“You crazy bitch.”
His head hurt. His vision was blurry. But as soon as he heard the machinery’s hum, Connor realized where he was, and he found his voice.
“Welcome back, Connor.” Of course she was here.
He started to make out the familiar shapes of the objects in the lab – tables, computers, tanks, fluorescent lights, Rhona’s workstation. As his vision returned, he also realized he couldn’t move his arms; he was taped to his desk chair.
“I was afraid I’d given you too much…and today of all days, that would be anticlimactic.”
“Stop,” Connor croaked. “You don’t know what you’re doing.”
“I know exactly what I’m doing,” said Rhona, sharpening in his focus. “It’s your little harlot here who doesn’t know what’s about to happen.”
Maxine laid unconscious on the examination table, dressed in last night’s blouse and capri pants. Buckled straps bound her wrists and ankles, with one leather strap drawn tightly across her midsection. A mask had been secured over her nose and mouth.
“She’s fully prepped and resting comfortably. But once she wakes up…” Rhona stared straight into Connor’s glassy eyes. “Not so comfortable, I think.”
“You’ll never get away with this.”
“Oooh, melodrama,” Rhona said mockingly. “I suppose that makes me the mad scientist? Fine.” Her tone of voice changed sharply. “That means Maxine here is the innocent girlfriend-slash-conniving whore in this triangle. And you get to be the bastard who threw it all away.”
Maxine moaned; she was coming to. “And now, the final act of this morality play,” said Rhona. “Computer, initiate flow, 30 percent.” A soft beep signaled confirmation, and Connor heard the gas hiss into Maxine’s mask.
“Breathe deeply,” teased Rhona.
“No!” shouted Connor, as Maxine coughed and inhaled. With each drawn breath, she didn’t seem to exhale; slowly, rhythmically, Maxine began to fill.
“Let her go! I’ll do anything you want!”
“Except shut up,” Rhona replied, slamming a piece of duct tape over his mouth. “Your whimpering won’t ruin this for me. The sounds are the best part.”
Connor became more aware of the ominous hissing just as Maxine regained full consciousness. Muzzled by the mask, she moaned feebly at Connor, helpless and terrified as her blouse buttons began to pull and gap.
“I hope you enjoy the show – you created it, in more ways than one,” Rhona said sternly. “You said this project was everything you ever wanted. We built it, we tested it, we perfected it, together. But apparently, even with all this,” she said, tracing a hand down from her ample bosom around to her shapely bottom, “I wasn’t perfect enough. So if you want more – if you want Maxine…” She spat the name as if it tasted horrible.
“I’ll give you…more Maxine.”
Rhona crossed over to her workstation, giving Connor a view of Maxine’s frightening transformation. Her breasts labored against her blouse as the buttons pinged off one by one. The stitches in her capris softly popped in concert, slowly splitting the seams at her hips.
“Computer,” purred Rhona, “increase pressure…70 percent.”
Connor could only make muffled noises and shake his chair as he watched Maxine’s shirt burst the last of its buttons, revealing a strained brassiere underneath. The table’s thick strap kept Maxine’s midsection minimized, but her breasts and hips bulged cartoonishly above and below it. Connor heard unsettling stretching sounds.
“I have to admit, I’m impressed,” Rhona said callously. “I was certain she’d be completely full by now. Computer,” she announced, “increase pressure to 100 percent, maximum.”
Maxine pulled against her restraints and managed a muted squeal just before a loud BANG marked the destruction of her brassiere; a moment later, her taut waistband snapped. Her breasts were perfect spheres now, joined by pear-shaped hips, a rounded bottom and, judging by the creaking strap that bound her torso, a heavily pressurized belly.
An insistent, angry beeping snapped Rhona out of her trance. “Computer, halt flow,” she announced, and approached Maxine’s quivering form. “Amazing,” Rhona marveled, tracing a fingernail along Maxine’s obscenely distended curves. “So elastic. But she feels like she’s about to pop.”
Rhona stopped, a new theory forming in her head. “Was this all part of the plan?” she said, approaching Connor slow. “Did you know she’d provide such valuable data? Did you get her…for me?” She pierced Connor with a steely glare.
He looked away. Rhona slapped him, hard.
“Computer,” she barked. “Final stage. Heat lamps on.”
The room exploded with light.