Title: Unforseen Consequences
Author: Strega
© 2004
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Unforseen Consequences
By Strega

Yesterday I was a cat.

A large cat, mind you. Five hundred pounds in my small form, close to a thousand in my larger one. In both forms, I could speak: I whined too much in my small form, but I blame that on a spell intended to enforce my docility. In my large form, I was tough, strong, aggressive, and yet still obedient to my 'master'. My 'owner'. Someone who'd been a friend, but had turned into something else over the years.

That was all yesterday. Now I lie beside a softly breathing woman, dwarfing her with my bulk. Now my shape is more like a man's, and I have a man's interest in a human woman.

But I am still a cat, oh yes. Or, more properly, a tiger.


"Are you sure, Cringer?"

"I c-can smell them, Adam. There are too many to fight."

Adam crouched behind the slope, plainly wanting to look past it. But that wouldn't do.

"If you look, they'll s-see you. I don't th-think we could fight them all off."

"How did they find us?"

Cringer hid a smile. Once the decision had been made, all he'd had to do was wait for Adam to suggest a hunting trip. That got them out into the hills together, alone…and while Adam was out here to hunt deer, Cringer was after an entirely different sort of prey.

"I don't know. M-maybe Skeletor figured out a way to detect your magic sword."

"The sword…." Adam's hand gripped the haft. "He-Man and Battle Cat might be able to fight them off."

Now, the real test of his acting ability: "N-no! I don't want to be him again. And there are so m-many." Cringer cringed. "M-maybe we can see if they are using m-magic to find the sword."

Adam's brow crinkled as he turned his meager wits to that point. "How?"

"Put the s-sword on the ground and move away from it a little, and I’ll listen to see if they follow you or stay where they are."

"What if they attack?"

"I'll c-carry the s-sword to you if they do. In my teeth."

Adam hesitated. "If they can detect the sword even when I'm Adam, we need to know." Slowly the blade slid from the scabbard, and just as slowly he lay it on the rocks.

As He-Man, Adam was nearly invincible. He knew he could change to He-Man at a moment's notice, which meant Adam was fundamentally invincible. Why bother learning to think things through when you can just punch your way out of any situation?

Cringer lay on the rocks next to the sword, pressed to the stones and ears forward. Every particle of his being seemed focused on something to the far side of the slope. He listened, sniffed, and bristled his whiskers as Adam crept away from the magic sword.

When Adam was far enough away, Cringer turned and pounced.

"Cringer, what…ooof!" Five hundred pounds of green-and-orange-striped tigercat thumped the teenager to the ground, the animal's heavy chest pinning him and its paws enclosing him to the sides. "Cringer, what are you doing?"

Years of accumulated resentment bubbled to the surface as Cringer kept his 'friend' trapped beneath him. "What's happening is I am tired of being an idiot. Tired of following an idiot."

"But Skeletor and his men!" Adam cast a fearful glance at the slope.

"You're hopeless." Cringer grinned, and leaned down to lick Adam's forehead with his sandpaper-rough tongue. "Skeletor isn't out there. Neither are any of the others. Especially not Evilynn."

"Evilynn hasn't been seen for months." Adam looked blankly up at Cringer, and the cat's grin broadened.

"Of course she hasn't. Evilynn and I…or she and Battle-Cat…met a while back in Snake Mountain." The sandpaper tongue slid over Adam's forehead again as the cat took a taste. He didn't want to hurry this.

"Ouch!" Sandpaper-rough literally: that tongue hurt! "Stop licking me, Cringer, and get off. You've had your little joke."

Adam was only a teenager, nothing like the overmuscled He-Man, but he was a strong teen. He got his fingers into Cringer's fur and tried to shove the cat off.

Five hundred pounds of tiger decided not to be shoved off, and so he wasn't. "You're not curious about what happened to Evilynn?" A string of saliva dripped from Cringer's lip onto Adam's forehead, and the boy grimaced.

"Cringer! Stop that!" He pushed at the cat again, and again it did not move. "What do you mean, what happened to Evilynn? Skeletor probably got tired of her plots."

"You are an idiot. It was all there right in front of He-Man, and you didn't see it. You -- he -- rode out on Battle Cat's back that day, never wondering why his belly was so fat…."

"Belly?" There was still no fear in the guileless eyes staring up at Cringer. "What do you mean?"

Cringer sighed. He could only milk so much entertainment out of even this long-awaited moment. It helped that he had intentionally starved himself for two days. Staring down at Adam, knowing what was going to happen to the unsuspecting youth, added spice to the encounter. His belly even chose that exact moment to rumble hungrily.

