Together we are Stronger

by AmyAmy

Email Feedback | Forum Feedback

© Copyright 2018 - AmyAmy - Used by permission. All rights are retained by the author. This work may not be reproduced for profit or without this attribution.

Storycodes: Solo-F; Other/f; transform; bodymod; rubber; encase; cocoon; stuck; dream; discovery; F/fm; bed; messy; goo; clean; sex; cons/nc; X

Story continued from Part 6

Chapter 7: Repulsion
By AmyAmy, based on an idea by John Hynden

Maeve drifted in a black abyss, seemingly vast and yet also dimensionless. Was this the afterlife, or was she still dreaming? It was too much to hope that there’d be anything after death for someone like her.

She opened her eyes. They were sticky and at first, blurred. As her vision cleared, she could see through the crack of her eyelids, but what she saw didn’t make sense. She was trapped in a criss-cross web-work of dark strands, liquid light dripping off them and falling to an odd-looking floor with a stainless-steel drain in the middle of it.

Her senses flipped the image one-eighty. She was glued upside-down, to the wall of her shower cubicle by the mass of black strands, thick, like crazy-string. A viscous liquid coated them, a fluid that defied gravity, drips flowing upward instead of downward. It collected at the high points of the web, and where it collected it started to glow. Smaller droplets broke free and drifted lazily up, tiny glowing lights. Beautiful specks of red, blue, and green floating like dandelion seeds on the breeze. They must have been drifting like that for a while because the bathroom beyond the cubicle was filled with them, floating like a swarm of fireflies. A freakish, glowing, upside-down pool had formed on the ceiling that lit the otherwise dark room with a blue-green cast.

It was all too disorienting. Was she really upside down, looking at her shower drain, or was the fluid dripping normally according to the laws of gravity, and somehow her entire bathroom had turned the wrong way up, flipped perhaps in some unlikely earthquake that she had barely survived?

She tried to move. Her arms were stuck, meshed deep in the web. She tensed, her muscles straining with little result. She marshaled her energy and tried again. This time, strength flowed in answer to her call, and the black strands tore away from the glass shower walls as if they were no more substantial than spun sugar. She pulled at the other arm, and it ripped from the webbing, which didn’t stick as firmly to the slick black surface of her skin as it did to the tiles.

She reached up and tore the stuff away from her legs. Droplets flew from the torn strands, making a spray of light as they scattered. With a wriggle and a kick she dropped to the floor, breaking her fall with a handstand and then tipped gymnastically back onto her feet. She hadn’t felt so limber since she was twelve. Even back then, a one-handed stand had not been in her repertoire of skills.

It was good to still be alive, but this was not a reassuring awakening. Now there was an understatement. The last thing she remembered was the strangest dream. She’d been in her bedroom, and the goo had been creeping over her face, and even stranger, she’d liked it. It couldn’t have happened, not like that. But first things first, what had really happened to her? Everything seemed to have changed.

She brushed away the remnants of the crusty resin, with its sticky coating, and beneath, the smooth perfection of her gloss-black body was unblemished. She was naked apart from the rubber, waist slender, legs like a gazelle, balanced on heels like needles that seemed a natural extension of her body, more like weapons than a way to avoid falling over.

Her hands were different. She wriggled her fingers, unnaturally long and slender. Again, she pushed aside the unsettling suspicion that this change was more than skin deep. She needed the big picture before she could indulge in the luxury of giving in to panic.

She glanced down at her chest to find a noticeable cleavage she’d never owned before. Curious, she cupped the unfamiliar weight of a breast, bigger than it had any business to be. It was firm, not carrying much fat, and more pointed than rounded, jutting out aggressively. Maeve’s habitual B-cup bra purchases had always been a selection based more on optimism than her ability to fill them, but these were definitely bigger than a B.

So many times, she’d noticed men looking at larger women than her, even though by the rules that every girl knew, she was their better in other respects. The hot doctor that had been the expert witness on the Stirling case, he’d hit on Emmaline, not her. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but she’d gone all out to get his attention, even worn a skirt. Brian wasn’t exempt either, however much he protested, many of those pictures of his had been full of outlandishly huge breasts. She’d never been able to measure up. Yet, small breasts were so much more practical. She’d never had to worry about back pain, or extreme support for exercise. She’s come to appreciate her small breasts, and despite the world being intent on making her feel inadequate about them, she didn’t want them any bigger. So why was this chesty new development triggering a twinge of excitement?

