Topiary Genetics: Part 6

Moving on

Kelli sat in the conference room with a dozen other girls wondering why she had been called out of aerobics class this morning. The topic of discussion among them was what could be more important to the program than increasing their fitness scores. The feeling among the girls was that there was probably some kind of bonus for the Topiary Genetics staff associated with fitness levels. No one had any reasonable idea why they were there though. Kelli thought some of the reasons they came up with were pretty funny though.

"I bet we are in trouble," a girl Kelli knew as Madison said.

"How could we even do anything to get in trouble?" Kelli asked. "We are either sweating, studying or sleeping with no time for anything else."

"You forgot screwing," a stunning looking Latina said from further down the table. "But yeah, there is no way we are in trouble. What did you do, Maddy?"

"I may have went upstairs for a look around a couple of nights ago. Nothing to see though just a generic office building."

The redhead blushed brightly as the other girls all stared at her.

"What? Aren't you all bored?" Madison said in a loud embarrassed voice.

Just then Holly and Hailey entered the room followed by a man in a gray suit. "Well Madison, if you are bored then you are in the right place. This man," she said pointing the suit is Major Tom Williams and he has an opportunity that he would like to discuss with all of you."

"Hello, ladies," Tom began, " I'm Tom Williams, you probably don't remember me. I met all of you in your former lives. I am the project liaison and we have been approached with an opportunity to help provide cover for an operative on a fact finding mission. You are all here because Holly thinks that you have the right personality to meet our requirements. Before I go on I would like any of you who are not interested or don't feel they can keep the following conversation a secret to please return to your normal routine."

None of the girls got up from the conference table.

"Alright then. What we need is a couple of girls to act as window dressing – the agents daughter and her friend. The chosen two will accompany the agent to a foreign country and basically act like teens on vacation. Spies do not typically bring their children to work so your presence will bring with it a cloak of legitimacy. We give this operation a very low chance of failure and consider it a very low risk.”

Tom looked around the room. "Anyone want out yet?"

There were head shakes all around the table.

"Great! I am now going to ask a series of questions to begin to find the best four to interview for the two spots. If you are eliminated you may tell the others that management wanted to have a quick focus group to discuss the pace of your recovery. By show of hands is anyone afraid of either flying or being on the ocean?

A blond girl named Alison sitting diagonally across from Kelli raised her hand. "I have mild aquaphobia. I would probably be fine on a cruise ship but anything smaller with all of that water around me and I would be a nervous wreck."

Tom smiled at Allison."Thank you for your time this morning. There will probably be significant time on a small yacht so this isn't something for you. You can go back to your business."

Tom continued to ask his questions until they were down to six girls, Kelli, Madison, Brooke, Paisley, Skylar and Heather. None of them were girls that Kelli hung around with much outside of the normal group activities but she had had 'encounters' with both Skylar and Madison a couple of days ago and thought they might become real friends when they were given more free time. She was starting to imagine hanging out on some tropical beach with one of them when Tom asked his next question.

"Who hasn't had much experience with firearms?”

Kelli and Skylar both raised their hands. "Thanks girls. We don't expect those chosen to ever even be near a gun but having the skill is better than not having it. Thanks for your time." Just like that Kelli found herself heading for lunch.

***

Two weeks later Simon was back. "What is the status of our girls, Daniel? Will we be able to move them to the camp next week?" Simon asked from the head of the conference table. He had been spending his time at Topiary Genetics's office in Virginia. The progress reports that Daniel has sent to him were informative, however Simon was a big believer in checking on the important things. Meeting the move date was a major milestone in the project and there was a performance bonus on the line.

"Relax Simon," Daniel replied. "The girls are developing better than expected except for three girls who are right on target. Erin or Holly can give you specifics. They have been running the show on a daily basis. As you know I have been dealing with the other groups that are in process. From my point of view all participants will be ready for the conditioning phase on time."

Holly stood and began her report. "All of our clients have developed nicely. Each girl meets or exceeds all minimum criteria for the current phase. Meaning they are at least as fit now as the average American teen. They can walk at a rapid pace for at least 45 minutes on the treadmill for example. Hailey has been leading them in an hour of yoga each morning and they are developing an extraordinary range of motion. Their endurance is good, however that will become even better over time."

