the virus



by Anonymous4

My name is Rebecca Lane, and this is my associate, Lisa Santiago. He shook hands with them; Lisa’s grip was almost painful. I’m currently working on a project that would benefit from your expertise. I’d like to talk with you about it over lunch.

Urinalysis had never been of much interest to Dr. John Keller, and his drooping eyelids told him that he hadn’t changed. Most of his colleagues at the American Research Conference seemed to concur; apathy hung over the two hundred and twelve doctors and scientists present in the auditorium like a damp blanket. He shifted to find comfort as Franz Goebels vividly detailed relating pH balances to diet and kidney function, using projected charts and graphics to drive home his various points. Of all the speakers to lead off the conference, Keller wondered why the ARC had chosen so uninvolving a presentation. It was hard enough for him to endure the thought of the parade of stuffed shirts and drab personalities that would inevitably appear, but his late night of beer and spades with a development group from Palo Alto had left him wishing he’d stayed under covers at the Ramada until after lunch.

Goebels began tracing a diagram of the urethral tract with a telescoping pointer, prompting Keller to rub his face and yawn. Slumping lower and crossing his arms, he decided that the moment was right to close his eyes for a second. Just for a second…. "Dr. Keller?"

Keller’s eyes blinked open, to find the auditorium quiet and mostly empty. Stiffness had set in in his legs and lower back, and a curtain of fatigue lay over his body. That he’d fallen asleep was not surprising to him; that he’d fallen asleep for hours was another matter. He hadn’t intended to ignore all the speakers, especially the lecturer from Loyola Marymount; Keller was interested in toxic bacteria, and he hoped that the man had to postpone his presentation.

He looked to his right, where the voice had come from. Two women in corporate-issue skirts and business jackets stood there, smiling. The closest one, a slender blonde with thick hair and green eyes, was holding herself by the arms. A dark-featured Hispanic woman stood behind her, a little to her right; she was well over six feet tall, and broad across the shoulders. He decided that if they’d been giving the speeches, he’d have been awake the whole time.

"Dr. Keller," repeated the blonde, "I’m sorry to wake you, but I need a moment of your time."

He inhaled and pulled straight in his seat; his watch read "12:11". "Jesus," he moaned. "Don’t be sorry. I never should have dropped off like that."

"That’s okay," she said. "You look like you had a rough night."

He stood, his stiff legs sending a protest to his still-groggy brain. "Well, I guess that’s my fault, too. Don’t guess there’s much to be done about it now."

"My name is Rebecca Lane, and this is my associate, Lisa Santiago." He shook hands with them; Lisa’s grip was almost painful. "I’m currently working on a project that would benefit from your expertise. I’d like to talk with you about it over lunch."

He shrugged. "Well, sure. I’m a little shy on funds right now, but I can manage Mickey D’s or–" She shook her head. "I’m not much into Happy Meals, Dr. Keller. I’ve made reservations at Spago’s–and I’m footing the bill."

He decided that his good karma had reached unprecedented levels. "Your wheels or mine?"

"Muscle enhancement through recombinant DNA application?" Keller stabbed his Chicken Kiev with his fork, and swallowed a bite. Spago’s was bustling with noise and movement, as the waiters rushed to serve the lawyers, doctors, and upwardly-mobile professionals who could afford to look at the menu.

"Interesting, but I think there’s a group at Johns Hopkins that’s trying something similar. Have you asked them for help?" Rebecca waved her hand in seeming indifference, and returned to dicing up her chef’s salad. "They’re on a different tangent. I moved past their theories months ago."

"I see." Nearby, a waiter collided with a busboy, sending a tray of water glasses and silverware crashing onto a table of businessmen. The men were not amused. "Well, to be perfectly blunt, what can I do for you? I deal with viruses, and that doesn’t seem related to your plans."

