MAU: More Than Meets the Eye - Chapter 4

MAU: More Than Meets the Eye

by Sleethr

~o~O~o~

Greg dives into the deep end of the pool and comes up gasping for breath. Hector senses something amiss with his buddy Greg.

~o~O~o~

 

 


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents
are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copyright  © 2013 by R. Nelson aka Sleethr
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.



 

Chapter Note: I am more than a tad nervous about this chapter due to the sexual content. Light content, I hope, but it is there. So, if that is not your cup of tea, please skim past it.

Thanks Note: Again, thanks goes out to Elrod for his most excellent MAU universe and all MAU mistakes/transgressions are totally my fault. I am trying to keep this story as close to the MAU rules as possible, but I am afraid I may end up bending a few. Thanks also go out Beyogi, Landing and Grover for their sometimes real-time feedback and suggestions. Last but not least, djkauf for his magical editing.

~o~O~o~

 

<* Chapter 4 *>

Even as he placed his palm on the red paw print, Greg doubted his decision.  Did he really want to experiment like this? What if Hector was right and he got stuck?  Could he live the rest of his life as a woman?  “Bah, all those conspiracy sites are full of it!” He scoffed.

He placed his hand on the plate and began dreaming up his perfect woman.  He thought of Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow and her image in the black body suit appeared.  “Wow...” Greg whispered with appreciation while he debated his options.

He considered other female super heroes and movie stars and with each thought, the image of the woman materialized before him.  He rotated through ten other stars before he returned to Scarlett, but she sort of reminded him of his office crush, Michelle.  With that thought, Michelle, the new girl in HR, appeared in the holographic display wearing the tight little dress she wore a few weeks ago that barely conformed to dress code. Not that he, or any male with a heartbeat in the office were about to complain to HR. She worked in HR. She had to know the dress code rules better than they did.

He nodded and muttered as he considered his options. “Yeah, I could be her. She’s normal and yet, still hot. She wouldn’t get chased by paparazzi if I tried to go out as her.”  He laughed at himself for even worrying about something like that because if he did change into Michelle, there was absolutely no way he would even consider leaving the house looking like her.  He decided to play with her image a bit. He made her a few inches taller, maybe 5’ 11” instead of 5’ 8” and then, he switched out her office dress for Black Widow’s costume. Finally, he changed her long black hair to a deep, rich red hair, matched with brilliant green eyes instead of her pretty hazel eyes.

Greg almost drew a blank about what Black Widow’s powers were until he remembered that her origin story stated she had been given the Soviet equivalent of the Captain America super soldier serum. She was strong, agile, fast and tough, but not super at any of those.  Merely at the highest level possible for a human female without looking like a female bodybuilder, which was still plenty good considering her success as a hero or sort-of villain, depending on when she was written.  She was also an expert in martial arts, firearms and gymnastics.

While skin-tight, her costume was bulletproof, had a black widow stylized belt buckle and a thigh pistol holster with some additional spy gadgets, but he drew a blank on what those gadgets might be. Maybe some listening devices and hidden knives or something?  Satisfied with his dream woman, he removed his palm and the hologram froze.  The next step proved to be the hardest. He paced back and forth for a few minutes as a mulled over his crazy idea.

Was it really that crazy of an idea?  How many times could a man know what it was like to be a woman? Not just dress up as a woman and look silly, but be a fully functioning and completely real woman. None.  Well, it was possible, but it took some surgery where they cut off your penis and somehow made a vagina out of it. It sounded pretty damn painful. Oh yeah, and they had you take hormones to make you grow boobs.  Even then, unless you got lucky in the genetic lottery, you would still look like a man pretending to be a woman. Yeah, that did not sound at all like fun and it was not something a man could just go out and try one weekend.

The sex was the other part Greg felt curious about. The whole multiple orgasm thing made him sometimes feel a little jealous. Especially when his last girlfriend made it look and sound so enjoyable.  She once complained he had made her come three times and jokingly asked him if he was trying to kill her because it felt so good to have him inside her.

Greg shuddered a little at that reminder.  The idea of having some dudes dick in his vagina or pussy or whatever women called them gave him the creeps.  Still, Greg heard that cucumbers worked, but they didn’t have any, so that wasn’t an option. Besides, there was also some rumor about fruits and veggies causing infections up there and well, Greg didn’t want to have to worry about something gross like that.

Greg turned and addressed his dream woman Black Widow image. “Okay, so, I’ll just try it and if I don’t like it, I can just change back. Not a problem, right?”

