Three vignettes, disconnected now; fragments of what may or may not turn out to be a single chain of events.
The man in the lab coat squinted at the gauge, watching the pointer diligently as it hovered near zero, right at the bottom edge of the sector marked in green. “Subject number 5645-771 now is fully suspended,” he stated. “Take her away to storage room and be sure that all proper equipment are attached. Make sure her information is placed there too.” The older scientist was new to being assistant director. But he had been on the suspensor project for several years now, moving up from apprentice. He had overseen so many suspensions it was like breathing now. “Put her down for longest period.”
“Yes director.” The assistants confirmed as they took hold of the solid hard body of 5645-771, as the motionless female would now be known, and lifted her from the frame she been suspended in. As many were these days, this one was young probably, early twenties at oldest, but now she was no longer a vibrant active girl but a hard frozen body being moved from frame to a flat trolley bed.
The assistants lifted her carefully, though the bed was padded and the girl would not notice if she bumped into anything, since suspended subjects couldn’t be injured. But the fine wire that ran to the suspensor unit in her vagina was not so difficult to damage. Breaking that would wake her prematurely from the freeze and ruin the experiment, since determining the effects of long-term continuous freeze was important to the State. A failure also meant the team would have to replace the device. The latter was not acceptable. There were also psychological problems with waking a subject up like that, but what the girls actually felt was not as important to the research team as gathering good data.
It was tough to keep a good hold
on the frozen girl. She had been suspended lying at attention, arms down at
her side and legs together with feet flat. She could then be stood up easily
in what everybody called ‘obedient’ pose, but she would mostly spend
all her time while frozen lying on a flat surface. The hard body didn’t
provide much grip and the smooth skin didn’t help either. The assistants
could not hold her by the hair either since the stiffened blonde hair could
still break. However, they had moved frozen girls many times before and 5645-771
was soon securely on the trolley and being moved out the room into a long corridor
leading to the storage vault. One technician followed with information for the
“Send in the next one.” The older man sighed. He looked at his plan. There was no revivals set for today, as usual, but there were a number of subjects to be suspended. Subject 5645-771 had been fifth today and if nothing broke they could freeze all the girls (all subjects for suspensor experiments were female) and then have time for more research instead of passing the whole day suspending and reviving, but mostly suspending. The project was ahead of plan for the year in freezing counts and would have no trouble meeting goals set for the facility. There would be easily enough subjects to study while frozen, then study after unfreezing.
He looked at the plan and wrote a note. The program would need to expand the storage space soon. The program was studying the effects of longer-term suspension on subjects of different ages and it meant not as many girls were being awakened each week. They didn’t need as much research on shorter-term suspensions. They wanted more data on long suspensions, those lasting years. Meeting that objective meant more girls needed to be frozen longer. Less girls unfrozen and a greater number of girls being frozen also required someplace to put them away. The current location would be full within a few months. “Something else we need in next year’s plan.” The man thought.
“Subject 5645-772 is here, Comrade Director.” A younger scientist said. Behind him was a young woman, looking like a very young girl in just a bathrobe. She looked shy and awed by the equipment in the lab and all the scientists and technicians in white lab coats.
“Ah, please come in, Comrade.” The director waved to the dark haired girl. She crept slowly into the room, careful not to touch anything, and saluted the director when she stood before him. “Subject 5645-772 reporting as ordered, Comrade Director.”
“This is not the Red Army, Private. Ludmilla,” The older scientist smiled, reciting her given name seemed to calm her. He looked at her information and then at her. She was very young, a teenager, just drafted out of school and into the Red Army. She was a new subject for the program and was here for her very first freezing. Half the girls today had been frozen before. “You don’t have to salute me like a soldier.” Soon you will not be saluting at all, he thought. “If you have questions, ask.”
“Yes, Comrade Director.” The girl gazed at strange equipment and saw the frame surrounded by cables. “Is that what will freeze me? The machine over there?” She pointed.
“Yes.” The scientist was busy checking the equipment. “You get into that frame, stand on the bottom edge, lie back, place your arms and legs like we told you, then relax and we freeze you.” He looked at the pretty girl. “It’s quite safe. You have a better chance of being killed by lightning.”
“I trust you sir, about how safe it is.” The girl said eagerly. “But I’m thinking of all the time I’ll be frozen. What will be change when I awake? How will world be different?”