The things she had now were a good sized C-cup, if she ignored the nipples. The weight, and the spring-loaded way they swayed and bounced despite their perky firmness was distinctly unsettling. But the nipples could not be ignored. Her fingers moved to them, the aureoles were distended, shaped like the dome of St. Pauls, so big she couldn’t close her fist around one, and the nipples themselves protruded obscenely, as long and thick as two joints of her little finger, but smooth, slippery, and jet-black.

She rolled them between her fingers, and found them elastic, but as tough as solid rubber. She took a sharp intake of breath as her careless touch enflamed her whole chest with the desire to be handled and squeezed. Her body flushed with a hot, overheated, sickly needful sensation. It was so distinct a change it was as if she could feel the hormones spreading out with her blood. She squeezed again, far harder. Her nipples alight, burning with ill-defined lust, and they seemed to swell even larger. She couldn’t deny it. Each breast grew and engorged visibly as she watched, growing heavy with blood, or something else, and with the protruding aureoles, big enough to count as breasts in their own right.

The sensation spread down to her crotch, setting it aflame, worse than her breasts. It was aching, throbbing angrily, like bee-stings. Her outer lips were swollen, like the the oversized mounds of the more-bizarre women in Brian’s pictures. The ones in the pictures had only been fake, part of their underwear, or so she’d thought, but her own was disturbingly real. Real, and huge, and proportionately hungry.

She gritted her teeth to stop herself from screaming out a desperate longing that was indistinguishable from pain. One bee for each massive nipple, half a dozen for her pussy. Two or three had zeroed in on her clit. The problem wasn’t bees though, was it? Like a real bee sting, the pain was so distracting that it was difficult to concentrate on anything else.

Her body had become an engine for experiencing sexual arousal, shaped in a way that would be irresistible to a rubber fetishist, but outlandishly strange to anyone else. Part of her mind was aware there could have been something humiliating, or degrading, about this change into a vision of male gratification, but there was no room for such reactions, and all her intellectual ponderings were nothing, in the face of her arousal. It didn’t leave her weak and at its mercy, it energized her.

She slid her hand down to her sex and slipped effortlessly inside. She was no longer sealed. She looked between her newly protruding breasts, down at her fingers. Glistening black stickiness oozed out and ran between them. She plunged them back into the opening, releasing a greater flood of the black liquid. It dribbled down her inner thighs, making long streaks, like thick like syrup running down the outside of a bottle. She bore down on her hand, almost crushing her fingers, but it felt good, helped relieve the stinging sensation.

She must have been like that for a while, holding her breath. When she snapped back to reality, she was hyperventilating, breathing in little gasps. She forced herself to stop, took a deep breath. The numb confusion in in her head eased. She pulled her hand away, the black lubricant stretched out, drying into rubbery strands like pizza cheese.

Whatever it was that had happened to her, the changes didn’t bear thinking about for long. If she let herself dwell on it she’d panic, freak-out, have some kind of break-down. The best she could to was to try and hold together and keep on hoping for a solution. There was no way to rationalize something so bizarre.

She knew from crisis of the past, she had to keep busy, keep on moving. That was the best way to get through the moments when it was tempting to give in to panic.

It was too unreal to be true, but she wasn’t dreaming. No. She’d been dreaming before, asleep in the shower.

Dream? She shouldn’t have let the idea into her head. Unbidden, the recollection of that dream hit her in a rush, a flawless recollection, clearer than memory, almost more real than reality.

* * * * *

Maeve could remember her dream with uncanny clarity. She must have been sleeping, upside down in a shower full of black goop. Under the circumstances it was a miracle that it hadn’t been a nightmare. Especially good fortune, considering how it was playing out in her head, again, and she couldn’t stop thinking about it.

In the dream-recollection-world, it was night and the streetlights were lit, casting pools of light, but it was as bright as daytime, and she could see deep into the shadows between the lights, as if the shadows weren’t shadows at all. The sound of an approaching car triggered a quick reaction and she slipped silently into the concealment of a doorway.

