By Wilson Barbers
There's a wealth of stories from the days before the biomedical revolution.
But the one most often retold revolves around the father of adipost enhancement, Wagner Johnson. Most body types share a fascination with the stories behind early morphwork, but the tale of Wagner and Allie More has a piquancy few can match. It's been the subject of countless biochips as well as three best-selling stims - even a musical entitled Fat Is The Hunter.
The tale is set in the early twenty-first century, a period of rapid progress in biomed technology. Wagner Johnson was at the U. of I. at the time, studying health needs of the super-sized. Working with him as a graduate assistant was a promising biotechnician named Gay Nelson. If Wagner can be considered the pater familias of adipost enhancement, than Gay is one of its moms.
Gay was smitten with her boss - seriously smitten. Though subsequent stim actors would play Prof. J. as a classically handsome reg male, in real life he was a slightly weedy specimen. It was Gay's misfortune to be infatuated with the unkempt academic type.
Misfortune because Wagner fit that description to a crooked "t" - and because the research scientist/teacher was attracted to considerably larger women than Gay. An adipostate before the term even came into existence, Wagner was attracted to his particular field out of a desire to remove the stigma of ill health from fatness. Gay, while undeniably plump and pretty (she had the kind of looks that made you want to take her out on a picnic), was not only too small in his eyes, but openly uncomfortable with what little extra fat she had.
She'd first been attracted to Dr. Wagner's project, in fact, under the mistaken impression that he was doing research in weight loss. In those benighted days, a considerable majority still saw body fat as something to be shunned, so in this, Gay wasn't much different from the rest of her peers.
"Wagner, my Wagner,
Your name wags before me;
Wagner, my Wagner,
Why do you ignore me?
"My life is a shambles
Because you're not by me;
My love's unrequited,
Why won't you just try me?"
from "Unrequited (Gay's Song),"
Fat Is the Hunter: The Original Stimtrak
(Fab Chip 061750)
Gay bemoaned her situation regularly to her spacemate, Allie, and perhaps she complained one too many times. In so doing, the seemingly unattainable scientist became intriguing to the young student. Unfortunately for Gay, her spacemate had a secret weapon in her arsenal of male attention getters.
Allie More was a shapeling.
The proliferation of shape shifters in the first two decades of the twenty-first century has never been fully explained. Though some biomed researchers look to widespread use of ill-tested diet medications in the last decade of the twentieth century as the primary culprit in the birth of shape shifters, this theory has never been substantiated. The scarcity of second generation shapelings made long-term study of the phenomenon difficult: when the first wave shapelings settled into their form of choice, they became useless as research subjects. Once a shapeling settled, they lost whatever made them shifters.
Allie More hadn't settled yet and saw no reason to do so. Capable of morphing into any human form she wanted, she enjoyed using her abilities to subtly embellish her body: a little repositioning of her 55 kg. body frame to accentuate those aspects of her anatomy that her date favored, an occasional change in flesh tone. These shifts were so slight that Gay hadn't noticed them after two years of sharing roomapt space with Allie.
Of course, her spacemate was pretty oblivious, more concerned with the professor and his project than with Allie's doings. Perhaps a more attentive type would have caught onto the shapeling's secret earlier, been more cautious about venting her frustration. But the longer Gay talked about Wagner's seeming disinterest, the more intrigued Allie became.
"You sure he's straight?" she asked Gay one evening over two foodpaks of tofutti. When she was alone with her spacemate, Allie tended to tone down her more glamorous Eurasian features. Gay looked thoughtful, examining her foodpak so intently you'd think the answer to Allie's question were printed on the bottom.
"Yes!" she finally said authoritatively - perhaps the answer was in the bottom of the pak. "He's never given me any indication otherwise."
"Then maybe you need to just be patient," Allie advised, deciding it was about time she met the prof in question. She was between guyfriends - not that unusual, since she typically didn't keep 'em long - and coasting through school on a Communications major. Maybe, she thought, she needed some experience with an older man.
Next day, Allie went to get a look at the imperceptive Prof. Johnson herself.
She went in full regalia, wearing a short stretchsuit designed to show off every well-shifted curve. The shapeling looked like your classic hourglass-shaped reg: not that common a look in those pre-biomed days, though it figured in plenty of straight male fantasies. Her dark hair was short and neatly coiffed, while she'd accentuated both her cheekbones and poutingly prominent lips. Striding across campus, she enjoyed the way she caught so many male - and female - eyes.
Looking almost preternaturally sexy, Allie entered the Research Science Building in search of Wagner Johnson.
She found his office on the second floor in an out-of-the-way alcove: door open, it was crammed with books and journals. The mysterious professor, though, was nowhere to be seen. On the wall amidst a cluster of diplomas and certifications was an antique postcard of a young lady in an old-fashioned swimsuit; the girl looked about three to four years older than Allie, maybe 120 kgs. in weight. Across the top someone had scrawled the legend: "Fat and Healthy?"
Before she could consider the ramifications of this card, she heard two voices growing louder. Coming down the hall were her spacemate and an unfamiliar male. Wasn't Gay supposed to be in class? Desperately, Allie started shifting.
