Clockwork World

by Zero & FreezAntix

Concludes (for now) the “clockwork saga” of stories featuring an eccentric billionaire with a special talent pitted against an intrepid Interpol team of globe-spanning beauties.
Start at the beginning or review the series index and cast list. There is also a character list for this story,in appearance order.


Simeon Plaza, Sofia, Bulgaria

            Everyone had gathered to see Tatiana and Roza, the two beautiful young daughters of the current Prime Minister who had been heir to the former throne of the country before the monarchy had been abolished. In spite of royalty no longer having official standing in Bulgaria the would-be king and his children were still addressed as royalty out of respect, thus Tatiana and Roza were treated as real-life princesses. The pair, both sisters barely over twenty years old, had managed to gain a great deal of influence over the young voters of their country and had now gathered at the new commercial plaza in the center of Sofia to give speeches on their father's policies. The election was still a bit of a ways off but Tatiana and Roza didn't want to leave anything to chance.

            Standing up near the podium were the two young women, both dressed respectably in clothes that were somewhat tight but showed little skin. Tatiana had her light brown hair done in a low looped ponytail; she wore a light teal blouse with a black vest overtop and a black skirt that stopped barely above her knees with pantyhose and flat heels. Her sister Roza possessed darker hair and wore a white sleeveless top, which showed little cleavage with a pair of blue shorts stopping at the same length as Tatiana's skirt; her shoes black and shiny while her short hair was combed back. It was nice weather for the start of summer, thus the crowd that had gathered before the makeshift stage were dressed similarly, more or less, some wearing suits and some going more casual.

            Recently international security had been called into question. Two nights previously a pair of the country’s museums were robbed, several national treasures stolen as a result. It was the latest in a string of odd occurrences to strike Europe; the third such in roughly a year's time. For this reason the event had extra security from Interpol as well as the standard bodyguard, police and military mix. Even a few UN Peacekeepers were present per a special request. With the outdoor location staffed and the nearby buildings deemed clear of snipers it seemed like the public address could begin without a hitch.

            "One day I'll learn Bulgarian," muttered Ryoshi Tenzo, a Japanese woman who was located right in the middle of the crowd, dressed in a conservative business dress that included pantyhose and block-heeled shoes, her hair done up in a Japanese ponytail with chopsticks.  She work glasses over her eyes even though she didn't need them.

            "Why bother, passion's the same in every language," pointed out one of her companions, who was dressed much the same as Ryoshi but lacked the glasses and her hair was swirled in a bun. She was a brunette of decent height and carried a distinct British accent, something Ryoshi had gotten sick of listening to back when she'd been taking orders from Alexis Sutherland. Fortunately the Paradise Foundation's Project Manager, Scott Dawson, had gotten sick of Alexis failings and turned her into an obedient slave using the company's secret mind control chips. Being the most competent field agent and Scott's intimate friend had helped Ryoshi become Operations Manager. Due to her lofty position Ryoshi was now in control of choosing who partnered with her on missions, and in this case she'd taken along a former member of Interpol because of her experience and of course had also included the organization's greatest weapon: Cassandra Flick and Erika Stone.

            "Stand by, we begin in twenty seconds," whispered the dazzlingly beautiful and wealthy Erika Stone, standing between the pair with her blonde hair in a ponytail and a false mole on her cheek as a disguise but other than that dressed the same as the other two.  Ryoshi's two controlled assistants were both normally her enemies, or at least indifferent, but with the chips on the back of their necks - covered with false skin to avoid suspicion - they were her total slaves. Thanks to advancements in the technology, they now had personalities as per Ryoshi's requests but were still forced to obey any orders she gave as well as do whatever the remote she possessed commanded.

            "Stand by," ordered Ryoshi, taking Erika's left hand with her right and holding it firmly. Any men seeing the action may think of it as a possible homosexual gesture, but Ryoshi didn't care about appearances. Cassandra took Erika's right hand and nodded slightly.

            "Running," declared Erika, closing her eyes. Ryoshi felt her body go cold for a moment before the silence kicked in. Erika possessed a unique genetic gift, and that was the ability to stop time. The scientists weren't entirely clear on how it was produced, but supposedly through intense concentration she could somehow view time itself, resulting in her ability to capture a single moment in time and manipulate it as much as she wanted. Even as Ryoshi recalled how Erika's power worked, it took effect around them, everything instantly freezing in place as if the world had been placed on pause. Overhead some birds could be seen hanging in the sky while the clouds were as rigid as sculptures. The people around them, both in the crowd with Ryoshi and on stage, were also instantly turned stiff as statues, while the three Foundation women had effectively entered the fourth dimension. Their holding hands with Erika had allowed them to see what she saw but suffer no ill effects while Erika most likely would have a headache following the completion of the mission. Fortunately with her mind under Ryoshi's control, her becoming too distracted and returning them to normal time too soon wouldn't be an issue.

            "Let’s go, Cassie," ordered Ryoshi, nodding at the brunette. The pair headed for the stage while Erika stood idle, having been instructed earlier to remain where she was while time was frozen so avoid the possible risk of her power wearing off. Carefully moving though the crowd, Ryoshi and her slaved Brit made it onto the stage and each stood behind one of the motionless princesses, the Asian taking Tatiana while Cassandra took Roza. Tatiana was posed standing next to the podium with her hands behind her back and a large smile on her face while Roza was at the microphone, her hands on the stand with her lips parted, having been about to speak when time stopped. The moving pair casually stuck the helpless mannequin-like women with their injector guns, both of which contained the freezing drug Type-7 sedative. Following this, chips were placed on the backs of the princesses' necks, locking into their systems using the Type-7 as an anchor. The chips would still need full programming to work but they would ensure the pair remained frozen as human statues after time resumed. The chip process complete, the two Foundation agents picked up their targets and tucked them under their arms, carrying the princesses horizontally away from the stage.

            Four blocks away, which was still a difficult journey in spite of time being stopped, Ryoshi had parked a truck with a tarp in the back. The two princesses were slid in the back, still in their stiff poses, and covered with the tarp as well as some pillows to make their appearance less human looking for casual observers. Working together, Ryoshi and Cassandra strapped down the tarp and made sure it was secure.

            "Alright, go extract Erika and tell her to end the run when you're two blocks away," ordered Ryoshi, unable to enter the locked vehicle as she'd left the keys with Erika by mistake.

            "Understood," nodded Cassandra, promptly going to finish what she was told. Ryoshi watched her go, admiring the woman's tight rear end and recalling the night Scott had let her have fun with their new captive agent. Ryoshi's sexuality went both ways, the woman enjoying the company of men and women at her whim. Another reward Scott had procured for Ryoshi was Veronica Estes, one of her former partners, who was now Ryoshi's personal assistant and frequent in-bed companion. All that plus a seven figure annual paycheck made the Japanese woman certain she'd chosen the right career path.

* * *

            "Kind of nice of them to speak on behalf of their father," remarked Miranda Ohala as she stood with her unit commander, friend, and lover Hui Lan a block from where Tatiana and Roza were giving their speech. Both women were dressed in black suits with no ties, wearing slacks as they were easier to run in as well as light jackets since it was summer. Hui was the leader of the Interpol presence at the ceremony and in the country in general, having been posted there by supreme commander Lucienne Christophe after the local robberies. Scattered around the area were four more men and women with Interpol, none of them undercover as they were going for security through an intimidating presence.

            "The greatest gift a man can give is that of his children to the world," recalled Hui, known for citing old sayings, proverbs and the like. The leader of Team 2 and a ranked weapons expert, Hui was the ideal choice for bodyguard work. Besides the standard USP pistols that Interpol agents frequently carried she possessed a small Seecamp weapon which she could conceal easily and was currently strapped to her thigh inside her pants. Hui and Miranda were inside a closed cafe, the only two people there, standing by a table with ear and mouthpieces for communication.

            "Personally, I could do without kids," declared Miranda, flashing Hui a devious smile. The two had met almost a year ago and were now secretly dating. While Miranda was a noted bisexual, or so she claimed - though there had never been proof that she was into men - Hui had taken some time to return the Hawaiian's feelings, but now felt closer to her than any man she'd ever dated.

            "Hang on, look at the crowd," muttered Hui, suddenly noticing something. There, in the center, three women were holding hands. The Chinese Interpol agent couldn't identify any of them as their backs were turned but their linked stance was suspicious. Then, just as Hui really looked hard, they vanished before her very eyes!

            "What the..," Remarked Miranda, instantly drawing her weapon. Not only had the three women in the crowd vanished, seemingly in an instant, but the princesses on stage were also gone, Roza having suddenly blinked away in the middle of speaking.

            "Damnit, where...?" cursed Hui, drawing her own weapon out as she quickly scanned the streets while people were now screaming and police ran around in a panic. There, a block away, Hui saw two of the three women from the crowd walking casually further away from the scene of the crime that had just occurred. They weren't the only ones going that direction, but they were the only two Hui could pick out as being suspicious. "Miranda, over there; the pair in the matching dresses!" shouted Hui, dashing off with her lover right on her heels.

            In spite of their best efforts, running in a crowd with guns still made it hard for the Interpol duo to catch up to the conspicuous pair. It was almost two full blocks before Hui was within a safe distance to raise her gun and stop. "Interpol, freeze!" ordered the Chinese woman, instantly causing the pair, a blond and a brunette, to stop where they were. The pair slowly raised their hands as Miranda caught up and also trained her gun on the pair.

            "Turn around, slowly," ordered Miranda, trying to hide that she was out of breath. The pair didn't oblige. "Do it now!" snapped Miranda, getting impatient. Instead she got the sound of screams around her and the rumbling of a truck. Looking out of the corner of her eye Miranda saw the suspected vehicle screaming towards her and Hui. Thinking fast, she managed to flip backwards but ended up on her knees, fumbling her gun at the same time. Hui had acted better, doing a full flip and landing in a standing pose with her gun now trained at the driver of the truck who's stopped in front of her.

            "You?!" exclaimed Hui in moderate surprise, recognizing the familiar face of Ryoshi Tenzo behind the wheel. The pair had crossed paths many times not a few months ago. Hui was tempted to pull the trigger right then and there but a surprise kick came from under the truck and disarmed Hui, giving Ryoshi a chance to slam the door into her and Miranda. In her blurry vision as she lay on the ground Hui saw a blond get into the passenger side and Ryoshi shove over for the woman who'd emerged from under the vehicle. As she tried to stand Hui realized to her horror that the other brunette was Cassandra Flick, her supposed friend and ally with Interpol, who'd been thought to have died in a car crash over two months ago along with Aisha Reynolds and two of Ryoshi's companions. Even worse was that the pretty blonde was the woman she knew as Erika Stone, who'd supposedly gone underground over a year ago, the same time as when she'd first met Miranda.

            The truck quickly backed up and swung around but Hui and Miranda were up, choosing to abandon their guns in favor of running after the truck. Just as Hui began to jump forward, hoping to land on the truck's bumper, the sunroof popped open and Ryoshi emerged from it with a large gadget in her hands that looked like a slideshow projector. Being in the air, Hui had little time to process this before there was a blinding flash of light followed by darkness.

* * *

            "Well that was close, good work Cassie," breathed Ryoshi, hefting her new projector as she settled down in between Erika and Cassandra. The three were off down the road, Cassandra driving casually to avoid attention.

            Left behind, Hui and Miranda were still where they'd tried to intercept the truck, Hui still posed there like a picture in mid-air with her arms out wide and bent, her right leg forward and her mouth open in wild determination. Miranda looked more relaxed, her soft face only showing mild concern as she stood in mid-run, her left arm and right leg forward while her left leg was raised with her heel almost at waist level. In spite of nothing holding them like that, the pair remained fixed; with Hui in mid-air, as still as if Erika had stopped time. But this was not the case at all for onlookers from the city were gathering around the frozen agents in confusion.

            "It was easy," shrugged Cassandra as she drove, getting a kiss on the cheek from her leader.

            "You did good too," Ryoshi then assured Erika, giving her a kiss as well before patting the boxy device in her hands. "I'll be sure to mention that to Mary as well. I didn't think it was possible to make a Time-Stopper just from a sample of your DNA but she and those other scientists really came through. This thing is quite possibly a life-saver."


Chapter 1

Paradise Manor, 20 minutes east of Vancouver, Canada

            The building was a set away from the busy epicentre of Vancouver but it was in driving distance from the popular Canadian city. A lush forest surrounded the four story property with open green fields directly bordering the estate. The building itself is a typical modern day mansion that had been placed on a private estate through 80s and 90s and then later became a high-end bed and breakfast for members and clients of the Paradise Foundation. The structure was built around a small pond and garden, which now serve as the building’s courtyard. Clients and members were able to lounge within the compound during summer in privacy; the estate offered almost everything indoors with an exquisite view of the outdoors via immense windows that were one-way glass. During the winter months clients and members enjoyed the view of snow, which blanketed the estate creating a winter wonderland of some sorts. Those times had ended, though, with the Foundation closing the doors to the popular bed and breakfast in 2005. The mansion was now re-named Paradise Manor and served as the headquarters for the Foundation’s Black Department.

            The Black Department nearly operated within itself, being virtually separate from the rest of the company. The secretive department mainly dealt with clandestine international business matters and research and development types of projects. It is so covert that company’s president only has a slight idea what went on behind the doors of Paradise Manor. Only key board members and the employees of the department really knew anything about the true nature of the services provided. A recent operation that the Black Department has recently started was called "Project Clean Up" a plan specifically aimed in reducing the numbers of prostitutes that roamed the Vancouver streets. Foundation board members thought it was odd for this particular department to take the lead in such a community-oriented project but project manager and department head Scott Dawson was up for the task insisted his department attempt to cure the city of the rising problem.  Little did they suspect he also had another motive.

            The two Foundation-livery windowless vans emerged from the forest that surrounded the large mansion and drove up a winding driveway that bisected a large green field. The vans continued on the driveway once they reached the mansion and looped all the way around to the back of the estate. There they were checked by a security booth; cleared, both vehicles descend a small ramp taking them underground to the loading dock. The loading dock was once used to bring supplies and client and member luggage into the estate but now served a different purpose for its current residents.

            The vans come to a stop and back into the loading dock. Naoko Kobayashi, clad in tight black leather pants, boots and a devious looking corset that left little to the imagination, stood at the edge of loading dock. Her short hair was spiked up in her usual style and her eyes bore glasses with tinted yellow lenses. A hands-free listening device and mike was clamped to her right ear. Meanwhile, a group of six women - mostly blonds with Californian tans dressed similar to the tall Japanese woman - stood behind her silently and patiently. All seven women bore the new Version 4 chips coated with flesh coloring at the napes of their necks.

            "Team 1 and 4 arrived," Naoko spoke softly pressing the communication device that she wore on her ear. The back of one of the vans opened and Ryoshi emerged, carrying the projector device under her arm. Cassandra and Erika each follow, carrying the stiff forms of the two princesses, Tatiana and Roza. Both sisters were now naked and their bodies were posed with legs straight and arms tight at their sides for easy transport. Ryoshi only nods tiredly as she passed the spiky-haired Japanese woman. Naoko bows obediently, "Welcome home mistress."

            The doors in the second van open; its cargo area is loaded with six scantly-clad women dressed in clothes that would be deemed unacceptable to most professions but perfectly acceptable for theirs. The outfits were a mix of leather mini skirts, low cut tight fitting jeans, leopard and tiger skin tops, thin blouses showing off ample cleavage; most if not all of the women wore underwear made of lace and satin. The group included two blondes, an African Canadian, two brunettes and a fresh-faced Asian girl. All six rigidly sat in place with perfect postures, their hands on their thighs, heavily made-up faces staring blankly ahead. Naoko silently turns to the six blond women behind her and motions them to begin. The blonds file up into a line and begin unload the van of its stiffened cargo. They had done this several times over the course of the month, but did not remember anything of the past. Former sorority girl Amber was the last to climb out of the van along with another controlled blond, also a former sorority girl. Both former co-eds were dressed in business-like attire and also bore the Version 4 chips on the back on their necks hidden by their blond locks.

* * *

            Ryoshi climbed the two flights of stairs, taking her to the main level of the mansion. Opening a polish oak door she enters a Persian carpeted room with maroon walls with expensive works of art covering them. The room is furnished opulently enough for royalty, decorated by elegant small tables with flowers sitting on them and red cushioned armchairs. Ryoshi walks through the silent house, rubbing the back of her shoulders with one hand and cradling the projector-looking device under her other arm. She is about to ascend another set of stairs when a voice sounds behind her.

            "Mr. Dawson would like to see you, mistress," The voice says in American-accented Japanese. Ryoshi turns around to see Aisha Reynolds, dressed in a colourful red and orange kimono. The dark skinned woman’s black silky hair has been tied back into a large bun like a geisha. She bows obediently as Ryoshi faces her.

            "Where is he?" Ryoshi asks, coming down from the stairs that she had already climbed. Aisha was an Interpol agent up to six months before; now she was with the Foundation thanks to the Version 4 chip in here neck. Ryoshi had it programmed for the tall agent to be submissive and quiet, a common stereotype for a Japanese woman and almost the exact opposite of Aisha’s previous attitude. She found it quite amusing and arousing knowing that the obedient woman had nothing on under her kimono.

            "He is in the study, mistress," Aisha replied; her Japanese was getting better every day.  That chip was a wonder; the agent couldn’t speak a word of the language naturally.

            "Very well, go to my room and prepare yourself. Veronica should be there. I’ll be up shortly," Ryoshi replied, speaking in her native tongue.

            "As you wish, mistress," Aisha said bowing and then silently moved towards the stairs. Ryoshi turned and smiled as the tall woman shuffled up the stairs. She then took a deep breath. She hated the mansion; the place was huge and her boss kept his offices on the other end of building.  The north and east wings of the building were primarily sleeping quarters for the non-chipped staff; there were only a handful of them on the property. The south wing of the building was Scott’s area; his office and his living quarters were in that end of the building. The west wing was an open space containing empty rooms for visiting guests and a various lounging areas. The dining area and kitchen were also located in the west end. Cradling the time-stopper device under her arm she began to walk towards the south wing of the house.

            In the east wing she spotted Alexis, her former boss, dressed a skimpy French maid’s outfit, a short low-cut black dress with white trim, a frilly white apron and cap and fishnet stockings over black high heels. The former mercenary leader had her blond locks styled in a curly ponytail and while her face bore too much make-up but she was still very much attractive. "Hello Lex and how are you today?" Ryoshi asked, looking up at the chipped Brit who was busily dusting the upper wall and the ceiling’s edge. Alexis looks down with a beaming smile and hurries down the low stepladder that she is standing on.

            "Oh madam, y’all are back!" she exclaims happily in an American southern accent. Ryoshi hated the sound of the woman’s natural voice; she thought it fit to be rid of the woman’s English accent so she liked the chipped Alexis ten times better. "I hope y’all had fun on your little trip."

            "It was successful," Ryoshi replied, looking around the room; it was a lounging room like many all over the house and it was spacious and clean. Alexis and the other maids were doing a good job. They never slept though, only resting for three hours every now and then. They were still human after all, even though they acted like robots. "You didn’t clean under that table," Ryoshi then said, pointing to a random table in the corner of the room.

            "No problem madam, I’ll take care of that right now. I am so sorry," Alexis replied, smiling and quickly getting down on her hands and knees to do what she was asked. Ryoshi smiled looking at the Brit’s bare ass, which was completely in view as she cleaned under the table with her duster.

            There were a total of eight maids that took care of the estate; all of them chipped women. Ryoshi only knew four by name: There was Alexis and Leslie, her former team mates; those two were suppose to be wanted or dead so having them in the field, even chipped, was a definite no-go. The other two were a Germen named Lotte and a Japanese girl named Sakura; she only knew them because they exclusively worked the north wing where her room was so she saw those two on a daily bases. The other four maids were mix of sorority girls from California’s Phi Sig Delta sorority UC Fullerton chapter and former Vancouver prostitutes. There were a total of twenty sorority girls on the estate, most serving as security and housekeeping staff. They were all famous in America as being part of the mystery of the ‘Missing Sorority House’ an ongoing nation-wide story. She’d heard that tale was going to be made into a movie by Fox; Ryoshi wondered how they were planning to end it.

            It had taken her nearly ten minutes, but she was finally at Scott’s office. She walked into large space with a single desk at the corner of the room and two large double doors taking up the far wall of the room. There was a pretty woman with dark crimson hair sitting behind the desk. The woman stood as Ryoshi entered; she was dressed in a cream colored skirt suit with nude nylons and matching pumps. Her decent-sized bust was nearly spilling out the top of the suit jacket. "Hello, mistress, Mr. Dawson is expecting you," The woman said in sultry British accent, smiling warmly.

            "Hello Caitlin," Ryoshi replied, walking up to the desk. "Could I go in or is his busy?" She then asked upon noticing that the doors that were mostly open were shut showing that Scott had someone in the office with him.

            "Let me find out for you, mistress," Caitlin replied lifting up the phone at the corner of desk while keeping her smile on her lips. The chipped assistant didn’t know what was going on, naturally, being programmed of only for administrative work not anything else. It was silent for a few seconds before Caitlin spoke, "Mr. Dawson, the mistress is here to see you," There was slight pause and then the double doors opened and out stepped Leslie; the tall German was dressed in the same skimpy maid’s uniform as Alexis. The uniform on Leslie looked to be a bit askew and rumpled up as if she had just gotten dressed in a hurry. Leslie carried a silver tray with her and bowed at Ryoshi upon seeing her. "You may enter, mistress," Caitlin then said hanging up the phone. Leslie remained bowed until Ryoshi passed by her into the room; then both Leslie and Caitlin both closed the double doors.

            Scott was seated behind his desk, dressed in white dress shirt with the sleeves neatly rolled up around his elbows. He adjusted his silk tan tie and stood as Ryoshi entered. He smiled and gestured her to take a seat in one of the two cushioned armchairs in front of his large marble desk. "I expect that everything went as planned," he then said, sitting down after the Japanese woman sat.  Ryoshi crossed her legs and put the projector-looking device on her lap.

            "Of course," Ryoshi replied with a smile. "You’re still bothering the staff?" She then asked, gesturing behind her where Leslie had just exited.

            Scott smiled, "Of course, you know how I feel about those blonds. Besides, everyone is doing it… you should see the junior executives on in the west wing. Those poor maids never get anything done over there."

            "How do you feel about dark-haired Asians?"

            Scott’s smile faded but he still bore a grin, "Ryoshi…"

            "I know Scott, we been through this. It is in our best interest that we keep our relationship strictly professional," Ryoshi said, her smile gone and her face looking serious again. "You know where to find me if you ever change your mind though."

            "Maybe when all this is over…" Scott sighed, sitting back in his large leather seat. He dismissed the tantalizing thought of seeing the slender Japanese woman naked. They had only shared one intimate night together when he realized that she was only good to him as a friend and colleague; anything else was unacceptable. He could never bear to send a lover on any of the risky assignments that he had sent Ryoshi on. Being that the former intelligence agent was a friend - and a trusted friend at that - he could not and would not allow himself to sleep with her even if it was just casual. Sex would complicate things like it always did and that could compromise the trust that he had in her. "Back to business…"

            "Yes of course…" Ryoshi said, clearly disappointed but understanding her boss’s stand on the matter. She leaned forward and placed the projector device on his desk. "It works; we ran into a couple Interpol agents on the site."

            Scott leaned forward in his seat at the sound of Interpol’s name, "Were you certain?"

            "They were Hui Lan and Miranda Ohala. Interpol’s special task force Team 2. Lucienne Christophe’s people.  I’ve encountered them before," Ryoshi reported, sitting back in her seat with hands resting on her crossed knees. "They’re out of commission thanks to our new weapon," she then said gesturing with her eyes towards the projector. "I flashed them with the highest setting so they should be out, permanently immobilized, unless flashed again."

            "I see," Scott simply said looking at the weapon that was known as the Time-Stopper. He didn’t know exactly how it was built but that it worked somehow with DNA extracted from Erika Stone.  As long as it worked as designed, it could be black magic for all he cared. "Everything else went fine?"

            Ryoshi smiled weakly, standing up, "Yes Scott everything else was great; I even got to taste royalty for the first time…" She smiled coyly and turned to leave the room. "I’m now going to get some sack time before I have to leave again. I see you in few," she said bluntly as she left the room, being what he wanted her to be, a professional.

Scott wanted to say something more to her; good job or something, but he knew she knew she had performed perfectly and a compliment like that was not needed. He only watched slender form slip silently between the double doors and was gone. "I wish it could be more Ryoshi… but it has to be this way," he said once he was alone.

* * *

            The main lab was a large rectangular chamber that was located two levels under the mansion. The room had white tiled floors and stainless walls. The walls were lined with steel cabinets with glass doors and metal counters covered by various computer components and glass containers. The center of the room was occupied by a row of six cloth-covered tables with computer terminals in between. All of the tables were occupied by a naked girl. Princesses Tatiana and Roza rested on the furthest left tables. Like the other women to their right, both young women were nude with legs held straight and arms to their sides. All the women had blank staring eyes, looking up at the ceiling with parted lips. There was a thick cord behind each of the women’s necks that ran to the closest computer terminal. Along the far left wall stood a naked blond woman next to a nearly naked Asian woman; both remained at rigid attention as a dark haired woman in a lab coat squatted at the stiff Asian woman’s feet, pulling down a pair of tight fitting leather pants.

            Mary Hamilton, dressed smartly in black vested sweater over a white dress shirt and wool knee length skirt, sat the computer terminal between the two princesses. Mary’s red hair was tied back into a conservative ponytail. The young biologist was busily typing on the keyboard, unaware of any distractions as Scott entered the lab with the Time-Stopper under his arm. "How’s is it going?" the project manager asked as he approached the six tables and their attractive naked occupants.

            Mary typed another line of text before she looked away from the monitor, "We’re on schedule, and you should tell Ryoshi to cool off on playing with the girls. These two came in filthy and sticky," Mary said gesturing to brown-haired sisters. Both princesses looked different now, more normal like the girls next to them, being absent of their expensive clothing and jewellery. Even naked Scott and Mary could tell the sisters were of a high class compared to the common prostitutes to their right. Tatiana had lovely perky breasts with dark nipples while Roza had rounder larger breasts with light brown nipples. Both had shaven mounds and carefully manicured toes and fingers. Their faces were fresh and innocent, free of wrinkles or any other signs of stress. They were a striking contrast from the two brunettes that were next to them; both of those girls had decent bodies with nice breasts but one could tell they were just average women as were the black girl and blond on the far right table.

            "Ryoshi will do as she pleases," Scott simply answered, looking over the six women, his gaze lingering over the nude bodies of the two Bulgarian sisters a bit longer. "She only procures them, you do the rest. If you have a problem with Ryoshi, I suggest you take it up with her. Let me warn you though, Dr. Hamilton, she isn’t as calm as I am."

            Mary only sighed in response, knowing that matter was not going to change. She wasn’t going to talk to Ryoshi; the woman was borderline psychotic and always kept on Scott’s good side. It was a losing battle to go against the intimidating Japanese woman. "These two should be done by tomorrow," Mary continued as she looked down at the princesses and then gestured over to the other four women, "Those should be completely programmed within six hours."

            "Dr. Hamilton, your coffee," A cute brunette announced, handing a mug to Mary. "Hello, Mr. Dawson," the woman then greeted him. She was dressed in a lab coat that was buttoned up completely from her neck on down; she also wore dark stocking and a pair of black pumps. Her hair was tied back into a bun giving her a professional look.

            "Thanks Monica; you could get to work programming these other four. Give this blond the housekeeping program with the submissive personality. The black girl gets the security program and the two brunettes personality seven… they’re being shipped out tomorrow."

            "Right away doctor," Monica replied, moving towards the computer terminal between black woman and the blond.

            Mary took a sip out of her coffee as Scott eyed the former personal travel agent of Erika Stone. "Interesting you have her working on this."

            Mary shrugged putting her mug down next to Tatiana’s head, "She’s programmed to know how to run things. So she’s qualified."

            "Wouldn’t Ashley be more qualified?" Scott then asked, looking over at his former chief scientist who carefully was sorting through the pile of clothes on the floor now that both the remaining blond and the Asian girl were both nude. The blue-eyed black-haired woman smiled happily as she sorted underwear and other articles of clothing, folding them into piles like some department store clerk. She sat on her knees like a child and was dressed similarly to Monica.

            "She fine exactly as she is," Mary simply said following Scott’s gaze to the kneeling woman. "How are you doing Ash?"

            "I’m just good and dandy, Dr. Hamilton," Ashley responded breezily, looking back at Scott and Mary as if just noticing them. "Hiya Mr. Dawson," she then greeted, waving bashfully.

            "She was my top scientist…she’s like an idiot now. To think that woman discovered and created the Type-7 Sedative," Scott said in a low voice as if keeping Ashley from hearing him. He waved at the blue-eyed woman who then went back to work, diligently organizing clothes.

            "It fits her. Why are you doing that, Ash?" Mary asked, looking over at her once-partner with a smile.

            "Cause tasks like this are fitting for an airheaded bimbo like me," Ashley said happily, putting the clothes into piles. "I’m going over to the laundry Dr. Hamilton; I’ll be right back!" Ashley said cheerily, standing up and holding the folded stack of clothes and assorted heels.

            "Very well, Ash," Mary simply said as Ashley happily left the room with an ear-to-ear smile on her empty face. "See, she knows, Scott; you don’t have to keep your voice down."

            "I take you’re still sore at Dr. Tisdale after all these months…" Scott said as he wandered over to examine the two naked prostitutes standing at attention with glazed over looks on their faces. He circled the two young women, eyeing the blond who looked more stunning than the one on the table because that she looked to be a couple of years younger and had a more natural body.

            "Ashley drugged me and kept me in her house as a frozen trophy for nearly year. So, yes, I’m still a bit sore; can you blame me?" Mary replied, getting up from the stool that she sat on and walking over to Scott.

            He ignored her outburst. "I like this one… I think she could be my personal masseuse. Program her, throw a robe on her, and send her up."

            "You have that sorority girl Sandy as your personal masseuse already, don’t you?"

            "Two sets of hands are better than one," Scott replied smiling and looking over to the Asian girl. "How is old is this one?" he then asked, seeing that the girl had really cute face that looked very young and her body looked like it had not matured completely.

            Mary looked her over, "I don’t know. She does look a little young though," Mary agreed grabbing hold of the girl’s chin and turning her face left and right examining it. "Naoko!"

            The spiky haired Asian woman appeared in the lab in moments. "Yes Dr. Hamilton," Naoko asked standing next to Scott and Mary.

            "Do you have an ID for this subject?" Mary asked

            "Amber’s team four extracted that group, so she has them," Naoko answered, "Would like me to go find it?"

            "Yes. I’ll be in the lounge," Mary replied. Naoko quickly hurried off to do what she was told.  That was an advantage of working with chipped associates; they never questioned orders.  "Scott, could you come with me to the lounge for a second," Mary asked, moving towards the door. Scott nodded and followed her.

            The lounge was next door. It was a small room with a circular table in the middle, a counter and a couple of wall-mounted cabinets. Sitting at the table were Cassandra and Erika. Both sat staring blankly ahead, being in rest mode. Both women were still dressed as they had been when they were in Bulgaria. When Mary and Scott entered the room, both of the chipped women blinked and stood up. Mary motioned Cassie to sit. "Erika please stand," the redhead ordered. Erika complied and stood smiling that gorgeous smile that her fans back in the states knew and loved.

            "Yes Dr. Hamilton?" Erika asked.

            "Rest mode," Mary then ordered. Erika’s blue eyes glazed over as her body stiffened. She still bore her bright smile as she stood motionlessly at attention. Mary looked at her watch.

            "What is this about?" Scott asked looking at the gorgeous blonde up and down. He still was getting over the shock that the most powerful and richest woman in the world was under his control. Erika suddenly started to shudder, her smile faded and her eyes began to twitch. "What’s happening?"

            Mary took hold of Erika’s right wrist and felt her pulse, "She has a low pulse. Her body is weakening. We don’t understand her ability, so we don’t know if she needs to recuperate properly after using her power. It must require a lot of effort. I think she needs to rest like normal person, without the interference of the chip," Mary suggested. "I have told Ryoshi this several times. She doesn’t seem to think it’s important."

            Scott turned and left the room. Mary quickly following him, "She’ll rest with the chip or not at all; Erika’s too dangerous to un-chip, even when she’s unconscious," Scott replied, walking down the hall. "I agree with Ms. Tenzo on this matter."

            "Scott, I think she could die if we don’t rest her naturally," Mary said, almost pleading. Scott stopped and turned to face his chief scientist.

            "Do you have any proof?"

            "No…" Mary replied, but she knew Erika’s life was endangered. Scott was about to turn and walk on until Naoko appeared coming towards them, her fitted leather uniform showing off a stunning figure and hiding little. It was evident the chief of security had no underwear on under the tight outfit.

            "Excuse me, Mr. Dawson, Dr. Hamilton; I have the information you inquired about," Naoko began. Both executives interrupted their initial conversation looked at the leather clad woman as Naoko continued announced, "Thuy Tran, 16 years old, from Vancouver, Canada."

            Scott turned to Mary and glared, "A minor.  Release her immediately."

            Mary turned to Naoko, "Get her dressed and back into the city as soon as possible; inject her with the memory serum. Dump her near a police station. Start checking their IDs if they have it from now on to make sure this does not happen again. Get the word out to all the local teams," Mary ordered. Naoko simply nodded and left with her orders. Scott continued his walk towards the stairs that would take him back up to the mansion. Mary hurried after him.

            "We really need to un-chip Erika Stone. It’s in our best interest."

            Scott stopped for second and continued to walk, "You know what Mary; we got to use the Time-Stopper on a pair of Interpol agents recently. According to Ryoshi this little device works great," Scott said patting the projector looking device he had in the nook of his arm and messed with some of the dials on the side.

            "What, Interpol again?"

            "Yes," Scott simply said and turned to Mary who had stopped a step or two behind him to let the fact that Interpol was once again on to them sink in. Scott aimed the Time-Stopper at the unsuspecting redhead and activated it. A white flash filled the room. Once the light had faded Mary stood frozen in front of, him wide eyed with mouth opened, one hand on her hip and the other midway between her chest and chin as if she was in the process of rising her hand to her chin. "You see, it does work perfectly," Scott said looking down at the Time-Stopper. "If I understand this setting, you should be stopped only for a while," he then said to Mary, who was more or less out cold.  “This discussion is now over,” he concluded, turning away from the waxwork-still scientist.  "Ashley!" He then called out.

            "Yes Mr. Dawson!" Ashley appeared in the hallway coming from the laundry room and quickly walking towards Scott with a big smile on her face.

            "Dr. Hamilton is going to be immobilized for a while. I need you to take to her sleeping quarters and then sort her clothes," Scott said with a grin, looking the redhead up and down. He would have sent her to his room but he had a meeting with an R&D tech in five minutes.

            "Oh right away Mr. Dawson. I’ll take care of her as if she was my baby," The blue-eyed woman said happily grabbing hold of Mary’s stiff form from the waist. 

            Scott then made a stop at the lab and peeked his head in. He was pleased to see that Naoko and Amber were quickly dressing Thuy up. His plans didn’t include minors yet and he’d avoid working with any minors till he had to. Monica was still typing away on her computer terminal between the black woman and the blond. "Monica, I need you to stop what you are doing and finish work on Tatiana and Roza. Dr. Hamilton is taking a little time-out," Scott ordered. Monica simply smiled and nodded. She then moved over to terminal that Mary had been working on.

* * *

            Ryoshi was completely naked in her king size bed. Veronica lay next to her and kissed her passionately. Both women groped each other’s breasts as they kissed. Sitting between her spread legs was Aisha who was working her tongue in and out of the Japanese woman. The trio had been going at it for almost an hour. It was perfect unwinding process after a mission. Ryoshi was about to reach her orgasmic point for the second time when everything stopped. Veronica’s lips were still locked in to her as her hands grasped her breasts. But the Spaniard was frozen with closed eyes. The same with Aisha, her naked body was still sitting on naked knees between Ryoshi’s bare thighs but the tall woman was frozen with her tongue still in Ryoshi.

            "What the…" Ryoshi muttered scrambling for her slim touch screen remote control that sat on her nightstand. She frantically pressed all the buttons but nothing happened. "Damnit…" She cursed, tossing the remote aside, pushing Veronica out of the way, the frozen girl keeping her pose while she was now kissing and groping air. She then grabbed hold of Aisha’s stiffened head and moved the woman’s rigid tongue in and out of herself manually until she was satisfied and let out a loud scream. Ryoshi released a breath of exhaustion, falling backwards; she lay in her bed for moment grinning like a school girl in love before she sat up and collected herself.

            Dressing herself in Aisha’s kimono, Ryoshi stepped out into the deserted hallway barefoot; only armed with a pair of throwing knives hidden within the sleeves of the kimono. She spotted Sakura dressed her revealing maid’s uniform. The Japanese maid was frozen while pushing a vacuum cleaner with her left hand as her right held the cord, her head leaned forward facing the floor. A little further down the hall she spotted Lotte, similarly immobilized, holding flowers over a hallway table as if to re-arranged them after cleaning the table. Moving downstairs she spotted several other maids, including Leslie and Alexis, all frozen in the midst of doing their normal tasks.

           Scott was supposed to be meeting with an R&D tech in his study; Ryoshi guessed that’s where she’d go first then the lab. If the place had been raided, there would be cops and agents everywhere.  It was too quiet. There was something else going on.

            As usual Caitlin was seated at her desk right out side Scott’s office. She sat with both hands palms down on her desk with her back straight and close-lipped smile on her face. What was unusual was that she was also frozen like the others and just stared blankly ahead with a glazed-over look. The double doors were closed and Ryoshi readied herself with one of her throwing knives in the palm of her hand. She approached the door and pulled one of the doors opened as she pulled it opened she heard Scott’s calm voice. "Ah Ryoshi, I knew that would bring you down." Sensing no danger, Ryoshi slipped the knife back into the sleeve of the borrowed kimono and glided into the room, closing the door behind her.

            She spotted several people in the room but only Scott was moving. The Canadian sat behind his desk, leaned back, with his feet propped up on the edge of large desk. Standing next to the doors was Cassandra, now dressed in nothing but a black stringy bikini that contrasted well with her light complexion. The former Interpol agent stood with her hips shifted to one side and her hands resting on them, a playful smirk on her face. Standing on the other side of the doors was Erika Stone, also wearing a stringy black bikini; the billionaire looked much sexier than the Brit, having bronzed skin, crystal clear blue eyes and seductive grin on her face. She stood with her toes pointing inward and her hands behind her back. Standing behind Scott was Kelsey; the blond sorority girl had her locks tied back in a tight bun and her face bore a serious expression. She stood with her legs slightly parted and her hands behind her back. She was clad in a pair of leather pants, knee high boots and a leather corset; the outfit of the security force. Seated with their back towards Ryoshi was another woman with short blond hair. "What’s going on?" Ryoshi asked, puzzled, stepping into the room looking around once more at all the still women.  It was like entering a department store display full of mannequins.

