As Caitlin stepped off the transport into the space station airlock, she was light as a feather. Ooh, I wish it could stay like this she thought. Before she had time to really enjoy the near weightlessness though, an artificial sounding voice cut off her train of thought. "All normal gravity visitors wishing to visit the surface, please descend to level 1.01 for their support suits."
Caitlin sighed and bounded for the nearest lift. It was such a pain to travel to high-mass worlds, she could never quite understand why the University had sent her to such a place. It'll stunt my growth for sure, she thought, entering the lift and speaking her destination to no one. She figured there was some sense in numbering the levels of a spun-for-gravity station by their gee forces, but couldn't they at least round off? She could never quite get used to the fact that the level numbers increased as you went "down" either. Stepping off the lift, she proceeded down a hallway that seemed to curve upwards in front and behind her. The gravity felt about Earth-normal, but she knew below her waited the lower high-gee levels, and beyond that, the surface of the massive world known as Sully. She found a door labeled "Support Suit Fitting and Calibration" and entered. She was greeted by a number of friendly but unfamiliar faces in a small waiting room.
"Hi," she ventured cautiously to the older woman by the only empty seat. The woman smiled knowingly and motioned for her to be seated.
"First time on a high-gee world, I'll bet," she said as Caitlin tried to act comfortable in the scarcely padded waiting room furniture.
"Yes, how could you tell? Oh." The nice old lady was pointing to Caitlin's right knee, which was bouncing at an alarming rate. She willed her leg to be still and smiled weakly at her new friend.
"I'm sorry, my name is Caitlin, and yes, this is my first time."
"Well, you sure know how to start big. 2.65 is about as high-gee as they get," the woman returned, ignoring Caitlin's suddenly bulging eyes.
"My name is Wanda, Caitlin. I have a grandson who lives on the surface, so I have become used to this."
"Oh, is he a... um..." she didn't want to offend, but she didn't really know what to call them.
"A 'giant'? No, no, he comes from a normal grav world like us, but he's been there so long you would almost think he was a native Heavyworlder to look at him."
Caitlin was glad to have made a friend in this strange new environment, so she questioned Wanda at length about her grandson, the suit-up procedure, and how to cope with everyday problems in high gee.
"Oh, well, they'll take you down a level at a time since you've never been down before. It shouldn't take more than a couple of days, these new support suits are amazing. Be sure to take care pouring liquids, though, they don't fall right in high gravity. And remember to..." Caitlin was on the verge of becoming bored when the receptionist called out,
"Wanda? Wanda Fisher? It's your turn to suit up."
Suddenly Caitlin didn't want her to go. Had she really told her all she needed to know about the suit? It seemed so weird to think that it could read and amplify your movements and still feel natural. Well, it was that or a wheelchair, she told herself, she would never be able to stand up weighing over three hundred pounds. Looking down at her slender legs and tiny ankles, it seemed a wonder she could stand up in one gee. At least I'm young and fit, she thought. That would help her acclimate so she could get on with her studies at the music school. Why, she wondered again, was the best graduate singing school on such a miserable planet. I guess I shouldn't call it miserable till I actually see it, she corrected herself.
"Oh, yes, right here, ma'am." She jumped up, I wonder how long it will take to miss being able to do that, and followed another lady into what looked like a doctor's office.
"The technician will be right with you," the lady said as she closed the door on the small plain room. Looking around, Caitlin saw the suit, tailor made just for her in advance. It looked very mundane, more like coverall nylons than a "miracle of modern science". Inspecting it closer she could see a small box at the rear of the high neck, but otherwise she could see no outward signs of its technology. As she was examining it a young man came in and cleared his throat. Caitlin whirled around to see a man about her age wearing a lab coat and carrying a notebook.
"Now, Caitlin, it says here that this is your first trip, so we will have to do some extra calibrations this time, okay?"
"Okay," she returned having very little idea what he was talking about. She noticed an odd sheen on his hand and realized he was wearing one as well.
"What does it feel like?"
"Once you get used to them, you can't even tell they're there. I'm Mitch, I'll be helping you get your suit calibrated."
"Okay, Mitch." He seemed like a nice enough guy, but she did understand enough to know that nothing went between her and the suit. She began to disrobe at his instructions as Mitch went over and made himself busy with the suit. When she was finished he quickly brought over the suit and helped her into the legs.