Hector was asleep, so he didn’t have to worry about him making fun of him for purposely changing himself into a chick. Greg had an excuse the last time, but if he went through with this, what excuse would he have if Hector caught him?  “Fuck it, I’ll be The Black Widow, he won’t catch me!”

Before he could change his mind again, Greg slapped the purplish crystal to open the door, entered the machine and activated it.  The woman who confidently exited from the machine wearing the easily identifiable Black Widow costume oozed sex appeal and danger.

Greg wished he had a mirror to check himself out because he felt the difference in his body almost immediately.  The weight and movement of his long hair, his softer and plumper lips, the weight of his breasts held comfortably, yet firmly in place by his costume, the open feeling between his legs and the way his butt shifted from side to side due to his wider hips all told him that he was one sexy woman.  Aside from all the extra stimuli he was receiving from his new parts, his body felt incredibly fit and strong, but not bulky strong like his enhanced male body felt.  He also felt more flexible and as a test, he easily bent at the waist, touching both hands on the floor, palms down without effort.

He felt his breasts pressed against his black clad thighs while he felt and saw his long red hair hanging down, pooling on the garage floor. With his palms flat on the floor, he lifted his legs up to a handstand position and then, with perfect control, slowly lowered his legs into a scissor position. Amazed at his newfound flexibility and control, he slowly bent his back while reaching for the ground with his back leg. When his toes touched the floor, he continued the motion by smoothly walking over and using his other leg’s momentum to bring him back into a standing position, causing his long red hair to fall into place against his back.  “Wow, this is almost too crazy...” He spoke more to hear what his voice sounded like than the need to verbalize his thoughts.

His voice sounded like Michelle’s voice, but somehow different due to a slight Russian accent. “Geez, even my voice sounds, well, sexy.” Greg said as he twisted around in an attempt to look at his ass and from what he could see, he thought his ass looked spectacular.  If he had seen a woman walking down the street looking like he looked right now, he probably would have crashed his car or walked into a light post due to staring at her instead of watching where he was going.

“Okay, I have a mirror in my room. I will have to sneak past Hector’s room so I can check myself out.  Not a problem, he should be asleep by now and I am The Black Widow. Sneaking is my middle name, or something.”  Greg smirked as he thought about what Hector might say if he did catch him because he knew his friend had a weakness for redheads, but whatever he said, it would probably be in Spanish due to shock.

He slipped into his room without making a sound.  His reflexes seemed to be pretty good, maybe even as good as they were as Spiderman.  With his door safely closed and locked behind him, Greg turned on his light and studied his reflection in the large mirror attached to his dresser.

“Wow...” He softly whispered.  If he thought the holographic image looked hot, the live image of her looking back at him with shock and amazement written on her angelically beautiful face looked even better.   He reached up and cupped his breasts with gloved hands, feeling both the soft, yet firm weight in his hands as well as the bulletproof layer of costume protecting his new assets from harm.

A jolt hit Greg deep in his gut. It reminded Greg of the slight falling sensation you get when you go over a small dip in the road. It caused his heart to skip a beat or two and his breath to catch in his throat.  He found himself focused, 100%, on the beautiful woman in the mirror and his thoughts seemed a little disconnected from reality.

Greg stripped off his gloves and unzipped his top until the zipper was blocked by his belt.  That allowed him to peel off his top, exposing his entire upper body to the slightly cool air.  His nipples immediately responded by standing on end and he found that even more sexy and appealing. He felt the blood rush to his face and somehow, even though the cool air was now hitting his upper body, the room felt slightly warmer. With his eyes laser focused on the woman in the mirror, he saw her lips part as she tried to catch her breath.  He realized it was him and he forced himself to take another breath, but it came out shaky instead. So, he worked in simply trying to slow his breathing, but his hands were pretty much on auto-pilot and seemed to have a mind of their own as he felt himself gently rubbing his breasts. His nipples felt so sensitive. Curious, he gently squeezed one of his nipples.

He felt another jolt, a larger jolt hit him in his gut this time. Not the gentle little micro-fall sensation. Oh, no, this was more like topping the crest of a hill going way too fast and getting that ‘oh boy...’ weightless sensation before your car settles.

He felt a deep throbbing pulse from deep inside his body, centered in the delta between his legs. It did not feel at all like the hard, throbbing sensation of an erection. No, it felt softer, warmer and much more subtle.  The feeling caused him to turn away from the mirror and sit down on the foot of his bed so he could press his thighs tightly together in an effort to keep whatever ‘it’ was that he was feeling, inside.

