"Hello Maggie." A man walked into the lab carrying an aluminum case "Hi, Jeffrey. You've got something for me ?" The woman in a labcoat turned round. "Another meteorite we found in the Antarctic." He said and put the case on the table. "Just give it the usual batch of tests." "What have you got here ?" She asked, looking at the rock in the glass tube. "That's for you to find out." He said. Jeffrey looked over her shoulder. "Don't you ever get bored examining rocks ?" "Not really, not since they found possible traces of extra-terrestrial life in one of them." She said without looking up from the rock. "I have to split because I have a date tonight." He said and saluted her. Maggie smiled and adjusted her glasses. "Have fun." She said. "Thanks." Jeffrey saluted her and walked out.
After having finished some experiments she was busy, Maggie picked up the glass canister and looked at the dark rock. She activated a tape recorder. "Maggie Hibbert, analysis of Antarctic meteorite 457812. A quick visual examination indicates a metallic meteorite. I see a faint glint of metal." She got a pair of rubber gloves and carefully opened the canister. With a pair of thongs she took the rock out and put it on an electronic scale. "Mass is 985 grams. The high mass indicates a metal core." After she put the rock on a tray, she put it in a sealed glass case. Reaching for a hammer and chisel inside the case through long rubber gloves, she prepared to cut it in half. A sharp hit and the rock neatly split in half, spilling the inside into the tray. Maggie frowned and looked at the silvery liquid spilling out. "What's this ?" She said to herself and looked at the quicksilver run over the tray. She slipped her hand out of the glove and adjusted her glasses to get a better look. With the remaining hand, she reached for a small spoon and a test tube. She poured a few drops in the tube, sealed it and dropped it into the airlock. "I ... I apparently found some quicksilver inside the rock." She remembered the running tape. "I am isolating a small amount for testing."
She opened the test tube and poured in some liquids and shook it. Waiting for a result the looked back at the tray. She looked away but then turned her head again. In complete surprise she put the tube down and went to look. Most of the tray had been dissolved ! The sound of breaking glass made her look round again. In her haste she'd just put the test-tube down, leaving it to roll off the table. "Awww." She moaned and bent through her knees to carefully gather the shards. She felt a prick and pulled her hand back. Under the thin rubber glove the tip of her finger was turning red. She removed the gloves and began cleaning the wound under the tap.
Suddenly she remembered the tray. Her hand still wet she ran over to the case and looked at the partially dissolved tray. The quicksilver puddle had leaked through. Dismissing the idea of quicksilver based acid she dried her hand on her coat, staining it red with her still bleeding finger. "This is incredible." She said to herself again. "The tray has been partially dissolved by the quicksilver ! I need to isolate another batch.
With care she gathered the remains of the test tube and dumped them in a special waste container. Her finger still bleeding she pushed it under the tap again only to notice something peculiar. The tip of her finger had turned silver. Maggie stared for a few seconds at her index and shook her head. "What is going on ?"
By now most of the tray had been dissolved and the puddle of quicksilver had grown even larger. "This is impossible !" She said and tried to rub the silver from her finger. And then she noticed movement. The liquid inside the case moved, flowed of its own accord. Maggie's mouth opened in stupor. She closed her eyes and looked at the clock. It was way past midnight. "I've got to be hallucinating !" She said to herself and watched how the metal flowed around the case almost like a caged animal.
"I have to get a sample." She said and pushed her hand into the gloves and reached for a glass jar when the metal suddenly moved and reached for her finger. "Huh ?" Before she knew what had happened she felt it cut through the glove and ... She felt the cold metal enter the glove, coating her hand. In panic she pulled her hand out, but most of it was covered by the silvery liquid. There was a faint burning sensation as it spread over her entire hand. By now the rest of the metal was dripping onto the floor through the punctured glove, apparently defying gravity. "Oh my God !" She said and held her hand under the tap. Her entire hand was turning silver and the metal apparently went straight through the skin.
Holding up her hand, she tried to rub it off with a dull knife, but the metal would stick to the blade and dissolve it in turn. She dropped the knife into the sink and began to panic even more. Trying to get to the phone, her labcoat snagged a large metal stand which hit her head. The blow knocked her unconscious.