"It feels just like panty-hose," she commented, blushing when his smile told her all the girls say that. She tried not to get excited as he slowly worked the skin tight fabric up her body, but it was such a feeling! She looked down and noticed there were opaque portions strategically positioned to make her appear to be wearing underwear, but there were no visible openings save the neck hole Mitch was working her arms into.
"Um, Mitch? How do I, ah.."
"There are expandable holes in the panty area." He always anticipated that question with girls. "When it senses the proper muscle action, it will open automatically."
Cool, she thought. "Yeah but how do I..."
"The material passes water and sweat freely, so you just shower with it on." Caitlin was beginning to feel that Mitch was reading her mind, but then, she figured they must be the same questions everybody asks. Before she could formulate another question, though, they were too busy trying to get her fingers down into the translucent gloves. Before she knew it she was completely encased to her neck with the clear, slick suit. She noticed it really made her look good, and that thought hadn't been lost on Mitch from the way he was trying not to stare.
"There we go, all in."
"You're right, I can't really even feel it."
"That's because I haven't turned it on yet." Mitch reached around to the back of her neck and pressed something on the little box. Instantly her body began to tingle and her arms started to twitch.
"Relax, the suit is just misreading your muscles in your arm. Now, we have to calibrate so please be patient. Lift your arms up over your head." She did, feeling all the time that she was pushing against a great weight. Next she tilted her head around and then her legs and torso. The more she moved, the more natural it started to feel. Mitch explained that this was the suit learning to understand her movements and track with her.
"While you're still here on level 1.01 the suit will just be keeping up with you, not helping. As you go further out along the radial levels, the suit will start to assist you with microfibers in the fabric, acting like bionic muscles and obeying the input from your own muscles." Mitch began moving her limbs and reading dials on the wall, as if he were working on an animatronic figure. She just stood there and let him do whatever it was he was doing, and after a while he smiled and stepped away.
"All done, enjoy your stay on Sully. That is, once you're done here. I'm prescribing one day each on levels 1.49, 2.03, and 2.64 on the station, then you'll be clear to go down to...Sully U. Music School," he finished, after consulting his notebook. Just like that he was gone, leaving Caitlin standing in the small room with nothing but the suit on. She quickly put her clothes back on (except the underwear, that would be redundant now) and stepped out into the hall. One of the attendants saw her and escorted her to another lift where she clumsily got on the elevator.
Guess I spoke to soon about it feeling natural she said to herself as the elevator descended. She could feel her body getting heavy, and the fabric of the suit seem to constrict and relax in response to her movements. By the time she got off the elevator she felt like a medieval knight in full plate, walking stiffly into the hallway of what looked like a dorm. The next three days passed quickly, each with a new room on a new level, with new challenges for her to overcome. At the end of the third day she didn't think she would ever get used to the way you had to go to the bathroom, but was amazed how strong she felt. She could feel the weight dragging down her delicate face, but when she stood it was like a thousand hands were helping her along at each moment. It did feel almost as though she were that strong, although she knew without the suit she would fall (hard) flat on her face. The shuttle ride down was uneventful, save for the glory of the brief relief of the gravity as they glided into the atmosphere. Soon she could feel the relentless hand of Sully itself pushing her further and further into the hard foam seat. When the shuttle finally got to the terminal she got up (all three hundred and eighteen pounds of her) and walked with less of the feeling of being a knight in shining spandex to the exit.
Life on Sully was pretty much like life everywhere else, except the natives were HUGE. She tried not to gawk in the spaceport lounge at the eight foot tall, massive people lounged around on huge furniture. Stepping into the taxi to her new apartment was a challenge. The mammoth driver just chuckled as she wrestled the heavy door shut. Everything made her feel like a little kid. It was kind a unique, but she could tell it would get old living in the land of giants. Thankfully, her apartment complex was one of the University owned "small" apartments. It still had high doors and ceilings to accommodate the natives, but at least the furniture and stairs were normal. Almost all the students she saw there were normally sized, maybe not as small as her mere five feet, but at least she could see what color their eyes were. Before long it was time to attend her first lesson at the school, so she set out to walk the mile to campus trusting her suit to get her through.
It seemed like hours later when she made it to the music building. Suit or no suit, she thought, this is a tiring place to live. As she walked into the rehearsal room she saw the most well-formed giant of a man she had ever seen. His smile seemed miles wide as he rose to greet her.
"Hello, I'm Dr. Holms, your voice instructor."
Wow, she thought, that huge guy is my new instructor?