“You don’t have to worry; it will all be over before you know it. Your first freeze will be for a couple years. We will help you get used to the changes, after,” the scientist said. It was not the complete truth. He knew the girl would be frozen for a long time and as a result the changes could be big. Another reason why they kept refreezing the girls who had been awakened as soon as possible. Less they had to re-learn.
“Anyway, is time now for you to be suspended. Many more today, let us not fall behind. Please, remove your robe now and step into the frame.”
The girl blushed and hesitated a moment. There seemed an even chance she would bolt and try to run, which of course would make no difference but would be most unpleasant. Her future, like it or not, lay within a timeless suspensor field. The moment passed; she took off her robe to reveal a pale naked body without a stitch on. It was very bare, too, of other things such as hair and freckles that special soaps had taken care of. Stepping carefully up to the frame, she lay down and arranged herself into obedience pose. It was easy to hold because the frame was inclined back and the girl rested on the incline.
“Final preparations for subject,”
the director commanded. A female scientist came forward and carefully inserted
the rectenna for the suspensor into the private place between her legs. The
girl shuddered as the unit was finally placed. She closed her eyes as the final
preparations were complete. “I’m ready, Comrade Director,”
was her brave pledge.
“Very well. Good luck, Ludmilla, and pleasant dreams.” He turned to the technician at the controls. “Freeze subject 5645-772... Now!” There was an odd electronic whine; Ludmilla felt a sense of ecstasy for a moment before her mind shut down into complete suspension and her body stiffened into immobility.
The scientists and assistants didn’t see the ecstasy but saw the instruments register the change. Heart rate: zero; respiration: nil; brain wave activity: a bare flicker at the bottom of the scale. Everything was as expected. They acted to ready her for storage. Quickly, the newly frozen statue 5645-772 had a booster battery connected to her suspensor unit and placed on a trolley bed. The regular power wire, through which the suspending current had flowed, was disconnected. Assistants lifted the rigid subject from the inclined frame, put her onto the trolley bed and with the information, wheeled her from the room into the long hallway.
The director followed the trolley carrying 5645-772 to the storage room from the lab. It was time to take a break and he wanted to personally check on the frozen subjects. He waited for the assistants to put the proper access code into the lock and open the steel door into the room.
It was a brightly lit room, and a large one. As big as an ice hockey rink like the Red Army team played on, it was kept cold because there was no reason to heat it. The suspended subjects stored there did not care about the cold since they couldn’t feel a thing anyway or complain either. People working there had to wear heavy parkas and deal with the cold. This was where all the women being frozen as suspensor subjects were stored. From floor to ceiling, in row after row, the room was filled with large metal filing racks four shelves high. Halfway up, a catwalk was suspended on cables, leaving room to maneuver a trolley in and out. There were a lot of racks and almost all the shelves on all the racks held the still subject of a suspensor experiment. Like 5645-772, they had all been frozen in the frame holding the obedient pose and were completely naked and exposed. Only the thin power wire to the suspensor unit and a few instruments to monitor them decorated each suspended woman as they lay there in hardened, mindless limbo. There were so many frames that very little space was left to move the trolley bed. The scientist didn’t care, walking through the space and stopping to check on various subjects, look at the instruments, and add something to their records. The frozen sculpted bodies were familiar to him. He saw them everyday and had forgotten to see them as people.
He frowned at some subjects covered with a coating of dust. His staff was supposed to prevent any dust collecting on the longer-term subjects by brushing them off everyday. Somebody had not been doing their job for a while. He had ways to change that.
It was in the very far corner where free shelves were available where they stopped. The assistants quickly moved the frozen girl from the trolley bed onto a free shelf one row from the top in a single fluid move. This subject wasn’t very heavy. They quickly attached a regular power wire and unplugged the battery on the trolley; there was not interruption for the frozen girl’s suspension. Then they hooked up a few monitors to the proper places on her body and left with the trolley.
The older scientist checked over the girl. He made sure all connections were properly done and then put some papers into the clip on the shelf. He finally wrote one last thing on the paper before turning and leaving. The note said: ‘Subject: #5645-772, Full Suspension, duration 40 years.’
“Ah. This is the pose I like.”
