Vasquez's forearms almost seemed to ripple as she gripped the guard
rails. "F-fuuuck." She groaned, weathering the storm inside of her. No,
not only weathering. Now that she had braced herself instead of
around, she could see her body throbbing slowly bigger. Taller. Thicker.
Stronger. She ground her teeth panting, heaving breaths making her
sound like a monster. Her eyes darted up and down her body, brain
struggling to process what she was seeing as pain wracked her body. Her
knuckles were white, fingers gradually creeping along the metallic rail
more and more. Sweat
dripped from her chin. Every second felt like a minute until - suddenly -
Abruptly, like a puppet that had it's strings cut, an exhausted Vásquez dropped to the bed. Her chest was still rising and falling rapidly but now the machine beeped drowned her out. The inmate dragged ragged lungfuls of air in and out of her body as she sunk into the mattress. The beeping slowed and Vásquez eased her way up, looking down at her hands in the now too tight restraints. The pain she'd suffered had melted into a euphoric daze, her brain swimming in hormones. Gradually, she was coming back to reality. She blinked a few times, as if clearing the haze. Pulling on the tight restraints she listened to the leather cuffs creak audibly. "Wh-what the fuck." She said, confusion seeping out of her voice. She gave a harder yank and felt the bed shake, restraints whining. A sinister grin gradually stretched across her face. "Whoa." She exhaled.
Every one in the room was either strapped to a bed or rooted to the spot. "Vitals. Now." Smith commanded, a slight smile turning his thin lips upwards. "Then get some measurements."
Nurses and guards rushed back over, now bustling busily. The nurses jotted down notes and took the restraints off while the guards loomed there, ready to pin down the even larger latina if she became aggressive.
She didn't do anything malicious. In fact, she seemed more amazed by every tiny detail rather than angry. Vásquez swung her legs off of the bed, feet hitting the floor sooner and harder than expected. Everything felt off. She leaned forwards, shifting her weight to her feet and wobbling a little. Casting her gaze down, she furrowed her brow and blinked, staring at her feet. A particularly diminutive nurse approached her to give a helping hand. "Are you unsteady? Vertigo is one of the expected side effects." The nurse said, placing a hand on Vásquez's forearm. Jennifer couldn't shake the thought that she was about the same size as that nurse... She looked miniscule next to her with the inmate standing head and shoulders taller than her.
The question ignored entirely. "You are fucking tiny." Vásquez said instead, grin returning. "Tinier than before, anyway." The nurse shrank away as the guards stepped forwards. "Chill, chill." She held up her hands, palms out. Jennifer noticed the red marks on her wrists where the restraints had dug into her. "I was looking at my shoes. I ain't got vertigo." Vásquez elaborated.
Everyone looked down to see her toes very obviously bunched up at the end of her boots. She sat back onto the mattress and roughly pried the shoes off. Once done, there was a sigh of relief. Vásquez leaned back, flexing her toes in the white, standard issue socks.
Smith cleared his throat and the nurses ushered Vásquez to come over to an elaborate looking set of equipment.
As the latina passed Jennifer's bed she looked down at her, shooting a wink. The art thief's stomach plummeted. She felt sick. Vásquez looked fucking huge. No, she'd always been huge. She looked massive now. More imposing. Why, of all people, had the trial worked on her and no one else?
The first thing they asked was for Vásquez to step onto a very high tech scale. "We need accurate readings. Underwear only." Smith ordered.
This, for some reason, seemed to snap Amber awake. "What the fuck is going on here?" She asked, livid. Smith's head twisted as he locked his gaze to her. It was as if he'd forgotten the others had existed for a moment.
"Release them, but keep them under observation." He said to one of the guards. While most were preoccupied with guarding and observing the large latina, two guards undid the restraints on each inmate one at a time.
"No, fuck that. Tell me what the fuck you're testing!" Bellowed Amber, pulling on her restraints and kicking at the guards.