"I'm Caitlin, nice to meet you." she managed lamely.
"Let's get right down to it. Do you know why we have such a good music school for smalls down here?"
Caitlin had never been referred to as a 'small', but she guessed it was okay since she'd been thinking of them as 'giants'.
"Um, no. I just figured it was to be unique." She had no idea where he was going with this, but she had been wondering the same question herself.
"Sing a C, as loud as you can." he replied simply.
Caitlin was surprised at the request, but not nearly as much as when she belted out the loudest C she had ever heard. Quitting abruptly, she stared at Dr. Holms for an answer. He just smiled casually and said, "It's the suit you're wearing, along with the muscle tone you have developed just by trying to breathe in our gravity." Caitlin was amazed. So that was the reason. Everything up to this point made so much more sense now. Why hadn't anyone told her about this before?
Over the next few months Caitlin learned to sing louder and better than she would have thought possible before. She became so used to the support suit she never even noticed it except when she showered or used the bathroom. Dr. Holms was great. Not only as a teacher, but they had become good friends too, she thought. Sometimes she thought about more, but that would never happen. One day he invited her to his house after practice. She was excited to finally get to see his place, but held no real expectations.
When she arrived, wearing a cute little skirt and blouse she had found at a specialty store that actually carried her size, she was amazed at the place. The front door looked like it could pass two elephants abreast, and when Dr. Holms answered it he seemed to fill up the opening as well. As she slowly came inside, she noticed two golden statues on either side of the door. They were very good, of two normal sized girls like herself, only a bit taller. The rest of the room was just as amazing, vaulted ceiling, some of the most huge furniture she'd seen, and a dinner table made out formally for two.
"I hope you don't mind, I thought we would just eat here tonight." Dr. Holms' rich bass voice spoke gently. This was already better than she had hoped for, but she reminded herself not to get too worked up.
"Oh, you have such a beautiful home, it would be great just to get a chance to look at the artwork while we eat." She was truly excited, and sat down at one end of the giant table.
"I hope you don't mind, I asked a friend over to cook for us, I'm afraid I'm hopeless at such delicate things." He spread his huge hands in explanation. About that time a normal woman, about in her thirties, came in and started to serve them. Caitlin was puzzled by her silence until Dr. Holms ventured an explanation.
"You'll have to excuse Samantha here, she doesn't talk much. Still, I can't complain. She's the only small I know that can make enough food to fill me up."
They talked and ate for some time, all the while Samantha made her silent rounds refilling drinks and serving courses to them. After they had finished, Dr. Holms took Caitlin on a tour of his house. It was really something, with all the fine art and sculptures, not to mention the sheer scale of the place. Caitlin couldn't imagine how a university professor could make enough money for all this, but before she could ask he supplied the answer.
"My father was the one who invented the modern support suits, like the one you are wearing. His second wife was a small, and he worked overtime for years to make a suit she could wear that didn't get in their way." His smile told her exactly what he meant.
"Wow, so I guess he must have made a lot of money off them."
"Oh, yes. I owe everything I have to those suits." Caitlin was puzzled why his eyes seemed to focus on a bronze statue as he spoke.
"Um, where did you get all those statues? They're very good. I noticed they all seemed to be normal, I, I mean smalls." She was starting to feel nervous, though she didn't know why.
"Well, without people like you, there would have been no demand for my father's invention." Somehow that explanation just didn't seem to hold water. Caitlin was becoming increasingly uncomfortable in his huge, strange house. She felt like Alice in wonderland, shrinking smaller and smaller. She hadn't noticed Dr. Holms leave the room, but as she turned towards the front door, Dr. Holms appeared from a side door they hadn't gone in during the tour.
"I hope you aren't leaving yet," he spoke ominously, "I just brought you something I thought you would want to see." In his hand was a small box, like a calculator or tridee remote. Caitlin, curious again, started towards him to get a better look.
"What is it?" she asked, looking at the myriad of unfamiliar symbols on the keypad.
"Another of my father's inventions. Would you like to see how it works?" He seemed strange to her, but better to go along than let him know the discomfort she felt.
"Excellent. Walk over to that chair so you can get a better look." Confused, Caitlin started walking, her suit-assisted gate quite smooth, to a chair across the room. About halfway across the room she stopped. It was not that she merely quit walking, she had stopped dead in her tracks, as if all the tiny hands that helped her to walk had suddenly grabbed her tight. She squeaked, terrified, as she tried to bend her head down to see what had happened. Then she became aware of a terrible laughing. An evil, ominous laughing that would have made her shiver had she been able to move. Into her field of vision came a changed Dr. Holms. No longer did he seem warm and friendly, but his face was contorted by an evil grin, a hungry look in his eyes.