The party official put a stubby finger on the picture in a large illustrated
book. It was a classic sculpture with a pose that left nothing to the imagination;
a female statue standing on one leg with her arms swept back. “I want
this pose for display. This pose.”
“A good choice Comrade Secretary.” The scientist, now artistic director, said encouragingly. He was previously part of the suspensor research team but he recently had found other things to do with his knowledge. Things that more important officials liked; those things that got him a lot of rewards.
“And you have pick woman for this display?”
“Yes. Her.” The official handed over a folder with the name and photo of the young woman he had chosen. It was a new color picture like in the West of a slim woman who looked very beautiful and very frightened. “I have ordered her to be delivered here for preparations.”
“ It should have been done
already,” the party official countered.
“Yes. She is here and being prepared. We had to work fast but she is ready.” The scientist agreed before the fact. The lab’s art studio usually chose women being sent to the Gulags and they often needed a lot of preparations like a good meal and exercise to look right for what was to follow. However, the trim brown-haired woman in photo had already been in good shape since she had only just been arrested and sentenced for “crimes against Russia” last week before being diverted to the studio. The scientist had no doubt the woman had done nothing (what could a store clerk do?) but the someone high in the directorate had seen her photo and wanted her to be a statue. And so it would come to pass. The party officials had many great powers. With such power came the arrogance of abuse.
“There are things that remain,” the scientist said. “We need approval for making of the statue from Minister Krupskaya. He is in charge of us.”
The official frowned, bringing his bushy eyebrows almost touching. “I thought approval was previous given to you. You should have gotten it.” The official disliked Krupskaya. That man was to much concerned about science and research and not enough about... art. “I made a deal.”
“Yes. Well, sometimes the order gets lost though. And we can’t make the statue without orders…” The scientist knew Krupskaya hated the official.
“Technically, true. Sometimes
we can - find - an order,’ the official grunted. Such things were not
spoken of overtly.
“I’m sure I can help find the missing order.” The scientist smiled. He had just been passed a briefcase under the table containing some folders.
“This information and these new volunteers will aid your efforts to find order.”
“I’m sure I will. I think I know already where it may have been misplaced.” The scientist passed back an address. The transaction was complete.
After he delivered the chosen statue to the official, he in turn would deliver the women the scientist selected for his personal collection. As with most politically astute men, the party official had done his background checks. “Think?” He prodded the scientist. “You must have better idea than that.”
“Ah, yes; I know we can make your statue for delivery as soon as possible,” the scientist corrected himself. Picking up the desk telephone, he made a call and gave an order, looking at the girl’s photo and sculpture picture. It would be done, and quickly so. He put down the phone and smiled.
“Hah!” The official barked, breaking into a wide gap-toothed grin.
Both men drank their tumblers of vodka, then toasted once more. The sweetest victory is when both parties win.
Far below the conference room, in the same building, a cell the door opened and an army guard entered.
“Come.” He ordered the woman from the photo. “Now.” His rifle was at ready.
The cell was very comfortable, for a prison, with wood furniture and a rug but young Anna was very scared. It was only a short time since she had been dragged from her private apartment in the middle of the night by a couple of militia and sent to KGB headquarters. Then she had been put before a tribunal convicted of crimes she did not know of and sentenced to the Gulag. Then she had been offered another alternative to Gulag. It all happened so quickly. She was very frightened and confused; she did not want to go to the camps so she agreed without knowing to what.
From the damp stinking dungeon,
she had ended up here where she had gotten fresh food, exercise and good care.
Strange treatment for a criminal of the State, but she did not question not
being tortured. She was so very confused by everything moving so fast. Now,
Being puzzled by the events and always taught to obey, Anna followed the order and the soldier out of her cell. Several guards led her down the bare hallway with other cell doors and through a gate into more hallways and more hallways. She got confused by all the turns and different hallways. Finally she came to a door and the guard knocked on the door, then showed her into a different room when someone said “Come!” The soldier escorted her into the room and stood one pace behind her, weapon at the ready, as he closed the door behind them.
Inside, it looked like a cross between a mad scientist’s lab and art studio. There were strange electronic devices, cables, things that Anna didn’t understand. There were also easels and sculpture armatures and other things needed to make art. Anna had seen these in school but never used them.
