It's dire times at the camp of intrepid heroes. Apart from any direct conflict, an anxious trio awaits on the condition of their companion. The after-effects of a mysterious bomb leave her in confusion on what would happen. Holding a tense vigil at her bed, everyone awaits for what will come to pass. Hopefully, things will be alright. Whatever the outcome may be, it's already been a long day.

Operation 2: Wetwork Wash
     The band of "Brenner's Wolves" look scared at how Isabella is progressing. She murmurs as the odd sensations fill her body. This can't be right... I can't even tell what's happening to me! Despite his happy-go-lucky attitude, Will can't hide his frown from his significant other. Lin looks indifferent with the situation. That wretched bomb had something to do with this. I may need to be cautious at what's going on. First the Creeper, and now this? Fortunately, nothing is happening to Will even though he was close to the blast. The doctor stands beside her, making sure to take a look at her while monitoring her vital signs nearby. Naturally curious, he tries to take a closer look at what's happening to his frightened patient.
     Dr. Morris pulls away the hospital sheets to reveal her entire body as it changes. The pale, apricot skin is fading away from her hands, stomach, legs, and all the way down to the soles of her feet. Lin moves toward Isabella's right hand. She places a few fingers to her wrist, trying to find anything abnormal. "Pulse rate is irregular... Whatever's... Doing this to her, we have to keep this under wraps until we know what's going on." The military advisor nods to the commander and doctor before running out of the room. Will wonders why her escape. "What is she running of to in a time like this?" The older man smiles while looking to him. "Oh I believe she doesn't want to see Isabella like this as much as you do." He brings a hand over to her left wrist to feel her pulse for himself. Her pulse is increasing gradually... I wonder what was inside that warhead if not radiation. "Rather, as much as everyone who saw what we saw." He presses his thumb over her left hand as a little gesture of comfort. Isabella gasps for a breath, and then tries to smile as Will holds onto her right hand with both of his. "I promise..." His words are cut off by her eyes closing.
     A horrified shriek pierces out from the room. "Aiiiiiieeeeeee!" Isabella wobbles her hands and feet quickly. In between all of her fingers and toes, skin grows in between them. The skin is similar to the minute human webbing that’s separating all digits. Clenching her digits doesn’t offer much relief. Observing the changing parts, Will sees that the webbing isn’t translucent like a fish-man. What is she becoming… “Unnnnnh…” She pulls Will close to her.

     To the surprise of the two, her strength has been augmented since the beginning of her outbreak. Will is pulled from the chair beside her and is sitting to the side of her bed. “I can f-feel my muscles becoming tighter… They’re bundling up to larger cords…” Her other self… A little tug from her right hand sends the message that it needed to be sent. He scoots onto his side to be beside her. Ooof, her hand’s pretty strong right now. A bear hug from her would take the wind out of me! On the outside, Dr. Morris sees the two in another tender moment. He sees Isabella petting Will’s back. In reality, her rubs are with a lot of force- someone several times her size. “I… I… I…” The young adult boy glances upward to her upper body. The yellow straps of her shirt are spread out over her shoulders from her growing form. She’s still modestly-covered. The only problem is the ribbon around her neck. After a few deep breaths, the ribbon separates from her throat. Her eyes grow teary from the discomfort of tearing off a part of her clothes as well as the pain of being partially choked from a piece of fabric. He scoots upward along her side, and then offers a hand for her neck. His gentle fingertips rub along the red marked portion of her neck. She smiles at the relief that is delivered to her. The snowy white girl slows down her movements as she wonders aloud if her larger self is causing discomfort to Will. “I… I’m not hurting you… Am I?” He shakes his head no, lowering his hand from touching her neck to go around her stomach. It is true enough- He didn’t feel as if she was intentionally rubbing like a bodybuilder on purpose. The slower movements do help to stay comfortable despite what’s going on. “No… Not at all… But thanks for the consideration.” She’s about to smile, but the curves of her lips don’t quite make it to complete her facial expression of choice.

