This is an original piece of fiction meant for entertainment purposes only.
Sometime not too far in the future, in a city that could be anywhere in America…..
"I do not like this," James Drake muttered as he was helped into his disguise by two of his undercover vice unit's detectives. They were the only two, aside from his captain, who would know his actual disguise once his cover was activated.
"I don't know," Mike Parker grinned as the burly, heavyset cop stepped back to grin at him. "I think you make a pretty convincing bimbo."
"And the suit ain't even activated yet," the younger, but often snide and reckless Allen Harding grinned as he helped James close the back seal of the bodysuit that left him from the neck down looking very much like a sleek, young girl of around twenty. Right down to the very realistic slit between his legs covered with a soft, brown fur.
The detective scowled as the young brunette eyeing them gave all three a dour look, and stepped up to assist in placed the headpiece over James' own plain, rugged features. "This is hardly a toy, gentlemen," the scientist loaning the experimental bodysuit to them for field trials.
"We know, Dr. Eurilyn," James spoke with his own voice though his features were now those of a young brunette, right down to the characteristic hollow where his smallish Adam's apple had been. "And most of us do take this seriously, especially since lives are going to be counting on it."
"Well, so long as you recall the precautions I've given you, and don't strain the set parameters , I don't think you'll have any physical problems with the suit that will betray you.
"The most likely traits that might give you away are your own masculine characteristics. Walking, the way you speak, and even how you stand.
"Take a look," she said, stepping back to gesture at a nearby mirror in the locker room.
James looked at the mirror, and scowled. "I do look a bit….butch, don't I?" "It's all stance, and attitude.
"Try this, bring your feet closer together, and pull your elbows closer to your sides, leaving your arms free and loose.
"That's it. Now, try a smile. Nothing serious, or flirtatious. Just a neutral smile, like you'd give a stranger."
"Or a helpful pimp about to offer you a place to stay," Allen grinned.
James scowled at him, and Mike slapped him in the back of the head.
"Ignore our resident clown," Mike suggested. "We do."
"Ohhhh, that's brutal, Mikey," the younger detective protested.
"Not as brutal as watching the sergeant turn into a little girl," Mike exclaimed as Dr. Sara Eurilyn stepped back from sealing the neckpiece to the rest of the suit.
"You're ready for full activation, and the secondary components," Dr. Eurilyn told him now as she held out the small remote she now held out.
"Remember, do not exceed seven on the bonding level, or there is the possibility that the suit could become….ah, stuck."
"You're shitting," Mike exclaimed now as James took the small remote, and noted with an audible sigh it was still at one.
"This is still an experimental science, detective," Mike was told primly. "Sgt. Drake was advised of the risks when he chose to accept this field trial to attempt capturing your stalker."
"A few side-effects from an untried camo-suit are worth stopping this guy," James growled in a now feminine voice as he activated the voice masking option, and pressed it up to four. He sounded like a real woman now. It was beyond astonishing.
"Gotcha, Sarge," Mike nodded, thinking of the nine young women already mutilated, and left for dead in the downtown area. Not typical hookers, or junkies, either. The stalker was going after college girls, career girls, and even soccer moms.
The mayor had turned up the heat on everyone, and Captain Douglas, whose cousin just happened to have federal 'ears,' suggested a ploy to draw the suspect out with a new kind of camouflage that was needing a human test subject anyway.
"How did that sound," James asked as he looked to the doctor.
"Quite natural. Nothing too husky, and not too low. I'd consider that a natural voice for your apparent age, and size.
"Now, you know you can change hair and skin pigmentation, too."
"Brunettes seem to be the primary victims, doctor," James told her as he tried walking a few steps and was stunned at how his 'new' bottom seemed to actually sway. "I think the average girl he targets is a bit more tan, though."
"Use the third button, and slide it until you're dark enough to suit your needs," she told him. "Just don't go too far, or you'll look more African, than Caucasian."
"How's that for equalizing the races," Allen sniggered as James' skin tone went from pale, to a golden tan.
"Nothing says college girl than an all-over tan," Mike drawled, scowling at his leering companion.
"I agree," Dr. Eurilyn nodded. "But I would lighten the tint just a degree, detective. At this time of year, even a hardcore sunbather would not be quite that dark."
"Right," James nodded, and adjusted the tan until he didn't look quite like he had been living on the beaches for the past few months. "How's that?" "I'd say adequate.
"Now, you can adjust your….measurements, too, so whatever best fits your victims' profile will be more attractive to your….malefactor."
"Malefactor," Allen chortled. "Doc, no offense, but you gotta know, no one talks like that anymore. I'm not sure they ever did."
"Back off, Harding," James gave him a dark scowl that looked almost comical on the blue-eyed brunette's face he now wore. "The lady is doing us a favor here. So let's give her her due."
"Or should I say, honey?" This time the scowl was eloquent.
"Your features will meld, and become more natural as the nanobots that weave the suit to your own external epidermis make it more sensitive, too," she told him as he noted the change. "Six hours are what we estimated to make the most efficient bond based on our research."
"Right, that's good. It will take at least that long to set up a cover, and operation control to try tagging this bast….uh, guy," James said.
"Proper young women don't curse, either, detective.
"If it helps, I do have a behavioral module available that has worked wonders in TS cases I've assisted."
"TS," he frowned.
"She means trannies, Sarge. Jeez, and you think I'm thick."
James scowled at Allen. "I know what she meant. I am just surprised that you didn't try one of them for your research."
"We find that most true SRS cases don't want to appear female, detective. They want to be female. It's a distinction only someone that is aware of their psychological drives could understand."
"I'll take your word on it, doctor. All right, physically, how do I look," he asked as he finished tailoring the measurements to an average college student of twenty with a not-too-large bust, but still firm, and well-rounded in all the right places.
"You could be a bit bigger up top," Allen grinned.
"But," he went on when all three scowled at him. "Overall, you look a lot like a 100%, prime babe. In fact, you look a bit like that poor girl we found on Wilshire."
"Donna Summers," the doctor surprised them all by naming her. "My niece.
"And she is the reason I volunteered our project to your cause, detectives, when I heard you were looking for a trained decoy."
"How is she doing," James asked her quietly as he now reached for the 'uniform' of an average college girl that had been acquired for him earlier.
