on the far wall, both hands in his pockets. “Good morning, Junichi! How’re we looking?” “Good morning, sir.” I held the flash drive up. “I've got the presentation here.” “Perfect, get that set up. The investors will be here soon.” Oswin walked over and sat on a large leather chair at the end of the long conference table in the middle of the room. “You can sit over there when you’re ready. I’ll have you assist with some of presentation.” He pointed over to a smaller, simpler chair, one with a plastic frame and simple mesh on the back rest. In front of the seat rested a cup, steam rising off the top. That must have been the tea Soroush said he’d make for me. I frowned. I thought I’d be done with this project after I finished the presentation. Heck, I even believed Oswin would send me home early. Although I guess I’d be going home late, since I never went home at all. But I supposed he had to extend my misery just in case something didn’t go right with the presentation. I’d probably be the fall guy if Oswin screwed up somehow. “Yes, sir,” I said as I handed him a small stack of papers. They were printouts of the slideshow so that Oswin knew what would be in the presentation. I condensed the pages so that six slides appeared on each sheet of paper. He gave me a nod of appreciation as he took them. While Oswin went over each slide, I sat myself at the computer by the corner of the room. I plugged in my flash drive and opened up the project file. Then I turned on the projector and made sure the wireless clicker would advance each slide appropriately. “Very good, Junichi,” said Oswin as he finished reading the slides. “I knew you’d do a good job.” I forced a smile, but before I could reply Carly, Oswin’s secretary, popped her head in. “Sir, the investors are here now.” “Excellent. Send them in.” Oswin stood up and adjusted his tie. Once he was satisfied with his looks, he came towards me with the packet in tow. “Junichi,” he said expectantly. “Ready, sir.” He nodded and took the clicker from me. He gave me a pat on the back as I headed over to my assigned seat. Oswin set down the printouts by the computer and slipped his hands and the clicker into his pockets. He assumed the same pose as when I first entered the room. Soon, middle-aged men in suits came in through the door. Oswin greeted each guest and directed everyone to a chair. I debated whether to stand up and shake everyone’s hands but decided against it. My fatigue and disheveled appearance would likely leave a poor impression. I did notice some glances towards my direction. I merely just sipped my tea. Oswin waited until all the men took their seats. “As you know, gentlemen, we have been working on a drug to stimulate muscle growth. It’s taken some time, and quite a lot of resources, but thanks to your generous support we’ve finally made some significant progress…” I sat back in his chair as Oswin expertly delivered the presentation about the drug. If I hadn’t made the whole thing, I would have believed Oswin prepared the presentation by himself. He even added extra data and facts I didn’t include. I had severely underestimated my boss. Some followed the presentation with keen eyes. They were clearly impressed as they took in all the information. Some nodded with fascination, while others eagerly whispered to their adjacent partners. They saw potential with this revolutionary drug. And the higher the potential, the more money in their pockets. “And now, if I can call Junichi up here,” said Oswin, after going through the final slide. I lifted my head, turning first towards Oswin, then at the other men in the room. I felt like the kid who got caught dozing in the middle of class. “Come on up, J.” Oswin waved me over to the end of the room. Slowly, I pushed back my chair. My half-rested brain could hardly understand what my boss would want. Sweat started to form on my neck and brow. Was he going to give me credit for making the presentation? That didn’t really seem necessary. These were investors, not coworkers or higher ups. Maybe I had to present more information, data I didn’t include initially that Oswin wanted to mention. But that thought crumbled into pieces when Oswin said, “Now, gentlemen, a demonstration.” What demonstration? Whispers and hushed voices flooded the room. The investors were like an audience during a musical performance when the song suddenly cuts out. Something unexpected happened but it made them curious and excited. A tight knot pinched my gut and the air seemed heavy. Did I forget to include a video or pictures? I didn’t see anything with the files I received. The sudden shift in tone in the room didn’t faze Oswin. “There are a lot of numbers, graphs, and tables here and I can see some of you are impressed. But some of you seem skeptical, incredulous, worried. That’s why I think you need to see it with your own eyes.” Two heavy hands clamped onto my shoulders. “That’s where Junichi comes in.” “W-what? Me?” I tried to step away, but Oswin kept a good grip on me. “Junichi here has taken the drug and will demonstrate the limit-breaking capabilities of Stoses firsthand.