He turned his head back to view the woman who now sat on his bed. The confusion of feelings, sensations and images from the mirror made feel a little overwhelmed and he began to question his idea.  Still feeling incredibly shaky and confused, he reached down and attempted to zip his costume back up before he went too far. He managed to get one arm back into the costume and the zipper up to just below his breasts before he slowed down enough to think rationally, or irrationally depending on how he looked at it.  “It did feel kind of nice and I always wondered what it felt like for a woman to have her nipples touched...”

The pulsing sensation had just started to fade when, against his better judgement, he returned to caressing his own body.  The throbbing sensation quickly returned, but hit him full force this time causing his legs to part as he thrust his chest forward in an effort to push his breasts into his own hands. He felt himself panting now and it felt like his heart was beating much too fast. His groin quickly began to feel like he was wearing too much clothing and his toes curl up inside his boots. “Oh man...”

He briefly considered turning off his lights for a bit of extra privacy, but when he glanced over at the light switch; it seemed so far away. He caught another glimpse of the woman in the mirror. She looked so sexy sitting on his bed with her outfit half off and an euphoric half smile on her face. His crotch felt so warm, so hot, tingly and wet. He had to get the rest of her clothes off, but his boots had to come off first.

He bent down to unbuckle his boots and the sensation of his breasts pressed against his thighs coupled with his long red hair hanging down only increased the heat between his legs. He turned his head sideways to look at the mirror and the sight of the half naked woman with flaming red hair caused him to wince as another jolt lanced through his body.  He practically ripped the boots off his feet.

Once his boots were off, he placed both his hands down the front of her skin tight outfit. Absently licking his lips with anticipation,  he slowly, lowered his hands into the furnace between his legs. He felt so wet.

His pants had to come off, and come off now.  They were just too hot and restrictive. His body needed air to cool down.  Using his hands like levers, he peeled, pushed and jumped around a few times to shimmy his way out of the costume. With the costume off, a sense of relief came over him, but a new urgency asserted itself. He had to turn the lights off.

He slapped the switch off and returned to his perch at the foot of his bed. It felt so good to get the costume off, but he still felt too warm.  He opened his thighs wide to allow the air to help cool him down, but the cool air against his warm groin only made him feel empty, so achingly empty. As one hand returned to caressing his chest, the other cupped the panty covered warmth between his legs. He was completely on autopilot now and every touch, every caress only drove him closer and closer to the edge.

Now his panties were getting in the way and the felt so insanely warm. He looked down and noticed that his panties had a black widow symbol printed on the outside.  He giggled at the implied warning, but they had to come off.  They were simply too warm and wet to leave on.  Without his panties in the way, he began rubbing again, except this time, there was nothing to get in the way.

He hesitated when what felt like a thousand volt electric charge raced up his spine, but it felt so good, he slowly continued. “Oh, my god...” Greg softly moaned as the initial jolt slowly subsided replaced by the feeling of being filled and wanting more. It felt wrong, but it hinted at things to come and he wasn’t about to stop. It took every ounce of self control to not scream at the top of his lungs when only five minutes later, the first toe curling orgasm rocked his body.  He didn’t care by the third, but he thought his pillow did a good job of muffling his cry.

It took almost five minutes of bonelessly lying, naked on the top of his bed with his toes lazily brushing against the carpet of his floor and feeling very pleased with himself before he could dredge up the energy to sit up.  “Wow, that felt...” He didn’t dare complete the thought because to do so would be akin to committing treason.  He was a man and damn proud of it, but still, he was forced to admit, it did feel good and maybe even better than having sex as a man.

He softly giggled at that thought because his body still tingled with a mild euphoric undertone from his last orgasm. So, that is what women mean when they refer to an ‘afterglow’?  He had to change back and change back now, before he decided he didn’t want to because if it felt that good using only his fingers, what would it feel like with something bigger, or a man?

The concept alarmed him so much, he didn’t bother trying to shimmy back into the skin tight costume. It felt like a second skin coming off and he doubted he could get it back on without a lot of swearing, baby powder and gymnastics. So, he simply snuck down the hall, completely naked, peering intently at the door to Hector’s room, as he fervently prayed he didn’t accidently wake Hector with his last orgasm because he wouldn’t hear the end of it if Hector caught him ‘exploring’ the other side of the gender fence.

~o~O~o~

Despite his love of Wolverine, Hector thought Greg’s first Spiderman was pretty good. There was just something about the exoskeleton that made Greg look more badass and cool.  It was also a little creepy to look at and it made him wonder why Greg seemed to get all the strange changes. Well, two thus far, but it was still kind of funny. Especially when Greg turned himself into that Avatar chick. Wow, she was big and she was really hot.  He felt his dick start to get hard with that thought, but was able to stop it before it became embarrassing by reminding himself it was Greg.  That reminder did the trick.