When Maggie woke up, she thought it had been a dream, until she noticed she was lying on a lab floor instead of in bed. She felt dizzy and tried to get up. It was when she reached out for the table's edge to pull herself up that the noticed the unmistakable gleam of metal. Her entire arm was metallic. "Oh my God !" She got up and watched her silver body. Her hands were firm, but not hard and when she tapped her hand, she heard a soft metallic ring. "This can't be !" She said and got up. She looked for a mirror and gasped. Her face, her eyes, lips, hair, nose, everything was metal. Even her teeth and tongue. But most upsetting was the fact that it didn't exactly look like her. In a sense it was her, but the youthful looking woman in the mirror hardly looked like her.
At 41, Maggie was a friendly, matronly looking woman, if a bit short and on the plain side.
She looked at her ill fitting clothes, which hung round her slender frame. The cuffs were too short and her skirt just fell down. Intrigued, she removed her clothes and examined herself with the help of the small mirror she taken from the wall.
She could've passed off as a drop-dead gorgeous looking eighteen year old, except that her entire body was completely silver. Still incredulous, she ran her fingers over her firm breasts which seemed to defy gravity. She put her hands on her slender waist and felt her well defined hips.
With her new pin-up figure came a deep sensuous feeling. There had been a few times when she wished she could look a little better, but this was overkill !
"How am I going to explain this to my boss ?" She said to herself. "I won't !" She suddenly said and looked around. There was no trace of the quicksilver. She'd gather all the evidence and take it with her. "But first, I have to find out what happened to me !" She looked at the clock. Half past two. She still had a few hours left.
Maggie looked at the skin sample she had taken from herself under the microscope. Her cells had all been transformed somehow into a metallic compound. And instead of blood-cells, she could see tiny metallic objects float around.
Indeed, a lot of metallic objects had vanished from the lab, including a complete aluminum sink top.
Another examination, under an electron microscope at very high resolution this time, and she saw that the tiny objects were microscopic machines, nanotech machines ...
The quicksilver appeared to be a large colony of these machines whose purpose was to convert metal into new nanites. They could even alter a living being. But how ? And why ?
Unanswered questions she would have to find out later. She had to get out fast before somebody would arrive early and find her.
"Why am I running away ? I should need help ..." She thought and tried to make sense of her thoughts. Something was urging her to get away, but she wasn't sure what caused it.
Before long she'd gotten into a coat and into her car, with all the notes, tapes and samples she had made.
Back home, Maggie was surprised she didn't feel physically tired. Mentally, she was exhausted and dumped herself into a chair and fell asleep.
The buzzing phone woke her up.
"Hello ?" A faint nervous tremor haunted her voice. "You haven't called in yet, Maggie. Something wrong ?" "Er ... I did some work late at home ... I fell asleep and I ..." "Will you come as quickly as you can ?" "Why ?" "Things are missing from your lab." "M ... Missing ?" "All sorts of tools and a sink top. What time did you go home ?" "About twelve ..." "Strange the security people say they saw you get in your car round about five in the morning ..." "I guess I didn't look at the clock." Maggie said quickly. "Are you okay ?" "Sure, I'm fine ..." Better than fine, she thought, looking at her sleek body. "We've already notified the police so we need you to come and help us make an inventory of the missing items." "I will. Let me get ready first ..." "Okay, see you later."
"Run !" It was like a voice screaming in her head. She ran up the stairs into her bedroom and got a suitcase and stuffed it with clothes. After stuffing in about three handfuls, she realized the clothes would not fit her anymore. And what about her appearance ? She held her face with her hands and wanted to just run out of the house, into the car and get away.
She paced the room nervously and saw her make-up table. She cursed for wearing so little make-up and grabbed a tube and squeezed out flesh-toned foundation cream and rubbed it on her face. An old wig she'd tried out once and sunglasses completed the disguise. Draping a coat round her she got into the car and drove off. Maggie took the shortest way out of town.
