It was another morning at Boxmore Industries.
It was the day after K.O. had found out about his father being the great superhero Laserblast, who later turned into the supervillain Professor Venomous. The parts of the factory that had been damaged during last night's events had been repaired in such efficient time that one could swear it was like nothing ever happened there. The Ernestos were working hard on the papers and taxes, the Jethros were working their treads off as they dreamt of the day that they'll be free from the repressive nature of Boxmore's hierarchy, and the kids - Darrell, Shannon, Raymond, Fink, and Mikayla - were all playing together in the playroom. Well, Mikayla was taking a nap while the other four played Fink's videos game of the jumpy man and shooting lasers.
But today was no ordinary morning at Boxmore, oh no.
It was the day where Lord Boxman, who was checking over the papers for the orders for more robots to be shipped with special bio-enhancements (courtesy of Professor Venomous, himself), suddenly got called down to the professor's lab over the private VO system Boxman had specifically made for them and them only.
"Boxman," Began the professor's voice as Boxman looked up from his work. "Report to my laboratory immediately. I'll be waiting for you~!"
The last sentence came out differently than the rest of his monotone message, which caught Boxman's attention the most. It was almost like Venomous was...giddy about something.
Well, whatever it was, Boxman stopped what he was doing, got up from his office chair and desk, and began making his way towards Venomous' lab. After all, they were in a relationship, and what kind of boyfriend would he be if he didn't go to Venomous' lab when he was asked to?
Lord Boxman had just made it to the main doors of his boyfriend's lab, taking a few seconds to admire the shine of the lab doors and how well the colors seemed to mix so well with the lighting and colors of Boxmore. Knocking on the door, the sounds of the knocks rebounding somewhere behind the doors, he soon heard the sounds of running heeled-bootsteps on the linoleum flooring of the lab before the doors practically flew open, revealing a smiling Professor Venomous.
'Wait. Why's he smiling?'
"Boxy! There you are!" Venomous exclaimed, taking his boyfriend by the chicken wrist as he dragged the shorter villain into his lab. It was hard to keep in rhythm of the professor's longer stride and footsteps, but Boxman managed. "It's about time you got here! I was getting worried you wouldn't get here in time before I had to start researching it! And I just knew you wouldn't want to miss out on-"
"Erm...PV?" Boxman interrupted, causing the professor to stop in his tracks and look at his boyfriend.
"Yes, Box?" Venomous asked, letting go of Boxman's wrist when he realized he was gripping it too tightly.
"What exactly did you call me in for?"
"O-Oh!" Professor Venomous exclaimed, blushing shade of dark purple. "Well, it's something I've been waiting for a long time now to get delivered, so, uh..." Venomous trailed off, clearing his throat into his fist after a brief pause. "Why-Why don't you just close your eyes and I'll show it to you?"
Boxman thought it was weird that Venomous was acting so flustered, but complied by covering his eyes with both of his hands. He felt Venomous' soft, yet firm grip on his left shoulder as he guided the two of them throughout the frankly eerie-looking lab that belonged to the taller villain. After a few minutes and a couple of close-calls from walking/bumping into some of the other experiments Venomous had in his lab, they finally stopped, the pressure from his shoulder leaving him. He then heard the sound of the lilac villain's heeled-bootsteps walking to the left of him and stop as soon as they started.
"Okay~," Venomous said, the chipper tone to his monotone voice making itself known once again. "You can open your eyes now."
Boxman uncovered his eyes and blinked a few times at what he saw before him, mouth hanging open slightly.
On the table before him was a weird-/creepy-looking plant that was an unnatural rust color with peculiar tentacle-like appendages coming from the two-headed plant with sharp teeth and petal-like shapes around the mouth containing the aforementioned teeth. A couple of bumps that were a shade darker than the rust color it was, but it was hardly noticeable under the lighting of the lab. It was in a normal flowerpot that was a tan sandstone. In any hero's eyes, it'd look gross, but in the eyes of a villain, it looks beautiful.
Venomous waved a hand at the plant, gesturing to it as he spoke. "Voilá!" Anyone can tell by the smile on his face that he was excited.
Boxman's eyes sparkled as he put his human hand to his face. "It's beautiful!!... What is it?"