He chuckled at that thought while he performed his nightly bedtime ritual of brushing his teeth and gargling.  The floor in the bathroom creaked a little more than normal and his feet sounded a little heavier, but everything still felt the same.  He knew he had metal infused bones like Wolverine, but he couldn’t recall Wolverine ever complaining about the weight.  He did recall an issue where Wolverine had trouble at the airport though. “Hmm, that could be a problem...”

He decided to weigh himself using the bathroom scale and was shocked when the LED display of his special professional fitness quality scale locked in at 370 lbs. His adamantium skeleton, or whatever metal the machine used had caused him to gain 140 lbs! “Wow! That’s weird because I don’t feel that heavy.”

Hector tried stepping off, then back on the scale to confirm it wasn’t broken. It wasn’t because it continued to read 370, but once 369 he stepped on it three times in a row.  “Okay, I guess I am a little heavier than I used to be...”

He noticed the door to the garage was still closed, but the light shone through underneath it.  “I guess Greg is going to play with it for a little bit. Oh well...” He shrugged and entered his room, closing the door behind him.  It took him a little bit longer to fall asleep than usual due the excitement he still felt and by the fact his mattress felt a little softer and lumpier than he remembered, but that could also be due to his increased weight.

A change in the usual sounds of the house woke Hector. He glanced over at his clock and discovered it was only 1am. At first, he wasn’t sure what woke him, but then, he heard the faint and muffled sound of a woman moaning with pleasure. If it wasn’t for the machine, he would have assumed Greg was watching a porno and accidently had the volume up too high, but he had a better idea about where the sound came from and who made the sound.

He debated trying to sneak a peek at Greg, if only to see what he looked like, but he didn’t want to feel like a Peeping Tom and he was reluctantly forced to admit that Greg might be onto something by changing into a chick.  It would be excellent intel on how to better attract and pleasure a woman if a man could feel what she felt.  Not that he would ever admit that to Greg.  He had a tough guy image to uphold and he felt pretty confident about his skills in the sack.  Except for his first time, he was certain all of his lovers had been pleased by his performance and stamina.

He heard Greg’s door open and someone pad almost silently past his door, heading toward the garage.  His hearing seemed a little sharper than he remembered; otherwise he might not have heard the sound at all. Again, he debated busting Greg, but decided against it.  It would only embarrass his friend. He waited until he heard the door to the garage close before he moved. Rising from his bed, he softly crept over to his door, cringing with each step since his weight cased the floor to shift slightly beneath his feet.

Opening his door, Hector poked his head out and his nose was immediately assaulted with the unmistakable, slightly musky scent of a sexually aroused woman. In addition to his hearing, his nose had to be more sensitive now because he had only smelled that scent from extremely close range before, much to the delight of his partner at the time.  The taste wasn’t too bad either.

He smiled with satisfaction. Yeah, he might have to give Greg some shit tomorrow, but for now, he simply closed his door, returned to his bed, rolled over and drifted back to dreamland within only a few breaths.

Hector’s alarm clock dutifully woke him at 5am and unexpectedly bit the bucket when he accidentally slapped the snooze button too hard, cracking the tough plastic casing. It stopped the alarm from ringing, but he had wanted to snooze for another 10 minutes. Disgusted with himself, Hector rolled out of his bed.

He threw on some sweatpants and inspected the garage. Yep, the alien machine was still there. He absently rubbed the stubble on his jaw as he considered what might happen if someone saw it sitting in the middle of the garage. “Hmm, might have to see if we can make it shrink itself down again...”

On his way to the bathroom, Hector paused outside of Greg’s room as he debated waking Greg up to ask him if he knew how to get the machine to shrink again. He grinned when he remembered what he heard his friend doing last night. “Maybe I will let him sleep...he’s probably a little tuckered out.” With that thought, he shrugged his shoulders and continued with his morning ritual of taking a nice, hot shower, followed with a shave and finally, a shit because it sucked to use a porta-potty on site.  Those things could become rather odiferous after a few days of use.

He followed that up with a healthy breakfast before packing a lunch. Construction pay was good, but not good enough to allow him to eat out every day. Plus, fast food would play hell with his waistline and muscle tone, but with his Wolverine fixes, maybe he wouldn’t have to worry as much about that now.  Wolverine never seemed to worry about it anyway.

Before he left, Hector wrote a note for Greg asking him if he could find a way to store the eggs to prevent them from being broken.  He figured Greg would know what he meant.  He was right because he received a text from Greg at 9am that said, “Got the eggs fixed. Put your dirty pants in the hamper.”