"Excellent. Hailey, in your view how are things set for the move?" Simon asked.

"Everything is in place, sir. All of the required materials are at the base including appropriate clothing and footwear. Phase one of the movement plan will begin after dark. The buses will have the windows covered in craft paper to limit visibility and make for a more restful sleep. The girls will be tired out by the time they have done all of there normal exercise and packed there belongings. We also plan to offer a mild sedative after dinner. There isn't much to see around here and by the time they wake up all of the buses will be several hours away from their starting facility. They shouldn't know what part of the city we are located in. They may not even realize that they were moved from Lab One to Chicago. This location is not critical so we aren't taking extreme measures to disguise it from the girls.

"We will have granola bars water and sack lunches on-board as well as three qualified drivers on each bus. All of the study participants, whatever their point of origin, will make it to the old Glasgow Air Force Base sometime in the late afternoon to early evening. As you know our partners from Defense have caused some of the buildings to be made ready for our use. I understand that the air conditioning just needed a gas recharge so we are in luck there

"I will be riding with the girls from this facility and it should take between eighteen and twenty hours for us to get there. The other facilitators will stay with their girls as well. The plan is to get them assigned to their quarters and then give them a day to rest and get squared away before we begin the real fitness program."

"You slipped into lecture mode mode," Simon remarked smiling. "Good job. We can expect site inspections from Major Williams or the General so stay on top of things. Holly, is there a plan in place to deal with any friction between the participants that are newly female and those who have always been so?"

"As you know, all participants were chosen in part, because they have accepting outlooks about others beliefs or orientations," Holly began. I believe based on my interviews that most of the women from groups three and four will be delighted to help our transformed men be the best women that they can be. They will see it as a challenge and possibly look on the former men as little sisters to be guided. If there is any friction it will be because they are trying too hard to help. Frankly I am more concerned about generational issues rather than gender issues. The youth culture media saturation program should take care of most of the major gaps in our girls' pop culture knowledge but I expect that for a while they may still seem a little odd to people of their age group."

"What about the hyper-sexual behavior?" Simon asked.

Holly pursed her lips in thought trying to find an easy way to explain what she thought was happening with the girls. "Groups three and four – the F to F transition – are just now hitting that point in the program. I expect there to be much less sexual interaction among the groups that have always been women. They are nearly all firmly on the heterosexual end of the scale and came to maturity during times that did not encourage same sex exploration to say the least. The two groups that began as men however all have men who have had at least some sexual relations with women. It was part of the selection criteria that the Defense Department insisted upon. God knows why. Anyway, because those participants grew up being encouraged to see women as desirable sexual partners, and indeed had all been with women in the past. They saw no issues with sexual experimentation among themselves. We just have to accept this as a data point and perhaps broaden our selection criteria to include men who are currently identifying as gay or even actual trans-women that otherwise fit our profile."

Simon gave a noncommittal grunt to the comment about including trans-women into the program. That would continue to be a nonstarter as long as the current oversite was in place.

"What about the generals new focus on developing these women as agents or soldiers or whatever?" Simon asked.

Daniel stood to take this one. "We think that all of the participants will become superior physical specimens. They will be slightly stronger than women of the same size and have somewhat faster than average reflexes. Our last round of exams confirmed that the vision upgrades were a complete success. The visual acuity of everyone tested so far is between 20/10 and 20/15. With that being said mentally we do not think the current batch of girls will be suitable for anything that requires high aggression. Holly, do you want to take it from here?"

"Sure," Holly said. "Simon, as you know our key secondary requirements were for individuals who would wish to form a close knit and nurturing group in order to insure project security. You may find many that could act as bodyguards and the like though. From my sessions I know that most of them would be very protective of anyone in their care especially anyone weaker than themselves. They all also have a sense of curiosity or they would not have taken our offer. Maybe some kind of intelligence gathering job would be appropriate. I don't know this is all way out of my wheelhouse."