Within seconds, the young shapeling was a physical double for the girl in the postcard.
A few words about shifting are probably in line at this point. Shapelings typically worked with their basic body mass, realigning what they had to varying specifications. Adding bulk was a little trickier, involving as it did the absorption of air and water molecules in the immediate vicinity. It could be done, but it was taxing work: soon as she shifted into her new fat form, Allie was overcome by dizziness. She dropped to her knees, skinning then reflexively repairing them before Dr. Wagner and Gay even entered the alcove.
"Miz, are you alright?"
Allie looked up to see an unkempt figure in a cordsuit, eyeglasses perched in his hair and a concerned expression on his face. Beside him, Gay was shuffling an uncomfortable pile of accordion folders and papers. Her companion kneeled down towards Allie and grabbed a plump hand.
"I'm okay," Allie told him, altering her voice to a throatier timbre. "Just dropped a chip. You don't see it anywhere, do you?"
The two looked around the tiled floor but, of course, came up empty.
"Hope it wasn't important," Gay said, and Allie shook her head.
"Copy of a copy," she said. "The original's back in my roomapt." She rose, with help from the professor, and adjusted her much strained stretchsuit. "I should introduce myself: Marie Allison."
"Wagner Johnson," her helper said, "and this is my graduate assistant, Miz Nelson. What brings you to our little corner of academia?"
"You do, actually," Allie said. Like most shapelings, she was capable of quickly adapting to a situation. "Word has it you're doin' research on women of size - and, as you can see, I fit that description!"
"Quite well, I see," Johnson agreed, leading both Allie and Gay into the small office. "You have some particular health issue?"
"Not a one," Allie told him, taking the one vacant chair available to office visitors. "Does that make me an anomaly?"
"If it does, it makes you a fortuitous one!" Johnson said happily. "I'm looking for subjects like you!"
With that statement, Allie instantly knew the score: Wagner Johnson was attracted to her fat! The look in his eyes as he eagerly took her in told the whole story. No wonder poor plump Gay had been unable to get his eye - at 75 kgs., she was too skinny for him. Inwardly gloating, Allie smiled back at the research scientist and said, "I'd love to be studied by you!"
"Wagner, oh Wagner,
I know what you look for:
An opulent woman
You know you can cook for!
"I may not look plump now,
But don't think it strange, dear;
With only my will,
I will willfully change, dear!"
from "I Will Change (Allie's Song),"
"He was fawning all over her! I've never seen anything like it!" Gay stirred her foodpak with annoyance, switching channels on the wall as her spacemate listened sympathetically. "He took her on a tour, showed off the bioscan, even invited her out to dinner!"
"Well, at least you know he's not gay," Allie said.
"Lotta good that does me," Gay groused. "Might've been better if he was! Then I wouldn't be spending all my time wonderin' what she has that I don't!"
"From what you tell me: at least fifty extra cageys!"
Gay shook her head disgustedly.
"What do you think of a man who's attracted to fat women?" she asked.
"All kinds of attraction in the world," Allie answered with a shrug. She rose, picking up a satchel from alongside the futon. "Maybe you need to start lookin' elsewhere," she advised. "There are plenty of guys out there."
"Maybe," Gay muttered, then she noticed her spacemate's bag. "You going out?" she asked.
"Thought I'd hit the gym," Allie said, knowing that Gay would have no desire to follow her.
"You barely ate your dinner."
"Not hungry," Allie said. "Throw it out."
"Maybe I should eat it," Gay said with a wan smile. "If Wagner likes his ladies fat, perhaps I should oblige him."
"That's one way to deal with the situation," Allie laughed, as she headed for the door.
She met Wagner Johnson at Pasta Paradiso, a restaurant favored by students and townees looking for cheap eats in abundance. Wearing a size 28 frock that she'd purchased that afternoon to go with her fatter self, Allie had added a few additional kgs. to "Marie's" frame. It was gilding the lily, but since she could do it, why not? She suspected Wagner would be too luststruck to notice the difference, and, in that she was right. When seeing a beautiful woman for the second time, few men stop to question if she looks more beautiful - they simply chalk it up to memory's poor capacity to capture everything from a single meeting.
Even by the blinkered standards of the period, Allie was a striking fat woman. She'd kept her top-heavy hourglass shape, and though her Eurasian features had been softened to more closely approximate the postcard's girl-next-door looks, she'd retained her tawny cast. Her arms and legs were full and shapely, enticing and gleamingly fresh. In the crowded restaurant, she carried the aura of an empty summer beach with her.
"Snagged a good table for you," Wagner said as she approached. "Not too public but still pretty close to the pasta wall. You look really ravishing tonight!"
"'Ravishing' or 'ravishable'?" Allie asked, sidling onto her chair.
"Both," Wagner said, smiling as he handed her a basket of breadsticks. She grabbed three and dipped the first in marinara sauce, then started nibbling on it. Though she'd consumed a small portion of dinner with her spacemate, Allie felt like she hadn't eaten in a week.