Hector felt kind of like a secret agent with the coded messages, but with all the conspiracy theories out there, it didn’t hurt to be at least a little careful. Not that he actually expected anything to happen, but ya never know.  “TY” He replied.

Except for a small accident that could have ended his day with a broken foot, his day at the ‘office’ went pretty much like any other day. He was working with and supervising a small crew working on laying down some rebar reinforcements when a 200 lb welding tank fell on his foot.  It wasn’t his man’s fault. The strap broke. It still hurt like a son of a bitch and he was sure it would have smashed his foot flat the day before, but the pain stopped after only 10 or 20 seconds and everyone who witnessed the accident assumed it had only been a glancing blow.  Fortunately, he always kept a spare pair of socks in his truck and was able to swap out his bloodstained pair for a fresh pair without anyone noticing.  Since the tank had fallen and could have injured someone, he still had to waste 15 minutes filling out an accident report though.

Hector stopped and visited his Mom on the way home. He was glad he did because she had a fresh batch of chicken mole and homemade corn tortillas for him to take home.  He and Greg were going to eat well tonight!  Even with the short visit, he still beat Greg home by half an hour.  Greg normally got done with work at 5:30pm and with traffic, was home by 6:15, usually.  Hector was actually a little surprised Greg didn’t call in sick and stay home to play with the machine, but he chuckled when he figured Greg got some of his curiosity off his chest last night.

The machine was exactly where Greg said it would be. Hidden in the dirty clothes hamper, but he decided to leave it alone.  He did not have any person or thing he wanted to try transforming into.  He was pretty happy with his current results and didn’t see the need to fix something that wasn’t broken.  Still, he was forced to admit to himself that he was mildly curious if the grass was greener on the other side of the fence, but with only 30 minutes, or less, before Greg was due to arrive home and he did not want to take the chance of being caught by him.

Instead, he put the chicken in the oven to keep warm and took his second shower of the day to wash off all the construction dirt.  He also rinsed the blood out of the inside of his boot and put it next to the heater vent to let it dry overnight.

~o~O~o~

Greg’s mind was a million miles away as he robotically prepared for work. Last night was, incredible, crazy and scary all at the same time. If it wasn’t for the Black Widow costume and black thong panties he picked up off his floor, carefully folded and hid in the back of his closet, he might be able to claim he dreamed it all.  His Spiderman costume, complete with the impossible wall crawling gloves and boots, he also neatly folded and put away. Except, he placed that costume in his dresser. He didn’t feel the need to hide it or feel ashamed by having it.  He debated tossing the Black Widow costume, but if he did that, Hector might see it in the trash and realize what he had done.

While he fixed himself a bowl of Raisin Bran, Greg found the note Hector left for him and at first, it puzzled him. Eggs?  “Oh, the MAU!  Yeah, that makes sense...”  He figured there had to be a way to collapse the device again. After all, it would be very hard for the aliens to move it and hide it if it stayed phone booth sized.  Getting the device to collapse back to its original briefcase size proved easy as a thought. He simply touched the red paw print and thought about it collapsing for storage.

“Amazing...” Greg bent down, picked the device up and carried it into the house.  He needed someplace to hide it, but where?  He needed a place no thief or secret government agent would think to look. The freezer would be good, but it was too large to hide it behind a bag of frozen peas.  He could stick it next to his PC; maybe make it look like a monitor stand or another PC case.

He walked past the laundry room twice before he thought of the dirty clothes hamper.  “Perfect!  No one would ever look for something like this in the laundry basket!”  He dumped out half of Hector’s dirty construction clothes, placed the device inside the basket and buried it, careful to make sure nothing showed to betray its hiding place to a casual observer.

Mission complete, he debated sending Hector a text, but he was running a little late.  He decided to send it once he made it to his office.  His drive into work was uneventful and even the rude drivers who seemed to enjoy going out of the way to be pricks and cut him off could not upset him like they normally would.  First of all, his spider sense power prevented the pricks surprising him and second, his mind refused to forget what he experienced as a woman last night.

Instead of his preferred 10 to 15 minutes early, he made it to his office with a scant two minutes to spare.  His co-workers were starting to get worried about him since he usually got the coffee started for the rest of the office.  “Yeah, sorry I was almost late. I, umm, stayed up late last night watching a movie.”  Greg said to Tom, his co-worker and only other male in their 10 person department as he poured himself a cup of coffee.  His boss, Mr. Holmes, as he preferred to be addressed, was a male, but he didn’t count as a co-worker. The rest were all females and a few of them were actually attractive and single, but both he and his co-workers had an informal no-dating members in the same department rule.