"Not true." She washed down a helping of lettuce and cheese with Evian, then continued. "I’ve gone as far as I can with my testing, Dr. Keller, and I now know I can significantly enhance the muscle quality of my subjects through subtle DNA resequencing. My problem is delivering the payload." He looked at her blankly, still uncertain about her intentions. "Oh," he said finally, his eyes flashing open. "You want to piggyback your DNA sequence on a tailored virus! That’s brilliant!"

She smiled self-consciously. "I appreciate you saying so. But if I were so brilliant, I’d have developed the carrier myself."

"Nonsense. Viral transfer is tricky and involved stuff. You’ve got your hands full with your own work." He nodded. "I think I can help you. I’ve got some theories I’ve been wanting to try, and this is a very practical application."

"Yes!" Rebecca was leaning closer now, bursting with enthusiasm. "If we can make this work, we’ll be contributing something of extraordinary magnitude to the world! Muscular dystrophy will be a thing of the past, and–" "And we’ll be jointly accepting the Nobel Prize." He winked. Looking to Lisa, he said, "You’ve been pretty quiet. What’s your angle on this?"

Santiago shrugged, and looked at Rebecca. "I’m just her girl Friday, Doctor Keller. I move boxes, set up equipment–the things she shouldn’t be bothered with." Keller noted a trace of an accent in her voice, which he guessed to be Cuban or Puerto Rican.

"She’s much more than a strong back," said Rebecca, stroking Lisa’s hand. "She’s an anchor. I couldn’t have gotten this far without her." Keller noticed Lisa’s hopeful expression, her eyes searching for–and finding–Rebecca’s approbation. "Yes, well…when do we start?"

"Anytime. Although I’m sure you’ll be preoccupied with the conference for–"

"To hell with the conference. I want to be in your lab today. I’ll wire the university and let them know what I’m up to here, and I’m sure they’ll approve enough funding to set me up for a while."

"Excellent." Rebecca grinned and raised her glass. "A toast then. To the next wave in bioresearch." "Here, here."

Lane’s facility was housed in the basement of Venus Inc., a budding medical technology firm, which itself was a subsidiary of the Amatech conglomerate. At first glance, the two-story building had been fairly unimpressive to Keller, but he found the underground lab to be a paradigm of cutting-edge equipment, all of it new or little-used. He remembered hearing vague rumors of Amatech being owned by a partnership of incredibly wealthy women, but had never thought to look into it.

Keller buzzed around the lab in adolescent glee, handling and adjusting the complex machinery. Rebecca stood watching with an amused smile. "How do you like it?"

"Like it?" He shook his head, and gestured feebly at the devices. "I love it. I’m like a kid in a candy store. Amatech must be putting some serious money into your project."

"They believe in me. I hope you will, too."

They began with a thorough review of her notes and theories, all of which struck Keller as perfectly plausible. He realized that designing a viral agent to locate and modify the DNA structure of muscle cells would be much easier than he’d first imagined, and might be a quickly attainable goal. Keller then set to work, using the available resources to create several strains and interbreed them accordingly. Rebecca was by his side the entire time, lending thoughtful advice and suggestions, and encouraging him when the task became daunting. With her brilliance, easy wit, enthusiasm, and enigmatic beauty, Keller found himself admiring Rebecca more and more–an admiration that moved beyond simple professional respect.

Lisa had been a constant factor through the experiments, always there to retrieve what was needed, prepare machinery, and perform the sometimes exhausting chores they required. He was always surprised by her brute strength, as she hefted crates and machinery with what seemed superhuman power. While Rebecca’s delicate beauty appealed to his civilized virtues, Lisa charged his libido on a basic, untamed level. The Latin woman was lean and strong, apparent even when wearing her long white lab smock, and her power hinted at an animalistic sexuality lurking just below the surface.

The moments when she would press against him while delivering equipment, or when she would leave her hand on his arm while chatting left him hoping she shared the attraction. This was further compounded by his suspicion that Rebecca and Lisa were lovers. He would overhear them speaking in whispered tones about intimate encounters when they felt he was beyond earshot, and catch glimpses of them holding one another and kissing when he would turn to complete an experiment. Strange as the scenario was, he hoped to insinuate himself into their midst.