"She's still comatose. But from what I've heard, she's still one of the lucky ones. At least she's still alive," the young researcher stated grimly as she helped James fasten the snug bra around his new chest. "That means there is always hope."
"Hey, doc," Allen spoke up then. "We all take this case seriously, y'know? We just have our ways of….coping. Okay?
"We're gonna nail this….jerk. Then we're gonna bury him under the jail."
"I'd prefer if you shot him on sight," the doctor surprised them all by voicing her grim preference. "I've seen too many of your psychos get off on pleas, or technicalities, and end up on Oprah, or some nonsense like that spouting gibberish about what troubled childhoods they've had."
"Yeah," James said in his newly softened, and somewhat sensual voice. "It pisses us off, too."
"We'll get him, doc," Mike spoke up as he handed James the jeans that an average girl wore these days. The top was more revealing than not, and he scowled at the high cut tee, but said nothing as he pulled it down over his new adornments, and then shook back his hair.
"What do I do with this mess," he exclaimed as he noted the tangled mop for the first time.
"Right. We had better use a standard behavioral module," the doctor chuckled softly for the first time since her arrival. "You have to know how to groom yourself at the least, after all," she advised him. "And I doubt you want to go walking into the men's room by accident at the wrong moment," she told him as she went to a small, black case she carried with her, and pulled out a small, metallic container, and opened it up to reveal several tiny microchips she studied before selecting one.
"Don't worry. This isn't an override. It's more like….a tutorial. It'll upload basic behaviors into your brain, but you will be aware of them simply by thinking of them.
"For instance," she said, taking the suit's remote, and sliding the back off to press the small chip into place in one of the open slots. "In a few moments, when you press the right button, and I will let you do it, you'll just have to think about doing your hair, and you'll know just how to take care of it."
"What a relief," James admitted, and then pulled on the crew socks and sneakers as the scientist closed the remote and handed it back to him.
"Whenever you are ready, just press the yellow button. That's the activation switch for the learning modules. If you still have trouble, just press a second time, and it will give you a 'stronger' download to overcome any prejudicial concerns that might be resisting the behaviors you need to learn."
"And this can be undone?" "Of course. All module-related learning patterns are removed with the suit once it comes off.
"Just taking off the bodysuit will automatically trigger a delete function in the downloaded behaviors."
"That's an even bigger relief," he admitted as he pressed the button once, and waited. 'She' gave a soft smile as the three looked at him expectantly, and then he turned to the purse on the bench where his clothes had been for transformation, pulled out a brush, and using the nearby mirror quickly, and efficiently, brushed, and set he hair into a ponytail held together with a stylish barrette taken from the purse, too.
Before he stopped himself, he had also added lipstick, eyeliner, and a blush found in the purse.
"O-kaaaay," he exclaimed as he eyed himself, and put the blush away. "That went waaaay to easily."
"I told you," Dr. Eurilyn smiled. "The teaching modules are a proven technology. We've been using them for years. When we finally perfected this prototype suit, though, we realized that the modules would be useful for ensuring whatever 'image' you chose was realistic to the smallest degree."
"Right. And I do appreciate that. This guy has been harder to catch than the new Son of Sam, or that fruitcake in Oklahoma," James nodded. "We need this edge."
"Now all we have to do is get you set up in your cover identity, and stake you out," Mike nodded.
"Right," James nodded, and collected his purse, and remote, putting the device into the bag with utmost care.
"Wait. Seriously, doc, we know how realistic that outfit looks. How….realistic is it if someone were to…well, get to third base with the Sarge?" "Allen," James and Mike both growled.
"It's a legitimate question, for once," the doctor remarked. "And for your information, for all intents and purposes, detectives, you are now a fully functional female. With the proper programming, you can even simulate menstrual periods, and engage in female intercourse without anyone realizing you are not a biological female."
James' jaw predictably dropped.
"That's way more than I needed to know," Mike shuddered.
"It's nothing that half the world's population doesn't cope with on a daily basis, detective. Surely you're not squeamish over a few biological functions?" "Consider it a guy thing, doc," Mike drawled for his comrade.
"Duly noted," she said dryly as James shook his own head.
"People, let's get back on the schedule," he told them as he forced himself to confront his new image. "We still have to see the captain to get his final okay that we can pull this off. I still don't think he believed the doctor could live up to her initial PR.
"Frankly, I'd have to say she more than lives up to the hype."
"Definitely," Mike nodded.
"Yep," Allen agreed. "Now, let's go surprise the…..heck out of him."
Captain Bill Douglas looked up as he heard the knock at his door. Two women stood there. One a young brunette who seemed pretty enough, and the other a prim, no-nonsense woman who looked like an older version of the young one standing before him in jeans and a shameless top that contrasted with the slacks and modest blouse the other woman wore.
"Captain Douglas," the younger girl asked.
"Yeah," he scowled. "What is it?" "Captain, I was told you needed help finding suitable volunteers to assist you in setting up a sting on your serial guy?"
Bill was a man with problems. He did not like jokes, or amateurs messing up his already complicated day. "Listen, girl," he turned his fiercest scowl on her. "I don't know what you've heard, or what you're thinking, but we have serious work to do here, and have no time for your juvenile antics.
"Now, unless you want a day or two in lockup for obstruction to…..help straighten….
"What's so damned funny," he demanded of the two smiling women as laughter sounded from just outside his office.
"Well, Cap," the young woman drawled in a manner known well to him. It just sounded odd coming out of the young woman's mouth. "I always knew you were a hard-ass, but chewing out little girls? Jeez, old man, you really gotta learn to relax."
"Drake? Did Sgt. Drake put you up to this," he demanded as he spotted two familiar faces who now peered around the corner.
"Actually, Cap, I am Sgt. Drake," the girl beamed insolently as she made that outrageous claim. Even as she spoke, she dug into the purse dangling at her side, and pulled out an ID and badge. "I'm just undercover," she added in a stage whisper with a wink.
"Your men suggested an acid test might be required to prove my camouflage bodysuit could actually help, Captain Douglas," the older woman told him.
"And you are….?" "Dr. Sara Eurilyn, sir," she introduced herself. "I believe we were introduced last week, and you said you would give me a chance to prove my work might be of assistance while giving Gen-Tech a chance to give our prototype unit a field trial?
"And I can assure you, sir, that inside this prototype polymorphic camo bodysuit is Detective Drake. He certainly grumbled enough about being the only man small enough to fit the prototype's current size limitations."