A few more words on shifting are probably apt at this juncture. Adding body mass was not something most shapelings did for any prolonged length. Even a shapeling body fights to maintain its own stable integrity, and puffing up a form with an overbalance of air and water upsets that stability. To compensate, the body attempted to build itself up "for real," which accounted for the uncommonly severe hunger Allie was now feeling.
Allie knew what was happening, of course. But she had confidence in her ability to keep herself in check for one night. When it came time to order, she opted for access to the pasta wall. She assumed that Wagner would enjoy watching her sup. Like the rest of her kind, she was remarkably quick at gauging another's needs.
As she ate through one, two, three courses of dinner, Wagner explained his current obsession: developing a bioscan that could be used on fat men and women to identify potential health risks ahead of time. "We've had working bioscans for regular-sized patients," he told her, all the while watching her spork angel hair pasta into her delectable mouth, "for five years. But no one's managed to tweak a working scan for larger body types. Prime assumption's been that obesity is de facto unhealthy, so why go any further? Yet we all know fat men and women with no major health issues. . ."
"Like me," Allie said.
"Like you," Wagner emphasized. He looked at her across the table. "I'd love to get you on my bioscan!"
"You have a working version?"
Wagner nodded happily.
"That's impressive," Allie said, wondering all the while how long she could forestall being scanned. Wagner would find some surprising anomalies if he did.
"Not really," Wagner answered, none too convincingly. "But what about you? What brought you to our little corner of the university?"
"Free-lancing," Allie told him, cutting into a slice of lasagna with béchamel sauce. She'd been doing clips for the newsies on a story-by-story basis, she said, and had heard of the professor's research. "Most of the work on size revolves around weight loss. I understand you're not interested in that!"
"Not at all," Wagner asserted. "I think variety is the key to progress. Look at the shapelings!"
Allie raised an eyebrow quizzically.
"Don't you find it intriguing that the number of observable shape shifters has blossomed in an era bent on homogeneity? It's nature's response. The universe favors diversity!"
"But aren't shapelings mimics?" Allie countered, now into a plate of spaghetti carbonara. "Isn't that the ultimate type of conformity?"
"They may start as mere mimics," Wagner said. "But look at the majority of settled shapelings, and you'll find that every one chose a form that was anything but average. When you can be practically anything, what's the point of bein' just like everyone else?"
"Those are just the known ones," Allie said. "Couldn't there be millions more out there, hiding in reg bodies, happy to be part of a homogenous whole?" She wiped up her last dollop of spaghetti sauce, then turned to the pasta wall for some ravioli in gorgonzola sauce.
Wagner shrugged, then continued when she returned to the table. "All I know is we've spent more than a century, trying to eradicate fatness, and nothing's worked. If anything, our attempts have made patients fatter! I say the focus is all wrong. We were given different sizes and body types for a reason; let's find out why that is! Only way to do that is to let variety flourish!"
"You're a crusader," Allie said, intrigued in spite of herself. She waved a spork of ravioli at him, then popped the pasta into her mouth.
Wagner blushed - but didn't deny the charge.
"How about some dessert?" he finally said. "They've got a wall of great selections!"
The couple stayed until closing. By then, Allie had attracted the attention of the Paradiso's owner, who loved to see a customer enjoying his offerings, particularly one as gorgeous as Allie. "Beauty and good taste," he said to Wagner as the couple stood to go. "Don't lose this 'un!" Wagner simply smiled and led Allie out into the night.
"Can I see you home?" he asked once they were outside.
"Maybe next time," she told him. "I need to work this meal off a bit." With that, she headed for the nearest magnaramp, full form swaying provocatively. Wagner stood and watched her back appreciatively. In the shadows of a nearby Chip Shoppe, another figure was also watching her depart.
It was Gay, of course.
Careful to stay out of Wagner's path, she followed her rival through the ramps of the university town. When they got within a block of the renovated factory that served as their home, Marie ducked into a conmart restroom. A minute later, Allie sashayed out of the room.
It didn't take long for Gay to figure out what was up. There was no good reason for her spacemate to be using a restroom one block away from home; the answer had to be something less savory. A quick check of the premises revealed what she suspected. There was no one else in the restroom.
"Although it may seem shocking,
I've found a little stalking,
Can really do the trick
In piercing her disguise.
"Isn't it a strange thing;
My spacemate is a changeling?
Is it any wonder that
The girl gets all the guys?"
from "Betrayed," ibid.
When she returned to their roomapt, Gay found her spacemate by the kitchen wall. Still fuming from her discovery, she stared at Allie as if seeing her for the first time. Fortunately for her, the shapeling was too focused on the old-fashioned cabinets to notice. As she stared, Gay noticed something startling.
Allie was five kgs. heavier than she'd been before her date.
It showed up first in her belly, particularly when she stretched. As her top rode up, the start of a midriff bulge became visible - a bulge that hadn't been there the day before. Where had the extra kilos come from? And - more to the point - why hadn't Allie used her abilities to blend it all into the rest of her body?
Perhaps, Gay thought, she didn't notice they were there!