For a few seconds, her present situation, in the bathroom, and the memory, where she was out on the street, overlapped, and then reality faded, and there was only the dream-memory. It was more intensely detailed than any immersive, and unlike normal memory, all the dull parts and irrelevant details were present too. It had to be some kind of recording, with an unreal over-sharp quality to it. Hyper-real.

She struggled to control events, but it made no difference. Nothing she did had any effect. She resigned herself to the dream process. Just let it play out. As far as she could tell, she was just an observer, so it wasn’t some kind of game.

The car-lights passed her by. She slipped from cover and began moving, an easy, loping run, covering distance with inhuman speed.

She slipped into the shadows again and came to a stop. Glancing down at her feet, her chest was flat in this dream, though her nipples were still as long and thick as a triple-A battery. She balanced on a single toe, the needle heel off the ground, the other foot lifted, poised in readiness.

Up ahead of her were two males, late teens, dressed in the urban uniform of petty drug-dealers or car thieves. They were about her height, but bulkier. Baggy shirts hung off them like tents, no doubt intended to conceal weapons, possibly guns, though most likely nothing worse than a knife or a sharpened screwdriver.

She flowed soundlessly forward and sank into a crouch behind a parked car. The streetlights were out, leaving the entire road deep in shadow. A yellowish light reflected down from the clouds, and she could see perfectly.

The youths hesitated, glancing around, as if they’d sensed a sound or a movement. But they were looking in the wrong places, and couldn’t see her, even when they did look her way. After half a minute, apparently reassured, they moved a few houses further on, stopped at a door and knocked.

There was a brief delay, then a window opened upstairs. Somebody threw a bundle of keys out, and one of them caught it. Because it was a dream, she could make the keys out at a distance, in the dark. One, not a house-key, was oddly familiar. Her dream-memory zoomed in on the window and replayed the moment the keys were thrown out in high magnification. There was a brief glimpse of a woman’s hand, long fingers, gloved, glistening smooth and black, but the angle didn’t reveal any more than that.

She burst into motion. Gaining speed, headed straight for the two men. Men? No, they were just youths, calling them men conferred on them a dignity they hadn’t earned.

Both turned to look her way, too late to react. Leaping, she hit the nearest high on the chest, her knee snapped up, catching him under the chin, sending him reeling backwards. He stumbled and fell. She delivered a football kick to his chest before he hit the ground. There was a sickening, damp cracking sound from his ribs.

Pivoting on a heel she turned to face the other. He edged back into a fighting stance, retractable Stanley knife in his hand, blade extended.

Black tentacles curled into view. She had a peculiar intimate sense of their movement. It was at once like the swishing and swaying of her hair, and the instinctive motion of her tongue. Black whipcords shot from her head, catching his wrists, jerking them towards each other, binding them together in front of him and wrenching him forward.

With one hand, she forced his wrist down, and the knife from his grip, with the other she gripped his face, forcing his mouth open. A tentacle swayed, poised like the head of a snake, then playfully brushed his lips. There was ample time to read the frenzied panic in his eyes, then another tentacle snapped out, and coiled around his neck. He gasped and struggled, trying to raise his hands , but he couldn’t pull free of the black whipcord tendril that held his wrists. The dark coils around his neck tightened. He choked, gasped and sank to his knees, before finally slumping limp onto the ground. She could hear the beat of his heart through the tentacles. He was choked out but not dead. The tentacles uncoiled and released his motionless body.

She picked up the bunch of keys, dropped in the scuffle, then searched their pockets. For what?

The blip of a siren, still far off. She looked up. A police car was approaching, lighting the street up as it drew closer. It was over half a kilometer away, and somebody else had drawn its attention, but she set off running anyway. Ahead a narrow alleyway squeezed between terraces. She bolted into it. It ought to be pitch black in there, but it was as bright as a cloudy afternoon, just like the street had been, despite the lack of lights. It ended in a heavy wooden gate. Without slowing, she extended her hand and ran straight through it, wood splintering like it was rotten to powder.

A back yard, a leap over a wall, into another yard with no obvious exit, just the back of a house. She ran directly at the wall, then straight up it, vaulted somehow onto the roof, and scuttled up the sloping tiles, then down the other side. She dropped to street level, two stories down. She landed in an effortless roll, and came up running.