"One crack," the apparent female said as she turned to face Allen Harding who now stood in the door, "And you're back to on a beat so fast you'll think you never left."
"That's James," Bill nodded, still staring as the other two detectives in his unit entered the office, and discreetly closed the door behind them. "So, I assume you're the Ellie Sands I just had a request to finance, and set up as a decoy in the target area?" "Yep," James gave a coy smile.
The captain frowned. "Damn, but that's…..how the hell does that thing work, because I just can't believe that your short, ugly mug in in there," Bill Douglas spat.
"Whoever said I was short? Or ugly," James scowled, looking around at his companions who were grinning.
The captain smirked now. "Yep, now I believe it. Overly sensitive about your looks and height. I guess some things can't be hidden even by science," he chortled.
"Ah, Cap," Allen drawled. "You know how it is. A lot of these babes are still vain enough to complain….."
"Who are you calling a babe," James drawled, wheeling on Allen so fast he made him back-step into the door behind him.
"Whoa, Sarge," Allen held up his hands. "Haven't you heard about gals being shy and sensitive?" "Ever heard of women's liberation," James growled as he shook a small fist in Allen's face.
"Settle down, Drake. Now I know it's you.
"No one else has a quip for every occasion. Even while cross-dressing."
"Technically, sir," Sara spoke up as James turned back from his co-worker with a warning glare still in his bright, blue eyes. "For all intents and purposes while wearing this suit, your man is female. I'm confident enough that 'she' could even pass a physical in this suit. So long as they didn't get too complete," she smiled only then.
"That right," Bill eyed James again.
"Yep. We would have taped his change, but he threatened parts of a man that shouldn't be threatened," Allen told the captain with a boyish grin.
"Who says," James/Ellie and Sara asked both at once.
They shared a wry smirk, and both eyed Allen who was blushing at the rejoinder.
Mike only sighed. "You're lucky, Cap. I get to live with this," he nodded at the pair.
"How the hell do you tolerate them," Bill Douglas demanded.
"I know when to wait, and when to act.
"For instance, depending on how long we take to nail this bast…..uh, guy, I figure the sarge wouldn't mind being volunteered to decoy in pros' stings if we still have time left on the field testing," he winked at Sara."
"You really are an ass sometimes," James told his older counterpart.
"You know, you really are so convincing it's scary," Bill said after a moment. "All right, Drake. You've got your sting. Run anything you need through Mike, or me directly. We don't leaks at this point. Now get out of here, and get to work. I'd prefer not to hear that s.o.b, got another poor girl because you lot were playing your games here while he was out hunting again."
"I'd prefer to stay close, too, sir," Sara put in. "To monitor the suit's efficacy, and functions," she said.
"I can't have you in the field, doctor. Too dangerous."
"I wouldn't need to be in the field. If the detective could visit someplace neutral once a day, I could run analysis scans on my master remote," she said as she held up another small device.
"For instance, I can also monitor 'her' vitals, and stress levels as well as the suit's operating status.
"As just now, I registered his rather acute stress when he confronted Detective Harding, and his genuine emotional state was rather…affected.
"If I'm right, emotional stress can actually help acclimate one to the suit's nano-neural interface swifter than my theoretical applications….." "Whatever," Bill held his hands up. "We'll set up something.
"They will set up something. Just get out there, and catch that son of a bitch before we hear another editorial about incompetent, outmoded police forces."
"Gotcha, Cap," James nodded, completely serious now. "Let's go get the background set up, and running, Mike.
"Allen, I want you to set up surveillance on the apartment we picked out, and check access to any public video cams in the area we'll be operating. That should make the stake-out simpler if we can just tie in to any existing video systems.
"Mike, we should make this look real, too. We don't know how…." "I was thinking community college," Mike said as the three went out ahead of Dr. Eurilyn.
"Believe it or not, doctor, they are good at their jobs. Better go catch up if you want to stay in the loop. Once they move, they tend to ignore the niceties of daily paperwork, or progress reports. But I can't argue with their results."
"I know. That's why I agreed to this test. I just wanted to thank you for the chance to carry out this field trial."
He waved her off, then bowed his head back over the work his own post required of him. Sara turned, and caught the trio at the elevator even as Allen was mentioning, "We might have trouble with that club. Five of our vics were known to frequent it, and it's a good bet our boy is using it to cull his targets."
"I could carry a mini-cam, or mic, but in that environment, I don't know how much use it would be," James grumbled as they entered the lift car.
"Tracking beacons are just as bad. There's so much that can scramble…."
"Yeah," James asked when Sara cleared her voice loudly.
"My design uses an micro-emitter function that operates on a unique micro-burst frequency that could be used to track, as well as operate the suit," she told them as she again held up the slightly larger device than she had given James. "By tying the monitoring system into a local GPS scanner," she said, tapping out several codes in quick succession as she spoke, "You'll know where your companion is at every moment. And there is virtually no chance of the signal being contraindicated."
"Huh?" "She means it can't be jammed," Mike told Allen who was frowning.
"Precisely," Sara nodded as she pulled out her device, and tapped on a few keys. "There.
"Instant locator status with virtually no chance of any interference," she told them as she held out the device that showed a mini-map with a glowing dot. "And with my med-scans, we'd also know the moment Detective Drake exhibits any kind of physical, or emotional distress that might warrant his needing assistance."
"Nice," Mike admired as he studied the device.
"Just what did you build this suit for," James asked suspiciously as he looked at his new external anatomy.
"While there are obvious covert applications due to funding necessities," she told him with a sigh, "The fact is, my research is keyed toward medical applications."
"Like SRS," Mike suggested.
"Actually, I was thinking about paralyzed individuals, amputees, or even burn victims.
"Theoretically, with the neural and physic-linking systems fully engaged," she told them. "These suits could become true, new epidermal shells for those so impaired, and without the necessity of costly surgeries, or expensive, long-term care."
"I know a few people that wouldn't mind testing that aspect," Mike told her grimly.
"Well, if this test is successful, we'll have the FDA rating needed to take our field trials into true human testing at its fullest parameters.
"That is why I built this particular design," she told James with a nod. "The embedded wetware, and programmable features were add-ons insisted by our….military funders."
"That being the case, they must be pissed you built a female prototype."