The first hint of worry appeared on Adam's face, and Cringer nodded. "Oh yes. Evilynn met Cat that day, and came to know him as quite a few of Skeletor's minions have. She learned all about him, inside and out."

"He ate her?" The half-hearted effort at escape became a bit more serious. Not serious enough to move Cringer, and not serious enough for the boy to have figured out what his 'pet' intended. "And others?"

"He ate her. All in one big lump, one long swallow. Just…like…this."

"Cringer?" Adam stared up at the fanged yawn, the lolling tongue and the darkness beyond. "This isn't funny any more."

Cringer lowered his jaws, and though the gape kept his lips from curving, his whiskers flicked in a grin.

"Cringemmmff!" Warm, flavorful teenage skin moved against Cringer's tongue as he closed his jaws, and just as he had months before, he hooked a paw behind his meal's shoulders and pulled. With a much greater effort than Battle Cat had needed with Evilynn he worked his mouth over Adam's head and swallowed.

Adam was struggling now, genuinely struggling. His fists thumped again Cringer's pelt, but even a strong man would have trouble hurting a tiger that way. No, to fight a tiger a man needs distance, or armor and a sword. Then as long as the cat doesn't pull him down, he will win.

Adam had neither distance nor a sword, and the cat already had him down. Already his blond hair and face were down the cat's gullet, swallowed whole, and Cringer strained his jaws wider as he slowly took in the shoulders.

Cringer's, and Battle Cat's, unsuspected ability to swallow large prey whole arose from an early adventure. Battle Cat had caught a young mage in Skeletor's service, one who'd specialized in studying the Snake Men. After a bit of nibbling the mage had told Cat all sorts of useful things he might accomplish for the feline.

Battle Cat had asked about snake-men, and after a bit more nibbling the mage cast a spell. A spell 'of minor transformation' he'd called it, changing the cat's jaws, throat, chest and stomach.

Naturally, Battle Cat tested the new ability to make sure the mage wasn't lying. Soon the struggle in his belly had quieted, and with that, no one but Cat knew of his new skill.

Though he had a snakelike ability to swallow creatures, and the snakelike ability to digest bones, his body was still a tiger's. He needed to eat more often than a snake. The mage's body had dissolved in a day, as had Evilynn's and others'. Panthorr, a meal nearly as large as himself, had digested in a week. He'd had much explaining to do when he appeared after that absence.

Now he swallowed down Adam's shoulders, worked his jaws to the boy's navel, and planned how he would explain this.

'We were ambushed while hunting', he'd say. 'I got separated from Adam, and his sword fell down a cliff near me so I picked it up in my teeth. Last I saw of him, one of Beast-Man's big worms was after him.'

Of course, he'd not return until Adam was fully gone. There'd be no trace of the boy in his body for the Sorceress to find. The few things he couldn't digest would either pass through his body or be coughed back up long before his return. After his meal of Panthorr he'd heaved up a ball of purple fur as large as a child: Adam wouldn't produce nearly as much debris.

'They chased me into the wastes, and I had to circle back. It took all this time…has anyone seen Adam? Did he make it back?"

Cringer swallowed down the boy's belly, wrapped his paws behind Adam's rump, and pulled the hips into his maw. Adam was a tasty thing, almost as tasty as Evilynn, but he swallowed as rapidly as he could. Should the Sorceress choose this moment to scry on them it'd be hard to explain the legs sticking out of his muzzle. Much as he'd like to linger, Adam had to go down post-haste.

He could feel the pulsations of his swallowing muscles, kneading the big lump of food downward. Adam was struggling even now, wrigging in the slippery embrace of gulletflesh. The legs in Cringer's mouth kicked powerfully, but neither the wriggling torso nor those kicks helped Adam at all. Five hundred pounds of tiger swallowed him as easily as a five hundred pound snake might.

Adam's knees came to rest in his jaws, and Cringer tossed his muzzle upward, gathering in the calves. Gulp, gulp , and Adam slid inward, stretching out from tiger-lips to tiger-belly. Nothing but a pair of fur-fringed boots now. Clothing, sword scabbard and all, nearly all of Adam was down a feline throat.

The kicking feet filled Cringer's mouth, and he swallowed down his friend of ten years. A moment of strain as he stretched himself out, a moment of pain as his belly swelled. He'd never swallowed a man as Cringer before, only as Cat, and Adam was larger than the dogs who'd been test-gulped.