The horror stories regarding the last inter-office romance were legendary, especially when the IT guy shut down the network when his IT co-worker dumped him.  It was a shame they both got fired though, because she was pretty in a geek girl next door kind of way and that made Greg feel like they may have shared some common ground. She was also always willing to help out when he or one of his co-workers needed help with their PC’s.  Greg had also almost worked himself into asking her out before everything went to hell.

“Don’t worry about it dude, but Mr. Holmes was beginning to look a little upset by the fact your cube was empty when he arrived five minutes ago.”  Tom tried to pat Greg on his back, but his spider sense reactions kicked in and he dodged it without thinking or even realizing it.

Greg spotted Michelle, the object of his late night adventure to the Dark or Light side of the Force, depending on how he looked at it.  He couldn’t help smiling because seeing her brought back the memories from last night and instead of feeling deeply embarrassed, he felt uncharacteristically happy.  She was so beautiful and just seeing her laughing at something Kim, Mr. Holmes’ administrative assistant, said brightened his day.  Michelle was real and he still found her deeply attractive.  It was a relief to realize he wasn’t gay for doing what he had done last night.

Tom couldn’t help noticing Greg’s strange lack of response and the sappy smile plastered on Greg’s face.  He looked over and spotted the subject of Greg’s infatuation. At the same time she noticed the two of them and frowned. “Dude, she spotted you. Whoa, look at the time! I have some emails to reply to.”  Tom fled the scene as Michelle approached Greg.

“Oh, yeah, sure. See ya later Tom...” Greg glanced over to Tom without registering Tom’s warning or the fact that Michelle was making a beeline for him.

“Morning Greg, umm, you look unusually cheerful this morning...”

“What? Oh yeah, sorry Michelle.” Greg marveled at how easy he found it to speak to her because normally, he would have been reduced to a stammering fool by now.  “I was a little late, but seeing you laughing with Kim brightened my day. You’re so beaut-i-fullll...”  His brain finally caught up with what his mouth and combined that with the surprised and shocked expression beginning to form on Michelle’s face.  “I’m so sorry! Umm, I’ll just go crawl under my desk. Feel free to stop by and kick me a few times without anyone seeing you...”

“No...” Michelle tried to reach out and grab Greg’s hand, but his spider sense kicked in and he absently dodged. “Wait, Greg...”

Feeling like an idiot and fearing a sexual harassment claim that would end his employment; he reluctantly turned to face the music.  “I’m really sorry. I don’t know what came over me. It was unprofessional of me to say that to you and it won’t happen again.”

Michelle surprised him by laughing at him like he had just told an amusing joke versus the expected victorious and pissed “you’re going down in flames you sexist pig” laugh. “Oh, Greg, I’m sorry I laughed at you, but that is the sweetest thing anyone has said to me at this office. Thanks!”  She brightly smiled up at him while absently tucking a stray strand of her rich, raven black hair behind her ear before turning away with a spring in her step.

Greg was too stunned to do more than stare incomprehensibly at her as she walked away from him, heading back toward the HR department. “No problem...” He softly muttered and shook his head with confusion before he too, turned away and retreated to the safety of his cubicle.  He banged his head on his desk a few times in frustration before he realized something.  She knew his name.

He spent the couple of hours in even more of an autopilot worker daze as he ran some financial reports and cross checked some transactions. Not even Tom’s IM’s asking him how much trouble he was in with HR failed to illicit a more than a terse “None, I think...” response.  The IM reminded him that he needed to let Hector know where he hid the MAU.  He quickly thumbed a message on his cell phone that read,  “Got the eggs fixed. Put your dirty pants in the hamper.”

Greg received a reply almost instantly, “TY” and that made him decide to take his mind off the problem Michelle represented by performing some additional research on the MAU.

He knew that trying to find useful information on the device itself was pointless. He was more interested in finding out more about Wolverine, Spiderman and the Black Widow.  As he studied each superhero's powers and compared them with the results, he began to form a theory about what the MAU might actually be.

First, he tossed out all of the crazy conspiracy theories he read last night. A toy some aliens built to let people or other aliens play super dress-up?!?! Please, that had to be the stupidest theory of the bunch. No, he decided it was used to scout and study other alien civilizations because little green men or space suits were a little hard to hide.  Besides, what better way to do that than to disguise yourself as a member of the alien race you wished to study or invade?

