Julia Ortega, or Julie to her friends, has a great desk job, and she likes it that way. Her work does not get in the way of her social life. She lives in the not-too-distant future in Los Angeles. The company she works for makes money by stealing secrets from others. They are contracted to find out what others do not know, and then sell it to the highest bidder. Julie organizes the databases at the headquarters downtown, but lives out of town, spending way too much time in the car commuting.
Her world has just been turned upside down, as she has been asked to complete a field assignment. As a database manager, she has not been field trained. She was chosen since she has the right “look” for the assignment. Admittedly, she is in good shape and quite proud of her unaltered 38s (unlike all of the field agents who get implants, no matter what). Supposedly, her height (about 5’6”), striking beauty, and skin color (Hispanic dad) makes her perfect for this job. She was reluctant to say yes, but there is no real physical activity or combat in this mission.
One of the head “legitimate” gang members in town maintains way too much power without any interference from the police. Until now, the police cannot get anybody on the inside. As it turns out, he spends every Friday night walking through his museum (it’s open to the public, but he launders money through it) recapping the week and talking of plans for the coming one. He has all electronic devices turned off for security. It is just him and the exhibits.
Julie will become another new attempt to get someone in there. They have made multiple attempts to smuggle someone into the museum, but this time, they will legitimize her better. They will break into the mannequin distribution center on the north side of the city and replace one of the figures in the rotating exhibit with her. All she has to do is keep still and listen in for him to share his deepest projects. To help, the company’s tech ops have a transforming ray that will temporarily turn her into a mannequin for 3 weeks, giving her ample time to spy. The rotating exhibit will only be there for 2 and-a-half weeks.
Trying to stay calm, she goes to work on day one of the assignment early. She goes to her regular workstation and checks her email. Keeping to the script, she heads to the dressing room at 9. She will be part of a “girl band” called Spice Girls. She had never heard of them (way before her time), but they supposedly had a good run musically. All she cares about now is her outfit; the tight plastic skirt and top she has to squeeze into, not to mention the matching platform boots. There will be 4 other real mannequins to cover for her during the transformation process. Taking a deep breath, she enters the dressing room. It will be all over soon, she tells herself, feeling her knees shaking slightly, I’m just part of the museum for a few days.
Julie sits down on a bench in the room, surrounded by her mannequin sisters, and unabashedly starts to pull off her boots and jeans. But she stops herself and looks at the other four Spice Girls. How does she know they aren’t also people already mannequinized?
“Not much I can do about it now.” Julie says, and finishes removing her day clothes. She notices the tight and skirt and boots, and tries to get them on, until she realizes they were simply too small, and maybe meant for one of the other displays. But she finds a reference picture next to the clothes and sees a picture of the Spice Girls, and then sees that Posh, Scary, Sporty, and Baby Spice were already dressed. Which left her with . . .
“Sexy?” Julie asks, looking nearby and pulling out a sequined red and yellow leotard. She looks back at the picture and confirms the costume, “Honey, you forgot your pants at home.”
Nonetheless, Julie takes the costume and sits on the bench nearby to put it on. She starts with the almost-opaque black tights, which she slides over her defined and shapely legs. Next came the leotard, which felt nice and tight, hugging her slim torso, pulling up and defining her breasts just a little. When she sees the black platform heels the costume requires, Julie just shakes her head, glad she missed most of the nineties. Lastly, she pulls on a nearby skullcap and light red wig.
When Julie sees herself in the mirror, looking like a sister to Sexy Spice, a dozen repressed memories flood into her mind. She resists the temptation to start singing “Wannabe,” a great relief to her fellow mannequins. Then Julie sits down and looks around for the formula that is supposed to complete her transformation when the door ahead of her opens.
With little choice otherwise, Julie freezes where she’s sitting, hoping to fool . . .
“What are you doing?” The girl who walks in asks, “I know you’re still a person.” She holds up a small cup with a slightly blue liquid inside, “The office forgot to give you the juice.”
Julie unfreezes herself and takes the serum from the girl. “Uh, thanks, . . .”
“Christie,” the dimpled girl says with a smile. Julie nods and downs the syrupy tasting solution in one gulp. Had Julie been field trained, she might have known not to accept any strange substance from a stranger. Had Julie been field trained, she might also have remembered the gang lord’s daughter was named Christina. But Julie had not been field trained, and knew neither of those things.
Consequently, Julie wasn’t ready when her body tingled, the sensation spreading out from her stomach. Her body feels cool and stiff in the areas where the tingling stopped, and she realizes she’s not breathing anymore. Julie touches her abdomen and knocks on it with her fist; her jaw drops when she hears -- and feels -- the hollow reverberation through her body.
Tiny black lines soon cut through her wrists, shoulders, and waist, separating parts of Julie’s body. She felt almost nothing then, just the odd sensation that she should be feeling something, but didn’t.
And then Julies body starts acting on its own. The plastic form starts moving against her will, and hardens as it finishes its pose. Her legs stand together and her breasts push out, with her arms outstretched. She was inviting anyone and everyone to admire her plastic perfection.
Julie hears a faint crinkling as the plastic sweeps over her head, and then dull nothingness; while she can still see and hear, she cannot move a muscle. Christie admires the mannequin Spice girl, nods to herself, and texts someone on her phone.
That’s when Julie sees another plastic cup hidden just behind her former clothes -- the serum she should have taken. Help! she thinks, as Christie leaves the room. Sometime later a pair of workers moves the diorama into the museum gallery, where Julie can see other motionless figures in the exhibits.
Julie stood there for the next day, completely immobile, being admired in the museum and hearing compliments on her realistic looking beauty. However, all she was doing under her plastic body was mentally chastising herself for getting into this mess.
That night, the men came to Julie's exhibit and picked her up, placing her over their shoulders, which disoriented her. She mentally shouted at them to stop but they paid her no heed. They brought her to an ordinate office where the head gangster himself sat behind the desk. Christie sat on a chair off to the side smiling.
"This is the one father," Christie said as they set Julie down to present her to their leader.
The grizzled gangster smiled, "Good work Christie. She looks perfect."
The men then picked her up again and placed her over on an empty stand she didn't notice before. Once she was set onto the stand she saw the gangster press a button, and the stand spun slowly so he could admire her at any angle. He let her do a 360 before stopping the rotation.
"Yes, much better than the one we got rid of." The gang lord said satisfied.
Julie learned a great deal about the gang lord that the police would have killed to know. Since no one at the agency knew what happened to her, they assumed she quit. With no one to help her, she played her part as the mannequin spy perfectly. She spent every day the object of every man's desire that came into the room. They dressed her in all kinds of outfits and costumes that would have made her blush when she was a real person. At least her stand rotated so she got more than just one view to see. Hopefully, she will last longer than the last spy who stood here... hopefully?