It had nearly been two weeks since the discovery of a new coin existing. Not that there was a whole lot of information about how it worked. Beyond murmurs about what it could do the exact details were a mystery. What’s more Janet hadn’t heard or seen anything the slightest hint of where the creator of the coin had gone. Not that she felt the need to know, but it was curious. Things started out as an average morning. Going through her slightly changed routine of checking in with Alicia before doing her normal prep for the day. Not much had been going on as of late so slinging her backpack on and stepping out the door she pointed herself in the direction of Beacon HQ.
While in route though she was intercepted by one of the Beckoners. An encounter was not the most surprising thing really, what was however was what was said. “Janet Howell, your immediate presence is required at the following location.” Rather than speaking out the details though the tiny magical creature gave it to her psychically. “No one is to follow you until you reach the rendezvous point, where Tabitha has set the teleporter zone. She will explain the rest.” ”What am I supposed to…”
Before the girl could finish her thought though the Beckoner vanished without a trace. ”do…O-kay.”
Slightly stunned for a second Janet’s Absolute Direction kicked in full force. For as brief as the interaction was the details given for the location didn’t leave any room for mistaking where she needed to go. Still she was supposed to go right now and avoid anyone spotting her. Sighing lightly she stepped out of sight from the street and transformed. If she was to avoid detection then between Incognito and Ever Mist she would make herself untraceable just long enough to get where she had to go.
Thank goodness it was still early in the morning when a fog hanging around wasn’t totally out of place. Given the timing the Beckoner had to have known the advantage. Each step the anxiety mounted. What would be so important that she had to sneak around like this? This was also an area that she’d never really explored. What in the world could be out here that she couldn’t have just been dropped off there normally? Arriving at the specified location she stood there for a moment before she felt the effects of teleportation magic moving her somewhere else. Realizing she was now inside somewhere she dropped the cover of Ever Mist. ”Hello? Anyone here?”
Janet called out as she took her first look at her new surroundings.
It took a moment for the mist to fade and for Janet's eyes to adjust to the darkened room. But she would soon notice that there were plenty of people present. There were several clones of Binky walking around in lab coats. They all had name tags that displayed false names like “Linky,” “Winky,” and even “Dinky.” None of the name tags read Binky, but there was one “clone” off in the darkest corner of the lab without a coat. The lab itself looked like a cross between a wine cellar and a study. The walls were lined with books and potions, and there was a long wooden desk that ran down the center of the rectangular shaped room. There were all manner of gadgets on it, from beakers to tomes. “Pinky” was sitting at the far end typing out notes on a laptop, and “Jinky was carrying boxes around.” There were a few doorways that branched out into other rooms, but Janet wouldn't get a chance to explore them at this time.”Of course there are people here. We've been expecting you, Jan.”
Dinky wrote on a chalkboard filled with all kinds of scribbles, plus a few smiley faces. ”We need to notify the beaconers that you have arrived. So you can sit tight.”
“There is no need to, Dinky. I will take care of that.” A girl in a red suit
stepped forward, holding a notepad around her arm. “Greetings. I am Tabitha, the supervisor for this, ahem, ‘test of loyalty’ that has been given to you, Janet Howell. Pleased to meet you.” She bowed, blushing a bit for some reason, and adjusted her glasses in a graceful manner as she read her notes. “As you may surmise from our surroundings, this is the laboratory where Binky has been assigned to work at in the creation of Red Coins. We have moved on to the testing phase of the project, and would need your assistance with that.”
The real Binky(?) stood up from her dark corner. ”And if you have any-” ”Quiet you!”
Dinky snapped. ”Finish synthesizing that potion! Then you can screw around as much as you like.”
She looked back ahead at Janet. ”Where was I? Yes, if you have any questions before we begin, now would be the time to ask them.”
Finally getting a good picture of the space around her, Janet stood amazed for a moment at the clones moving about and working on… who knows what. Before having to ask much else though she was addressed and at least partially informed of the goings on. Tabitha went on about it like one would expect of a supervisor, down to ordering a Binky around which Janet didn’t particularly like but decidedly held her thoughts for later. Uhm… Testing phase? H-how can I help with that... exactly?”
Her curiosity was getting the better of her, though she suspected she might know what was coming next.
“So far, the only tests we have applied to the prototype Red Coins have been basic,” Tabitha explained. “Magic application, mana transfer, and so on. However, Beacon needs to verify whether a Red Coin is capable of transforming the user’s magic as Binky has claimed. And that is where you come in. Now, if you could step on that circle over there.” She pointed towards an empty area at the center of the workshop, where a small red circle was painted on. Next to the circle was a small desk, with a Red Coin placed on a small pedestal. “Now, miss Howell, I would like you to wait just a moment. Winky, if you could.” Upon her orders, a glass box was lowered down over Janet, enclosing her within it. “Don’t worry, this is just a safety precaution,” Tabitha spoke, her voice a bit dulled through the box. “This box has been magically sealed and enforced in case of, ahem, any unfortunate occurrences. So, your task is to pick up the coin, and focus on it. Picture yourself as different, and attempt to awaken the power within it.” Tabitha nodded, and smiled a bit encouragingly. “You can do it, miss Howell.”