"It sounds like everything is well in hand on that end. Move in day is only twelve weeks away. Summer conditioning will pass quickly. Don't be afraid to delegate at camp in order to make sure everything is in order at the school. Speaking of the school how is the age range distribution? Have we finalized the classes?"

"Simon, as you know, we have narrowed the apparent age range to a roughly four year window of four-teen to eight-teen. We have observed a fairly even spread as expected, skewing slightly to younger end of the scale. We have tried to control for as many variables as we can. With the new data we should at least be able to shrink the target range. These large groups were treated almost identically and we still have the variation in physical development inside the tanks. It will take more study and research to find everything that factors into determining that outcome. "

"I expected that but I had to ask. Let's take a short break when we are back I want to talk about the funding for the Sutton foundation. Hailey, why don't you and your counterparts reconvene in conference room two at that time and go over your agenda items? I trust you to work out the details among yourselves."

***

"Well Kelli, this is the last check-up before you are off to summer conditioning." Dr. McCullough said as she looked at her chart on the exam room computer. "You are right on track. Your weight is still a little low for your height. Your BMI is 16.5 and I would expect to see it at about 19 when I see you in six months. Don't worry too much we are making sure that all of you are gaining weight sensibly."

"I thought I was looking pretty good," Kelli replied. "I do think it will be better when I get some more muscles. I don't like the way my knees look so big compared to my thighs."

"That won't be an issue," Erin said with a little laugh. "You've gotten off to a very good start, and I've had a look at Hailey's training schedule. You will all be very fit young women if she manages to keep to the plan."

"What should my actual target weight be?"

"A BMI of 19, which is still probably under weight considering all of the muscle mass you should develop, will put you around 110 pounds. Don't worry about looking like a power lifter though. With the training schedule fit and sleek will be better adjectives for you than powerful and blocky."

"No one has said anything specific. What will we be doing for all of this exercise?"

"You will continue with the yoga, aerobic exercise, and moderate resistance training, and add daily running and gymnastics. I think she is also planning to teach some form of self defense. There have probably been some revisions since I looked at it. We will be monitoring all of you when you do the weekly assessments. Without the need to burn off excess fat I expect you all will continue to show excellent results."

"How am I doing otherwise? I what I mean is, when am I going to start growing more in the chest area? Not to complain, because I am really happy with my situation, it's just that I assumed that there would be bigger boobs by now. I don't think that I really even need that bra except to keep my nipples from getting raw," She pointed to the chair next to the examination table where her clothes were piled haphazardly.

"Well there has been some growth over the past weeks. Many women never get bigger than your current size. Let me just check your file," she said while pulling up something on her pad. "You may not develop very much more either according to your DNA profile. Maybe a big B cup at most. There is even a note that says per client request. Apparently the previous you did not want anything too large. You shouldn't dwell on it too much. In time your breasts will grow to their full size, and you will reach your adult height. For you I think that will be about 162 cm or 5'3"."

"Okay, thanks."

"That's all I need. Get dressed and go back to whatever you need to do." Erin said as she left the room. Exam day was always busy for the medical staff.

Putting on her clothes Kelli reflected that it was a little strange that she had just had a fairly casual conversation while setting on the examination table wearing only a stupid paper gown. Not that it would matter after being given another thorough physical. She was happy that she hadn't been turned on by the exam. Kelli and the others had become much better about controlling themselves over the past few weeks. She couldn't decide if her body chemistry had evened out, the newness had worn off, or if she had just developed better will power. Whatever the reason Kelli was happy with the thought that she had not turned into some kind of bimbo.

***

"What are you wearing for the ride?" Nicole asked Kelli as the two girls walked back to their room. Tonight they would board a bus to their summer home. Someplace up north. They had been shown photos of some buildings on an old air base called Glasgow Air Force Base. They had been leased to Topiary Genetics for their use as an out of the way summer camp.

"I don't know. Something comfortable to sleep in. We are going to be on the bus for a long time. "I think I am going to travel in a pair of gym shorts and a tee-shirt. I will take my red top and high waist denim shorts for when we get there." Kelli said. "How about you?"