"Actually, I thought it was the best way to prove it would work on any level. If a man could be convincingly camouflaged as a female, what man in any country would suspect him of being anything, or anyone other than what she appeared."
"For which we are grateful, especially if it helps us catch this guy. Because, to be honest, this guy seems to spot police women at a mile off."
"Then won't he spot you?" "We don't think so," Mike told her as the lift stopped. "Our guess is this guy has somehow hacked into police files, and knows all our active officers, or undercover agents. That's why this operation is covert, and nothing we're doing is going on the records for now."
"Hacking is becoming an increasingly problematic symptom of our society," she nodded.
"Which also suggested the college angle to us," Allen said as they left the elevator, and headed to James' office for the final set-up of their sting before putting things into operation. "We think the guy is some nerd type that gets rejected, and these brutal attacks may be his way of striking back."
"My niece wasn't dating," she remarked.
"That wouldn't keep her from being asked," James reminded her. "And she was a frequent patron of the underground teen club we were talking about."
"Teen club?" "College kids hang out there, too. When drinking ages were lowered to sixteen, these kind of clubs sprang up everywhere. Especially in college towns," Mike glowered.
"Well, when they started drafting kids at that age, the lawyers felt it only right they also gained all the rights of adults," Allen, the youngest of them remarked blandly.
"I didn't say I didn't understand the reasoning. I just didn't agree with it. Or the draft, for that matter.
"I vote independent," Mike retorted.
"Might as well not vote at all," Allen snorted.
"Gentlemen, politics aside, this job is not going to wait," the new Ellie Sands drawled as she picked up several folders containing her new identity made up for her outside the department, as well as keys, and a backpack common to the type girls her age carried.
"Right. Let's load the van. I get the feeling this is going to be a long one."
"Van?" "She gets to ride home in style, doc," Allen drawled in disdain. "For the duration, we're likely going to be stuffed in the back of a van that will be our home away from home for the foreseeable future.
"God, I love stake-outs," he grinned as he paused at his desk to grab a small bag stuffed with junk food, and several colorful magazines poking out the top.
"Jeez," Mike moaned, shaking his head.
"Is he always like this," Sara asked the older man.
"Twenty-fours hours a day, seven days a week," Allen flashed her a grin. "I blame it on a pure sugar diet, and incurable optimism.
"Plus plenty of cartoons," he added as an afterthought.
"Believe it, or not, he is a good cop," Mike sighed as James left them outside the main exit with a solemn nod, and went to a small, yellow late model VW. The car that had been acquired for his cover.
"You might want to brief us on this device of yours," Mike told her as they approached a plain panel van with holographic imaging panels that could adjusted according to the need. "The tracking and scanning aspects anyway.
"I rather doubt you're going to be wanting to stay in this wagon with us as long as it might take."
"I'm used to living in my lab for days on end, detective," she informed him primly. "I don't see as how this would be much different."
The newly created Ellie Sands was bored beyond belief.
More than two weeks of living as a coed in a college apartment complex was enough to drive her crazy. Over two weeks of classes she had either passed years ago, or had never found any interest in from the start. She was going to kill Allen, because she was pretty sure it was he who had signed him up in these liberal arts classes that were more fluff than substance.
"'Feminist Trends in Modern Culture,' my ass," she muttered as she left the class, and thought only of a hot bath, and a long night studying. It was only Tuesday, so there was little sense in going to the club. After all, it was a weekend crowd fro the most part anyway.
Still, at the rate things were going, she could end up with a new degree in women's studies, and still not smoke this asshole out who had struck just a week ago, leaving another college girl in ICU with a pretty poor prognosis. If she died, that would put his death toll at seven, with one still comatose, and two critical but recovering. She didn't have to be in the office to know the captain was likely chewing ass over this one.
Still, the data Mike relayed proved they were on the right track.
The girl had been in one of her classes, and while she had not yet truly befriended her, she fit the profile they were building to the last T. This guy was definitely going for brunettes who….
Switching on the tiny computer link on her watch which all the kids wore these days, she typed in an innocuous message to her ever-present minders.
"Hi guys, just checking in," she whispered to the voice-activated module that would send the text message instantaneously. "Y'know, I was wondering, what kind of classes might really interest a guy looking for a certain kind of girl. Y'know," she echoed, having quickly picked up the slang even before she had noticed she was using it.
Just as she had started thinking more of herself as a 'female,' even though a core part of herself kept insisting the reflection in the mirror was wrong. That part of her had been getting quieter of late, and she had a suspicion someone was tweaking the suit for her benefit to help get her over some earlier slips she had made at the onset of her 'transfer' to the college from another school.
"Also, y'might see if some snickery weasel was crushing on my friends, like I heard. Later. And have fun."
She rolled her eyes at how easily the younger slang rolled from her tongue. It was a damn good thing the doctor had assured her this stuff was reversible, or she would be seriously worried just now.
"He's got a point. We didn't consider if the victims had a connection in regard to classes, or other school functions since none of them were attacked on campus," Mike frowned as he studied the message.
"On the other hand, Sarge has really gotten into this role. Except that old-maid imitation he's doing isn't going to lure anyone in," Allen told the pair in the van now masked as a utility truck just outside the apartment that served as Ellie's home.
"I think he actually has a point," Sara remarked as if surprised.
"For once," Mike agreed. "But Sarge has always been pretty strait-laced. I've never even known him to get drunk."
"How about your behavior doohickey," Allen asked as he lowered his magazine that featured a surprising array of snowboards, and how they might be used.
It was not what she expected when she first saw the corners of his colorful collection.
"You agree, then," she asked. "I had noted that the sergeant left the sexuality control on its baseline setting."
"That sounds like him, too," Allen sighed. "Real nose to the grindstone type, our sergeant. Just doesn't know how to unwind."
"I do not usually approve of tampering with someone's mind, but in this case, we are all playing for serious stakes."
"Just don't do anything….drastic. Sarge ain't dumb," Mike warned her.
"I shall be discreet, I assure you," she smiled as she started tapping keys on the master remote that was hooked into the van's power and surveillance systems for convenience.
"From zero," she murmured, and tapped a final key, "To a three on a level of ten. That's about average, so it should at least wake 'Ellie's' sexuality so that she starts noticing the people around her."
"Why do you call Sarge her?" "By now, the behavior mods are starting to ensure 'he' is thinking and acting more comfortably as a female as the nano-links grow stronger over time."