The dream ended. It was so vivid, and wild. A rollercoaster ride better than any immersive.

Something nagged at the corner of her memory, a vague conviction that there was more. If there was, she couldn’t seem to remember it. Like a word caught on the tip of her tongue, it was stuck. If there really was more, it might come back to her any time, or so it seemed.

* * * * *

It was just a dream though, wasn’t it?

Maeve put her black-coated fingers to her face, doubting reality. It felt normal. Weird as the the changes were, there couldn’t have been tentacles growing out of her head, could there? Even if there was, it was impossible to run up the side of a building then jump off a roof and land running. Even a bot couldn’t do that. Still… It was also impossible for liquid to flow upwards, or for black goop to grow into a suit overnight.

What if when she looked in the mirror, and it matched the dream? What if her face was blank, featureless, glossy blackness, surrounded by a halo of writhing tentacles? Would she go mad, all of a sudden, like some silly character from a horror novel? She almost giggled to herself, but it wasn’t funny, and she had no reason to laugh. What if that was what she saw? Perhaps the laughing would be the first sign of the madness.

She had to look, had to be absolutely sure.

She stepped in front of the bathroom mirror, so her face would be dead center.

She laughed. It was a nervous, high-pitched laugh of relief. Her face was much as she remembered it, pale and freckled, not black rubber. Her skin, normal, or almost so, smoother and paler, as if she was wearing make-up, but it was still her. There was no rubber covering it, and certainly no tentacles anywhere. The black coating stopped at the base of her neck, a simple round collar. Her head, her face, her hair, all were all intact, and every one of her annoying freckles was exactly where it was supposed to be, albeit a little faded.

She looked down again, reassessing the changes to her body. Had she imagined the rest of it? Unfortunately not, it was quite real, either that or she had gone crazy after all. Her legs were unquestionably longer, more slender, and coated in the same mirror-finish black as the rest of her. Her toes were gone, or hidden, merged into a tapering point, like the tip of a ballerina’s shoe, or a claw. It looked like she was standing en-pointe in seamless black rubber stocking-boots, with needle-sharp heels blending smoothly into her heels, no sign of a join. The heels were as much a part of her as the feet.

Though it looked like she was performing an impossible balancing act, it was as natural as breathing. She didn’t need the help of the heels to stand. Rather, was as if she was poised on the balls of her feet, ready to launch into motion, and yet comfortable at rest. If she looked at it another way, she hadn’t so much lost her toes as gained an extra joint in her leg.

She rubbed a finger over her clit.


She hissed with frustration. Either it wasn’t enough pressure, or enough friction, or there was some malicious intentional blockage, like the seal that had closed her up before.

Her situation reminded her of one of the conspiracy theories about Hanley-Muller. Perhaps there was some truth in it, and they had made the thing she’d found? It didn’t seem likely, they made a lot of things, drugs, robots, bio-engineered plants, and all kinds of materials, but nobody made sentient goop or anything like it, not even them. If they had such a thing, the would surely have found a way to turn a profit off it, that was what they did with everything else.

Still, that story had come from somewhere, and it did sound oddly similar to her situation, right down to the sexual-frustration part of it. On the other hand, it was a myth that had been decisively debunked by multiple sources. Did it matter where it came from? What she really needed was release. If the simple business of standing up was resolved, the aching need for another one of those orgasms wasn’t. The sly promise of pleasure in her crotch and nipples, was almost as strong and insistent as before, when she’d first made the awful mistake of touching herself carelessly.

Her inability to do anything about the seething desire only made it worse. It was years since she’d played bondage games, but this was exactly how she remembered them. Tantalizing torment, pain that was also pleasure, and no way to get release. Why would anyone do it to themselves? It was no fun at all, like when Brian hadn’t been able make her orgasm.

The frustration now was far worse than that time.

She just had to orgasm, then it would all be fine. She pushed her hand down to her crotch again, pressing and pinching her fingers where satisfaction ought to lie. They slid inside, but there scarcely any sensation, no pleasure, no satisfaction, and certainly no possibility of release. Bearing down provided a little extra sensation, but nowhere near enough.

