(This is an omake of "turn my power on". It diverges starting here.)


Margaret gives herself a tapetum lucidum and silver irises with slit pupils at the center, then shields them behind glass panels fused into her eyebrows and cheekbones.

Dragon wings burst from her shoulders, and winglike fins add themselves to her shins and forearms. A tail grows from her now-naked back, with a line of silver spikes that go all the way up to her forehead, where the last one forks into elegant curvy horns. Every departure from human feels like fixing a defect. No, better. Like revealing a reality that was there all along.

Margaret's chest flattens out and her navel fills in, unnecessary vestiges of reproduction she's better off without. Her fingernails are claws now, and so are her toenails, and her fangs pull her mouth into a mad grin. Or maybe she was already grinning.

It still isn't right. She still has these bony elbows, this nose full of cartilage, these misengineered knees clearly evolved for tree-dwelling apes. She looks like a human playing dress-up. But she can fix it.

Her torso lengthens and stretches, extra sets of ribs filling themselves in as she drops to all fours. She doesn't stop until she's fifteen feet long, coiling throughout her bedroom with her tail trailing out the door.

It'll take multiple wings to lift this body. She'll take one in blue with silver edges, one in silver with blue edges, and one in between them with scales each randomly one or the other. There really isn’t room for her in this bedroom anymore, so she pokes a newly elongated snout out the door and coils down the stairs.

A third pair of legs between her first two will support her body better. A set of manipulator tendrils from under her chin will let her work the doorknob and get into the yard. Her tongue isn’t forked yet, it should be. Now it is. Everything is so easy, with this setup, just want it and it happens. The mind in the body that used to be Margaret’s is having a lovely evening.

She takes off into the sky, a rippling ribbon of elegant muscle, and starts winging her way west. One of the cars she swoops over as she sets out might have been familiar, but she pays it no mind. Who needs cars when you’re a free being of the air?

(Margaret’s mother is startled at the rush of wings above her in the dusk, but only really concerned when she gets home to find the door open and the house empty, and only horrified when she sees everything untouched except her daughter’s bedroom where it looks like a hurricane went through it. Her father gets home to find his wife calling 911 with shaking hands.)

The next few weeks bring a handful of sightings on the cryptid interest websites: a six-winged dragon making her way from Massachusetts to Ohio to Kansas to Colorado. The body that arrives in the Rocky Mountains is even more beautiful than the one that set out, streamlined and sleek, every scale a slightly different shade of shimmering blue or shining silver. These mountains are as majestic as she is, a fitting home full of sunshine and solitude and animals to eat. Occasionally, hikers catch a glimpse of her soaring between the peaks. More rarely, a tourist who has gotten into trouble will find themselves scooped up in several pairs of claws and gently deposited closer to civilization.

Margaret is legally missing, presumed dead. The presumption is correct. But someone beautiful is alive.