It was only the next morning that she decided to pull over near a mall. At this time there were few people around. Holding the scarf to her face, she went into a department store. "I'd like some clothes." She said from under the coat. She knew she looked out of place wearing a raincoat, gloves and a hat in the middle of summer. "Certainly, what is your size ?" A distinguished salesman asked. " ... " She wanted to say her old size but she'd stopped herself in time. "I need to know your size miss." The salesman said. "I really don't know. I've been very sick and I've lost some weight, so I don't really know anymore." She blurted out, holding a scarf to her face. The man looked really suspicious now. "I can't tell with that coat. Would you mind removing it ?" "As a matter of fact, yes. I have to stay out of drafts." She blurted. "If you don't know your own size, I can't help you." "I'll just pick them out. I want things with long sleeves and high necks." "It is summer you know, hardly the time for such things." Frustrated, Maggie walked out.
Maggie stood in the middle of the plaza and looked around. She felt deep frustration when she noticed something in a shop window. She went over to it an looked at the black Lycra catsuit. With its high neck it would cover most of her body, while giving it some long overdue credit at the same time. She was surprised by her own thoughts.
The woman behind the counter looked a bit trampy Maggie thought, but she smiled warmly. "Can I help you ?" She asked with a faint nasal twang while chewing some gum. "I'd like one of those one-piece suits you have in the window." "Sure, we have quite a few, lace ones, plunging necklines ..." "One that covers the body will do." Maggie said. "With or without feet ?" "With !" Maggie said after a second of reflection. "And I'd like some shoes. And ... Are those wigs at the back ?" "Yeah." The girl said, holding up a catsuit. "What's your size ?" "I've lost a lot of weight and I need a new wardrobe." Maggie said. "Just let me have a look at you." The woman reached for her coat. Maggie pulled it tight and recoiled. The girl looked at her, smiled and then winked. "Hey it's okay ... We get a lot of fetishists here." "What ?" "You don't have to be ashamed. The make-up on your face is actually wearing off." Maggie raised her scarf. "Don't be shy !" The woman rolled her eyes. "You can't shock me, honey ..." Reluctantly she began to remove her coat and hat. "Cool !" The woman's eyes lit up brightly. "It that some kind of robot fetish or something ?" "Er ... Yes." Maggie removed her clothes and felt some relief. "Wow ! what is it ?" The woman was really stunned. Maggie smiled nervously. "It's ... It's ..." "Great bodypaint." She said almost touching Maggie. "Yeah ! That's it !" She said nervously and wanted to grab the catsuit. "I heard that it's dangerous to wear it too long ?" The woman said. "I'll take it off when I'm home." Maggie, realized she was completely naked under her coat. The woman had a strange hungry look. "Could I try the suit ?" "Won't the paint come off ?" She asked, reluctant to give her the suit. "It won't !" Maggie sounded desperate. "What's wrong ? Relax ! I tell you, I'm into Lycra myself." "I'm kinda busy you know ..." Maggie almost wanted to cry. "Is something wrong ?" The woman asked. "I just want to get the suit, that's all." Maggie pleaded and a tear ran down her cheek. The girl looked at the drop falling on the floor. It was silver. "Hey !" She wanted to complain, but the drop suddenly moved and crawled over to Maggie's boot. They both looked at it going up her leg and entering her body again. The woman's eyes had grown twice as big. "What the ?" Maggie pulled her coat tight and wanted to walk out. "W-wait !" She grabbed Maggie. "Let go !" Maggie squealed and pushed her back. The woman flew halfway through the store and landed into a clothes-rack. "Oh my God !" Maggie rushed over to her. The woman was unconscious. She bowed over her and made sure she hadn't broken anything. But when she felt behind her head, her fingers were coated in red. Maggie swallowed a lump and felt guilty. She checked her pulse, but there was none. With surprising ease, Maggie picked her up and put her on the floor and tried to revive her. She pumped her chest and gave her the kiss of life. "Live !" She pleaded with a little pained voice.
A sudden convulsion and Maggie saw her open her eyes ... Silver eyes !
She jumped back and watched how the woman jerked up and looked at her with open mouth and silver eyes. Trying to get up, she grabbed the metallic frame of a mirror and it began to dissolve around her fingers, coating them silver.