She let out a roar of defeat that made the mirror shake. For an instant, she glimpsed her reflection, mouth open, teeth bared like demonic fangs, eyes catching the blue-green light from above, glowing like a cat’s. She blinked, looked again. It was just her imagination, a trick of the light. Yes, she looked like that, and yet she didn’t, a matter of perspective. Perhaps there was a problem with her sanity after all. Unsettling.

She rifled through the vanity. She couldn’t find what she wanted. Infuriated, she swept everything out, bottles and containers spilling onto the floor, rolling noisily across the bathroom tiles.

There it is. She picked up the vibrator that she’d bought and never used. Despite its solid construction and numerous wriggling parts, it had been disappointing, weak, and hungry for batteries. If she wasn’t absolutely running wet to start with, it was uncomfortable rather than erotic, and it hadn’t been conducive to getting into the right frame of mind at all.

She didn’t bother looking for the power-switch. Desperately praying, she forced it against her crotch. The black rubber engulfed it. It produced a satisfying pressure inside her as she bore down. Oh, good grief. It could do what her fingers couldn’t. How? It didn’t matter. She pumped it in and out. A deep purr came from her mouth, a low bass sound like nothing she’d ever produced before.

She pulled the vibrator out and rubbed it where her clit ought to be. A jolt of pleasure shot through her. Yes. Success.

She lay back on the floor, amidst the shampoos, cleaning products, unopened soaps, cotton-tips, sanitary products, and all the other random junk accumulated in the cupboard. Using both arms she set about satisfying herself with the vibrator. Her finger found the bump of the power-switch. She pressed down and it hummed into life. She didn’t remember replacing the batteries, but she must have done.

The weak vibration wasn’t a lot, but she was so on edge. It might be enough. If she could just think the right sexy thoughts. Brian’s muscular chest, his cock jutting and erect, the veins showing on his calves as he tensed for another squat, quads rippling beneath his tight stretchy shorts. Ridley’s shit-eating grin as he slid the massive dildo into her with embarrassing ease, the muffled noise he made as she landed the cane on his behind and he screamed into the gag. Damned Ridley, she wouldn’t think of him, would blank him from her mind.

The sensations pulsing up through her belly were different from before. This wasn’t like the beautiful instant orgasms the thing had caused when it first crawled up inside her. It came, wave after wave, radiating outward from her crotch. It was as if hot, oily, liquid pleasure was pumping through her veins and arteries, circulating around her body until it reached her brain and shut it down.

An orgasm hit her. Out of nowhere, like a punch in the gut. Black fluid gushed from some invisible orifice in her sex, spilling sloppily onto the cork-tiles of the bathroom floor, as if it were pouring from a knocked-over bottle of maple-syrup. Another soft, basso moan came from deep in her chest, quiet, powerful, almost a growl.

Her fingers dug into the vibrator and the plastic body hidden inside its silicon rubber exterior cracked and shattered. The batteries within crumpled in her grip, chemical pastes spilled over her fingers and mixed with her own dark fluids. She discarded the ruined thing and stretched her arms out from her sides, digging her hands into the cork as she rode out the aftershocks.

She lay still for a while, savoring the fading waves, and then the afterglow.

She got to her feet. It was as easy as flopping backwards onto a bed, but in reverse. Her body was loose and limber, eager to move, as if it were expecting something. Her heels left round dents in the already spoiled cork. Her skin was hot, and she was full of energy that felt about to flood out at any moment.

She put a hand to her crotch and scooped up a dribble of the black ooze. Sniffed it. There was no odor that she could detect. She opened her mouth and stuck out her tongue. It brushed the tip of her nose, as she dipped it into her cupped hand to tasted the stuff. That couldn’t be right, she couldn’t reach her nose with her tongue, it must have been her finger.

The slippery stuff was thick, like liquid honey, but practically flavorless. It left a weak tingling sensation in her mouth, like toothpaste without the minty flavor. Disappointed, she stared at it. After a few seconds, it started to glow, then pull upwards, as if gravity had been reversed in the palm of her hand. It sent up droplets of light, falling upwards from the palm of her hand like rising sparks. Her eyes followed the path. The glowing, gravity-defying pool she’d noticed earlier was still there, and the droplets fell up into it, sending rings of spreading ripples that sent weird shadows flowing across the room.