The viral agent they sought developed two months after Keller’s arrival. Dubbed KL-1 (for Keller/Lane), the biomechanism had successfully reacted with the tissues in the rats and mice they’d infected, resulting in superior physical specimens. Shortly thereafter, they developed a strain with an air vector, for use in inhalation therapy. The experiments were a smashing success, and the euphoria was evident in all of them. After a celebratory trip to Spago’s, they returned to the firm and planned to meet the next day to organize their notes. With visions of every major scientific award parading through his mind, Keller retired to his quarters.

He entered the lab the next morning at nine o’clock sharp, whistling and stepping lightly, to find Rebecca and Lisa, securing a test tube of the virus. They were whispering and giggling.

"Ladies," he said, "This is wonderful time to alter the course of history. Shall we get started?"

"I’m afraid we’re one step ahead of you," said Rebecca.

He slid onto a stool facing them. "Come again?"

"Well," she said, holding a test tube between her thumb and index finger, "Lisa and I didn’t go to bed last night. We had other plans."

"What…other plans?" Keller was beginning to shift on the stool.

"Our true plans," she said. "You see, there are a few things you may not have known from the outset that you’d have considered a bit suspicious."

"Such as?"

"Well, for one, the effects on our male test subjects were temporary," she said. "I fashioned my DNA sequence to permanently affect only targets with an XX chromosomal pattern."

"Only for females? Why?"

"I’m getting to that. We also did some playing around last night, and combined our latest viral carrier with an agent that reproduces at a substantially higher rate. In fact, once exposed to air, the virus will spread over several cubic miles in the space of a few minutes. On this exponential scale, the atmosphere will become saturated in a matter of hours." He slid off the stool, to stand facing her; Lisa stepped half between them, arms crossed, sharing Rebecca’s knowing smile.

"I’m still a little confused. What good is our discovery if it’s limited to one sex? We have to share this–"

"’Share’? Just as men have shared millennia of injustice and inequity on women, simply for being the ‘weaker sex’? I don’t think so." She caressed the side of the tube, and said, "No, as you said, it’s a wonderful time to alter the course of history. Only we won’t just be changing history, we’ll be righting it."

He smiled, trying to convince himself that she was joking, but a sick feeling told him that she wasn’t. The cutting-edge equipment, unlimited resources, and ideal facilities had been too perfect. The realization dawned that he’d been a tool in a broader scheme, a pawn controlled by a shadowy cartel with a malign agenda. "You’re serious," he said, face somber. "You’re going to let your prejudices stand in the way of a tremendous humanitarian accomplishment. Please don’t–"

"Save the speeches, John," she said. "This is going to happen. And I want you here to witness it."

He took a step forward, then halted as Lisa uncurled her arms and dropped her smock. She wore a tight black bodysuit, sleeveless, cut low to expose her ample cleavage. He considered pushing past her–after all, he was a man–but her physique gave him pause. "Just put the tube away, Rebecca," he said, looking past Lisa. "We–we don’t know what the results will be on a human target–"

"Of course we do," she said, and stroked Lisa’s smooth, hard shoulder. "I administered the DNA therapy to Miss Santiago long ago, well before I approached you. It was a complete success. I only needed your aid in fashioning a vehicle for mass delivery." "You’re lying," he offered halfheartedly. "She’s strong, but–"

Lisa lunged and took him by the collar; in a quick motion, she held him under his chest and crotch and pushed him high above her head. Her arms were locked out, and she showed no visible strain whatsoever. Lisa grinned up at him and asked, "Is this proof enough for you?"

He squirmed in her grasp, his mind buzzing with disbelief. "P–put me down! Please!" She shrugged, then lowered him back to his feet, a hand still closed on his collar. "I won’t let you do this! I won’t go along–"

"Please, try something, Doctor," purred Lisa, sliding a hand down the front of his shirt. "I’ve been so looking forward to…subduing you."