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I had taken the drug? When did this...wait. My eyes went back to my seat, where on the table a nearly empty cup of tea sat. I turned towards Oswin and his smug grin told me enough. So he did drug me last night. And he did it again right now. The knot in my gut tightened further, leading me to emit a pained grunt and fall to one knee. My shirt, moist from sweat, clung tight to my back as I hunched over. My muscles spasmed, with each tremor matching the violent thumping in my chest. I slowly lost focus in my vision as pain seared down my body, but I could hear the other men in the room talking fervently amongst themselves. Some called for a doctor while others berated Oswin for his impulsive actions. “Gentlemen, please, do not worry, everything is going as planned.” Oswin’s calm, controlled voice did actually settle down some of the investors, their voices quieting down. Not me. My body wanted to squeeze into itself. The pain was unbearable, enough to make me squeeze my eyes shut. But after taking several deep breaths, the sharp aches started to dull. My senses slowly came back to me as relief washed over me. There was a stillness while I slowly got back on both feet. “Gaah!” Out of nowhere, buzzing energy suddenly bombarded my body. I thought I got hit by electricity, forcing my muscles to twitch and tense. My body felt like a battery charging with power. Only the energy kept filling and filling until every cell felt ready to burst. Until finally… Shrip! I watched with wide eyes as the front of my left shoe tore apart, my toes poking through the hole. Then with a spasm, my foot stretched forward and widened, tearing more of my shoe apart. Soon, half my black sock-covered foot stood exposed to the others in the room. Many stared at the size difference between my foot and now the comically undersized shoe that once contained it. I still couldn’t believe what I saw. My foot had grown out of its shoe. It freaking grew! “What’s happening to me?” I said aloud. Oswin slipped his hands into his pockets. “You should know. You made the presentation.” His voice, and his response, irritated me so much that I wanted to punch him right there, but a constricting pain around my legs took my attention. Looking down, I gaped at how tight my left pant leg became. The cotton was stretched to the limits by thick muscles growing underneath the fabric. Somehow unconvinced that that was really my leg, I put a hand on my thigh. I felt rock hard muscle. Suddenly, I felt my right leg tremble. Not to be outdone, the right side of my lower body had to grow, too. Just like with the left, my right foot burst out of its shoe. Next I saw the calf muscle swelling inside my pant leg like a balloon inflating with air. Then my thighs filled out the upper area. Just seeing this phenomenon was incredible. But the feeling throughout this process was otherworldly, better than any pleasure I felt before this. But pain interrupted my bliss. My growth continued to my waist, where my belt did its best to keep its form. The tightening pressure created much pain so I tried to undo the latch, but I didn’t have enough slack to release the end. So with a grunt I tugged as hard as I could and the buckle snapped, along with my pants button, relieving my waist of the agonizing tension. While I took care of that tight situation, I hadn’t noticed the building warmth in my chest. “Guh!” A spasm pushed my chest forward. Tight outlines formed against my dress shirt. It took me a moment to realize what happened. I actually developed pecs! I brought hands up to admire them. Unflexed, they were like big, meaty pillows. I hardly had time to appreciate my new pecs because the buzzing feeling spread into my arms. I let go of my chest and held my arms in front of me so I could admire the changes. My biceps swelled in their sleeves, pulling the fabric tight like how my legs did with my pants. So I flexed them hard and watched in glee as the seams just tore and a bloated arm uncovered itself. My biceps were as big as my quads were before this whole incident started. I got some gasps and stunned looks when I tore the sleeves completely off my arms, just in time for the energy to spread to my forearms. Muscles and veins bloated to match my biceps. I formed two tight fists, causing my forearms to thicken into large pipes. There was no denying the strength contained in his grip. The growth continued into my hands, fingers popping as they grew longer and wider. I curled and uncurled my fingers, imagining the strength behind just a single digit. I shrugged my shoulders, working the traps that inflated by my neck. I could feel the muscles in my back hardening, forming mountains and ridges. For some reason, an old martial arts movie popped into my head. I couldn’t