In the middle of the room was a cubic pedestal about one meter on each side sitting under bright lights with wires all around it. It looked like black marble or something similar. The surfaces had been polished, revealing the beautiful crystalline details within. There were several people in the room. A man sat in a metal chair next to the pedestal and was looking intently at a folder. He appeared to be in charge. One of the other men in the room pointed to a place, and then her. Anna moved to stand in front of the leader; after a few more seconds he closed the folder and looked up at her.
“You have been convicted of crimes against the State and have already been sentenced to imprisonment in the Gulag. However, because of special considerations, you have been chosen to come here instead of a Gulag camp. From now on it is your decision. You must follow every order I give or you will be punished severely and sent to the Gulag again. Or, you may resume your sentence there immediately. Do you understand?”
Anna was still confused and frightened; there didn’t seem to be much of a choice. She didn’t want to go to Gulag. “I will obey your orders, sir.”
“Good. Then we shall start
right now.” Allowing himself a small smile of satisfaction, the man pointed
to the stone pedestal. “You will serve as a living model for artwork that
we create here. You must pose here on this pedestal for the artworks while we
sculpt them. You will stay in the pose you are instructed to hold and you must
not move in the slightest when you are posing. You will be given rest when the
artist chooses.” He turned back to glare directly at her. “DO you
“Yes, sir,” she squeaked. Anna was unsure about the not moving part, but this was nicer then in a Gulag. And she had once dreamed of making art as little girl. Now she could participate in creating something of beauty. Alas, she didn’t know she was going to be the artwork.
“Good, then we start right now. Take off all your clothes.” The man said brusquely.
“What?” she blurted, reddening.
“Yes. This commission is nude sculpture. Take off all your clothes. That is an order.” He stressed the last word. She didn’t have to be a genius to know what would happen if she said ‘no’ anymore.
The warning was enough. Without saying anything else, Anna began to take off the soft comfortable clothes she had on and the expensive underwear that had been issued to her. In her mind, she blanked out all the other occupants of the room and imagined herself out in the wilderness, alone. Soon she was completely naked alongside her clothing, modestly trying to cover herself with her hands. The special bath soaps she had been given had softened her skin and reduced any blemishes to a perfectly even condition for a sculpture or painting with nothing to break the illusion.
“Don’t be shy. You have nothing to be ashamed of,” the man complemented her, his tone softening. The scientist could see why the official wanted this girl. She was strikingly beautiful -- a living sculpture -- being lithe and slender and tall with long legs, elegant and graceful as she moved in her nakedness. He reflected that soon she was going to be a statue, actually.
He picked up something metallic
off the pedestal. “And I want you to put this in your vagina.”
“What? What is that?” Anna was shocked at the order and stared at the suspensor unit. It looked like a short dildo with a wire running out of one end. “I don’t...” she began, almost pleadingly.
“I gave you an order, and you will obey.” The steel returned to his voice. “Do you want to go to the Gulag? Otherwise, put... it... in,” he ordered. The guard behind Anna prodded her with a club as one of assistants slathered lubricant on the unit and moved to insert it into the young woman.
“No, wait,” she said,
pausing for a moment. “I’ll do it myself.” Taking the slippery
suspensor, she squatted down slightly, located the right place, and pushed.
There was a cool feeling for a moment until the unit was in position. Anna was
surprised, but she did enjoy the insertion a bit. She straightened up with as
much dignity as a naked woman with a wire trailing out of her sex could muster
and asked. “This unit, it has a purpose? Beyond pleasure?”
“It is a device to make sure you follow instructions. It will remind you if you are doing something wrong in a pose,” the scientist said obliquely. “Get up on the pedestal now. You will pose exactly, according to our instructions, to match this picture.” He did not have to say ‘that is an order’; Anna knew it.
Then came the posing. It was always hard to move somebody else’s body when they might not want to. But the scientist-artist was careful and he had a lot of time to be patient with her. If nothing else, he had guards and the gulag threat. Anna didn’t seem to be resisting any more, in fact she was almost helping him out, slowly moving her lovely body to match that depicted in the picture. The girl had a good ability to pose and he needed few technical aids like the ones KGB used for their special groups to get the correct pose, standing with one leg straight and both arms back.
“Now, hold that same pose and be still.”