"Get out of my way–" He moved to push past her, but Lisa curled a steely arm around his neck and kneeled; this pulled him to his rear, and she shoved him flat. She slid to sit astride his abdomen, pinning his wrists to the floor. "Gotcha," she said to the struggling man.

"Rebecca," he said. "Rebecca, come on, you’re a brilliant doctor, don’t tarnish your reputation by–"

"Lisa," said Rebecca. "I think John’s a little excited by all this. Wear him down a bit."

Lisa released his wrists, and dropped beside him; he rolled to rise, and felt her python-like legs wrap around his chest from behind him. He gasped as she squeezed, crushing the air from his lungs. His fingers pried at her legs and crossed ankles, but it was like trying to unbend iron. Her grip was secure. She held him in this way for a time, bringing him on the verge of blacking out, before forcing him to his back once more and shifting to sit over his neck and chest, his chin pressed against her pelvis. She clamped her folded legs against the sides of his head, and pinned his arms.

"I’m really enjoying this," said Lisa, undulating her thigh muscles against him. "It’s been hard keeping my hands to myself for three months. But it was worth it."

"G-get off me," he croaked.

She shook her head. "I’d rather get on you." At this, she raised, then seated herself over his face, just under his nose. She laced her fingers through his hair and pulled up, gyrating against his tightly-smothered mouth and cheeks as he kicked and thrashed beneath her.

"You should see by now how futile your efforts are," said Rebecca, crossing her legs. "You’re at our mercy. But, please, keep fighting. I so enjoy the sight of a man being dominated." Some minutes passed, and Lisa noted his struggles weakening. She lifted up, keeping him pulled between her legs, then rolled to her side. "Now for the coupe de grace," she said, and clamped him into powerful head scissors. Her ankles locked together, and he jerked and fought to escape the pain. "I’ve always wondered how having you in this position would feel. Trust me, it’s wonderful."

After what seemed an eternity, Keller’s vision clouded with pulsing lights, then went black. He awoke seated on the floor, with Lisa behind him, her legs encircling his waist and arms. She was leaning back, resting on her elbows. "Good to have you with us," said Rebecca. Keller tried to speak, but was too groggy. "Don’t worry," said Lisa, raising and wrapping her arms around him. "You’re just fine. Trust me, I know how to do more than squeeze you out." She licked and nibbled his earlobe, and said, "And you’re just too damned cute to injure permanently."

"It’s time," said Rebecca. "Pay close attention, John. You helped make this possible." She held the bottle by the lip and cork, savoring his panicked expression, then let go. It exploded into fragments against the linoleum.

It took only seconds for Rebecca to feel the effects: she staggered, and slumped back against the counter, holding her palm to her forehead. Tingling energy raced through her body as the viral agents took hold, re-shaping her basic genetic sequence at incredible speed. She felt her smock tightening against her shoulders, her blouse and skirt straining against her growing body. Muscle and sinew ballooned and tightened, and her breasts swelled and broke the clasp between the cups of her bra. She moaned as the metamorphosis continued, hardening and increasing her muscularity, making her taller, more powerful. She tore the ruined smock and blouse away; her skirt broke free and dropped to the ground.

The transformation lasted only moments more, then was complete: Rebecca stood before them, a fair-skinned, statuesque fusion of muscularity and felinity. All that remained of her apparel were white thong panties, matching garter, and seamed hose. She kicked away her torn pumps, then ran her hands along her chiseled physique, over her full, raised breasts, and into her hair. "Yes," she said, relishing in the arousal her transformation had triggered. "Yes, this is…perfect. This is the dawn of a new world."

She took Keller by the front of his shirt; Lisa released him, and Rebecca jerked him into her arms. She ripped his shirt away in a smooth, effortless motion, and dropped the tatters to the floor. She gave him a passionate kiss, her tongue dancing with his, melting his apprehensions, one hand sliding into his hair and pushing him to her.

"Come," she said, as Lisa pressed against him from the rear, sandwiching him. "Join us in our moment of glory. We’ll make love as it’s always been meant to be." She brought her lips close for anther kiss, and whispered, "Rejoice in our dominion."