"No, don't !" Maggie screamed. But the woman was regaining consciousness. At first she didn't notice until she saw her hand. "What ?" She looked at her hand. Maggie had to grab the mirror to prevent it falling out of the melting frame. Still stunned, the woman hardly noticed how the melting frame moved and reached for her. Fascinated Maggie watched the transformation. The woman had gotten up and grabbed metal objects which began to melt and join with her.
And then Maggie could witness how the woman's body slowly changed. Her figure got sleeker and her breasts swelled. In the space of fifteen minutes the transformation was complete. "What happened ?" She asked, still a million miles away. "I don't know. The nanites must've entered you and changed you." "Changed ?" She looked down at her body and she would've screamed if Maggie hadn't cupped her mouth. "What did you do to me ?" "It wasn't me ! It was the nanites from the meteorite !"
Nina laughed nervously. "Look at me !" She was as naked as Maggie. "If it wasn't for the silver I wouldn't know how to thank you ..." Maggie looked surprised. "You mean ... you like it ?" "Look at me ! I look better than ever and God knows I tried every diet and trained for months on end, but I never came close to this." Maggie shuffled nervously. "I can't stay here, they'll find out where I went." "I know." Nina looked at Maggie. "Don't you feel it ?" "Feel what ?" "They are talking to us." "Come again ?" "Those thingies inside us, those watchamacallits." "The nanites ?" "Yeah, can't you hear what they are telling us ?" "No ?" "They're not really telling us with voices, but I understand what they want." Nina smiled and looked awed. "I think I'm too rational to hear them." Maggie said. "I'm not sure, but they want us to move on." Nina said. "They'll tell us the rest later. Let's get dressed first."
Maggie felt the soft caress of the Lycra on her skin. Despite her fears, her sense of touch seemed unhindered by the transformation. On second thought it even seemed amplified. Nina interrupted Maggie's dreamy self-admiration. "I know you're drop dead gorgeous, but we need to get out of here fast." And she ran a finger over her spine. Maggie giggled. "Cut it out !" She said and tickled Nina in her belly. "Hey !" Nina giggled as well but suddenly she cringed. Her mouth opened wide and she convulsed. Her body shook and Maggie watched in awe how her body changed.
Covers appeared over her nose and mouths as well as the ears. The Lycra bodysuit she was wearing burst as the armored plates covered her body. "What the ?" Nina looked at her changed body. Maggie tapped her hard chest. "The nanites must've thought that the tickling was an attack or something ..." "I am very ticklish." Nina said. "I must've instinctively called up the armor." "Can you undo it ?" "I'll try."
After a few minutes of trying, Nina reverted to her old self. "I wonder what other surprises the nanites have for us." Maggie said. "Let's get out of here." Nina said and reached for anther suit. "We need some make-up for our faces." Maggie suddenly remembered. "No, I have another idea." Nina said and went to the window. "Be careful." "I am." Nina said and beheaded the two mannequins. "Look, their heads are plastic with a rubber skin. It fits reasonably well over the head and if you add glasses to hide the eyes ..." "How do you know ?" "Guess ?" Nina smiled and winked. Moments later two stunning Lycra-clad women walked through the mall and went to Nina's car.
"It's got to be at least a hundred out here and I don't feel a thing." Nina said. Maggie watched her. In the woods they would be safe for a while. "How do you feel ?" She asked. "I feel great." Nina said running her hands over her body and taking magazine poses. "I guess you do look like you feel." Maggie answered and watched Nina, fascinated. "You should know how many diets I tried !" Nina said, still taking poses and admiring herself. "I lost some weight and gained some. Lost some more, gained some more. Like in that Karate Kid movie, flab on flab off..." Nina looked back and noticed Maggie hardly understood the joke. "What did you look like ?" She suddenly asked. Maggie looked a bit surprised. She got into her purse and took out her driver's license. "Is that you ? You look really old !" And then she bit her lip. "Sorry, I didn't mean to ..." "No, it's okay." Maggie said and reached out to get her license back. "Look at you now ... I had some looks, but you ..." Maggie smiled in a disconcerted fashion. "Thanks ..."