"Just how strong can they get," Mike frowned.
"As I told you all at the beginning, that is why he must never increase the bonding level past seven, because it makes the bonding virtually permanent. Recall, I did first create this unit for medical purposes."
"So….when you say permanent….?" "There are degrees. We might get the body suit off, we might not. But you have to remember, the learning and behavioral modules implanted in the software are part of the nano-interface. Those will definitely become a permanent part of his mind and behavior if we pushed too far."
"He definitely wouldn't like that," Allen snickered, imagining the hard-nosed Sgt. Drake walking around acting and sounding like a young girl.
"Obviously not," Mike drawled as he eyed his watch.
"He's on the move," Allen reported. "Or she," he corrected with his typical smirk.
"Which means it's time to move to the back, and start a little phone trouble so we can switch to a service truck," Mike said, and started for the driver's seat.
Even as Dr. Eurilyn turned to watch him, Allen smirked and reached over to lift the level he had seen her move to three up to just over five. That, he smirked, should give them something to watch, even as he got a little of his own back at the sarge. Just as the van started, and he sat back, the truck started with a jerk, and sent two of the three coffee cups spilling across the console.
Sparks danced and smoke rose from the panels on the left side of the truck as the all shouted even as Allen snatched the small extinguisher and coated the shorting panel with thick foam.
"My remote," the doctor gasped.
"Don't worry, doc," Allen said grimly as he began to wipe away the foam after the shorting was ended. "We carry extra modules just for this kind of….emergency," he grimaced as she picked up the foam-covered device, and grimaced as she wiped away the thick, cold foam to reveal a blank LCD screen.
"Unfortunately, I did not bring an extra remote monitor. I'll have to go back to my lab, and program another master remote from the original test files."
"How long is that going to take," Mike asked as he pulled the idling truck around to the utility service panel in the back of the apartment complex.
"Well, I have to get back to the lab for starters," she told him as he flicked the proper holographic banners into place, and then came back to pull on a line serviceman's uniform. "And if there are no complications, I should be able to set up a new master control in….about two hours."
"Two hours," Allen frowned.
"This isn't a video game, detective. This is a complicated neuro-link incorporating experimental nano-tech tied to a prototype bodysuit yet to be fully tested, and I cannot just download a complex control program without ensuring I know it's not been compromised by any variables created by the short."
"What variables," Mike asked as he zipped up his jumpsuit.
"The electrical surge could have spiked the settings, or even boosted the module implants, and until I get the new master remote set up, I won't know anything for sure."
"You're saying the surge could have….moved the suit's settings," Allen asked cautiously.
"Exactly," she nodded as she gathered her bag, and coat, and pulled out a cell phone to call a cab. "You might want to advise the sergeant to stay in tonight until we get the backup engaged, and ensure nothing in the primary settings was changed that might compromise his…..her safety," she added as she left.
"Right," Mike nodded as he went out to check the apartment's phone lines. Allen said nothing, feeling his little attempt at a prank was covered. Meanwhile, he made quick work of replacing the damaged consoles in the surveillance van, and had them back in operation very quickly.
Sitting back down to power up the new systems, he found the cameras in and around 'Ellie's' apartment were showing nothing. The sarge was not back yet, and the parking lot camera showed no sign of her car. He frowned. Sarge was nothing if predictable, so where was he? Or she? Or whatever.
Ellie was halfway home when a tingle had her pulling over as she tried to understand the peculiar feelings that were going through her body from scalp to toes. The tingling stopped, and she gave a faint sigh as she felt the tingle pass, and nothing else. She had better mention it to Dr. Eurilyn, because it could be a problem with her suit design, or even something else that was unexpected. Even as she reached for the VW's gearshift again, she gasped as the tingle returned with a vengeance, sending a peculiar tremor through her entire body. Whimpering, she tried to reach her wrist-com to call for help, but even as her trembling fingers tried to expose the device to activate it, a surge of pure, heated, searing pleasure shot through her body, making her vibrate with sheer blissful pleasure.
She moaned as she actually felt the small, taut nipples on 'her' chest swell and stiffen, as her faux sex actually began to leak as she lay back in the car seat, whimpering in helpless delight as her hands roamed and clutched at her suddenly super-sensitive body.
Then the heat was gone, but the pleasure remained as she actually felt her hips trying to buck in a frustrated rhythm as she felt the rippling bliss that suddenly crested, and sent an explosion of ecstasy through her entire body. She cried out in delight as the ripples only gradually began to fade, and she finally regained a semblance of control.
She stared down at the wet spot visible between her thighs, and blushed. Impulsively lifting her hands to her nose, she could smell the female musk on her fingers where she had been frantically rubbing herself a moment ago. She didn't question the reality of that scent, or the residual yearning still throbbing someplace just inside her body.
Taking a deep breath, she sat up to put her car in gear once more, and headed not to her apartment, but downtown.
She had some shopping to do.
Sara Eurilyn swore as she sat in traffic, caught behind the massive jam caused by some wreck according to what she had finally managed to hear on the radio. Four hours. Four hours, and she wasn't even halfway to her lab yet. She sighed as she drummed her hands restlessly on the wheel, and cursed modern city design, and outmoded traffic patterns.
She had to get to her lab. She had work to do. She had to help those men stop that madman. She had made a promise to her niece, and she meant to fulfill it. And she couldn't do that sitting in traffic.
"There he….ah, she is," Allen breathed a sigh of relief when the familiar, yellow compact appeared on the monitor of their van's equipment.
"Where the hell has he been," Mike spat as he sat up in his seat, staring at the image as the door opened, and a man climbed out.
"What the hell?" The man in the camera's eye walked around the car, and opened the passenger door. A very tipsy Ellie Sands climbed out, and all but fell into his arms. It was an Ellie they didn't recognize. Her brown hair had been styled, and she had shed her jeans, and usual tee for a very slinky green dress that was virtually molded to her body.
"What the hell," Allen echoed as they saw the man support Ellie as they headed toward the apartment.
"Is she…he…..oh, hell, is she drunk," Allen asked incredulously.
"I can't believe my eyes," Mike exclaimed as he stared at the couple staggering to the elevator where they vanished from the hall cameras until they reappeared on Ellie's floor.
"You don't think….?" "I don't know what I think," the older man spat at his stunned partner who for once couldn't seem to think of a quip to describe the situation.