     Isabella struggles to make any facial expression. It’s hard to do so as her mouth is protruding forward along her jaw. The bridge of her nose follows her lips as they move slowly away from what should be normal for her face. Before her jaw refrains from protrusion at a few inches, her nose compresses to a wet black button. It almost looks canine in appearance. Compared to the rest of her teeth widening from shaking lips, her top incisors expand much more visually. Unable to find the words to warrant easy comfort for the transformation shifting her humanity, he sits upright beside her. His gloved hands rest to her cheeks. His fingers are close enough to catch the tears from her face. “Arrrrrrhhhhhh…” Her mouth opens up as a soft screech comes out from the back of her throat. The altered incisors are now an inch long, thick, and poke outside of her lips. “This… Is just… Wrong… All… Wrong…!” The curvature of her lower lips accommodates the “tusks” that hang over her lower lips so she can talk without a lisp.  The dismayed maiden’s eyes are swelling further with tears. Will frowns at her look of sorrow. Even his usually optimistic composure is broken as her eyes darken. Looking into her pools, he sees her eyes at first look like they are becoming dilated. The darkness from the center of her eyes quickly spread outward to cover her yellow eyes with black. He raises his left hand in order to pet her head, but hesitates to do so. Finally, something with her alterations causes him to pause. His hand is only an inch from her forehead when a long horn pushes out of there. The half an inch thick horn looks sharp at its end. It reaches just a long as its thick, but looks strong enough to at least break ice with. Overcome with grief, Will clings onto her shoulders and embraces her head against his own.

     Her arms hold him close, draping over his back. “Oh… Oh Will…” She leans her head from the side to rest against his. Wetness accompanies her shoulder where Will lowers his head. “I’ll be okay… You’re here. Right?” The vertical movement to her right shoulder signals his agreement with what she is saying. Seeing a tender moment appear between the two, the doctor makes his way out of the room to give them a few moments of peace.

     A few minutes pass as the two benevolent souls embrace in warmth and care. Dr. Morris returns, holding onto three mugs filled with water. “You can't wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug, Hah.” The old man smiles as the two lovebirds smirk at his remark. “Anyone thirsty?” Everyone gets settled into sitting with their water being sipped. “Isabella, it seems that you look somewhat like a Sea Lion. Other than that, your vitals are returning to normal. You’re fine!” A snickering Will is relieved to hear some good news. “See, Will? That’s great news!” A sigh of relief escapes his lips. “Thank goodness it’s all over.” Her mug falls out of her hands. It shatters along the floor. “Isabella…?” His mug drops to the floor as well. Will’s hands hold onto her shoulders. “Isabella…? What’s wrong?” Dr. Morris thinks out loud. “Men and fish are alike.  …They both get into trouble when they open their mouths…” A quick glance to Isabella’s vitals gives the doctor enough reason to run out of the room towards the supply closet. “I… I… I feel so…” Her eyes close tightly. She rolls onto her stomach without warning.

     With Will being close to her, the force sends him flying in the air and onto the floor. He rolls along the tiled ground before regaining his balance to stand upright. He sees her curled up to a fetal position with his jacket clung tightly against her. Sweat is pouring out of her body. “I-I-I feel so h… HOT!” He holds onto his head, still shaken from being thrown off. Help… Must help her! Over to the side of the bed on his feet, he stands close to her. The water nymph opens her eyes as soon as she senses his presence. “I’m right here, Isabella! Tell me what I can do to help you out!” She tries to turn so she can look behind herself. “M…m…my baaaAAaaaaack…” He ponders for a few seconds to wonder what she’s talking about, but becomes quickly clear as her purple leggings look stretched out from her rear. It looks like an obtuse stem is making it uncomfortable for her. The gentleman whispers out loud as he explains what he needs to do. “Sorry that I need to touch your rear, but I need to make sure whatever is growing doesn’t rip your clothes like before…” She nods quickly, giving him the okay to manipulate whatever is behind her.