"You're single ?" Nina asked. "Uh-huh." Maggie nodded and tried to see something in the microscope. "I was with Brent. He's a major asshole. I was meaning to dump him anyway, like the shop. Jeez, it depressed me ..." "Depressed ?" Maggie asked still peering into the microscope. "Same old fat butts trying to squeeze into stuff three sizes too small and twenty years too old to be allowed to wear them." Nina said trying to find a combination of clothes that would do justice to her figure and shiny skin. "And then a few weeks ago I noticed I was starting to look like them as well." "It's getting too dark, I can't see a thing anymore." Maggie said and put the microscope aside. "We'd better rest for a while.
"Thanks !" Nina suddenly said. Maggie woke up and looked at Nina on the back seat. "What ?" "Thanks for the compliment." Nina said. "I didn't say a thing." "You said I was really good looking !" Nina protested. "I was almost asleep, I didn't say a thing." "You were telling me how you liked the way we looked !" "I didn't say a thing !" Nina looked unsure. Maggie looked about and closed her eyes. "Sure I can hear you !" And Nina's mouth popped open. "Telepathy ! We can hear each other's thoughts !" Maggie said. "The armor, telepathy, what next ?" "I dunno, let's try some things out !" Maggie said and got out of the car.
"Try keeping your breath as long as you can." Maggie had said eight minutes ago. "Are you sure you're not cheating ?" Nina shook her head and kept pinching her nose. "Just forget it !" Maggie waved her to stop. "How much do you thing that trunk weighs ?" "Dunno, five-fifty ?" Nina looked at the fallen tree. "I'd say at least eight-hundred." "You're not going to lift that, are you ?" And without saying a word, Maggie grabbed it by the uprooted end and gritted her teeth. It budged a little and then the last roots snapped. "Zowie !" Nina went.
Maggie dropped the tree in a crash of dust and leaves and showed off her less than impressive muscles. "let me try !" Nina said, grabbed the tree and lifted it seemingly effortlessly. "Let's try the car !" She suggested and dropped the tree.
Nina and Maggie sat down laughing hard. "This gives a whole new meaning to the words girl power !" Nina said. Maggie brushed the dirt from her feet and didn't notice Nina's hungry look. "Nina !" She turned her head and gave her a stern look. "I was only thinking !" Nina protested. "You look so yummy ..." "I know you've always dreamed of looking like we do, but it doesn't mean we have to ..." "Hey, I'm not a dyke, okay ?" Nina protested. "I just wanted to have some fun with you, nothing wrong with that ?" "What did you have in mind ?" Maggie mellowed out, tuning in to Nina's thoughts.
Maggie had hardly ever masturbated, being the product of a strict catholic school. But Nina's playful caresses and her use of a vibrator made up for the wasted years.
The first deep blue tones of dawn appeared as they fell asleep, happy and tired.
"EEEK !" The woman screamed as Nina opened her eyes. "Grab her !" She said to the waking Maggie. It was easy for Nina to catch up with the woman, burdened by her heavy backpack. A grab and she fell to the ground.
"Oh my God ! You're aliens !" She screamed and held her hands up. "It's bodypaint, silly !" Nina said. The young woman looked at them with big, scared eyes and didn't know what to say.
"When I saw the silver I didn't know what to make of it and then you woke up ..." "I'm sorry we overreacted." Nina apologized. "Are you okay ?" "I'll be fine." She looked at the two women. "So you're artists ?" Nina nodded. "I don't see cameras or lighting ..." She looked around. "It's all in the car." Maggie said quickly. "I guess I'll be on my way then." The girl said and reached for her backpack. But it was too far away and she couldn't move the weight in one go and dropped it on her foot. "Ouch !" She went and tried to lift it again. "I think I've sprained my foot." She tried to get up on it. "The steel rim hit me straight in the ankle." She winced and undid her boot laces and looked at the big blue bruise between her foot and her shin. "It doesn't look broken." Maggie felt her foot. "I'll be fine." She said and tried to get up, but limped very hard. She sighed and looked at the silver duo. "Could you drop me off in the nearest town ?" "Why not ?" Maggie looked back at Nina.