Each droplet that fell upward made her feel more and more like she was standing on her head, as if she’d always been looking at the world the wrong way around. But was it really so strange? There were all kinds of gases that were lighter than air, why not a liquid? No. That was stupid. She put out her hand, caught one of the rising drops. It dribbled around her fingers, in reverse, and continued its path upward, falling into the inverted pond, and adding to the ripples. Thinking about it made her stomach queasy.

She paused in front of the toilet. She had no urge to pee, and worryingly, she couldn’t even seem to tense the muscles that controlled her bladder, as if they’d never existed. She could tense or relax her pelvic floor, but the only thing that seemed to affect was her vagina.

Swinging her hips as she walked from the bathroom, was a wonderful sensation of motion and tension. Walking? It was hardly that. Gliding smoothly, with such restrained power was a joy in itself, an ebb and flow of tidal tension through her body. The pendulum sway of her hips would surely have come off cheap and affected if she’d tried it as her past self, but driven by the strength of her core, comfortably poised on her toes, it felt like there was no other way to move.

* * * * *

Maeve walked into the living area. It was dark, blinds closed, lights out, and night outside. Nevertheless, she could see perfectly without turning on the lights. She gestured for the television to come to life. Apparently, it was in a good mood, and responded. The far wall lit up and filled with the Svensun logo, its colored light darkly mirrored in her flawless gloss-black skin.

For not particular reason, she swiped through the channels, picked a news feed with 24-hour service. If she remembered right, this one had some local coverage, though mostly it was world events.

The sound was muted. Images of Nilma Muller walking down a red carpet, smiling that beatific smile of hers, backed by the usual entourage of corporate minders and hangers on. She was wearing a designer confection that gave the illusion of tasteful simplicity, and probably cost more than Maeve earned in a year. Bloody Nilma? Couldn’t they find anything more important to talk about than another famous-for-being-rich airhead who wore nice clothes? It wasn’t like she’d ever done anything noteworthy, apart from being born.

The picture swapped to a gray-haired anchor-man. She couldn’t hear him. He was probably making some glib comments about the lovely Nilma’s talents as a clothes-horse. They ought to be mentioning how her lousy company could hold the world’s food supply to ransom, though to be fair, many other channels mentioned it all the time.

The anchor was replaced with a sequence of images from familiar streets, daylight, an area marked off with police tape. The picture cut again, night-time, overhead, filmed from a drone, paramedics loading a stretcher into an ambulance.

A hand-held shot, looking over the shoulder of a reporter pushing a microphone in front of a bedraggled youth with a face badly bruised and covered in stick-on bandages. Maeve un-muted the sound.

“All black and shiny, like. Like, ahh, some fetish tart. But it wasn’t no beeping tart. She kicked the fu-*bleep* *bleep* out of Jeffo, then done me up good. I dunno what she wanted. I dunno. Didn’t see. Strangled me with wires, she did, the…” Another bleep blotted out an obvious swearword.

He was familiar. She’d seen his face in her dream.

But the inescapable logic was that it hadn’t been a dream at all.

It was me, wasn’t it?

As she feared, she’d done all those things she’d ‘dreamed’, and now they were hunting her. She silenced her thoughts, tried to make her mind a blank. If she tried to process this now, she would have a shrieking panic and miss the rest of the story.

Another shot over the reporter’s shoulder, a microphone thrust at the face of a nervous looking police officer. No uniform, no rank visible, but she knew his rank already. He looked strange on television, a different person, and yet the same. It was D.C.I. Ridley in a yellow high-vis jacket over the top of standard issue armor. The camera didn’t flatter him, his face rendered flushed and sweaty.

“Chief Inspector, what do you say to the reports that this is the work of a biotech experiment gone horribly wrong?” The Reporter said, mistakenly dropping the ‘Detective’ part.

Ridley’s eyes widened very slightly. Probably, it was the first he’d heard of such a theory, but he recovered quickly. “That is not a line we are pursuing at the moment. Our current information suggests this is merely an individual in a rubber suit. They are likely under the influence of drugs, given that they are apparently violent, and most likely dangerous-” His words are cut off by the reporter. It felt like he was going to say “to themselves and to others,” a line that was a habit of his.