recall the title, but I remembered a scene where the protagonist smashed a thick piece of wood against his opponent’s back, only for his muscular opponent to shrug it off like nothing. I could just imagine my muscular back could handle harder punishment. Finally, I felt the buzzing energy die down and I had a moment to examine my new body. I was thick. I was ripped! Any trace of the thin, lithe runner disappeared. That guy had been replaced with a heavyweight bodybuilder. My clothes, the parts still intact, clung to my frame like Saran wrap. The feeling was odd, my body pushing the limits of my clothing, yet there was a bit of gratification. The tight fabric pronounced the girth of my muscles. I flexed all my various muscles, and I could see each muscle group tighten and bulge under my command. The chitter chatter and shutter clicking of the investors with their cameras reminded me that I wasn’t alone. Of course, all eyes focused on me as everyone marvelled at my incredible transformation. I held my arms up and flexed both my biceps. Stars sparkled in their eyes, either because of my hot body or because the drug they had invested in had actually delivered. “You see, gentlemen…” The investors snapped out of their trances and turned toward Oswin, who took a few steps forward with a confident ease. He gestured toward me. “...our drug is fast-acting and highly effective. In no time, you can have hundreds of men with multiplied strength, capable of more than ever before.” He kept going on, adding some data and observations from trials. His demeanor was cool and collected, like he had planned for all this to happen. Even though not everyone was in on the plan. This body felt incredible, but I didn’t forget that Oswin still drugged me against my will. I wasn’t sure how to confront him, whether to bring it up now or wait until after the presentation. I felt causing a scene now might hurt my standing with the company more than it would with Oswin’s. But as I stood there, I felt my body twitch at various locations. My right pectoral. My left calf. My right tricep. And the air seemed to thicken, forcing me to take deeper breaths. I no longer felt the soft, pulsing energy from before. Instead I felt intense fire. “Gah!” I thought a nuclear explosion went off in my body. Heat, energy, and pain seared through entire being, straight through the core. I no longer heard Oswin’s voice. I assumed my outburst interrupted his little talk and drew everyone’s attention back to me. I didn’t see, though. I had my eyes shut, with jaws clenched tight, as I endured the pain. I guessed what was coming next. “Hrg...not...done,” I said through gritted teeth. “...still...grow...fuck! Oh, fuck! Aah!” I reeled back, thrusting my chest forward. In an instant the front of my shirt exploded. Plastic buttons shot out as two enormous cannonballs jutted so far in front of me that I nearly fell forward. When I regained my balance I stared with jaws open at two enormous mounds on my chest. But I didn’t have much to admire myself. I was burning up. I needed to get out of these clothes. Only the top buttons had snapped off from my initial growth. This allowed my shirt to form a “V” down the outer edges of my pecs, until the two edges met back in the center, just above my belly button, and held together by a straining button. I grabbed the sides of my shirt and pulled down hard. My shirt didn’t put up a fight. Within seconds my upper body became fully bare, leading to some oohing and aahing. But I didn’t pay much attention to the others because the fire raged in my arms. “Fuck, it burns!” I said, dropping the remnants of my shirt. “So hot...ahh! Fuuuck!” My fingers throbbed as they stretched longer and thicker, until each one resembled flashlights. My forearms ballooned in size until they matched my biceps. But my upper arms desired to be the biggest. They swelled larger into veritable boulders, patterned by pencil thick veins snaking all around. My biceps were already huge on their own, but adding in my hard, massive triceps? Better call off the demolition crew because my arms contained unstoppable wrecking balls, and they could do some serious damage. “What’s going on? Is this supposed to be happening?” I heard someone ask. Worry drifted in for a moment, but the intoxicating growth blew it aside. I wanted to get bigger. “I think...everything’s...just fine. Oh, yes!” My back erupted with mountains of muscles. I felt huge slabs of meat growing all over and becoming chiseled marble. My arms got pushed by my expanding lats and I could feel my traps scraping the base of my skull. My hand brushed the front of my stomach, where eight swollen hard billiard balls formed my abs. My upper body had expanded so much I had to take a step to balance myself, having gotten so top heavy. It was then I noticed my pant cuffs hung well above the ankle. I was getting taller. Then my pants tore at the seams as my diamond hard calves grew too big to be