Every Job Has its Perks - 1

©2003 Anthryax

[Originally appearing at the Manipulation Junction, this story is reposted here at the LTBSA with author's permission.  Ed.]

   A man clad in black fatigues, sunglasses, and high soft boots moved as quietly as a breath of wind through the hall towards an apartment door. Not that you could see him, for he was invisible, and only if you had magical true sight (or really sophisticated vision equipment) would you have even known he was there. The man reached the apartment door, and took out a wand. Hearing a noise inside the apartment as he listened at the door, he paused and waited. As he waited for the sound of woman talking on the phone to end he took a moment to wonder how he found himself sneaking around outside a woman's apartment again.

   Gavin wondered how he had let himself be drafted into this. He thought after years of living on the Earth he called his home, far away in space and time from Shiron, he would FINALLY be out of the regiment. But in the Royal Regiment of Scouts a commission was a lifetime one, and no matter where you were, you belonged to the regiment. Even if you were dead it might not be an excuse to miss duty. They might simply resurrect your body and call your soul back from were your "final" reward had taken you.

   "Damn that Elf, he could at least have waited a few more days. I just got home from the last one." He muttered to himself. Hans, his boss from his old days in the regiment, and more recently, on a trip to a doomed alternate Earth, had been insistent.

   Now here he was, on yet another alternate Earth, looking for likely prospects for kidnapping and transportation to whatever destination his Prince had in mind. Unlike the last job, and more like the Earth he usually lived on, he had to be careful here. Magic worked (mostly) but the Auditors were always present and watching. The fate of his ex wife Andrea, who was spending a few decades as a golden statue in a temple and forced to listen to countless pleas and prayers while she stood imprisoned in her own golden body was always on his mind.

   But the job did have its perks. It was fun, after all, enchanting pretty young women so that they wanted you, and then "fixing" their little flaws, improving or enhancing their bodies until they were perfect beauties (which generally made them happy with you even after the love spell wore off) and then transforming them for a while into art works that he could admire for hours if he chose. Generally they forgave him after a while, even after the mind control wore off and they regained their own selves again. Especially when he fixed some of their psychological problems.

   It was a rush really, almost a godlike sense of power, although it was also dangerously addicting. Andrea, his ex wife, and Jones, his now dead enemy, had been a good lesson in that. They had been unable to stop themselves and transforming women into statues, mannequins, and dolls became an obsession, an end in itself, instead of just a means to an end. The Auditors (with help from him) had gotten them both in the end.

   But back to business he decided after a few moments of this. The young woman was finishing her call, and had just said her goodbyes to whoever was on the other end (which sounded an awful lot like a girlfriend based on what they had been gossiping about).

   He lightly tapped his sunglasses, activating another of its magical powers. He could now see through the walls into the apartment itself. The apartment was typical of its type, well furnished with a living room in front, a kitchen off to the side, and hallway leading to the sleeping areas. And like an usual apartment housing young women who hadn't been out on their own long, it was a mess. Which was also an important piece of information. It proved she wasn't expecting anyone, and neither was her roommate.

   He knew from his research that two young women lived here. They were graduate students, and both of them were on scholarship. Annie, the pretty blonde he was looking at now, was studying anthropology and medieval history and had a Bachelors degree in history already. She also had done a lot of research in witchcraft and comparative religion. More importantly, she had a substantial amount of magical talent, dormant in this land of technology, it could still be brought out with the right training.

   After watching her for a couple of minutes, he was satisfied that she was alone. Annie got up from the couch after flipping channels for a few minutes, and walked toward the sleeping area after turning out the lights and checking the door.

   He waited a few minutes more, and then he tapped the door very lightly with his wand, making only a slight scratching sound. But it was enough to activate his spell, and immediately, the deadbolt turned by itself until it was unlocked. The lock on the door knob also twisted itself to the unlock position, and Gavin gently pushed the door until it was open.

   Looking down, he grinned as a cat took the opportunity to furtively slip out the door without giving him the slightest bit of notice.

   Annie was brushing her hair before it was time for bed. She had originally planned to go out tonight, and had gotten dressed up earlier this evening. But her date had cancelled at the last minute, her roommate had a rotation at the hospital and was not coming home until later, the house was a mess, and she was tired, and after coming home from the library and getting Pete's message, she said the hell with it. She just didn't feel like going out tonight by herself. Discouraged, she just wanted to go to bed and sleep until she was done. Taking off her skirt and blouse, she tossed them on the floor in disgust.

   She looked at herself critically in the mirror. Firm breasts, good abs, and nice legs, she admitted. She decided after a moment of careful examination that she had a pretty face and she knew she turned her share of heads, but maybe he just didn't think she was pretty enough, she decided with some uncertainty. Blue eyes, blonde hair (well, blonder than it would be without help from a bottle, but blonde enough), skin in good condition. "Not bad for 24, but I think I need some more interesting clothes," she muttered to herself, "maybe I am just not his type?" She was still discouraged, tonight was going to be a second date with Pete, and she thought he really liked her. She liked him, and she wanted to think about something else besides her studies for a while.

   Gavin crept down the hallway, making less noise than a ghost. He stepped carefully and slowly, inching his way toward the back bedroom where a light was on. Creeping through the open bedroom door, he heard her mutter to herself and smiled at her comment. He had seen enough of her the last couple of days while he had been preparing. She was a beauty all right, and would fit right in with Sarah or the other women who were waiting for him back home. Too bad he wouldn't get to keep her himself.

   Stepping out of the bathroom, Annie looked around for her nightgown. The room was a bit cluttered she decided, it might be time to clean it tomorrow. She had been so busy lately. With a little smile, she picked up a oversized tee shirt instead, and picked up some clothes on the bed so she could sit down. "Well, tonight might not have been a good night to bring him over here anyway, the mess would have scared him off." She said quietly, a bit of self-humor in her tone. She decided that she was being too hard on herself, Pete had given a good excuse, and he probably was really interested. He certainly had made it clear on their first date.

   With her attention completed diverted, Gavin decided to go ahead and act before he tripped over something and gave the game away. Women could be just as sloppy as men when they got too busy he decided as he carefully stepped over a pair of shoes and a pile of books. Twisting his ring, he muttered a command word, which caused Annie to start in surprise just as a golden light surrounded and engulfed her. Instantly, she was still, and Gavin watched as the light faded and the spell began to work on her.

   "Hi Annie, I am sorry to scare you, but I promise you won't be hurt." Gavin said quietly. Helpless to move, Annie could only look around with her eyes, her face still frozen in the expression of amusement that she had when the spell overtook her. Gavin walked over to her, and began stroking her back and neck. It was already starting to take on a glossy shine, and although still as smooth as silk, the softness that had been there before was already starting to harden as the transformation worked through her.

   And then he heard the front door open, and the sound of someone coming in. It was the roommate, judging from the voice that called out a greeting, and he needed to get Annie out of sight so he could keep his advantage of surprise.

   Lifting up the motionless and now much lighter Annie, he carried her into the bathroom and placed her on the empty counter by the sink. She was now already mostly lightweight plastic (a wondrous material Gavin had long ago decided, it would be handy on Shiron). Her skin reflected the light in the room now, and had taken an even almost flat tone. Her eyes were no longer darting around anymore, and had become fixed and stared blankly in front of her. Already, joint lines were obvious on her, and it was easy to arrange her in a sitting pose so that she wouldn't fall to the floor.

   He stroked her cheek softly and then left her to go meet Julie.

   To Be Continued............

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