Sandy was sitting in the back seat and talked with Maggie while Nina drove. "Doesn't it smear or anything ?" Sandy asked. "What ?" "The bodypaint." "It's special ... dry paint." Maggie said. "It looks so weird, your skin looks like it's as smooth as glass." Sandy said, looking at Maggie's arm. She pulled it back and suddenly looked at Nina. Grabbing the wheel, she tried to help but the slipping car collided with an abandoned, oil-leaking trailer.
Nina felt very warm and realized the car was on fire. Flames were licking from the engine into the main compartment. Her thoughts were on static. She looked and saw her legs licked by flames. "Maggie ! Wake up !" She screamed and tried to undo her belt. Maggie woke up and shook her head. "Oh God !" She said and slapped the flames around her. "It's gonna blow up !" Nina said and tugged at her seatbelt. Maggie who wasn't buckled up, pulled the door-handle and hit it with her shoulder. The door wrenched open and she fell out, rolling on the ground to put out her burning clothes. Nina was still trapped and screamed. "Get me out !" Maggie got up and saw that Sandy was hanging out of the car. "She's bleeding !" Maggie said and looked at the desperate Nina. "Get your armor on !" Nina screamed for help as Maggie pulled Sandy out of the car.
Just as she put her down far enough from the car, Maggie heard a loud bang and looked back at the exploding car. "Nina !" She screamed and ran towards the burning car. "Nina !" Maggie held her hands to her face and stared, helpless.
And suddenly she heard metal being torn and out of the raging inferno a sleek shape erupted and landed onto the ground. "Nina ?" Maggie almost cried as she saw Nina's armored form getting up. "Are you okay ?" "I guess I am." She said and reverted to her more human self, although she looked a bit black and smoky. "We'd better call 911, Sandy looks very bad, she was almost flung out of the car."
Sandy looked pale and didn't breathe.
"Not again !" Maggie cried. "If I touch her, she'll change." Nina looked at Maggie. "If you don't she'll die !" Maggie pressed her hand onto one of Sandy's wounds and then began to resuscitate her.
Sandy coughed and convulsed, her skin quickly acquiring a silvery sheen.
"What have you done to me ?" Sandy cried out. "We had to save you !" Nina said. Sandy watched her silver hands and tried to rub it off. "It's the nanites, they bonded with you." Maggie said, putting her hand on her shoulder. "Get away from me !" Sandy said. "Turn me back to normal." "We can't ! We don't know what they are !" "I can't look like this, I'm getting married next month !" Sandy said. "I'm a monster." "You're hardly a monster." Nina remarked. Sandy had been a fit and good-looking young woman, and the improvement was not as dramatic as Nina's or even Maggie's. "I want to be normal !" Sandy screamed and her skin flickered, turning to a normal skin-tone. "What the ... ?" Nina went and looked at Maggie.
"She hasn't changed." Maggie said. "It's just that her skin refracts light in such a way that she looks normal." "Come again ?" "Her skin bends the light in such a way that it can take any color she wants." "Can we do it as well ?" Nina asked eagerly. "I don't see why not." We all seem to have the same powers. "You make us sound like superheroes." Sandy said sulking in a corner. "Superheroines." Nina corrected.
By the next morning the three women looked quite normal, if a gorgeous trio of six foot supermodels could be considered normal. They were naked, since their clothes had stayed in the fire. Sandy still hadn't adjusted as well as Nina and Maggie. "Look at me ! What's Evan going to say when he sees me like this ?" "Pray he likes silver." Nina joked. "I just want to be normal again." Sandy kicked some dirt. They had been walking all morning. "Listen ..." Maggie went. "What ?" Sandy went." "Shhh." Nina hushed her and listened. "It's a truck." "Let's hide." Sandy already ran towards the ditch. "I'm tired of walking !" Maggie protested. "We can't just hitch a ride looking like this !" Nina pointed at their naked bodies. Maggie shook her head and changed the color of her skin. "Bodypaint, remember ?" "What about the trucker ? What's he going to think ... or do ?" Sandy said, standing before the ditch. "Let him try something !" Maggie said and smiled wickedly. "I'm in." Nina changed as well and waved at the incoming truck. "Are you two crazy ?" Sandy said, reluctantly changing her skin as well.