They watched the brunette fumble with her purse, and finally locate her key. The pair almost collapsed as they staggered into the apartment together, and the detectives gaped as they went to their knees as Ellie's purse spilled on the floor before them.
"I think they're both too drunk to do anything," Mike was told as Allen stared as the man kicked the door shut as he knelt there holding Ellie to his chest as he engaged in a very obviously passionate kiss.
"I think that short definitely did something," Mike nodded all the same. "Because Sarge does not act like that."
"No shit," Allen agreed, thinking this was going way beyond playing a joke by bumping her sex drive a bit.
Yet neither one of them could seem to turn away from the camera as the pair began to disrobe.
"Thissh yer stereo remote," Tom asked as he held up a slim black box as he finally gave up trying to help her gather her things from her fallen purse.
"Mmmmm, who cares," she muttered as she ignored him fumbling with the device.
"Y'don' wanna dance," he asked just before she pressed her lips, and breasts to his.
"Screw dancing," she murmured.
"I'd rather screw you," he chortled, tossing the remote aside, and hugged her back as he began all but ripping the tight dress off Ellie's body.
She giggled as he buried his face between her breasts, and slid his big hands down to cup her firm ass revealed by the white satin thong she now wore.
The thong was easily shoved aside as Tom slid one hand around to cup her hot cunt, and just shoved her back on the rug as he freed his thick, rampant shaft, and simply thrust himself into her tight, wet hole. She howled as she arched her hips up to meet his invading cock as she clawed at his back.
"Damn, baby," Tom moaned as her wet hole swallowed him whole as her legs and arms wrapped tightly around him. "I didn't know you were so hot, or I'd never have wasted so much time dancing," he grinned as he ground his hips into hers.
Ellie said nothing as she simply moaned as he stretched her essentially virgin hole, and filled her as she had never imagined possible. Even better, he was stroking those flames of bliss she had felt earlier that very day back to life with a vengeance. Her own hips writhed as he began to pound into her like a jackhammer despite, or because of her intoxicated state, and she panted and gasped, and groaned as he kept filling her with wonderful, cascading shivers of delight that were rising rapidly to bring her back to that elusive orgasmic state she had first experienced sitting on the side of the road.
When it struck her, she howled in happiness, and tightened her grip on her lover who had already proven his size since she had sucked him off twice already that night. Once at the club where they had met, and again in her car as he drove them to her place.
She lay back after her climax finally began to fade, and realized Tom was still hard, and thrusting in her wet, trembling sheath. She sighed in contentment, now sprawled out beneath him as he kept fucking her hard as he now feasted on her bared breasts since her bra would have not fit under her snug dress. She lay before him, murmuring softly as her arousal began to actually build again as Tom continued to fuck her as his hands stroked her body now as his mouth stayed fixed on one breast or the other.
"You're good," she cooed, her hips starting to rock again.
"Only because you inspire me, baby," he moaned, and finally tensed, grinding his pelvis hard against hers as he began to pump his seed into her apparent womb.
She moaned as she felt the slick, wet pulses with her, and just the thought of her lover's climax had her crying out in orgasm yet again.
"Let's try the bed next," Tom suggested as he stayed planted deep inside her after he came, still feeling thick and hard.
"Mmmmm, okay," she murmured, feeling very pleasant, but far from sated. "And next time, I'm on top."
"You are a wild slut, aren't you," he chortled as he wiggled, and felt her inner muscles ripple around him, snug and clasping.
"You have no idea, lover," she cooed.
"That cannot be the sergeant," Mike protested as he stared at the couple entwined on the bed as they stared at the girl on all fours now, thrusting back to meet the man's seemingly tireless shaft.
"Unfortunately," a cool voice remarked as the back door opened so suddenly they were caught off guard by Sara's reappearance. "You're only half right."
"What do you mean, doc," Allen frowned as the woman climbed into the van, and closed the door before she set her small case down to pull out a replica of the fried master control.
"Look," she grimaced as she switched the device on. "I've been monitoring it on and off since I managed to reload, and access the program." "Holy shit," Mike blurted. "Doc, that can't be right," he protested.
"No. It's right," she told them. "The electrical surge fried the system wide open, with almost every level at, or near ten.
"Unfortunately, I can't seem to override the settings from here, and that isn't good."
"I can't say this looks good, but it does explain why our girl seems to have turned into a bimbo."
"Not so much a bimbo," she scowled at Allen. "But her sexual drive is on overload, and I do not know if you men know anything about women, but often, their impulse control is tied to their sexuality. By elevating her sexuality, her impulse control was also overridden so that Ellie is literally doing anything that comes to mind.
"And I think we can all agree," she grimaced, "That the human sex drive is a powerful impetus even on normal occasions."
"Wait, wait, wait just one damn minute," Allen frowned. "Are you trying to say that our 'Ellie' is in there right now," he said as he gestured at the image of the sergeant now straddling the man once more as she bounced tirelessly atop the guy with her, "Trying to get knocked up?" "Something like that," she nodded.
"But he has to know that's impossible," Mike swore.
"He isn't in charge just now. Ellie's sex drive, and behavioral module is now completely running the show. Until I can get access to the suit's functional program, and get it operating normally again, she will be spending the rest of her life copulating with any male within reach. She will end up constantly in heat, and if we don't stop her, she'll be pregnant within a few weeks."
"Pregnant," both detectives exclaimed.
"I told you all about the risks of using the bonding feature past the higher levels for any length of time. She's been at, or above level ten for at least six hours, and as I pointed out, emotional responses accelerate the nano-proteins that are involved in the physical and neurological linking of the suit to the host."
"But….how can getting stuck inside that costume….?" "You just don't get it," Sara told Allen impatiently. "That's a complicated nano-driven device that uses advanced nanotech to meld experimental wetware to a host on a cellular level.
"It can be temporary, but if permanent bonding occurs, as it has obviously begun to do, then the nannites will eventually not only meld the suit to your friend, it will actually reshape his primary and secondary sexual attributes to better carry out the innate program.
"Which just now is a reproductive impulse which I think even you can see will eventually be fulfilled if we don't stop it soon."
"Oh, hell," both men paled as Mike expressed his shock. "Then we have to go in there, and…." "Looks like the dynamic duo has finally stopped," Allen grimaced as he glanced up to see the couple on the bed had fallen asleep, still tangled around each other.