Janet's eyes widened as Tabitha gave the instructions. Beacon wanted her to be the first to try the coin. The girl opened her mouth to ask why her but she paused. Going through everything that had been said thus far her thoughts hung on ‘test of loyalty.’ This wasn't just a test to see if the coin were to work, it was to see how far Janet was willing to go in service of Beacon as well. Before she could change her mind, not that she'd said yes or no yet, she was enclosed in a protective box.
What to do? Listen? Try and get out? Panic? Having gone through several transformations at this point with varying results she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to do it again. Frozen for a minute it was clear she was conflicted. Shakily she stepped into the circle. Staring down at the Red Coin she reached out to pick it up. She paused briefly, her attention suddenly switching off the coin and onto her hand. It was blue and translucent. Water? Pulling back and gripping her wrist she checked her hand again and was normal. What the hell was that? Was she losing it or was that not just what her hand looked like when she was a monster. Glancing at Tabitha it didn't appear that anyone else had spotted what she had. Sucking in a deep breath she exhaled to calm her nerves a bit. She needed to rationalize what she was about to do.
When she'd first embarked on this whole journey as a magical girl she wanted to help others. As time had gone on she'd seen an organization take a chance by changing their stance on those that were once considered enemies. Having been on both sides of that she wanted to continue being an influence for positive change. Under Beacon her vow was Charity. More than a monetary commitment to a single entity, it was meant to lend aid to those in need. Despite its history Janet felt that Beacon was still a force of good in the world. The Red Coin in front of her might be yet another tool to making a difference.
On a less altruistic look though, Binky had seemed confident that the magical item she'd managed to create wasn't harmful. If anything it was to help others that had received the short end of the stick when it came to magic. While Janet didn't really feel like her magic was bad or useless, she had somewhat become disenchanted by it after Justine corrupted her. The results of which surely played a part in why she was hear now. She, having fallen out of grace with her patron, was expendable. But if it worked then it would surely put her in better favor in the eyes of the Beckoners.
All these things going through her mind in a blur, Janet had put her hand back out and grasped the coin. A third chance… Fourth chance? Whatever it was she was going to trust that this thing wasn't going to hurt or kill her. Speaking to herself she determined to continue. ”C'mon Janet, you can do this.”
Tabitha hadn't given a great amount of detail on how this thing worked. Could she influence the transformation with what she viewed in her mind's eye? Focusing on the coin she tried to imagine things she could do if her magic was different. At first it felt like the coin was drawing in a small amount of her magic. Not long after though it began to glow a bright red, feeding back into Janet as the magic it contained flooded out.
Dissolving in her hands the fragments seeped into the girl’s skin. The crimson magic flowing through her veins and reached down into her very soul. Gasping for breath Janet recoiled but there was no escaping the effects now. "D-damn this is intense. How long should... O-oh god. T-this was a... huge... mistaaAAKE!”
The beautiful blue of her watery hair shifted hue into a blood red and began to boil as the very nature of her magic was being scrambled. The resulting vapor filled the space making it harder to see. Even so the red glow began to grow inside highlighting Janet’s distorted silhouette. Struggling with the rapid changes she was visibly stumbling. Stretching out it was apparent that her body was maturing rapidly, gaining height while her bust and butt filled out. Thus far it would look as if Binky’s claims were valid.
Internally Janet felt like she was on fire. Every ounce of her being wanted to cry out but she couldn’t get her voice to escape her throat. Something was pulling and tugging at her core, trying to rend her apart. And then the bonds of her soul snapped. Janet heard a second voice speak in her head briefly before it faded away. Onlookers would see a second pair of arms sprout from Janet’s body. Crashing against the desk inside the piece of furniture didn’t stand a chance as the magical girl inside flailed around. A second head appeared as the girl’s torso seemed to expand, pull away, and ultimately divide into two whole individuals. The red glow of each form began to be obscured as their new outfits materialized around them. At least one of them appeared to be wearing some kind of armor. There was a clatter as their weapons fell and leaned against the walls of the box.
As the results of the Red Coin were finalizing the intensity of the red died down and the mist began to dry, the magical source that had fed it having been lost. What was left inside were two magical girls, very obviously twinned, and clad for battle. The armored one had managed to keep on her feet, but the other seemed to have fallen on and broken both the desks and pedestal. Both were clearly reeling from the experience but they looked at themselves and each other as best they could, attempting to sort out what had just occurred. One thing that was obvious was that their Water and Sound magic have been replaced by… something. It wasn’t quite clear to either of them yet.
Dinky grinned. ”A success! Not that there was any doubt.”
Tabitha’s glasses trembled as she tried to keep them steady with her shaky hand, her eyes wide at the sight. All of the Binkys were high fiving each other, Save for the real one, who simply remarked on what happened. ”It would appear that the girl's transformation has split her soul. I believe that's called having a 'twin soul' power in academic speech.”
Binky looked at Tabitha. ”See? The coins are harmless and stable. But we still need to observe the long term effects of the red coin.”