Gay reviewed the evening and the series of courses she'd watched her spacemate eat. By a rough guess, Allie had eaten the equivalent of her added weight. Perhaps this gain was the body's attempt at bringing up her body mass for real.
"Where you been?" Allie asked, pulling down a can of barbecue soy nuggets.
"Out," Gay answered. "No place in particular." She left her spacemate to her night snack.
The young biotech went to bed contemplating the ramifications of all she'd seen. When she woke next morning, Gay knew what she wanted to do. Allie wanted to play at being plump; she'd make sure it was more than play.
Over breakfast, she announced plans to fatten herself.
"It's obvious what Wagner's attracted to," she told Allie as they both sipped their a.m. caffeine. "If I wanna get him to even notice me, I've got to add some cageys to my bod."
"Thought you were joking when you mentioned it before," Allie said, nibbling on her third sweed roll that morning. "You know it's so much easier to put 'em on than take 'em off! Is this wise?"
"Wise?" Gay snorted. "When is love ever wise?"
"I'd just hate to see you hurt," Allie said - and the thing is: she really meant this.
Gay left and purchased several liters of liquical (in those days, a supplement primarily favored by would-be ahnolds). Whenever Allie was around, she positioned herself with a squeezee in her hand. She made a chart to track her new intake and placed it on one of the cabinets. Every day, Gay filled it in creatively, giving the illusion that she was repeatedly upping her intake. By the end of the first week, she was "documenting" the equivalent of five full daily meals.
"Keep this up, and I'll be passin' that skinny bimb in no time!" she bragged to Allie. And, indeed, it did look as if Gay was adding kgs.
"That skinny bimb," meanwhile, had been regularly visiting Wagner's office. Over the first week, they'd gone out for dinner three more times, making a lasting impression at every new restaurant. Afterwards, Allie would be at least four kgs. heavier. And though Gay noted this unconscious gain with some satisfaction, she didn't waver from her plans. The night Allie returned from her fifth date with Wagner, she found the roomapt crowded with cartons of foodpaks.
"Where'd you get the credit for all this?" Allie asked in amazement, stepping carefully to avoid bumping into a tower of cartons. Good thing they lived in a converted factory with strong floor support, she thought.
"Student loan," Gay told her nonchalantly. "Managed to get through most of my career without one, so I figured it was about time." She popped open a pak, and the scent (falafel in a sour soy sauce) was luscious enough to get Allie pulling open a foodpak, too.
"Delicious," she pronounced with her mouth full. "Are you gonna eat all of this?"
"I figure," Gay said, "if I work on this every moment I'm not on campus, I should be able to pass Miss Marie Allison in a month! Maybe sooner!"
Though strides in biomedical technology have since made rapid weight gains commonplace, Gay was fudging her timeframe. Without biomed enhancement, it was unlikely that a reg like her could add so many kgs. so quickly. What Gay was counting on, though was the shapeling's relative ignorance in reg physiology. When you can gain weight in seconds, a gain of forty kgs. over a month doesn't sound that outlandish.
In the space of a week, after all, Allie had added close to sixteen kgs. to her own mainframe. Though this put her at seventy-eight kgs., three more than her spacemate, she remained oblivious to the change. Whenever she got dressed for class, Allie reflexively slimmed down to fit her clothes. But as soon as she returned to their roomapt, she'd strip into a loose fitting robe and plump back up. Gay loved to watch this last, particularly since it was obvious that Allie didn't even know she was doing it.
Perhaps she was distracted by Gay's project; all that tempting foodstuff was enough to nonplus anybody. Too, she was starting to get a bit nervous about her spacemate's chances for success. Whether it was rivalry or genuine growing attachment, Allie wasn't ready to give up Wagner Johnson. She fought back the only way she knew: with her shapeling abilities.
Next night out, she told Wagner that she was leaving town for a month.
"Big chance for me," she told the distraught researcher as he carried over a fourth helping from the dessert wall. "Could lead to a contract with a newsie org." She paused, took a deep sporkful of carob-covered yogurt cake and savored its taste, then she smiled ruefully at Wagner. "I know this puts a stall on your plans to scan me," she said. "But I'll be back in a few weeks."
"The bioscan can wait," Wagner told her. "But I don't know if I can. I've gotten spoiled by our time together."
"Me, too," Marie/Allie said. "But I'll tell you what. I've been talkin' to my sister about you, and she'd like to come in for your project. She's only a year older than me."
"Is she as - um - big as you?" Wagner asked.
"Oh," Allie assured him, before delving full tilt into her newest helping. "She's much fatter than me!"
Two days later, Meryl Allison showed up at the biomed research facility, and she was everything her "sister" claimed she was. Dressed in a billowing frock, she stood in the door to Wagner Johnson's office, blocking out all view of the hall. When the rumpled prof wheeled in his chair to answer her knock, his jaw dropped open.
If anything, the super-sized Meryl was even more dazzling than Marie. In a brightly colored print sarong, with her dark hair hanging loosely around her rising shoulders, she looked like a South Sea princess. Her face was round and fulsome with provocative dimples in each cheek, her eyes and jutting lips sensual. With her chins masking the neck behind them, her head seemed poised on top of her fleshy body. It made her seem more imposing than she already was.