"What are you girls doing in the middle of nowhere looking like that ?" "The photographer is a real joker. He drove off without us." Nina sat besides the guy. He was a young man with a slight beard and denim clothing. "What kind of asshole would do that ?" "He also took all our money." Maggie continued, pulling Sandy in. "Look, I have some spare clothes in the back if you want to cover yourselves up ..." Nina looked at Maggie and crawled to the back. "You're models or something ?" "Yeah, we were doing some shoots in the woods when the guy just drove off." "What's his head start ?" "Pardon ?" "How long have you been walking." "A few hours." "You know what I think, that guy was going for your money." "No shit ?" Nina went, tying a plaid shirt around her body. "Here put this on." She handed some clothes to Sandy. The guy glanced at Sandy and smiled. "I'm Daniel." He said. "I'm Sandy." She said. "And I'm Nina and she's Maggie." "Pleased to meet you ladies." Daniel said.
"I really don't know if we're going to catch up with the guy." Daniel said. "He could be miles away by now." Nina smiled. "Thanks for buying us the clothes." "Hey, it's nothing." Daniel smiled. "I've got a little money left to waste." He said and looked outside at the big truck. "This used to be my dad's. I've just bought it from him." He said, sounding quite proud of it. "Almost brand new !" "Sure is shiny." Nina said. "With all that chrome ..." "Yeah, a truck without chrome is like ..." Daniel thought about a proper comparison. "A girl without chrome." Nina said. "Yeah ... I guess." Daniel looked at Nina. She'd kept his shirt and he could see her cleavage. On a clear day you could see for miles ... "Hey lovebirds !" Maggie tapped Nina on the shoulder. "Come along." "Where are you going ?" "To the little girl's room." Maggie carried Nina off by the shoulders, who winked and waved at Daniel.
"Have you been having those visions ?" Maggie asked. "The crater ?" Sandy said. "Yeah, a big crater in the desert !" Nina said. "I know of one crater in the desert. It's in Arizona." Maggie said. "We'll have to get there somehow." Sandy said. "But how ?" Maggie said, thinking and examining herself in the mirror. "I think I know how..." Nina said, adjusted her clothes and hair and smiled.
"Arizona ?" Daniel lifted his cap. "I have to deliver my cargo in Philadelphia !" "I could pay you for driving us there. I have some savings." Maggie said. "Look, it's not that I don't want to help you, but I can't just run off with merchandise ... It could ruin my career before it started." He was getting cold feet. "We'll pay you back." "A reputation is not something you can buy." Daniel shook his head.
Despite some more cuddling by Nina, Daniel was determined to go to Philadelphia. The three girls sat outside on the porch of the gas station, the big freezer behind them shaking and rattling. "I really tried." Nina said, cupping her face with her hands. "We could steal the truck." Sandy proposed. "He'd send the cops after us." Maggie said. "Perhaps if we ..." Nina looked up. Maggie shook her head. "No ! You're kidding ?" Sandy looked convinced. "It's the only way ..." They both looked at Maggie. "I'm not going to do it this time."
"Hey, Daniel !" He heard a sweet voice and looked to see Sandy in a girlish pose, head to the side and body swinging back and forth. He looked at her and smiled, but then felt a prick in his neck. "Hey !" He looked back and saw Nina who kissed him on the forehead. Feeling in the back of his neck, he felt some blood. "What did you do ?" "Oh, I'm sorry." She said and began to rub his neck. Daniel didn't notice her hand was silver.
"Are you really going with me to Philly ?" He asked. "Sure why not. I've never been there." Nina said. "Would you mind holding this ?" Maggie said handing him a toolbox. Daniel looked at the three girls. They had strange gleams in their eyes. He alternated glancing at them and the road until he noticed his arms. "What the ... ?" Nina smiled and slapped Sandy and Maggie's hands. "We did it !" They cheered and looked at Daniel, who was turning into something more than silver ...
Daniel parked the truck and jumped out of the cab. The three girls followed him as quickly as they could through the bushes. As they ran through the woods, Sandy noticed they were going through a patch of poison ivy without feeling anything. They came to a clearing and saw Daniel, coiling round, feeling and prodding his body. "What have you done to me ?" He screamed with an otherwise melodious soprano. Maggie slapped her face while Sandy's eyes and mouth popped open. "I ... I ... turned him into a ... a ... a... girl ?" Nina stuttered.