            "Come and sit, Ryoshi," Scott beckoned to the only available cushioned armchair in front of his desk. Ryoshi did what she was told. She sat, crossing her legs, and looked over to her right to see that the blond woman next to her was dressed in a brown pants suit with a teal blouse underneath. The woman had pale green eyes that were staring blankly at Scott as she sat with her legs crossed. She was attractive and looked to be in her thirties or so and clearly frozen. "I like you to meet R&D tech Karen Draskal," Scott announced, gesturing towards the frozen woman. Ryoshi leaned over at the woman; in doing so one of Ryoshi’s naked breasts came into view. Scott cleared his throat just as Ryoshi caught on to her accidental peep show and covered herself back up. Leaning forwards Scott continued, "Ms. Draskal has developed a new wide-ranging remote for our chipped personnel," Scott explained, handing Ryoshi a slimmer remote similar to the ones that they already carried with them. Ryoshi took it and examined the device as Scott went on, "It’s known as the Freeze-Key and it’ll freeze anyone that is wearing the chip within a set radius. As you see, I have set it to the house and grounds."

            "Interesting, you could have waited you know to tell me this," Ryoshi replied with a grin. "So why is blondie here stiff too?"

            "She’s the only that knows about this key beside you and me. I want to keep it that way. She’s a smart girl; she’ll better serve our purposes better than an R&D lab techie. Are you ready for the plan?"

            "Go on," Ryoshi said, sitting back in her chair and toying with the new remote in her hands. Pressing a few buttons everyone came back to life, except for Draskal who remained motionless as she had been. Ryoshi guessed that Scott had already tagged her with some Type-7.

            "Fast learner, Ms. Tenzo," Scott smiled and looked back at the now active Kelsey. "Pleae take Ms. Draskal down to the lab; she will be staying with us for an extended period," he ordered. Kelsey simply nodded and proceeded to lift the stiffly seated women from under the arms and carry her out of the room awkwardly. Looking at Erika and Cassandra, "Ladies, go to the pool; I’ll be down in a bit," Cassandra nodded and left, Erika smiled and nodded but seemed to have difficulty walking but managed to also exit after a few wobbly steps. "There maybe something wrong with her," Scott said, more to himself than to Ryoshi.

            "She’s fine; nothing that three hours of down time can’t fix," Ryoshi simply replied. "So what’s this new mission?"

            "Well, you’ll be flying off to LA in the morning and will be setting up for an extraction of six Hollywood starlets in two days at the Academy Awards show. The starlets are Cammie Domingo, Megan Wolff, Jordan Tressly, Kathy Beckinstaff, Carla Sparks and Jessie Alfa. More information on the assignment, including back up plans, alternate extract zones and flight plans will be listed in the file in your office."

            "America!? Those people are loons!" Ryoshi said, almost standing up.

            "Don’t worry about it Ryoshi; you’ll have Erika on your side. You’ve been there before so I don’t see what the big idea is."

            "I’m going in with a bunch of mindless chipped bimbos this time. So I’m basically on my own."

            "Ryoshi don’t get worked up over this," Scott said, "I have faith in you; you’re the only person I could trust with this," he then said softly, hoping to cool her nerves.

            "I must recommend we not move on the United States and we stick with Europeans. We have taken all enough from the States."

            Scott raised an eyebrow, "Are you questioning my orders?"

            "No, Scott, I too trust you. I am just merely suggesting. You are free do whatever you wish and I’ll back you one hundred percent," Ryoshi replied, after a thought.

            "Noted, Ryoshi, I think however it is in our best interest to acquire these targets. I trust you to be successful in getting this one done?"

            Ryoshi stood, "You’re lucky you’re such a nice guy and I like you… a lot," she said with a grin, "I’m taking Aisha and Veronica in with me this time."

            Scott only smiled and stood, "Ryoshi, do whatever you want; I have my trust in you. I’ll trust you’re judgement and your advisement is noted. Now, you if excuse me, two your operatives are waiting for me in the pool."

            Ryoshi smiled, "Have fun… I’ll talk to you more about this tomorrow," she said, leaving the office.

            After Ryoshi disappeared from the double doors, Scott shook his head and wondered what she was so worked up about, American were crazy… but she wasn’t exactly sane herself. Ryoshi shouldn’t have any trouble he concluded to himself. He then lifted his phone, "Caitlin, make arrangements for Ms. Karen Draskal to stay with us. Transfer her to the Black Department. Tell her family its top secret so they won’t have any contact from her in a while. Brief Dr. Hamilton on the situation regarding LA once she is up and around again. Tell Monica to prep Ms. Draskal to serve as a field operative. Hold my calls for an hour as well. Thanks, Caitlin."

* * *

Interpol Task Force Command Center, Frankfurt, Germany

            Lucienne Christophe sat at her desk drinking a glass of wine to calm her nerves, as the building didn't allow smoking. When she'd been placed in charge of the special task force following the beginning of the massive series of crimes in Europe over a month ago, Frankfurt's facility had been chosen due to its large size and more or less central location for all of Europe. The unit consisted of eight primary teams consisting of four to ten people each stationed across the continent as they were getting hit hard, though the reasons behind this were unknown. All Lucienne could do at this point was suspect that whoever was behind the Sierra Escorts incident a few months back had returned and was working on a large scale as kidnappings of both high and low profile were being reported as well as several thefts from museums and other facilities that housed items supposedly worth millions. The latest figures declared that over five hundred people were missing, usually less than ten per large city where incidents had occurred, and roughly two hundred million Euros worth of valuable items have been reported missing. Her wine would no doubt not mix well with the headache medicine Lucienne had taken, but she didn't care.

            The worst part about the whole crisis was that Lucienne's original team was also facing serious losses. First, a few months back, her best friend Cassandra Flick had been killed in an apparent car crash while transporting two prisoners along with her equal Aisha Reynolds. Now just one day ago the bodies of Miranda Ohala and Hui Lan, the two women in charge of Team 2 of her unit - and personal friends of hers - were recovered and brought to Frankfurt, virtually petrified in what the local doctors were calling a state of total suspended animation. Their bodies had become as stiff as stone and, unlike with the Type-7 drugs that had been used on them in the past, their positions could not be changed, so they were essentially statues. Currently no one could offer an explanation for how this effect was even possible, nor how Hui had been found frozen in mid-air, suspended there by some unseen force. A Haz-Mat team was investigating and cleaning the area where they'd been found just in case.

            The real problem right now that Lucienne had was deciding what to do with the remainder of Team 2, which currently lacked a leader. The potential best replacements were currently working with her in Frankfurt or already leading other teams. The French senior agent thought about it long and hard, finally putting the glass of wine down, stashing it in a drawer of her desk, and exiting her office.

            "Commander Christophe!" called Colette Landry as the senior agent exited her office. Colette was a young woman, a newly risen-through-the-ranks girl who wasn't quite twenty-four but was an absolute genius when it came to computers. At the age of sixteen the French Canadian had gotten entry into MIT and proceeded to graduate with a full science degree and certification in more software than Lucienne had even known existed. The woman was an unnatural blonde with very curly hair and a somewhat tough-looking face, which in turn turned as soft as silk when she smiled. She was a bit short compared to Lucienne, being only five-foot-five versus her superior’s five-foot-eight, but Colette looked like she could carry herself well in a fight in spite of spending most of her time in a chair.

            "I told you to call me Lucienne; if we're on a team we don't need to be formal," the senior agent told the younger one with a smile. Colette possessed several qualities Lucienne herself had carried back when she'd first risen and hoped someday this new agent would reach her potential. Unfortunately at the moment she was too new and had been in too much of a niche to be used for command.

            "Sorry, Lucienne," offered Colette with a smile. "Agents Heino and Spiro are waiting for you in the conference room with Commander Odilon."

            "Good, I was hoping he'd be here," nodded Lucienne in satisfaction. "Colette, I'll need you to join us. Come with me," The blond nodded and fell in line behind her superior as the hurried through the building to the meeting room.

            Seated around a classic beat-up wooden conference table were four people, much to Lucienne's surprise. First was Tasia Spiro, a Greek agent with a gift for undercover work and Lucienne's secret lover. Tasia was Lucienne's second in command and was being primed to become a team leader under Lucienne's eye, though the pair's romantic involvement was causing some strife in that regard. Marika Heino was the group's tall Finnish forensic expert, spending so much time in her lab that Lucienne sometimes was amazed she remembered what the woman looked like until she recalled that she could easily be a high-fashion model. Marika was currently engaged to a German Inspector, though the wedding date had yet to be set. The third person was Jean-Baptiste Odilon, an old friend of Lucienne's, who was in charge of Team 1. Known as JB or Odie, Jean-Baptiste frequently underestimated his own abilities but that was his only real flaw. The fourth person Lucienne had problems remembering but then recalled she was named Jelena Hendraille, a Croatian weapons expert who was JB's frequent companion as her skills outside of combat weren't strong, though she was getting good at pretending to be a pedestrian. Jelena was of medium height and possessed jet black hair that spilled down her shoulders, capable of making her look as tough or weak as she wanted to look. At twenty-two she was the youngest in the room but, like Colette, was a child prodigy, having won national-level shooting competitions when she was in her teens. Rumor had it she could shoot though a piece of wood the size of a playing card in the air and blast it five times with a small revolver before it hit the ground with all five holes capable of being covered with a thumb. Lucienne didn't have that hard of a time believing the claim.

            "Hello all, thank you for meeting," offered Lucienne as she took a seat at the head of the table, with Colette sitting down next to Marika on the right-hand side while JB and Jelena were on the left, Tasia right next to Lucienne on her right.

            "What's the status on Hui and Miranda?" asked JB with some clear concern.

            "No change," sighed Lucienne, and Marika bowed her head slightly.

            "We're looking into the possibility of some kind of paralyzing field, but it wouldn't explain the part about being suspended in mid-air," explained Marika.

            "That's like something straight out of science fiction," mused Colette.

            "It wasn't that long ago that stuff like the Type-7 drug were considered sci-fi as well," pointed out Jelena. "I remember watching a television show once where the blind hero had darts that could do very much the same thing."

            "Such fantasy is rapidly becoming reality these days," agreed Lucienne. "Due to the unfortunate and apparently permanent condition of Team 2's leader, I've come to a decision. Team 1 will merge with Team 2 and continue the investigation in Sofia."

            "So you want me to meet my people in Bulgaria?" asked JB, getting ready to stand.

            "No Odie, I have something else in mind," countered Lucienne, motioning for him to sit, which he did. "I need some senior agents here on standby in case another incident happens. I want you and Jelena to fill in that role, acting as the new crisis team. We have a jet on standby at the airport, which is at your disposal. You're essentially in charge of a fire-fighting unit whose job is to go wherever there's a new incident, take charge, and work fast to see if you can catch whoever's responsible. I'm hoping the ability to quickly move with our resources will give us a new edge against this crime wave. Your assistant will be taking over Team 1."

            "I guess that makes sense, though I won't deny I'm not exactly thrilled about waiting around here for something else to go wrong," breathed JB, shrugging it off.

            "I want you and Colette to work closely to try and find a possible link between the crimes, a sort of pattern," continued Lucienne. "Thanks to how much pressure command has put me under, I need someone to take a more aggressive role coordinating from here, another reason why I'm pulling you in, JB. Marika and Tasia will also be at your disposal, with Tasia acting as your second."

            "Wait, wouldn't Marika be a better-" began the young Greek woman, but Lucienne held up her hand to interrupt her.

            "Marika's gifted, but she and I have spoken about this already and she'll remain leading the lab division," detailed Lucienne, getting a nod from the taller woman. "The crisis team is mostly comprised of people with about as much real field experience as Jelena and Colette, no offence to either of you, which is why Tasia is taking the position."

            "I look forward to whatever help you can offer," smiled JB as he looked at Tasia, who smiled back. With that the meeting broke up, Colette walked off with JB, Jelena and Tasia, the four discussing what their next move would be. Lucienne returned to her office to think, only to be surprised a moment later when Marika came in.

            "What is it?" asked Lucienne in surprise. Marika held up one finger to her lips and closed the door behind her.

            "You need to be more careful; you over-justified your reasons for placing Tasia as Odie's second," revealed Marika, looking at her superior with a casual smile on her face.

            "I just feel she might seem a bit young for the job so I thought I'd clarify my reasons," shrugged Lucienne, not catching Marika's subtext.

            "Oh come on, Lucienne, I've known about this for over a year," declared Marika, walking over to the desk and leaning down on it with her palms on top. "How long have you two been involved?"

            Lucienne's blood stopped cold when Marika asked the fatal question. Interpol frowned upon fraternization, never mind if it was homosexual in nature. "What are you talking about?" asked Lucienne, then realizing her face was going red and she'd asked the dismissive question in an improper way, signalling her guilt.

            "Don't worry, I'm actually happy for you two and I won’t say anything," insisted Marika, causing Lucienne to instantly sigh in relief. "I've actually suspected it ever since you formed our command unit and kept her in it. Colette could easily be doing everything you've been having Tasia do up until now and was more than capable of field work, so I'd figured you had a more personal reason for wanting her around."

            Bowing her head in submission, Lucienne let out a sigh and then looked up, smiling at her friend. "We took a vacation together after we wrapped up the Stone case," revealed the French woman. "We've actually been living together for a while as well."

            "A year ago I might have reported you, but I like to think I've changed," giggled Marika, a childish laugh emphasizing her statement. "We're not that much of a backwards organization, Lucienne. I know for a fact several other agents have been engaged in similar situations. The Finland section chief is gay, for one. Hui and Miranda, by the way, are also seeing each other on a more personal level."

            "Those two?!" exclaimed Lucienne in genuine surprise.

            "Come on Lucienne, I'm a forensic expert; I notice things," insisted Marika, standing and heading towards the door. "Now, I'll keep your secret, but I want you to promise me you'll come to my wedding. My sister's the Maid of Honor for obvious reasons, but I want you to be a bride's maid."

            "I think I can handle that," offered Lucienne with a smile, waving at her friend as she left the office. Alone again, Lucienne let out a happy sigh and woke up her computer, removing the screensaver that just happened to show a repeating slideshow of images of her and Tasia in Greece. To her surprise she had new mail, and the sender of the new message was a mysterious hotmail account called NightNinja3543.

Dear Lucienne Christophe,

I've used a special program to allow this message to get to your Interpol email undetected. Do not be alarmed; I am not your enemy, merely a friend on the inside who wishes to remain anonymous.

The world is in danger. The Paradise Foundation is your true enemy. That's right, the powerful corporation whose stock rivals that of Wal-Mart, is behind everything, both the Sierra Escorts incident and what's happening now. I cannot name names, do not ask me to, as their spyware, which is virtually undetectable by commercial software, will discover me. However, there is one well-known person whom I can mention: Erika Stone. A year ago you encountered her when she became infamous and called herself the Clockwork Thief, though you might not be aware of that whimsical alias. The Foundation, the ones who invented the computer chips that can control people's minds, have her in their possession and she has become their slave. Her unique ability to stop time is thus under their control, and this constant use is killing her. I'm begging you to stop the Foundation and save Erika's life.

The Foundation is planning to kidnap several famous actresses at the Academy Awards. Please, go there and stop them before it’s too late! Just look for Erika Stone at the ceremony and you should be able to catch them before they can escape.

Good luck,

Night Ninja


Chapter 2

Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles, California

            The famous Hollywood Boulevard was packed. The LAPD had blocked of either end of the legendary street at Highland Avenue and Orange Avenue. The road was not completely blocked off; police allowed limos to enter and one lane of traffic to flow through. Foot traffic was high it was the annual Academy Awards taking place at the popular and famous Kodak Theatre. There were hordes of tourists among the packed crowds, along with Hollywood’s biggest stars showing off expensive suits and evening gowns. Velvet-roped dividers were set at the edge of the red carpet leading into the theatre. Fans and photographers stood behind the dividers, snapping pictures as stars arrived three or four at time. Limo after limo pulling up to the curb and releasing their stars then leaving; it was almost methodical. Further down the carpet once famed Beach Patrol TV show star Carly Sparks, clad in a stunning sparkly purple low cut evening gown, stood interviewing the arriving stars. It was the biggest night in show business everyone had come out to attend, watch, or simply be seen.

            Lucienne sat in one of the limos approaching the Kodak Theatre. She really didn’t trust the cryptic email she had gotten, but it seemed legit enough. She left Germany leaving JB, Colette and Jelena behind to hold down the fort. Marika and Tasia came along with her and were already at their posts onsite. Marika was embedded as a photographer while Tasia was near the famed Graumen’s Chinese Theatre. Lucienne had figured the intersection of Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard was to be packed with the LAPD; they had a bench warrant for Erika’s arrest. So it was unlikely Erika would show her face at the end of the street thus why Tasia was at the opposite end. Lucienne had no idea which stars were targeted, but she guessed that Cammie Domingo might be a possible target. Pulling some strings with the LAPD and FBI, she was able to get onto Domingo’s guard staff and then personally be assigned to actually sit with the starlet herself.

            Every since she was kidnapped earlier, Cammie had become very cautions of picking public events to attend; she had not attended anything since.  Today she was acting as a presenter at this year’s Academy award show so she had to go. Cammie fidgeted in the limo across from Lucienne and stared out the tinted glass window of the vehicle as they passed the crowed sidewalks. The actress then looked over at the dark redheaded women sitting across from her dressed in a crisp black pants suit, noting the woman was attractive and French. She was the most exotic body guard that she’d had in a while. Cammie eyed the bulge under the jacket that she knew was the woman’s gun, "Are you going to use that?"

            Cammie Domingo was a gorgeous woman, tall, blonde, and sexy. The starlet was dressed in a dazzling light blue evening gown with matching heels. Lucienne smiled assuring, "Not if I don’t have to. However, I won’t let anything happen to you Ms. Domingo," she added. She quickly thought of Tasia over and over in her head. Cammie was incredibly hot and the limo was not long enough to separate them that far.

            Cammie nodded, "I don’t know what happened to me a few months ago. I was in Russia and next thing I know I was in France. It was like a blink of an eye was in completely other country and weeks had gone by. It’s scary," Cammie said, looking out the window. Lucienne only nodded, agreeing, knowing the dislocated feeling of being frozen all too well.

* * *

            The man next to her smelled of fish and something salty, Marika was feeling she always got the short end of stick every time they did undercover work. First she had to play a supermodel and wear a dress that was way out of her comfort zone, now she was wedged shoulder-to-shoulder next to an overweight photographer that smelled like he had not bathed in some time. She wished more than anything Dieter was with her; he always wanted to see Hollywood. She was dressed causally in khakis and a white dress shirt. A shoulder bag carrying her USP was slung over her shoulder; she held a camera that was said to be worth two months worth of pay. The clunky thing was hard to handle and way too complicated for the type of photography that she knew about. Marika frowned and shoved the smelling man next to her with her shoulder, raising her camera up to take a picture of stylish woman she wasn’t even sure was a movie star. The man next to her didn’t mind a gorgeous woman pushing him, looked at her suspiciously, and asked, "You’re new, aren’t you?"

            "Yes," Marika simply said, keeping her eyes on the red carpet and looking around the crowd around her for the familiar blonde actress.

            "You know you just snapped a picture of a nobody, right?"

            "Yes, I was testing…" Marika answered, quickly, checking her advanced camera.

            "Hey look, we photogs are all on the same side, cutie; judging by your accent and that frown you’re from a foreign - possibly European - magazine and you would rather be taking pictures of some lions in Africa, rather than the cougars here." Marika looked down at the man with an astonished look as he continued, not letting her talk, "You’re wearing khakis, so I’m guessing safari type of assignments are your thing and that camera, sweetie, is too high-end for these kinds of shots."

            "You are correct," Marika replied, acting if a big secret about her life had been found out. She had hung around Tasia and Miranda enough to how to go with the flow and act natural.

            "Look, sweetie, I’ll help you out as much as I can. I won’t help you shoot or nothing like that cause I have to shoot myself; I have deadline too. I’ll call out some names though, so you’ll know who to shoot. You could buy me dinner later or something," he said with a sly smile.

            "Very well," Marika replied extending her hand.

            "Not now, sweetie, look sharp; here comes Megan Wolff, she was in that robot flick earlier this year," The man said bringing up his camera, "She’s big, and I don’t mean just her tits."

            Marika did the same; Megan Wolff was a young girl about 22 or so, dressed in a tight-fitting shiny white evening gown that left little to the imagination. She was dark haired and with full round breasts and a bronzed, tan complexion. Next was a hot blonde who Marika’s new-found friend tagged as Jordan Tressly. Marika recognized the blonde as being on show that called My Name is Ed a funny show that Marika thought depicted poor Americans in a comical way. Two more starlets came down the carpet before Cammie Domingo and Lucienne arrived. One was Kathy Beckinstaff, a popular British actress who started in a film called The Remote with a theme that Marika found interesting in relation to what they had investigated in the past. Kathy was a dark-haired beauty dressed an elegant black strapped gown. The other star was Jessica Alfa, who was another dark haired beauty, though she had a bit of blonde highlights as well, who Marika remembered had starred in a show called Night Angel where she was some sort of genetically engineered super-human. The Interpol agent had watched that show religiously while she was in college, so she snapped extra pictures of Jessica, being a fan. Marika couldn’t help it but she was starting to feel a bit star-struck.

* * *

            Tasia could hear the crowd cheering and the cameras flashing from where she was positioned. She was dressed casually in a cute yellow sundress that she had worn to remind her of Hui, who she kept in the back of her head. When Tasia had been assigned to Lucienne’s team a couple of years ago Hui was the first one to welcome her and was the most helpful to her. The thought Hui being paralyzed the way she was now saddened her. She had lost too many friends so far. Cassandra’s death had been hard for her and she had secretly taken up smoking to calm her nerves. Now she was dying for a cigarette now; thinking of her friends’ fates had saddened her. Tasia took a deep breath and looked around the crowded streets; to an onlooker she seemed as if she was looking for friend in the crowd.

            Looking across the street, Tasia’s heart dropped. Standing on a rooftop, clad in green with her brown hair pulled back she spotted someone who looked exactly like Cassandra! Tasia blinked twice and then rubbed her eyes furiously before looking again. It was no mistaking it; that was Cassandra. The woman was looking across the street, scanning the crowd in front of the Kodak Theatre with a pair of binoculars. What was going on? Tasia stared up at her friend who she recently thought dead. Cassandra then turned her attention to Tasia’s location, dropped the binoculars, and they locked eyes. The Greek couldn’t help but smile; began to head for the street pulling her radio to her lips. "Lucy, I got something great…"

* * *

            "Running," declared Erika Stone as a long string connected her physically to Cassandra, who was up on the roof, while another string led to Veronica who was looking out the window, Aisha and Ryoshi merely touched Erika’s shoulders. The experiment was a success; as soon as time stopped Aisha looked over at Ryoshi and gave her a thumbs-up.

            "Time has been paused, we are free to proceed," confirmed Aisha. The woman was dressed in a white dress, which showed her entire enticing cleavage and revealed she wasn't wearing a bra, the upper part of her clothing was all that was holding her breasts in check. All five women wore the same style dress but in a different color; with Ryoshi wearing black while Cassandra had green, Erika red, and Veronica blue. All five women also wore black heels and had their hair combed back behind their ears, save Ryoshi whose was done up in a more exotic Japanese style but which let some of her hair spill down the left side of her head. Erika may have stopped time, but just in case something went wrong they did look dressed for the event.

            "Alright, your job is done, take a load off," suggested Ryoshi, raiding the bag by her feet and producing a remote which she used to freeze Erika while she stood with her hands at her sides in a seemingly relaxed state. Following this act, Ryoshi proceeded to remove the strings connecting Cassandra and Aisha to their time-stopping companion. Moments later Cassandra appeared, having come down the stairs from the roof while Ryoshi handed out chips, injector guns and plenty of Type-7 doses.

            "You all have your primary targets; go and get them," ordered Ryoshi. "Beckinstaff, Tressly and Wolff are already, inside according to Aisha. Cassandra, confirm?"

            "Correct. Alfa is on the red carpet; Sparks is interviewing her and Domingo has just exited her limo," confirmed Cassandra, nodding and then smiling. "I have also sighted two Interpol agents, Tasia Spiro and Marika Heino. Spiro's near the street and has a radio in her hand while Heino is posing as a photographer near Alfa’s position."

            "An extra bonus," smiled Ryoshi, licking her lips. "Change of plans then. Cassandra, you collect Alfa and Sparks. Veronica, you and Aisha get the others inside. I'll deal with Interpol and Domingo."

            "Understood," the three unfrozen women said in unison, readying their guns and quickly moving out through the frozen scene in front of the theatre, heading downstairs to exit the building and do their tasks.

* * *

            Moving like a machine, Aisha casually walked by the stilled photographers and ushers that dotted the entrance to the theatre; soon entering, she moved past unmoving security guards. Veronica was right behind the former Interpol agent, each carrying a weapon at the ready. First up they encountered Kathy Beckinstaff, whose dark curly hair framed her face as she smiled waxlike with her arm around another man's, looking at a random security guard as she was frozen while trying to step by. With a set methodology, Veronica placed the gun to Kathy's neck and injected her with an overdose of Type-7 sedative, then produced a flesh-covered chip and placed it on the back of the victim’s neck. Aisha meanwhile, had quickly gotten to work, pushing over the man she was holding arms with and making sure to remove her wedding ring, assuming the man with her was her husband. When Kathy was ready Veronica hefted the rigid woman over her shoulder and moved on behind Aisha.

            Next on the abduction list was Jordan Tressly, whose blonde hair was styled back in an elegant bun; she wore a single strapped red dress that had the green outline of a dragon on the back and the skirt fully covered her left while only stopping a few inches down the right. She was by herself, though one of the other cast members from My Name is Ed was nearby and most likely going to be sitting with her. The shapely blonde had her handbag tucked under her right arm, held firmly while her left swung at her side, her left foot forward with a massive smile on her face, showing teeth that were perfectly white. Once again Aisha and Veronica worked quickly, Aisha drugging and chipping her while Veronica threw away the starlet’s purse and fixed her feet so they were together, promptly picking the woman up along with Beckinstaff and heading for the exit, leaving Aisha alone.

            Their last target, Megan Wolff, was standing with a much older man, though not quite old enough to be her father, the pair arm-in-arm as they attempted to head down the aisle of seats. Up on stage, Aisha could see the familiar giant golden statues and projector screen that were present at every Academy Award show.  Several other familiar faces were present as well. Were Aisha not under the control of the chip she may have run amok slightly, playing with a few other familiar celebrities and even nabbing another popular one, but that wasn't her job. Instead she repeated the same induction process once again, getting rid of the man and ring, drugging the woman, chipping the woman and promptly carrying her out on her shoulder.

            Veronica exited, with Aisha moments behind, right as Cassandra removed the microphone from Carla Sparks's hands while she stood next to Jessica Alfa with a massive smile on her face, her eyes wide with enthusiasm. Alfa was right next to her, wrapped in a dark mustard dress which showed little cleavage but hugged her midsection quite well; the skirt was quite a bit above her knees, her hair was simply held in a ponytail. Alfa was standing with her hands on her hips; her wedding ring buried into her side as she had her mouth open and was looking at Sparks who was meanwhile looking at her cameraman. Cassandra rapidly injected both women in the neck and removed useless props like the rings on Jessica's finger and Carla's microphone. Soon afterwards, the pair was chipped and Cassandra dragged Alfa away on her expensive designer heels, breaking them in the process.

            While Cassandra worked on Alfa and Sparks, Ryoshi had found Marika, who stood rigid with a camera raised to her eyes, a bright smile on her face as she was on one knee with her camera pointed at where Alfa had been standing. Digging into her large bag, Ryoshi produced a special Type-7 cartridge and loaded it into her gun. "Here's something I owe you for ruining our plans before," laughed Ryoshi, sticking the weapon against Marika's neck and pulling the trigger. With that done the Japanese woman ejected the empty cartridge into her bag and produced a new one for Cammie, walking past Cassandra as she returned to drag Carla to their hidden van by the surveillance building.

            Cammie Domingo was just stepping out of her limo, a man in a suit held the door open as she stood bent, her head low with a tight-lipped smile, her left hand reaching away from her body and nearly touching the ground. Ryoshi bent over and kissed the woman from underneath as she injected the actress with Type-7, then promptly chipping her. She prepared to carry the blonde away, however, Ryoshi saw something inside the limo that made her smile. Carefully sliding past Cammie’s frozen form and making sure not to knock her over, Ryoshi entered the limo to find none other than Lucienne Christophe sitting there with her gaze fixed on Cammie from the other end of the limo. "We meet again, you French bitch," laughed Ryoshi, ejecting her Type-7 and replacing it with another special canister, like the one she'd used on Marika. Sitting on top of the silent Lucienne, whose left arm was on the armrest while her right was at her side, her face holding a serious expression, Ryoshi also gave her a brief kiss and an injection, promptly exiting through the other door.

            By now Veronica, Aisha and Cassandra had all returned from storing the other five targets in the van. "Good work, but now I have another additional task for you," revealed Ryoshi, getting an idea. "Cassandra, go grab that Agent Spiro and bring her here. Aisha, you grab Heino, and make sure you ditch her camera. Veronica, remove the limo driver and take his place, being sure to hit the buttons to lock the doors and close the privacy screen. When I get back here I expect to see it all done," The three women quietly nodded and moved to do what they were told while Ryoshi lifted Cammie up onto her shoulder and carried her to the back of the van.

            Two minutes later Ryoshi had sprinted back to see her tasks were completed. Marika and Tasia now stood and knelt next to the limo while Veronica silently sat in the driver's seat tapping her fingers on the steering wheel. Aisha and Cassandra were both taking their time before touching their frozen former Interpol friends. "You missed them?" asked Ryoshi.

            "No," insisted both former Interpol members in unison. Ryoshi smiled and shook her head. "You two go and get Erika and take her to the van and wait for me to get there," The dark-skinned woman and her British counterpart left immediately after Ryoshi had finished speaking, who then examined the two frozen Interpol agents. Marika was already drugged and now knelt down with no camera in her hands. Tasia was still holding a radio to her lips with her left foot forward. Producing her injector gun once more, Ryoshi gave Tasia a dosage of the same kind of Type-7 she'd given the other two and promptly destroyed her radio. Next Ryoshi posed both women to stand at attention, having some problems with Marika due to her former position, and dragged them into the limo one at a time. Thinking Tasia and Lucienne were cute together, Ryoshi posed the pair to be kissing, holding one another by the backs of the head with their eyes closed, while Marika was placed across from them with her legs spread and her hands down her pants, her mouth open and her eyes even manipulated carefully to be looking up. Pleased with her work, Ryoshi exited the limo.

            "I've got a special job for you," Ryoshi told Veronica. "Take these three to a construction site and abandon them, then take a cab to our private safe house in Malibu. They've been given some special Type-7 but they'll still remain frozen for at least hours, so don’t worry about them recovering when time restarts."

            "I understand, my love," whispered Veronica, leaning forward and closing her eyes. Ryoshi smiled and returned the movement, giving her favorite lover a long and tender kiss before walking away, Veronica returning to tapping her hands while she waited.

            Next to the van Aisha and Cassandra patiently stood with their hands behind their backs. The van was a large white one and the six celebrities were all in the back, stacked on top of one another in piles of three, their poses the same as when they'd been taken. It ate up a lot of space but they still had two seats in the middle and two in the front. The original plan had been for Erika to unfreeze time and then be put to sleep to hopefully stop her erratic behavior, but now she would just sit next to Aisha in the back and sleep normally. Ryoshi produced her remote from her bag and unfroze Erika, who blinked and looked at her master.

            "End the program," ordered Ryoshi as she climbed into the front passenger seat of the van while Cassandra took the driver's seat. Erika nodded and released her concentration, resulting in the peaceful silence fading away, soon followed by screams of surprise and yelling as well as the usual Hollywood traffic sounds.

            "Get some sleep while we drive, hey, Erika?" advised Ryoshi as the blonde climbed in next to Aisha in the middle seats, the back seats folded down to make room for their targets, who remained stiff as they were. The blonde nodded again, her left eye twitching slightly before she closed them both and promptly slumped like she had been given a sleeping pill. The frequent use of her powers was really affecting her physically, Ryoshi could see. Unfortunately with armed men - no doubt - going to be coming at them within the next few minutes it was better for her to worry about Erika Stone's health at a later time. "Drive, now," she told Cassandra, who did just that.

* * *

FBI Branch, Long Beach, California

            Following a rather awkward situation that Lucienne and her two teammates suddenly found themselves appearing in, Lucienne had quickly commandeered the limo and taken them straight to the FBI branch. A quick check in with the local agents confirmed that they'd lost an hour and that several movie starlets were missing, no doubt kidnapped by Erika Stone since it seemed clear to the three experienced Interpol agents that time had stopped. Explaining that ability to the FBI would be tricky however, thus Lucienne and her two teammates had resigned themselves to working from a private office with a call already placed to summon JB, Colette and Jelena from Europe to their location.

            Lucienne sat in the lounger in front of the desk, leaning back and unable to believe that she'd once again been compromised and defeated by her enemies due to a seemingly impossible feat. "I hate to go into this subject, but I was meaning to before we, ah, you know," announced Tasia, who was sitting on the corner of the desk while Marika sat on the couch in the corner of the room. "Lucienne, I wanted to tell you that I saw Cassie right before it all went down."

            "Cassandra Flick?!" exclaimed Lucienne, suddenly standing up, her eyes wide in shock, her hands on the desk.

            "Yeah, turns out she isn't dead after all!" revealed Tasia. "I know that was her, she was looking right at me at one point with binoculars! I bet our old Sierra enemies kidnapped her and put one of those chips on her to make her evil like before. Lucy, we need to help her; rescue her!" Lucienne didn't respond however, remaining motionless in her shocked position, her mouth even hanging open.

            "She seems to be in shock, though I must admit I am too," noted Marika from the couch. Tasia got to her feet and walked over to Lucienne's side, placing a hand on the woman's shoulder.

            "Lucienne?" asked Tasia, even shaking the woman slightly. There was no response; the agent remained frozen in place. "Uhh... Marika? I think we have a problem... " muttered the Greek, turning to look at her blond teammate. Immediately she saw that the Amazon wouldn't be able to help however, as she was bent over with her left hand on the armrest, her right at her side, but remained where she was in a clearly uncomfortable pose.

            "Crap, I'd better lock the door," sighed Tasia, doing just what she said she should do. With Lucienne and Marika frozen again she suspected it would only be a matter of time before she did too, so she cleaned up a bit to prepare for it, turning off all their phones and fixing Marika so she wasn't bending over.

            "And to think I thought a Lucienne mannequin was fun to play with," laughed Tasia as she worked with Marika. Unable to resist, knowing that Lucienne was frozen and wouldn't see anything; Tasia reached into Marika's khakis and felt her rear end. The leggy Finnish Amazon was not Tasia's first choice for a lover but certainly a good runner-up. Tasia considered moving her hand to the other side.

            "What the hell are you doing?!" exclaimed Lucienne, causing Tasia to jump and shove her hands behind her back as she turned to face her superior.

            "Nothing at all; nothing at all," stammered Tasia, her face beet red as Lucienne walked over.

            "What did you do, use the last of our Type-7 reserves to give Marika and I a little surprise?" demanded Lucienne, violently grabbing her lover by the shoulders. "You know I would like to do her just as much as you, so let me in on it next time!" Tasia smiled and the two women quickly kissed before the younger woman pushed the older away.

            "It wasn't me, I swear," insisted Tasia, waving her hands. "I was just... " As suddenly as Marika had stopped, so did Tasia, her hands touching herself above her breasts with her mouth hanging open, a word attempting to form but failing. Lucienne couldn't help but burst out laughing, seeing her girlfriend suddenly freeze like that while trying to explain.

            "Oh, this is too good," giggled Lucienne, taking a step towards Tasia but suddenly freezing in place herself.

            Five minute later it was Marika who blinked and looked around in confusion, seeing Tasia standing there in mid-sentence while Lucienne stood in mid-stride. "What's going on?" muttered Marika, experimenting by touching both women on the cheek with her finger. Once she was certain they were, in fact, frozen she tried making sense of it all.

            "I was taking pictures of Jessica Alfa, then I was in the limo watching them kiss, and now we're freezing at... " Marika trailed off as she froze once again, her hand on her chin as she seemed to be deep in thought with her other hand in her pocket. The silence continued for another two minutes longer until Lucienne suddenly finished her step, walking over to Tasia as if nothing had happened.

            "Unbelievable, something did freeze you," whispered Lucienne, then noticing Marika had moved. "What the... how did she... "

            "... standing here when, huh?!" continued Tasia, finishing the sentence she'd started and then exclaiming in surprise, Lucienne a lot closer to her than a moment ago from her perspective. "Did I just freeze too?"

            "Oui, and it looks like it is happening at random," revealed Lucienne, indicating Marika’s pose. "I think the two of us have each frozen twice already while you only once, though from the time on the wall I'd say we were all out for quite a few minutes," Lucienne then glanced at the clock at the wall to confirm her suspicions.

            "This is not good," groaned Tasia, clutching her forehead. "What do we do?" Lucienne didn't respond however, continuing to stare at the clock with her right hand on Tasia's shoulder. "Oh come on!" fumed the Greek, stamping her foot. "The heck with it, might as well have fun with it," decided Tasia, turning Lucienne's face towards hers and leaning in for a kiss. The Greek froze again however a mere two centimeters from the French woman's lips.

* * *

            JB had left Colette with the FBI computer wizards downstairs while he and Jelena headed for the office that Lucienne had taken over not eight hours ago. Thanks to the latest private planes JB and his two associates were able to get to LA in just seven hours, the small jet's speed simply unbelievable. Jelena and himself both wore suits, with Jelena preferring the standard skirt and pantyhose attire for reasons that JB never understood, thinking that pants would better suit a weapons expert.

            "You don't think my clothing is appropriate for my speciality?" asked Jelena, looking at her superior with a raised eyebrow.

            "What are you, psychic?" asked JB, shocked that his subordinate had known what he was thinking.

            "No, I just noticed you glancing at my legs and since I'm fairly certain the looks weren't sexually charged one could assume you find something unusual about them," revealed Jelena, not smiling in any way in spite of seeming somehow amused.

            "Fine, you got me," gave in JB, rounding the corner and spotting the office door they'd been directed to. It had a window but was tinted so only those inside could see out and not the other way around. JB approached the door and casually knocked.

            "We asked for no interruptions!" shouted a strident voice, sounding somewhat worried that JB recognized as belonging to Marika. JB looked at Jelena anxiously. Jelena in turned reached for her USP; JB stopped her and shook his head. The Croatian was a known happy trigger so that was the last thing he wanted.

            "It’s Odie… is there a problem?" JB asked calmly in his thick French accent.

            "Oh… hold on," Marika replied, her voice seemed rushed. JB and Jelena just looked at each other, Jelena keeping a serious expression and her hand close to her gun as JB simply shrugged.