Move downwards, and the sight grew even more interesting. Her belly was immense, radiating ahead of her impressively, stretching the frock at its apex. It was round and solid, jiggling very little within her lightweight sheath. It forged ahead into the room like a courtier announcing the impending entrance of their royal boss. In the shadow of this looming presence, a bulging pair of calves was visible underneath the hem.
She did not, on first glance, seem as top-heavy as her sister, but that was just a trick of perspective. Focus on her enviable breasts, and you saw they were as full and firm as the most artificially inflated chip starlet. When she clasped her pudgy hands together, her wide upper arms forced them into greater protuberance, deepening her cleavage appealingly.
Her hips were partly masked by the office doorframe, but, clearly, they were also inspiring.
"Professor Johnson?" she asked, and, though you could tell she was sibling to Marie, her voice had a slight island lilt to it.
"Come in, come in," he said eagerly, and if Gay had been around to see this meeting, she'd have given up all hope of ever winning Wagner's heart. Super-sized, Allie had the professor practically eating right out of her hand.
Or rather: feeding right out of his hand. In no time at all, he'd invited her to lunch. By the time, Gay got to the research center after class, she found a note waiting for her ("Gone to Pasta Paradiso") and some scrawled stats under the name "Meryl." This Meryl was twenty-five, the same height as Allie and 376 pounds.
Gay grinned happily. The scale in Wagner's office was old and out-of-date, but she was able to do the math. With one pound of avoirdupois equaling .454 kgs., that made Meryl a little over 170 kgs. More than a hundred kilograms heavier than her previous incarnation: Allie clearly was over-reaching herself.
She returned home, stopping along the way to order as many kegs of liquical as her student loan would allow. Then she waited for Allie.
Gay had a long wait. For if the transmogrified Marie had been able to do a major number on the Paradiso's buffet walls, the double-sized Meryl was even more spectacular. She ate through lunch, through afternoon snack time and then through dinner. The woman was tireless in her capacity to gorge, seemingly insatiable in her appetite. Wagner was enthralled by her voracity, aroused in a way he'd only thought possible in fantasy. It wasn't until the night was over (and Meryl left the restaurant just as mysteriously as her sister), that the full ramifications of their date struck him.
He'd been flirting with Marie's sister! What kind of a hound was he - to forget Marie so quickly? What was he going to do when she came back? And how did he get himself in this impossible situation?
Fortunately for Wagner, his dilemma would be short-lived.
When Allie got back to her shared roomapt, she had to push hard to get the door open past all the liquical kegs. All the way home, she'd been thinking of the foodstuff in Gay's pantry. Her life was changed for good, when she saw the bonanza waiting.
Once Gay saw her spacemate, she knew that Allie's body was in charge. The shapeling hadn't even gotten out of her Meryl dress, and though it hung loosely on her frame, Gay could still see that plenty of kgs. had decided to stick around. Close to a hundred kgs. in size, Allie was plump and disheveled. She had a well-defined pot belly, wider hips, plus breasts that had moved from full and firm to pendulous. Her striking face had developed a second chin.
Standing amidst a sea of kegs, Allie looked for the nearest open one and announced to her spacemate, "I'm starved!"
"Not enough to eat at the pasta house?" Gay asked sweetly, but her spacemate didn't notice the loaded question. She was too busy filling her squeezee with vanilla flavored liquical. "Like a foodpak?" Gay asked. Allie nodded as she quaffed her first good load of calories.
"Bring a carton," she demanded, wiping her lips with the back of her hand. "I may want more than one." Lighting on a futon within reach of the keg, she grabbed the spigot and started to refill her container. The fluid came out so slowly that she tapped a foot impatiently.
"Let me get that," Gay offered with a smile, and she handed Allie her first foodpak. As she ripped it open, the pak started to heat its contents: borsht with plenty of real sour cream. Gay must have spent a fortune on this stuff! She drained it happily while her spacemate set a row of liquical squeezees on a nearby end table.
"Thanks," Allie told her between deep gulps of liquical. "Felt like I was dying of starvation!"
"Glad to help," Gay answered, returning from the pantry area with a stack of paks. As long as her spacemate was going to ask for food, she was going to be there to get it.
Allie's life as a shape shifter was over, though she didn't know it yet. She was too busy concentrating on the food around her. Since she'd already eaten enough that night to carry her through the desert for weeks, every added gram of food was going into storage.
"Can't stop eating, and don't wanna;
Every bite's a glutton's bliss.
As a shapeling, I'm a goner,
But I'm glad I can't stop this!
"Feeding, I'm just feeding,
And I know I'm growing fatter every day!
Needing - to keep feeding
And I can't see living any other way!
"Every meal's a troop-sized banquet;
Every course a call to feast!
Each new morsel swells my torso;
Every part of me's increased!"
from "Feeding," ibid.