“There are reports of Hanley-Muller command and control vans patrolling in the area. Are they involved in this case? Is there, in fact, a Hanley-Muller clean-up operation in progress?”

“For several days now, uniformed officers have been cooperating with H.M. Robotics Division on a pre-planned trial of proposed police support droids. It was scheduled several months ago. I am unaware of any evidence that might link that exercise to this incident.”

So, there was the connection to the previous piece on Nilma. Ridley might not have the whole picture, but what did he know about Maeve’s situation? Had he ordered the guards on her room, or had that come from elsewhere? Ethics perhaps?

The reporter made a disbelieving expression to camera, and then, they cut back to the anchor-man, his voice calm and reassuring. “Police are on the look-out for anyone matching the description. They are warning the public not to approach this individual under any circumstances.”

“Good grief,” Maeve said aloud. “What’s going to happen to me?” No longer aroused, but her voice remained smooth and rich, purring with sultry harmonics her throat had never produced before. It was one difference the goo had made that she didn’t object to.

Almost as if it was an answer, a wave of pleasure rolled up from her crotch, followed by an aching longing. The clear image of a key came to mind. A key that wasn’t a house key. A familiar shape and brand, but she couldn’t remember where from.

What was going to happen to her? She couldn’t even go to the hospital now, if that had ever been a practical option. At best, she was in the frame for violent assault, at worst she was being hunted by Hanley-Muller. If they were after her, she’d be disappeared into some fortress-like research installation the first chance they got. She’d never see the light of day again.

If there was something funny going on in the division, it was only a matter of time before they came to her flat. Perhaps they’d already tried calling her?

Thoughts like that were a black chill, freezing her hopes. No good to her. It might not be Hanley-Muller, and whatever she was mixed up in now, it didn’t have to be something of theirs. It was tempting to think there was some truth in the urban legend of the goo that covered people and enslaved them with sexual frustration, but more likely it was some kind of prototype suit or symbiont they’d made, then lost, or let loose on purpose, just to see what would happen. Good as those orgasms were, and miserable as the lack of them was, they weren’t likely to enslave anyone.

If it was them, what were her chances against the biggest company on the planet? If she made trouble for them, she would discredited, buried and forgotten. With her gone, who would pay for her mother’s treatment? Poor Brian, they’d link him to her and his life would be ruined too. How was she going to explain this to him?

Oh crap, Brian…

He’d been supposed to come around after he finished work. That would have been hours ago. Why wasn’t he here?

* * * * *

Maeve stared blankly at the screen, the images didn’t matter. As if the changes to her body weren’t enough to worry about, somehow, the goo had been moving around doing things on its own. It had attacked those two youths with extreme violence.

But why? What else might it have done?

Brian… He could have dropped by while she was unconscious, met the goo instead of her. What if it had attacked him too?

This awful, wonderful goo… She should never have touched it. Would she ever be free of it?

How would she live with herself if it had done something to Brian? She looked down her body encased in its slick, black-mirror-finish rubber-like coating. But it wasn’t rubber. It moved as if it was part of her skin, but it still felt tight, as if she was wearing a suit. It was a confusing sensation. Was her real body still under there? Or did the changes go deeper?

A sick feeling rose from her stomach to burn her throat. Maeve searched the room, looking for a sign that Brian had been and gone. Her phone was still dead, but he might have left a message another way. A note? Living room… Bathroom? There’d been no message there. She ran into the kitchen and checked the usual spots, the windowsill, the refrigerator… Nothing.

Her heart sank. The bedroom was a last chance. She stepped half-way into the room, framing herself in the doorway. The lights were off, but she hardly noticed. She was getting used to being able to see in the near-dark, but there was a dream-like quality to it. Things in darkness were as bright as day, but if she turned her head too quickly, her vision momentarily turned strange and blurry. When the light was brighter, the colours were unnervingly intense.

There on the bed, naked and exposed was Brian. And her best-friend Sarah. Also naked, tangled up with him.

Both were motionless, entangled with each other like mating starfish. There was no way to pretend this was innocent. It was obvious what it was. The quilt was in a heap on the floor. The sheets were ruffled and stained with … something … dark. The air stank of stale sex.

Maeve gritted her teeth, trying to stop the crackling snarl in her throat from twisting up into a full-bore scream. “Thing. This is your doing,” she said at last. Each word came slowly and there was time for a breath between them.

