Skills Upgrade

by Sandrah Leary

The day began like any other.  Anna sat at her desk, facing her new lap-top computer, sipping her coffee and nibbling at her low fat muffin.  She clicked on her email inbox.  It was basically the “same-old, same-old”, except for one strange little email.  It was from the company’s research department, and was titled “Skills Upgrade”.

As Anna was only a junior accounting clerk, she figured the email must be a mistake.  She clicked on “Open”, planning to find out who sent it, and reply a message to them, indicating that she had received it by accident.

As she pushed the mouse button down, her screen went blank.  “Crap!” she muttered out loud.  She pushed the escape button repeatedly, and then was about to go “Ctrl-Alt-Delete”, when she was blinded by several bright flashes of light.  When her temporary lack of sight passed, the she noticed that the screen was displaying what appeared to be bubbling pools of liquid silver.

“How strange”, she thought, as her gaze became transfixed towards the monitor.  Anna felt a comforting relaxation overcome her as she stared into the silvery pools.  Eventually she drifted out of consciousness.

When she came to, she was sitting in front of her computer, in her cubicle staring at the screen, just as she had been before.  She peered over at her desk clock, and almost fell out of her chair.  Over an hour had past since she had started to check her email.  Anna wondered for a moment if she had been served decaf coffee by accident this morning.

She went to get up, but when she tried to stand, a sharp, crippling pain shot into her feet.  She immediately sat back down and pulled off her shoes.  They were modest two-and-a- bit inch heels, but they had never given her discomfort before.  She went to stand in her stocking feet, but the pain returned.  That is until she stood on her tiptoes.

Anna had studied ballet as a teen, and although she knew the proper technique, she really didn’t want to sneak around the office on her toes all day.

It was then that she noticed a box at the entrance of her cubical.  A shoebox.

She sat down in her chair; shoebox in hand, and removed the lid.  Inside was a pair of the tallest, most dangerous looking shoes that Anna had ever seen.  They were silver, open toed pumps with two and a half inch platform sole, elaborate ankle strap and a stiletto heel that was five inches tall if it were an inch.

At first, Anna glanced around her cubbyhole, figuring that she was the victim of an practical joke, but she soon realized that no-one was watching.

The more she looked at the towering shoes, the less intimidating they became. 

“Heck,” she thought, “They even match my blue skirt suit.  Kinda.”

As Anna buckled the ankle straps, she felt her feet relax.  She stood cautiously, expecting to fall flat on her ass.  But she didn’t.  In fact, she found the shoes quite easy to maneuver in.  She would even say that they were extremely comfortable.

The rest of the morning passed without incident, and soon Anna was heading to the lunchroom.  She noticed that the shoes caused her to take smaller, more refined steps, and made her wiggle her butt a bit more than usual.  The men that she past on the way noticed as well.  She even received some interesting looks from women.

She grabbed her lunch from the fridge, and joined her friends Dana and Kim at the table.  Dana worked in the cubical directly across from Anna, and Kim was opposite Dana.  Dana was ultra-conservative, some may even say plain, while Kim was very daring and provocative.  Both women had noticed Anna’s new footwear right away, and were equally eager for an explanation.

“It’s a long story,” was all Anna would divulge, “I’ll tell you later”.  Anna looked out to the hall as another woman minced past, wearing the same shoes as her.  The two women smiled warmly at each other, as if they were part of a secret club.  In a way, they were right. 

Lunch continued much the same as it always, with idle chat about the weather, men, politics, men, business, and men.  Occasionally Dana would offer her disapproval of Anna’s shoes, and Kim would say, “Well I think that they’re great”.

Soon Anna was back in her cubical, sitting before laptop, doing her afternoon email check.  She had very little memory of the events that transpired in the morning, and didn’t think twice about opening an email from the company’s research department labeled “Skills Upgrade”.  Soon the screen was flashing at her, followed by the glittering pools of swirling silver.  Anna retreated into a trance-like state.  When she finally snapped to, it was almost time for her afternoon coffee break.