Jennifer, on the other hand, tried to tune out her struggle and watch Vásquez. She watched her untie the red overalls and shimmy them down her wider hips and thicker legs. She almost had to peel them off those oak like pillars. Lines and curves of muscle shifted as Vásquez bent forward to finally yank the overalls off. She reached up to the hem of her vest and began pulling it up.
Once again, Jennifer caught a glimpse of the skulls along her ribs. This time, however, she was too mesmerised by the knots of muscle dancing in her back to focus on the macabre symbols.
Vásquez unceremoniously dropped her clothes in a pile on the floor, and, in just her underwear, she stepped onto the scale. The scale took a moment to update. A taser crackled and the threat of it finally made Amber shut up. Jennifer craned her neck, trying to see the numbers. They'd all had their measurements and vitals recorded three weeks ago. She struggled to remember if she'd seen Vásquez's measurements when the nurses began to chatter.
"237lbs and 6'4." A nurse said.
"She grew three inches?!"
"Her weight has increased faster than expected too."
"It must be the added muscle mass."
"Do you think she has a genetic disposition to the serum?"
Vásquez's smirk grew as she listened to the nurses batting ideas back and forth. Jennifer flinched as a guard began to unbuckled the leather restraint. She'd had tunnel vision to the point where she hadn't seen him approach.
More words and medical terms were bounced around as Jennifer struggled to understand. But now the guard was talking to her. "Up. Now, inmate." She didn't argue.
The five remaining ladies were led out of the room, leaving the nurses to continue their examination. Jennifer did her best to glean any information she could but it was difficult.
A few minutes later the five inmates were randomly dispersed over the seats of a smaller waiting room. The guards stood by the door, silently. Jennifer and Trish made eye contact across the room. Although she was rattled, Trish seemed mostly held together. On the other hand, Jennifer was in a cold sweat. What were they a part of? What had happened to Vásquez? Would that happen to all of them? The questions swirled into a maelstrom in her mind as she leaned against the cheap plastic chair. On one hand she wouldn't mind being bigger but on the other... Vásquez had been losing her mind from the pain.
The tension in the room was palpable, similar thoughts running through each of their minds. Amber was hunched forwards, tapping her foot on the floor in a nervous tick. Eventually she exhaled hard, throwing her hands up. "No one is gonna say it? Fine. What the fuck was that?" Jennifer looked to the guards but they didn't move to stop the conversation from starting.
"No one fucking knows." Jessica growled. As a Niner, she was a member of a smaller gang. They were bikers. Drug runners and arms dealers. It seemed like they had a decent alliance with both the aryans and the nation, which meant they were relatively safe despite their small size. Jessica had a milky complexion and raven hair. Of all the ladies, she was the curviest, and on the stockier side.
"They might fucking know!" Amber barked back, gesturing to the two guards.
"I don't think that they do." Selina spoke softly. She was always quiet and reserved. That would be comforting from most people but Jennifer found it oddly unnerving. Quiet, soft spoken people don't usually run with cartels. Yet, that's exactly what Selina had been doing. Besides that, Jennifer didn't know much more about the 5'5 anomaly. "Did you see their faces when it happened?" She asked, accented words cutting through all the rage in the room. She pointed to one guard, "this one looked like he pissed himself."
"Fuck off." Grunted the guard from beneath his baseball cap. This one was called Jackson or something. The one who'd hit Vásquez on the way here.
pointed to the other guard, "and this one kept looking to Smith, like he was a lost puppy." The second guard didn't
say anything, instead just rolling his eyes. Jennifer couldn't remember his name.
"I-it's an experiment." Said a meek voice. Jennifer was surprised to realise it was her own. Selina, although soft spoken, sounded confident. Jennifer sounded like a scared mouse. She shrivelled in her seat as she became the main point of focus in the room.
"What?" Amber practically spat the word. Trish was subtly waving her hand at her neck, signalling to cut the chatter to Jennifer. It was too late though. "What did you just say?" Amber said, standing.
Jackson stepped forwards and Amber eased back into her seat, shooting daggers with her eyes.