     Will is careful to not rub her the wrong way. He places one hand over to her side against her leggings. Mindful of her body, he turns his head while a few fingers from his opposite hand at the edge of her leggings. A quick tug and something brushes up against his slackening grip. “Ohhhh…” Isabella lightly moans as a bit of warmth escapes her body. What greets them is a tail; a little one being a few inches long. It looks like a miniature version of a mermaid’s tail, but it’s as smooth-skinned as the rest of her. Its end is frilled like a fan, except it’s made of human skin. Looking back to the frightened face a few feet away, Will sees a blushing Isabella. “I… I can feel my tail moving… It’s like I was born with one.” He looks back towards it, observing the distinctly animalistic feature about her. Its movements are slow with its lean appearance. The limb picks up a little more speed as it expands right before everyone’s eyes. As it moves against her legs, the base of her tail is slowly changing. Its thickness doesn’t change, but the base of her tail is looking much wider behind her. Sweat pours out from the new limb. She struggles to be able to move it again, but it is much heavier for her mind to move. Glancing to her face once more, he sees her frown while its delicate tail tip wiggles to move at a focused direction. “Oh, I see what you would like to do...” His hands rub along the end of her tail, just before its fanned ending. The fan curls slightly, reclining against his hands. He pulls the tail outward, wanting to be able to bring it around himself. She obliges him, trying her best to keep its strength to give some pressure. It wraps around his waist as it slowly comes out of her body. Relaxing at about 5 feet long, it stops moving. She speaks up quietly, sounding very exhausted. “We’ll be okay, right…?” The grip around him tightens. “Yeah Isabella… We’ll be alright. I promise.” “Unnnn…” A low moan is issued from her lips, now formed to a muzzle. The tail returns back to a neutral state behind her legs. She weakly looks behind herself. A slight gasp makes her shake. Will follows her gaze, seeing what could make her surprised in this situation.

     The downcast couple looks to a low-spirited Dr. Morris. Over his shoulder is a large comforter drenched with water. Behind him, a cot stuck open is ready with wheels attached to its legs. “Come on Will, she’s dehydrating. We need to get her to a pool of water before she’ll be a fish out of water. Will nods, knowing that she can’t stay here. Focusing all of her strength to move, she turns towards the foot of the bed. The wet blanket over the doctor’s shoulder is slung underneath her.  That little bit of cold is enough for her to look active instead of sluggish. Will places the cot just as Isabella crawls toward it. Once on top, she resumes her fetal position with his jacket being her comfort doll. The two start moving, making sure to head to a specific building at the furthest end of camp still protected with its walls.

     Every CO that is able to help does so when arriving at a seemingly abandoned warehouse. Many metal crates look broken off to build the structures in the allied camp. The one object in particular that holds vital importance is a covered water tower. It only stands at 30 feet tall, 20 feet thick, and a circumference of 20 feet, but it looks more than enough to suffice for a pool. Water is plentiful for the camp with an operational well and sewage plant. It makes saving Isabella possible as well as no worries for the camp to do without water. Dr. Morris enters a console close to the water tower. Gage lowers his rifle so he can place the changed Isabella on his back. Everyone else pulls together to raise a large pipe off of the ground and to connect the tower to a water pump against the wall. Once the sound of rushing water is heard, Gage makes his way skyward. Once on top, he scans the area. There’s a covered walkway with windows at various points. The walkway itself appears to be part of the covered roof of the tower, and offers at least two feet of catwalk for the structure. “Hm.” He pulls his legs away from the water as soon as it rises to the top. Isabella slides forward, splashing into the relieving waters. The jacket held close against her chest stays toward the edge of the pool. Its use is set he sits Isabella toward the edge of the water. She submerges her body, but leaves her arms on the jacket as a pillow of some sort. “Take care.” His voice is cold, but sincerity is behind it. Isabella nods, starting to look sleepy.  Moving quickly along the ladder, he slides down by only gripping onto the sides of it. The sound of his boots reaches the floor. Will follows up behind, but Gage brings a hand to his shoulder. “She’s tired. So are we. Let’s rest.” With a sigh, the worn-out leader of Brenner’s Wolves reluctantly agrees.

     Night falls for the camp. Infantry take their watch along the perimeter. Gage leads the watch by guarding the warehouse where Isabella is resting. Outside, the female COs talk to each other. Inside his own quarters, Will keeps awake on his bed. Doubt clouds his mind. After hearing a few doors opening, Lin emerges inside the bedroom where Will is contemplating. Seeking his good friend and comrade in arms, she approaches the foot of his bed…