"Yeah me too. I want something comfortable to change into though on our rest day. Probably my dark blue shorts and the pale blue tank - the one with the giant arm holes- with my blue bra under it." Nicole replied. The girls had been told that they wouldn't need anything from here for the summer except for a change of clothes, personal items, toiletries and makeup if she wanted to practice with it. "I am going to miss picking out my outfits though. I really like the way my body looks in my new clothes."

"I like the way your body looks in or out of clothes," Kelli playfully said. "Olivia says that this is a very well thought out program. Think of how much better we are going to look after eleven weeks of workouts. Besides all of our stuff will be at the school when we get to Thompsonville."

After the briefing they had been given a large box and a gym bag to pack their clothes in. The gym bag, A black nylon zippered thing with yellow straps and a bee imprint that said Sutton Bee's on it was for a change of clothes and toiletries. The box was for the rest of their wardrobe. All of their possessions would be delivered to the Sutton School for Girls. Kelli was excited at the pace of her new life after the stagnation that she had let her former self fall into.

***

Fifteen or twenty of what Kelli thought of as her extended group of friends were laying on mats in the aerobics room talking. The usual afternoon sessions had been canceled because most of the staff were either traveling, finishing last minute items related to the move or getting the facility ready to shut down until the next group came through.

"So, is anyone else worried about what the real girls are going to think of us?" Courtney asked.

"You were a real girl the last time I checked," Skylar smirked.

"That isn't what I meant and you know it," Courtney replied.

"Brittney and I have talked a lot about this," Kaitlin said. "We think that they may be willing to be out mentors if we approach them right."

"If you think about it," Brittney said, "TG wouldn't have recruited bigots and assholes for the program. They want data from us, not attitude. My hope is that thew are all really sweet and open minded."

"I suppose that makes sense," Courtney said. "I am just anxious. As an African-American I have always had to be concerned that an otherwise nice person might turn out to be a closet bigot. After sixty-four years it is second nature to be concerned."

"It's going to be fine," Nicole soothed taking Courtney hand. "Remember Reagan? 'Trust but verify.' That is what we need to do here. Trust that everything is fine until something seems off. Just communicate with each other."

"I heard Holly say that most of the people who were always women are strictly into guys so we probably don't want to shove any of our extracurricular activities in their face." Kelli spoke gesturing to Kaitlin and Brittney who were a real couple unlike the casual hookups that most of the girls in the group were prone to.

"I agree," Olivia joked in her usual off color way. Shoving our vaginas in the other girls faces is probably not a good way to make friends. Guys however..."

***

After the girls had carried their boxes to the cafeteria for the staff to take away, Hailey announced a movie marathon until it was time to leave. There was not a lot to do until time to go right after nightfall. They would be traveling all night and most of the next day on a chartered bus and should arrive some time the next evening.

A few hours later Kelli found herself boarding a large bus in the dark. She carried her new gym bag and a small tackle box with her makeup, bracelets, earrings and other small stuff. She looked around to try to figure out where they were but there was nothing to see. They had come out of a nondescript glass and steel building in an office park filled with similar buildings. There were some evergreens screening a parking garage off to the right and she could just make out a McDonald's sign peeking between two of the buildings. It was the end of May and it was hot. This information narrowed her present location down to almost anyplace.

Once on the bus Hailey came down the aisle and gave each of them a bottle of water, a sedative and a sleep mask, then she returned to the front of the bus. Within twenty minutes all the girls were asleep and masked for the first part of the trip. The buss was then able to make it's way through the suburbs to the interstate. When they awoke the girls would not be able to do more than narrow down the location of the rehab facility and none of them would have a clue where the actual transformation happened.

The bus traveled for a few hours before stopping at a rest area where they changed drivers for the next leg of the trip. The sun was starting to rise as they passed St. Paul Minnesota. When Kelli woke up about an hour later she was able to view the outside world for the first time in months. It was relaxing to watch the farm fields go by. She had always enjoyed watching the scenery on long car trips. Soon Nicole woke up as well and she could make her way to the rest room. Kelli was stiff from the long trip even though she had slept through most of it. They would have a long boring day of riding but it was still seemed like an exciting change. Today was another turning point. This was her new start, and she couldn't wait to begin.



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