"Wha, what's going on? Help me!" Caitlin, now completely panicked, struggled with all her strength to run, but instead stood frozen in mid stride, like one of Dr. Holms' sta... Oh My God she thought, thinking of the detail they had all had. Her train of thought was interrupted by Dr. Holms' smug reply.
"You didn't really think you were the ONLY one who could control that suit did you?"
"Hu? What do you mean? What did you do?"
"My father built an override into the processor. The same radio link used to connect the suit to the calibration equipment can also be used to send override commands to the suit. I just told yours to ignore all input from it's internal pressure sensors."
Caitlin was beyond scared. This madman whom she had thought was her friend had trapped her in her own support suit. It was like being encased in cement, she couldn't even twitch. A small part of her mind was wondering how she could possibly continue to balance in mid-stride, but she wasn't paying any attention to rational thoughts.
Samantha approached, bearing a gold headband with a black medallion in the center.
"Oh, yes. Thank you, Samantha. Do you know what this is, Caitlin? It's your new eyes and your new brain." He slipped it on her head and connected the tiny wire of the camera headband's CPU to the smaller processor on the suit.
"What do you mean? What does it do?" Still struggling, Caitlin tried to knock off the headband with her eyebrow muscles, but to no avail.
"It overrides your suit, same as my father's crude remote. This model, however, accepts many forms of input, including voice command. It lets me do things like this: Caitlin, raise your right arm."
Caitlin stared in horror as her right arm obeyed his command.
"You can't do this! Let me go!" Caitlin's anger managed to win out briefly over her fright, but before he could even respond she began wailing and screaming for mercy. She hardly noticed his movements until she felt a prick on her shoulder.
"There, that should calm you down, my newest acquisition." Calm was not the right word. Her mind began swimming and her last conscious thought was, how odd she wasn't falling to the ground.
Robert Holms was relieved to have that awful noise purged from his home. He looked down at Caitlin, his newest toy, and marveled at her delicate beauty. Aside from her closed eyes, she looked exactly how she had before, caught mid-stride, left arm swinging slightly outward, right arm out at 90 degrees, head erect and forward. He walked slowly around her, gently running his hand over her tiny features. He looked over at Samantha, still standing passively to the side.
"You did fine tonight, you will be rewarded. Take the rest of the night off. Samantha, release." Samantha almost swooned as she was released. She recovered, smiled weakly, and went off to the living room to rest on the couch and watch the tridee.
Too bad she was such a whiner, Robert thought, she had such a nice voice before I had to take it away. At least she had come around eventually. It was so hard to train up servants these days, he'd had to make so many statues.
"I hope you cooperate," he said to the unconscious mannequin that had been Caitlin. "I'd hate to waste your vocal talent by muting you or not letting you ever move." He walked over to Carry, his latest attempt at domination, and looked into her closed, golden eyes. "You could tell her, couldn't you, Carry, how high the price of disobedience." Carry was strong, she would likely live a few more years if he kept feeding her. The food he injected into his statues contained a drug that kept them just on the edge of consciousness. Like Caitlin now, they could sometimes be aware of their state, but could never summon the energy to move even an eyebrow.
"Hmmm. Time for a change of scenery, don't you think Carry? Carry, pose fourteen." Carry shifted mechanically to another pose. He thought he caught an eyelash flutter and smiled. "Trying to wake up eh? Perhaps if you live I'll give you another chance in a few more months. I'm sure you're sorry for trying to escape like that." Robert couldn't help laughing at the thought of this weak creature trying to get away. They were like ants trying to escape an ant farm. "You know now you can never beat me, don't you?"
Returning to Caitlin, he connected a tiny hypo injector to her suit CPU at the back of her neck and adjusted her little skirt and blouse.
"It's time to begin your training, dear."
He picked up the remote and began to play with his new toy. Marching her unconscious form up and down the room, selecting various refinement rates in order to obtain different degrees of robotic action. Although her headband seemed to be working fine, he sometimes enjoyed using the remote. It highlighted the total control he had over her body. He really must do one of his girls up in silver and let her play robot for a while. Oh, well, I have plenty of time for that later. He was forever grateful of his father's second, "secret" invention. His father had never really exploited the possibilities the way he had, though. Creating "accidents" for his new girls was becoming increasingly difficult, but he was a man of imagination, and he knew he would think of a fitting "end" for Caitlin.