It was hard pose to hold for long and after a few minutes Anna felt her muscles trembling under the effort. And the lights were shining straight into her eyes. They were very warm. “I don’t think... I can hold this for... much longer,” she gasped, fearing that failure here would mean the Gulag.
“Be quiet and hold it!” The scientist said, angrily. He stepped up on the pedestal next to her and touched her face. “Now, I want your expression to be like this. Let me mold your face and then hold it without changing.” He lowered her eyelids until they were almost closed and put a small smile on Anna’s lovely face. He knew it was hard on the girl, but she would not need to worry much longer.
Stepping back when he was satisfied with her composure, he made sure that no part of him was touching her body at any point. “Perfect!” He announced, which was also a cue.
At that, an assistant turned on the suspensor, full strength. Anna felt a strange tingling sensation in her private parts and almost lost her careful pose. Then she realized she could not move at all! Panic overcame her and she tried to call out, try to signal them that something was wrong, try to simply move the smallest amount, even twitch an eyelash. But she couldn’t; quickly a wave of deep sleepiness and sexual excitement came over her still body as her consciousness began to feel fuzzy. She had just enough time to think ‘they were planning this all along - I am becoming the statue’ before her mind faded out just as her body was frozen in place by the suspensor field. There were still a few minutes remaining before she was totally solid.
The scientist stepped back to her and smoothed out the Anna-statue’s expression to match the one from the statue picture. Assistants made small changes to her arm position to make sure the pose was truly a perfect recreation. They did so quickly because soon her body would be completely hardened and unable to be moved any more. Minutes later, there was an exquisite Anna statue on the pedestal with the girl perfectly suspended.
“Finish her for delivery.” The scientist ordered, stepping down from the stone block. Her long brown hair was braided up and let lie down her back. A plaster-like compound was worked in, and quickly set up hard. Then her body was carefully sprayed with a sealant-like stuff that caused her figure to shine more then her pale skin usually did. Then she was quickly dried with fans and hot lights. Her pedestal was detached from the regular power supply and a special long-term trickle cell inserted into the base. Finally, a plastic sheet was draped over her stiff figure and tied at the base to protect it during shipment.
A while later, a truck delivered Anna, now indistinguishable from a statue, to the dacha of the party official. The secretary liked her immensely from the first glimpse and gave her the best location of all in his collection of frozen beauties. He had acquired a dozen so far but this one clearly was the best. He thanked himself for making the right decision but his thoughts quickly shifted to what other beauty he could collect. ‘That secretary in the Defense Ministry surveillance unit, or the young swimmer trying out for the Olympic team,’ he mused. She had not been using the special drugs for swimmers so she still looked feminine and beautiful. He secretly had made sure of that, by having her medicine switched with a placebo. That meant she would not be good enough to make the team but the official had other uses for the girl. He began to devise a plan to collect her.
A few days afterward a group of female prisoners, all inexplicably young and gorgeous, were delivered to the scientist’s laboratory along with a considerable sum of American currency. Soon after that, a group of elegant, extremely lifelike, statues were moved to the scientist’s new dacha, a dwelling recently purchased with hard American dollars given to the right officials in the government.
“They are in position, sir.”
The KGB agent said. The major leading the team agreed.
“And have we covered up all traces of our replacement of the statues?” The special groups using the suspensor were not as dense as real marble but they were massive enough. The real statues they had removed had been solid marble too. That made switching them tough.
“Yes, Comrade Major. We cover all traces when we put in Group Ten.” The agent said as he rubbed his arm where he had bumped it earlier on the loading gate. The four agents of Group Nine and statues they had replaced were heavy and moving them quietly tired the KGB agents; this wasn’t exactly the same duty they had trained for. And with Group Nine now in stiffly place at the American Army HQ in Munich, it was even more important to cover up all evidence of the swap if the frozen agents were to collect useful intelligence and remain undetected until their extraction.
“Then let us leave this place.” The major concluded, getting into the truck as his men climbed into the back, among the sculpture. The driver turned on the engine and major glanced back at the cargo of the truck. Where would he hide the four statues they replaced from the Americans? It could not be in any visible location. The major would liked to appreciate the hard firm bodies of beautiful women crafted in stone, or beautiful women posing as stone statues, but the risk this time was too great. Since it was do difficult to sneak special groups in and out of places like the military HQ he wanted to hide the statues someplace nearby.