            Marika was almost in a near panic; she looked around the room at the two and the door where two Interpol agents waiting on the other side. Her main concern wasn’t the two agents on the other side of the door, it was of the two agents in the room with her. Tasia was on her knees, her sundress was off and the tanned redheaded Greek was topless, clad only in a red thong and her heeled sandals. Lucienne, the supreme commander of the task force, stood in front of the Greek with her trousers and panties down around her ankles. There was a goofy smile on the French woman’s face as she stood with her hands on her hips. Tasia’s hands were wrapped around Lucienne’s bare legs and the younger agent had a closed-eye look of satisfaction on her face.

            A mix of anger and panic was pulsating through the Finnish agent as she grabbed Lucienne by the waist, leaving Tasia holding air. She quickly pulled Lucienne’s pants and lacy panties back up around her waist. Not even fastening the pants, she sat her boss behind the desk, struggling with Lucienne’s stiff limbs. "I really hate you guys right now," Marika whispered, hoping time wasn’t going to stop on her next as she moved over to Tasia. She quickly dressed the Greek back up and stood her body upright. She then dragged Tasia over to the sofa and sat her down and begins arranging her limbs.

            JB knocked on the door once more. This time it was silent. Jelena looked at her boss once more gripping her fingers around her USP. JB knocked again, "Lucy, Marika, are you guys ok?" There was no answer. He jiggled the doorknob, it was locked. "It’s locked," he said flatly to his Croatian charge.

            Tasia giggled and blinked awake. To her surprise she was sitting on the sofa with Marika leaning over her with her hands touching Tasia on the legs and shoulder. "What the…" she whispered looking around the room. She saw that Lucienne was sitting behind her desk with her usual goofy smile that had every time Tasia would go down on her. Tasia then heard the door knob jiggling. "Who’s there?"  she replied.

            "Tasia? It’s Odie," The other senior French agent said; the doorknob stopped jiggling right away.  “Are you alright?”

            "Oh, hold on," Tasia said, getting up from the sofa. She then sat Marika down and quickly arranged her in sitting pose with her hands on her lap and her back straight. She was used to working with ‘dolls’ having had a lot of practice with Lucienne. Marika’s face bore a focused expression as she sat on the sofa. Tasia quickly moved to Lucienne and, leaning over the desk, molded her love’s face into a blankly staring neutral expression. Once that was done she looked around the room once more making sure everything looked normal, with no extra bits of clothing on the floor or furniture. Straightening out her dress, she unlocked and opened the office door.

            Jelena was the first to enter looking around the room carefully to make sure it was safe for her superior. Tasia looked at the Croatian with a grin. Jelena was brought in mainly as replacement for Hui; in Tasia’s mind Hui could not be replaced. However the Croatian was a fine piece of womanhood, her looks and body easily supposing Hui’s cute and petite look. The Greek wondered many of times what the new weapons expert looked like in the buff. "Hey guys," Tasia said as JB entered the room, closing the door behind him.

            "What’s going on?" JB then asked looking around the room. He could tell that Marika and Lucienne looked odd. "Are they…?" He began to ask before Tasia just nodded. "How?"  Tasia was silent and stood with her hands behind her back with her eyes closed and mouth opened. JB turned to her poked her on the shoulder. "What the…"

            This was all new to Jelena she looked around the room at the three frozen women who were all senior to her. She had only heard about the Type-7 drug but never really to see its effects in person. The static scene was unreal to her. She walked over to Marika and waved her hands in front of the Finn’s face and then touched the blonde. She still felt alive; it was like the woman was a life size fleshy doll now. All of them were. Jelena started feeling hot as she looked from Tasia’s still form to Lucienne’s sitting behind the desk. JB was moving around the room, checking on the women. Jelena really didn’t know what to do but to stand there, "She’s frozen too," she finally said, gesturing at Marika.

            Suddenly Lucienne let out a moan and blinked. At first she had look of puzzlement on her face followed by a relieved look, JB didn’t know if the look was from seeing him there or from something else. She was about to stand but realized her pants were opened. She kept a normal calm expression as she discretely closed back up her trousers. "Odie, Jelena, glad you guys could make," she said quickly hoping the two agents didn’t notice her hands were under the desk. "We have a slight situation it seems that we three have been drugged with a new type of Type-7 sedative that seems to be freezing us for brief periods at random."

            "At random?" JB asked, looking at Tasia once more. The Greek looked stunning just standing there stiff. "What do you want us to do?" He then asked looking back his boss who was now standing behind the desk.

            "Well I can’t very well carry on an investigation like this. I want you to…" Lucienne began to say then stopped, her mouth hanging open and eyes at half-staff.

            "Great…" JB sighed. Jelena was hiding her arousal seeing what just happened to one of Interpol’s legends. She looked around the room as if looking for threats but was just eager to see who was going to unfreeze next only to be frozen again at random. "We’re going to be here for a while."

* * *

            After an hour or so of freezing on and off Lucienne finally got her orders out to JB, she was going to pull out of and have another team take her place. JB had gone downstairs to set it up with Colette and fill in the French/Canadian what was happening. He left Jelena with the other agents to watch the door. Tasia and Marika were now both seated on the sofa; both had frozen and unfrozen twice before Jelena’s eyes. She found herself aroused on both accounts. Lucienne leaned at the edge of the desk with her hands in a gesturing motion in front of her. Her eyes started ahead of her emptily with her lips slightly parted. She had just told JB what to do before freezing again. Jelena passed the room slowing trying to not look at the other women too much and trying to keep her hands from wondering south, she was so horny right now. She only wanted to be back at the hotel to release some of this tension. Jelena never knew the sight of frozen women would bring her so much pleasure. She cursed under her breath, looking at her watch. What was taking JB so long? She looked at Lucienne’s luscious lips and was drawn closer to the French woman. Catching herself, she shook her head; she couldn’t be in this room anymore. She decided to just stand guard outside.

            Tasia grinned as she heard the door shut. So the new weapons expert has some secret interest, she thought, looking over at Marika who was still frozen. She leaned over and kissed the Finnish agent on the cheek before getting up and walked over to Lucienne and did what Jelena had stopped herself from doing.

* * *

 Interpol Task Force Command Center, Frankfurt, Germany

12 hours later

            Six hours had passed since Lucienne and her main team had returned from the states. She had Team 3, who had been posted in Greece, now investigating the crime scene in LA. The Greeks weren’t particularly thrilled about the move. It took some reassuring that they could handle anything that came up before they agreed not to go directly to her superiors, that would mean another couple of hours on the phone explaining herself to people that didn’t know how difficult the situation was getting. America was a bad place for Interpol to be in right now and she was glad she was not there. Her Team 3 leader was a blond Greek women her age named Sophie who was a great communicator so she was confident Sophie had the situation under control. Odie had counted that she had frozen and unfrozen over a hundred times since they left California. Looking at her watch, Lucienne realized that she had not frozen in over an hour. The sedative might be wearing off.  She hoped that Tasia and Marika were feeling the same too.

            Leaning back, the French agent took a deep breath. She was feeling very tired. She wished Hui was around. The Chinese agent would always manage to make her feel better in cases like this. Sitting up, she looked at her watch once more to make sure she had not frozen again. She had not. The Type-7 must be finally out of her system. Opening up her email to check if she had gotten any new messages; when she had first gotten back she had emailed to Night Ninja asking for better leads. Her mailbox was empty. She sighed picked up her phone and called the lab. Marika picked up on the second ring.

            "I was just about to call you, Lucienne," Marika said before Lucienne could even talk. "I ran samples of my blood and I found the Type-7 that I was injected with."

            "That’s great; what did you find?" Lucienne then asked.  Maybe something good was about to come out of this. Ever since Ashley Tisdale, the creator of the Type-7 sedative had vanished, it had been harder and harder to find out anything about the drug.

            "Well nothing out of the ordinary, my blood work showed the normal traces of Type-7 as I have seen in other victims in the past. The big difference seems to be the drug is more diluted with another drug that I haven’t identified yet but the combination seems to slow down and quicken the release of the Type-7 through our blood streams, thus making us freeze at random times."

            "I see…" Lucienne sighed, they were still getting nowhere and this new Type-7 seemed to be worse than the original. Imagine if she had been driving while under the influences of this modified drug. "Well good job, Marika," she then said tiredly.

            "I’m sorry I wasn’t much help Lucy. I’ll stick on it till I find something," Marika assured.

            "We have been at it for almost two days, Marika. Get some rest first."

            "I’ll just run a few more chemical tests then I’ll head to bed."

            "Sounds good, Marika don’t wear yourself out."



            "I told you I won’t say anything about you and Tasia. Don’t make me regret it. I don’t know what you and Tasia were doing in the FBI office but if you guys had gotten caught…"

            "Don’t worry about it Marika, I’ll talk to Tasia. It won’t happen again," Lucienne said, knowing that Marika had been in a tough spot back in the office with JB and Jelena standing outside. Tasia did get a little carried way when she started feeling Marika up. Lines had to be drawn. Tasia was giving in too much to temptations. "I’ll talk you later?"

            "Yeah," Marika replied before the line went dead.

            Lucienne’s cell phone then buzzed to life. She flipped it open and smiled at the new text she had gotten. Tasia was waiting for her out in the parking lot. Standing up and stretching out with a yawn, she had to give Tasia the talk and then maybe have some fun to unwind. She was about to leave her office when the email chimed signalling that she had new mail. Sitting back down she opened her mailbox and to her surprise she had a new message from Night Ninja. She opened the message.

Dear Lucienne Christophe,

            I am unable to provide you with more detailed tips. I work very close to those in charge of everything so if I talk too much, others will know. So for the time being I only offer you limited information. If your team is as good you think these tips should be enough. I have very little to tell you, only that Erika Stone’s condition is getting worse, the next hit well be in some where in South America and that you should look for familiar faces. I have also sent you a package. I do not know when it will reach you since I had sent it to various other locations first to cover its tracks. This package when it arrives should help you greatly. That is all for now.

Good Luck,

Night Ninja

            Lucienne quickly picked up her phone and dialled JB’s number while still looking at the screen reading the message over again. Looks like her night was going to be a long one, Tasia was going to be upset. It took JB forever to pick up since he was asleep at his hotel. "I need you and others back at HQ right away," Lucienne ordered quickly before hanging up. She had to get in touch with her Team 5 who were in Brazil at the moment.


Chapter 3

Flight 471 to Mexico City, Above the Atlantic Ocean

            Lucienne was furious but had managed to calm her rage after being able to join Tasia in the mile high club while on their flight. To avoid suspicion of their indiscretion they'd waited until Colette, who had the window seat, had fallen asleep. JB, Jelena and Marika were on another part of the aircraft, the group had split up to avoid attention as they'd decided to travel incognito. Lucienne was getting paranoid as Team 5 had just been found in Brazil and the news wasn't good, which was the reason for her anger.

            A highly experienced operative Palmira Tiago, a local agent that Lucienne had gone through training with, had been in charge of Team 5. The Brazilian woman, a beauty in her own right though Lucienne had never really been into her, had stationed themselves in Rio as it was soon determined that a local fashion expo was going to be the target. In spite of having six agents stationed around the area Team 5 had still failed, with eight models vanishing into thin air, or so it seemed. Palmira herself was now also among the missing, as was the other female member of her team. The four remaining Interpol members, all men, had been found in Palmira's hotel room, all four frozen solid like statues, just like Hui and Miranda were. Palmira had done a good job planning, having two in the security office, one at the front door, one at the main back door, one outside at a watch point and herself near the models. It was becoming clear to Lucienne that the Paradise Foundation, if it was indeed them behind everything, did have Erika Stone in their hands as only she could of pulled off the kidnappings and thefts that were occurring. Colette had done some investigating and all signs indicated Paradise was legit and had nothing to do with the Sierra Escorts incident. Erika Stone's current whereabouts were also still unknown, no one having seen the billionaire beauty since she escaped custody over a year ago. The news about Cassandra being alive and possibly working for their enemy just made things worse, and in the thick of it all Tasia and Lucienne were having problems.

            "I don't understand why you're so ashamed," fumed Tasia from the middle seat while Colette leaned against a pillow that was next to the window, her eyes closed and looking fairly cute as she slept.

            "I'm not ashamed; I'm just certain we could both lose our jobs if word gets out to the wrong person," whispered Lucienne to her lover, who had refused to touch her hand.

            "Marika understands, why wouldn't anyone else?" demanded Tasia, not trying overly hard to keep her voice down.

            "Because in spite of the sheer amount of people revealing themselves our... situation, is-"

            "We don't have a situation, we have a relationship, or at least that's what I thought it was... "

            "Come on Tasia, you know our superiors are a bit backwards. Not only is this fraternization, but we're in a relationship, yes, it is one, that a lot of people still frown upon. I know you want to become a field leader some day, and I for one wouldn't mind taking over in Lyons at some point. Love is important, but you have to make sure it won't ruin our lives."

            "I suppose I understand then, but its just... "

            "I know, I know."

            "... Ever consider making this... official?"

            "You mean... the 'M' word?"

            "Well yeah. It has been a year."

            "Kind of hard since neither of our home countries would legalize it."

            "We could move to Spain, become citizens and then make it happen. There's also Civil Unions, and I know that's legal in France."

            "Look, I want to consider this, I do, but this current crisis we have is really getting to me. Can we talk about it once it’s over?"

            "Yeah, that's fine. I just wanted to know if you'd thought about it."

            "I have, trust me. I love you and you know it."

            "Boy, the things you wake up to," muttered Colette, opening her left eye with a wide grin on her face.

            "How long, umm, have you been awake?" asked Tasia, her face suddenly turning red while Lucienne’s went white. Colette was fairly new, the senior French agent knew, and new people with Interpol tended to be by the book all the time. Marika may keep their secret, but Colette was a total wild card.

            "Relax, I'm from Canada, remember?" Colette told her fellow agents, her grin not even fading. "Same-sex marriage is legal there, so it isn't a hard concept for me to grasp. As a matter of fact, and don't tell anyone else, but I had a girlfriend in high school."

            "Funny, so did I," laughed Tasia, relieved that Colette could most likely keep their secret.

            "It was kind of cute to hear you two talk about your future, makes me wonder what mine will be like," mused the younger woman - who was a good four years younger than Tasia and nine younger than Lucienne - her grin turning into a pout. "Ever since I first got brought in for training there's only been one woman in my heart, but she's gone forever. I really do envy you two, as I never even got to tell her how I feel."

            "I'm sorry to hear that," offered Lucienne, attempting to console her subordinate. The last thing she wanted was Colette angry at them, even if she was now confirmed to be a lesbian.

            "Wait, what was her name?" asked Tasia, raising an eyebrow at Colette's confession.

            "Aisha Reynolds; you guys knew her right?" revealed Colette, causing the two women to look at one another in surprise.

            "Aisha, are you serious?" whispered Tasia, but still loud enough to almost sound like normal talking. "Colette, I'm pretty sure she's alive! If Cassandra survived that car crash I bet Aisha did too, though they're probably both working for the enemy now, though I doubt by their choice."

            "She may be still alive?!" gasped Colette, covering her mouth and trying to hold back tears of joy. "Oh, we have to save her from the Foundation, we just have to!"

            "Don't worry, we will," Lucienne assured her computer expert, desperately trying to not disturb the passengers around her as she spoke. Her efforts seemed to of succeeded, but then a blond flight attendant walked by and winked at her while blowing a kiss.

            "Don't even think about it," whispered Tasia, glaring at the blond woman as she headed further down the aisle.

            "I didn't," Lucienne assured her lover, confident enough to squeeze her hand, which was returned in kind.

            "I gotta ask, Colette, why Aisha?" Tasia said, turning her attention back to the French Canadian.

            "Our first day I found out we liked the same kind of poetry, movies and ice cream," revealed Colette, a bit embarrassed. "Later on she seemed to show value for me as more than just a computer expert and it felt sincere. Then to top it all off I accidentally saw her while she was changing. Before the incident in France I'd tried to tell her about a dozen times."

            "It's okay; we'll rescue her and you can tell her how you feel," Tasia promised her fellow agent and friend, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Aisha may not be my favorite person, but she is a good woman and I think you two could work out just fine."

            "But I could swear Aisha isn't into women," Lucienne whispered to Tasia, quiet enough so that Colette didn't hear.

            "Quiet; do you want her to tell everyone about us?" hissed Tasia in return, squeezing Lucienne's hand just a little too much.

            Meanwhile towards the front of the plane, Marika, Jelena and JB were enjoying the in-flight meals they'd been offered, all of them having the chicken. "I don't know why people knock this food," mused Jelena as she took a bite and seemed to genuinely enjoy it.

            "It's probably because its packaged for so long or something," suggested Marika, who was in the window seat while Jelena was next to her. "But back on the current incident, I still can't believe Cassandra's still alive."

            "Yeah, but we took that crash a little too much at face value I suppose," shrugged JB, having a sip of Coke. Earlier when he'd ordered it Jelena had made fun of him for not ordering alcohol, calling him weak. JB had defended his choice however by pointing out that, being an Interpol agent, intoxication while on the job, even if it was a long flight, was a bad idea.

            "I think we just accepted it too easily," sighed Marika, glancing out the window as she took a bite of the corn that came with the chicken. "Cassandra and Aisha were our friends and we let them down."

            "Well, we have a chance to make up for that now," JB reminded Marika in between mouthfuls of food. "Heck, we have a chance to make up for a lot of things... "

            "What does that mean?" asked Jelena, looking between the two agents in confusion.

            "You've got me, why don't you explain Odie?" asked Marika, glancing at the senior agent who suddenly looked embarrassed.

            "Well, I mean, we can, you know, uh... " stuttered Jean-Baptiste, not able to form a proper sentence. "Alright, it sounded better before I said it. I'm sorry."

            "No no, you had some real purpose behind that," insisted Jelena, getting a nod from Marika. "Come on, tell us. If it’s embarrassing or something we can just keep it a secret. If it was really bad you would have never said it at all, you don't slip up very much."

            With a sigh JB ran his hands through his hair and looked at the women seriously. "Alright, I'll talk, but this never leaves the three of us," insisted the senior agent.

            "You could make it an order if it makes you feel better," joked Marika.

            "That's a first, you making a joke," fired back JB, which got all three to laugh briefly. "Okay, here it is: I kind of have these... feelings, for someone. Well, not just someone... Cassandra."

            "Feelings?" giggled Marika, amused at how JB had said it. "What kind of feelings?"

            "I think you need to lay off the wine, you're losing all your usual reservations," huffed JB while he loosened his tie, getting him a glare from both women as they were both drinking. "I have a thing for her, okay? Lucienne, Cassandra and I go way back, we all joined Interpol at the same time. Lucienne I always considered a sister, really, though I did have some interest back in the day. That Cassandra though... It's like every time I see her I just want to be with her, but when I'm away from her I never thought about it much. It wasn't until the crash that I really regretted never having said anything, like asking her out. I haven't stopped thinking about her since I got the call from Lucienne."

            "That's cute, don't you think?" giggled Jelena, clearly drunk by this point as her cheeks were blushed. Jelena was a tough as nails kind of woman and had more hidden muscles than JB could count but it had only taken three fairly small glasses of cheap airline wine to make her blatantly drunk, and Marika wasn't far off either. The French agent was glad he hadn't told the other two about the time he and Cassandra had posed as husband and wife and pretended to be about to have sex to fool a criminal they were observing, which had resulted in him seeing her naked and have to cover his manhood in poor ways so she wouldn't notice. Just revealing his crush on Cassandra was enough for JB to feel embarrassed in front of his two teammates, he didn't want to reveal the rest of the story.

* * *

Paradise Foundation Airfield, Mexico City, Mexico

            The three mile long airstrip located on the outskirts of Mexico City was mainly used for delivering goods Paradise Foundation offices located in the city. Lear jets made runs from Vancouver to Mexico City at least three to four times a day transporting mostly supplies and aid resources. The Foundation was one of the many organizations in Mexico fighting poverty. The multiple deliveries were perfect for the Black Department to stage their South American operations without any suspicions from outside parties. The Mexican Federal police also receive certain benefits from the Black Department as well in order to keep locals and even their own government officials from sticking their noses where it does not belong. Unknown to the rest of the Foundation Scott Dawson’s secret department also ran Mexico City’s own "Project Clean Up" which had so far yielded higher results than the Vancouver project.

            Scott was dressed like a CIA field agent, in khaki cargo pants and vest over a tan colored dress shirt. Even with his head covered by a navy baseball cap it was still obvious that he was the only Caucasian male in the area. He stood at the edge of the tarmac with his hands on his hips watching Paradise flight 06 being loaded. Caitlin, dressed in a tight fitting khaki outfit that was basically a pair of booty shorts and a short sleeved blouse, stood next to Scott with a messenger bag slug over her shoulder; her false crimson hair masked by a safari hat. Naoko, on Scott’s other side, was dressed in her leather outfit with her hands behind her back. Scott grinned at the beautiful cargo being loaded onto the jet by Naoko’s security girls. The cargo was a group of eight Brazilian models recently nabbed by Ryoshi at fashion show in Rio. To Scott’s surprise, the models were still dressed, not Ryoshi’s style, but the job was still done. She reported nabbing two Interpol agents as well but Scott only counted the eight stiffened models. Once the jet was loaded there was only space left for four more people.

            The three blonds, all of whom were former sorority girls dressed similar to Naoko, lined up in front of Scott once they were done loading. The three former co-eds stood rigid at attention awaiting their next orders. Scott turned to Naoko, "Load your team up in this flight and head back to Paradise Manor. I’ll take the next flight," The spiky haired Japanese woman simply nodded and then ordered her girls, who in turn about-faced and jogged in a neat line to the plane with Naoko tailing them. Scott watched the leather clad women load the plane and within minutes the flight 06 sped down the runway and was on its way back to Vancouver. He was going to get a mouth full from Mary when he returned, she was understaffed as it was and with this latest shipment of Brazilians and an earlier shipment of Mexicans, combined with shipments from Vancouver and Europe, she was going to be booked for the next couple of days. He turns and begins walking off the tarmac with Caitlin hot on his heels like a puppy. "When is the next flight due?"

            Pulling out a PDA from her messenger bag and pressing some buttons, she had the details.  "Flight 09 is due to land in fifteen minutes with a delivery of medicine," Caitlin replied in her sultry British accent as she followed her master off the runway.

            "Very good, that’s our ticket home. Make a call to Dr. Hamilton and tell her to re-program some of the Vancouver hookers to be lab assistants. She has quite load coming in," he then ordered as they approached a uniformed local woman standing at attention near a Federal Police SUV. Federal Police Captain Izel Cortez had an empty look in her dark brown eyes as Scott and Caitlin approached. The Mexican police captain was of light complexion with long black hair that was tied back in a conservative bun under her military style cap. She was a little older than Scott but was quite stunning nonetheless with a youthful face and dancer-like body. She was dressed in the gray fatigues of the Federal Police and bore a shiny leather belt around her waist with matching holster on her right hip. The uniform hid her shapely body but Scott had explored her thoroughly when he had met her some three months ago. Type-7 was a wonderful drug. "Where is Ms. Tenzo?" he asked, stopping in front of the police officer. Izel kept her pose and vacant stare. "Oh yes I forgot," Scott grinned pulling a slim remote from his pocket expertly pressed a button or two. Izel blinked and smiled, her body seemed to get more relaxed and looked more natural. "Where is Ms. Tenzo, captain?"

            "She is in the far side bungalow, Mr. Dawson," Izel replied in a thick accent that was just clear enough to understand.

            "Your English is improving, Izel," Scott noted, the language program that came with the chip was amazing. Izel could barely speak English when he first met her. "Take me to her."

            "As you wish Mr. Dawson," Izel said, turning around and climbing into the SUV.

            Scott looked over his shoulder at Caitlin, "Wait here for that incoming flight and tell the pilot to wait for me," Caitlin smiled and nodded as Scott climbed into the passenger side of the SUV.

            The trip to the far side bungalow only took them about two minutes by car. The single story structure stood by itself just off of to the side of a service road, which led to the runway. The bungalow looked more like a large tin shack than an actual living quarters. There was a black Land Rover parked outside. Scott could see Aisha and Cassandra at attention beside the door of the tin building standing guard. Both former Interpol agents dressed safari-style dresses showing off a lot of leg and cleavage. The police SUV parked behind the Land Rover, Scott and Izel stepped out closing the doors behind them and made their way towards Ryoshi’s two mindless charges.

            "Good evening Mr. Dawson," Both Interpol ladies greeted with a smile and in unison. The programmed greeting only brought a slight grin to his face.

            "Wait out here captain," Scott ordered, speaking over his shoulder while he looked Cassandra and Aisha up and down, Cassandra could use a tan, her legs were too fair but Aisha, the six foot beauty, had gorgeous dark smooth long legs. "Hello ladies, where is your boss?"

            "She’s inside taking care of business, Mr. Dawson," Both ladies replied in unison once again holding their wide smiles.

            "That’s good Ryoshi," Scott said chuckling more to himself than anyone else. As he walked between the ladies they parted for him letting him past. He looked them over once more as he knocked twice on the door before opening it.

            The bungalow only had one room with three windows letting air into the large space. The room had thin gray carpeting over hardwood flooring, empty walls and was furnished by a couple of wicker cushioned chairs, a bamboo table and a king size bed. Erika sat completely naked on one of the wicker chairs while Veronica sat in the other one, also in the buff. Both women were posed with their legs wide open, arms resting over the side of the chair, and heads thrown back with their hair slicked back and hanging freely off the back of the chair. Their bodies glistened with oil or water in the overhead lights of the bungalow. Erika’s eyes were at half-staff and her mouth hung open. Scott could see that her left eye was slightly twitching as she held the pose. Veronica eyes were both opened wide and her lips were shaped into an ‘o’. Scott let his eyes wander over the two motionless women; then lingered over Erika a bit longer. The blonde was a Goddess. He spotted an open laptop on the bamboo table and was about to see what was on the screen when he heard Ryoshi’s voice.

            "I was trying to re-program Erika so she could rest more efficiently with the chip… but I got distracted," Ryoshi said as she walked up to the laptop and closed it. The Japanese woman was clad in a silky black nightgown with lacy trim that left little to the imagination. Her black hair was tied back into a loose bun. Scott preferred blonds over anyone else, but Ryoshi was his only exception; he wished their relationship could be more than as friends.

His attention had only been on the two naked girls on the wicker chairs that he did not noticed the naked women that were posed on the bed. "Interpol?" he asked, walking up the foot of the bed. Both women were almost similar in skin dark tones and they had lush dark hair.

            Ryoshi nodded. "I like you to meet senior agent Palmira Tiago of Interpol Brazil and agent Makeda Getachew of Interpol Ethiopia," Ryoshi introduced, gesturing at the naked women in the bed. Palmira was on the right while Makeda was on the left. Palmira was in her late twenties with a curvy voluptuous body with large round breasts with dark nipples and a clean-shaven mound. The Brazilian’s dark eyes were opened and she bore a slight grin on her lips. She lay with her hands cupping her breasts and legs slightly parted. Her charge, Makeda, had a slimmer body and looked a couple of years younger than her superior. The Ethiopian had a closed eyes expression with her lips in an ‘o’ shape. Her body was lean and athletic with perky round breasts a flat midriff and a landing strip shaven womanhood. Mekeda’s body was laid out straight at attention with tippy-toed feet and arrow straight fingers. "Interpol has some hot ladies… tasty, too, I may add," Ryoshi cooed, looking over the stiff women on the bed and playing with Palmira’s big toe.

            Scott looked over the two women once more. He’ll have his chance to explore them on the way back. Looking back over at Ryoshi, he commented, "Good job on the LA job by the way. Saw the ladies before a left. I love American actresses. Who was the ninth woman, though?"

            "I know you do. She’s Interpol… caught her sneaking around the safe house," Ryoshi smiled slyly and then added, "You could get rid of these two now. I have to get ready for the next op."

            "My pleasure, could I borrow one of your girls?" Scott asked looking at his watch.

            "Yeah Cassandra or Aisha could help you out. As you can see, Erika and Veronica are a bit stiff," Ryoshi replied kneeling over her bag next to the bamboo table and pulling out some clothes.

            As Scott left the bungalow he looked back at Ryoshi, who was pulling off the nightgown, "Good luck and be careful."

            "I don’t need it," Ryoshi simply said looking over her shoulder to see that Scott was already gone.

* * *

Presidential Residence, Mexico City

2 hours later

            Ryoshi cursed under her breath as the alarms were blaring all around her. The mission had gone without a hitch up to this point. Erika had stopped time as planned and then followed Ryoshi and her other team members into the presidential mansion with Veronica standing by just beyond the property with the SUV. Ryoshi posted Erika on the ground floor as she and Aisha and Cassandra headed up stairs for the targets. Ryoshi found the First Lady, Teresa Guzman, sitting in the study reading a book. The well aged woman was proof that beauty came with age and Ryoshi took some time to briefly fondle the suspended woman through her expensive business attire before injecting and chipping her. Aisha found Teresa’s daughter Lola Guzman taking a shower; the eighteen-year-old lovely definitely getting her stunning looks from her mother. She was promptly injected and chipped as well. Cassandra found Alejandro Guzman - the president - lounging in his office. Ryoshi and Aisha met each other as they made their way towards the door but Cassandra was nowhere in sight. Alejandro was a former Special Forces soldier and was nearly two times Cassandra’s size; chip or not the former Interpol agent had trouble moving the larger man even when stiff. She was still on the second floor when the alarms went off and time had restarted unexpectedly.

            This is what I get for being too cocky, Ryoshi thought, looking down at Erika, who had fainted, the chip failing to freeze her. The billionaire was in a limp pile of limbs on the carpeted floor. "Veronica, front gate now," Ryoshi ordered through her radio, laying the First Lady down to attend to Erika, Aisha continuing to move with her cargo, the naked and wet Lola whose damp hair twisted like a scarf. For the mission Ryoshi had taken extra precautions, equipping her girls with Ruger dart guns that were loaded with Type-7 rounds, while she herself also carried a remote and the Time-Stopper. Needless to say with all of her additional equipment Ryoshi had trouble lifting up the unconscious Erika, finally managing to do so as Cassandra appeared with Alejandro chipped in a wheelchair, being pushed by the Brit. Needing her hands free to fight, Ryoshi plopped Erika onto the frozen president's lap, leaving Cassandra to pick up his wife while Ryoshi quickly drew her sidearm and scanned the area.

            "Ten men are guarding the gate," announced Aisha through the radio, who was pinned down in the courtyard with Lola beside her, trading fire with the guards. Aisha had a disadvantage, using a non-lethal weapon against men with very real pistols. Fortunately Veronica was also on hand, firing Type-7 gas canisters over the fence which landed in the mist of the guards, freezing them instantly before the gas quickly dissipated. Back inside Ryoshi fired a shot at a lone male guard coming up from behind and then scooped up Teresa on one shoulder.

            "Cover this area Cassie; I'll be back for them in a moment," ordered Ryoshi, dashing outside while Cassandra positioned herself, gun at hand.

            "We have very little time before the army arrives, though there are several more men in the residence," revealed Aisha, fresh from loading Lola into the trunk of the SUV, having gotten the gate open. The gate guard, a sexy local woman in a short skirt suit with pantyhose, now stood immobilized with her hands raised in alarm, her mouth open and her eyes wide, a dart having hit her right above her cleavage. The short-haired Mexican appealed to Ryoshi, and in spite of her mission quickly going down the drain she still thought of herself.

            "Aisha, grab that woman and load her, I'll go grab the president," ordered Ryoshi after she'd placed the older but still sexy Teresa on top of her damn daughter, getting her own skirt and blouse combination wet in the act. More guards were constantly appearing now, usually two or three at a time, but Veronica was armed with a multi-shot grenade launcher full of Type-7 gas shells and had plenty of speed-loading replacement rounds if she needed them, plus Aisha had her own sidearm to help out with.  They were holding their ground, but only just.

            Back inside in the lobby, Cassandra had another surprise for Ryoshi. Standing in the doorway next to a tough-looking guard Ryoshi had tagged earlier was none other than Marika Heino, the tall and luscious blonde Interpol agent having been hit in the leg with her left hand hanging around her hip, her right behind the frame with a gun in its grip. Like the Mexican guard from earlier, her eyes were held wide and her mouth was open, the two almost looking like twins in spite of the ethnic differences. Ryoshi was tempted to add her to the collection but they were going to be under siege soon and needed to leave, the guard only having been taken because she was right near the SUV. Ultimately Ryoshi just decided to ditch the blonde, justifying her decision by knowing that Devon Von Krieger, the real supermodel unlike their adventure a few months back, was already in their possession, having been nabbed shortly before the Bulgarian princesses.

            "I'll cover you with the Time-Stopper, get these two to the SUV and load them!" shouted Ryoshi, pulling out the projector weapon and training it on possible areas where other attackers would emerge. The western hallway was now blocked by Marika and the one guard, but the north and south hallways were wide open. As Ryoshi had predicted, not long after Cassandra passed through the front doors a dark-haired woman who didn't appear to be a Mexican guard came running towards her from the north hallway, an unusual pistol in her hand that looked like a knock off of a Browning High-Power. The young woman wasn't dressed like a guard but like Interpol, so Ryoshi figured her to be a new agent. Eager to give her a taste of the Foundation's superior weapon technology, Ryoshi dropped down to one knee and fired the projector's beam right at the agent, time-stopping her in her tracks as she leaned to the right while in mid-run, clearly attempting in vain to dodge. The raven-haired woman froze in place, her left foot barely touching the ground while her right was to the side and up in the air, her hips leaning that way with serious determination fixed on her face, her longer hair twisting in the hair behind her, her hands by her left hip while holding her gun. It was quite the position to freeze the woman in.

            "Welcome to the game," whispered Ryoshi, licking her lips at the thought of seeing the woman naked as her form was quite firm. The Time-Stopper was set to only last a few hours currently, as otherwise successive shots would not be possible, at least not rapid ones. Ryoshi was glad she was prepared for such a situation as moments later Tasia Spiro appeared behind the new girl, the young redhead instinctively ducking behind the frozen dark-haired woman when she saw Ryoshi. Were the Time-Stopper a conventional gun that may have worked, but instead it sealed her fate. Ryoshi's second blast washed over the hiding Tasia as well, who was back to back with the dark haired girl, her gun held near her waist while looking to the right, her face serious. Now she would hold that expression and stance for some time. If not for the Time-Stopper's limited range Ryoshi could have theoretically hit herself with the blast as well, it circling the planet and hitting her from behind. The weapon's beam could ignore walls and other attempted cover, but its maximum effective range was only about one hundred meters at maximum yield.

            The charge light on the Time-Stopper was now flashing, which meant it needed a moment before it could fire again. Unfortunately from the south Lucienne Christophe made herself known, firing a bullet while Ryoshi was looking down and nearly hitting the black-clad Japanese woman in the head. "Give it up, in five minutes every cop and soldier in the greater area will be here!" shouted the senior French Interpol agent, slowly walking towards Ryoshi, who now was on her knees with the Time-Stopper out of reach.

            "I plan to be long gone in one!" fired back Ryoshi, suddenly rolling backwards and producing her Ruger, firing a quick shot at Lucienne. The dart missed unfortunately but so did Lucienne's return fire. Ryoshi braced herself against the wall next to the southern doorframe as Lucienne continued to advance with her pistol raised.

            "Rest assured of this: we captured Erika Stone once, we can do so again. Give up now and I won't kill you," Ryoshi didn't reply, instead ducking low.

            "Why shoot me, I'm trying to kill you?" called out Ryoshi from her hiding place. Lucienne smiled, thinking Ryoshi had given herself away, and fired three rounds at where the Japanese woman had been standing from through the wall. With her given chance Ryoshi popped out from her hiding spot and, being within a dozen feet of Lucienne, tackled her opponent, the USP clattering to the side as the French woman found Ryoshi and her ninja suit on top of her. "Sorry, this one is mine," grinned Ryoshi, leaning in and kissing Lucienne, much to her surprise, right before she was stuck with a dart from Ryoshi's gun at point blank range. Lucienne remained on the ground with her arms at her sides, her lips frozen in a lock with her eyes open wide and a dart in her chest.

            By now Cassandra had made it outside so Ryoshi began to fall back. Outside she could see that Alejandro had just been loaded into the SUV and Erika was now being placed on top of him. Dozens of black-suited men and black-dressed women dotted the courtyard and surrounding area, Veronica having spent all her gas shells and now wielding a Walther 2000 rifle with Type-7 rounds, having just fired a round into another sexy guard who'd appeared by the gate with her gun trained on the vehicle. Aisha was already in her seat and sticking her head out of one of the backseat windows with her Ruger in her hands. Cassandra closed the trunk as Ryoshi made a dash for the SUV and felt something slide from her belt but wasn't sure what it was, dismissing it as unimportant.

            "Interpol, stop where you are!" suddenly shouted a blond woman who'd appeared from the gate control booth, shocking Ryoshi as she'd been certain the room was cleaned by Aisha. Fortunately the blond was not one to shoot first thus Veronica had plenty of time to spin around and tag the woman with a dart in her shoulder, sending the nervous-looking curly haired woman to the ground with her body as stiff as a board. With no more possible shooters, Ryoshi ran for the SUV's passenger side and flew into her seat.

            "Drive!" screamed Ryoshi, her face soaked with sweat. Veronica, following orders as always, did just that, the vehicle screaming away from the nearly botched mission with a great deal of speed. As she did another man who was dressed in a blue suit appeared in front of them with a USP but quickly rolled aside when he saw the oncoming SUV. A few weapons fired bullets at the vehicle as it sped away but Aisha's return fire silenced the last of those. In front of the building's gates only two men, a Mexican and the Interpol man, remained moving, the two sultry women with long hair behind their ears immobilized on one side while a mix of sexy but strong women and muscular men covered the other. It seemed the president had picked strong guards but they lacked the accuracy needed to stop a fleeing SUV. The two men who were left could have kept shooting but had run out of bullets.

Eight blocks away Veronica tucked the SUV into an apartment building parking lot, the prearranged hiding place, while police and military representatives screamed towards the presidential estate. "Alright, we need to change the license plates and the vehicle color," gasped Ryoshi, wiping the sweat from her brow. She then glanced in the back seat for the first time. "Hey, what happened to Cassandra?" The British woman was absent from her seat though Aisha was sitting behind Veronica and looked over at the vacant seat with an emotionless expression.

            "She is still at the mission zone," declared the American.

            "Confirmed," nodded Veronica with a similar robotic-like attitude. For hanging out with Ryoshi had given them both personalities, but when on missions they were programmed to be serious and pretty much robots. Back at the residence, in the courtyard, Cassandra stood with her right hand reaching for the door, her left holding a Ruger at her side, her right knee bent. A damaged remote was a short distance away.