"Maybe we should…."
"We bust in now, and we could blow her cover. We have to wait," Mike cut Allen off. "She's due to check in at the clinic with the doc tomorrow anyway."
"But the time…..?"
"Can't be helped," Mike stated grimly. "Like the doc said, Sarge knew the risks going in, and he'd be royally pissed if we blow his cover just when he's getting…..accepted."
"And if she doesn't get out of bed?" Mike shook his head. "Then the doc makes a house call, because I'm betting she'll be disturbing the peace if she keeps on."
"I'll take night watch with you tonight," she told them. "I need to keep working on the program anyway. There has to be a reason it stopped working like that." "You said that upload thing was complicated," Allen drawled as he scratched his head. "Are you sure you didn't overlook something rushing back?" "I've had hours in traffic to replay everything over in my mind. The electrical surge is key, and I have scenarios playing out on my mainframe now, but I won't have any answers from that for some time yet. In the meantime, I want to go over all the hardware, and primary programs again.
"I just wish I could get a look at her personal remote. Any idea where she's keeping it?" "Last I saw it, she was keeping it in her purse," Allen told her as Mike pulled on a hat, and shut down the holographic emitters and changed the van's paint as he moved it to make it look like another vehicle for the long night ahead.
"I think it might have got tossed around when they stumbled into the apartment earlier," Mike told her.
"We'll just have to wait until tomorrow," she sighed. "Okay," she nodded as Mike took off, leaving Allen to sleep in the van while she kept active watch. "Have a good night, detective."
"I'll bring coffee. Any breakfast requests?" "Anything creamy, with sugar," Allen yawned as he stretched out in the adjustable chair he still occupied after he switched off the interior lighting on his side of the van.
"Right," Mike grimaced. "Doc?" "Granola, or something of that sort. You know by now what I like," she nodded absently as she continued to pour over the results of her current settings on the master remote.
"Interesting," she murmured after a time of staring at the device she had finally hooked back into the van's power simply to spare its internal power.
"What's that," Allen murmured, proving that though he was leaning back with eyes closed, the sandy-haired, young man was still awake.
"Oh. I didn't mean to disturb you."
"Forget it, doc. I've been disturbed for years. Ask anyone."
"Interesting mask you present," she drawled. "But I was referring to something I've isolated here. Her specific program elements appear to have somehow been…..internalized."
"And that means….what?" "I mean, if my theory is correct, her remote, and mine, might still affect certain external features such as skin and hair pigmentation, that sort of thing, but it appears the electrical surge may have carried the more delicate programs directly into the nannites themselves, and then bonded those programs to her own neural net.
"In short, she may now have some degree of mental control over the program itself. It may be subconscious, or it may be conscious, but the program control matrix may have survived from the original master program inside her new wetware."
"Wait," Allen frowned as he sat up. "If the original program is still active inside Sarge, then doesn't that by virtue of your initialized programming code keep all secondary programs from interacting with it until the first is…somehow shut down?" "Simplistically stated, but fairly accurate. I'm surprised you understood me," Sara said, glancing back at him as he sat there frowning as he stared at the screen.
"I may look dumb, doc, but I did a tour in the military. Mandatory service draft for all males over sixteen. Remember? Anyway, I did my tour in a bunker, since I had what they called mathematical aptitudes.
"I learned a few things about code, and programming," he told her.
"Is that right? Why the brain-dead persona then," she asked with a faint smile.
"It's all Parker's fault. First day I transferred to vice, he took one look at my undercover outfit of jeans, polo shirt, and at the time rather shaggy hair," he told her, running a hand over his shorter, sandy hair. "First thing he said was, 'Jesus, not another west coast surfer boy.'
"I've been living down to his expectations since," he grinned.
"Okay," she murmured. "I don't pretend to understand male bonding dynamics, but that makes no sense at all."
"Trust me, it's definitely a guy thing."
"Still, you have the heart of the problem. And this is a problem. Because as long as the original program is operating, even on a subconscious level, we can't override it."
"So, shut it down."
"Again, you're thinking of static programs," she sighed. "This program is literally a part of Ellie's mental and physical physiologies by now. You shut down the program, you shut her down. You could end up with a vegetable. Or a corpse."
"Damn. Talk about Catch-22.
"Yeah, I like old movies, too," he frowned at her stare.
"I preferred the book."
"Never learned to read," he winked at her.
Sara shook her head, and turned back to the master control. "The only good thing about this situation is that we can still track her, and monitor her vitals and stress levels."
"That is good. We were worried sick until she finally showed up with Romeo there," he gestured at the monitor that showed the dark bedroom that still presented enough light to show the sleeping couple. "I have to say, I've never seen any guy go that long, though. He must have been high on Viagra, or something."
"Actually, if my suspicions regarding her reproductive drives are correct, she was likely emanating high levels of key sexual pheromones that were affecting her….partner. That makes me wonder if most of her current control system isn't operating on a subconscious level."
"Since, after all, a lot of the sex drive is instinctual, and a part of primary subconscious memories."
Sara chuckled softly. "You are most definitely a surprising mixture of intelligence, and indifference. You would have driven my professors mad by now."
"Trust me, I drove my share of few of those stuffed shirts crazy in my time."
"So did Donna," she said quietly. "She's very bright. She has a natural intelligence that guaranteed her anything she could imagine."
"Hey, we have our moments, but I swear, doc, we're gonna get this guy."
Sara nodded. "Which brings me to a very touchy matter.
"I believe we can get this….matter back under control, but I think we should keep the fact your friend's likely stuck as Ellie for the foreseeable future to ourselves. Any distress on her part now will only endanger herself, and stall your investigation. Frankly, I have to confess to a degree of selfishness in wanting it to continue whatever the problems Sgt. Drake may be facing after this mishap."
"I was pretty much thinking the same thing," he told her. "Honestly.
"Sarge can get pretty wound up sometimes. He's a good cop, and pretty straitlaced, but like you said, complications are not going to help anyone just now."
"So, we say nothing?" "Not a word." he agreed. "I'm pretty sure Mike will feel the same. He hates slime like this guy we're hunting with a passion. He had a friend growing up who was abducted by a pedophile. What was left of the kid wasn't pretty from the stories I've heard.
"Worse, from what I head, Mike was the one that found him. It's what made him go into law enforcement from the start."