‘The special teams are good to have as decoration for your apartment.’ The major thought lustfully, ‘But they are so hard to employ as spies. It would be much better if we could come up with an easier way to carry them around. There can only be so many places with statues to replace anyhow...’
But he had orders direct from Moscow and they had to be obeyed. The major only knew he was not make any decisions about the plan. He would have to follow orders even if he did not like it.
The KGB trucks drove away from the building and it looked like they had never been there and nobody had detected them doing anything. But the Russians were dead wrong. As soon as agents said over the radio that the trucks had driven away, Allen gave the order to the hidden CIA agents and soldiers waiting in the HQ building: “Go replace the statues right now.”
The CIA had gotten a tip about the KGB trying to smuggle in suspended spies made up like statues to key facilities like this HQ, the embassy, and other government locations. Ever since Allen had found that first group in Athens, CIA had been alerted to look out for more suspended operatives, or ‘living statues’ as Allen called them. Allen had recently been put in charge of the operation and he had done a lot of work to have everything running smoothly. Since he started monitoring, they had already intercepted three other KGB special groups with information they had found. This capture would bring the number of frozen Russian females in CIA hands to an even twenty.
“Come on, Come on.” Allen urged as CIA agents and soldiers moved in and started to remove the frozen KGB team from the location. The KGB had grunted and sweated to do their job, but the Americans had power tools and air-cushion pucks to make moving the hardbodies easy. In minutes the four imitation statues of women were move from the places and another set of marble statues put back in their place once more. Allen had thought to make several concrete and plaster copies of the original statues made, since the usual ones in HQ were antiques and prohibitably expensive, as well as fragile.
Quickly the frozen agents were moved into a truck and before dawn broke Allen and faux statues were safely on an air force transport winging for the States. He sat slouched in his uncomfortable seat, a non-regulation glass of whisky resting on the floor, taking a long sigh of relief at having the operation go off well. Planning was the key to success, he always said.
“What do you think of this set?” Pete, one of junior agents, asked Allen, startling him enough to wake back up. Pete walked among the motionless women. “This group is the best looking ones of the bunch, if you ask me.”
“They seem very fit.” Allen said, in complete understatement. He ran another glance over the frozen girls. The Americans had stripped away the plaster shells the girls had been embedded within, connected regulated power supplies to the wire leading to the suspensor units in each girl’s vagina, then removed the circuit to the electronics hidden in the pedestals. It was tricky work, a lot like defusing a bomb, in more ways than one. The CIA still did not know everything about how the suspensor worked but they knew a lot about how the KGB was using the devices. The booby-traps, for instance. “But these agents don’t know much. My sources say they are rookies, barely more than recruits; a replacement for the group we captured a couple months ago.”
“How do we know?” Pete argued. “We don’t wake any up, because we can’t. They’re just standing in a storage room in the basement at Langley.” Since the CIA had started capturing the frozen Russian agents, they had not attempted to waken them, because CIA didn’t know how the suspensor really work and just disconnecting the wire proved to have posed other problems. Pete did not know that the first woman they tried to revive had triggered a failsafe as soon as the power had been disconnected.
Some reserve energy supply had pulsed,
sending a wave of -something- through the frozen agent that made her impossible
to awaken. Even when the melted, destroyed suspensor capsule was removed from
her body, she remained stiff and rigid. This was something Allen did not like
to think about, because he wanted to wake them up and debrief them. He had a
plan to make the revived KGB agents think they back were in Russia at much later
time and that their work was no longer secret. He could get a lot of information
that way. But somebody had made a political decision to not risk it and thus
Allen could not take independent action. It frustrated him, to be unable to
do anything about the situation.
“We have other ways of getting intel,” Allen said at last, releasing a deep breath “After all, we are spies, Pete.” Allen concluded as he leaned back and drained his liquor. They would find out who the female agents were after they could scrub the paint and hard covering off the frozen bodies. But they could not do it properly until they arrived in States. “We will find out everything, one way or another. In the meantime, get Langley on the horn and tell them we got the group, no casualties, and are heading back . . .
“Yes sir.” Pete walk away to the radio and Allen looked at the frozen girls once more.
“What secrets are you ladies hiding? I want to know…”
...Does he find out?
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