Venomous gestured to the plant once more as he began speaking again. "This, my friend, is the beginning of what could be my career's crowning achievement." Venomous adjusted his position so that he was now leaning on the plant's table with his left forearm. "It's a semi-sentient species of flora from a planet in a newly discovered solar system. So new it hasn't even been formally described yet!" Venomous shifted his position again, this time so that he could lean closer to the plant on his left arm's elbow while his head was sat on top of his hand's top side, a small blush appearing on the lilac villain's skin as his eye dilated.
Boxman slowly dropped his hand back to his side, now starting to feel a bit uncomfortable that his boyf was blushing the way he was. But Venomous continued. "It has the unique ability to mimic the neurological patterns of other creatures, and store that information in a special enzyme. No one knows how it utilizes that ability, though. I'll be the first to study it in any significant depth."
Venomous once again shifted his position, this time using both of his hands to support his head as his eyes somehow turned into hearts, making Boxman's uncomfort even more noticeable for the shorter villain. "It cost a fortune to smuggle it here. But it'll be worth every techno."
Feeling it was a good time to talk again, Boxman decided to speak again. "Forgive me, PV," He began. "But you know this biology stuff isn't my area of expertise..." Boxman hesitated as he tried to word it out in a way that wouldn't sound too offensive. In the end, he decided to just put it bluntly. "How is this thing useful?"
That seemed to snap the taller villain out of his science-love daze, turning to face the shorter villain, grabbing him under his arms, and lifting him from the floor. Even though Venomous said that he wasn't as strong as he was as Laserblast, he was still pretty strong; it may have something to do with how Venomous now worked out a few times a week with Boxman.
"BOXMAN!" Venomous exclaimed, the blushing villain being a little over eye level with the lilac one. "If I can learn enough about how this thing works, I think I can harness it into MIND CONTROL!" Venomous' excited expression then morphed into one of villainous intent. "And there isn't a villain alive who wouldn't be interested in buying!!"
THAT got Boxman's attention immediately. Very few people have some form of mind control powers naturally given to them, and even fewer people have mastered artificial mind control from machines. But if Venomous could somehow harness naturally-occurring mind control from a plant that no one has any information on, then they'll be unstoppable. Oh, and also rich.
Boxman quickly adapted the same villainous intent as Venomous, eyes sparkling as his blush made his face feel like it was on fire. "Oh! That's brilliant Professor!!"
The two villains shared a quick kiss on the lips before the taller villain set the other down, both turning back the alien rust plant.
"There's a lot of work to be done, though..." Venomous thought aloud, placing his right hand on his chin in thought as his left arm supporting the other arm. "I guess I should start by-" Venomous then took notice of Boxman trying to touch the rust plant with his human hand, coming dangerously close to one of the flower's mouths. "Box, don't. It has teeth so it probably-"
"...bites..." Venomous finished, even though he already knew it was too late. The flower had chomped down on the top part of Boxman's index finger.
Venomous placed his right hand on his boyfriend's wrist, not taking note of the hissing coming from the other mouth of the plant. "Hurry and get it-"
"ACK!" The plant's other mouth chomped down on Venomous' wrist, causing the lilac villain to cry out in pain and surprise.
Finally, Boxman reacted to the plant's actions, flinging it away from them as its teeth retracted from the villains' skin and flew toward the wall, splattering into nothing but rust-colored goop and a pile of dirt and broken flowerpot shards on the floor below it.
"Well..." Venomous sighed out after a few seconds to contemplate what had transpired in a few seconds. "There's a billion technos down the drain."
Boxman turned to Venomous, a worried and regretful expression on his face. "I-I'm so sorrey, Professor! If there's a-any way I could m-make it up to you-!"
"Don't worry about it right now." Interrupted the Professor. "I need to look at these bites first." Venomous took Boxman's bitten hand into his non-bitten hand, inspecting the former villain's hand.
"My veins are burning, so it must...must have...injected...something..." Venomous was realizing that it was starting to become harder to think, feeling light-headed. He also realized that he was also either trembling, or his brain was making it harder to balance. His eyelids were also becoming harder to keep up, his body starting to feel numb. Using what strength he had left, he looked up at Boxman, who was looking like he was experiencing the same thing as he was. "...Boxman...?"
Boxman looked up at him, his gaze unfocused and his eyes half-lidded, his body trembling from the plant's bite. "Boxman...!"
Oh great, now his vision and hearing were making it look like he was seeing two of Boxman and his voice distinct and muffled. Using the last bits of consciousness he had left, Venomous spoke.
