"Thank you for the help over the last few weeks, Max," Mara said. "I think we're ready to wrap this up."
"No problem," Max said. "It wasn't too bad. And like I said, I want to know too."
"I didn't forget," Mara said, exchanging a look with Linda. She seemed serious, grim even. Linda pursed her lips and nodded, a little reluctantly.
In the end they had asked Max to help them with their research - for all his actions, he was one of the few students she trusted to be at least somewhat mature about this. He'd agreed to help for free and his only condition had been to be told the results. Mara had been running tests on him for weeks, and they'd be forced to break for the holidays next week. If she was going to cut him off, now was the time.
She tilted her head back to regard the prodigious teen, who looked right back at her. His presence filled the room. Mara had been measuring him every day, so Linda knew that today he was 239cm tall - tall enough that he could now reach up and touch a basketball hoop without jumping, much taller than his brother Joe had ever been. He was a little bent, since the ceiling in her office wasn't high enough for him, but was bearing the discomfort stoically. His oversized body radiated heat, and she could smell his musk from anywhere in the office.
She, on the other hand, was still crushing. She was now shorter than Mara, and she barely cleared Max's hips.
It still surprised Linda, how little Max scared her despite their size difference. His presence was more comforting than anything else. Her instincts told her to trust him.
"Alright," Mara said once Linda failed to say anything more. "My discoveries are... worrying. There seems to be a... mutation."
"Of what? What does that mean?" Gerard asked. He was lounging by the corner, looking as relaxed as Linda felt.
"Of the crusher virus," Mara said. "Max here has it, and others in your school besides. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the students and staff had it by now."
"Wait a second," Max said, looking confused. "What are you saying? I'm a crusher?"
"Not really. Not *technically*. But a strain of the virus is active in your body."
Linda waved her hand in irritation. "What does this mutation do?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Mara said. "It does the opposite. It stimulates the body, changes it at every level, causing it to grow beyond normal proportions instead of shrinking it."
"It makes people who have a crush grow bigger?" Linda asked. That didn't seem to add up.
"No, no," Mara said impatiently. "Confident people, I think. People who have received the adulation of others, who believe in their own worth as absolutely as a crusher believes in someone else's."
"Why are you worried?" Max interjected, a small smile playing on his face. "Is it dangerous? Could I die?"
"Die? No! It's the opposite, really. Your body is in overdrive producing new cells. There are no means... no *ethical* means, that is... to ascertain this just yet, but I suspect that if you get hurt you will heal much faster than usual. If you exercise you'll bulk up faster, if you use your head you'll get smarter faster, that sort of thing-"
"It's not great. I'll have to report this to my superiors. The government may come and try to snatch you for military research, or something." Mara said it as if she was commenting on the weather.
"OK, yeah, that's not so great."
"There's one thing I don't get," Gerard said. "If this is a strain of the crusher virus, shouldn't it be, like, spreading faster? Why does it seem contained to this school?"
"It's probably spreading beyond this school already, Ger," Mara said. "But your question has an easy answer: The new strain isn't magic. It's boosting the body's natural growth, which is only possible while the infected is still growing. The original virus only activates after the onset of puberty, so there's a time limit of only a few years, until infected is 16 to 18 years old. As long as the school year is going and your students spend most of their time at school contagion outside will be slow. But we need to prepare for a new epidemic sooner or later."
"Sorry, but what happens after the time limit?" Linda asked. "Do they go back to normal?"
"It depends on what you mean by normal. Everything seems to indicate they'll stop getting bigger, but otherwise move on with their lives."
"You mean... They might keep growing until they're adults and they'll *stay* like that," Linda whispered.
"Yes. We can prevent new infections if we ever find a vaccine for the virus, but that will do nothing for current infected. If we find an antiviral that can clear the infection *and* infect them with the regular strain of the virus, and they become crushers, they could shrink. Otherwise they'll just be... huge, healthy, smart people."
Mara thought for a moment, frowning, then shrugged. "I suppose... They might not necessarily end up classified as homo sapiens sapiens. We might be witnessing the birth of a new, superior species. Isn't that exciting?"
"Hey, guys, shut up and listen," Max said, approaching during lunch break. "I have some good news."
"What? Is there a fire and we can go home for the day?" Barb asked. "Those chairs we have to sit on are killing me. And fuck this snow."
Billie sat with them, as usual, though they were starting to scare even her - or so she told herself. Barb had finally overtaken Max in height by a few cm. Her ever-present black garments now showed even more of her beautiful skin. The little slaves who lived most of their time squeezed against her breasts wouldn't have been as noticeable as they once were... Unless you were like Billie, and when you stood next to Barbara you had to look up at them. It's not like Billie had grown - she had! 10 whole centimetres this school year! But that wasn't nearly enough. She was the smallest in the group, including Tracy and the one other girl Barb had since helped become a dominator.
Max sat on the bench beside her. "Listen. You know the tests I've been helping Mrs. Boyd with?"
"The lab rat stuff?" Barb asked. "I told you not to do them. You could have snitched on them and made a killing in settlements."
"You'll be glad I did. Turns out we're a new, superior species."
Barb's eyebrows shot up. "What do you mean?"
"Their words. Dominators like us get special powers from a new virus. Strength, smarts, healing at least. Maybe more, and it can't be reversed." Billie's eyes strayed to his obvious erection even as he took Tyler from his pocket. The tiny's body was lost in the palm of his huge hand. "Did you hear all that, toy?" he said. "I really am a god."
"Yes, owner," Tyler said, his face scarlet. "The bigger and more powerful you grow, the more I want to be yours forever."
"Playing with the tiny during school?" Sammy asked, arriving with Bea and Reina. He squinted. "Nope. Still can barely seem him."
