Sample – Corporate Takeover: Climbing the Ladder

attractive secretary with eyeglasses. office background


In his dreams, Byron saw Karen, she of the small stature and compact body, slowly disrobing before him.  The look she wore was pure supplication, and Byron watched as she danced for him.  The air was filled with a smell like rubbing alcohol, and there was music, too, something that sounded vaguely Arabian and exotic.  As Karen wiggled out of her gray skirt, Byron’s eyes locked to her waist and the expected glimpse of her underwear or, maybe, the trim line of hair leading to her pussy.

Karen danced toward him, closer, tantalizingly near, raising her hands as she spun, lifting her blouse until she spun toward him once more.  There, between her legs, was the expected tuft of hair, but dark, with a large and semi-erect penis dangling between her legs.

He woke with a start and immediately winced.  His sides, his legs, his face…  it was all agonizingly sore.  He lifted his hands to his face and was met with bandages covering him.  He held his hands before his light-scorched eyes and saw the thin fingers ending with longer-than-normal nails.  They seemed to shine under the light, but he could not fully trust his vision yet between the erupting balls of orange-blue light that lingered in his sight.

“Hello?” he tried, frowning at the sound that greeted him.  It was raspy and dry, but also high-pitched and sonorous in a way that he had never sounded before.

A door opened somewhere to his right and he heard the sound of soft-soled shoes squeaking on tile.  Then, a woman’s face filled his vision, very pretty, too.

“Welcome back, honey,” she was saying with a hint of Southern drawl.  “Miss Benson is going to be so happy to hear you’re up.  I’ll let her know.  First, you need to drink something.”

She forced a glass with a straw bobbing inside it into his slim hand and angled the straw into his mouth.  He sucked deeply, wincing at the cool fire that poured down his throat.  He gasped when he released.

“Not too fast, sweetie,” the nurse said, but made no move to take the glass away.  His swallows grew more measured as he watched the nurse rise from his bedside and straighten her skirt.  “I’ll be back in two shakes.  Until then, you try not to talk.  Miss Benson can fill you in on the other side effects.”

“Side effects?” he whispered in his harsh rasp, but she was gone.

He heard the hollow slurp of his now-empty glass and struggled to return it to a nightstand.  Looking around the room, it appeared the same as any hospital room, which begged the question, why was he in the hospital?  The last thing he remembered was the symposium and Karen and-

“Hello, Mr. Neuwerth.”  The woman!  The one with the needle!  Here she was entering the room in her blue pantsuit like she was the queen of the world.  He’d show her, just as soon as it didn’t feel like knives in his abdomen every time he shifted his position.

“Where-?” he asked, abandoning the question after he coughed and lit his insides on fire once more.

“The Janus Institute.”  Benson took a chair by the bed and crossed her legs in an elegant manner.  “Or a satellite of the original.  It turns out our work cannot be restrained by a single geographical location.  You were a very, very naughty boy,” Benson said, looking down at the tablet in her lap.  “Blog posts and comments on websites, Tweets to women in the media…  Do you have any idea of the kind of pain you’ve caused?”

“Fuck you,” he sneered, his surety faltering as he heard the high pitch once more.

“In most cases, we will condition our subjects well in advance of their physical changes.  It’s a final step into their new lives.  But you…  It’s important you learn a lesson.  And I think you will.  What little conditioning we have done will only ensure our privacy and your acceptance in your new life.  Your old beliefs and prejudices are intact, at least for now.  We can discuss that more later.”

“What-“  He swallowed, grimacing again at the glass shards in his throat.  “What did you do to me?”

Benson smiled, a genuine one.  “Nurse Claire, why don’t you help our patient with the bandages?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” the pretty nurse replied and took her post at the edge of Byron’s bed, unraveling the bandages covering his face like something from a mummy movie.  As the bandages drooped over her hand, Byron could feel cool air on his face again.

Benson was up and retrieving a hand mirror from a nearby table.  “Ready?” she asked, but did not wait for a response.  She held the mirror before Byron’s face.

The image staring back at him was impossible.  Where before he had been dark-haired, especially around the chin and cheeks where his coarse hair stained his skin with dark complexion, his hair was now a soft brown, auburn, really.  His eyebrows were trimmed and plucked to leave dark lines with a hint of arch over his eyes, which were still bruised by the surgery that left his nose thin and pointed.  His lips were fuller, with a high arch over the upper lip.  His cheekbones seemed to have raised an inch, giving his cheeks an unfamiliar hollowness while lending a soft quality to his entire face.  He looked, without question, like a woman in her early 30s or late twenties, lovely but with a serious bent.

“Oh my god,” he whispered in his feminine voice.

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