contained by clothes. The tear kept running upward as my titanic quads swelled larger than beach balls. Soon what remained of my pants fell onto the ground in a heap after they couldn’t handle my growing body any longer. In just my boxer-briefs, I kept surging bigger. Every muscle seemed to breathe and with each breath they kept inflating with mass and power. But no one paid any more attention to my monstrous, growing frame. No, everyone’s eyes had refocused on the distended bulge at my crotch. Now that I only had on a stretchy pair of underwear, the outline of my thick cock was clearly visible. I wasn’t sure how much my cock had grown in my initial growth spurt, but now that I could see it, I knew that every part of my body felt the drug’s effects. Most people would have thought I had stuffed a cucumber or an eggplant into my underwear. But everyone in the room knew that was no vegetable or foreign object of any kind. It was pure one hundred percent Junichi down there. And that was before the second growth wave. “Oh-oh fuck!” The fire had converged straight to my sensitive flesh. It burned so good. “Yes, yes!” I found myself chanting to myself as I felt the pressure build. Then I heaved my hips forward and I felt my shaft throb and fucking grow! The threads in my boxer-briefs popped at the first thrust. Then the front obliterated at the second. My erect, massive spear sprung out, piercing the space in front of me. Its shiny head, glistening from precum, throbbed violently as inch after inch piled on to its length and its width. I could feel the blood rushing through the entire length and helping it appear engorged and massive. I caught in the corner of my eye one investor holding his arm and mentally comparing its size to my dick’s. One foot? Two feet? Maybe more? I couldn’t be sure of my cock’s exact measurements but I knew it was huge. Its thickness had to rival that of a telephone pole. Even with my enlarged hands I had to use both of them to fully encompass its girth. “Oh!” Even a single stroke sent bolts of pleasure down my body. A huge glob shot out from the tip and splattered a section of the table. Someone’s cell phone got completely soaked just from my pre. Huff. Huff. Breaths akin to a truck’s rumbling filled the room. I examined my body once it seemed the growth finally subsided. Man, I was big. No, I was enormous! Arms like steel pipes and filled with power and strength. A back wider and thicker than two average men side by side. My awe-inspiring chest, protruding so far I had to bend forward just to see my toes. “There you have it folks.” Oswin stepped up, taking back the spotlight. He tried to keep the confidence and charm he carried during the entire meeting, but I could tell he was improvising on the spot. “This is what our drug can do. It’s simple, fast acting, and, appropriately, powerful. Just imagine what our military - our country - will be like after we-” “Shut the fuck up.” The words came out of my mouth before I knew what I wanted to say. But I wasn’t about to back down. I pointed one massive finger at Oswin. “You did this to me, you bastard. You fucking drugged me!” Oswin’s smile wavered, but he kept a brave face. “Would you have taken the drug willingly? Taken that leap of faith? I made you bigger. Better. Look at your body. Feel the strength coursing through your muscles. You’re a real man now, and - wah!” I grabbed his torso with one enormous hand and pushed him towards the table. Oswin moaned as his back made impact with the table, hard enough to crack the wood. He opened his shut eyes as he recovered, only to notice my hulking form looming over him. “You’re right,” I said, reaching down. Oswin tried to scramble backwards, but he couldn’t get far. Not from me. I snagged his ankle and brought him back towards me. Then, I pinched some loose fabric from Oswin’s pants, and with one swift motion, I ripped them off, leaving my boss in just his underwear. “I’m a real man. And I’ll show you what a real man can do.” “Wait, what are you doing? Stop!” That was more like it. I watched in amusement as fear overtook Oswin’s confidence. The tall, muscular body that once intimidated me now trembled with fright. His free leg kicked at my hand, but his foot just felt like a light tap. “Let...let go of me, dammit! Wait, what...what the fuck?” The smaller man flailed even more when he saw that I had positioned my monster cock right at his ass. “Please, Junichi!” All of his pleas fell on deaf ears. I only had one word in mind. Strike. And I did, holding Oswin’s body down as I thrusted forward. It didn’t matter that my boss still wore his underwear. My hard dick punched a hole through the soft fabric and impaled his tight ass. Oswin cried out in pain. “Oh-!” “-fuck!” I roared in pleasure. Each time I pulled out and pushed back in, I felt euphoria flooding my head. My muscles tensed as I pounded Oswin’s ass, which served to remind me how much of a hulking beast I had become, and that just