"Come, Caitlin. It's time for you too meet the others." The others who aren't statues, that is, he thought. He walked into the room he hadn't shown her before, Caitlin following passively, her new "eye" guiding the computer that controlled her movements. Inside the large room were nearly a dozen light-grav girls. All in their twenties or thirties, some sat with VR helmets on, while others stood or lay motionless on a row of beds. All of them wore only the support suits. Two were doing a sort of calisthenics as if in a trance. "Girls, attend," Robert said in a strong voice. "This is Caitlin, your new sister." The other girls had all looked his direction at his command, and were now staring at Caitlin's unconscious form. "Susan, take Caitlin here and fit her with a training helmet. I want to start her training right away." One of the girls who had been standing motionless came forward and approached Caitlin. She was the best of his girls, completely accepting her new identity, she was the only one he could trust with his newest prize.
"Come this way, Caitlin" Susan spoke to her in a soothing voice. The computer, recognizing Susan's voice as a command/control voice, obeyed and propelled Caitlin's body just as naturally as if she had walked to the chair of her own accord. Susan fitted a VR helmet on Caitlin and began voice programming Caitlin's new CPU "brain" to sit there and keep her almost conscious with the hypo on her neck.
Robert was glad he could trust at least one of his girls in a command position. For too long he had had to go about the time consuming work of "programming" and pacifying his girls himself. I do hope Caitlin can be easily broken, he thought as he returned to his own room. Too often these days they have been resisting me. He determined he would just have to come up with a better method of controlling their minds. The body was easy, his father's invention had seen to that, but in order for them to speak or control their faces, they had to be awake. Painting them and making them stand as "statues" was a good way to teach them a lesson, but too often it just drove them mad or they died standing in place. If he caught a death soon enough, he could give them a permanent coating and make a statue of their body. Too often though, he wouldn't notice until they had started to decompose inside their suit, at which point he had to just dispose of them.
He belatedly remembered he was alone in his room and toggled the intercom to the girl's room. "Tiffany, report to my bedroom." He sat heavily onto his enormous bed and waited for Tiffany to arrive. She came in the door promptly, looking nude aside from the sheen of her suit. She came to the foot of the bed and stood at attention, just as he had programmed her to do. He noticed she was still asleep.
"Tiffany, awake." He boomed, and the tiny hypo gun attached to her neck CPU injected her with a stimulant. Her eyes fluttered open and then grew round as she realized where she was.
"Oh, master, please." she pleaded. "Not tonight, please."
If there was one thing Robert couldn't stand, it was sniveling.
"That will be quite enough of that, Tiffany. You will obey with mind as well as body tonight or you will join your friend Carry for a few weeks, is that clear?"
"Yes, master." She replied weekly. He noted that she had called him master even when she was rebelling, so he determined to go easier on her than before. He began by ordering her into a series of poses. Preset, the poses could be called up by a simple voice command. As her body moved to his orders, he also instructed her on facial details.
"Tiffany, assume pose forty-seven. Yes, now look distantly at the corner of the ceiling. Good. Smile faintly. Yes, now hold that." He got up and came around to her. Barely containing his excitement he glided his hands gently over her frozen form. Her gaze was distant, the smile still held on her lips. He kissed her gently, but she did not move at all. She's getting better, he thought. Her arms were slightly away from her body, one leg in front of the other. He often got his posing ideas from store window mannequins, it made his girls look more artificial and mechanical, which turned him on to no end. Running a finger through her long red hair, he began stroking her back side with his other hand. Suddenly he couldn't take anymore and grabbed her around the waist, almost flinging her into his bed. Still frozen, she tried to hide the fear and surprise in her face as he all but leapt on top of her. In a few minutes he lay satisfied, an apparent mannequin lay beside him. He looked over and noticed she was again unconscious. That was not unusual, he was often to much for these tiny creatures, especially when he made them endure it frozen. He remembered his mental promise to go easy and stood her up beside the bed without another round. He ordered the drug to allow her to sleep through the night and went to sleep with a smile on his face.