            "That's not going to be good," sighed Ryoshi, wanting nothing more than to sleep but knowing that was a long ways off. Erika had somehow lost control and fallen asleep and now Ryoshi had just lost one of her best slaves. Checking her equipment belt, Ryoshi discovered that her remote had been what had fallen from it earlier, which had no doubt accidentally triggered Cassandra to freeze which was why she'd never entered the SUV in spite of having enough time. The mission was complete but Interpol now had another dangerous agent back in their possession. Ryoshi was afraid of what Scott was going to say when she told him the bad news.

* * *

Mexico City, Mexico Interpol Branch HQ

3 hours later

            "All of the president’s guards have been placed in a private room at the hospital as you have requested. My team is collecting evidence now as we speak at the presidential estate. Rest assured that I have an American forensic expert so nothing will be overlooked. Your case has taken priority due to nature of the president being in involved," Cesar Francisco Mexican Section Chief of Interpol reported. JB was surprised to find how young the chief was maybe two years older or younger than the French agent. He was also surprised to learn that the Mexican spoke French fluently and was American educated.

            They were standing on a balcony on the second floor the Interpol Mexico branch building, which was conveniently located next door Mexico City’s Federal Police Headquarters. JB turned to face the charismatic section chief who had a movie star’s face and spiky hair with frosted tips. Not exactly a look of a police officer or a section chief at that but he was a competent man and knew the job. Interpol Mexico was not part of Lucienne’s task force but they were now. "Sir, did your people get the info I had sent from the home office in Germany?"

            Cesar smiled, "Agent Odilon there is no need for that sir stuff we’re Interpol not the Federal Police. We are more casual here in Mexico. Yes, I got your information, it arrived an hour ago and I looked it over and sent it to my number two who will brief my teams and the local police. I must say that’s some loco stuff you guys are dealing with. People frozen like that… just plain loco."

            JB simply nodded and looked out over the balcony. He was the only Interpol agent from the task force left; that simply put him in charge of task force as well as the main team, which was currently frozen right now. "My team is taken care of?"

            Cesar nodded, "We have them locked and under guard in our press room. I have given the agent strict orders to only listen to you," Cesar looked at his watch, "Don’t worry Agent Odilon, I’ll take care of everything. You just watch over your team and rest here. I set up an office for you to sleep in and conduct business. I suggest you get some rest. You look like shit," Cesar added patting JB on the back before leaving.

            JB stood out in the balcony for a little while longer after he was alone breathing in the cool Mexican air and collecting himself. He never considered himself much of a leader; he had originally joined Interpol just so he could travel and work part of a team. He had been a simple traffic cop with the Paris PD so the whole investigation part of Interpol was all new to him. He picked it up fast though and his superiors were impressed he was soon lead agent within a year. JB thought it was ludicrous that he made lead agent, he was just doing his job he really didn’t want to be someone in charge of others.

            Inside JB found the office that he was to be staying at it was on the same floor. It was a clerk’s office with two file cabinets, a desk, with a chair behind it. There was a cot on the side of the room with a single pillow and blanket as well. JB took a seat behind the desk and did nothing for a while before he picked up the phone and called Germany to check on the home office and the other teams.

            The news wasn’t good. JB was thankful that he heard the news instead of Lucienne since as sweet and hot as the woman was she had a temper that JB suspected would lead to other medical related issues when she was older if she didn’t find a way to take it easy. Team 3, which had been sent to California, was missing their lead agent now; Sophie Katsopolis was following a lead in Malibu with another agent when she had gone missing. The other agent a male agent who was a Frenchmen that JB knew was found later on the beach with no memory what had happened. Several other teams were reporting that their host nations were not cooperating with them due to their ineffectiveness.

            Not a good day for Interpol, JB thought hanging up the phone. He hoped that Tasia or Colette came out of their hard-frozen state before Lucienne; they could tell her the bad news. He smiled at the thought it would be mean prank for Colette who had never experienced the wrath of Lucienne yet. Taking off his jacket and hanging it off the back the chair, JB loosened his tie and went over to the cot to lay down, still wearing his shoes and gun. He had only closed his eyes for a couple of minutes before he heard a knock at the door. He abruptly sat up and saw what looked like a local woman dressed in tight fitting t-shirt and equally tight dark denim jeans. Her dyed brown hair was tied back into a pony tail. She had wire framed glasses over her brown eyes. Her skin was naturally tan and glowed exotically in the office’s light. The woman was tall and remained him of a Mexican version of Marika. She had a heavy black bag in one hand and JB noted the USP on her right hip. "You must be the forensics expert," JB said sitting up, "Sorry for my surprise; Cesar said you were American," he added, standing and walking over to the women with his outstretched hand.

            "Susana Ortiz, Interpol USA," The woman replied, shaking JB hand. Susana had a thick American southern accent. She was indeed an American. JB reminded himself of the diversity in America was unlike most countries.

            "I’m fifth generation Mexican American, I can barely speak Spanish. I was born and raised in San Antonio," Susana said walking past JB and putting her black bag on the desk. "Don’t worry about it Agent?"

            "Jean-Baptiste Odilon, but you could call me JB or Odie."

            "Odie, like the dog?" Susanna said, smiling. The girl had a cute smile JB thought and smiled back at her even though he didn’t get the joke. Susana saw the puzzlement on his face and explained, "Back in America we have a cartoon…" she began then stopped. "Sorry you probably want to know what I found," Susana apologized opening her bag.

            "Please explain Susana, any humor would be good right now," JB asked warmly. Being French he was a charmer and lover naturally, Susana grinned showing that she was charmed. "You were saying something about a cartoon?"

            "There is a cartoon back home about a cat named Garfield and there was a goofy cute dog named Odie that was sort of like his sidekick," Susana explained in her cute southern accent as she sorted through the contents of her bag.

            "I should feel honored, yes?" JB said cracking a tired smile. "So what do you have Susana?"

            Susana smiled back briefly before speaking, "Well I found numerous shell cases all around the scene. The rounds were mostly Interpol standard casings and Mexican secret service standard issue. So nothing really special there from the kidnappers since they did not use standard fire arms," Susana explained handing JB two plastic evidence bags full of copper casings. JB looked at the bag amazed that they had fired that much and not hit anyone. "There were no finger prints found at the scene that would be much help either, the prints found were either Interpol, secret service or the President and his family," Susana reported handing JB a file.

            The Frenchmen glanced at the file as Susana looked on. She was feeling attracted to the average looking agent. It was the accent, she concluded. A college friend of her had told her once that the French were excellent lovers. Susana was now wondering if that was true now. "This name right here are you certain this is the right print and ID?" JB asked snapping Susana from her thoughts. She looked over the file and then pulled another file from her bag and glanced through it.

            "Yes that’s a positive ID the print was found on a bathroom door knob and after running through the database the print was ID to Aisha Reynolds of Interpol USA," Susana face then frowned in confusion and she looked back up at JB, "It says here that Agent Reynolds is deceased though."

            JB nodded handing the file back to Susana, "There is another print in there that belongs to Agent Cassandra Flick of Interpol Great Britain. She was said to have died on the same day as Agent Reynolds."

            Susana looked over the file and then confirmed the information with her master notes, "What’s going on here? I was only told about the Type-7 stuff and its effects; I have no idea about these dead people leaving prints behind."

            JB put the two bags full of casings back in Susana’s bag, "Bring your stuff, let’s go the press room and I’ll explain," JB gesturing to Susana to take the lead, she quickly gathered her things and led the way out.

* * *

Paradise Manor, Canada

            The lab was packed with girls, both chipped and un-chipped. They lined both sides of the lab. On one side girls were being prepped while the other side they stood at attention with vacant stares; they were either dressed in skimpy outfits or naked. There was a mix of dark and blond hair, light and dark skin, short and tall women. All were attractive. Most were from Vancouver while many other were from South America, Europe, Asia and even the United States. In the past two days they were coming in by the dozens with the lead team now returning back to base from Mexico the shipments seem to slow to a halt.

            Mary looked up from the computer monitor, rubbing the back of her shoulders. She had been up for almost twelve hours straight. All six of the cloth-topped tables were occupied by a naked form. In addition to Monica doing the programming, Mary added a blond and an Asian worker to her staff. The blond was a German tourist snatched up by one of the European teams while her Asian counterpart was a Vancouver street girl. Both women were dressed in lab coats and black heels with their hair pulled back into a conservative bun. The German, Mary figured, was the smarter one had programmed her to run the computers along with Monica while the Asian assisted Ashley. Mary was dressed in blue medical scrubs she had just regained consciousness when the first of the many shipments started to stream in. Medical scrubs brought her back to her training days; though she hated wearing the shapeless outfit but it was the fast thing she could throw on after finding herself standing naked in her room, some of Scott Dawson’s doing, she presumed.

            Looking down at the two cloth tables around her both were occupied by two Brazilian models, both women had dark wavy hair; the one on her right was dark skinned while the one on the left was deeply tanned. Both women had hourglass bodies with nice round breasts, shaven mounds and sexy slender legs. They were the last of Brazilian models; the other six were done and ready to go. Four of the South American models were programmed to become of thieves that were heading out to Europe in a couple of hours. The two blonds and two dark haired beauties stood at attention at the head of the programmed group, dressed in tight fitting black jump suits that left little to the imagination. The two models that she was currently working on for were being programmed as field agents heading out to Asia; they were on the final stages of their programming.

            The two tables next to Mary’s tables were occupied by two female Interpol agents that had come in with Scott five hours after the eight Brazilian models had. Both dark haired shapely women who lay naked with glazed-over eyes staring at the ceiling were being programmed to be members of Naoko’s security force. They’ll be the first non-blonds since Naoko. They were stronger than their blond counter parts so Mary had programmed them to hold ranking positions, Naoko’s two and three. The last two tables held two French women, both brunettes. Scott personally wanted both women to become maids. He liked the idea of authentic French maids. One of the women was out on a nightly jog when she was picked up while the other one had just left her job as nurse.

            The lab was stuffed and felt warmer with all the bodies. Mary bit her lower lip in thought as she looked around the room. This operation was in deep; there was no turning back now. Ashley and her new Asian partner were stripping down the last batch of women that had just come in an hour ago. There were six of them, two Asians, three Hispanics and a fair-skinned Irish redhead. All were naked but one of the Hispanics and the redhead who were being worked on. From what Mary knew the Irishwoman was a pro skier visiting Vancouver and was snatched at a hotel by Amber’s busy Team 4 who had brought in most of the women that were from Vancouver. The two Asians were employees at the hotel, who had the unfortunate luck of being in the wrong place the wrong time. One was a maid the other a room service girl both were young and attractive and both would fit into the Foundation’s plans. Both of the Hispanic women were street girls. Ashley was working on the Hispanic women who was not wearing very much at all; she was almost done and the woman now stood stark naked. Ashley as usual went to work on collecting the numerous articles of clothing now scattered on the ground. The Asian street walker was kneeling in front of the pro skier, and peeling off the pair of jeans that the redhead wore.

            On the other side of the lab were the programmed girls who included a handful of models and street-walkers. There were also the six starlets from LA. Scott had requested that the six women remain nude till his final look-over. The six actresses were now absent of everything that showed that they were starlets save for their stunning looks. All stood rigid at attention with blank looks on their faces and their hair hanging loose tucked behind their ears. All six were programmed to be sex slaves. They stood shoulder to naked shoulder behind the four newly chipped Brazilian thieves and the two naked Bulgarian sisters, who both stood with bright smiles on their rigid faces. The princesses had been programmed as submissive wives that would do anything that their future husbands, board members of the Foundation, had asked for. In a row behind the naked starlets were three Vancouver hookers, two maids and one security team member. The last in the group was a group of field operatives heading to Asia, which included Ms. Karen Draskal and two former Brazilian models. Karen and her two South American team members was perhaps the most decently dressed of all the programmed women, wearing a sharp looking navy suits that showed off their curves.

            Movement on the last table brought Mary from her thoughts. The two new maids sat up from their tables as the former German tourist disconnected the cords from their necks. Ashley, having finished folding the discarded clothing into piles, had two sets of maid outfits on hangers. The smiling former lead scientist handed the outfits to the two naked French women who took the outfits without a word or question. They then silently dressed and left the lab and headed to the main level already knowing where they were to work. The two newer staff members were preparing to move the redhead and one of the Asian women to the tables as Ashley moved the pile of folded clothing aside; she had a lot of laundry to do later.

            "Hold it," A serious flat voice called out, killing the silence of the lab. Ryoshi entered the lab followed by her Team 1. Aisha held a naked Lola Guzman; the first daughter of Mexico was posed straight and stiff as a board and being carried easily from around the waist by the former Interpol agent. Lola was dry now with her dark wavy hair hanging freely. Her face held an unnatural grin and her body showed evidence that the Japanese team leader had ‘tasted’ her. Aisha moved ahead of Mary’s two assistants and laid Lola down on one of the free tables. Coming in behind, the tall dark skinned woman Veronica had her arms wrapped around the First Lady of Mexico, Teresa, who was now naked. The woman was obviously Lola’s mother, sharing the same sexy body with her daughter only with slightly bigger thighs, love handles at the hips, and slightly sagging breasts. Teresa had a wide-eyed expression on her face with mouth wide open. Her body also showed signs that Ryoshi had ‘tasted’ her as well. Veronica and one of Mary’s assistants lifted the older woman on to the last free table. The last to enter the room was not Cassandra, as expected, but was Naoko and one the other blond security girls carrying Alejandro Guzman who was posed like his daughter and wife but required two women to carry due to his size. They set him up next to the remaining Asian women and the three Hispanic ladies. A pretty short-haired Mexican woman who was also not - to Mary’s surprise - naked was carried in by another one of Naoko’s girls. Mary’s two assistants moved the other two women back to their spots being that lab tables were now taken. The Mexican president looked as if he was in scandalous picture being the only person dressed standing around the seven naked women.

            "What happened?" Mary asked, getting up from her stool and only looked over briefly at mother and daughter as they were being hooked up to the computer by the former German tourist. "Where are Cassandra and Erika?"

            Ryoshi said nothing at first as she headed to nearby counter and collected a single vial of Type-7 and a chip and stuck into her bag. Mary, eager to know what happened, pulled at the Japanese woman’s arm. Ryoshi only glared at her with deep dark cold eyes, "Ronnie, Aisha, head up to the main level and rest up," she ordered. Both women nodded and left the lab as Ashley and the Asian assistant began undressing the president. Ryoshi then began to leave the lab.

            "Interpol got them, didn’t they?" Mary blurted out at Ryoshi’s back.

            Ryoshi stopped in her tracks and turned around with a suspicious look on her face, "What?" She asked walking closer to Mary.

            The redhead tensed up remembering that Ryoshi had picked up a vial of Type-7 and a chip. "Is that what happened?" Mary asked almost in a whisper now realizing that she should have kept her mouth shut.

            "Funny you should know that," Ryoshi simply said and turned to leave. Looking over her shoulder she noted the look of relief on Mary’s face. Being a spy she was master of reading people’s faces she took note of the look and stopped at the doorway of the lab. "Erika’s in the loading dock; she passed out during the op," Ryoshi said flatly and left the lab.

* * *

Mexico City, Mexican Interpol Branch HQ Press room

            Tasia and Jelena stood posed on an elevated stage in the front of room. Tasia was crouching with a serious look on her face. Her right hand which once held her USP was empty with her fingers still curled as if she was still holding it. The Mexican Interpol agents had pried the gun out of her hands for safety reasons. She was a solid fleshy statue, which was not posable like other Type-7 victims. Jelena was in the same condition; she had been disarmed as well but was frozen in very dramatic pose with hair hanging in mid-air, body held at an odd angle and legs in a running motion. Amazingly her body kept the suspended position perfectly. Since the complete immobility of the two women kept them from being re-posed, they were put on stage. The other Type-7 frozen agents sat on cushioned folding chairs in front of the stage. Lucienne with her back straight sat with a perfect posture with arms straight and tight at her sides. The French woman held the same puckered lip expression that she was frozen with; her wide staring eyes looked forward at some unknown object in the room. Marika and Colette, who were both sitting in the same pose, flanked her. They had been posed there by two female agents who thought it was odd to be posing the women in the first place. Cassandra sat in a similar pose at the other end of the room, partly because she was considered to be a suspect.

            JB stood over a table in the back of room looking over all the evidence that was collected from the scene it was all spread out in front of him for further examination. His back was to the frozen women in the room. Susana was amazed of what had happened the agents, especially Lucienne Christophe, who almost every female Interpol agent looked up to. She didn’t really want to touch any of the women; she just looked at them closely as she had done with the other frozen Mexicans at the hospital. She had first looked at Tasia and Jelena; finding both women were just amazing in the way that they were frozen. She had attempted to move their limbs but found that they were stuck and solid. With some effort their clothing could be removed but as for their bodies they were more or less stuck. Getting bored of the frozen people, she had examined nearly a hundred today, she looked at her watch. "Hey Odie I got to go. I have a briefing to get ready for. You have any questions?" She asked, walking up to JB who was looking at the iPhone looking device in the plastic evidence bag. "Of all the clues there you had to pick up that one," Susana laughed picking up her large black bag. "I have no idea what that is. There are no prints on it and it looks damaged. A hooked up iPhone maybe?"

            "Looks like a remote," JB observed.

            "Maybe," Susana replied as they both looked at the bagged item in silence.

            JB noticing the awkward silence broke it by clearing his throat, "Sorry to keep you Susana, I’m fine; you can leave and you could tell Agent Holland he could go too. I could take care of them without assistants," he added gesturing to the tableaux of frozen women behind him.

            "It’s no problem, Odie," Susana said with her cute smile. "They got me living in a crap hole. That’s Interpol for you," she added with sigh. "I’d rather be anywhere else but there. Anyways, I best be heading out; good luck to you Odie," she then said offering her head. He took it and nodded.

            He listened to the voices on the other side of the door, hearing Susana and English Interpol agent Holland for bit before he was sure he was alone. He then locked door and looked around at the suspended women. Any other man in his shoes would have gone nuts, there were four women that he could ravish and pose. As much as he wanted to do that, he knew if he did he could never live with himself. Lucienne had kicked his ass during hand-to-hand combat training back in the day so he didn’t want to get her mad by doing something un-gentleman like. He closed his eyes, keeping himself in check. He took a deep breath before opening them and glanced around the room expecting to feel more relaxed but instead there was a stiffening feeling in his pants.

            Running his hands through his hair nervously, he walked over and stood in front of the three women and looked at their empty-looking eyes, the man in him took over his thinking. Marika was a no-go; she was engaged. Lucienne was a no-go either; not only was she French and his boss he looked at the woman as a sister as well. He gazed over the two on the stage; they were too stiff. He didn’t want to deal with that. Looking across the room he felt junior stiffening, he was of course strongly attracted to Cassandra but he didn’t want see or experience her this way. Turning back to the three, his eyes fell upon young Colette. He grinned, "Sorry, mon cheri, I have to do something…"

            Junior eventually got the better of JB. Marika, Cassandra, Jelena and Tasia remained as they were. Colette was now standing wide legged with her hands running through her blond hair. Her body was completely naked with a pile of clothing at her feet. The French Canadian agent had a stunning body, round breasts with cute pink nipples a clean shaven mound, with sexy smooth and athletic legs. JB was surprised to see a ‘Superman’ tattoo on her left buttock. Once he had gotten Colette naked, his urge for seeing his boss naked was unstoppable. Standing over a pile of her own clothes, the veteran agent and task force commander was stark naked with her hands cupping her breasts. Lucienne was too hot. All those dreams that JB had of her back then did no justice; she was hotter naked in person then he could ever imagine. Both women bore an unnaturally wide-eyed expression thanks to JB.

            The door to the press room unlocked and then opened as JB slipped back into the room. His tie was now gone, his shirt untucked, with his sleeves up around his elbows. After seeing the two women naked, JB had to visit the restroom where he stayed for almost thirty minutes. He really could only bring himself to undress the women but actual sex was completely out of the question. With his member and right arm sore, JB locked the press room door for third time that day and looks at the two naked women with their backs to him. He lets out a sigh, feeling his pants stir again…this was surely the French in him. He touches his crotch lightly as if saying ‘down boy’ and wanders over to the table in back of the room. He has to dress them back up now. Breathing a sigh of exhaustion, he sat down heavily on the table, then quickly jumped back up, feeling something hard on his ass. Turning around, he picked up the remote-looking device and looked at it. He sat down again only to stand back up this time, letting out a girly yelp escape his lips.

            Standing right in front of him was Cassandra. The former Interpol agent looked at him quizzically. The Brit stood straight with her hands behind her back. JB instinctively reached for his gun, which was hidden under his now untucked shirt. "Hold it right there," he spoke, his accent thick. Cassandra didn’t move and only stared at him. "What are you doing?"

            "I am doing as I am asked," Cassandra replied calmly. Even though it was Cassandra and Cassandra’s voice there was something missing. She wasn’t normal.

            "What?" JB asked confused. "Are you okay, Cassie?"

            "I am holding as ordered. I am fine," Cassandra simply said with a slight grin.

            The room was silent for nearly five minutes at JB thought. He looked at Cassandra who looked at him. He then looked down at the remote, which seemed not to be working anymore. His ass seemed to have broken it. He tossed it aside and quickly went through all the briefing and debriefings from the past and recent cases. Sierra Escorts had used chips to control their women. Cassandra must be chipped. She was like a living robot. "Are you chipped?"

            "Non applicable," Cassandra simple answered in almost monotone voice.

            Of course she wasn’t going to know that, JB thought. The chip didn’t allow the women to think, just to take orders and run accordingly to their set programs. At least this was what the Interpol techs had briefed them on. He thought of another test, "Take of your clothes," Cassandra smiled and began unbuttoning her shirt. JB eyes shot wide, "Stop!" She stopped and stared back at him with a grin. "Bark like dog," he then ordered. As expected she did as she was told. JB went through a bunch of orders as she complied with all of them without question. He was having a blast, never had he felt so much control over a woman. "I love you, Cassandra," he then said. Cassandra stood silent and only smiled. JB looked down and sighed. She was too fake; ordering her to do things only went so far. He liked Cassandra for everything she was. Not a mindless dummy that did whatever he said even though it was kind of nice. "Stay put," he ordered and got up and walked around the brunette. JB pulled aside her hair and exposed the nape of her neck. As expected he spotted the chip. He was about to pull it off when he looked over at the other two naked women. He smiled. One more command, he thought. "Cassandra, redress them."

            Cassandra did what she was told without question while JB fixed himself up to look more like an Interpol agent than a sex-crazed bum. In ten minutes both women were dressed and stood at attention. Cassandra stood in front of both women in a relaxed and silent stance, waiting for her next order. There wasn’t one. JB stepped behind her and carefully peeled the chip off her neck. Cassandra went weak almost immediately and fell into JB’s arms limply.

            "Cassandra!" JB exclaimed, thinking he had killed her. I should have called a tech, he thought lowering the Brit agent to the ground. He was relieved to hear Cassandra let out a moan. "Are you okay?"

            "Weak… tired," she muttered softly with her eyes shut. "Is that you, Odie?"

            "Yes it’s me," JB said happily. "Did you know there is dog named after me in an American cartoon?" JB said randomly out of joy.

            Cassandra giggled weakly, "You should be honored. Those yanks," she said weakly snuggling up against his body. "I’m so tired…"

Paradise Manor, Canada

            The lab work was running smoothly even with Mary not assisting. Monica and the German had finished most of the programming.  Only a few remained, which included a Mexican president who Mary would have to program herself, his program being more advanced. They worked quickly unaffected by fatigue. They were silent only doing what they were told which was programmed into their chips. A perfect productive work force where no one complained or talked; this was only a small glimpse of what was in store for the world if the Foundation’s plans were to succeed.

* * *

            "How are you feeling, Erika?" Mary asked. She had found Erika abandoned by Ryoshi in one of the Foundation’s vans. With the help of some security staff members she got Erika back up to her quarters where she undressed her tucked her into her bed. She was about to un-chip her but Scott had warned that Erika was extremely powerful and without the chip she could potential destroy and expose everything. She was Erika Stone, after all, even without her unique gift she was powerful naturally and people would easily listen to her. So Mary kept the chip on but re-programmed it so she would only rest. Erika remained quiet to the question she was in a deep slumber as programmed. Mary grinned as she brushed away loose strands of blond hair from the billionaire’s face. She traced Erika’s soft pink lips with her fingers and looked down at the sleeping blonde with motherly compassion. She was feeling tired herself, so she stood and stripped off her scrubs and climbed into bed, cuddling with Erika. She could feel Erika’s heart rate was still weak and the blonde shuddered in her arms a bit. Mary was going to have to un-chip her soon; Erika’s life depended on that. "Talk about stuck between a rock and hard place," Mary muttered, falling asleep.

* * *

            Ryoshi dried her hair as she stepped out of the shower. After drying the rest of body off, she tossed the moist fluffy towel aside and walked into her spacious room. Veronica and Aisha sat on the bed patiently waiting for her. Both women had huge grins on their faces and eyed the Japanese woman seductively as she came out of the bathroom stark naked with silky black hair slicked back and hanging freely. Veronica and Aisha were both naked as well and held each other as they waited for their mistress. Ryoshi pulled on a black silk robe and sat down in front of mirror and began combing her silky black hair. She looked down on the table, eying the chip and vial of Type-7 that she had taken from the lab earlier. There was a knock at her door. She stopped brushing her hair and looked at herself in the mirror once more. Taking in her natural beauty and reflecting what she had done in life. It was a good life she thought and nodded to herself. She turned around at her two lovers, "Sleep," she ordered flatly. As if hit with sleeping darts Veronica and Aisha slumped over each limply. Aisha was even snoring softly and Veronica let out a comfortable moan. Ryoshi sighed, putting her favorite brush down and picking up the Type-7 vial and chip stuffing them into her robe pocket.

            Waiting at the door was Caitlin. "Mistress, Mr. Dawson would like to see you in his room," Caitlin politely said with a nod and smile. The redheaded Brit was dressed in her usual slutty looking business attire. Ryoshi nodded.

* * *

            Scott’s room was only a three-minute walk from her own room and she was there in no time. Caitlin opened the double doors leading into the mansion’s master bedroom, which was the size of a small condo. The redhead let her in and then closed doors behind her after she was in. The large room was decorated with fine Persian carpeting, hard oak and tan walls masked with expensive paintings. Red leather cushioned furniture dotted the large space as well as fine polished wooden tables. Scott was dressed in a classy looking robe and was seated at the corner of bed. Standing next to his bed was Senior Agent Sophia Katsopolis of Interpol Greece. The blond Greek agent stood completely naked showing her large breasts and shapely body to all. Her face held a wide smile and with squinting eyes.

Scott had his usual emotionless expression. He looked at Ryoshi seriously as she entered the room. Ryoshi held her head up high and walked over to him. She then sat on her knees in front him. He looked down at her. His expression went from serious to puzzled in a blink of an eye. "There is no excuse for what happened I take full responsibility," Ryoshi said, bowing her head in shame and handing Scott the chip and Type-7 vial. "Chipping me would be best for you and the Foundation."

            "Thanks," Scott said taking the contents out of Ryoshi’s delicate hands. She held her position with her head bowed. But nothing happened. She looks up to see Scott bending Sophia over at the waist. He then inserted the chip as well as the injected the already immobilized agent with another dosage. "I was going to get Caitlin to get one for me," he explained as he stood the blond Greek back up, "You’re always thinking ahead like that, Ryoshi. That’s why you’re good."

            Ryoshi looked up at her boss puzzled, "Scott…" she said sadly. "I screwed up."

            "You’re human too. Now stand up. I’ll have none of that submissive Japanese stuff from you," he said coming over to her and helping her back up to her feet. "Don’t ever think that I will ever chip you. You’re too good for that and you’re too valuable to me. Plus there are already enough chipped people around this place. I don’t need you chipped as well. Who I am ever going to talk to? Mary?" He scoffed. "Plus why do I need to chip you, you already do everything I tell you to do," he explained smiling and nudging his friend. Ryoshi grinned back at him.

            "I lost Cassandra. There maybe something seriously wrong with Erika as well," Ryoshi said, still feeling down.

            Scott walked behind the small mini bar and gestured her over to join him as he collected two glass cups and poured both of them some whiskey "Cassandra is a great loss but we have three new Interpol agents now so I think we made that up. Erika… well she’s American, so there’s always something wrong with her," he joked drinking his glass of whiskey.  Ryoshi couldn’t help but to grin at that one as she took a sip of her whiskey As she pulled the glass away from her lips she froze in place with lips slightly parted and dark eyes empty. Scott sniffed looking at the Japanese woman suspended before him. "My allergies were acting up," he smiled. "Ryoshi Tenzo. You are my number one girl," he spoke to her unhearing ears as he walked around the bar and then hoisted her up from the hips. "You are correct, you did mess up, and that merits a punishment. I’ll never chip you. I made the mistake of getting too close to you so that is very fortunate for you as you are saved from any chipping. I’m not even into Asian girls too," he added dragging the stiff woman to his bed. He tossed her board-like body onto the mattress it bounced awkwardly before coming to rest. Scott stripped off his robe and then climbed into his bed, tearing off Ryoshi’s robe. "I have waited so long to do this… you my friend are the only Asian girl that Scott Dawson has a thing for. You should be honored," he said huskily as he began to grope and kiss her. She was frozen, so this didn’t count, at least conventionally anyways.

* * *

Mexico City, Mexico Central Medical Center

            Thankfully Tasia was the first to come out of her suspended state, followed by Jelena. A couple of hours later the others came out as well. Colette and Lucienne totally oblivious of the fact JB had seen them for all their worth. JB, hit with major guilt for what he did, bought everyone breakfast and even told Lucienne the bad news hoping her yelling at him would make him feel better. She however did not yell at him even though she was clearly upset about the matter. Everyone was happy to know that Cassandra was back as well, so JB figured that to be the reason for Lucienne not blowing up at him. She did have a bit of alone time where no one was allowed to see her, Tasia told them that she heard Lucienne yelling in French though.

            JB looked like shit, not being able to sleep due to his guilt, which he was too ashamed to ever speak of. He was feeling better though seeing Cassandra alive and well. The Brit agent had slept for the night and was feeling more refreshed and even smiled more than she has ever smiled before just happy seeing her friends again. She sat in a hospital bed now, dressed in a pale pink hospital gown; JB insisted she go to the hospital for observation, she was too tired to argue so there she was. JB and Marika sat at her bedside and kept her company. Jelena did not really know Cassandra, so she stood out in the hallway reading a soccer magazine. Tasia, Colette and Lucienne were at the Interpol Mexican Branch building reviewing the case with Cesar and his teams.

            "I really don’t remember anything. I can’t believe it’s been that long. I have to talk to my parents and family. They went to my bloody service…" Cassandra said leaning back on her pillow. "I wish I could remember something to help you guys out. I just remember driving that’s it and then waking up in Odie’s arms feeling exhausted."

            "Don’t worry about it Cass. Just take it easy," Marika said, motherly.

            "Aisha… I have to talk to her family too. Let them know she’s ok and we’ll get her back."

            "We’ll?" Lucienne asked at the door as she came in with Tasia following. "What do you mean we’ll we’re doing are the work you lazy Limy!" The French agent held a box in the nook of arm. "Cassie I’m so glad to see you," Lucienne said, handing JB the box and leaning over the bed to hug her best friend.

            Tasia was next, "Great to see you again Cassie. You should have seen it at your funeral Lucy was balling her eyes out like baby."

            Lucienne shoved Tasia hard making her fall over Marika. The Greek only giggled as she sat on Marika’s lap. The Finnish staring at her disapprovingly, "I wasn’t the only one," she shot back looking at Marika and Tasia.

            "I didn’t say anything," Marika defended. Looking over at JB who was opening the package, "What do you have there?"

            "Our friend inside the Paradise Foundation sent that to our home office it just got forwarded here," Lucienne explained as JB pulled a familiar slim-looking remote out along with some skin toned chips. "What the hell is that?" Lucienne asked looking over a note that came with the package.

            "I know what this is…" JB replied flatly examining the skin tone colored chips.

* * *

Paradise Manor, Canada

            Mary now dressed more smartly and sharp after a good nights rest entered Scott’s study as requested. The lab was clear; her assistants took care of everything overnight. For the first time in nearly two days her lab tables were empty. She was glad to see Scott since she had good news to tell him. Maybe with her progress he would let her do something about Erika, who was still sleeping in her bed. The redheaded biologist stopped dead in her tracks as she walked into Scott’s study. Caitlin followed her in and was unfazed to what Mary was looking at. Caitlin simply gave Scott some requested files and left the study smiling and nodding at Mary.

            Standing to the right of Scott’s desk was a statue of Ryoshi Tenzo. The former Japanese spy was dressed in Canadian pride cheerleader outfit, that included a ruffled red and white mini skirt, which showed off a lot of leg and a sleeveless matching top with ‘Canada’ inscribed in the front of it. She stood rigid, with legs wide and pom-pom covered hands on her hips. Her face bore a wide smile that was unnatural for the serious spy. Mary noted that the Japanese woman now had blue contacts in too. Her face was also heavily made up as well; Ryoshi had loads of natural beauty so the make-up only amplified her looks. There were painted red maple leaves on her cheeks to finish off her look. Her black hair was now bright blond - nearly white - and tied into pigtails with red and white bands.

            "What in the world?" Mary asked, walking up to Ryoshi and walking around the stuck cheerleader. She noted the blond hair was not wig and was Ryoshi’s hair, dyed. "This is too good."

            "Ms. Tenzo fouled up on the last op. This is merely her minor punishment," Scott replied, still looking over the files that Caitlin had handed him.

            Mary poked at Ryoshi’s cheek and smiled, "If you want me to chip her, it’ll be my pleasure. I could have her programmed to be ditzy and valley girl-like," Mary offered, eager to see the woman naked on her table. She looked down at Ryoshi legs, having never seen them before. They looked like they had recently been waxed. The woman had legs to die for. Ryoshi’s skin was also tanner in tone adding a great contrast to her bright blond hair.

            "There will be none of that," Scott replied. "Ms. Tenzo will be back with us in a day or so. This is temporary."


            "Yes, Dr. Hamilton, temporary as in not permanent," Scott replied now looking up at Mary. "I take it everything is well in the lab?"

            Mary feeling defeated that the ice women would be back answered, "Yes, we’re on schedule and we’re ready for the next batch."

            "That’s good I’ve deployed all teams out earlier this morning. Your programmed batch should be empty."

            "Everyone is gone. The new agents were deployed this morning. The VIPs are in storage as well as an extra Mexican guard that Ryoshi snatched up."

            "I want her programmed to Ryoshi’s preference and in her room later."

            "You’re giving her a gift?"

            Scott raised an eye brow, "Is there problem Doctor? I sense hostility in your voice," Scott was starting to grow tired of Mary’s protests. He was starting to sense that she had something against Ryoshi and that would not do if she wanted to remain in the company. "I value Ms. Tenzo’s service; it is irreplaceable."

            "She’ll get her gift, Scott," Mary then said, turning to leave. She didn’t want to be in the room any longer. "She used to be spy Scott, a double-agent; I wouldn’t put that much trust into someone like that," Mary said over her shoulder.

            "Have Erika up and ready for the next op. She’s rested enough. I want that twitching blonde out of your room," Scott shot back coldly with a grin. Mary only paused slightly before she continued walking.


Chapter 4

Interpol Branch HQ Press Room, Mexico City, Mexico

            "No way," was JB's immediate reply to what Lucienne had just said after going over what was on the note she'd received from her contact. Marika was off in the lab with Colette helping her out, looking over one of the sample chips they'd gotten in the mail and the one removed from Cassandra. Tasia was off somewhere else, supposedly looking into the latest clue they'd received. Cassandra and Jelena were with the two French agents in the room.

            The note had carried two messages: First noting that the next incident would occur in New York, and that the chips in the package would help them in their fight. The team members were skeptical to say the least. "I'm not putting that on," agreed Jelena. Cassandra didn't need to speak, everyone knew what her opinion on it was.

            "Come on, whoever this is, they haven't steered us wrong yet," insisted Lucienne. "They say that that remote and every other one won't affect is if we wear them. In addition any Type-7 we're hit with will also be rendered useless as it'll block it out, meaning we just have to watch out for Erika stopping time."

            "Don't forget that weird projector thing they have," Jelena reminded the senior agent. "Anyhow, I think there's only one way any of us will put one of those on."

            "What's that?" asked Lucienne, hoping to get her team to trust their informant.

            "Put it on yourself," declared the Croatian. "I'll even do the honors."

            "Fine, if that's how it has to be," agreed Lucienne with a shrug, and JB fought the urge to smile. Lucienne was always willing to go first just so everyone else would feel safe, a nice leadership quality she had. Jelena walked up, took a chip from the French woman and motioned for her to turn around. Lucienne did as she was instructed and brushed aside her hair, revealing the spot where Jelena would put it. Without hesitation the Croatian placed the chip on the back of Lucienne's neck and took a step back, waiting. Nothing happened, Lucienne remained where she was, holding the letter and chips in her right hand out in front of her while her left held her hair aside as she looked down.

            "Lucy?" whispered Cassandra, getting no response. "Uh oh... "

            "Hang on, lets examine it for a moment," insisted JB, walking over to the seemingly frozen woman and looking at the chip on her neck. "Oh, I see a little bump here, I don't think its on all the way," Pressing down with his finger JB fully connected the chip with Lucienne's skin, completing contact and resulting in her immediately snapping her neck up.

            "See?" chuckled the woman, turning to face the others. "I'm fine, nothing happened," Suppressing a grin Jelena and the others silently agreed not to let Lucienne know about the small hiccup. The senior agent promptly handed a chip to each of the team members present. "I'll go drop these off with the others and check with Tasia on how her research is going," announced Lucienne, then heading out the door.

            "She'll probably figure out that little bug as soon as she tries putting one on one of the others," predicted Cassandra with a smile. "Marika's got the two remotes we have so hopefully she'll test them out for us."

            "I don't know about you but I'm waiting before putting mine on," declared JB.

            "Bah, Lucienne was fine, don't be a child," joked Jelena, quickly parting her own hair and sticking the chip onto the back of her neck. The Croatian had been too relaxed however and made the same mistake as when she'd put it on Lucienne, the small needle which controlled the Type-7 going in first and freezing her in place before she finished putting it on. As a result of her reckless actions it was Jelena's turn to stand still with her left hand holding her hair, though her left was the one holding the chip in place as she looked at JB, who was to her right, with a full white-toothed grin. JB and Cassandra burst out laughing.

            "Serves her right after that!" chuckled Cassandra. "Lets leave here there for a couple of minutes, let her cool off," As her laughter faded Cassandra looked down at her own chip. "I just had one of these on my neck for around six months... I don't know if I can do that again."

            "Hey, this time it could save us and let us put these creeps away for good," JB told Cassandra, putting his hand on her shoulder. After a brief silence Cassandra looked up at JB with weak smile on her face.

            "Alright then, I don't suppose you could put mine on for me?" asked the Brit, handing her flesh-colored chip to JB. He nodded and stepped behind her while she leaned forward slightly at the neck, using his left hand to move her hair aside and his right to lower the chip into place. As with Jelena and Lucienne the small Type-7 regulator contacted first, resulting in Cassandra stiffening up. Feeling Cassandra suddenly freeze JB hesitated, knowing it would be a good opportunity for him to do what he'd always been eager to do with her. The hesitation passed however and Odie pushed the chip into place.