Tabitha blinked, and nodded. “Yes, that is the correct term. But still...This is unbelievable. She-I mean, they look so different.” Binky scuffled towards Janet. ”How do you feel? Oh.”
“Oh my.” Tabitha lifted her notepad up to her face, and blushed at the sight of the two girls; they squirmed in the tight box, pressing themselves against the glass and each other in a less-than-decent manner, further showcasing their new physique. Binky looked back at Tabitha once she had gotten closer. ”Can you lift the barrier? The way their bodies are pressing against the glass doesn't look very comfortable.””Cramped. And yes please.”
Janet agreed. Between the growth that their bodies had underwent and doubling up on the number of people in the box they had more than quadrupled the volume they took up. Her twin squirmed a bit, stuck below her counterpart. ”At least you don’t have an armored girl standing on you. I think your heel is jabbing a kidney.”
Tabitha seemed as if she was distracted by the view, before she shook her head. “Yes, it seems they are...fine. I’ll release the spell.” She extended her palm out, and a magic circle appeared on it. With a flash of light, the glass box disappeared, resulting in the twins falling into a heap on the floor in compromising positions. Tabitha averted her eyes, and reached down to lift the top twin by her hand. “My apologies; I assumed the area of my spell was sufficient to contain your...ahem...new forms, and I was mistaken. Anyway, congratulations on passing the test. Your next task is to report back to Alicia once you have rested.” She then turned towards Binky with a smile, and in a surprising move, hugged her. Binky trembled under the display of affection. “On behalf of Beacon, I would like to thank you for the contribution you have given for our cause.” She released her, and began writing on her notepad. “As per our agreement, we will grant due compensation in living amenities and resources. However, if you wish for anything else, please let me know.””If I have anything I need, I'll be sure to let you know.”
The corners of Binky's lips curled into a smile, and Tabitha also beamed. ”I hope we can become friends. That includes you too, Janet and Janet.”
She scratched the back of her head. ”Heh, that's actually kind of confusing. I suppose at least one of you needs a different name.”
The moment the protective barrier went down both of the girls that had been trapped inside became aware of all the other minds in the area. Squinting as their heads were abuzz with activity as their minds unwittingly reached out to touch any other they could. ”Oh man… This is weird.”
Janet absently nodded in response to Tabisha’s orders. She was glad to hear she had passed even if she didn’t entirely understand what the test was. Smiling to Binky she tried to hide her slight annoyance to her new Psychic abilities. ”It would be my… our pleasure.”
Her face contorted a bit trying to wrap her brain around that concept. Glancing at her twin she acknowledged the issue. ”You do need a name.”
A brief moment of silence passed as the twin put a finger to her chin. ”Mmm, Jenna.
She said grinning.”Jenna, really?”
She said rolling her eyes.
Throwing her palms up in front of her she dismissed the criticism. ”Hey, you picked Janet. Not my fault you crushed on every J named girl in high school.”
Tabitha giggled a bit, before she coughed into her fist and returned to her usual expression.
Not really having a response for that she simply dropped the subject. Switching over to checking the results of the transformation it was once again another change. Having gotten somewhat used to being a small girl she now had to adjust all over again. How magic decided how your body.would look she would never know. But this time around it seemed to have made her significantly more well endowed. Hard to say right at this moment but if she had to guess they would probably be pretty close to Alicia’s height now, maybe slightly shorter.
Speaking of, Janet and Jenna were supposed to report back to their charge. Which begged to question how she was supposed to explain why she was so different. ”So what do I tell everyone when they ask what’s happened to me? I don’t think I can get away with blaming puberty.”
Jenna asked while turning to Tabitha.
Tabitha smiled gently. “You can explain that you used the Red Coin. We wanted to keep the project under wraps because we were unsure it would succeed. Keeping this clean for PR, you know? But since it worked, we can now happily announce the results.”
Curious as well, another thought crossed Janet’s mind. She probably already asked herself this but it was worth voicing anyway. ”There’s something else I’d like to know. Why did Beacon choose me? To test the coin I mean.”
Tabitha bit her lip, and looked down at her notes. “Uh, I’m sorry, but I was not disclosed with that information. The Beckoner who contacted me simply said that you were chosen to carry out the test.” She then sighed, and adjusted her glasses. “Anyway, I must return to my work. Take care, miss Howell, and may the light of Beacon guide your way.”
One answer was better than no answer at all. Wondering why was probably going to drive her crazy but the Howell girls couldn’t blame Tabitha for not knowing. ”Alright. I guess I’ll have to see if the Beckoners are willing to tell me later.”
Moving to one of the desks Jenna snatched a pen and paper. Writing down their number she navigated around the clones and handed it to Binky. ”Here’s our number. If you want to meet up or need anything just give us a call.”
She smiled and headed back to her twin. Before leaving they would need to lose their transformation. With their warrior appearance dissolving their new normal forms were revealed.
Checking out their new bodies Janet just shook her head and chuckled lightly. ”This is going to take some getting used to.”
Without the armor or uniform and in a regular dress their shapely forms were much more accentuated. Heading out the way they came the girls made their way home to rest and acclimate to their new bodies and magic.