Caitlin struggled to wake. She could sense a voice, but could not make out what it said. She tried to take mental account of her condition. She felt no pain, which was good. She felt as if she were sitting, but lacked the power to move. She tried to move, to wake up from her nightmare, but continued to sit like a window display. Trying to open her eyes, she could sense a flickering light in front of her. She forced open her eyelids, only to see an image of herself as a statue. She felt somehow at ease with this picture, although at some level she expected to be disturbed by it. It was the voices. The voices calmed her and told her this was her natural state. She was a statue, brought to life at intervals by her compassionate Master. Something seemed wrong about it, but she was too weak to resist and so accepted the explanations of the voices. In time she drifted off again, thinking how soothing the voices were in her mind.
As Susan checked on the newest statue her master had brought to life, she wondered that so many seemed ungrateful, even resentful of the life he had given. Some even had hallucinations about past lives as real girls. Susan snorted at this. True, she had had her own battle with the ghostly images of another life, but her master had explained that it was just a side effect of the change from stone or metal to living flesh. Not that she was entirely real even now, the artificial sheen of her skin told her that, but she remembered being cold hard stone and was eternally grateful for the freedom and authority that she had been given. The new Caitlin statue was not one that she remembered from the front gallery. She must be a new acquisition, Susan thought as she toggled the external viewer for the VR helmet. "Ooh, golden. You were such a beautiful statue, it's almost a shame you had to give up that radiant body." She smiled down at Caitlin sitting perfectly still with the VR helmet. "I hope you understand the limitations of your new body. It may be some time until you are able to control it on your own." She struck a pose to emphasize her point, then frowned as her comments were wasted on the new girl. "Oh, well, back to my exercises. Susan, exercise" she commanded herself, and immediately her suit began running her though the programmed routine. Freed of the burden of controlling her own body, she let her mind wander as she exercised.
Darkness. No, there was a light beyond the darkness. Caitlin could feel her hands moving, but she couldn't tell what they were doing. Prying open her sleepy eyes, she could see an old 2D movie on a tridee screen. There was a young man on a bridge, dressed in Medieval attire, presenting his lady with a jeweled necklace. As they began to embrace, the lady's body shimmered and became stiff. A magician laughed as the young man accused him of cursing his gift. Somehow the scene seemed familiar, even though she was sure she had never seen it before. As she continued to wake, she noticed she was looking over the head of an enormous man. His head even with her chin, although he sat on the ground. She was massaging his shoulders... Suddenly the previous night's experiences came rushing in like a flood. This was her trusted instructor, Dr. Holms, who had imprisoned her in her support suit. The fury began to rise, but she felt somehow grateful to him too, although she couldn't explain why.
"Dr. Holms, what are you going to do with me?" she began. She'd wanted to be hateful, but just couldn't get the words out of her mouth.
"Ah, Caitlin. I see you're awake. Caitlin, stop." Her hands froze mid squeeze as he got up from the pad he'd been sitting on. "You must learn to call me Master, Caitlin. I know you feel confused, as if you had been another person before now, but I assure you, this will pass. Up until last night you were nothing more than plaster covered with gold. A statue. You were cast on the southern continent six weeks ago. I purchased you, and through a magic passed on to me by my father I brought you to life to serve me."
"No." Caitlin couldn't accept his words, even though she already knew all about her "life" as a statue. "No, my name is Caitlin Norberg. I'm from Earth. You can't do this. They'll come looking for me."
"Oh, I assure you, your purchase is quite legal. The art dealer I bought you from had all the papers. I'm sorry you're being confused by false memories, dear. It is an unfortunate side affect of your incarnation. They will soon pass."
"They will NOT pass. They are who I am. No amount of brain washing can make me forget who I am."
"Please, please. Will I have to show you your true form for you to believe me? Caitlin, accept external pressure input only."
Caitlin looked at him, confused. She was still standing with her hands massaging phantom shoulders. "What do you mean? What are you talking about?"
"Pardon the confusion, Caitlin. I was speaking to your CPU, which is also named Caitlin. It helps you move. As a new creation you are weak and it assists you."
"That's not true and you know it. This suit supports me in the heavy gravity of your miserable planet. If you turned on my pressure sensors, why can I still not move?"
"I activated only your external sensors, dear. You're not ready to move on your own. I wanted to show you the position you came in." He reached up and took her arms by the wrists. They moved freely as he began bending them up into a pose.
"How can you do that when my suit is so rigid?" Caitlin demanded, trying to feel angry, but beginning to be aroused in spite of herself.