Within the first hour, Allie demolished an entire carton of foodpaks - plus a keg of liquical. She'd become Meryl, a physical copy of her last created identity. Adjusting her frock, she belched daintily, patted her belly happily, and asked for a second carton. Gay gladly obliged.
She was eating so rapidly that you could practically see the growth occurring. Every time Gay rolled an empty keg out of the building, she'd return to see an observably larger Allie. When the second hour of her feeding ended, she weighed 252 kgs; a half hour past midnight, she was at 324.
Though relatively diminutive compared to an enhanced adipost, this was huge to Gay. By old measurements, her spacemate weighed over seven hundred pounds, an extraordinary size in that era. Allie had discarded her frock plus undergarments and was simply stuffing herself in the buff.
She'd widened to the point where her hips flowed under the twin-size futon armrests. Her belly drooped ahead of her majestically, no longer taut but quivering and fluid. It hung in dual bulges to mid-calf, swaying every time she leaned to grab a squeezee or a foodpak. In counterpoint, her outstretched upper arm rocked back and forth.
Gay watched in fascination as the shapeling body did its work. Whenever Allie spilled any food on herself - which happened fairly frequently - it was absorbed on the spot, vanishing from sight on her tawny skin. Every so often, her body smoothed her complexion, eliminating stretch marks and traces of cellulite that had popped up as she'd fattened. It was like watching an image get airbrushed before your eyes.
She hadn't spent all her loan money on food: a fraction of it had gone into rental of a vidchip recorder. Behind two kegs that Gay intended to save for last, Allie's growth was recorded for posterity.
And, perhaps, for Gay's graduate thesis.
The next four hours were a haze to Gay: a seemingly endless roundelay of foodpaks and liquical, of competing dinner smells, discarded empties and the sound of gluttony. Allie had ceased paying any attention to the niceties of social dining early in the night. She went at each course with a fervor that was animalistic in its intensity.
Six hours of this, and Gay was exhausted. She hadn't realized how much work this was going to be, how emotionally draining it was going to be catering to Allie's demands. Her spacemate was devouring close to one hundred kgs. an hour: this had put her close to 600 kgs. She'd broken both armrests off the sides of her futon and was close to falling through the groaning slats.
They were nearly out of foodpaks, though there were plenty of kegs of liquical left. Gay was starting to wonder if her student loan had been enough. At 0414 in the morning, though, Allie stopped in the middle of a pak of mock crab to look around the room and ask, "What am I doing here?"
The question caught Gay off guard. "Settling," she told the 1200-plus pound shapeling, and a look of dismay came over Allie's many-chinned face.
"You know I'm a shapeling!" she gasped, bringing her fat hands up to her breasts, sending shivers through her belly in the process.
"Were one, you mean," Gay said. "Doesn't a shapeling have control of how her body looks?" She let her spacemate get a sense of her new form, then watched her entire body break into a sweat as she futilely concentrated into changing back.
"What've you done?" Allie finally cried, making as if to rise but finding it harder than she expected with her center of gravity moved. She collapsed back onto the futon, which finally gave up the ghost, splitting right down the center.
"Not much," Gay told her, as she picked up pieces of broken frame. "You did most of it to yourself. Ever since you morphed your weight upwards, your body's been workin' to make you fat for good."
"What am I gonna do now?"
"I don't know," Gay said, "but I know Wagner's gonna be glad to study you. He's been dying to get you under a full bioscan since he first met you."
Allie moaned miserably from the floor, then grabbed a squeezee for comfort. A sob cascaded through her elephantine physique. Gay turned and left the roomapt with an armload or ersatz wood. All those days of planning, and now she was starting to feel guilty.
She expected to find the settled shapeling in tears when she got back. But instead of sobs, Gay heard a much more familiar sound: Allie - ravenously eating once more. The shapeling's body had reasserted control with a vengeance.
The next two hours were a reprise of the last. It wasn't until close to 0630 that Allie came up with a break in the routine.
She had eaten her way up to 939 kgs., larger than Gay had ever imagined. At close to a metric ton, the mega-sized shapeling was finding it increasingly more difficult to bend her arms to reach her mouth. Her upper arms had gotten so fleshy, overflowing her elbow joints so insistently, that it became an impediment to her nonstop glutting.
The solution: to ease down on her back on the floor, have Gay position a liquical keg on the futon so the spigot emptied into her mouth. To ensure that no drops were missed, Gay rigged a makeshift funnel overhead. Now all she had to do was change a keg every half hour or so.
Gay dozed in and out, rousing every time her spacemate demanded a replacement keg. Looking at her lying on her back - belly looming almost as high as their counter, back flattened against the floor, legs spread into a wide and useless "v," arms spread out - Allie looked like exactly what she was: a helpless victim of appetite, gaining up to 150 kgs. hourly.
By 1130, the roomapt was nearly denuded of liquical kegs. Where once their relatively small living space had been crowded with foodstuff, now it primarily was filled by Allie. Stranded on her back, all 1800 plus kgs. of her, she covered just about all the free floor space they had.
Then, just as Gay was exchanging her penultimate keg, Allie did something that surprised her. She smiled up at her spacemate and asked, "You buzzed Wagner yet?"
