The Wrong Color

The transformation process didn’t work as planned. The goal was to become a changeable representation of any human race. The super spy potential was infinite. An operative with the ability to adapt to local populations and blend without suspicion offered an incredible advantage to the commanding organization. The color changing ability turned out to be extremely difficult to control. The ultimate goal to shift pigmentation to a desired shade at will appeared to be far out of reach.

The intention had been to infuse all pigmentation variables and activate changes with genetic triggers. The operative would ingest a compound and transform shades in a few hours. Full coloration would set in less than four hours and remain until changed by another compound. Numerous experiments provided a broad array of failures.

One early test subject lost all pigmentation. The effect was sickening. With no color at all, the inner workings of the body’s subsurface revealed blood vessels and muscles in action. The skin was there, simply transparent.

Another went purple and locked in that shade. No alteration compounds worked to undo the change. The test subject faced a lifetime of ridicule unless they could find employment as a permanent mascot for grapes, wine, or a children’s show character.

One other unfortunate subject rotated through pigment cycles. Every few hours they became lighter or darker shades of pink, red, brown, and black. They were doomed to become a faceless blogger represented by a cartoon icon.

I ultimately quit the program before the experiments reached me. It just wasn’t worth the risk.

If you could spend the next year as someone radically different from the current “you” — a member of a different species, someone from a different gender or generation, etc. — who would you choose to be?

Cut the Red Wire

He hated his job.Ever since the asteroid and comet hit the planet and slowed the earth’s rotation to a 25 hour day, the colors had shifted. Gone were the vibrant shades of the rainbow. The only one Steve could see was red. Everything else was boring shades of gray. Blue or brown? Looked like gray now. Yellow or green? Nope. It’s gray.

The only one that stood out for him was red. He’d been a bomb squad technician for 11 years when the colors vanished. Since then, he’d lost three fingers and hearing in one ear when he cut the wrong wire.

Stupid amateur bomb makers. Didn’t they watch television or movies? They were always supposed to use red or blue wires for the trigger circuit. It must have been in a book somewhere to do that. At least then he’d had a 50/50 chance of getting it right. Now with all the colors gone but red, they were making bombs with unknown wiring colors. All gray.

Cut the gray wire. Not that one! The other gray one. Careful now, if you make a mistake, there goes your whole hand. Occasionally, he’d come across a bomb made before the color loss. He clearly recognized the red wire and presumed the dark gray one next to it to be blue. 50/50 chance today. He could do this.




Imagine we lived in a world that’s all of a sudden devoid of color, but where you’re given the option to have just one object keep its original hue. Which object (and which color) would that be?