That was when their eyes finally closed and he and Boxman fell to the ground, blacking out as the plant's bite finally did its job. The feeling of their bodies fading from their minds.
Everything was just pitch-black darkness.
Dark, darker, and yet, still darker.
No one knows how dark the darkness can get, but all that we do know is that the darkness is infinite.
It has no master.
It has no name.
It has no form.
But what it does have, is a beginning, middle, and end to it.
But not in the physical sense of the words.
It only has one in the sense that the next events will depict.
Continue onwards, if you dare...
"Ugh..." Groaned out Professor Venomous.
The feeling of reality had started coming back to him in waves of tingling sensations. His eyes were still closed, but that was more in contribution to the fact that his eyelids felt like they were attached to lead weights.
The tingling sensations began to weaken and slow down, enough for the professor to feel that something was...off about his body. Like, everything wasn't how it was supposed to be.
'Everything feels wrong...'
Flashes of what happened before blacking out twirled around in his mind. The plant, how it bit him and Boxman, how they fainted from what the plant did to them.
'What kind of venom was that??'
His eyelids were feeling less heavy now, so he tried opening them, which did work...but what he saw - or rather, how he saw - was what got the rest of his frazzled brain working. In his vision, his right eye was seeing things normally, but his left eye depicted everything in a clearer amount of detail. His left eye showed how many cracks there were in the ceiling from the trial runs of his experiments and the number of punctures in the tabletops of the counters from his claws coming out in frustration.
"...Well, this isn't right."
Getting up from the floor, Venomous felt the blood quickly drain out, so he was about to rub it to try to soothe the ache, only to catch a glimpse at his right hand. His eyes widened when he saw that his lilac skin was now a pale yellow, causing his entire body to freeze in place. He also noted that the overall structure of his hand was different; instead of long, slender fingers about one and a half times longer than his palm, there were proportionally correct, pale yellow, calloused fingers and palm. Looking at his other hand, he saw that it was a yellow chicken's foot. Venomous then brought both of his hands in front of his face, slowly bending them to see if they were his own; much to his horror, they were.
This couldn't be possible! How could his hands have changed so drastically?! Besides, the only person with hands like these was...wait.
The plant he bought...
It had the ability to mimic other creatures' neurological patterns and store them...
What if...What if when it bit him and Boxman, it had already copied their minds' codes and-
Venomous then reached up to feel his head, if his theory was right then-
Venomous grabbed a tuft of hair that his human hand had in its grip, pulled it so that it was within his vision, and saw that it was short and pale green.
Letting go of the tuft - which fell back to its original place - he looked at his- or rather, Boxman's hands- he finally put together the puzzle with all of its pieces in place, coming to the conclusion that he feared: he and Boxman had swapped bodies.
'Alright, uhhh stay calm!' He thought to himself as he took a few deep breaths to calm his (Boxman's? his? his) nerves. He began looking over Boxman's/his new body. It was different when looking down at a point of view that belonged to looking at your own body. Boxman's body was more rounded and shorter than his body was, which also meant that it would lead to him using stools and step ladders more often than he did and would like to. He wasn't going to try to stand up yet, the feeling of pins and needles in his (Boxman's) legs still lingering after moving them a bit. He was still wearing the same clothes Boxman had worn from today, but he felt a bit warmer than he had been in his own body and surprisingly not that tired. The former could be because Boxman's body wasn't cold-blood like his body was and the latter being due to the fact that the man he had been dating for a while now had more energy than his appearance showed.
Hey, wait a minute...
If he was in Boxman's body, then...
'Does this mean...' Venomous looked over to his left, seeing the back of his body laying on its side; he nearly wondered why, but then he remembered that he had tried to turn around for a failed attempt at keeping himself from falling and ended up landing on his side.
"Boxman?" Venomous asked, but didn't get anything more than soft breathing coming from his body. Which wasn't bad, that only meant his body was still alive, right? After waiting a few more seconds, Venomous decided to crawl over to his body; he didn't want to risk falling on his face from standing on uneasy legs. It was embarrassing to have to resort to crawling on his hands and knees, but it was better to do it in a private place like his lab instead of doing it in, say, anywhere the public eye could see.