"You're back in control?" Gay asked.
"Been back through most of that last keg," Allie answered, smiling with her chins. "Tasted so soothing, though, that I didn't want to stop. What we got left? Two kegs? Might as well finish 'em up. . .
"But call Wagner," she said, before clamping back down on her feeding funnel.
Gay followed her directives, buzzing the professor at his office and telling him that Meryl wanted to see him.
"Good," Wagner said. "Got something I need to talk to her about." He paused, then asked the obvious. "Can't she come over to the office?"
"Not really, Dr. Johnson. Bring a bioscan." She disconnected, then returned to her spacemate. "Anything I can do?" she asked.
"Would you be willing to fix me up a bit?" Allie asked. "I seem to have lost the ability to straighten out my hair."
The statement had more than one meaning. Allie had not only settled out of the ability to use her shapeling powers cosmetically, she'd also fattened herself into near immobility. At more than four thousand pounds old weight, she was maxfed before the word even was invented.
Flat on her back, both her legs and arms were pinned under her rising front. Her resting breasts alone flowed all the way past the join of her inner arms, while between her arms and hips, her torso widened to her wrists. Allie's back flattened against the hardsim, raising her body center almost half a meter from the floor. Reaching backwards, she could only just graze the floorboards with her fingernails.
Only the outermost edges of her legs were visible, though her hips extended about three decimeters past the base of her towering forefront. Her towering belly went all the way to her feet, bulging past her insteps. It rose to Gay's chin, navel so deep that it could hold a squeezee worth of liquical. Along both sides of her torso, a quartet of folds testified to the layers of avoirdupois it had taken to build her gargantuan paunch. When Gay kneeled down to fix Allie's hair, the looming mass pressed against her almost threateningly.
Her spacemate's hair was splayed across the floor like a mermaid's undersea. Gay eased some strands out from under her blubbery shoulders and combed it out so it would maximally frame Allie's face. Her head looked like it had been forced between her shoulders, which both rose level to her ears, while her face was almost pinched between her cheeks and chins. That last hung into her cleavage, rising against the mounds of her breasts like some cresting wave frozen in time.
Even so huge, Gay realized, the shapeling had retained her exotic beauty. Her full lips had grown even fuller, her eyes more fascinating. If Meryl had been a South Seas princess, than Allie was the goddess that princess tried to emulate.
What would Wagner think when he saw her? For the first time, Gay started to worry. Quickly rising, she rolled the last liquical onto the futon alongside its twin and opened it for Allie. She took both kegs eagerly, gulping faster than ever, and finished just as the research scientist buzzed downstairs.
"Gay?" he asked, once he got to their roomapt. "What's Maryl doin' at your place?"
"Eating," Gay answered, opening the door wide enough for him to finally see her prone spacemate.
Wagner did a double-take. "Meryl?" he gasped, stumbling into the roomapt. "Is that you?"
"Not Meryl," she answered, "or Marie either. I've got a small confession to make." With that, she gave the details of her deception and its consequence.
Wagner took it all in, but he was too much the scientist to leave it that. Soon as she finished, he rose from the keg-less futon and examined her closer.
"Lying on your back with all that weight," he noted, "and you can still breathe and talk! This is fantastic! How do you feel?"
Allie considered his question. For the last fourteen hours, hunger had driven her consciousness. She hadn't been able to really stop and feel her new body. Looking at her overwhelming breasts and belly, flexing her limbs beneath their fleshy covering, sensing her whole gargantuan bulk, she was shocked to discover how right it felt. Perhaps this was a part of settling, the absolute sense that she had found the right body for herself.
"I feel great," she said, looking up at Wagner out of the corners of her eyes. She could only, she discovered, move her head a centimeter left or right. "You bring your bioscan?"
"I did, though it seemed an odd request at the time." He pulled the instrument from his jacket pocket and started to get some vital stats. "1946 cageys," he announced in his professorial tone. "Close to two metric tons, though in old weight it exceeds two tons by more than 280 pounds."
He continued his examination. Virtually every part of her body had adapted to her new weight. Her soft, tawny flesh was several times thicker than it'd been; her bones had commensurably developed, as had her musculature. Every working system in her physiology had similarly revised itself to accommodate her fantastic form.
"I bet," Wagner considered out loud, "if we could get you up, that you'd be able to stand on your own. You still wouldn't be able to walk around - too much flesh impeding you for that - but at least you'd get a better view of the world!" He smiled at her, and in that smile Allie could see he still was hers, scientist and man merging as one.
"Well," Allie asked, once the biomed researcher had finished his first full scan. "What do you think?" Behind him, Gay was holding her breath.
"I think," Wagner answered, "that you're simply the most stunning woman that I've ever seen. Will you marry me?"
Gay Nelson shrieked with dismay.
"Sure you know what you're doing?" Allie asked. "I haven't been that good at long-term relationships."
"You changed your body; you can change your ways," Wagner answered. "Maybe we should live together first?"
"I like you round;
Baby, I like you round.
No matter what the world may say:
I like you round.
"Don't want you small;
That wouldn't work at all.