            "Weird, I don't even feel it," muttered Cassandra, reaching up as JB removed his hands. Promptly turning around, Cassandra surprised Odie as she was now close enough to easily be breathing his air, not giving him a chance to back up or anything. From his past experiences with the woman, JB had never known Cassandra to be that keen on being that close to someone, except maybe Lucienne. "Your turn," she announced with a bigger smile, causing JB to shrug and turn around. Due to a height problem JB leaned over quite a bit and Cassandra approached him from the side, carefully and expertly putting it into place. Just in case some part of Cassie was still tied to the Paradise Foundation, JB had purposely glanced at his watch before bending over. To his relief when he checked again moments later perhaps two extra seconds had elapsed.

            "Right, we're all dressed up and no place to go," grinned JB, Cassandra in front of him and returning the smile. A moment later the smiles faded and JB found himself thinking about how beautiful Cassandra was, dark-haired women having always been his true weakness. Both Cassandra and JB became aware of just how close they were standing to one another but instead of stepping apart the pair remained where they were and enjoyed it. Slowly, ever so slowly, Cassandra reached out with her hands and took JB's in them, their fingers locking and the pair feeling the heat from each other's palms. As their gazes locked and remained that way Odie began to lean forward and to the left, Cassandra looking up and not making an attempt to resist.

            "Alright, everyone's good to go!" announced Marika as she started to emerge from the doorway. The senior Finnish agent had been looking down at a file she'd received moments ago thus Cassandra and JB had enough time to jump apart, the former going over to Jelena and pretending to work on her chip while the latter rubbed the back of his own neck. "Funny thing, the needles on the chips can freeze you if they... ah, I see you've found that out," noted Marika, seeing Cassandra hovering behind the Croatian. "It surprised me a bit when I put one on Colette but luckily I figured it out. The others will be here shortly, they're just handing our travel arrangements."

            "Travel arrangements?" repeated JB in surprise as Jelena blinked, unfreezing. "Where are we going, New York like the message said?"

            "Yes, we have reason to believe that a session of the UN will be interrupted, possibly for the same reason the Mexican President was attacked," declared Marika. "It seems our opposition is no longer content with kidnapping beautiful women, but they've moved on to important politicians. Of course, some of the representatives at the summit are usually Hollywood starlets who've turned their attention to charities and world peace."

            "To live the life of pampered millionaires," chuckled Jelena, shaking her head. "These are people who live the dream many have but few achieve, then they go and act like they're smarter than all of us."

            "They may be somewhat pretentious, but they do give some hope to a lot of people," retorted Cassandra.

            "Ah, good to see you're all equipped," announced Lucienne as she, Colette and Tasia entered the room. "The chips will come in handy, since-"

            "We know, Marika just told us," interrupted Jelena, getting the evil eye from Tasia, Cassandra and JB.

            "Our priority is to capture whoever is deployed, and I'm assuming it will be a fair number of people," continued Lucienne, ignoring the interruption. "Two tactical units will be at our disposal, plus emergency roadblocks are available for activation within seconds of us contacting them. If Erika Stone stops time we might have a problem, but these chips should make us immune to their Type-7 weaponry and their chip-controlling remotes, leaving them at a large disadvantage. The big gamble is that Stone won't be able to keep it together long enough for them to accomplish their goal, as we saw at the President's estate."

            "That is quite the gamble," noted JB. "Still, if these things work properly we should be able to capture some of them, especially if they're chipped like Cassandra was, given that we have two remotes now. Well, the one I broke is fully repaired, right?"

            "Yes, your butt managed not to destroy every vital component," laughed Colette, holding up the repaired device.

            "JB, you'll carry one, I'll have the other," declared Lucienne. "You'll have Jelena and Cassandra with you, Tasia and Marika will stay with me. Colette, you'll be out liaison in the main security room, watching the cameras. We know that there were five at the estate, but with Cassandra back with us there might only be four to worry about, if we're lucky."

            "Right then, I'll go grab my stuff from the hotel and meet you at the airport," announced Jelena, heading for the exit. Marika quickly left as well, as did Tasia with Cassandra and JB soon behind. Now only Colette was left standing with Lucienne.

            "Lucienne... do you think...?" began Colette, red in the face and struggling for words.

            "Don't worry Colette, I'm sure Aisha will be there, and we'll get her back," the senior French agent told the computer expert, offering her a pat on the back.

* * *

United Nations, Manhattan, International Territory

            The tactical teams were all in place as well as her team. JB had reported that his positions were clear and ready while Tasia made final adjustments to theirs. Lucienne easily fitted into her surroundings as well as the rest of her team. Everyone was all dressed in business attire with their USPs hidden. As with any government oriented building there was no smoking and the French agent didn’t want to go outside, she would have to pass several security check points to get in and out. So to keep her mind clear and focused she walked the large building among the other regular United Nations employees who didn’t look at her twice or noticed the bulge at her hip. Lucienne was focused on the click-clack of her heels when her cell phone rang. It was a private number, meaning it was another Interpol agent.

            "Christophe," Lucienne answered quickly flipping her phone open. She had numerous teams and agents doing work for her and any news from them could mean a break in the case.

            "Hey Lucy, its Tak," Replied the voice on the other end, Special Agent Takahishi Nakamura was in charge of Lucienne’s Team 4 who was stationed in Italy. Tak, known by his closer friends, had connections within the Japanese intelligence service which made him handy if anyone wanted to know any ‘unofficial’ Japanese information. The Japanese agent was in Lucienne’s training class and was considered a trusted friend to the popular French agent.

            "Hey what’s up Tak? It’s great to hear from you," Lucienne greeted smiling at the thought of the scruffy looking Japanese agent who always looked like he had just woken up. "How is your team?"

            "They’re all fine we’re all worried about Sophia though. Two of my agents are Greeks while the other three including myself worked closely with Sophia in past cases," Tak replied and Lucienne could sense the fatigue in his voice the came with worrying about close friend.

            "We’ll get her back… I’m sure she’s alright Tak," Lucienne assured, "It’s not like these people to kill attractive women. They’re using them for something."

            Tak took a deep breath before speaking again. Regaining himself, Sophia was just a popular as Lucienne among the veteran agents. While Lucienne was popular for her toughness Sophia was popular for her skills in diplomacy she was good at cooling people down. "I got some information on what you requested."

            "Great, let’s hear it," Before they had left Mexico City, Lucienne had made a call to Tak and described Ryoshi to Tak, hoping he could find something more about the mysterious Japanese woman. "Right now anything small or large would help."

            "Well…I’m not sure if this would help you," Tak began. From the sound of his voice Lucienne could already tell she wasn’t going to be pleased. Tak went on after slight pause, "From your description, which was very detailed by the way, I was able to input it into some databases. I found a few names but one name stood out. Ryoshi Tenzo of Kyoto, Japan; she’s trained field operative for a few agencies, very good record and very highly trained she was the top in many of her classes. She was last stationed in Tokyo…"

            "That’s great news, Tak, I don’t get why you feeling so down. With a full name like that we’re able to do a lot; I’ll get my computer expert on it," Lucienne said happily, not realizing that she had cut off her friend. Ryoshi Tenzo was key to this case and she maybe the ringleader as well. Lucienne was about to say thanks and hang up when Tak quickly spoke.

            "Lucy, let me finish. Ryoshi Tenzo died almost three years ago. She was shot in the line of duty; her funeral was a big deal," Tak explained flatly, knowing that he had just let the air out of Lucienne’s balloon.

            Lucienne feeling sad and sorry that she thought this Ryoshi Tenzo was even a suspect, took a shot, "Are you sure?"

            "My sister is a Tokyo Metro Inspector. I asked her about the case. It seemed that Ryoshi was undercover in the Canadian based crime syndicate. Apparently her cover was blown and she was shot execution-style. They found her body a week later…it was bad Lucy her mother could not even recognize her."

            Lucienne grimaced at the thought and imagined if something like that had happened to Tasia, who went undercover a lot. She shook the thought from her head. "Thanks Tak. We can rule out Ms. Tenzo as a suspect for now. Send me her file anyways, just in case though, and keep your ear to ground and let me know if anything else pops up."

            "No problem Lucy, say hi to Odie for me and tell him he still owes me for dinner. How can a guy forget his wallet that many times every time we go out?" Tak asked.

            Lucienne smiled, "You know us French," she laughed as they hung up. Looking at her watch she noted it was still another thirty minutes before the summit meeting began. She’d check on Colette who was stationed in the main security room before joining back up with Marika and Tasia who were already embedded among the growing crowd inside the General Assembly. JB and his team were stationed just outside the large room. Both tactical teams were spread out and hidden when deployed they would lock down the whole complex with the help of building security and the NYPD.

* * *

            Jelena had gone and checked on stationed tactical teams; at least that’s what she had told JB and Cassandra. JB suspected she just wanted to go check out their guns and gear. Even though the Croatian was part of an investigation team her true roots laid with a tactical team. JB and Cassandra sat in a waiting area just across the hall from the General Assembly; the room resembled a terminal of a bus station or airport with its row of connected cushioned armchairs. The two Interpol agents dressed similarly in dark business suits sat a seat from one another and looked like two representatives waiting for the Summit meeting to start. Cassandra, dressed in sharp skirt suit with sheer black hosiery and shiny black heels, sat with her legs crossed at the knees and her head slightly leaning forward with her eyes shut in thought. JB sat kind of slouching with his cell phone in hand; he was playing Tetris, trying to beat his highest score. He would glance over at Cassandra every now and then taking in her beauty as she sat there like an angel. Her face held a neutral look as if she was peacefully sleeping, her long brown hair tied back into a ponytail and her hands rested together on her lap.

            The French agent jumped when Cassandra opened her eyes and turned to him. She seemed to not notice he had been staring or he had jumped when she laid her brown eyes on him. "I’m missing nearly a year of my life. I have no clue what happened to me where I was or what I was doing. It’s just a hole in my memory. I feel so robbed," Cassandra explained using some hand gestures and catching the attention some people around them. She didn’t seem to care and continued, "My kid nephew can walk and talk now. A cousin of mine got married another is having kids. My mom…" she started to say crossing her arms. "My death had destroyed her. Now that I’m back, she’s different. I don’t know how but she’s not the same. This is so odd. I been alive for the last year, what’s worst is that I have been committing crimes… kidnapping people… and I have no clue of it. I may have done something terrible to Hui and Miranda. I can’t live with myself if they don’t go back to normal, Hui is so lively and positive, such a lovely person, and Miranda she’s got so much ahead of her… and now they’re…" Cassandra shut her eyes and began to sob quietly.

            JB was silent for a second, looking around, feeling awkward. No one was paying attention to them. He got up and moved to the empty seat between them. He never saw Cassandra break down like this or even heard of her breaking down. She was as tough as Lucienne. He gently wrapped his arms around her and she leaned her body against his willingly and naturally as if they had been doing it for years. "Cassie, none of this is your fault. You have to remember that. Hui and Miranda they’re still alive. You did not do anything to them. It was all in the chip. Not you," JB said quietly and clearly. "Cassandra Flick would never do anything like that."

            Cassandra remained quiet sniffing and wiping her eyes. She pulled away from JB and smiled weakly. "You’re such a good friend JB," she simply said sitting back in her seat like nothing had happened. JB grinned to himself and was about to move back to his seat when he felt Cassandra touch his arm. Looking forwards with her hand firmly holding his arm, "One thing that I have gotten out of this whole thing is that life is short. It is there one moment and gone the next," she turned and faced him and smiled, "Odie, I have feelings for you…"

            JB looked at Cassandra in shock for a moment before his lips cracked a smile and the two them sat holding hands and grinning like teenagers. "I feel the same way," he whispered, softly enough for her to only hear.

* * *

            The General Assembly was nearly full and everyone was standing around talking there seemed to be hundreds of different accents in the room. Marika and Tasia stood towards the back of room and mingled as if they were two dignitaries catching up on old times. Unlike the other dignitaries the two Interpol agents scanned the room unnoticed with a trained eye as they carried on a casual conversation. The redhead was dressed in a cream-colored pants suit that Marika thought made the Greek stand out too much; everyone else - even most of the dignitaries and representatives - wore darker suits. Tasia’s suit also showed off her sexy body too much, she was dancing between sexy office worker and straight up slut.

            "So, Lucienne tells me I could have my own team by next year," Tasia announced in a tone that was more of bragging tone than anything else.

            "You should really slow down Tasia. You are good but not that good. Hui is still senior to you I’m pretty sure they’ll make her team lead before you. If you move too fast people will get suspicious," Marika warned. She liked Tasia and considered the young Greek to be a friend but lately Tasia was beginning to act bolder in her exploits even a little cocky since she was so close to Lucienne. Marika knew the French woman had a soft spot for the Greek.

            "Hui before me? Come on Marika. Hui is kinda stiff right now, and there’s no sign she’s going to come out of it. Getting promoted is going to be hard for her don’t you think?" Tasia asked jokingly with a smile. Her smile faded quickly seeing that Marika looked heated, the Finnish agent never was the type to get angry. "I’m sorry; that was very disrespectful of me and uncalled for."

            "I’ve known Hui longer than you. Don’t ever think you could talk about her that way. Even if it is a joke," Marika sternly said glaring down at the younger women with almost hateful eyes. Tasia looked down at her feet, clearly hurt.

            "I’m sorry Marika…" Tasia said in tiny voice. When it all came down to it, Cassandra, Hui, Marika and even JB knew each other for years and they all shared old history together that made them seasoned vets something that she had to achieved. She felt unwanted standing silently next to the tall blond. "Hui is a great agent she’ll make lead before I do. She deserves it."

            "No she won’t," Marika simply said looking down at Tasia with a grin.

            Tasia was confused, "What?"

            "Sorry I snapped at you. I’m dealing with a lot of stress. Hui is a good friend to all of us I’m so worried about what’s going to happen to her that’s all. The truth is you are probably going make lead agent before Hui," Marika said with a comforting smile. "Hui has been put up for promotion several times and she’s turned it down every time. She’s not the type of person that would lead even though she would be good at it. Tasia you would make a great leader. You learn from the best."

            Tasia smiled, "Could I hug you?"

"No," Marika said seriously. "Tasia you have to tone this down. People are getting suspicious and it’ll get worst if you get promoted. You’re lucky that it is just me that knows about you and Lucy. As nice as Cassandra and JB are, they may report you," Marika warned.

            "I get your point. I’ll control my actions better."

            "That means you can’t visit Lucy anymore when we stay at hotels. You guys have fun too loudly."

            "You should have not stayed next door to us. They give us a choice of rooms since we’re Interpol and all," Tasia defended.

            "I have to stay close to Lucienne, who else is going to watch her back and make sure you guys don’t get in trouble," Marika shot back.

            "Well then you should talk to Lucienne then. She’s the screamer. There is spot you could lick on her and she’ll go crazy and eventually pass out."

            "What spot?" Marika asked a little shock and curious at the same time. Tasia only smiled and leaned closer to the tall blond.

* * *

            There were only two females in the dark room that had three of its walls lined with hundreds of flat screen monitors. In the center of the room sitting behind three rows of work stations were the dozen or so of security personal assigned to camera operations, one of whom a female. The other female in the room was Colette, who sat by herself at a small desk working on her laptop which was wirelessly connected to the main security system. Any other hacker would have taken nearly three hours to do what the blond French Canadian had done in thirty minutes. Colette’s mind had been thinking about Aisha every since Mexico City. Work was the only way she could channel her energy elsewhere. She wanted to get her friend back so badly now that she was sure that the American was alive.

            Colette was busily scanning different camera views through her laptop that she had not noticed Lucienne putting a coffee cup down next to her. Instinctively she reached for the coffee and took a sip but then stopped to wonder where it came from. Turning around she saw that the French agent was standing behind her with a grin on her face. Colette was about to stand but Lucienne stopped her. "You’re working too hard cheri calm down," Lucienne suggested in a motherly tone. "You work any harder Tasia will think that she has competition and you don’t want that. Trust me, that girl can do some amazing things."

            "Amazing?" Colette asked smiling.

            Lucienne’s face turned beet red, which was rare; she was a tanned woman so the sight was odd none the less. "Don’t worry about it," she quickly replied and threw her rank down, "What do you have to report?"

            Colette only grinned knowing the quick change in topic was a sign to shut up. "Well all of our people are in place and ready. Tasia and JB both just reported that all is clear and ready on their end same with all of the tactical and security teams. I have also been looking into possible targets. I think I got a winner," Colette declared as she clicked around on her laptop and an image of the General Assembly appeared on the laptop screen the room was packed but Colette expertly moved the camera to the front of the room. There was a slender large-breasted woman with plump kissable lips talking to a male dignitary. The women had brown hair tied back into a conservative bun. She was dressed in business skirt suit that showed off every curve on her body. "That’s Angel Jenly," Colette informed.

            "I know," Lucienne said with chuckle, "We have American movies in France too, you know," Angel was recently in a big action move called "Hunted" and was popular internationally for adopting kids from Asia. "Any other targets?"

            "Well there is a couple more possible but she’s the biggest name. If I were to put money on it, I’ll put it on her.

            "Good work. I’ll tell Marika and Tasia about it before this whole thing starts," Lucienne said as she looked at the screen and spotted a tanned woman with brown hair, even dressed in the classy suit Lucienne knew the woman had an exotic body. Being around Tasia all the time she also knew the women was probably Greek as well. "Who is that in the white suit?"

            Colette’s fingers danced across her keyboard for few minutes before she spoke. "That’s Talieya Antzas. According to this she’s Jenly’s assistant. She used to work at Greek resort called the Eagle’s Palace but left after she was found sleeping with a co-worker."

            "How did she get this gig?"

            "She now works for…" Colette looked at the screen then back at Lucienne, "Paradise Foundation."

            Lucienne narrowed her eyes, "I’m going down to let the others know. Keep an eye on her."

* * *

            While she had been slightly annoyed with Scott for dying her hair, Ryoshi had forgiven him after realizing it would help her accomplish the mission better. Talieya, chipped just like the rest of Ryoshi's team, was in place and had given the Japanese woman the perfect cover. Sitting in a waiting room with the woman was Aisha, Veronica, Erika and Naoko, the other Asian having been brought in to replace the loss of Cassandra while Talieya had been on assignment for the past month. Scott had wanted to get Angel for a long time but getting the right clearance to avoid a messy kidnapping had taken time, especially since the woman could sell pictures of herself shopping for a million dollars to magazines. She was one of the hardest people to approach in the entire world, and thanks to planting Talieya with her they were now the woman's security detail.

            Seated on a couch with Naoko and Veronica was Niki Harper, Angel's other assistant, who primarily handled publicity issues. She was a blond-haired woman, decently tanned and in her early thirties thus fairly good-looking. She was wearing full business attire, dark gray jacket and skirt with a red blouse, pantyhose, black heels, her hair in a business woman's bun, her lips a very dark red. Naturally as soon as the group had been left alone Naoko had secretly slipped her a Type-7-laced bottle of water which was now sitting at her side while she sat frozen with her arms crossed, a PDA on her lap while her head looked towards the door which would, after a couple of more turns, lead them into the main assembly. Ryoshi's team was dressed like Niki but wore white blouses instead of red and their common lip color was pink, Ryoshi standing out with brown and Naoko with dark purple.

            Nuzzled next to Ryoshi was Erika, seemingly asleep with her head reclined, the black wig and glasses she wore making her look quite different. The chip’s use of her powers had really drained her but fortunately Scott had promised after the mission they could have two weeks off, and Ryoshi planned to give Erika total rest during that period. On Ryoshi's other side was her favorite lover Veronica. A security camera was watching them so Ryoshi had to be subtle, casually nudging Erika, which caused her to stir and look at her mistress. With a simple nod Erika knew it was time for her to do her thing. Closing her eyes Erika went through the usual sensations and a sudden silence filled the room.

            "Perfect," whispered Ryoshi, standing with Erika following suit. Thanks to them sitting close together, their arms even touching, the Japanese woman didn't freeze, nor did Veronica. Aisha and Naoko, both being on the other couch, were not free to move however, the pair sitting with their hands on their laps and looking almost identical aside from the obvious racial differences. "Veronica, security room, Erika, relax and wait here," ordered Ryoshi. Reaching into a shoulder bag she'd left next to the couch Veronica reached in and produced a ceramic pistol loaded with Type-7 darts as well as a handful of chips and a special box that would freeze all the security cameras. Ryoshi, for her own part, removed a disassembled Time-Stopper from the bag and quickly put it together while Erika lay down on the couch, removing her wig and sunglasses.

            Before even beginning the operation Ryoshi had used Erika to help her plant several Type-7 ejectors throughout the complex, but the General Assembly room would be handled differently. Ryoshi had a stash of several hundred chips hidden in Talieya's purse for the diplomats and world leaders present as well as Angel. The chips were pre-programmed to have the wearer, in several weeks' time, go and see someone at a Foundation location where they would arrange a holiday to Canada at which point Mary would meet them and program them, effectively putting them under the Foundation's control. To save precious Type-7 gas, Ryoshi had elected to use the Time-Stopper on the crowd, setting it to wear off in several hours. All Veronica needed to do was make sure the cameras weren't working while Aisha and Naoko, once Erika let time resume, would help her chip the large group. The gas sprayers would activate when Erika had done her hard part as well.

            With her gun in hand Veronica made her way through the route Ryoshi had told her to memorize. There was a lot of security dotting the halls and normally Veronica's weapon would have had them dropping her with a chest full of bullets in less than a second but luckily Erika Stone's power was making even the most impossible of scenarios possible. When Scott Dawson had started the project he'd never imagined striking the UN or even the Mexican president for that matter but the Paradise Foundation had made things happen that were beyond belief. If Veronica's free will hadn't been robbed of her by the chip she might have been feeling uncomfortable as she passed yet another pair of guards, worried about just how much power the corporation now had.

            Thanks to the advanced nature of the chip on her neck, Veronica was not totally oblivious to the sight of a familiar form standing in front of the door to the main monitor room. Lucienne Christophe, her hair loose and flowing in its full splendor, was frozen in mid-step with a walkie-talkie in her left hand held to her lips, her right hand on her hip. The instant recognition of the French Interpol agent cued Veronica to raise her gun and fire a dart straight into her chest, assuring that she wouldn't be able to cause any problems. To be safe, however, Veronica took the communications device from Lucienne's stiff hand and removed the batteries, throwing them down the hall where they clattered next to the feet of a suited man in the middle of drinking coffee from a paper cup. After the tampering Veronica returned the radio to Lucienne's hand and opened the door to the security room, which was unlocked as the average intruder would have to get by several dozen armed men and women to do so.

            Sitting in one chair was the junior Interpol agent the Foundation had identified as Colette Landry, who was pouring herself a cup of coffee from a coffee pot in the corner of the room, the black liquid frozen in mid-stream as the French-Canadian held her white foam cup underneath, her eyes showing signs of exhaustion. Another woman was seated in front of a large series of monitors, her back to Veronica. Without hesitation the Spaniard fired two quick shots, one at each helpless woman. Both darts were on target, the first one even hitting Colette in the left breast. Her tagging done Veronica moved on to begin planting the device that would disable security.

* * *

            Down in the UN general assembly Ryoshi had licked her lips when she'd entered, seeing Angel and a few other good-looking women in the room as well. Dozens upon dozens, it seemed like, almost all of them standing frozen in mid-conversation, all of them in suits or other business attire. The Japanese woman wanted to just spend days there stripping them down and having passionate fun but her job came before pleasure, though occasionally they were joined. Talieya was next to Angel, the wealthy woman frozen in mid-conversation with an Asian male dignitary that Ryoshi, being an expert on ethnicities, pegged as being Vietnamese. One of the Foundation's best field plants, Talieya had been placed with Angel, chipped and all, for a month without raising suspicion. Ryoshi had personally recruited the Greek a few months back after reviewing Ashley’s notes found out about Erika’s little trip to the Eagle’s Palace. The programming methods used on Talieya had been repeated with all the members of Ryoshi's team afterwards, so in a way she was a prototype. Not wasting too much time thinking back and admiring the fine rear end the Greek possessed, Ryoshi claimed the bag worn over the frozen woman's shoulder and powered up the Time-Stopper, making sure the setting was high enough to give her enough time to work but not last too long as not to cause a crisis.

            There were an estimated two hundred people in the room, and Ryoshi could see almost all of them. Fortunately the Time-Stopper was a blast weapon, capable of being more effective against targets with cover than the usual dart guns the Japanese woman was used to using. After powering up it, Ryoshi only took three blasts to cover the entire room with the power of her Time-Stopper. Moments after the woman had finished, Veronica walked into the room, right on time, more or less. "Lucienne Christophe is here," announced the Spaniard casually. "She has been dealt with."

            "Bah; even if you hadn't done anything she'd be as stiff as the rest when we deploy the gas," declared Ryoshi walking towards the door she needed to take back to where the others were waiting, though they hadn't noticed any passage of time naturally. "Erika's held together this time, so we're in the clear. Come on love, let’s get back into character," Ryoshi giggled to herself slightly as she wrapped her free arm around Veronica, her other hand holding the projector and bag. The Japanese woman always loved using variants of Samuel L. Jackson's quote from Pulp Fiction.

            Back in the waiting room nothing had changed since the duo had left, Erika still laying on the couch with her eyes open, looking almost frozen herself save for the telltale movement of her chest. "You're good to go now, Erika," Ryoshi told her other companion who immediately let out a large breath and Ryoshi could almost feel time resume, the air seeming less dank. Naoko, Aisha and Niki still remained essentially fixed in place but the latter was due to the drugs while the other two were merely sitting unusually still.

            "Alright, begin primary mission," ordered Ryoshi as she produced the remote to the gas ejectors, letting them immediately flood the building. Only the room where the five teammates resided, along with the main assembly, was free from having the invisible but stiffening Type-7 gas fill the air. "Right, you know what to do," declared Ryoshi, and immediately Naoko, Aisha, Veronica and Erika filed back the way Ryoshi had just come, each taking a handful of chips from their leader as they did. Ideally Ryoshi would have liked to let Erika rest again, either by having her freeze or sleep, but for such a big job she needed everyone's help. The four would busily chip everyone in the room, saving a special one for Angel. Talieya of course wouldn't need a chip, as she would instead be taken. The Greek could have ideally helped, but to avoid witnesses claiming to of seen the woman be an accomplice and thus tie the kidnapping of Angel to the Foundation. Talieya was frozen like the rest. Christophe's team, if she had one, would also have been exposed to the gas, thus Ryoshi was confident her biggest task yet would help avoid the two black marks on her record becoming three.

* * *

            It had been anyone other than Tasia Spiro; they might not have instantly realized what was going on and what to do. Suddenly finding the woman you were talking to freeze as still as a statue, in mid-word no less, was quite the experience. Fortunately, at least under the circumstances, Tasia had experienced a great deal of similar situations in the past and knew when Marika seemingly froze that she should pretend to do so as well. Marika stood with her right forefingers touching her lips, her pinky and ring-fingers resting a hair's length from her chin with her thumb extended, her lips parted as she'd been talking about her future husband. The tall blond's other arm was around her chest supporting the right arm at the elbow. Knowing if she moved she might be spotted and frozen, chip or no chip on her neck, Tasia stopped where she was, her left hand touching a loose lock of hair by her brow with a big smile on her face while her right hand rested on her hip. It wouldn't be easy to hold, as her arm quickly felt tired from the presence of gravity, but if Tasia was to avoid detection she'd have to make do.

            Moments later four women filed into the room as Tasia could see out of the corner of her eye. All four were familiar though she only recognized Erika Stone and Aisha Reynolds by name. The large handfuls of chips they carried quickly indicated to the Interpol agent what the plan was. Crap, she thought. I need to do something, but I'm all the way back here! If I wait too long my arm might give out, but if I move they'll just do to me whatever they did to everyone else! What now?!

* * *

            Colette gasped and dropped the cup and coffee pot the floor. She quickly grabbed at her chest in pain pulling a dart free from her flesh. She was puzzled and confused. The room was quiet around her and everyone was frozen. She rubbed her breasts looking around the room her mind racing. The door flew open and Lucienne peered in at the younger agent. The French woman was rubbing her chest too and had a look of urgency on her face. "It’s going down; let’s go," she simply said withdrawing her USP. Colette automatically did the same as the two women left the room in search of the rest of the team.

* * *

            JB and Cassandra moved down the silent hallway cautiously with their USPs drawn. JB was at first confused as to what was going on when suddenly everyone froze around them. Cassandra however knew exactly what was going on and took the lead. They had to get the General Assembly, which was where they would find the suspects. JB was having trouble keeping his focus seeing the mass of frozen people that surrounded him. It felt like he was in an interactive picture, where everyone was part of photograph but him and Cassandra. Cassandra stayed focused and silent as they moved the short distance to the General Assembly. "Odie, stay close and watch my back," she whispered. JB simply nodded gripping his USP. They both tensed up hearing someone coming towards them. Pulling their handguns up at the ready JB and Cassandra took aim. Both let out a breath seeing Jelena round the corner covered in a tactical vest and carrying a customized M4. The Croatian took aim at the pair as well but relaxed as soon as they lowered their weapons. She quickly and expertly moved towards the two senior agents with the M4 at the ready.

            "Tactical teams are down," she grimly reported. "They’re affected like everyone else."

            "We should have tried to duplicate the chips," JB breathed realizing that they were on their own against an unknown number of bad guys.

            "No time to think about that now," Cassandra replied, "Have you seen any of the others?" She then asked.

            "Tasia and Marika are in there," Jelena gestured towards the General Assembly. "I don’t know about Lucienne and Colette."

            "We’re good," Lucienne voice sounded from behind them. The place was so empty of sound that the task force commander was able to use her normal speaking voice from down the hall for her teammates to hear her. The threesome instinctively turned and aimed their weapons towards the voice. JB smiled seeing Lucienne and Colette come towards them with their USPs out. With five they had more of chance.

            "What’s the plan?" JB asked after Colette and Lucienne reached the trio.

            "Tasia and Marika should be inside. I’m not sure if they have been compromised or not. Colette and I were hit with Type-7 darts… so our intruders know who we are. So we have to presume they have been compromised too. We do have the element of surprise on our side so we have to move fast, there are innocent people in there so we can’t move in with guns blazing," Lucienne explained eying her teammates making sure everyone was on the same page. Everyone was focused and ready. "There are four exits including the main door. Jelena and Colette you’ll breach the main door. Cassie you’ll have the east exit, JB you’ll be at the west exit and I’ll have north exit. We’ll breach on my go. Remember no guns blazing and if you must shoot aim carefully," Lucienne warned looking at her teammates with a serious look. They all nodded. Jelena checked her M4 while JB and Cassandra checked the slides on their weapons. Colette was not use to this; she had not fired her weapon since training and the last time she was in any kind of action she was taken out before she even knew what happened.

            "Follow me and stay close. You’ll be fine," Jelena said looking at Colette with a reassuring grin and a pat on the shoulder.

            "Listen to Jelena and remember your training," Lucienne added and then looking at everyone else, "You have two minutes to get to your locations," she looked at her watch, "Go," The group dispersed heading to their respective positions.

* * *

            Ryoshi had split the General Assembly into two sections. Aisha and Naoko worked the right half of the large room while Erika and Veronica worked the left half of the room. Ryoshi herself stood at the front of the room watching over her charges work. Flanking her were Taliya and Angel with Niki standing stiff and silent behind the trio. The Japanese woman had taken the pleasure of chipping the multi-billion dollar actress first. The three chipped and frozen women were arranged with legs together and arms tight at her sides ready for transport when everything was done. Ryoshi had to admit she was feeling a little star struck being around Angel, she couldn’t wait to explore the starlet on her own time. The newly blond Japanese woman looked over her shoulder at the stuck dark haired actress and grinned at the thought of seeing the star naked.

            The right side was moving fast as expected, Aisha and Naoko were good. Their side was nearly completed with their chip assignments. Veronica was doing well on the left side as well but Erika was slow and dragging. The former blond billionaire moved as if she was about to pass out. Her face looked paler and her blue eyes were not a bright as usual. Ryoshi put the Time-Stopper aside, if you wanted something done right and fast you were going to have to do it yourself she thought. "Erika up front and give me your chips," Ryoshi ordered reaching Erika. Erika nodded weakly and handed her remaining chips to her master who now shared the same hair color. The natural blond moved to the front of the room and joined the three other women.

            Ryoshi took a deep breath and looked around the silent room it was an eerie sight, the world’s most powerful dignitaries were all frozen. Looking at her watch she noted that she was running short on time and had to move quickly. She had about fifteen chips that Erika had not installed she looked around for the targets on her side that had not been chipped yet. She then spotted two familiar faces in the crowd towards the back of the room. Walking towards to the two women she confirmed that they were Interpol agents, Tasia Spiro and the Devon Von Krieger look like Marika Heino. Ryoshi grinned walking around the frozen pair. Marika was tempting, Scott had a thing for blonds and Ryoshi knew she could get some bonus points if she brought her back. She then turned to face the Greek but was met with a flash of pain. The Japanese woman spun to the ground dropping the chips as she fell. She was dazed and semi-conscious. She was trying to get up but found that the room was spinning around her. There was then an explosion of pain on her right side rolling her over to her side. Her lungs screamed out for air and ribs felt as if they were broken. She then felt blinding pain in the back of her head before everything faded to black.

* * *

            Tasia shook her fist; she had never hit anyone that hard before, looking at her knuckles she was relieved to see that they were not broken. The blond Asian woman was still moving after Tasia had decked her across the face. She had kicked the downed woman twice, once in ribs and once in the head to truly eliminate her as a threat. Looking down at the woman she smiled seeing that the blond’s face was relaxed with eyes closed. Before she could celebrate three darts hit her at the same time causing her to run. She wince in pain pulling the darts from her body looking behind her she spotted Aisha coming after her, she knew better than to stop though. This Aisha wasn’t her friend. She spotted another Asian woman with short spiked up hair behind Aisha. Both had dart guns up and were trying to shoot at her with no luck. Darts uselessly flew behind her or hit frozen dignitaries. There was another woman; dark haired towards the front of the room that was moving towards her Tasia saw the dart gun in her hand. She was about to be surrounded. Erika Stone was at the front of the room she too had a dart gun in her hand and was moving in towards her. Thanks to the chip, the Type-7 darts had no effect on her but the still hurt like hell. Tasia quickly drew her USP, but her pursuers kept coming as if not knowing that her gun didn’t shoot darts but bullets. She didn’t want to shoot anyone, especially someone under control of the chip but she didn’t have a choice, the darts were really starting to annoy her. Two had hit her as she ran.

            As she neared the front of room the doors burst opened and in charged Lucienne with her USP drawn. JB and Cassandra followed coming in from other doors on the sides of the large room. The main doors were kicked opened and Jelena and Colette came charging in. Erika and the dark haired girl stopped and turned towards the new arrivals and turned their dart guns on them. Out of instinct Lucienne ducked behind a desk as three darts flew over her head. Tasia quickly joined her. The other Asian woman had turned her attention towards JB and Cassandra and was now shooting at them. JB screamed out in pain after a dart hit him on the face. The French agent dropped to his knees and Cassandra quickly pulled him into cover not before taking two darts, one in face the other in neck. At this point she wished they had been frozen. Jelena and Colette being towards the back of the room were hit by darts from Aisha; Colette took two in the leg while Jelena took one in the face. Jelena wanted to shoot Aisha, chipped or not, she fired on an Interpol agent. Colette stood in her way though.

            "Aisha, please stop!" Colette pleaded with her gun lowered.

            "Get out of my way Colette!" Jelena demanded pulling the dart from her face and aiming the M4.

            "NO!" Colette yelled jumping on to Aisha and knocking the dart gun from her hand. Colette was a lot smaller and shorter than her old friend but she tried frantically to reach for the chip that she knew was on the back of Aisha’s neck. She had only felt the chip before Aisha punched her across the face. The French Canadian goes limp atop the former Interpol agent. Aisha pushed Colette’s inert form off her, the smaller woman flopped to the floor like a rag doll. With the M4 up at eye level Jelena moved quickly towards Aisha who looked as if she was about to jump on to the heavily armed woman. A loud bang killed the silence of the room.

            "What the hell was that?" Lucienne looked wide eyed at Tasia.

            "Sounded like a USP!" Tasia replied looking across the room only to see JB leaned up against a desk holding his face with Cassandra sitting next to him. Cassandra gave Tasia a look and shook her head. "It had to be Colette or Jelena."  Before Lucienne or Tasia could look loud machine gun fire sound off forcing them to duck lower.

            "That’s the M4! Keep your head down!" Lucienne ordered grabbing Tasia and pulling her closer to the floor. They had no body armor, the darts were hurting them but a 5.56 round would seriously mess up their bodies.

            On the other side of the room JB automatically dived over Cassandra hearing the M4. Cassandra relaxed under JB and kept her limbs sheltered under his warm body. The 5.56 rounds came over their direction and parts of the ceiling fell over JB’s back only making him hold Cassandra tighter. He heard Lucienne yell something but the sound of the M4 followed by new sounds from two USPs were deafening. Smoke was starting to fill the room as well but no one would dare to move in fear of being shot and no could shoot back due to the 200 some people suspended in the room. We’re pinned, JB thought as he covered his own head while covering Cassandra’s as well.

* * *

            Ryoshi pulled and chucked smoke grenades off of the tactical vest of the lifeless dark haired Interpol agent that lay at her feet. She didn’t know how long she had blacked out but when she woke up it was chaos around her. The mission had gone so well. Interpol was now in the room with them unfrozen and armed. How? She thought letting ideas racing around in her head as her body automatically acted. Once she had regain consciousness she spotted Aisha dealing with two Interpol agents, one was armed with an assault rifle. Aisha was taken down by the blond agent but quickly eliminated the agent with a swift punch across the face. The agent with the assault rife was moving towards her. Aisha was chipped so anything remotely human in her was absent; that included fear. Knowing the program Ryoshi knew what the chipped ex-agent was going to do. She was chipped not invincible. Thinking quickly Ryoshi pulled Marika’s USP and fired at the approaching Interpol agent. The 40 caliber bullet hit the center mass of the agent and she crumpled to the floor.

            "We’re out of here!" Ryoshi yelled in Japanese. "Grab the three targets up front and move to the extraction point," she then ordered. She hoped speaking Japanese would throw off her enemies. This mission could not get any worst. "Move within the crowd," she called out in her native tongue as she fires off random shots from the M4 and the USP she had in her possession. Aisha had the other USP and aimed it high as she moved to front of the room firing it at the ceiling. The room was quickly filling up with smoke and it was becoming hard to see but her girls knew what to do.