reinvigorated my efforts. “Stop!” Oswin yelled, tears trickling down his cheeks. “Stop, please! Fucking-mmph!” I covered his face with my hand, preventing him from saying anymore. With Oswin silenced, I could hear the whispers from the other men in the room. I had nearly forgotten about them. Some had horrid expressions on their faces. A simple presentation had turned into a vicious fucking, after all. But the other men, they had fascinated looks. Some even rubbed prominent bulges at their crotches. I couldn’t help flashing a grin and giving them a wink. I loved the admiration and attention I garnered from these enamored gentlemen. I thrived from their pleasure. I didn’t care about the ones who found the current sight to be gruesome. I was too big, too strong, too beastly to care about their thoughts. And that made my cock throb. I was the man now. “FUUCK!” I came with the force of a hurricane. My first shot filled Oswin to the brim. My shots forced his body off my cock, which sent cum raining all over the room. Powerful jets splattered against the ceiling and showered all the men in the room. I tried to get a handle of my shooting cock, but even taming a wild bull would have been easier. My cock jerked to the left, then to the right. One guy got hit with a direct blast and got sent ten feet back. Finally, after a minute or two, my orgasm faded, leaving me as the only one standing. Everyone else had fallen, crouched, or hid. Even the conference table had broken at some point during my earth shattering orgasm. I took several deep breaths through my massive lungs. The smell of cum and man satisfied me. “Once everyone else realized the coast was clear, they silently clambered onto their feet. Some tried to wipe the cum off their clothes. Others tried to salvage their phones from my sticky fluids. Then the door opened. Soroush stuck his head through the door. He was about to say something, then stopped, stunned at the sight before him. His eyes went from the flood, to the men, to Oswin, and then to me. He gaped as I approached him, each step sending tremors in a small radius. He looked me up and down, marvelling at the adonis before him. I spoke first. “Seven PM. First round’s on me.” He nodded dumbly at first but returned to his senses quickly. “Wait, what about Oswin?” I turned my hefty body and watched as Oswin, still recuperating from my intense fucking, lying on his side. He curled into a ball while moaning from the pain and the memory of my thick cock in his ass. I turned back to Soroush. “What about him?” Then I left him standing dumbfounded as I strutted down the hall. The tyrant had been overthrown.
  8. I remember reading a story where the protagonist was in a shop or cafe with his muscular love interest. Another bodybuilder entered the place and after a small scene, time suddenly stopped for everyone except the protagonist. The protag, intrigued by the sudden time stop, pounds the entering bodybuilder's vulnerable ass. When time resumes, the bodybuilder later gets his revenge (because he was still aware of what was happening) on the protagonist. And if I remember correctly the reason time froze was because the love interest, the bodybuilder, and two of their buddies had flexed at the same time which triggered some kind of magical spell. I'd be interested in reading this story again but I've had trouble finding it. I do remember other story details but I'll withold those for now because they're spoilerific. Hopefully somebody knows what I'm talking from the details above.
  9. Great story! I loved the interaction between Ted and Teddy, and how you presented the instant change after Teddy uses the syringe.
  10. Nice profile photo! Wonderful thick arms on that guy. I wonder what's the context there.

    1. FerrenWolf

      FerrenWolf

      Nice! Love that expression. He's really into it!

  11. Thanks for the follow!

  12. It's "The Perfect Drug" by Redman https://archive.muscle-growth.org/threads/5535-p1.html There are no links to the next story parts within each chapter post so I'll link the Google search results that lists the chapters: https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aarchive.muscle-growth.org+the+perfect+drug&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1
  13. Great progress, Waffle! Here are some things I've noticed so far: There's a line saying "<<if>> bad condition: PlayerMuscle not defined" in the story choice after choosing Casino for the first time. Sometimes the "Windows" option at home is available and sometimes not. Seemingly at random, clicking on the other interior choices either reds it out or brings it back in. After choosing the middle options in the prologue and then clicking [He said "Mmm! Now these are the balls I expected!"], the next story part appears twice, including the choices. The first time, my name is $PlayerName and the second time the name is written correctly.
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