Once he was next to his body, he saw what his face looked like; eyes closed to reveal dark purple, eyeliner-covered eyelids, a relaxed and peaceful expression on his face, the left cheek of his face being smushed by the arm that was underneath the area, which left his mouth slightly open to let in air. It'd be cute if it was anyone else's body that had that expression, but for Venomous to see his own face like that...it was still kinda cute, in a weird sorta way.
Shaking his head to clear his mind of those thoughts, Venomous placed a (human) hand on Venomous' (Boxman's? Boxman's) shoulder and began to lightly shake him awake. "Box, you in there? Wake up!" He began, shaking a little harder as he saw twitching coming from Boxman's fingers as well as some groaning. "Please tell me that's you-!"
Then, turning his head to look up at him, Boxman groaned as he cracked open his eyes, his gaze unfocused. "Cob...is that you?"
"Oh," Came Boxman's reply as he rolled over on his back, his right arm still slung over his torso and his legs spread out. "Mom, it's you!"
A goofy smile spread across his face, which admittedly looked weird when it was on Venomous' face, but at the same time, cute. Somehow... "Oohhh ok," Boxman said, chuckling a bit as he continued. "I'm Boxman too..."
Venomous only crossed his arms over his chest as he sat and gave his lover a blank look, counting the down the seconds it took until Boxman realized he wasn't in his body anymore.
Boxman's expression then changed as a realization hit him. "Wait..." Boxman then sat up, his hands sitting flat in the space between his spread-out legs. "Why do I feel like a spaghetti noodle...?"
'Well, I wouldn't describe my body as a "noodle", perse...' Thought Venomous, feeling strangely insulted and embarrassed from Boxman's remark.
"Wha-" Boxman looked down "his" body, seeing that he was now wearing a navy blue turtleneck with an open lab coat, black pants, a knee-high white boots. He also saw that "his" body was much more slender and taller and had lilac skin from what "his" hands showed.
Boxman then turned his head to look at Venomous, still having the same confused expression as he looked at "himself".
Venomous tapped his fingers against his arms, waiting for Boxman to put the pieces together. Until it was obvious that Boxman wasn't going to come to the same conclusion as he did, he spoke again.
"The flower, Boxman!" Venomous exclaimed, coming out more exasperated than intended. Venomous then pointed to the head he now had to call his for emphasis as he continued. "The stupid flower injected our minds' codes into each other!"
That seemed to have clicked something inside of Boxman's brain, judging by how his expression lit up at the answer and gasp that escaped from his mouth. "Oh..." Boxman's expression then fell, eyes becoming half-lidded and frowning as he shook his head slightly. "I don't like it. How do we change back?"
Venomous blinked, slowly. "...You smashed my best chance of figuring that out." He said bluntly.
"O-Oh, right..." Boxman said, rubbing his right arm as he shrank slightly in his spot, a light dusting of blush on his face.
Venomous could only sigh, making movements to get up from the ground and stand up so that he could adjust to his "new" body quicker. "It's ok..." He said more to himself than Boxman. "It'll be fine. This is fine." Soon, he was standing up again, though the legs he now had to call his own were kinda wobbly; but it was to be expected from switching bodies with someone who had different body proportions than you did. Thankfully, he had enough control over them to keep himself from falling flat on his face, but the shaking didn't stop. "I need to either source another plant or develop my own method of switching back from scratch," Venomous stated, placing his hand on his hips to help with his equilibrium balance. "Either way will take a LONG time."
Boxman watched his lover with concentrated eyes, leaning forward a bit as he put pressure on the hands he had placed in front of him for extra support. Venomous sweat a little from the effort he had to endure as he removed his hands from his hips and tightly turned them into fists, his legs only wobbling slightly now; it seems like Venomous was faster at adapting then he gave himself credit. "Until then," Continued the former lilac man-turned-chicken cyborg. "I guess we're just gonna roll with the punches, ok?"
Boxman smiled in determination, some sparkles forming to emphasize how the former chicken cyborg-turned-lilac man felt. "Yes, sir!!" Boxman then got on his knees, lower back and legs shaking slightly as he got his left leg on its foot. "Your legs are so long..." Commented the lilac man, using his long arms for extra support.
"No," Venomous monotoned, no longer wobbling and was standing just fine now. "Your's are short."
Boxman paid the attempt at humor no mind as he finally got on his own heeled-feet, wobbling more than Venomous was just a second ago; this may have something to do with Venomous and Boxman's footwear choices, but it could also have something to do with their body proportions' differences, or maybe a combination of both.
"Cob help us."