"It's a medical trial. A-and it seems like it might have something to do with the military or something." Jennifer continued. Trish looked pissed.
"You think the fuckin' government has got something to do with this? We've got fuckin' rights! They can't fuckin' do this." Amber went into a rant.
Jessica scoffed, "yeah, right. Like we got fucking rights in here."
Amber span around, intentind to reply but, she didn't have a retort to that. "Fuck." She simply said. There was an itch under her skin though. Something in the back of her mind that was eating away at her. "What the fuck happened to Vásquez?"
"She.... Got bigger." Selina answered, shrugging.
"I fucking know that." Amber retorted. "But why her?"
"What's wrong? Worried your perfect genetics aren't so perfect?" Trish spoke for the first time, taunting Amber and her backwards ideology. She'd jutted her chin out and squared her shoulders. The tension in the room got hevaier. An almost static electricity was building up and threatening to spark. Amber whirled around and opened her mouth.
"Fuck you, n-" She didn't get to finish her slur. Trish's powerful legs had bunched up beneath her like a spring ready to explode. She launched herself across the room in a heartbeat. The first punch was dodged, but the second crunched home, flattening Amber's slender nose.
The guards lurched alive as blood sprayed down Amber's face and stained her already red clothes darker.
"You fucking bitch!" She roared, green eyes practically bursting from her skull. The two men wrestled the ladies apart while they punched and scratched at each other.
Selina was laughing to herself while Jessica tried to help restraining Amber. The niners always were a bridge between their respective gangs. Jennifer was glued to the chair. She'd been friends with Trish for only the three weeks they'd been a part of the trial. She'd never seen her fight. Trish always seemed friendly and jovial. Now her face was contorted in anger. She hoped that anger would never be directed at her.
Due to the fighting, the inmates were separated, confined to different rooms and left under observation.
Jennifer didn't know where the other ladies were being held, but this room looked a lot like the solitary confinement cells in a regular part of the penitentiary.
It was basically a concrete box with a steel door. Jennifer sat against the wall, alone with her thoughts. The dead bolt shifting prompted her upright. When the door finally opened for Jennifer it was Mr. Smith standing in the doorway. "Jennifer Kimper, how are you feeling?" He asked, strolling into the room.
She could feel the hairs on the back of her neck rise then. "F-fine, I guess."
"Good! Good." He was smiling but it felt alien on his face. "No odd side effects or anything?"
"Well, I didn't sprout 3 extra inches if that's what you mean."
Smith laughed. Maybe he faked one to make Jennifer feel more at ease. It had the opposite effect. "No, no. Nothing like that. Although, I must commend you for your eye for details." Shit. She wasn't supposed to have heard that. Jennifer felt her skin crawl and a fist close around her stomach. Great, she'd caught his attention for knowing too much. "Appetite changes, mood swings, headaches. More mundane things." He elaborated.
"Oh, no, nothing like that. I know some of the others have been eating more." She cast her mind back to watching Trish and Vásquez absolutely devouring food in the extra canteen time they were given. "Yeah, nothing like that for me." She admitted.
"That's fine. We're actually looking into tailoring your diet to compliment the study more after the break through we've made today."
There was a long pause. "Are you ever going to tell us the goal of the study?" She asked. His grey eyes locked to hers and Jennifer immediately wanted the ground to swallow her whole.
She was shocked when his smile returned and he answered. "Actually, yes, yes we will. When the time is right." Now that was surprisingly comforting. Or bullshit. It could be either, this man's poker face was etched in stone. "Well, if you do start experiencing any side effects, please do let us know. For now, you're free to go. Jackson will take you back to the group before you head to your cells.
Jackson, as if he were waiting on the other side of the door to hear his name, strode into the room straight away. He was 6'5 and lanky. A baseball cap was pulled down over his head almost constantly but Jennifer could see his hair was dark at the back. He said nothing as they walked back to medbay, where the rest of the ladies were waiting.
When they arrived, the room was somehow just as tense as the waiting room earlier. Selina and Vásquez were talking on one side of the room, sat on an examination bed.