He knew his three super heroes were a small sample size, but it appeared that the more a person using the device knew about the subject they wanted to disguise themselves as, the more accurate the disguise. His research into the Na’vi from Avatar added some weight to his hypothesis when he found out the Na’vi were completely hairless from the face down. Thus, the landing patch he witnessed and the lack of the “queue” mental telepathy tentatacle thing was based on his knowledge of the Na’vi at the time he used the machine.

The machine must have pulled what he knew of the make believe race of aliens and extrapolated that knowledge to create what Greg thought a female Na’vi would look like.  However; there also appeared to be some limitations.

Since it was not able to make him Spiderman strong without also changing his body to match what was possible in nature, the device probably would not be able to make him into Superman.  It could make him a super, man, just not the comic book, impossibly strong, man of steel Superman.  However; it was able to make Hector heal at an insanely fast rate and give him something that might be an adamantium skeleton and claws.

No one knew what adamantium was. It was a made up metal, but it did have defined properties that made the currently unobtanium metal theoretically possible. Just like a steel that wouldn’t rust was impossible before someone discovered how to make stainless steel; we just haven’t discovered it yet, but aliens capable of traveling faster than light must have some pretty incredible materials to use for their spaceships, right?

There were some animals that could quickly heal and even regenerate lost limbs, but nowhere as fast as the comic book Wolverine. So, why did it appear Hector now had that power?  Greg knew it wasn’t magic, but at the same time, any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Just use any MP3 player today as an example.  Take that same simple player back to even just one hundred years ago and people would think it was magic that such a tiny device could hold an entire orchestra inside of it.

Was it because it was theoretically possible to boost the human immune system to such levels of performance? Were there other alien animals or species who could heal that fast or could it be using nanotech to boost his healing?  Nanotech was just not getting started, but science fiction writers and theorists have been dreaming up uses for it for years. Seemingly magic uses when compared to what is possible today.

[ding!]

Greg’s train of thought was derailed by the new IM notification as a chat window sprang to life on his now, seemingly primitive LCD monitor.  It was an IM from Michelle?!?!

>Hey, I wanna try the new sushi place for lunch. Interested?

Greg stood up in his cubicle to look around and see if anyone was looking his way and maybe trying to punk him.  Nope, everything looked normal. No suspicious gatherings of people clustered around one cube trying to act inconspicuous.  Confused, he sat back down and hesitantly typed:

>Sure?

What if it really was Michelle? She must think he is a total dork for answering like that. He immediately added a hasty,

>That would be great...when?

>11:30 good?

>Yes

>Great! Meet ya in the lobby at 11:30. :-)

Wow, she even signed it with a smiley face.  Greg checked his new MAU Rolex and noticed it was already 11.  He glanced at his inbox. “Crap!”  He was way behind, but with a fire lit under his butt, he managed to get caught back up in time to make the 11:30 meeting. He still couldn’t believe it was really Michelle who asked him out to lunch.  Thus, he felt surprised to find her waiting for him in the lobby, alone.  That was another shock to his system because he expected her to be with at least, a few of her female co-workers.  Safety in numbers and all that female versus male friend logic.

The almost shy, yet happy, excited smile she gave him as he approached made his day. “Hey, thanks for the invite. Where is everyone else?”

Michelle’s eyes twinkled with mirth as a small giggle escaped her lips. “Oh, it’s just us. No one else likes sushi or they were too busy.”

Her admission further surprised Greg, but instead of making him nervous, it gave him another boost of confidence. It was just going to be the two of them. Very convenient if she planned on killing him for what he said earlier. He chuckled and grinned mischievously at Michelle. “Oh, I see. So, where do you plan to dump my body? I hear that the sewage canal a few miles away is a good spot.”

He laugh sounded like music to his ears.  Geez, she was even more intoxicatingly beautiful than he had made her to be last night.  Unlike him, she was real. “Oh, that’s too funny Greg! Come on, but do you wanna drive or shall I since I know where it is at, and it is harder for the driver to deal with a body...”

Greg felt a little unsure about who should drive. It was normally the man’s responsibility, but he didn’t feel the pressure to impress her like he normally would have. “Oh, in that case, by all means, you can drive. I’ll just huddle in the passenger seat ready to jump out at a moment’s notice.”

He knew she had a Jeep Wrangler and he had never given it more than a surface glance before, but it had a heavy duty winch in front, a reinforced roll cage, five point safety harnesses and even more surprising for a woman’s car, it was a manual.  The winch he could understand because it could have been a standard option, but the roll cage and safety harnesses were not. “Umm, Michelle?” He asked as he buckled himself into the passenger seat.

She started the motor and after quickly slapping the radio button to turn it off before it could start making noise, she turned to him. “Yeah?”