* * *

            The gunfire was sporadic and there were pieces of ceiling falling on them. They couldn’t see anything the smoke and dust was too thick. Tasia could hear foot steps moving around them. Then it dawned on her. They weren’t shooting at them, this was a diversion. "Its diversion!" she exclaimed pushing herself from under Lucienne. "They’re escaping!" She said standing up. She heard a door open near the back the stage. "This way!"

            "Tasia wait!" Lucienne ordered getting up but it was already too late. Tasia had taken off into the smoke. Lucienne quickly took off after her but found herself laying face down having tripped over something heavy. She fumbled around in the smoke following her hands until she felt a flaccid body of a woman. She moved closer to body. The smoke was starting to thin out thanks to the opened doors. Lucienne gasped in surprise seeing Erika Stone’s unconscious body lying in front of her.

* * *

            Ryoshi cradled the Time-Stopper in her arms as she ran to catch up with her team who should have been at the rear loading dock assembly point. Veronica carried Talieya, Aisha had Niki and Naoko had Angel. Something had happened to Erika; Ryoshi had no choice to leave her behind. Her hands were full she carried the Time-Stopper; the M4 slung over one shoulder while her bag slung over the other. She had managed to gather up the chips that she had dropped since her finger prints were all over them she had to keep the M4 and the USP she had used as well for the same reasons.

            "Stop don’t move or I’ll shoot!" A voice yelled from behind her. Ryoshi stopped. Her face, head and ribs began to throb hearing the Greek accented voice behind her. She booted up the Time-Stopper as she turned to face the Interpol agent. She dropped to one knee and let the projector device do its job just as a bullet snapped over her head.

            Tasia Spiro stood with one foot in front of the other, shoulder pulled in with both hand holding the USP. A look of tension mix with concentration masked her face. Ryoshi quickly closed the distance between her and the Greek, stuffing the Time-Stopper in her bag as she moved. "You screwed me over today sweetie…" She muttered angrily as she pried the USP for the Greek’s hands, the hand gun’s slide was drawn back with a shell casting suspended in mid-air. There was some suspended smoke at the barrel as well. Ryoshi stuffed the useless weapon into her bag that was growing heavy and then grabbed Tasia by the hair and dragged her roughly through towards the loading dock. Tasia’s heels were stripped off in the process, leaving a pair of heels among the crowd of living statues.

* * *

            The smoke had pretty much cleared and the General Assembly was back to ‘normal’ with its remaining frozen occupants still unaware of the attack. The walls and the ceiling however were in shambles. The floor and most of motionless, waxwork-like, dignitaries were covered in dust and ceiling debris. The bad guys were gone, along with Tasia. Lucienne was kneeling over Erika. She had already un-chipped the billionaire but the blonde had not regained consciousness; there was something wrong. Cassandra and JB quickly joined at her side as she checked Erika’s vitals. "There’s something wrong with her. She needs help."

            "I’ll go see if I can call 911," Cassandra said, getting up.

            "See if you can find Tasia too. She ran off," Lucienne added. Cassandra nodded as she left through the same doors that Tasia had gone through. "Check on…"

            "Wake up Jelena! Wake up!" Colette’s voice echoed through the large room. Lucienne only looked up in time to see JB flying up the aisle towards Colette. Lucienne quickly followed. Both French agents stopped dead in their tracks at the back of the room. Colette sat on her knees, cradling Jelena’s limp body. Colette’s face was red as tears streamed down her face. "Please help her…" She pleaded between sobs.


Chapter 5

Paradise Manor, Canada

            Usually Scott would have been beyond angry in a situation like this but he only felt just somewhat upset. Ryoshi had practically failed her mission; she had only managed to capture Angel and her public affairs assistant. Everything else, such as the chipping of the world leaders, had failed and Interpol was tight on their heels now. What was worst was she had also lost Erika, who was monumental to their operations. Indeed Scott had every right to be furious of his lead operative but he felt that Ryoshi had that covered. Upon returning, Ryoshi had asked to be left alone for a couple of hours before being allowed to explain herself to Scott. Scott could see it in her eyes that she already had blamed herself for direction that the mission had gone. What worried Scott more was the bruise that was evident on the left side of her face, he reminded himself to keep his relationship with the Japanese agent professional but he could feel his feelings for her growing. Seeing the bruise angered him more than the mission itself. He’d just have to wait till she was ready to talk and ask her about the bruise. The sounds of footsteps entering his office snapped him from his thoughts. He turned his swivel chair around, expecting to see Ryoshi but instead faced his ever-smiling assistant Caitlin.

            "Mr. Dawson, Dr. Hamilton would like to see you down in the lab."

            "What about?" Scott asked, tiredly massaging the bridge of his nose. Ryoshi was stuck in his mind and he didn’t like it, especially when there was still work to be done.

            Caitlin smiled and stared at her master for a bit before answering. "I did not inquire; would you like me to call her back?"

            "No that’s fine; I’ll just go down there. I need to stretch my legs anyways," Scott replied, standing up. He looked at his assistant as he put on his business coat. She was dressed as usual in a tight-fitting dark colored skirt suit that hugged her shapely frame. Her sexy legs were covered in dark hosiery and she stood atop a pair shiny black heels. "I don’t like that suit," Scott snickered as he headed towards the door.

            "I’ll go change," Caitlin replied, still smiling, as she followed her boss.

            "No. Just take it all off," Scott said, looking at the former British aristocrat while grinning.

            Caitlin smiled seductively, "As you wish, Mr. Dawson," she said as she started to unbutton her top.

* * *

            Ryoshi’s team had screwed up tremendously and as a result Scott had pulled the other teams from action and ordered everyone to return to Paradise Manor. All of the local teams were back while the European and Asian teams were due back in about a day with the last of their abductions and other merchandise. The lab was more or less empty; there were a couple girls that the local teams had brought in on their final run waiting to be chipped. The new Asian assistant worked on stripping the two ladies down. Mary had gotten tired of seeing Ashley around, reprogrammed her to be a cook, and sent her off to the kitchen. Two street girls, both brunettes, looked average compared to the prize that was lying naked and still on Mary’s lab table.

            Angel Jenly was naked and straight as a board with bare arms tight at her sides and sexy nude legs straight out with her bare toes pointed like a diver. Her brown locks hung free framing her lovely face which held a blank gaze. Angel’s large breasts were perhaps the largest of the starlets that Mary had seen and thanks to the Type-7 her nipples stood erect. Next to Angel was her assistant Niki Harper, the blond was also in the buff with her rigid body posed straight as an arrow. Monica was finishing up on the programming for the blond who was going to go to security. The blond German tourist Lotte who had been assisting Monica earlier had been reprogrammed to join Scott’s growing security force of mindless hotties as well. Security section was now being run by former Interpol agent Palmira Tiago since Naoko’s re-assignment to Team 1. The Brazilian was stunning in her body-hugging cat suit. Mary thought she looked better as a leader than her spiky haired Japanese predecessor.

            On the far table, away from the tables holding Angel and Niki, was another Interpol agent. Tasia Spiro. At Scott’s request she had been injected with a large dose of Type-7 before being zapped by the Time-Stopper once more to release her from the effects of the blast. She was then stripped down by the Asian assistant and was now on Mary’s table a waiting to be programmed. The Greek was posed lying straight like the other two women with body straight and eyes staring vacantly at the ceiling. Mary sighed and looked around at the three naked women; she was particularly fond of Tasia and Angel. She was hoping if Scott would let her program the Greek to be love slave, something she thought would be very fitting for the tanned redhead.

            "What’s going on?" Scott asked as he entered the lab. Both assistants turned his direction and nodded. He was followed by a naked Caitlin and another former Interpol Agent, Sophia Katsopolis. The blond Greek was dressed in a black leather mini skirt that showed off her long sexy legs and matching tight leather top that left little to the imagination. She stood on a pair of leather knee-high heeled boots that gave her a look of a street walker. Her face was heavily made up and her blond hair was curled and hung freely. At Scott’s request the Greek was programmed to be Scott’s personal love slave and bodyguard.

            Mary looked over at Caitlin who only smiled back at her oblivious to her nakedness thanks to the chip. "What the…"

            "I didn’t like what she was wearing," Scott simply answered then asked, "Why do you want to see me?"

            "Angel and Niki are about done; Niki should be completely done in the next ten minutes or so," Mary reported, with Monica nodding in agreement not looking up from her work. Getting up, Mary moved towards Tasia’s table, "What do you want me to do about her?"

            Scott moved over to the table with Caitlin and Sophia following. He looked over the naked agent and remembered that Ryoshi had been particularly rough with her when she was dragging her off of the van. "Let’s give her to Ryoshi," Scott replied, "She could have her on her team or something," he added, looking over Tasia’s round breasts and shaven womanhood.

            "Scott are you kidding me?" Mary asked seriously with a hint of annoyance in her voice. "That woman screwed up everything…we lost Erika and Interpol probably un-chipped the world leaders that her team had chipped. I really think she can’t be trusted anymore," Mary suggested crossing her arms; she was tired of how Ryoshi got practically anything she wanted from Scott. Scott wasn’t exactly the type to have women control him either; he was treating Ryoshi like this because he chose to.

            Sophia had moved up to Scott’s side when Mary had raised her voice. The blond programmed bodyguard and lover looked over at the scientist with threatening eyes. Scott looked at Mary seriously, she was right; Ryoshi did get special treatment and she had screwed up big this time. If she had been a normal employee she would have been punished severely. He sighed and looked back down at Tasia, looking the stiff Greek in her blank eyes. He had to do something about Ryoshi he had no choice.

            "Scott you…" Mary started to say but abruptly stopped as two darts slammed into her chest. She froze instantly as two darts were easily considered an overdose for the darts. Sophia had acted quickly and pushed Scott out of the way and now stood in front of him and Caitlin, acting as their shield as a good bodyguard would. Mary stood with her head turned towards the direction where Scott once had stood, her green eyes now blank. Her mouth was agape as she was tagged in mid-speech. Both of her hands were on Tasia’s table with her body slightly leaning forward.

            "You sneaky bitch," Ryoshi snarled as she entered the lab holding her Sigma dart gun and a laptop under her other arm. She was dressed in her ninja suit with her dyed blond hair pulled back into a tight bun. She quickly holstered the customized Sigma and made her way to the lab table. Reaching across she smacked Mary hard across the face, turning her head side ways and then shoved her hard. Mary stiffly fell to the ground her body maintaining its statue-like pose.

            "What’s going on, Ryoshi?" Scott asked in shock, looking down at the suspended Mary then back at Ryoshi who was panting and looking over the table towards the floored scientist.

            "She’s been sending emails to Lucienne Christophe," Ryoshi replied as she placed the laptop over Tasia’s womanhood and opened it up. "I was getting suspicious of her and this last mission Interpol seemed to know too much and the Type-7 was not affecting them either. Interpol is good but not that good. We’re too tight with her information for them to get any wind of anything from us. So that got me thinking; I wasn’t sure until the op blew up in my face. Once I got back I broke in to that bitch’s room and looked through her things. I found the emails, along with a shipping number for blank chips that she sent to Interpol," Ryoshi explained as she brought up all the evidence on the laptop screen for Scott to see.

            Scott was silent as he looked over the data. This was too shocking a lapse of judgment on his part. Ryoshi had warned him about Mary not having strong enough ambitions to work with the Foundation and that she was a bad choice for an executive. Mary was too ‘goody’ for their line of work Ryoshi had said. It was really the only time that Scott had not listened to his friend and now that had come back to bite him in the ass. "She’s not one of them, is she?" He then asked after looking over the evidence.

            Ryoshi shook her head, "She just an informant. Nothing more, there’s no way you could have known. Things like this just happens, it’s not your fault."

            Scott sighed and looked over at the blond Asian, "The op failing wasn’t your fault either. It was hers," he said gesturing over to Mary’s frozen form. "If she wouldn’t have passed the info to Interpol your Ops in Mexico and New York would have both gone without a hitch."

            Ryoshi looked down at Tasia’s breasts and flicked the Greek’s nipple with her finger, "I’m supposed to watch your back Scott, and it’s what you pay me to do. I should have pushed you harder to not to promote Mary, it’s my fault Scott…I wasn’t doing my job," Ryoshi said not looking back up at Scott, her thumb and index finger playing with Tasia’s nipple.

            "Ryoshi, you blame yourself too much, you’re the perfect operative you do everything I say and you’re not even chipped," Scott said chuckling, Ryoshi was even better than must of his chipped girls. She was willing to do anything for him and was also able to converse with him intellectually as well.

            "I’m just greedy and I trust you," Ryoshi replied now looking back up at Scott with a weak grin on her lips. "You’ll do the same for me if we were switched but I let you down this time and now Interpol is closer to us."

            "You’re only human, Ryoshi. I can’t blame you for that. You also caught this thing in time too so we could still fix it. You have not let me down. You just proved how valuable an asset you are to the Foundation and my interests. Now stop kicking yourself for nothing; you have to help me restructure our plans, we could still get what I want done."

            "We’re going to have to change a lot of things around if we want to keep going at this," Ryoshi said still looking down at Tasia, her finger now tracing the Greek’s kissable lips.

            "Don’t worry about it I trust you can help me come up with something. I have faith."

            Ryoshi looked back up at Scott, "Let’s get to work then."

* * *

            Mary had done a lot of damage to Scott’s plans even though she had not given too much direct information it was enough to slow things down. Interpol was a huge threat, having Erika Stone in their possession now. Defeat was defiantly a possibility. There was no way he was going down with the Foundation if it came to that. He and Ryoshi had made other arrangements if the Foundation was going to be taken down. Scott smiled to himself as he finished typing up the email on Mary’s laptop, the good thing about Interpol being this close was that he would finally get his revenge for the death of his long time mentor and the Black Department’s former boss Ronald Fisher.

            Once he was done he closed the laptop and got up from the small coffee table that was located in the center of his airy bedroom. Scott was dressed for the evening only wearing a comfortable robe that seemed to travel with him everywhere he went since he was employed with the government. Turning towards his bed, he was welcomed to the sight of four naked ladies standing at attention, two redheads and two blonds. Behind the ladies on his bed was the famed Angel Jenly who sat seductively against the headboard, eying her new master. Once she had been chipped he had several hours of hot sex with the starlet, letting out a lot of pent up sexual tension that he had for the starlet. She licked her sensuous lips as Scott smiled at her.

            Turning his attention back to the four nude ladies who stood between him and Angel, Scott eagerly looked them over. He was going to have a joyous night. Standing from left to right were Tasia Spiro, Mary Hamilton, Ryoshi Tenzo and Sophia Katsopolis, the latter going from body guard to sex slave now. Tasia was chipped for a part of Scott’s plan for later. Mary he just wanted to do, she had been a thorn in his side, first trash talking Ryoshi and then spying on his affairs. Her frozen form was much more enjoyable. He would taste her one last time before shooting the Time-Stopper at her and freezing her permanently. Then there was Ryoshi; she did screw up and for that she had to be punished yet again. Scott had laced her drink with Type-7 once again and once again she fell for it. Now the blond Japanese woman stood immobilized in buff next to Mary who she had tagged earlier. All four ladies held a neutral expression on their faces as they stood rigid with arms to their sides and legs together. He was going to taste all of them tonight.

            He walked up to Ryoshi, looking her up and down. Cupping her perky breasts he smiled at her blank eyes, "You’re breasts are nice but not perfect they could be though. You, my friend, will be the first test subject for Type-7 sedative use for plastic surgery in the morning," Scott declared to an unhearing Ryoshi. He then picked her up from the waist and dragged her to the bed, "You’ll go first just because I like you," he looked over his shoulder, "Don’t go anywhere, Ms. Spiro, you’re next."

* * *

Interpol Branch Headquarters New York

            Lucienne had decided that once the case was over she was going to step down as commander of the task force if it still existed. A normal branch commander was a good enough job for her. She had never been threatened so many times in one day that she was done as an Interpol agent. The UN was not happy with what had happened, even though Lucienne’s team had foiled what looked to be a mass chipping. There were people missing, including Tasia, and the General Assembly was in shambles. After what she had gone through the last six hours she was glad to be back in Interpol territory. She tiredly rubbed the back of her next as she stepped off the elevator to the fifth story space allotted to her and her team for their stay in New York. The office was deserted; most of the home agents were out as it was late. Looking around the empty office that was filled with cubicles, Lucienne decided that she was going to go to one of the independent offices and rest up for the night. She still had to interview Erika Stone later.

            "How did everything go?" an accented voice asked from behind her. Lucienne turned around and grinned seeing the tall Finnish agent smile at her with a file in her hand. She was glad that Marika’s state of suspension had not been as serious as Hui and Miranda, who were still stuck. "Let’s talk," Marika then suggested, seeing the look on Lucienne’s face. She gestured to an empty cubicle that had two swivel armchairs in it. Lucienne simply nodded and took a seat with Marika doing the same.

            "I’m done as an Interpol agent if this gets any worse. I have missing agents and I seem to be making a mess everywhere I go. We’re not making any headway," Lucienne explained, noticing that she felt extremely tired; the feeling had just caught up with her when she sat down. "The incident with Jelena as well…"

            "Jelena knew the risks you can’t blame yourself for what happened. She’s a tactical expert that’s part of their job. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to fire you, you’re Lucienne Christophe," Marika smiled.

            Lucienne couldn’t help it but to smile back, "I don’t think its good thing to be Lucienne Christophe right now."

            "Well you’re wrong about one thing," Marika then said handing the file to her boss. "That’s the data that we pulled from the chips that we got from the world leaders," Lucienne silently looked over the data and frowned. "Sorry; let me explain, the data was encrypted so we really couldn’t pull anything concrete from it. We did however found out where the chips came from though."

            "Well?" Lucienne asked as she looked back and forth from the file to Marika; her energy was back now.

            "Look at the bottom of the page."

            "Vancouver, Canada?"

            "Correct, this is very advanced chip set you’ll have to be very high end to manufacture it. There are only a handful of companies in that area that produced the chip. We’re looking into them now."

            Lucienne closed the file, "Vancouver, isn’t that where Paradise Foundation is headquartered?"

            Marika smiled, "You got it now, Lucy. We’re just waiting to confirm now but I’m pretty confident we found our prime suspect."

            Lucienne stood up like bolt of lightning, "Where’s Colette; I have to get her on this, she’ll move faster than the home office hackers."

            "She should be down in the computer lab, that’s where I saw her last. She’s pretty down about Jelena. They graduated from the same class back at the academy," Marika replied sitting back.

            "I’ll go talk to her. You did a good job go call your boy toy," Lucienne suggested with a smile as she left.

            "He’s not my boy toy!’ Marika called after her, "He’s my man toy…"

* * *

New York-Presbyterian Hospital

            Lucienne had assigned JB and Cassandra to watch over Erika Stone. She couldn’t trust anyone else in fear that Stone’s identity may get out into the public, which would cause a media frenzy. The handful of medical staff that was assigned to Erika was under the assumption that they were treating an Interpol fugitive, which was not entirely untrue. What was false was that Lucienne had given the name of the fugitive as Brandy Taylor. Lucienne was lucky that Erika had been missing for such a long time that the three nurses and doctor did not think the wiser.

            Cassandra peeked into the darkened hospital room. Erika was fast as sleep in her bed with her covers pulled up to her chin. Cassandra could only see the blonde hair from where she was. The doctor had said that Erika was suffering from extreme exhaustion and sleep was the obvious cure, along with intravenous fluids. So if they wanted to ask her anything they would have to wait for her to wake up. Letting her sleep undisturbed was why JB and Cassandra were there that and to make sure the billionaire blonde didn’t pull a fast one on them. How are we supposed to stop her if she decides to stop time and vanish? Cassandra thought looking at the mass of blonde hair. She quietly closed the door after staring for another moment satisfied that Erika remained fast asleep.

            Sitting on a bench just down the hall, in perfect view of Erika’s room and the elevator, was JB, trying to clean his jacket which was still covered in ceiling and dust. It was favorite suit and he wanted to keep his mind active and not think about what had happened to Jelena. He wished he was somewhere else, not on guard duty. The only good thing out of this was that Cassandra was with him. He looked up and saw the Brit approach him. Putting the jacket aside he smiled weakly and offered the seat next to him. The tall brunette plopped down next to him and leaned on his shoulder.

            "Is she still out?" JB asked, leaning back on Cassandra. After the whole incident at the UN the two senior agents felt closer to each other. They both knew there was something special between them and that it was the beginning of something.

            "Sleeping like baby," Cassandra replied. "This sucks…we should be doing something more productive."

            "There’s really nothing we can do but be here. We have no leads."

            "You want to sneak into a room?" Cassandra then asked, getting up, looking at JB seriously and playing with his tie. JB looked at her wide-eyed and reached back behind her neck checking if she was chipped or not.

            "I’m not programmed, Odie," Cassandra said smiling holding JB’s hands. "Erika isn’t going to wake up till at least morning and Lucy won’t come in till then either."

            JB smiled, "Are you sure?" Cassandra stood while holding JB’s hands.

            "Nothing is happening here. With the whole Jelena thing you need to relax a bit. Frankly, so do I. We’re not going to hurt anyone."

            JB stood, "Where to, Agent Flick?"

* * *

Interpol Branch Headquarters New York

            Colette was staring blankly into a computer monitor when Lucienne walked into the computer lab. At first she thought the young blond might be frozen under Type-7 until she saw her breathing. The senior French agent took a seat at the computer next to Colette. "Hey; we got a lead that I need you to check out," Colette jumped at the sound of Lucienne voice. "Are you ok?" Lucienne asked with a warm smile.

            "Yeah," Colette replied looking back down at the keyboard and then back at Lucienne. "What do you want me to check?" Lucienne handed the file to the blond. Colette took the file and scanned through it quickly. "You want me to run background checks on chip manufacturers in Vancouver?"

            "Just the one actually," Lucienne replied pointing to a single company on the list.

            Colette looked at the name and put the file aside. "I get right on it," she then said flatly.

            "You make arrangements for Jelena?" Lucienne then asked. Colette was silent and simply nodded. "Where is she?"

            "She’s staying at an Interpol safe house in Chinatown."

            "Have you checked on her?"

            Colette shook her head no. "I don’t think I could face her. She’s got hurt because I didn’t listen to her."

            Lucienne took the file back. "Listen, Colette, go see her. I know you two have a history. She’s needs a friend now. Near death experiences change people. When I was shot the first time, I had my partner at my side when I was recovering. I remember how good it felt knowing she was there at my side. I’m sure Jelena will feel the same way."

            "I’ll work on the check first… I’ll go see her in the morning," Colette said, typing on the keyboard to start the search program. Lucienne stopped her.

            "You need to go see her. Now. You’ll feel better. You’re too detached right now to be doing anything," Colette looked at Lucienne silently. "Go on," Lucienne gestured towards the door. "You’ll be more focused in the morning and you can run the check then."

            Colette nodded and stood. "Good night, Lucienne."

            Lucienne nodded as the younger agent left the room. Jelena gave them all a scare earlier. She was lucky she had the tactical vest on. The Croatian only suffered bruised ribs and a slight concussion when she fell. JB was still feeling bad about the whole thing being that Jelena was his partner and his responsibility. Lucienne herself was just relieved that no one had died. She sighed and put the file aside once she was alone. Lighting a cigarette, which wasn’t allowed, but at this point she had deprived her body of nicotine long enough. Lucienne moved over to where Colette had sat and accessed her email. To her surprise she had an email from Night Ninja. Her cigarette hung loosely between her lips as she read the email’s title: "A trade?"

* * *

New York Presbyterian Hospital

            Erika had woken up early in the morning. To Lucienne’s surprise, her nemesis did not try anything. In fact Erika had cooperated fully with JB and Cassandra, doing what they had told her, which was to state that her name was Brandy Taylor and that she was an Internet Terrorist. She was still weak and mostly sat quietly in her room resting for most of the morning. Cassandra and JB were both surprised seeing that Erika Stone was not at all wild and stuck up as the media had portrayed her to be. They noted that she was a lot smarter than she looked when they questioned her briefly about what she remembered. She had told them where she was hiding and beyond that she could not recall where she had been. Her responses and the way she answered their questions showed that she was highly educated.

            "You two look fresh this morning," Lucienne said as she walked towards JB and Cassandra. Colette and Marika were on her heels.

            JB and Cassandra looked at each other and smiled, "We took turns sleeping," Cassandra quickly said as the three other agents approached.

            "How is Jelena?" JB then asked.

            "She’s going to be fine; just a bit sore. She wants to see you, Odie," Colette replied. She was feeling much better now know that Jelena was better and did not blame her for anything. JB sighed a breath of relief.

            "Where’s Stone?" Lucienne asked, keeping her voice down so others wouldn’t hear the name.

            "Ms. Taylor is in her room and she’s awake," Cassandra replied.

            "Very well, Marika and Colette will brief you on new the developments. I’ll go have a talk with Ms. Taylor."  Lucienne said as Cassandra and others nodded and headed to a private room to discuss the new findings regarding Paradise Foundation being the major player in everything that was happening. After some digging, Colette had found out there was Black Department that operated with the Foundation that may have been behind everything. A new situation was brewing with Tasia as well too. Lucienne headed the other direction towards Erika’s room.

* * *

            "How are we feeling this morning, Ms. Stone?" Lucienne asked, entering Erika’s room and closing the door behind her.

Erika sat up in her bed and grinned, "I was wondering when we were going to meet again," Lucienne Christophe was always one of her favorite Interpol agents. The French agent was wearing a nice navy skirt suit with nude pantyhose and black heels. "Please, for the sake of my privacy, call me Brandy. You never know people could be listening. One of the nurses is suspicious.”

            Lucienne nodded and grinned. The blonde even with no make up on looked stunning she was truly levels above the average women. Erika’s blonde hair was tied back into a ponytail and she was dressed in shapeless pink hospital gown. Her lower body was covered by her blanket, but Lucienne could image her sexy tanned legs. "Brandy. I have proposition for you," Lucienne began, taking a seat next to Erika’s bed. "Tasia has been kidnapped by the Paradise Foundation. In order to get her back I intend to give you back to them."

            "You won’t really do that will you?" Erika asked worriedly, leaning away from Lucienne like a scared child. "Please, don’t." From what the doctor had told her she nearly died from her exhaustion. Erika didn’t really know what happened but she knew it wasn’t good; her body told her that it wasn’t good. She still had slight headaches that she guessed were a result of what those people did to her. Erika noted that when she tried to stop time, her head would throb with pain. She could only stop time for minutes; the pain was just too unbearable after that.

            "No, Brandy I won’t do that. But I need your help though. I could make your past charges disappear."

            "How would you do that?"

            "Well…" Lucienne sighed before speaking. "If you were chipped this whole time, you wouldn’t really responsible for what happened. The chip would have made you steal all those things."

            "Sounds illegal; why are you willing to do that for me after all that I put you through."

            "I need to get Tasia back and to catch these people."

            Erika looked at Lucienne for a while in thought. "You love Tasia, don’t you?" Lucienne only nodded silently. Leaning back in her bed Erika thought for a moment. "Fine… what do you want me to do?"

            "Thanks you Erika."

* * *

New York Subway

            Ryoshi hadn't been told the name of the station, but it didn't matter since it was abandoned, more or less. Scott had done his research and confirmed that the station she was waiting at was part of an old junction that had been closed due to structural issues down the tunnel. In theory one day a crew would get to the repairs needed to make the station and tunnel usable again, but it had been almost four months and nothing had been done. Ryoshi figured there was too much else going on for them to focus on a tunnel that, as it turned out, wasn't that essential.

            The new weight on her upper chest made the Japanese woman have to shift her stance once again while she stood there, her team standing by all more or less idly like high-fashion mannequins. The implants were a surprise, to be sure, but since Scott had requested them for her and Ryoshi had accepted. It was a bit odd that as punishment for a mission failure she would be given a little physical boost, as her breasts had gone from being more or less the right size to just ideal for Scott. The only real annoyance for Ryoshi so far had been buying new bras, though fortunately most of her clothes still fit properly, save a few skin-tight ones. The blond dye job in her hair had washed out however, making her appear more or less like her old self.

            Team staples Veronica and Aisha were hovering nearby, each standing behind a structural support beam on the station's bland platform. Both wore large coats and had concealed dart guns for all the good it would do them. Naoko was standing near a series of old vending machines, dressed as a New York tourist in shorts and a statue of liberty shirt with the Time-Stopper hidden behind a newspaper she was holding, the powerful weapon strapped around her neck. Ryoshi herself was wearing a buttoned shirt that showed her hips as well as pants that stopped halfway to her ankles along with tight running shoes. Her weapon of choice was a remote, which was specifically designed for her hostages under Ashley's care, the mind-controlled senior scientist still very useful. Ideally Mary should have helped, but Scott had instead given the treacherous woman a full-power blast from the Time-Stopper, freezing her permanently for an extended stretch of time.

            Tasia Spiro, dressed in the same outfit she'd worn back at the UN with a new pair of heels, stood next to Ryoshi with her arms at her sides and her eyes looking straight ahead, seemingly frozen but merely inactive, having not received instructions. The chip on the back of Tasia's head would only respond to commands given by Ryoshi's remote, part of the plan to make sure the exchange worked. In addition to this control, a special addition had been made which would rain on any double-crosses Interpol attempted, if they were even planning to attempt something. Ryoshi doubted Lucienne Christophe would risk the life of one of her own so recklessly just to capture one of the enemy, seeing as she wasn't even the true mastermind behind the Paradise Foundation. Thus Interpol couldn't win.

* * *

            "You can't be serious," muttered Erika Stone, standing across from Colette and Marika, both of whom looked back at the famous blonde quite seriously. The trio was standing outside the entrance to the abandoned station where few people were walking by, partially because it was late at night, where they were supposed to meet with their enemy, trading Erika for Tasia. Lucienne had reluctantly agreed, but now had a plan in place to make sure they could have their cake and eat it too. The French agent herself was nearby, going over the rest of the plan with JB, Cassandra and Jelena. The plan was simple, as it relied essentially on Erika merely stopping time at the appropriate moment and changing the situation in favor of the good guys. All the agents were wearing blank chips, but Erika's old chip had been removed, meaning she was currently vulnerable to Type-7. That couldn't do in Lucienne's mind, since Erika was their primary weapon.  But now Erika was reluctant to be chipped again.

            "Don't worry, we're all wearing them, its fine," insisted Colette, trying to assure the young woman. The group was dressed as civilians, Erika wearing a tight pink jogging suit with a matching hat, her hair sticking out through the back in a ponytail. Colette, Lucienne and Cassandra had chosen classic black skirt and blouse combinations with heels and pantyhose, Lucienne wearing red while Cassandra wore white and Colette yellow, each also holding a purse with their guns inside. Jelena was wearing blue jeans and a black T-shirt with the Metallica logo on it, her hair having been given a couple of dreadlocks and was tied in a sideways ponytail. Marika had gone for a full business attire with skirted suit, a light brown one with a golden trim and a black blouse underneath. JB was wearing a fedora with a striped vest over a black T-shirt and jeans, looking like he belonged with Jelena, who was his cover. The Croatian and the French male were the only two not carrying handbags besides Erika, their guns instead hidden in their waistbands. JB was even wearing a convincing fake goatee.

            "The last time I wore one of those, I was nearly killed due to one woman’s reckless disregard for my health," declared Erika, apprehensive. The bronzed American's worry tickled Colette's heart and she felt a great deal of sympathy for the woman, but Marika was far less forgiving, having been kidnapped by the woman in the past.

            "If you don't do this, there's no deal," declared Marika. "This is our biggest chance yet to get to the bottom of all this and you are our main player. If they continue to do what they're doing, they could ruin the lives of countless people. They broke into the UN, one of the most secure facilities on the planet, and were going to chip who knows how many people there, possibly all of them. If we don't stop them soon they could literally take over the world," Colette felt chills go down her spine, as did Erika.

            "Alright, fine, if it’s really that big of a deal," groaned Erika, holding the chip up and slowly moving it behind her neck. "Do me a favor, if I put it in wrong, fix it right away so the Type-7 freeze doesn't scramble my brain. It's hard to stop time after taking that stuff." Marika nodded and Erika closed her eyes, preparing to place the chip.

            Right as the chip was about to go into place, Erika stopped, opened her eyes and smiled. Colette and Marika continued to look at the bronzed blonde with spellbound anticipation but the world around her had fallen silent. "You'd think you would have learned by now," mocked Erika, sticking her tongue out at Marika. Nearby Lucienne, JB, Cassandra and Jelena stood frozen in a small circle. "Wow, it may have only been a few days from my perspective but it does feel like years since I've done this; feels good," breathed Erika, looking around the silent frozen world in delight. It was roughly one year ago that she'd gone into the Type-7 coma with Caitlin and Monica, and since then she'd spent only a few hours in the waking world, free from its control. Enjoying the freedom, Erika did a quick dance, hopping around the area and even doing a couple of break dance moves she knew right in between Lucienne and the others.

            "Lucienne Christophe, how I've longed to do this since meeting you again," laughed Erika, standing in front of the senior French agent, who was posed motionlessly with her arms spread, her mouth open and her eyes fixed on JB who was right across from her. Wrapping her arms around the woman's neck, Erika leaned in and gave Lucienne a passionate kiss, careful not to make the agent’s body noticeably change pose in the process. "Cassandra Flick, I see you have a man in your life now," exclaimed Erika, seeing the brunette and noticing that when time had been frozen her left hand was hovering a little too close to the one belonging to JB. "A shame, you'd do great playing for our team, but I guess girls with your looks and hair color just don't do that," Continuing her little dance, Erika skipped out of the circle and back over to Marika and Colette.

            "Watch closely, okay?" laughed the blonde, holding up the chip. "The skin part, I'm going to put on the back of my neck, but the actual chip, I'm going to hide that in my palm. Might need it to disable whoever we encounter," Erika proceeded to just do what she said she was going to do, slipping the chip, prongs away from her skin, under the silver ring she was wearing on her left hand. Then, just to bring back more memories, Erika gave Marika a kiss, though more of a peck and not nearly as potent as the one she'd given Lucienne. Colette for her own part was groped before Erika resumed the pose she'd been holding earlier and closed her eyes again.

            "There," muttered Erika, putting the fake skin patch on the back of her neck where it would stick. "I'm guessing since you guys didn't move I did it right?"

            "Yeah, hardly anyone has," acknowledged Colette, nodding approvingly.  “Usually they don’t press down firmly enough and end up frozen briefly.”

            “You could have told me that before,” Erika commented with a wry smile.

            "Are you prepared to go?" asked Lucienne, walking over and standing next to Erika.

            "I guess, though I'm a bit nervous," the billionaire admitted, hiding the smile she wanted to flash the French woman.

            "Don't worry; I know you can do this," Lucienne assured the blonde, patting her back in support. Erika nodded slowly and moved to stand at the top of the stairs with Lucienne on her left and Marika on her right. JB and Jelena would go first, pretending to be burn-outs looking for a place to light up, and then Lucienne would lead the others down. With a tip of his hat and a wink directed at Cassandra, JB led Jelena down the stairs with his right hand.

            Even though the station was abandoned but the lights still worked. Beyond the fence and turnstiles where tokens were collected stood Tasia and the woman they'd come to meet, JB noted as he jumped over the gate. JB purposely ignored the sinister Japanese woman and quickly led Jelena to a nearby water fountain, producing a fake cannabis roach while Jelena fished though her pockets, pretending to look for her matches. The Japanese woman glared at them but paid them no mind. JB did note a second Asian woman, most likely also Japanese, standing by the vending machines on the other side of the stairs, and the silhouette of what looked like another woman standing behind a pillar.

            After waiting forty seconds, Erika, Marika and Lucienne descended the stairs, Cassandra and Colette hanging back in hopes of slipping down unnoticed in case of an instant double-cross. Fortunately as soon as Erika came into view, the shapely Japanese woman next to Tasia smiled but did nothing else. The Interpol pair and their American partner stopped several meters away from their captured friend and her captor.

            "Ryoshi Tenzo, right; the dead woman?" asked Lucienne, nodding at the Japanese woman. "I've read your file. I take it you aren't the Night Ninja who sent me the information on you."

            "She's been... neutralized," was Ryoshi's casual reply, eying JB and Jelena as the pair pretended to kiss, having given up on lighting the fake drug. "Those two are cute. If it wasn't for how quickly you came in after them I might of believed them to really be burn-outs," hearing those words JB saw no reason to continue to act and stopped pressing his lips into Jelena's neck. The two agents continued to hang back however, wary of any ambushes.

            "The tourist getup is kind of weak," was Lucienne's amused response, nodding at the woman reading the paper. Unlike JB and Jelena, the fake tourist continued to pretend to read the paper.

            "Any plant in the open really doesn't work here, that's why we picked the place," chuckled Ryoshi. "Well, enough fun and games. You want your dear little Spiro back, and we want Stone. Lets make this trade happen."

            "Give us Tasia first," was Lucienne's immediate demand.

            "Oh come on, you know I'm ex-Intelligence," groaned Ryoshi, clutching her forehead. "They move across at the same time, and if I think something is wrong I press a button on my remote here and your precious Tasia receives instant cyanide poison. No guns drawn please, that's a bit tacky."

            "Fine, but as soon as she's over half-way, I want that remote dropped," insisted Lucienne.

            "Hey, I may be a criminal but I don't go around killing people for kicks," snapped Ryoshi, offended. "Besides, she's worth more to us alive."

            "Let’s just get on with this," muttered Marika, nodding at Lucienne. Cassandra and Colette were still at the top of the stairs but could hear everything through a wire Lucienne was wearing. Lucienne nodded in agreement with Marika and casually nudged Erika. The blonde's eyes were wet with fear but nonetheless Erika started to walk towards Ryoshi, her hands nervously at her sides.

            "Tasia, go to them," ordered Ryoshi, pressing a button on her remote. Immediately Tasia began to walk normally, heading straight towards Lucienne as if nothing was wrong though her eyes lacked emotion. Everyone tensed up as Erika and Tasia moved closer and closer together...

            Right as the two women were almost side-by-side Erika was supposed to stop time, so she casually closed her eyes. Calling on her trusted ability, Erika attempted to make the world freeze but then realized to her horror she could not. It wasn't clear why; if it was because she'd just used it stealthily moments ago or if she was just too scared to do so. In any event, time wasn't stopping as Tasia brushed shoulders with the blonde.

            "Toast," Ryoshi suddenly whispered, and Tasia suddenly froze in place. In a panic Erika squeezed down on the chip in her hand and immediately froze, the chip nowhere near where it was supposed to be.  Seconds ticked by.

* * *

            Ryoshi smiled as she surveyed the motionless scene. Aisha and Veronica were still hidden behind the columns, Naoko was still standing there, seemingly reading the paper, Erika and Tasia were in the middle of the open area, fixed in mid-step, and down at the other end the four Interpol agents stood silently. "Nice work Scott," laughed Ryoshi, pleased that a plan had finally worked.