Of course, there was no answer, because the thing couldn’t hear her, and didn’t speak, and it hadn’t done this. She had done it. There was no difference, was there? Whatever one of them did, the other did too, and the black slime all over the bed could only have come from her.

“You piece of sticky filth. What have you done to Brian? What have you done to my friend? What have you done to me?”

Reflexively, her left hand moved to her breast, handled it suggestively then pinched at the overtly protruding nipple. Dark fluid dribbled out.

Why had she done that? And why was this horrible stuff coming out of her? It was bad enough that it leaked from her crotch, but now her nipples? She scooped it up, sniffed her fingertips, tasted them. It was bland, hardly any different to the fluid from before.

Perhaps Brian and Sarah had been drinking this stuff, sucking on her breasts. The image became horribly clear in her mind, uncannily vivid. How did the stories go? Witches sucking on the devil’s teats. No, that wasn’t it. Didn’t the witches feed their familiars, and the witch-finder would discover the mark? The place where they sucked?

Or maybe that wasn’t it either. What did it matter? This wasn’t the time to be worrying about fairy tales. It hardly needed a witch-finder to spot her inhuman gloss-black skin, not a witch, but an actual devil in the flesh.

She dragged Brian’s body off the bed. He was easier to lift than she’d expected, awkward and floppy, but not heavy. She put him over her shoulder, held in place with one hand. She collected his scattered clothes with the other, circuiting the room on the way out.

She couldn’t take him to the bathroom. Things were too strange in there, and she was nervous of going back. It would have to be the main living area. She settled him on the sofa.

He was covered in dried crusty stuff. She wet a towel under the kitchen tap and cleaned him up. By the look of the stuff all over him, a lot of it had come out of Sarah, like she’d been riding his face then slid down onto his chest. Maeve would have liked to fool herself that Sarah hadn’t been involved, or enthusiastic, but that was obviously wishful thinking.

She never would have guessed Sarah got so wet though. She must have been running like a tap.

She cleaned the last remnants of black crust off Brian’s face. She wanted to kiss him, to hold him tenderly, to press his warmth against her. She daren’t do it. What if she lost control again, went from gentle caress to frenzied desire? She stood up and took a step back, afraid of what she might be capable of.

She dropped to her knees, pressed her face into her hands. It was hot and wet with tears. She sat there, unable to stop sobbing. She had to toughen up. It would pass in a minute.

Half an hour later, she wiped her own face on one of the towels, took a deep breath and mustered her strength. There was still quite a bit of black crust to clean off Brian. Nothing got done by crying over it.

Once he was clean, she dressed him. It took longer than she’d expected, but no matter how she shoved him around, he didn’t show any sign of waking, his breathing consistently low and shallow.

While he slept on the sofa, she returned to the bedroom and tidied up around Sarah, wiped her clean with another towel and changed the filthy, cum-stained, sheets. If she kept moving, kept busy, she could stop herself from thinking.

Some of the little lights escaped from the bathroom when she went in to get more towels. They drifted lazily around the living room. At first she thought they might be following her, but if so, they weren’t very good at it. What on earth were they? Maybe she should ask Nilma Muller. Would she know? Did the photogenic bubble-head heiress have any idea what was going on in that company? If she did, she was a monster, and if she didn’t, it left the awkward question, who did? Who pulled the strings?

Did Nilma understand what paid for the army of fashion designers, make-up artists, hairdressers? For her casual use of repulsor-lifter flights, and her string of opulent dwellings, built and decorated by the most prestigious, most expensive, architects and designers, so numerous that it was rumored she rarely visited the same one more than once.

Maeve’s stomach growled. The effort of cleaning up had made her unreasonably hungry again, and there was nothing left to eat in the flat. Literally nothing. She had no choice but to shop for food, and that meant going out to the local supermarket, Ecobarn, or whatever it was called now. Allegedly, it used to be a Safeway. It was a Morrisons when she moved in, now Ecofoods had taken it over and made it into an Ecobarn. Hanley-Muller owned them, somehow, so they wouldn’t be disappearing any time soon.

story continued in part 8

You can also leave your feedback & comments about this story on the Plaza Forum