Adam was gone. Cringer sat back atop his squirming belly and grinned. The boy struggled even more fiercely now, a strong wriggling that'd begun when his head had entered Cringer's stomach. No doubt the same belly-acids that'd render his body to nothingness were eagerly starting in on living flesh. The struggle would end soon: it always did.

"You always were an…"

*buUURRppptt* His cheeks ballooned out around the huge belch, and he grinned until his jaws hurt.

"…Idiot, Adam. A child could've seen I meant to eat you."

He rose on his paws and swaggered over to the sword. His triumph, as always, was marked by a heavy, swaying belly and a taste of prey in his mouth. Adam, his friend and master, was now just another lump in his belly. In a few hours the lump would begin to shrink, and in a day there'd be no trace of the boy at all. Like many before him, Adam was on his way through the cat's digestive tract, and that was a one-way trip.

Stomach gurgling happily, he leaned down to pick the sword up by its grip. Adam was almost done struggling and just clawed weakly at the stomach that'd digest him.

"Now we'll see what happens with the war," he mumbled around the haft. "There'll be no one to say 'By the power of Greyskull'--aaaaaAARGGH!"

The bolt of lightning was totally unexpected. It shot in from the horizon, bounced from wispy cloud to wispy cloud and then right to the blade of the sword. Cringer's world vanished in a blaze of light as he…changed.

He'd felt this before when he changed to Battle Cat, but there was something different this time. His muscles and bones swelled, but they also twisted and moved. Somehow, he re-shaped himself as he changed.

And Adam? Caught in the moment, feeling himself change, Cringer knew a moment of panic. If Adam became He-Man, even Battle Cat's muscular stromach might not be able to hold him.

Instead, the energies crawling over Cringer/Battle Cat didn't seem to know what to do with the boy in his belly. Instead of changing into He-Man…

…Adam became part of him. Cringer felt it happen: Adam digested instantly, merging into the muscular body around him. The bulk of muscle and bone He-Man possessed became part of whatever Cringer was becoming. With a final gurgle, the cat's belly was empty and Adam was gone.

For ten or more seconds Cat lay on his side, trying to understand what had happened. He felt different. Stronger. Even stronger than Battle-Cat.

When he rolled over onto his rump, he received an even larger shock.

He had hands, feet, and a man's body. A fur-covered body, but man-shaped. Partial armor covered him, red and spiked like his old Battle Cat armor, but with He-Man's chest harness and embem. Fringed boots like He-Man's covered his feet, and the Sword of Power lay in his hand. The scabbard for the sword -- a scabbard that should have digested with Adam -- lay across his back.

"What…happened?" Cat put his hand to his face, and found it still feline. He still had the broad, fanged muzzle, slitted eyes and rounded ears of a proper tiger. But now he was a tiger-man.

He still had a tail too, although his apparent two-footed walk wouldn't need the counterbalance his four-footed pounces had required.

Green and orange fur covered his body and limbs still, his form a hybrid of man and tiger much like Beast-Man but sleeker. Shave his fur and he'd resemble a taller, tailed, cat-faced He-Man.

Much taller. Both Battle Cat's mass and He-Man's were together in this body, and he stood over ten feet tall. Ten feet and maybe thirteen hundred pounds of solid, magical muscle. He was as strong as Battle Cat and He-Man put together.

But what had happened to Adam? He'd felt the boy digest into him, and he certainly had none of Adam's memories. Still, what'd happen if he changed back? Would he be Cringer again, belly fat around a twitching teenager?

This might be one-time deal. Maybe it'd only happened because Adam lay alive in his stomach. If he did change back, and Adam died (as he would within moments), he might just be Cringer again, forever.

He sighed. He had to change back and see. Otherwise it might happen at some other time, perhaps at the Sorceress' hands, and then he'd have to explain the Adam-bulge.

He pointed the blade at the sky: "Let the power return!"

And nothing happened.

"…Hmm. I guess we are together forever, eh, He-Man?" He returned the sword to its scabbard. "The good news being I may be powerful enough now to end the war…one way or the other."

"He-Man!" The Sorceress' voice rang out, and he turned to see her face hovering in the air. "There is trouble in…He-Man?"

Surely, he had repressed his guilty start. She would think him merely startled. "No, It is I, Battle Cat…sort of." He gestured helplessly. "Something happened, Adam was wounded and I merged with him somehow as he changed."

"Come to Castle Greyskull at once! We'll get to the heart of this."

As the image faded, Cat…for he supposed he was now just Cat, rather than Battle Cat or, say, He-Cat…felt an unexpected stirring. He hadn't explored all of his body yet, and moving aside his loincloth, he found he was like a man in one more way. A very large, green skinned man apparently, but a man.