"The suit can be set to track with external pressures as well as internal, dear. This mode allows me to pose you without your interference." As he spoke, he continued to pose her as one wood a display mannequin. Moving her legs into position, and a final tilt of the head, and he was done. "There, that's just about like it. Caitlin, save current position as pose one." A chirp from her headband acknowledged the save command. "Excellent. Now, Caitlin, sleep." The hypo from her neck unit injected, and Caitlin's eyes closed softly. Going over to the cabinet at the rear of the room, he selected a large spray gun labeled "Gold". Returning to Caitlin's frozen form, he couldn't resist a pat on her exposed butt. She really is the most exquisite of them all, he thought as he circled around her silky nude form. He set about spraying his beautiful statue with the gold paint. To restore her to her natural form, he chuckled to himself. First her hair, that was the hardest part. From a golden blond to gold, he carefully transformed it. Next was the face. Her eyes were closed and she had a good neutral expression, so he covered it with the paint. Working his way down, he caressed each area before covering it, to remove the dust, he teased to himself. When he was done, a perfect golden image of Caitlin graced his living room. As she dried, he ordered lunch from Samantha and went back to his movie.
"Caitlin, awake." Caitlin blinked as the stimulant took effect. She felt like she'd been asleep for years. "Look into the mirror, Caitlin. This is your true self. This is what you were before I gave you life. Look."
Caitlin looked, and staring back from her in the mirror was a perfect nude statue. Its golden curves were broken only by the white and blue eyes staring back at her. She tried to speak, but couldn't.
"I'm afraid you won't be able to talk now either. A temporary paralysis that I will release shortly."
He tried to keep up the pretense, but Caitlin knew what he meant. He'd given her something to paralyze her muscles. The only ones she even needed anymore were in her face, and he didn't want her contorting her face to crack off the paint she knew was there.
"Now do you understand the incredible gift of life I've given you? If you refuse to accept it I can always take it away, as I have done now, and you will go back to being nothing more than a decoration for my hall."
Caitlin remembered a hall filled with realistic statues. She still didn't believe that this was the real her, but she had no doubt that he would turn her into a statue if she disobeyed. I guess that's the point, she mused, it doesn't matter if I believe it, the consequences for not going along are real enough. As the full effect of her latest thought began to dawn on her, he ordered her to sleep, and her vision and consciousness faded obediently.
As Susan went about her daily chores, she couldn't help staring at the beautiful Caitlin statue in the Master's living room. She was even more beautiful in person than the images she had seen from the VR program. Just then, the Master came in. Embarrassed, she decided to risk asking a favor.
"Master, she is so beautiful," she began, "can't you let her remain flawless and golden? It's such a shame to destroy such beauty."
Robert was always amused by Susan's acceptance of the statue lie. Oh, well, he thought, I guess she didn't have much of a life to forget.
"I'm sorry Susan, but we must at least try to make her accept life. It is true she is a beautiful statue, but I will not destroy the beauty, only enhance it by making her live." He ran his hands again over her perfect golden form. He couldn't wait to have more fun with her. "Susan, attend your other duties. I must work my magic now."
Susan obediently left the room, but only after a last look at the Caitlin statue. Robert grasped Caitlin by the waist and lifted her easily. He then carried her into the shower stall in his private quarters. Selecting a special knob on the shower head, he began to spray her body with a mild solvent. The gold paint slid easily off the slick surface of the support suit, but he had to do a bit of scrubbing on her face and hair to get back to natural color. When that job was complete, he switched back to water and stepped in to give her a more thorough cleaning. Slowly and methodically he soaped up her sleeping face, then began lathering up her body through the permeable suit. It was so nice now that he had developed his new paints that would not pass through the suit. His earlier statues had had to be removed from their suits to get the paint off, but this was so much better. Caitlin, still frozen in her statue pose, was gently lathered up by the quickly erecting Dr. Robert Holms. He pressed her stiff soapy body to his chest, and closed his eyes tight against the emotions swimming in his mind. Later, he thought, and composed himself to rinse her off.
As Caitlin stood drying in his bathroom, Robert went to relieve his desires with Susan. She is always so agreeable, he thought, and I am going to need all my strength for dominating Caitlin later.