I want you near, and, what is more, my dear,
I want you round.
"The world is full of people;
You're the one I want to know.
Let the other women worry;
Baby, you can grow and grow.
"I like you round;
This is what I've found.
When I grow cold; it's really hot to hold
A girl who's round."
"Round (Wagner's Theme)," ibid.
Wagner and Allie became pre-nup spacemates that day, and in months, they signed a nuptual contract. His wife became his lifetime project. It was from his research into the physiology of her healthy mega-sized body that the principles of enhancement were developed.
Allie continued to grow bigger, but at a more normal rate. Upright, she took up just as much floor space as she had on her back. In a tropically colored sheath that left her arms and most of her legs uncovered, she reposed happily on the heated concrete floor. Her arms stuck out behind her radiating forefront, resting on her dimpled, protruding hips. Her feet remained planted firmly on the ground, though only her toes were visible outside her drooping ankles. She'd outgrown the need for any furniture - both fore and aft settled all the way to the floor - but she felt comfortable as she was.
Her form-fitting sarong showed off every fold and bulge; even the slight textures that developed when she added weight were detectable through the fabric of her dress. In a way, Allie reflected, this was the ultimate act of settling. From mutable and footloose to irrevocably mega-sized and practically immobile: she'd taken her shapeling abilities to a level no one could have foreseen. Watching her great wall of a body slowly quiver as she breathed, Allie felt satisfied with the course her life had taken.
Wagner enlisted the aid of several colleagues doing work in robotics to make their home friendly for his two ton spouse. The latest in chip communication, pop-up plumbing, servbots and a set of feeding tubes - it was all voice activated, capable of responding to Allie's requests even when she spoke with her mouth full. This was the case more often than not.
Though her settling binge had ended, Allie had grown accustomed to prolonged dining. As a result, she grew more sophisticated in her ability to demarcate the subtlest differences in flavor. Her newfound talent made her an asset to the local restaurant community, which began to use her as a consultant. This helped defray their food bills considerably, a fortunate thing as the guild-backed subsidies that make maintenance dining so attainable in Adipst Zone were decades away.
The day she reached her second metric ton, they invited Gay and her new boyfriend - a pudgy, rumpled graduate student who'd enrolled in the university when he read about Wagner Johnson's research - over for dinner.
In the year since that fateful evening, Gay had followed her mock gorging schedule for real. As a result, she was twenty-five kgs. heavier than the girl in the photo who'd inspired Allie's initial change. The difference in both weight and attitude had done wonders for her appearance. While she'd never be as exotically beautiful as her former spacemate, she had a fresh-faced super-sized beauty all her own.
It served Gay well eight years later when she underwent the first adipost enhancement. From a slight 167 kgs., she blossomed into a 587 kg. wonder. The majority of this weight found its way to her lower half, widening her hips so severely that she could balance a tray of food on both sides without spilling either.
Small potatoes compared to Allie - but plenty entrancing to her researcher husband.
Gay turned her energies to food prep, developing prototypes for the feeding tubes and bulk distributors that would become a part of maintenance dining. An adipost body has four to five times the minimum daily requirement of a reg, they discovered. This suited Gay, as she'd also developed an appreciation of hearty eating over the years. She enjoyed sharing her experiments with Allie and her husband - who'd followed his wife by becoming the first male test adipost.
Gay enjoyed her position as an active and healthy mega-sized woman, a waddling advertisement for the glories of adipost enhancement. It was her appearance on newsies that lead to the first wave of enhancements, as super-sized men and women happily underwent the procedure, the first major breakthrough in health care for the very fat. With this first generation of adiposts, the biomed revolution began.
It wasn't until the process was entrenched that Allie Johnson went public, a canny piece of timing on Wagner's art since his wife's immobility probably would have clouded the issue. Few adiposts ever grew close to Allie's size, and if they did, adipost growth was different from shapeling settling in one important aspect. If an adipost ever grew to Allie's size, other nascent talents popped up in to compensate for their maxfed forms.
Both women lived long and happy lives, seeing the changes that they'd sparked take hold across the growing metro landscape. They enjoyed positions as elder stateswomen in the early days of Adipost Zone, and when their respective mates passed away, they took a loft together in zone. Spacemates, once again.
Progress can come from unlikely sources, but it somehow seems fitting that the biomed revolution, which led to widespread body tolerance, would get its impetus from jealousy and romantic rivalry. Add a weight gain that is still legendary in its magnitude, and you can understand why the tale remains popular to this day among adiposts. Visit Adipost Zone, and you'll even see a holo sculpture in its center honoring the two: Allie and Gay, depicted at their largest, stim music playing in the background.
"Every platter makes us fatter;
Every extra cal remains;
Brunching, lunching, power munching,
As our lovers chart our gains.
"Eating, we keep eating,
And our lives as slender regs are through!
Needing - to keep feeding,
And there's nothing more we'd rather do!"
from "Feeding (Reprise and Finale),"
Fat Is the Hunter: The Original Stimtrak
Corrected version copyright (c) 2001 - Oakhaus Designs