“I know I was kidding earlier, but should I be worried now?” Greg gestured to the harness and roll cage.

“Only if there was a trail nearby and I had the good wheels on my baby, why?” She replied with a smirk that told him she knew exactly why he was asking.

“Oh, no reason really, but how am I supposed to jump out now?”

“Yer not! Muh ha ha ha!” Instead of backing out of her parking spot and going around, she simply put it in first gear and drove over the curb and onto the main driveway in the office parking lot.

The suspension handled the curb with hardly a jolt.  She had to have a custom off-road suspension for it to do that. Greg laughed with delight. “Okay, even if you do dump my body in a ditch, this is officially the best kidnapping evah!”

“Yer pretty funny Greg, how come you always seemed so shy before?” Michelle asked as she expertly divided her attention between him and the road. “I mean, everyone in the office either treats me like I plan to steal their boyfriend or like I am some conquest to be made, but what you said this morning was so...”

“Dumb?” Greg interjected when she paused while hunting for what to say. There was no way Greg would or could admit the real reason why he suddenly felt so relaxed around her. He felt too ashamed and how could she possibly believe him if he told her the truth because the truth was actually kind of creepy when he thought about it.

“No! Silly, it was, honest and well, nice.” She smiled at him for a second before returning her full attention to the road.

“Oh, well, it was true. You are beautiful and I guess I never really thought about how it must be for you. I mean, I know that some of the other girls don’t like you, well, except for Kim. I know she likes you. She told me how you once complimented her about her eyes even though everyone else is sometimes a little mean to her about her weight.”

“Well, it’s true, Kim does have stunning eyes, don’t you agree?”

“Yeah, they are a rather stunning shade of gre...” Greg suddenly knew whose eyes he had modeled his Black Widow from.

“What?”

“Oh, sorry, I was just surprised because I didn’t realize until just now how beautiful her eyes are. I mean, I guess I knew, but I never really noticed...”

“Yep, well, here we are!  Sushi Dragon. I hear they make it to order, right in front of you and it’s even mostly affordable too!” Michelle giggled excitedly as she pulled into an open spot near the doors. She even set her parking brake instead of just leaving it in gear and letting the transmission do all the work.

While they ate, Greg could tell she was flirting with him and he with her, but he didn’t feel any pressure to get her in the sack. He wasn’t worried about what she thought of him or if he was doing or saying the exact right thing to accomplish that goal; he was just speaking with her as a friend who was genuinely interested in hearing what she had to say and learn more about her.  The more he heard and saw, the more he liked, but when she checked the time, he couldn’t help noticing the wallpaper on her iPhone.

It was a dude wearing the uniform of a NFL football player and he was, Greg was forced to admit, a ruggedly handsome man.  He had to be Michelle’s boyfriend because she was just too perfect a catch to be single.  Not even that discovery could bring him down though. He was enjoying the pleasure of her company and didn’t feel the need to get his nose all bent out of shape over something so obviously macho stupid.

Greg was actually going to ask her who the man was when his spider sense not only tingled, but screamed at him to move. Without thinking or stopping to try and figure out why, he grabbed Michelle and leapt away from their table.  She screamed with shock and surprise at first, but everyone in the restaurant joined her when barely half a second later, a car crashed through the window, smashing the table they had both just been sitting at before coming to a shuddering halt in the middle of the restaurant when the clearly panicked and shocked driver finally brought his car to a stop.

“Oh my god! I thought I was hitting the brakes!”  He screamed, staggering out of his car, clearly horrified at the damage and possible injuries he may have caused.

Fortunately, their table was the only table the man’s car smashed into and no one else was injured, but the two of them were very late returning from lunch.  Michelle’s boss kindly gave her the rest of the day off and she happily ignored office protocol by giving Greg a friendly hug and once again, tearfully thanking him for saving her life. Michelle was clearly upset by their close call and Greg would have loved to follow her home, just to make sure she made it home safely, but his boss did not see fit to let him go home early. As the man and the hero of the Sushi restaurant story, Greg’s boss felt no such compunction to give him the same break. Besides, the unauthorized, extended lunch break had put Greg way behind with his paperwork and his boss fully expected him to be completely caught up before he left for the day, the asshole.

On the plus side, Michelle scribbled her number down on the back of her business card and practically begged Greg to call her when he got home, but since she had a NFL player as a boyfriend; He felt reluctant to follow through with her request. The NFL Stud would probably be with her and providing all the comfort she could need. At least, that is what Greg would be doing in the other man’s shoes and no, he had zero intention of finding out what it would literally be like being in that other man’s shoes.

~o~O~o~

 



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