As Robert Holms pulled up to his house, he had only one thing on his mind. All day at school he had been making inquiries about the whereabouts of his most prized student, Caitlin Norberg, all the while images of a golden statue and a mannequin with her face on it were running through his mind. Ready or not, I'm taking you tonight, he mentally promised. As he entered his bedroom, he noticed Susan, still frozen face down and spread eagle on his bed. Hmm, better get rid of that. He ordered her to attention and then carried her back to the girls' room. He could have ordered her unconscious body to return, but carrying her turned him on and was really no trouble. After depositing her on her bunk, he took time to fondle some of the other girls, all frozen in their beds at this hour, before returning to his private bath. Caitlin still stood in the center of his bathroom, a beautiful mannequin of his most valued voice student. Rather than activating her just yet, he carried her into the bedroom and began programming in new poses, via the external sensors. Recalling a particularly provocative window display he'd noticed in one of the smalls' specialty shops, he put one hand on her inner thigh, the other stretching upwards. It wasn't the same without the passionate gaze, but he could teach her that part later. For hours he posed her, each time saving the pose before moving on. After he had built up quit a library of poses, he sat back on his bed and started running her through them all again. At last he gave the attention command, and she stood like a toy soldier in front of him.
Her eyes fluttered as she became aware again of her surroundings. Before she could start asking questions he began speaking to her.
"Caitlin, I have again made you a real girl. You know I can control your every move, but if you will cooperate I'm willing to let you try moving on your own. Would you like to try moving like a real girl?"
Caitlin was still groggy from the drugs, but she knew well enough what was going on. If she refused he would just command her to do his will anyway. She'd better take what she could get and hope for a chance to escape.
"Okay" was all she said.
"Caitlin release." She tried to stand steady as the power of movement returned, and only swayed a little. He took her up in his arms and carried her to his bed. The next few hours were so intense, Caitlin even managed to forget this was the man who had her imprisoned. All her wildest fantasies from voice class came true as they did their duet.
Robert was very glad to be right again. He had known she had a crush on him. As long as he didn't give her conscious mind time to think about other things, she would go right along with him. This will be a great help in her training, he thought. As long as he kept her happy she might not even try to rebel.
Caitlin lay on the bed, the sleeping form of Dr. Holms next to her. The passion over, she had again realized she was a prisoner and no amount of fantasy fulfilling could change that. She was a bit surprised to still be awake and mobile. He must have forgotten to freeze me, she thought. Creeping out of bed, she padded quietly out of the room. Past the room with the other sleeping girls, she proceeded into the main hall. The ghostly statues were eerie in the semi-dark, even more so now that she knew they were in fact real girls like herself. On to the front door. She was almost free, if only it was unlocked. She reached out to touch the doorknob and froze. As consciousness slipped away she wondered why she hadn't thought the doors would be boobytrapped.
Dr. Holms noticed Caitlin's absence from the bed in the morning. He was not surprised. Neither was he surprised to see her nude frozen form standing at the front door. She took the bait, he thought, now I can punish her and continue her training. "Caitlin, awake."
Caitlin blinked and stared at the closed door.
"Now, Caitlin, what kind of gratitude is this, trying to escape after I have given you life. For this first offense I will go easy on you. You may spend the day as you are, contemplating your loyalties. If on my return the first words you speak are not, 'How may I serve you, Master', then you will become a permanent addition to my art collection. Do you understand?"
"Very good. I'll see you tonight."
And so Caitlin was left staring at the huge door as Dr. Holms left through the other door. She studied the wood grain distractedly as her mind raced. She was stuck here, she might as well admit that. As long as he had control over her suit there was no physical way she could escape. Thinking back to the night before, it was hard for her to remember any negative feelings at all. He had been all she had ever dreamed of. As she continued along this train of thought, she began rationalizing this way. The more she resisted, the less freedom she would have and the more miserable she would be. The more she cooperated, the more she would lose her identity to his false one. Realizing that she could never escape as a statue, she decided to go along with him outwardly, while in her mind she would remind herself who she really was and to always be on the lookout for a way out. Susan was the only one with any real freedom. Perhaps she was doing the same thing. Caitlin determined to throw herself into the role of servant statue as much as she ever had in rehearsing for school musicals. Her only chance was to convince him that she had accepted her new identity. Then perhaps he would give her more power, like Susan, so she could plan with the others to escape. She knew, though, that in order to be convincing she would have to still appear to resist at times. By the time Dr. Holms returned she had it all planned out.
"So tell me, Caitlin, is there anything you would like to say after your day of contemplating my door?"
"How may I serve you...Master."
Archivist's Note: I've removed some erroneous paragraph breaks and made a few minor spelling and grammar corrections. --Leem, 2012