At least his balls were properly furry still.

"Yes, she is pretty, isn't she? And I haven't had a woman since Evilynn. We'll see."


"…He fell in the rockslide, and to protect him from more rocks I crouched atop him. He was hurt and the rocks were still coming, so all I could think to do was take the haft of the Sword in my teeth and say that thing he always says."

"'By the power of Greyskull'. But the enchantment wasn't meant for you. As you lay atop Adam, somehow the two of you became one."

'Even had I not used the sword, we had already become one.' Quickly he repressed the thought. "Is there any way to separate us?"

"I'm afraid I have no idea, Battle…'Cat'. I will have to study this matter further."

Her sweet scent, taken in through his still-tiger nostrils, and the look or her, taken in through tiger eyes, had an effect on his man-like body. The stirring was back, and it was stronger. "Sorceress, I apologize, but…."

"But what?" And then something of his body language led her eyes to his bulging loincloth. "Oh."

Not embarrassed -- for in the final analysis he was a cat, not a man -- he was still apologetic. "As Cringer, and as Cat, I've always been attracted to you. I never had a mate, you know. I'll leave you be while you study the problem."

He knew there was no resolving the 'problem'. Adam/He-Man was utterly gone, his being digested and incorporated into this new body. Even if the Sorceress managed to turn him back into just Cringer or Battle Cat, Adam/He-Man was gone forever.

As he turned to go, though, he got a surprise. "You know, you're cute when you're embarrassed."

"I am not embarrassed! Or cute." As he looked down at the tiny woman, hardly more than half his height, he had to smile. "Just…awkward. I'm not used to this new body."

His surprise turned to astonishment as the Sorceress -- the chaste, unreachable Sorceress -- slid her hand beneath his loincloth. "Then maybe we should help you get used to it."

Of course, there could be only one answer to that.


She slept peacefully next to him. Exhausted, spent from their coupling. He had made her scream in lust and pain: he was too big for her, yet somehow they had managed. Managed for hours, for a number of couplings he couldn't fathom. He'd thoroughly explored her, and she him, and he knew now he'd never want to leave this body. It was too pleasant a home, far more so than Cringer or Battle Cat.

She would want him to, though. She'd want to try to free digested Adam from the 'prison'. Even if she gave up, she'd still want him to fight. Skeletor, her rival, still threatened Greyskull. The self-perpetuating war between the two mages would go on until one was gone.

She was a mortal, albeit a powerful mage, and she tired more easily than he. Their sex-play had utterly exhausted her, and she slept with a fond smile on her lips. He, on the other hand, was magically fortified, and he could fight -- or rut -- for hours. Maybe for days.

And his lips weren't curled in a smile. His rubbery, black, tiger lips were gaped in a hungry yawn.

She woke slowly, and by the time she realized was what happening it was far too late. Soon he settled down, licking his lips: where the bed had held two, now there was just one.

His huge hand roamed over the weakly twitching bulge she made in his muscular belly. All too mortal, in the end, she couldn't use her magic when so thoroughly surprised and dominated.

*Urp* She'd been a small meal, but satisfying. Already he knew his new body would need a lot of food to keep it going. Somehow, his strength and power were powered not so much by Greyskull now as by his meals. A meal like the Sorceress might not fill his belly tightly, but her magic would sustain his strength for a long time indeed. Not that he wouldn't need to eat, but that'd be just to satisfy his stomach's formidable cravings.

Thus was one half of the war ended. Now for the rest: He knew Skeletor. As soon as that mage realized He-Man was missing, he would come here. Without the Sorceress at the ramparts to bolster the magics, Skeletor would soon force his way in. Fearful that his lieutenants would try to sieze the Elder's power, that bone-faced mage would come in first, and alone.

Cat would be waiting. A mage like Skeletor, properly digested, would add many more years to his strength. And Skeletor's followers were nothing without their Master, and without Evilynn. With all four chief players gone, King Randor's troops would bring peace to he land.

Sometime in that period, Cat would let it be known that he had arranged for Skeletor's fall. He'd be cheered as a hero, and (with any luck) given an estate and earnings.

Alternately, he could join Skeletor's forces. Even if he chose not to devour the mage, Skeletor was sure to provide him with all the captives he could want: Slave women to slake his lust and prisoners to feed his hunger, including enemy mages to sustain his strength.

So: End the war, and retire, or perpetuate it in Skeletor's service. Either way he'd have women, food, money and power.

Decisions, decisions.

As the Sorceress' final struggle twitched his bellyfur, he stretched out to nap and digest his meal. No need to hurry this choice.

The End