"And you? What motivated you?" He chuckled. "Doc, you wouldn't believe me."
"Try me," she said with a faint smile.
"Believe it or not, like I said I like old movies. I saw this ancient bit of film about a pair of cops going around piecing together clues to a crime and criminals with just their wits. It kind of appealed to me. Outsmarting the smart guys? It kind of drew me into the program."
"So, you wanted to be a detective because of an old vid program?" "Pretty much. I just ruined my 'I'm not shallow' confession, didn't I," he chuckled.
"Not really. I grew up wanting to be an inventor because I used to think up things that I felt would make things easier on people."
"Really? Like what."
She sighed. "Believe it, or not, I already have a few high-dollar patents I won't mention; only I have found out people are still concerned with more, and better weapons than actual philanthropic efforts. Even in science."
"Welcome to the real world, doc.
"As Sarge would say, 'Deal with it. Cause there's only one way out.'"
"Right," she murmured, and turned back to her work.
"She's moving," Sara announced even as Mike pulled the rear door of the van open just after six.
"Nothing new on the freak-job," he told them as he handed them two sacks, balancing coffee in a small flat in his other hand as he climbed in. "The sick bastard must be taking the week off."
"He's still got two days left to keep his pattern of a kill every two weeks on schedule," Allen told him grimly as he sat up to all but rip open a bag, and scowled at the granola bars inside. He took the other bag from Sara with a near frantic snatch, and opened it to find a half dozen cream-filled donuts.
"Ah," he sighed, biting into one of the pastries. "The food of the gods.
"Now, where's the Joe?" "Black, three sugars," Mike said, handing him one of the cups.
"Black, and strong," he said, handing the second cup to Sara, who yawned as she took the cup.
"You can take off for a bit, doc. I'm sure we can handle….."
"What the hell is she doing," Allen asked, pointing at the figures in sunlit bedroom on the bed.
"Sheesh, she's not starting again," Mike groaned as Ellie seemed to be wrestling with the man on the bed.
"No, she's not," Sara spat, glancing down at her monitor. "She's showing high levels of emotional stress, and it's not sexual.
"They aren't playing. That man is trying to kill her," Sara gasped as they realized the man was now back on top of the girl wrapped in the sheets, and while they couldn't see his face, he was definitely trying to strangle their friend.
"Code red," Mike shouted, and dropped his coffee in a waste can as he simply kicked open the rear door as he left the van even while pulling his gun.
"Red," Sara asked as Allen leapt to his feet, grabbing a microphone.
"All units in the vicinity. All units in the vicinity," Allen shouted into the radio. "Code red at Miramar Apartments. Repeat, code red at Miramar Apartments. Be advised, undercover officers are on the scene."
He flung the mike aside even as he snatched his pistol from a holster at his back under his loose shirt, and raced after Mike. Sara felt her heart pounding even as she turned to look at the grim scenario being played out before her eyes.
The man was now obviously strangling the detective pinned by the sheets, and she felt a sick sense of dread as she sat watching helplessly as the detective she had essentially placed in this danger was slowly choked to death.
That it was his choice, his job, did not seem to matter just then. She kept seeing Donna, trapped in her battered, mutilated body, and felt sick that James/Ellie might soon be laying beside her. Or worse.
Ellie woke with a pleasant lethargy weighting her body.
Oddly enough, her mind replayed the previous day's events without so much as a moment's regret. She had enjoyed the impromptu shopping spree. The night in the clubs she had visited afterward had been a lark, and even the surprisingly blissful sex that followed when she dragged the guy she knew only as Tom home to all but attack right on the floor of her own living room had all been more than enjoyable.
She lay awake for a few moments, then started to rise when she looked over and saw Tom staring at her.
His eyes were far less friendly in the light of morning, and she frowned as she stared at his left hand, seeing the ring for the first time.
"You're married," she frowned as she stared at the distinctive ring, and felt a nagging sense of familiarity.
"And you're a cop," the once friendly lover hissed as he held up the badge he had found on the floor when he had gone to the bathroom earlier that morning. "You didn't say you were a cop."
Ellie didn't like the way he said cop. She especially didn't like the way he was looking at her now when she tried to get up, and found her arms had been deliberately wrapped in her own sheets. "You didn't seem to mind who I was last night.
"Besides, I was just looking for…."
"A killer," the man smiled coldly as something clicked in Ellie's mind.
"What," she rasped as his left hand, his free hand, went to her breast, squeezing painfully, and then slid up to her throat.
"Your pig buddies pulled in a ringer, didn't they?
"They figured out I had access to the local precinct's files, so I could spot all their little swine lures.
"But I didn't see you in the official records. They figured out I was on their payroll all along, didn't they," he smirked as that left hand, with the ring, tightened around her throat. Only then did she recall the mirror image of the ring left etched into a scarred cheek on one of the victims.
It had made no sense then. What kind of weapon left such a small, localized pattern?
Now she knew, and then Tom tossed the badge away, and put both hands to her throat as she struggled beneath him.
"Well, I'm going to teach them what happens to bad little girls who don't stay home where they belong," Tom hissed as he began to choke her violently, his hands squeezing her throat closed.
Ellie bucked beneath him in an almost mockingly sensual manner as she fought for air as she tried to pull herself free of the madman. An insider. They had not thought of that one. A hacker, maybe. But someone inside the force? Who was he, she wondered even as she felt her head start to spin, and her chest knotted painfully as she fought for air that would not come.
If only she was just a little stronger, she thought as she pulled in vain at the sheets.
Then she heard cloth tear, and a man scream as she fought instinctively, pushing him from her as a foot rose, and kicked the man right in his unprotected chest.
The thud of Tom smashing into the far wall was followed immediately by the sight of Mike Parker kicking in the bedroom door, shouting orders as his gun tracked his gaze until he turned from the pale, naked girl sitting up on the bed to the even more pale man collapsed on the floor beside the door trying desperately to breathe as blood dribbled from his lips.
"Sarge," Allen shouted as he came running in as Mike knelt to check the man. "You okay," he asked, his gun clearing the room as he looked around to find Mike checking the naked man whose chest seemed to have imploded.
"Call a medivac, or this bastard isn't going to live to stand trial," Mike told Allen as Ellie sat in the bed surrounded by shredded sheets, and stared blankly at her own handiwork.
Only she didn't have a clue as to how she had done it.
To Be Continued…