            "No one ever notices a bum in New York," chuckled Scott as he descended the stairs, dressed in a greasy pair of jeans and a torn shirt, a wool cap on his head and dirt smeared on his face. In his hands he held the Freeze-Key, a device that only a handful of people had known about; Mary Hamilton had not been one of them. The gamble had been that if Interpol was wearing chips they would also  be vulnerable to the special device, though not traditional remotes or Type-7 weapons. Up at the top of the stairs Cassandra and Colette were standing with their right hands in their purses, their faces tense as they waited for a sign that something was wrong. JB had his hands behind his back as his eyes watched where Aisha was while Jelena was looking over at Naoko. Lucienne and Marika were both eying Erika, almost as if waiting for something. "Damn, they're a beautiful bunch. I'm not bi or anything but even that guy in the hat looks pretty good, you know, as far as one guy can judge another."

            "Relax Scott, I know your sexual orientation," giggled Ryoshi as she walked over to Erika and stroked her face. "We have our lovely princess back."

            "And we also have a few new trophies," agreed Scott, feeling Lucienne's butt. "A shame we'll probably be too busy to really have fun with them."

            "What do you mean?" asked Ryoshi, confused. Scott, after unfreezing her in Vancouver, had only told her about the ambush plan, nothing beyond that.

            "I've got some people coming in to just package this lot and take them home," revealed Scott, wrapping his arms around the shoulders of Marika and Lucienne. "It seems the Uranus project is nearly ready for launch. Your team isn't part of that mission so we're going home to prepare things there. Once that's over however we'll have plenty of time to, uh, interrogate these fine Interpol agents, thoroughly."

            "A shame; that undercover one looks like fun," grumbled Ryoshi, nodding over at Jelena.

            "Hey, we still have half an hour or so until the extraction team gets here," grinned Scott, and a moment later Ryoshi was grinning as well as the pair began feeling up their helpless captives.


Chapter 6

Paradise Manor

            They were perhaps the most powerful men in all of North America and in the next twenty-four hours, the world. They were all between the ages of forty and sixty with backgrounds ranging from business management to aeronautical engineering; they were the board of executives for the Paradise Foundation. The old men were led by Foundation CEO Julio Sanchez arrived at Paradise Manor a few hours after Scott and Ryoshi had returned from the states. As Caitlin led the executives on a tour of the estate, Ryoshi and Scott were busy reprogramming girls and preparing for the big day. Since the Uranus project was complete, Scott had pulled most of his teams back in. The girls who had been in those teams were now being programmed to either work on the project, join the growing security force, or to entertain the guests of honor and the minions that they brought with them. There were a handful of solo chipped agents out in the field that would operate once the Project was a go. These agents were the starlets, models and public figures that had been abducted in the prior weeks and months. Their celebrity status would allow them entry into places difficult for a normal person to reach.

            The Uranus Ray, if seen by outsiders, looked like a large gimballed satellite antenna mounted in the courtyard of the manor. The big dish was set up permanently in the center of the yard’s garden and its main power lines, thick steel coiled cables, ran to an underground control station. The source of power for the dish was also located underground in a separate room where a reactor-like device which ran on Erika Stone’s extracted DNA charged it with the same capability used by the Time-Stopper. Their cover story was the Foundation was testing a new advanced communication satellite that would function as the corporate communication hub for the Foundation. Only a handful of people knew the true purpose of the huge dish sitting in the courtyard and those people more or less ran the company.

            "It looks great Scott. Ron would have been very proud of you," Julio Sanchez said, coming out into the courtyard. The old man was alone. He was dressed in an all-black suit with a red tie. The man often reminded Scott of the devil; he was nice to your face but always had something devious on his mind. The older man casually walked up to where Scott was standing just under the dish, watching three of his girls finishing up with some wiring. One of the girls was former R&D tech Karen Draskal another was a French nurse and the last was one of the Asian street walkers that they had acquired.

            "Only if Ron was still here, this was all his idea," Scott simply answered watching the three women work and not looking at his superior. Ronald Fisher was not only the former head of the Black Department but he was also a friend and mentor. The Foundation had ruled his death a suicide but a letter that Ron had sent him days before his death said otherwise. Scott believed that Julio and the other board members had something to do it. Ron was too smart; he would have taken over the company within a year of his assignment to his post. After Ron’s death, Scott made sure his Black Department worked in secret from the board, they had little knowledge of his true operations and when he did report to them, it was never the whole story. They trusted him and believed him to not be a threat, even though he was a former spy.

            "That may be true, but you have utilized the Sedative Type-7 and the Nero chips very well. I must say I am quite impressed with your lovely staff."

            Scott flashed a fake smile and turned to the older man, "Thanks you Mr. Sanchez I knew you and the other board members would like them. How was the tour of the estate?" Scott then asked as the two began to walk down the path that led around the large courtyard.

            "I’ve been here many times before you took over residence here. So I have seen the place inside and out. Your tour guide Caitlin is quite lovely though. The other board members seem to like her. She seems a little distant though."

            "That is because she’s chipped."

            Julio stopped and looked at Scott wide eyed, "Chipped?"

            "Yes, one of the new Nero version four chips. I believe my last presentation to you was the first series. We’ve made numerous improvements since. Now the chipped persons act very naturally but will obey to any order without hesitation. When I say any I mean any."

            "I can see that. Amazing, I see a bright future in the Foundation for you, Scott."

            "I’m just doing my job," Scott simply said as he continued to walk really, not impressed by the CEO’s praise. "We have a big day tomorrow… I have a delightful evening planned of relaxation for you and the rest of the board members," Scott said, turning around with a smiling facade.

            "Oh?" Julio smiled as if reading Scott’s mind.

* * *

            Every minute spent with the board members made him sick, knowing what they did to Ron. Scott had to do it though to keep up appearances. He did not want to get on their bad side at the moment. Another twelve hours and he would be free from them and the world would be a whole different place. He just had to hold on and just deal with the situation for a little bit longer.

            To keep his guests satisfied and away from him, he had allotted them almost all the girls in the manor, save for the ones assigned directly to the Uranus project or his security forces. The board members and all of their assistants had two or three girls each; that was enough to entertain them for the duration of the night. Julio was into blonds as much as Scott was, so it was not surprising when the CEO selected Sandy the sorority girl and Sophia the blond Greek and former Interpol agent. He also had selected Leslie and Alexis; four women with the aging CEO.  Scott hoped he did not get a heart attack in the night. The chipped women did not care about someone’s health; their role was to provide pleasure. Scott knew Ryoshi was upset at losing Veronica and Aisha to the board members but she did not show it and his chief operative did what Scott had asked.

            While the board members, their assistants and most of the girls of the manor were on the opposite side of the large estate, this left the manor itself mostly deserted and quiet. Scott made his way towards Ryoshi’s room with two glasses and a bottle of fine wine, hoping to have some quality time; with the presence of board members around Scott needed some good around him and Ryoshi was the closest good thing. Reaching Ryoshi’s room, he knocked softly on the door before opening it. To his surprise the room was empty. Shifting the wine bottle in his hands he reached for his remote and keyed in the phone number for his chief of security.

            "Palmira," an accented voice sound on the other end of the line, the former Interpol agent held the head security spot every since Naoko’s transfer to Ryoshi’s team. Naoko had been chosen by one of the board member’s assistants so the Brazilian kept her job.

            "Where is Ms. Tenzo?"

            The former Interpol agent answered quickly, "She’s in the east wing, lower level."

            "How long has she been there?" The east wing lower level was where the captured Interpol agents were kept. It was obvious that she would be there, likely having some fun on her own. He was surprise that he didn’t go there himself after all was done. The board members didn’t know about the lab, so it was a perfect place to be. They had unfrozen their own agents individually with the Freeze-Key, keeping the remainder of the Interpol agents frozen. Since they had taken down Lucienne and her team they didn’t really have a real chance to ‘explore’ yet.

            "She’s has been there for an hour."

            Scott smiled putting the wine and glasses down on a nearby table. "Thank you, Palmira."

* * *

            The east wing lower level served as one of the largest bedrooms in the house thus it was chosen to store Scott’s new prizes. The room had two king-sized beds, its own bathroom and bar. Like the other rooms, it was fully furnished with expensive plush Eastern European fittings and decor. Adding to the classy look of the room were the newly six captured Interpol agents. Tasia Spiro, who was already programmed, was assigned to in the reactor room with two other chipped women while Erika Stone was locked away in the basement with the traitor Mary Hamilton; Scott had different plans for the billionaire and his former chief scientist.

            In the center of the spacey bedroom was a large round oak table. Seated at the table, looking lonely, was the team’s only male member, JB Odilon. The Frenchman was posed seated with his arms crossed; his legs crossed with his right ankle resting on his knee a classic cowboy pose. JB’s head was tilted forward looking down at his chest with his face covered by his fedora, which was worn low over his head. Sitting nearby on a lounger was Cassandra Flick, also posed stiffly seated with her fingers interlocked behind her head. A sleepy smiling expression was on her face. Her white blouse was unbuttoned and opened exposing her white lace covered bra and midriff. Her black skirt and pantyhose, along with her white lace panties, were pulled down around her ankles. Her bare legs were spread at the knees with her womanhood clearly visible. Across the room, seated on one of the king size beds, were Colette and Marika. Both blonds occupied a corner of the massive bed. Marika’s conservative brown suit was in a heap at her bare feet. The tall Finnish woman was nude and seated with legs crossed and hands clasped together over her naked knees. Her face was molded with her blue eyes opened wide and a close-lipped smile. Marika’s head was tilted to the side, giving her a giddy schoolgirl look. Seated next to her, Colette was naked as well save for her yellow blouse, which hung open and loose on her shoulders, exposing her perky breasts sexy abs. The French Canadian was leaned back on the bed with her hands pulled back to support her weight. Her head was thrown back with her long blond hair hanging free off the back of her head. Her sexy naked legs straddled the corner of the bed, her face held an expression of joy, her eyes tightly shut and her mouth open as if she was about to reach her orgasm. Finally seated at the bar, Lucienne Christophe, the senior French agent, occupied one of the three stools in front of the mini bar. She was completely naked save for her pantyhose and heels. She sat facing away from the bar with her sexy nylon-covered legs crossed; her body leaning back against the bar with her elbows supporting her weight at the bar top’s edge. Her left hand held a glass with some vodka in it while her right held an unlit cigarette between her fingers. Her head was tilted up from her leaned back body so that she was looking directly in front her. Lucienne’s face bore a seductive expression with her tongue licking her lips.

            Scott entered the room, closing the door behind him. He couldn’t help but to smile at the sight before him. The room was dimly lit, adding a romantic touch to the scene. He walked around admiring the beautiful nakedness around him, stopping at Lucienne - his main rival - the woman who had been after him for many months. He copped a feel at the woman’s exposed breasts, rubbing her nipples and then kissing her on the cheek. Stopping at Cassandra, he felt her up a little, looking at the frozen Frenchman sitting alongside the table, looking even lonelier he thought with all the gorgeous women around him. Cassandra was magnificent in her own right but she had been with Scott for a while now and being that she wasn’t a blond his interest for her did not last. So the sight of the two blonds seated on the bed held his attention more than anything else. He was about to walk over and have his way with the lovely Interpol agents but then wondered where Ryoshi was.

            "Ryoshi?" He called out, looking around the room. He then noticed the light on in the bathroom, which was at the end of the room next to the other king size bed. "Ryoshi?"

            "Yeah, I’m in the bathroom," Ryoshi responded from behind the bathroom door that was opened a crack.

            Pushing the bathroom door open, Scott stepped into warm tilted room. In front of him in a giant hot tub was Ryoshi with her black hair sleeked back. Seated in front of her was Jelena, her dark hair not out of the cornrows and also sleeked back. The Croatian bore a smile expression on her face. The two women were only exposed from the shoulders on up, their naked bodies covered by fluffy white bubbles. Ryoshi giggled as she kissed Jelena on the neck. Scott could only guess what the Japanese woman’s hands were doing under the bubbles. The thought caused a stir in his pants.

            Sitting down the nearby toilet with his elbows on his knees he smiled, a rarity, which Ryoshi had the pleasure of being one of the few people to ever see Scott Dawson do. "A bubble bath?"

            "First time for everything… smiles," Ryoshi said grinning. Scott down graded his smile to a slight grin. "I had to get away from those people…"

            "I know that feeling. I’m surprised I didn’t think of coming down here. That’s a nice piece of work you did out there," Scott said gesturing behind towards the room.

            "Thanks, but I was eager to do something, they’re all so pretty," Ryoshi said almost cooing as she moved Jelena’s stiff figure to the side so she would be sitting next to her. "How are you feeling, Scott?" She then asked seriously. Scott really never told her why he resented the board so much and she never pried; it wasn’t her business but she knew there was something dark there.

            Scott took a deep breath and looked up at the ceiling and then back to Ryoshi. "I’m fine," he simply said in his normal tone of voice. "How come the Frenchman is all alone?"

            Ryoshi smiled, that was enough; no more talk on that matter. "He alone because he’s alone, he’s the only male out there. Would like some company for him?"

            "I’m an equal opportunity guy. It would be nice."

            "Fine, he can sleep with me and Agent Hendraille here," Ryoshi said, pulling Jelena’s doll-like form closer to her.

            "No," Scott said quickly, surprising himself and Ryoshi. Just thinking of another man with Ryoshi gave him uncomfortable feelings that he wasn’t accustomed to. Ryoshi and another woman were hot but with another man, he wasn’t going to have that. He looked at Ryoshi silently, his eyes talking for him.

            "Okay," Ryoshi said, "What do you have in mind then?"

            "I have an idea," he said standing up. "Let me help you two out," he offered, extending his hand.

* * *

            Ryoshi snuggled comfortably against Jelena’s naked body, pressing her own naked body against the Interpol agent. Across the room, Scott settled in with the two blond Interpol agents; as tired as he was he wasn’t going to sleep just yet, at least not with the two blonds flanking him. With the stresses of the day quickly fading from his mind he quickly got to business, kissing Colette on the neck and then turning to his other side and doing the same with Marika. Between the two beds on the floor, covered by a bed sheet, was JB who was now naked thanks to Ryoshi. The Frenchman was flanked by Lucienne and Cassandra. The three had been posed together in a mass of entangled limbs in a passionate threesome embrace.

* * *

            Erika blinked and for a second was worried the chip had backfired; she couldn't see anything. A moment later the young woman realized she was sitting in a room with no windows or lights that were currently on. The chip was still connected to her palm and after thinking about it for a moment Erika realized the chip must have activated but become drained of Type-7. Before going to the trade site, Marika had explained a bit on how the chips worked, including that it fixed the Type-7 in the person's system. Somehow not putting it on right must have made it not work properly, Erika figured. Either way she was now able to move freely, not that it seemed to matter. She was somewhat exposed as she could feel herself being almost naked save for the ring on her finger and what felt like a wraparound bra and a thong.

            "Oh God... what do I do now?!" cried Erika, suddenly realizing her problem. She was trapped in an unknown room in an unknown location and couldn't even see. Her power to stop time was useless now. Clutching herself, Erika leaned against the wall she'd been propped against and sunk down to the floor, tears starting to run down her face. Her money, her celebrity, her power... it was all useless now and she was too scared to think of anything else. Erika Stone was helpless and it terrified her.

            Resigned to her fate, Erika began to shake, but then her right elbow hit something loose, which promptly fell onto her, much to her surprise. Screaming and struggling to get up, Erika felt the familiar touch of a person's skin as she bumped into a small, hard outcropping. Breathing heavily, Erika realized she'd found the light switch and promptly flipped it, illuminating her prison. The room was a storage closet, a shelf full of junk like old radios, broken tools and loose wires. Lying on the floor, flat on her back, stiff as a board, was a beautiful redhead that Erika could swear was familiar. She wasn't much older than Erika herself, maybe thirty if you were really generous, had hair that went a bit past her shoulders and a very nice looking set of kissable lips that were parted just enough to slip a tongue in. The woman's arms were away from her sides and her legs were parted as well, almost looking like an action figure in a box save she was dressed only in a white tank top and matching bikini cut panties.

            Ideally one's first instinct would be to explore the room, maybe look at the door behind oneself, but as soon as Erika saw the redhead she was on her like a vulture on a dead body. Mary, Erika recalled her name being, the scientist that had helped Ashley invent Type-7 what she'd been told was over a year ago. Erika had purposely given the woman an overdose when she'd discovered her unusual mental condition that let her stop time. What she was doing in the closet wasn't really Erika's concern, though it did mildly bother her. What the blond spent most of her time doing, however, was lying on top of the redhead and kissing her passionately while feeling her shapely body.

            "Hard as a rock, what is this?" muttered Erika, suddenly finding Mary's form to be unusually stiff. Experimenting, Erika tried to move Mary's arm but couldn't as it was locked in place. "Is she... a statue?" asked Erika to herself, leaning and closely examining Mary's body. The blonde billionaire wasn't a biology student but after checking Mary's scalp, eyes, mouth and womanhood, she was certain Mary was a real woman frozen completely solid somehow.

            "They've made some advancements; this is beyond my own power," realized Erika, and then getting an idea. "I wonder...?" giggled the blonde, lowering the panties around Mary's perfect waist. Erika felt the shaved mound with moaning excitement, realizing that Mary was the perfect woman, at least physically. Back when they'd first met Erika had been too concerned with making sure Mary didn't leak Erika's secrets about stopping time to really check her out, something she now regretted as she let her fingers work their magic, along with concentrating on the opposite of stopping time. At first nothing seemed to be happening, but then Erika felt warmth and grinned.

            "Ooohhh... "Came a weak moan, and Erika could feel Mary loosening up. "Please, don't stop... "

            "You're the boss," giggled Erika as she moved down Mary's body and began to use her tongue. Mary continued to moan in pleasure and, after a full five minutes, finally looked down, seeing who her partner was.

            "Erika?!" exclaimed Mary, and the blonde snapped up, a smile on her face. "You're all right!" cried Mary, tears literally forming as she flew into the blonde's surprised arm, squeezing her tightly.

            "Yeah, I was, uh, rescued... "Managed Erika, finding herself unable to do anything but return the embrace. Mary's body was soft and warm and felt just right to Erika.

            "Thank God, I was so worried they were going to kill you," whispered Mary, nuzzling against Erika's shoulder.

            "Oh, Mary; I didn't know you cared," replied Erika, the redness on her face fading and being replaced with a warm glow. It felt good to be greeted in such a way.

            "I guess it’s hard to understand, since you weren't really yourself under the chip  these past few mouths," realized Mary, leaning back from Erika but keeping her arms around her. "Erika... I love you. I've loved you ever since we first met. I never wanted them to use you like they did!"

            "Mary..." whispered Erika, a bit flustered at the admission of passion. Unable to contain herself after such beautiful words, Erika pulled Mary back in and kissed her, the pair sharing a passionate lip-lock that, to them, seemed like a thousand years, though it was only a few minutes.

            "Right, I'm glad to get that off my chest, I think we should leave the rest for the proper time and place," mused Mary, a bit embarrassed at how her emotions had run away from her. The two women were still in each other's arms and Erika seemed to be in a kind of daze, one that, were it in a cartoon, would feature little red hearts floating around her head. "Have you checked out the door?" asked Mary, standing up which was difficult as she was still holding on to Erika as she did so. Reluctantly the pair stopped embracing, though they still held one hand each.

            "No," admitted Erika as Mary carefully attempted to turn the knob. The door was simple and gray, made of wood or some similar material. The knob also wasn't locked.

            "Okay, we can get out but once we do we need a plan," muttered Mary, pushing a stray hair out of her face while Erika continued to look the redhead up and down. "I know the mansion's layout fairly well, and I'd guess we're in sub-basement two. Down the hall, to the left, is a room where more Type-7 is constantly being produced and past that, up a flight of stairs, is where we'll probably find anyone that hasn't been programmed yet. That'll be our best bet for recruiting help."

            "That means Interpol will be there," acknowledged Erika.

            "Interpol?" asked Mary in surprise. "Damn; I guess Scott and that bitch Ryoshi managed to use my emails against them... "

            "Emails?" asked Erika.

            "When I realized that you were being put in danger by Ryoshi and that the Foundation was up to something way worse than I'd imagined, I started tipping off Lucienne Christophe," revealed Mary. "Its fun being a bad girl, but you have to have limits, you know?"

            "I know all too well," agreed Erika, recalling her first encounters with Lucienne and her team.

            "Ideally I'd like to have a remote, because most of the guards here are chipped," mused Mary, glancing around the room. "Chips for us to protect us from their Type-7 would be nice too, but I'm guessing you aren't okay with that?"

            "Never again," was Erika's adamant reply, producing one such small device from inside her palm. "If this will help you, you might as well have it."

            "I'm no electrical expert, but I know this is useless if there's no Type-7 inside," sighed Mary, holding up the small electronic device.

            "Hold up!" Erika suddenly exclaimed, letting go of Mary for the first time and running over to the shelves. Scouring through the plastic containers, Erika eventually located what she was looking for; a handful of old chips, a broken dart gun and a remote. "They stored us in the perfect place for us to arm up!" exclaimed the billionaire.

            "I might be able to extract enough Type-7 from the chips to give us a couple of working darts, but if the remote has got more problems than dead batteries and a broken wire I'm not going to be of much help with that."

            "Don't worry, Electrical Engineering was my original major in college, before I had to swap for business," declared Erika, producing an old soldering iron from a box of worn-out tools as well as some pliers and solder.

            "Wow, not exactly what people would expect," confessed Mary, her face a bit red. "When I first met you I must admit I thought you only had something like an English degree... "

            "No, and that's why I've always hated sorority girls," revealed Erika, clenching her teeth. "They treated me with no respect in spite of my body because, oh no, I had a brain that was a bit on the geeky side."

            "Hey," Mary said softly, putting her hand on Erika's shoulder. "I know you're smart. I know who you really are, and I love you."

            "I love you too," replied Erika, kissing the redhead before sitting down cross-legged to get working. Mary, with her limited knowledge, was still able to replace the barrel on the broken gun with an intact one that she found in a container and filled two darts with Type-7 extracted from worn-out chips. Erika's task was more complex as she needed to use pieces from broken radios and other electronics to rewire the remote and replace burnt-out capacitors. It took them time but eventually the pair had finished their tasks.

            "Okay, I've improvised an AA battery using a C, but I don't think it has a lot of juice left in it anyways," announced Erika, holding up the patchwork remote whose battery was held in place by a patchwork net made of old wire. "Hopefully this will be enough to get us to the lab."

            "Yeah, two darts won't really help either, since they've never let me do target practice," confessed Mary, holding up a battered dart pistol with a shiny new barrel.

            "Lets trade then," suggested Erika, handing Mary her remote. "I never did like real guns, but I was always good at laser tag."

            "I swear, when we get out of here I'm going to tell those tabloid writers where they can shove-"

            "Okay love, let’s not say something you'll regret," interrupted Erika, giving Mary a peck on the lips. "I'll jump out first. You peek out and hit the FREEZE button at anyone that looks chipped."

            "If they're wearing a catsuit, maid outfit or are just naked, they're chipped," explained Mary. "They also wear name-tags on lanyards that have a red square in the corner. Something about this Uranus Project has forced them to use that protocol for some reason."

            "Uranus?" asked Erika, not having heard the word until now. "Like the planet?"

            "I'll explain when we get to the lab," insisted Mary.

            "Alright then; here goes everything!" exclaimed Erika, biting her lower lip as she opened the door and jumped out, hitting the ground in a roll. The red-carpeted hallway was empty, save for three women in tight catsuits. One was African-American and Mary quickly recognized her as Aisha Reynolds of Interpol. The second was a Mexican woman who was part of the Mexican’s president security detail and the third was Amber, one of the many sorority girls. All three wore lanyards and - as predicted - had dart guns strapped to their thighs; their hair was hanging loose, making them look almost more like models than guards. It wasn't until the trio saw Erika's gun that they decided she was a threat and reached for their own, but by then Mary had pressed the button and the group froze in place, all hunched over slightly with blank looks on their faces as their right hands grasped their pistols.

            "That's it, the battery’s already dead," groaned Mary, seeing the little light in the corner of the device she held blink out. Fortunately the commands sent to Aisha and the other two had worked as they remained still.

            "Let me see? Erika asked, reaching out. Mary handed Erika the useless remote as she walked up to the three frozen women. Erika fiddled with the remote while unknowing holding her dart gun aimed dangerously.

            "She’s an Interpol agent," Mary pointed out, tilting Aisha’s head forward so she could see the chip. Stepping over to the other two, the scientist continued, "She’s a Mexican secret service agent and this one was a sorority girl," she added as she started to pose the Mexican woman so she could pull off the chip. "I think these two could help us, given their backgrounds."

            Erika looks up and noted the women that Mary had mentioned. The Interpol agent was familiar and Amber was also familiar; the Mexican however was new to her. "How do know?" Erika then asked looking at Mary while fiddling around with the wires of the remote.

            Mary stopped what she was doing, "I chipped them," she simply answered.

            "Did you chip me?"  Erika asked with a some sting in her voice.

            Turning around, Mary looked Erika in the eyes and could the sadness in the blonde’s blue eyes. "No… but I did program your actions.  I’m sorry..."

            Erika looked at Mary seriously for a while. Both women stared at one another in silence before Erika grinned and went back to work. "Just un-chip them; I’ll see if I could get this thing working again.

            "Are you okay?" Mary asked, walking up to Erika. "I didn’t know before I programmed you… if I did I would have never done it."

            "It’s okay, Mary," Erika smiled looking up. "I forced Type-7 down your throat and froze you."

            "What?" Mary asked shocked. "I thought Ashley…"

            "No, it was my idea. Ashley just went along with it. I guess she liked you better as a doll because she never reversed the process."

            "Why?" Mary then asked, now saddened.

            "Why did you program me?" Erika shot back, looking up from the controller.

            "I had to. That is what I was ordered to do."

            "Well at the time I had to too," Erika simply answered. "I’m not exactly happy with myself, if it makes you feel any better," Erika then said going back to work.

            Mary turned around and walked back to Aisha, "We’ll talk about this later," she said over her shoulder. Erika simply grinned; they sounded a like actual couple even though they just really met.

Mary then reached behind Aisha’s neck, pulling the chip off, causing the tall woman to limply fall to the ground, Mary not being able to catch her on time. Aisha let out a moan and began to stir but she was still unconscious. Mary checked her vitals to assure herself was fine; the agent’s breathing and pulse rate were normal, she had been chipped for almost a year already, so being un-chipped was like coming out of a coma. She let the Interpol woman slowly regain consciousness and moved over to the Mexican guard and removed her chip as well. The Mexican was a smaller than Aisha so Mary was able to lower her to the ground. The woman let a moan and opened her eyes. She had only been chipped for a few weeks, so coming out of the process was easier for her. Mary helped her sit up, "Are you okay? How do you feel?"

            "Tired…" The woman said groggily in a thick accent and looked around. "Where am I?" she then asked, looking around and rubbing her eyes. Looking down at herself, "Why am I…" she began to ask just a dart went into her shoulder and she froze again with dazed eyes and lips parted. She was sitting with one leg bent under her and the other out in front of her with her body slightly turned towards Mary.

            Erika gasped and quickly pulled the dart gun behind her and smiled. "What happened?" she asked innocently.


            "My finger slipped. At least I didn’t hit you."

            "She’s no good to us now. She’ll be like that for another couple of hours," Mary grumbled, moving back over to Aisha who had rolled onto her side and was trying to stand up. "How are you feeling, Agent Reynolds?"

            "Really tired… what happened… where am I?" Aisha asked as Mary helped her sit up.

            "Its long story; there is no time to explain. You have to help us. You’re friends are endangered."

            Aisha looked around herself, trying to figure out where she was and what was going on. The last thing she remembered was being in a SUV with Cassandra. Now she was in someplace completely different, dressed in a catsuit. "I’m not even sure I want to know what’s going on," Aisha said looking down at herself. "Is Cassandra OK?"

            "She’s fine," Erika said smiling.

            "Erika Stone?"

            "The one and only.  Hey, Mary, this thing is done. Not only is the battery dead but the main circuit board is fried too," Erika said, tossing away the remote but still dangerously holding the dart gun which still had one dart left.

            "Erika be careful with that," Mary warned as she helped Aisha to her feet. The tall women stood unsteadily and held tightly onto the redhead for balance.

            "These heels…" Aisha sighed, she wasn’t a really a heel person, she found three-inch heels to be annoying; these heels were at least double that height. She looked at Mary and Erika and grinned. "At least I’m dressed. Erika and Mary looked at each other and then at Amber and the Mexican woman. Both women smiled, thinking the same thing.

            Amber and the Mexican guard stood stiffly, shoulder to shoulder. Both women were naked and now were stashed in the scrap closet. Erika and Mary were now dressed in the former guards’ catsuits, both not feeling very comfortable. The suits left very little to the imagination and were so tight and hard to get into that they had to strip naked just to wriggle them on. It had been also a pain to strip off the suits from the guards. Aisha had helped them as Mary had briefed the Interpol agent on the current situation. They had to get to the lab and see if the could scrounge up more Type-7 weapons before freeing the others. "How is this better?" Mary asked, looking down at herself, she was able to see her nipples through the thin leather material as well as some camel toe as well.

            "We look like everyone else," Erika simply said as she shut the door to the closet, brushing her palms together.

            "Now you know how I feel," Aisha said as she checked her dart gun. "Where to now?"

            "Down the hall," Erika answered checking her own dart gun, with Mary and Aisha looking at her worriedly.

            "Is it safe for her to have that?" Aisha asked, looking over at Mary and Erika, both former enemies.

            "There’s only three of us against the Foundation now," Mary answered checking her own gun. Looking over to Erika, "You have to be careful Erika; we’re not wearing any chips – if we get hit…"

            "Yeah, yeah, I know. Don’t worry about it. I got it," Erika assured with a smile. Both ladies realized why Erika was so popular; it was her confident smile, it could put the most stressful situation to ease. "Shall we?"

            "Let’s go. You lead," Aisha said, looking at Mary and then added, "Remember ladies, move as if you were chipped.”

* * *

            The whole sub-level was empty. This didn’t surprise Mary at all; the guards were allocated elsewhere and there was not really anything or anyone in the sub-level that would take more than a handful of guards to watch. Mary led the trio, with Aisha and Erika flanking her. All three kept a blank controlled look on their faces. Aisha had trouble, being that her training told her to be always aware of her surroundings and now she had to keep herself from looking around. Erika maintained her blank look perfectly but moved too robotically. Mary was really the only one that looked as if she was chipped being that she had a lot of experience first hand seeing how a chipped person would move and act. As they turned the corner, Mary stopped the girls and quickly pushed then back around the corner.

            "What’s going on?" Aisha whispered, instinctively pulling her dart gun from her thigh holster.

            Mary looked around the corner once more and then ducked her head back quickly, "There are two guards to the lab," she whispered. Erika tried to peek around but was pulled back by the other two leather-clad women who glared at her with warning looks. The billionaire plainly shrugged. She was feeling adventurous; a feeling that she had not felt since childhood. A flashback appeared in her mind of her absorbed reading her Batwoman comic books when life was easy and free of stress. "One is Interpol the other is a hotel maid," Mary informed.

            "How do you know all this?" Aisha asked, peeking around the corner. Both guards stood flanking the door; they were dressed like she was in tight black leather catsuits with heeled boots and lanyards looped around their necks. They were both armed, their dart guns securely holstered at their thighs. Both women stood with there, hands behind their backs, and they had not noticed their presence around the corner. One woman was Asian while the other one was dark skinned with dark hair. Both women had their hair hanging freely. Aisha wasn’t sure which one was the Interpol agent.

            "She’s the one who chipped and programmed all of us," Erika answered, frowning at Mary, who looked down at the floor in regret.

            "Enough of that, no time to blame; will these darts work on them?" Aisha then asked.

            "No, they’re chipped," Erika answered.

            "I think she was asking me," Mary shot back, annoyed of how Erika kept interrupting her and pushed Erika back. She then replied, "They’re chipped so Type-7 won’t work on them, but if we were to get hit with one of their darts, it would be bad.  We’d get frozen, and you all know how that feels.”

            Aisha turned and looked at both of the women, "Well then, we’re not in the very good spot tactically, are we?" Erika and Mary looked at the Interpol agent with blank stares; it was obvious they had no idea what to do either. "No ideas?"

            Erika suddenly looked up and smiled. "I got something!" She exclaimed loudly, causing Mary and Aisha to reach out towards her to shut her mouth. Before they even knew what happened, in the blink of an eye, both women were holding each other closely and Erika was standing behind them. "Problem solved," The blonde said briefly, leaning on the corner. Mary and Aisha quickly separated.

            "Tell us before you do that!" Aisha demanded and walked around the corner to see both guards were now both sitting on the floor holding their heads and moaning. She quickly walked up to the two women to check on them and to make sure they didn’t panic.

            "Erika, you can’t do that so freely," Mary said, caressing Erika’s cheek with motherly concern. "They had you stopping time for long periods so much over the past year I really think you should cut back on it for a while; we don’t know what it has done to your health."

            Erika felt warm inside and felt her cheeks flush. "Thank you."

            "For what?" Mary asked puzzled.

            "For caring," Erika smiled and kissed the redhead full on the lips.

            "Hey, love birds, we got work to do," Aisha called from around the corner.

            "I really wish we had kept her frozen," Erika said wryly, after pulling free from Mary, who nodded in agreement.

* * *

            Aisha had never met Interpol agent Makeda Getachew and the Asian woman was a maid named Janet Wu collected from a Vancouver hotel. Janet was an action film junky so she was all in to whatever Aisha and Makeda were planning to do. Being that they were the only two Interpol agents, they were automatically the planners. After a small meeting it was decided that Mary, with the help of Erika and Janet, would set up new dart guns and other Type-7 weapons. Unfortunately the lab that they were in only had Type-7 equipment in it and nothing to do with the chips or remotes. For chips and remotes they would have to move the other side of the sub-level and that was too risky. Erika also concluded that her time-stop ability was still limited; she could not stop time for a long period of time and her power would last only a couple of minutes tops before time would suddenly start. Makeda and Aisha stood guard outside the lab and acted as if they were still chipped.

            "Good to have you back, Agent Reynolds," Makeda said while looking straight ahead and keeping her body still. "I like a lot of other Interpol agents were at your funereal service; it was sad… your parents.  Well, I’m glad to hear the reports of your death were exaggerated."

            "Let’s not talk about that now, Agent Getachew. I think I have enough on my mind right now," Aisha replied flatly. Everyone thought she was dead. It was going to tough when she got back but she was glad; she missed her family and friends not how much it seemed they had missed her, though.

            "Right; I’m sorry for bringing it up," Makeda said, looking down at herself.  She shook her head disapprovingly seeing that her nipples were clearly visible through the skimpy suit she was wearing.

            "You’re not naked. Just remember that," Aisha said, noticing Makeda’s uneasiness. "Stay still, you’re chipped you’re not suppose to care," Makeda nodded and straightened her body up, looking blankly ahead.

* * *

            It had taken Mary nearly thirty minutes to get everything ready. Erika and Janet kept on goofing around and made it hard for her to work. Janet realized she was with Erika Stone and became extremely star-struck and it took Mary threatening to freeze her for her to calm down. Mary, with no help from Erika or Janet, managed to rig the dart guns to fire electrically-charged Type-7 darts; she figured the slight charge in the darts would be enough to short the chips, thus freezing the wearer from the remaining Type-7 in their bodies. At last they were done and the group headed up to the main level where the Interpol agents were kept. Aisha and Makeda were armed with carbine dart rifles and headed the front and end of the line, with Mary keeping close to Aisha to guide her, Janet and Erika were in the middle and carried large duffle bags with the extra gear.

            When the reached the hallway where the lower level room was located. Aisha stopped the line, noting two blond leather-clad guards beside the door to the room. She signaled Makeda to join her and ordered Mary to wait with the others and watch their backs. "Let’s see if these charged shots work," Aisha said, aiming her carbine at one the guards and taking a kneeling stance. Makeda stood behind her took aim.

            "Ready," The Ethiopian calmly said. The two guards suddenly noticed their presence but did not do anything, unable to determine what was going on. Both Interpol agents fired and both guards froze immediately on the spot soon after.

            "Cover me," Aisha ordered as she moved forward with her carbine shouldered and held up at eye level. Makeda nodded as Aisha moved away from her. Aisha reached the two suspended guards, who both stood looking down the hallway towards her and Makeda both with darts in their chest and stared blankly down the hall with unblinking blue eyes. She poked them with the barrel of her carbine and the two remained stiff. They’d be out of action for quite a while.  She quickly removed the chips from their necks, just in case, if the darts were to malfunction. She turned back towards Makeda and nodded. Makeda turned around and signaled the others to join her. Aisha gave the hold signal while she checked out the room. The Ethiopian acknowledged and held back the other three girls from moving up any further.

            When Aisha opened the door, she went wide-eyed to what she saw. Laying on the floor naked were Lucienne, JB and Cassandra. An equally naked dark-haired woman lay on a nearby bed at one end of the room. On the other end of the room on another bed was Marika and her old friend Colette Landry; both blonds were naked and frozen as well. Aisha walked around the room quickly and methodically, clearing the room before she could check on her friends. She noted their clothes were scattered about the room so it was good idea to dress them before unfreezing them. She was going to need some help though and she was going to need Mary to look them over to make sure they were all okay. Once the room was secured, she opened the door and signaled the others. Mary and Erika posed the two blond guards to stand upright and make it look like they were still guarding before entering the room. Once everyone was in the room, Makeda locked the door to make sure they were not disturbed.      

            It was a difficult process clothing the frozen Interpol agents as only Makeda could really take it seriously as she clothed Cassandra. Mary, who'd identified the woman on the bed as being Jelena Hendraille, was clearly uncomfortable as she slid the disguise Jelena had worn back in New York onto her sexy body. Erika, recalling what everyone had been wearing, was directing the group's little game of dress-up while she herself worked on Lucienne, clearly taking too much pleasure in the process. Janet, for her own part, kept touching JB's crotch when she thought no one was looking, which was never the case. Aisha had little trouble with Marika, save for the height issue, but she found herself a bit uncomfortable dressing Colette, having been attracted to her a few years back. After what seemed like ages for some but too short a period for others the group of six immobilized women stood in a row, all of them with their hands at their sides and their clothes more or less on properly, though their hair was a disaster as whoever had played with them earlier had really gone all the way.

            Working as one, the five women removed the six chips that were binding the other Interpol agents, causing them to immediately look around in surprise for the most part, save Colette who immediately saw Aisha in front of her and gave her a massive hug. "Aisha, it's you!" exclaimed the French Canadian.

            "Makeda; I didn't expect to see you here," greeted Jelena, flashing the familiar face a smile and a nod. "Don't get me wrong, you're a welcome surprise."

            "So you finally admit my shooting record's better than yours?" asked the Ethiopian, returning the smile. The pair was friendly rivals, constantly trying to score better in target shooting exercises.

            "Okay, so we know who you three are, but who are you two?" asked Lucienne, indicating Mary and Janet. The local girl was about to open her mouth when Mary slapped the chip she'd removed from Cassandra onto the back of her neck, the old command from the Freeze-Key immediately putting her into frozen stasis with her lips parted, her left index finger raised as if to make a point.