He was firmly the biggest of them now, almost a head taller than Barb - more than two and a half metres in Billie's estimation - and his growth showed no signs of slowing down. His Extras were only knee-height this week. Currently all of his clothing was too small for him, so when Barb stood she couldn't take her eyes off his exposed belly button, right in front of her.
"Thanks," Sammy said, caressing her hair and taking her seat without a second thought. He picked up Bea and Reina and sat them on either thigh.
"Max was just saying the adults think we're a new super species," Barb said.
Sammy laughed. "What do you think, Bea?"
"Makes sense," Bea said, changing her position to get a better look at his face. "You were always too good for a human." Sammy ate it up, as always. He bent down and poked his tongue out of his mouth for Bea to kiss. "You deserve to be in charge of us puny humans, my angel." Billie had never seen a dominator so besotted by his Extra.
"How many dominators like us are there, I wonder?" Max asked. "I mean, real Dominators, with the powers." He looked around the others but no one answered - no one seemed to know the answer.
"Thirty three," Billie suddenly blurted.
Everyone turned to look at her, and for a moment no one said anything. Tracy had an incredulous look plastered on her face.
"Ten freshmen so far," she continued. "Fourteen sophomores, including you three. Seven juniors including your friend Fred. Two seniors."
"How can you tell?" Barb asked.
"They're the freakishly... The, uh... The ones bigger than... Regular humans."
"You've been keeping your eyes open."
"If we're a superspecies, we should organize," Max said, swinging his leg idly. "They'll try to control us. Mara even mentioned the military. I don't want to work for them. I'm better than them." He looked around. "We all are."
"I've been noticing that," Sammy said. "Everyone looks more and more like a crusher to me these days. What's the difference, anyway? They all roll over for us when we want them to."
Fred ambushed her on her way back from the restroom. There was no one around; he never bothered to chase Linda in public anymore. He waited for her in the quiet hallways of the administrative building. He hadn't tried touching her again; for a few weeks he had seemed content to watch her shrink into an obvious crusher. All he had to do was make sure *she* saw *him*.
He wasn't as tall as his younger friends, and now Linda knew why - he was older, nearing the end of his eligible age. But he *was* still growing, and she *was* shrinking, and now her face was level with his abdomen; his own chiseled features looked down on her as she passed very close, making no effort to avoid him. He radiated heat, like the other larger students. She wished she could see his abs, but he was wearing a warm coat. She could guess from his bulky arms, though, that he could break her like a twig.
"Hi, Linda," the little Extra in his hair said.
She slowed down. "...hi," she said. "Uh..."
"His name's Rory," Fred said. "You should remember that sort of thing."
"Right. Rory. I'll remember," Linda said.
"Because you're as good as mine too." He raised a hand when she turned to deny it. "Come on, I'm not an idiot, and neither are you. You're crushing. You know you can't escape."
Linda covered her face with a hand. "Why are you putting so much effort into this?"
"'cause I want you, of course. All good things take effort." He flexed, although she could see nothing through the thick coat. "I've been working out every day all year because I wanted to be strong. I understand effort, Linda."
"I'm just an old woman, and you're my student."
Fred snorted. "You're a fierce woman, and I'm your *master*." A hand went up to his hair and he stroked Rory with a finger. "This asshole used to think he could control me. You're the same, *principal*. Both of you were worthy of being trained."
"T- Trained?" Linda asked.
"Later, once you're my Extra. If you were a dominator I'd fight you. You're not, so I'll train you. But for now... I want a kiss." He opened his arms wide and looked at her expectantly.
Linda opened and closed her mouth, unsure of what to say. Fred was still standing against the side of the hallway, leaving the way open for her to run if she wanted to. There were teachers working behind some of the doors; she could call for help. She could, she *should* get this troublesome student expelled. She should have done it three months ago.
Starting, she realized she had stepped closer to him. She was already in his arms. Despite her bulk he picked her up as if she weighed nothing, pulling her face closer to his. Their mouths met, and this time she made no effort to break up. She wanted him so much. She had it bad. She had it bad, and there was no way out.
When he broke the kiss his smile was victorious. "Well done!" he said. "I knew you could do it."
"You won't get away with this," she said automatically.
"Yeah, that's it. Threaten me some more!" he said, increasing the strength of his grip. She didn't reply.
"No more threats? Are you horny? Do you want me to finger you?"
"No!" she said, alarm spiking through her. "No. Please put me down."
"You realize you just kissed a student in the hallway of the admin building? Naughty, naughty Principal Boyd." He set her down, and now she was a child again, a shrunken freak in comparison to this beautiful young man.
She tensed to bolt, an undignified retreat in her own turf, but something stopped her. "Are... are you done? Can I go now?" she asked.
Fred touched a finger to his mouth. "I dunno... Do you want to give me a blowjob instead? I'm kind of hard."
"No..." she whispered. Didn't she?
"Aww, ok. I'll ask again tomorrow, in case you changed your mind. Look at how hard I am," Fred said, unzipping his pants. His cock slipped out, straight and stiff. Linda's eyes were drawn to it as iron to a magnet. "Do you like it?" he asked. "Put your hand on it."
He voiced it like a command, and before she knew it her hand was on his penis. He *was* hard. The hot organ throbbed gently under her hand. She hadn't touched a man's penis since the days of her failed marriage. It stank of a new smell, which was *his* smell.
She already loved this smell.
Her fearful eyes met his, and she wondered what came next. If he ordered her to have sex with him now, could she stop herself?
But he pulled away, shaking his pants around his cock and zipping them back up. "It's waiting for you," he said, turning away and leaving back the way she'd come. "It will have you very soon."