Trish, Jessica and Amber were dotted around the room. Jessica staying tactically placed between them. Amber's pale skin had already started to turn a dark purple around her eyes. A white plaster was horizontally stuck across her nose.
"And then she broke her nose?" Vásquez bellowed before cackling. "Good shit, Trish." She punctuated that statement by up ending a protein shake to her lips and draining the last of it. Well, looks like protein shakes are a part of the diet Smith was talking about.
Amber was seething, arms crossed and expression dark. Yet, Jennifer was more interested in Vásquez right now. It was horrifying. Some cruel twist of fate giving the power house more power. Three inches might not sound like much but it was very noticeable. In fact, it just made reality seem warped around her. Jennifer's brain was struggling to keep up and comprehend the size change. But she needed to know more. Steeling her nerve, she walked over to Vásquez.
Trish's eyebrows rose as she watched the pixie like blonde walk into the metaphorical jaws of a predator. Vásquez and Selina stopped talking. "Yes?" Vásquez asked.
"D-did it hurt? Like.... A lot?"
Vásquez pouted, as if the question was moronic. Then turned to Selina. "Hey, Sel, have you ever seen this bitch talk before?"
"I have. She seems sharp." Selina shrugged. "You ever watch her when we're here? Always watching." She said, using her fingers to open her eyes wider. Considering Selina's almost lackadaisical attitude to most things, Jennifer was not expecting that response.
"Yeah. I've seen her watching." Vásquez said, a smirk forming on her lips as she side eyed the tiny woman. "It hurt. A lot." She finally said. The copper skinned woman pushed her weight up off of the examination bed, making the frame squeal in relief. It only took one mighty step forwards for her to close the gap to Jennifer. At 6'4, she was now over a full foot taller than the pale woman.
Jennifer had only been this close to her once before.
It had been her first week in the penitentiary. Vásquez wanted to use the phone while Jennifer was talking to her lawyer. She'd pushed her against the wall and driven a fist into her back around the kidneys. When Jennifer had turned around she was eye level with the monster's chin. Her mind flashed back to that moment. Now her eyes were around her collarbone, melon sized breasts hovered right below her chin. Three extra inches shouldn't have made Jennifer feel this small but it did. The towering latina was like a mountain eclipsing the light behind her. Vásquez leaned in, bending at the hip to bring her eye level down. Even like this Jennifer has to crane her neck back. "I like the result though, don't you?" Vásquez sneered, face only inches from Jennifer.
"I think that she likes you!" Selina chimed happily from over the titan's shoulder to Jennifer. It was an insane notion. She was just humiliating her, right? Then again, if she'd approached her like this three weeks ago, before the trial had started, she might have been swallowing her own teeth. Maybe this trial had created a bond between the six women.... Maybe.
When Jennifer didn't answer, Vásquez straightened up. She curled her arm, flexing a monstrous bicep. "Come on, you don't think it's a good look?" Mentally, Jennifer couldn't help comparing that slab of meat to her own. Not only did it make her arm look like an emancipated twig, it might even make her calf look skinny.
"I-I guess so." Jennifer replied after audibly swallowing a mouthful of saliva. Vásquez planted her hands on her hips and thrust her chest out pridefully. She must have been given new clothes by the team running the experiment, but, from the fact that her nipples were quite clearly tenting the fabric of her vest, they hadn't had a bra her size.
Were they bigger? Like, proportionally? It was difficult not to state, but the thoughts plagues Jennifer.
"Fuck off now, blondie." Vásquez said, not going back to her seat until The blonde had backed away. She made a beeline straight to Trish.
Who was silently judging her. She shook her head side to side, "girl, you are crazy."
"Least I didn't break a psycho's nose." She hissed back.
"A racist psycho. She had it coming." Trish shrugged. "So what was your brave, little interview about?"
"Just.... Preparing for the next few weeks." Jennifer said, a twinge of excitement running through her. "I have a feeling there's going to be some big changes."