Daniel had trouble keeping his arms crossed with his bosom in the way. he looked every bit as gorgeous as the other girls. "Somehow the nanites must've been confused by our gender, thinking it was the only correct one ... or something like that." Maggie tried to explain. "The nanites were confused ?" Dan's chrome face turned gun metal. "Look at me ! I'm a woman !" "Look, perhaps there is a way to change you." Maggie said. "No way, I'm going to a hospital, they have to do something about this, I don't want to look like a pin-up for the rest of my life !" Daniel ran back to his truck. "Wait ! At least take us to Arizona !" Nina followed him and tried to pull him off the truck. "Stay away from me !" Daniel kicked at her. Nina fell to the ground. "Wait for us !" Maggie screamed and tried to get to him, but he slammed the door shut. He started the truck and pushed the accelerator. The engine roared and protested, but the truck didn't move. Slowly it ground forward. Daniel changed gears and tried to make the truck move faster, but it just nudged forward, belching smoke and roaring in protest.
He jumped out and saw Sandy and Nina firmly set against it, holding the might of the Peterbuilt back. "Daniel, just wait for a moment !" Maggie put her hands on his slender shoulders. "Perhaps we can figure something out !" "Get away from me !" And he hurled her into the air. "I'm a guy !" He shouted and ... changed.
Daniel paused and looked at himself. He was indeed himself again, except he looked silver. Sandy and Nina looked at him. Maggie got up and noticed the change. Sandy went over to him and changed as well. "We're normal again !" She grabbed him and danced with joy. Maggie walked up to Nina who watched the dancing duo. She noticed Maggie was shrinking. A short and pudgy forty-year old woman looked up at Nina's slender body. "Call it vanity, but I prefer this look." Maggie said and changed again. "I don't think I want to go back either." Nina said. "Nice to know we can, though." Maggie said and slapped Nina on the shoulders. "I know I'm doing the wrong thing, but I know we have to be in Arizona." Daniel said. "You made the right choice." Nina put her hand on his lap.
"I never knew it was so big." Sandy went, her hair fluttering in the warm wind. "The asteroid must've been huge !" Nina said. "Actually, about the size of an oildrum." Maggie said. "Must've been one hell of an oildrum !" Sandy said. "Now that we're here, what do we do ?" Daniel asked. "We go down there and see what happens." Maggie said.
"This should be center." Maggie said and looked around. "Do you feel something ?" Sandy asked. "Like electricity in the air ..." Dust flew up and the quartet watched a column of crackling light rise up in the air. Inside a column of blue light they could see a long, coiled shape move. "It's ... an alien !" Sandy went. "Wow !" Daniel gasped. "It's a ... hologram." Maggie suddenly said.
The tall, sinewy creature looked down at them. Strange visions and ideas filled their heads. *You have found the nanites ? Good.* It said. *We seeded the Galaxy with nanites in order to help other civilizations along.* "What do they do ?" Nina asked. The creature just continued, blinking its large black eyes. *The nanites will help the chosen among you to become helpers of your kind. The nanites have many powers, some of which we were not even aware when we found them.* And then it slowly dissolved.
They all looked at each other. "This is incredible." Maggie said. "But we can't tell anyone." "Why not ?" Sandy asked. "The military would want it for themselves." Daniel said. "Right !" Said Nina. "We'll keep it to ourselves." "Shouldn't we be sharing it with some people ?" Sandy proposed. "It may sound like a tired old cliché, but humanity is not yet ready for this kind of technology." Maggie said. Nina smiled wickedly. "You remember I mentioned superheroes ?" Daniel chuckled. "You're crazy !" "How many girls can say they ever held up a truck by sheer muscle-power ?" Nina said smugly. Sandy crossed her arms. "Yeah ! Girl power !" "Why not ? It feels exciting when you think about it ..." Maggie suddenly said. "We should get a name for our team !" Sandy said. "Why not the Fantastic Four ?" Daniel proposed. "It's been done before ..." Nina said. "What about ..."