            "Sorry, but with so many competent people on our side now I figure she'd only be a hindrance," shrugged Mary as everyone looked at her in surprise. "I'm Mary Hamilton, your Night Ninja contact. I was hoping you'd help me save Erika and take down the Foundation, and in spite of this last little hiccup I'd say we're now in the perfect position to do that."

            "Hiccup, right... "Muttered Cassandra, refraining from further remarks by the presence of JB's hand holding hers.

            "There should be another stash of equipment in this room; I know where the main control for the Uranus Ray is located, so if we move fast we should be able to get there before they power it up," continued Mary, quickly scanning the room and then pointing to a trunk in the corner. Makeda and Jelena moved to open it while Cassandra and Marika moved to check the main door. JB covered the other while Aisha and Colette stepped aside to talk.

            "What's this Uranus Ray?" asked Lucienne, not up to date with the Foundation's grand scheme.

            "Essentially they're going to use it like Erika's power, but running on a generator," explained Mary as Erika silently stood by, seemingly glancing at the motionless Janet. "Time will stop and everyone frozen into statues.  They've equipped groups of people to be immune to the device, which means when it activates they'll be free to take over the world. I'm guessing they have teams globally to chip every major world leader, politician or otherwise. I'm not really sure why they want to do it though, probably greed."

            "Makes sense to me," shrugged Lucienne, clearly a bit disturbed by the news in spite of the passive response. "Well I get the plan and why they'd do it. What I don't get is how they can make a machine that can do this. I know Erika's ability had something to do adrenaline, at least according to Marika, but how... "

            "They cloned specific cells of her DNA and replicated her brain, though it lacks pretty much any functionality," explained Mary. "It all began over a year ago back when Ashley Tisdale and I created the Type-7 sedative in hopes of keeping our jobs. I did an examination of Erika's head and found some surprising data. Ashley promptly injected me into frozen silence and kept me as a trophy for a very long period of time, after which I took her place within the Foundation. I told them about Erika and gave them her brain scan, which they used to create a lightweight projector that can stop time within a small location. It was called the Time-Stopper, and it was powered by a combination of Erika's DNA and bio-electrical energy, both which were extracted from her soon after she was taken."

            "So she was a guinea pig?" realized Lucienne, looking at her old enemy with a new sense of pity. Erika had stripped Janet down and the maid, who had pretty nicely toned body, now stood naked in the middle of the room. The blonde was groping Janet’s breasts when she noticed that Lucienne and Mary were looking at her. She stopped,  smiled, shrugged and came over to them.

            "Yes, but at the time I felt justified," confessed Mary, bowing her head in shame. "Erika had overdosed herself on Type-7 to evade capture and was stashed at that sorority house. I thought she'd wanted to disappear, and I thought it was a crime to allow her without letting us study her gift. I never knew they'd work on her like they did, turning her into a weapon... "

            "It's alright; we can end it all here," Erika assured Mary, putting her arms around the woman's shoulders and touching her forehead to hers.

            "Indeed, if this Uranus thing works like you say, we need to smash it and bring this entire damn company to justice," agreed Lucienne. "You lead us there; we can do the rest."

            "My pleasure," nodded Mary as Marika returned.

            "Funny thing, the two guards out front I recognize as being girls from that sorority house you'd hid out in last year," remarked the Finnish woman as she joined the trio in the middle of the room. "I think their names were Sandy and Kelsey... "

            "They helped hide me when I went underground; I guess the Foundation took them when they took me," shrugged Erika, having let go of Mary. At that point Jelena and Makeda returned with a handful of dart guns, which Mary began to modify as well as a single remote. The group quickly agreed to not use chips again, considering the Freeze-Key too dangerous. Mary was sure to apologize for not having known about the device that had earlier defeated the Interpol team. She explained that Scott had many plans that only he knew about. It took almost twenty minutes, but soon the group was fully armed and headed out, preparing to attack.

* * *

            Ryoshi was pissed to say the least. A security alert had tipped her off to the team that was now storming the mansion's basement, heading straight to her location in the Uranus generator room. Scott was present, having left the heads of Paradise in their little secure bunker while he held the Time-Stopper, having already tried the Freeze-Key – to no effect – and was a part of Ryoshi's defensive wall. A massive group of security, almost all of them dressed in catsuits, stood ready with dart pistols and carbines inside the room which was full of turned-over tables, wheeled chairs and cooling packs, the massive energy supply for the Uranus Ray on the far side of the room next to the secondary exit which only led to the bunker and the garage. To disable the generator, one only had to pull a few cables or sever them, which would cut off power to the Ray.  That was something Scott didn't want to happen. For this reason he'd had Ryoshi gather together everyone who was still available: Tasia, Alexis, Veronica, Leslie, Sakura, Lotte, Naoko, Palmira, Caitlin, Ashley, Monica, Karen and even the sorority girl Jaki. Everyone else was already either frozen or liberated.

            "I can't believe it has come down to this," Ryoshi whispered to Scott, the pair standing side by side.

            "This isn't some gunfight to the death, we're using non-lethal weaponry, so don't act so dramatic," snapped Scott, who was nonetheless sweating a bit.

            "Scott, if something happens..." began Ryoshi, looking at her longtime friend and ally with soft eyes.

            "Save it for after we show these bastards the door; now get ready to go medieval on their asses!" snapped Scott as he heard footsteps from the other side of the wooden doors that connected to main hallway. The room was then silent again as Scott watched the door intently, preparing to fire the projector as soon as he saw any stirring.

            Suddenly, in between blinks of an eye no less, the opposition was in the room, standing right across from Scott and his girls! Immediately a firefight began, the attackers seeming to have the upper hand. Ashley, Jaki and Caitlin were hit with Type-7 immediately, the three being inexperienced in combat despite of the chips controlling them and each immediately ended up immobilized with darts in their upper body. Scott's defenders were no slouches either, with Alexis hitting Marika in the leg before she could duck for cover and Scott himself blasting Lucienne in mid-air as she'd been attempting to jump over a table that Caitlin and Ashley had been behind.

            The shooting continued as Scott ducked down to let the Time-Stopper warm up for another shot. Ryoshi hit Colette while Sakura, Veronica, Karen, Monica and Naoko were also frozen by darts. It had initially been planned by the attackers for Erika to stop time, bring them all into the room and disarm their opponents but she'd been too tired to complete the second half of the plan. Lucienne was also frozen before she could produce the remote she'd been carrying, leaving it to the Type-7 weapons and the Time-Stopper. Scott snapped up for another shot, seeing Mary and Cassandra crouching together near Colette. As the head of the Black Department stood to take his shot however he felt a gust of breeze and the weapon was gone, now pointed at him by a very sweaty Erika Stone.

            "This is for what you did to me," declared the blonde, pressing the trigger and leaving Scott no time to react.

            "Look out!" screamed Ryoshi, suddenly springing up and pushing Scott aside as the Time-Stopper went off. Ryoshi froze in mid-push, her arms extended as she stood with her left foot propped up only by a toe, her face became fixed with a great deal of concern fixed on her face, her gun in mid-air having been in the process of being dropped.   That was the permanent setting, for sure.

            "Too bad," grunted Scott, punching Erika in the face and causing her to fall over, the Time-Stopper falling from her hands and breaking apart upon hitting the floor, the handle and lens both being more or less shattered. Having not thought to bring a spare weapon, Scott quickly retreated, ducking out through the other exit after narrowly avoiding being shot as the battle raged on with Leslie, Alexis, Tasia, Lotte and Palmira all making a last stand next to the main power cable.

            Makeda and Cassandra had each taken a dart, Makeda in the hand and Cassandra the knee so they were frozen in place, but Jelena, JB, Aisha and Mary were still fighting hard as Erika stirred. Seeing there was a problem, Erika tried to stop time, only to find herself unable to concentrate; the pain from Scott's punch was still fresh. Instead, Erika ran over to Veronica and pulled the pistol from her rigid hands, running towards the group of five and jumping over the table protecting Lotte and Alexis. Both chipped women took a dart to the back but Erika then realized her mistake as the darts in Veronica's gun had not been modified.  Normal Type-7 had no effect on the chipped women. In desperation the blonde tackled the pair, wrapping her legs around Lotte while her hands pointed Alexis's gun at her allies behind the other table, with several shots going off though none did any better than Veronica's darts had. Erika's actions did however distract the chipped women, who paused to look down at the darts in their bodies, leaving Jelena and Aisha free to rush the trio with weapons blazing, shorting out the chips and leaving the three frozen while looking at where they'd been hit. Mary and JB moved to support Erika as Alexis finally managed to break free and shoot Erika in the head. Mary retaliated by hitting Lotte while JB took out Alexis.

            "We did it!" exclaimed Mary as Jelena moved towards the power cable, knowing that severing them would stop Uranus. It was right then that Jelena froze unexpectedly, along with Mary, JB and Aisha, the last four of the attackers who hadn't been hit.

            The sound of applause was heard as Scott suddenly walked back into the room, a grin on his face. The Uranus Ray's generator was now humming quietly, having powered up just as the battle had concluded. Victory for the Foundation.  "So close, yet so far," laughed Scott, surveying the static scene. Lucienne was in mid-air, her arms up beside her with her knees fully bent and her hair floating around her hair. Cassandra was crouching behind a table with a dart sticking out of her exposed knee as she bent low to the ground with a carbine in her tight grip. Marika was posed in mid-step, three darts in her right side while she held her pistol at her side and looked towards where the shots had come from. Colette was standing upright, her gun pointed straight ahead at Naoko who was pointing her own weapon right back though Colette was using both hands while Naoko was squatting, her left hand holding herself upright. Jaki and Ashley were on Naoko's right, both on their knees with both hands holding their pistols out front. Ryoshi remained in her pushing pose while the table in front had Sakura, Caitlin and Veronica, all three caught while standing with pistols in their hands, Sakura shooting two-handed while Caitlin was bracing her elbow and Veronica held two pistols. Karen, one of the few naked women present, held a carbine while she leaned against her table, her shoulder having been left exposed. Monica was out in the open, her weapon having misfired and thus she'd been trying to run for the secondary exit like Scott had but a dart had hit her square in the back and two more in her ass, halting the woman in mid-run. Makeda was leaning out from behind a table, a carbine in her hands and a dart in her left wrist which was used to help aim the gun. Erika Stone was on her rear, her hands on the ground as she looked up at Alexis in fear, the blond Brit pointing her gun with her right hand straight at Erika's forehead where a dart was. Lotte was on one knee, both hands on the ground as she'd been trying to stand up when she'd been hit. Tasia, Palmira and Leslie were all looking down at where they'd been hit, Palmira in the right left arm, the naked Tasia in the left breast and Leslie in the left leg, all three more or less standing. Jelena had dropped her gun and had raised her hands to the black cable that was connected to the generator, essentially a massive plug. Aisha had been scanning the room with her carbine and eyes, stuck while looking over at Lucienne on the far side of the room. Mary's left arm was raised in a cheer, her right holding her pistol at her side, while JB was in mid-stride, looking over at Cassandra. It was quite the tableaux.

            "Well, time to introduce my back-up plan," declared Scott, hefting the device strapped to his chest: another Time-Stopper. Walking over to Ryoshi, Scott set his weapon to a reversal ray and fired, the beam washing over the Japanese woman and causing her to fall forward, her pistol hitting the ground right before her.

            "It’s okay; Uranus is online," revealed Scott, bending over and putting the Time-Stopper aside. Ryoshi rolled over and looked at her superior with a weak smile.

            "I guess we won then?" asked the Japanese woman, but Scott shook his head.

            "Technically, I did," revealed the Canadian. "The Ray is activated, but I had it modified beforehand. Sanchez and those other old fools think they're safe in that bunker, but they're as frozen as the rest of the world: I rigged it so only the two of us wouldn't be affected, unlike what I was supposed to do."

            "You did, but why?!" exclaimed Ryoshi, suddenly very confused.

            "Ronald Fisher's death was no suicide, Ryoshi," Scott told the only unfrozen woman, reaching out and touching her face. "Sanchez had him killed. I'd never found the real evidence I'd wanted, but the package he'd sent me was enough. I let the Foundation make me a rich man, but now it's time for me to take my leave."

            "Wait, does that mean...?" began Ryoshi, reaching up and taking Scott's hand. The man nodded and leaned in, kissing the woman passionately.

            "No more obligations, no more anything," confirmed Scott after parting lips with Ryoshi. "Uranus is rigged to shut-down in twenty-four hours, and I have the one device that will make sure we can get as far away from here as possible before that happens. Ryoshi... marry me."

            "... Of course!" exclaimed Ryoshi, leaping into Scott and proceeding to kiss the happy man repeatedly, even reaching down and touching his groin.

            "Hang on, there's plenty of time for that after we get out of this war zone," interrupted Scott, moving Ryoshi's hand away. "Believe me when I say that. I have a place in Rio with everything we'll need and a car that can take us to the airport where a private jet is on standby outside of Foundation control. We can move there and spend the rest of our lives together with well over fifty million dollars US in cash, plus the place I mentioned is a penthouse in a luxury apartment complex that I happen to have ownership of. We can just spend all day by the pool."

            "You really are a genius," smiled Ryoshi, kissing her future husband once more. "Still, just the two of us...?"

            "Of course not, the plane can seat a dozen people and we're taking a van to get to the airport," Scott assured Ryoshi, who'd finally moved to let him stand up. "I've got enough Type-7 at our new place to last a hundred years too. Now go pick out some servants you’d like to bring with us while I do one last little bit of business... "Ryoshi hugged her fiancé one final time for starting to circle the room with the extra Time-Stopper and some new chips. Scott watched the love of his life have her fun for a minute before reaching into his pocket and producing a carefully prepared memo he quietly slipped into the cleavage of the time-stopped Lucienne Christophe.

            "You were a worthy foe, it seems," noted Scott, reaching up and lowering Lucienne from the air, then giving her a quick kiss on her statue-like lips. "Don't worry; you'll never have to worry about us again. You win, Christophe, you've won."

To Interpol and whomever else it may concern,

           My name is not important, though I'm certain my ex-superiors will happily tell it to you at a later date. The Uranus Project was started by the Paradise Foundation, purely to achieve global control. The leaders of the company, in particular Julio Sanchez, are out to take over the world in hopes of creating a new utopia in which rich men rule the world and women are sex slaves, poor men being used as laborers. I joined the organization with a very different vision in mind, and I was driven by greed, not power. My greed is now satisfied and I have taken my leave, but not before handing the leaders of the Foundation over to you.

           I'm certain that Sanchez was responsible for the death of Ronald Fisher, which is one of my main reasons for betraying them. I was never however truly behind their grand designs. I've played both sides up to this point, though the ending isn't quite what I'd expected (at least I'm assuming it isn't at the time that I've written this). Please drop all charges against any member of the Paradise Foundation or the Black Department and focus only on the board of directors, as they are the real criminals.

Well played.



Two days later Interpol Headquarters Lyons, France

            "So that’s it?" Cassandra asked after Lucienne finished the debriefing. The other team leaders had returned save for a couple; two of Lucienne’s teams were still out finishing up business tracking down the Foundations sleeper cells. It was an easy task, being that they were all celebrities. Sophia and JB’s team took care of that matter. They were scheduled to be finish by the next day. The other team leaders were to be debriefed and sent back to their respective nations for a short vacation before being re-assigned to new duties. The end of Lucienne’s task force had come.

            "Yes, that’s pretty much it," Lucienne replied as she gathered up the files in front of her and stood. "The Foundation members are all be prosecuted… that process alone may take years considering all the people they abducted and what they tried to do. After that, most of them will spend the rest of their lives in prison. Scott Dawson and Ryoshi Tenzo got away free. Scott Dawson… there’s nothing on the guy; we’ve checked our databases. The man doesn’t exist. Even though everyone says he does. We can’t touch a ghost. We got enough anyways. Same thing with Ryoshi Tenzo, she’s officially dead. You can’t charge a dead woman for much. Cassie, just forget about them, we have enough on our plate. The way things are now I’m going to be going to court every day for the next year or so," The French agent concluded leaving the boardroom. Cassandra, Aisha and Colette, who had been silent the whole time as the two old friends talked, now looked at each other as they walked along.

            "Sophia and JB should be finishing soon; Lucienne you have to debrief them when they come back," Colette reminded.

            "I’ve decided not to," Lucienne said, smiling and turning around at the trio following her. "I’m not the only senior agent here. I need a break. Aisha and Cassandra will debrief them. The second of your two debriefings," Lucienne announced, turning back around. "Colette, you’ll assist them; I’m going to be out of town for a few days."

            "What do you mean by two briefings?" Aisha asked.

            "You’ll first debrief Hui and Miranda and then debrief JB and Sophia," Lucienne replied and added, "Colette will assist," The French-Canadian only nodded as she was the most junior of the group she had to do what she was told. Lucienne was a great leader to work under, but at this point the young blond preferred working under Aisha in more then one way. She had confessed to Aisha in Vancouver. Even though the American had nicely rejected her on the basis of their career, Colette wasn’t going to give up yet though. The way that Aisha looked at told her that the tall Nubian beauty was still into her. It was going to just take a little a bit of pushing.

            "Hui and Miranda are here?" Cassandra then asked as they walked through a series of guarded rooms.

            "They arrived an hour ago. The techs are getting ready to shoot them with Time-Stopper, or should I say un-Stopper. I would much rather prefer someone else debriefing them; you two need the rest too but my most experienced people are all unavailable and I’m just the boss. Marika is planning her wedding. Tasia is very ill, it looks like she caught something in Canada, all the nakedness maybe. She’s resting in at home. JB is still out on missions as well as Sophia. The other team leaders don’t have enough of background on the whole case. So that leaves you two," Lucienne explained as they reached a locked steel door. They heard a loud hum the steel door to the sub-level lab slid open.

            Hui and Miranda were both sitting on the floor with a confused look their faces as a medical team looked them over. Hui looked up, seeing Lucienne standing with Cassandra and Aisha and then smiled her trademark smile. "Hey guys," she said cheerfully and waved.

            Miranda followed suit as both agents were helped to their feet. "What’d we miss?" The Hawaiian asked brushing herself off.

            "Are they okay?" Lucienne asked. The medical personal nodded as they put their gear away. "Glad to have you two back and well," she then said giving both agents a hug and peck on the cheek. Colette followed suit hugging and shaking their hands. "I have to run; I have a flight. You fill in Aisha and Cassandra what happen while they were gone before you were frozen and they’ll fill you in on what’s happened afterward," Lucienne ordered as she left the room.

            "Who wants to go first?" Cassandra asked.

* * *

A Week later…Malibu, California, Stone Towers

            Mary’s life had been turned upside down since she had gotten back; along with the whole Paradise Foundation thing she was also all over the media now being revealed as Erika Stone’s lover. She wondered how Erika could live her life like this as she pushed past paparazzi, ducking her head, and quickly entering Stone Towers. As she entered the building big security guards dressed in blue blazers and red ties quickly moved into the doorway, keeping the hounding crowd out. Mary took another look behind her and takes a deep breath before continuing. She crossed the large marble floored lobby, ignoring looks from Stone Enterprise employees; it was something that she would have to get used to. Mary smiled at a familiar face that waited at the elevator for her. Monica Stein was now Erika’s personal assistant, having fully recovered from her ordeal with the Foundation.

            "Hey Mary," The older woman greeted, hugging Mary. The former travel agent was dressed in a sharp looking black business skirt suit that showed off her sexy legs. Her dark her was tied back into a conservative bun. "I see the trip getting in is still kind of tough," Monica observed after the two separated.

            "Yeah…" Mary replied looking back at the large crowd just beyond the glass entrance barely kept a bay by the four large security guards. "I don’t know if I can get used to this."

            "You’ll be fine," Monica assured. "Let’s head on up; Erika’s been expecting you," Monica then said, leading Mary towards the elevator.

            "How is Caitlin?" Mary asked as soon as the elevator doors closed. Caitlin had lost everything thanks to Foundation. Unlike Erika her fortune was not protected and the Foundation made her sign over everything legally once she was chipped. The Brit was devastated when she learned of what had happened. Interpol was not that much of a help either, since they were already letting her off from past charges which included kidnapping they felt they did not need to pursue her case.

            "She’s doing a lot better," Monica replied pressing the button for the 18th floor. "We’re rooming together… it’s something I always wanted to do with her. She likes it and we have fun every night. She’s an aristocrat by blood, though, so it’s hard for her to adjust to normal life. Erika offered her a job but she doesn’t want it. The woman’s never worked a day in her life."

            "So what is she going to do?"

            "Well, we’re going to get married," Monica announced, happily smiling.

            Mary gasped and was speechless at first and just stared at the woman in silence who was smiling brightly at her. "Congratulations!" Mary finally said hugging Monica not really sure what else to say.

            "Thanks, I know its bit of a shocker. We kind of had a thing for each other every since we met. We never acted on it because of Erika… you know how she used to be. But now… since she has you she’s a different person," Monica explained. "We figure that I make enough to support both of us; I’ll bring in the money and Caitlin takes care of the house… like any trophy wife."

            "Are you happy with that?" Mary asked seeing that the relationship looked more like a living arrangement than something built around love.

            "Well… at first it felt odd. But we’re in California so we might as well right? Yes, we’re happy. We both love each other and I think we both been through enough to realize that life is too short to live all closed up and alone," Monica answered truthfully as the elevator doors slid open. Mary smiled after looking the dark haired woman over to make sure she was all right. "Poor Ashley; I wish she was here," Monica sighed as they stepped off the elevator. Interpol had not yet recovered numerous victims from the kidnappings and Ashley was one of those still missing.

            "She’s one of them," Mary replied flatly. She was still bitter; even though Erika was the truly the one that had frozen her, it was Ashley who kept her that way for those couple of years. Ashley had also used her as a guinea pig for the chips as well. For all Mary cared, she was glad that Scott, Ryoshi and Ashley were gone for good.

            "Well I hope she’s all right, wherever she is," Monica said 

            "Caitlin will make a great trophy wife," Mary then said, changing the subject as they walked down the hallway together.

            Monica smiled, "You bet; how many people are married to a real-life British aristocrat in Malibu?" They walked down a series of hallways, passing numerous busy office spaces, before reaching Erika’s office. The large corner office was secured by heavy oak double doors; Monica’s large contemporary marble desk sat to the side the large doors. "Just step right in; Erika should be ready for you," Monica directed, taking a seat behind her desk. Mary nodded and pulled open the doors a crack, large enough to slide her body in, and closed the doors behind once she was in.

            The office was empty of most furniture, only Erika’s glass top desk with a large leather chair behind it and two bland-looking leather arm chairs that sat in front of it was the only evidence the large space was an office. Mary suddenly felt very small and intimidated. The oak walls surrounding the large space were empty of decoration; the floor between her and desk was stained marble that gave the room a cold feel to it. Erika stood behind her desk, talking on her cell phone. The blonde Goddess was dressed in a sky-blue blouse and a form-fitting knee length khaki skirt. Her legs covered by nude pantyhose and her blonde hair was pulled back into a tight bun. Erika had not missed a step coming out of hiding; she had a new attitude to life and focused on how to run her empire, now given a second chance thanks to Lucienne Christophe.

            "I was terrified when I found out too and I was little girl. You of all people should know what to do with it," Erika spoke into her phone. She turned around and smiled at seeing Mary in her office. She gestured for the redhead to take a seat and continued her conversation. "You have a high school reunion coming up? That’s great you; should try it there. Bring gum, I always find the gum helps. It’ll take practice but you’ll get the hang of it. I just recommend you not go too overboard with it; it could be as bad for you as it was for me. Just feel free to call if you have any more questions. Good bye," Erika concluded his conversation and hung flipping her phone closed.

            "Who was that?" Mary asked as Erika moved around her desk and leaned on the front of it so she was across from Mary.

            "Just a friend," Erika simply said, putting her cell phone aside. "I brought you here to talk to you about some things," she then said, changing subjects casually. Erika was more mature now Mary had noticed. When they hung out away from the office she was normal her fun young self, but in the office she was a whole different person serious and money-driven like her father had been. "I think it’s time for me to run this company properly. It has the potential to be the biggest company in the world. As of right now my new law firm Foster and McBride is seizing Paradise Foundation’s assets, I want to drain them dry for what they have done. In the end Stone Enterprises should be at least ten times larger. We’ll have control not only in the transportation market but housing, pharmaceutical, textile and maybe even weapons. I’m going to put a lot of resources into pharmaceuticals simply because there’s money to be made there. With Ashley gone, I’m going to need someone I trust to run Stone Enterprises’ biggest department."

            "I’ll be honored Erika…" Mary began to say before Erika cut her off.

            "We can’t marry if you take the position," Erika said seriously.

            "Oh…" Mary replied sadly looking down.

            "With this new direction that I’m taking, I have a board of directors that I have to please… they’re a conservative bunch. I wish I could do something… but given my track record I have to earn their trust before I could start making policy."

            "I understand… so is that it? I take the job and we’re done? So what if I don’t take it?" Mary asked, looking up at Erika.

            "I’m still young Mary… I don’t think I want to marry anytime soon…" Erika replied.

            "Oh," Mary said quietly, looking down again to hide her watering eyes.

            "Mary," Erika said softly, kneeling and taking Mary’s hands into her own. "Whatever decision you make I’ll still love you… we’ll still be together. That won’t change. I just can’t commit right now."

            "You mean you still want to be with me?" Mary asked, looking into Erika’s blue eyes.

            Erika smiled warmly, "Of course I want to be with you. Why do you think I offered you the job… think of all the fun we could have at work and at home."

            "In that case," Mary said wiping her eyes. "I’ll take the job."

            Erika smiled and nodded. "Just because I won’t commit now doesn’t mean I won’t ever commit."

            Mary hugged Erika tightly, "Thanks, Erika."

            "How about we celebrate?" Erika asked as she separated from Mary.

            "I like that outfit, Erika," Mary said smile evilly.

            Erika looked down at her clothes; the outfit was really nothing special. "What?"

            "I like to see it on the floor," Mary then said as she started to unbutton Erika’s blouse.

            "Hold my calls, Monica!" Erika yelled as she started taking off Mary’s clothes.

* * *

Utopia Towers, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil

One month later

            Utopia Towers was the most exclusive piece of property in Rio Grande Do Sol, considering the fact that it had been just an empty shell only months before. A mysterious Canadian named Scott Fisher and his lovely and equally mysterious Japanese wife Rene owned the luxury condominium complex. The couple had been in country for just a month but had turned the complex into the most desired home among super models. Some of Brazil’s top models already lived on the property in its one month of existence. There was a waiting list to get in, applicants had to be interviewed and approved by Scott or his wife. Tenants were mainly attracted to the complex by its location, blocks from the beach and its highly advanced living units.

            Scott Fisher, formerly known as Scott Dawson, settled into his pool chair with his latest issue of Real Estate Digest. Since coming to Brazil Scott had taken up Real Estate development as a hobby and as a side income. He and Ryoshi did plan to raise a family one day, and like anything in his life he would like to be prepared. It was only the best for him and his family. Aside for the Utopia Towers he also owned a series of small hotels and some beach houses along the coast. Rene Fisher, formerly known as Ryoshi Tenzo, ran his business and made sure everything went the way that he wanted it go. He had preferred that Ryoshi not work at all, but the woman was eager to please her husband and he couldn’t argue with that! They had taken false identities to insure Interpol or anyone else would not track them down. Fisher was the best name that came to Scott’s mind; it was a tribute to his old friend and mentor.

            Scott and Ryoshi lived in the top four floors of Utopia Towers, the flagship building of his small real estate company. The large space included an outdoor pool and a highly advanced four-story penthouse that would make Bill Gates jealous. The penthouse was furnished with a mix of classic European works of art and contemporary Japanese décor. The penthouse was a perfect reflection of Scott’s royal tastes and Ryoshi’s modern styling. The newlyweds comfortably shared the plush penthouse with twelve others.

            When they left Vancouver a month ago they had taken some choice ladies with them to use as servants and pleasure slaves. Ryoshi had picked the lucky group of a dozen women. The group included seven prostitutes that Ryoshi figured would not be missed; she considered it to be the best alternative for the women who had been selling their bodies to begin with anyways. The last five were, Ashley Tisdale, Veronica Estes, Naoko Kobayashi, Leslie Schulz, and Alexis Sutherland. All were chipped and programmed for specific tasks, unlike the seven prostitutes who were mainly servants, maids and cooks. Chipped or not, Scott and Ryoshi would not dare to touch these women. They were pretty and nice to look and that was about it. Ashley, who Scott felt was best when chipped, served as the Tower’s front desk person. The former inventor of Type-7 spoke Portuguese and about a dozen other languages. Her raven hair was curled and she most often wore skimpy body-hugging outfits that showed off her blue eyes. She would often just stand there behind her desk and smile and greet tenants as they came home. No one thought the wiser that she was often there 22 hours a day, her body would rest for two hours. The tall spiky haired Naoko was specifically programmed to protect Ryoshi with her life if necessary; ever since marrying Ryoshi, Scott had become very protective of his most praised possession and was not going to let any harm come to her if he could help it. Naoko mostly dressed in catsuits of various colors and was at Ryoshi’s side if Scott wasn’t. Veronica usually served as Ryoshi’s personal assistant; the Spaniard would be with her forever. Finally the two blonds Alexis and Leslie were picked out personally to be Scott’s girls by Ryoshi, the Canadian still had a thing for blonds and Leslie and Alexis were perfect in their chipped forms. The five chipped ladies were also to be used as pleasure slaves whenever asked as well.

            "Where’s my wife, Alexis?" Scott asked tiredly putting his magazine down. Alexis was rubbing Scott’s feet, dressed in a stringy skin-toned bikini that hid nothing. The blond Brit was deeply bronzed from her days in the sun and her hair had a slight wave in it giving her a more native look.

            "She’s in the study, Mr. Fisher," Alexis replied in her Brit accent with a bright smile. Even though Ryoshi hated the sound of her voice Scott still loved it and in the end Ryoshi didn’t care.

            Scott sat up, stopping Alexis from what she was doing, "I’m going in. You stay out here and work on that tan. I want it even with no lines," Scott directed standing up.

            "Of course, Mr. Fisher; anything you say," Alexis replied enthusiastically stripping naked and grabbing a nearby bottle of tanning lotion. Scott looked at the former Scotland Yard inspector admiring all of her assets before heading back into the penthouse.

            In the gym Leslie was doing yoga in the nude and stopped briefly, smiled at Scott, thrusting out her large round naked breasts for him to see. The tall Amazon of a woman was often naked, it was just the way Scott liked it. When he wasn’t nailing her when Ryoshi was tired she was mostly doing some kind of task such as yoga or jogging in place. He smiled and waved at her and continued his trip through is large penthouse as she went back to her yoga. Two former prostitutes who were now maids – one Asian and the other Hispanic – both greeted Scott cutely as he walked past them. He moved down to the third level, which was the living area where the bedrooms were and spotted three more of his prostitutes turned maids. All the maids were dressed in classic French maid’s uniforms, a favorite outfit between him and Ryoshi. Walking past the master bedroom, he spotted Naoko standing at attention near the closet, completely naked. When Ryoshi was home this was where her bodyguard was. Naoko was suspended and frozen thanks to the Freeze-Key. She stared blankly ahead as Scott looked her up and down admiring her recently waxed body.

            Ryoshi was on the second level where the business part of the penthouse was, mainly Scott’s office, the study, the library and other storage places. Scott made a stop on the first level which was the common area where guest was would mingle during parties and where the kitchen and the dining areas were. The level included a bar and game room as well. Scott stopped at the bar and ordered his two usual drinks from a topless blond bartender before heading back upstairs. He found Ashley resting in the library with Veronica organizing files nearby. The former scientist was dressed in skimpy skirt suit similar to what Caitlin used to wear while the Spaniard wore a hot pink tube dress. Walking further down the hall, Scott realized that he wasn’t used to the large penthouse yet, he still felt the place was too big.

            "It’s Friday, Ryoshi," Scott announced from the doorway of the study. Ryoshi was dressed appropriately for the balmy weather, in a frilly white skirt stopping a mid-thigh and flower printed top that showed off Ryoshi busty chest; she stood to the side of the desk reading over some documents. She was bent over giving Scott a view of the red bikini bottoms that she wore underneath the skirt. "We have enough money where you don’t have do anything."

            "I’m just checking over some leasing deals for you," Ryoshi said with a smile, waltzing over to her husband and kissing him passionately on the lips.

            "You don’t have to do that. I can do that… if I want to."

            "I know you don’t; that’s why I am doing it."

            "Ryoshi, I hate to be old fashioned but really no wife of mine is going to work, at least not this much on my behalf. It’s Friday," Scott said handing Ryoshi her glass. "Share a drink with your husband."

            "What is this?" Ryoshi asked suspiciously looking at the glass and sniffing it.

            "It’s the usual," Scott simply replied with a devious smile.

            "It’s Friday Scott; you know what happens on Friday," Ryoshi reminded. Every Friday Scott and Ryoshi would fill the building up with Type-7 gas and pay a special visit to their tenants.

            "You’ll be back way before that," Scott insisted, smiling.

            "Fine, but this time try not to tear all my clothes up."

            "I can’t promise you anything honey… you’re so hot when you’re stiff I can’t contain myself. You’re filthy rich so it shouldn’t matter."

            "You’re going out with me this time to get new clothes then," Ryoshi then said as she downed her drink and instantly froze with the glass still at her lips. Scott smiled brightly looking his wife up and down. He was the luckiest man in the world, living in his own little paradise.

* * *

Astoria Hotel, Berlin, Germany

            The day had been joyous to say the least and everyone had a great time. Marika was now Mrs. Dieter Bran and the couple looked perfect in all of their thousands of pictures that they had taken that day and night. The ceremony was held in the same church that Dieter’s parents and grandparents had been married in; the following reception was hosted by the Astoria as tribute to Dieter’s service in the Berlin CID, he had stopped a heist in the hotel a few years back the owners had not forgotten him so it was only natural for them to offer their services when they found out he was being married. The party had ended a little after 1am but guests drifted upstairs to the executive suites where the hotel had rented out to all the guests and the party continued on in individual rooms. Most of the guests were police officers and Interpol agents who knew how to have a good time due to their stressful careers. The Astoria would not host another police officer’s wedding after that day.

            The bride and groom retreated to the Presidential suite with the bride’s closest friends to have some quite time before the festivities ended. It was really bitersweet end as it was the last time that many of them would see each other in a long while. Marika was moving to Germany with Dieter and was going to work as a CSI for the Berlin CID. Her services with Interpol were at an end. Lucienne had gotten her wish; she was to become the new branch commander for Interpol France. She and Tasia were an open couple now and the organization thought it best for them not to work together. They were still going to continue their relationship though. Tasia, as she predicted, was now in charge of an investigative team of her own. She would take her new assignment in the coming weeks. Colette and Jelena were both heading back to Lyons in a few weeks to receive new assignments as well. Lucienne had a feeling they were going to be assigned to Tasia’s newly formed team. Aisha was heading back to the states after her ideal she decided that she was going to take break from international crime; she was going back to work as an LAPD detective. Amazingly JB and Cassandra’s relationship was not known by the higher ups and the two were assigned a deep-cover top secret assignment in the states. Their cover was a familiar one; they were to act as married couple. Miranda and Hui also had success keeping their relationship secret; both women had been assigned to Interpol Asian organized crime unit based out of Hong Kong. It was a night of new beginnings and the end of something special that they all had shared in the past couple of years.

            They sat in a circle in the living room of the luxurious suite, reminiscing about old times and drinking the last of the champagne. Marika and Dieter sat happily side by side. Marika had changed out of her flowing white gown that she had worn most of the day was now dressed in equally gorgeous and elegant strapless white evening gown. Dieter was dressed in the traditional tux, as was JB who sat next to him. Cassandra sat next to JB, dressed in a sparkly black dress that held on to her curves like glove. Next in the circle were Colette and Aisha, both wore almost identical cream-colored dresses that were cut low and showed off their ample cleavage. Both women wore their hair down and styled, making them look like models or starlets. Jelena sat on a velvet couch with Miranda and Hui, the three looked like cocktail dancers wearing brightly colored low-cut dresses showing lots of cleavage and leg. Their hair was done up nicely with fancy buns. Missing from the group was Lucienne and Tasia, who had stepped out for some air. Both women wore purple identical dresses, being that they were both brides’ maids. The room was filled with laughter and conversation, everyone was enjoying themselves.

            Suddenly everything went deathly silent and everyone froze. Marika had her hands up to her mouth with her eyes closed as she was frozen as she was laughing. Dieter with one arm around his wife was looking down, his face contorted in laughter. JB was leaning towards Dieter with one hand on the German’s shoulder and the other on his own knee, his eyes were shut and he had a wide smile on his face. Cassandra had her hands suspended in a clapping motion with her head thrown back with eyes shut and mouth open in a silent laughter. Colette had been rising from her seat; she was frozen mid-way. Her head was turned back towards Aisha with a grin on her face. She held Aisha’s hand. Aisha looked up at Colette with lips parted and eyes closed; her free hand was up with her index finger pointed up. Jelena was leaning across from Miranda looking at Hui intently with her mouth open and her finger pointing at the Chinese woman. Hui looked back at Jelena with arms outstretched and a grin on face with eyes shut. Miranda sat between the two with eyes at half-staff and a smile on her face.

            The silence was interrupted as the door to the suite opened up and Lucienne and Tasia stepped in, holding hands. Lucienne looked around the room in shock before walking around and poking at her suspended friends to make sure this was not a trick or sick prank. Tasia stood by amused, smiling and chewing some gum. Lucienne had cupped Marika’s breasts and hiked up Colette’s dress up around the girl’s waist before being satisfied that everyone was frozen. "How did this happen again?" she then asked, looking back at her Greek lover.

            "When I got back to Volos I had extreme headaches and I was feeling so sick. You remember that?"

            "Yeah, I thought you had a cold or something."

            "Yeah I thought so too. Then I realized I was becoming able to stop time when I started thinking about our fun with the Type-7. I was freaked out at first; the first couple of times I didn’t think I could start things back up again. Then I called Erika Stone and she told me how to harness it like she had. With some practice… I had a blast at my high school reunion, by the way; I was able to pull some interesting pranks. I don’t do it that much; this is actually the first time since my reunion."


            "I don’t really know, Erika says it’s a gift and I shouldn’t question it. But I think it’s from that Uranus thingy. You said I was naked the whole time and standing next to the generator… that couldn’t have been good."

            Lucienne looked around in thought for a second, thinking, before saying "This is too cool and I’m too drunk to really question it. In fact, I’m too drunk to really think straight right now," Lucienne said smiling and running her hands through her hair.

            Tasia moved next to her. "What do you want to do?"

            Lucienne smiled, "It’s our last time together as a group; let’s have some fun."

            "I’m pretty sure Hui and Miranda weren’t wearing any underwear tonight."

            "Let’s start with them first then," Lucienne said smiling rubbing her palms together as she and Tasia moved towards the trio seated on the couch.

The End (we probably mean it this time)

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