Then Who Am I?

The snowdrifts were perfect, an unblemished expanse of white nothingness.  A grazing herd was all that dotted the landscape, the gray cloud bank and snow both helping to create the illusion that they comprised all of existence.  The cat crouched completely still, then inched forward……ever……so……slightly.  

"Michael," the cat looked around, it saw noone; a second passed before it returned its attention to the hunt.

It spotted an old looking animal, limping ever so slightly.  The cats eyes focussed on this beast, everything else ceased to exist in its minds eye.  A tensing of the muscles…and it was off!

The herd immediately responded, they bolted in one swift explosion - their precision gave the impression they were one animal and not many.  The tiger easily aligned with its chosen and pounced on its back, it went down with the barest of resistance.  The strong jaws clamped on its neck, strangling it quickly, but the taste…the blood tasted foul in the tigers' mouth.

"…Michael…," the voice was more insistent this time.  The tiger looked about in alarm; it tried to spit out the blood but the taste remained.  Where the blood had stained its fur the tiger felt dirtied, it couldn't breathe, something was squeezing the air out of its lungs.

Blood flowed freely from the beasts' neck; the tiger looked towards the desecration it had caused.  The dark red had stained the beautiful snow, but now something else also caught the tigers' eye.  Something was wrong with its paws.  No, they weren't paws at all!  They were hands, human hands!

"Michael, wake up!"

Michael opened his eyes.

"It's about time," the voice sounded hollow, it must have been coming out of a machine.  Michael tried to lift his head, but dizziness forced him to put it back onto the metallic table. 

"Don't try to move too much, Michael.  We have to make sure there's been complete transference."

Complete transference?  What the hell was going on here, and just who was Michael?

Michael tried to voice his questions, but he found that the sounds didn't come out right.  For a moment the fog seemed to lift from his brain and he remembered that he was Michael.  He couldn't remember what was going on but he wanted answers.  He tried to speak again and almost bit his tongue; his mouth felt awkward, he couldn't tell why it was working correctly...and then he saw his reflection.  Directly opposite him was a large mirror, dimly he recognized that it was a one-way mirror but that wasn't on his mind at the moment.  Staring back at him was an animal, a large white tiger.  For a moment all he could do was stare back at the huge cat.

And then he freaked.