She looked around, as if she had just been awakened from a deep sleep.  But her disorientation was quickly offset by an incredible itching sensation coming from her legs.  As she started to scratch them, she figured that the cheap stockings she had purchased the other day were giving her an allergic reaction.  She ran to the bathroom, her spiked heels and thick soles clip-clopping on the ceramic tile as she entered a stall.

Anna unclasped her shoes and ripped the suspect hosiery from her legs.  Then she stood up.  Bare foot and bare legged, wondering what to do next.  The answer hung before her very eyes.  A small box, with a clear plastic window was attached to the hook on the stall door.  Inside, appeared to be pantyhose.

Strange, thought the clerk.  But now wasn’t the time for logic.  She tore into the box, and held the pantyhose up for a closer look.

They were a grayish color with sparkly silver flecks.  But it was the texture that Anna was even more enthralled with.  The nylon was so soft and smooth, almost silk like.  She wasted no time sliding them on.

Once she had smoothed them out, she took a good look.  They made her legs look great.  They seemed more shapely, toned and even longer than before.  Not to mention that they matched her suit and went great with her new shoes.  Without giving it a second thought, she slipped back into her platforms and left the bathroom.

The rest of the day flew by, and before Anna knew it, her co-workers were getting ready to leave for the day.  After packing up her laptop, she made her way to the elevator.  She smiled at the woman she had “connected” with earlier at lunch (who was now also wearing silver pantyhose with her shoes), and boarded the crowded lift.  She noticed that many of the other women were wearing the same silver shoes, and others still, were also in matching silver pantyhose.  Anna smiled confidently to herself, and went home.

Normally, Anna never brought her laptop home.  In fact clerks weren’t really supposed to have them.  It was only through a fluke project that she had been working on earlier, for the Research Dept., that she had been given this portable computer.  Come to think of, nearly everyone on her floor had been involved with that project, and been given a laptop.

After dinner, she found herself lounging in her living room, dressed only in her blouse, panties and the silver hose and shoes.  It wasn’t exactly what she would normally “lounge” in, but it seemed, for some reason, to be so very comfortable.  After trying to watch TV, trying to read, and simply trying to do anything except go on to her computer, she finally gave in.  She had never had an urge to use her laptop like this before.

Soon she was logging into her email inbox, and as if she expected it to be there, it was, another email from the research department.  Within moments, Anna was gazing hypnotically into her LCD screen of pulsating silver pools.  Before the hour had passed, Anna was sleeping, eyes wide open, in the middle of her living room.

When she awoke the next day Anna felt extremely rested, as if she had been sleeping for a week.  It didn’t strike her as the least bit odd that she had spent the night on her plush carpeted floor, or that the only outfit she wanted to wear was a shiny silver outfit that she had no memory of buying.  Not to mention the fact that it was far more revealing than anything she had ever worn before.

It was a one-piece jumper, with a loosely pleated skirt that barely covered her silvery undergarments (where had they come from, she wondered for a second) and a backless halter-style top, that again, barely covered her most prized parts.  After slipping into her hose and shoes, she applied her makeup, styled her hair and, went off to work.

Normally Anna made the trek to the coffee shop near her office, for her muffin and coffee, but today, the thought didn’t even enter her mind.  Her only task was to get to her cubicle and check her email.

As she hurried off the elevator, she caught a glimpse of Dana and Kim from the corner of her eye.  She turned quickly and smiled to them, as Kim was wearing silver hosiery and spiked platforms with her short pink skirt, and Dana sported the same shoes under her black slacks.  They smiled back, as if to offer their approval of Anna’s new outfit.

For a second, Anna’s mind was again her own, and she realized that something was amiss.  Why were we all wearing similar silver clothing, and why am I so anxious to read my emails?  Email, she paused, I must read my email.  Her mind was again, no longer her own.

She continued to her desk and set up her laptop.  This time, the computer didn’t wait for Anna to check in her inbox.  The warm glow of dancing silver soon enveloped her, and before she knew it she was on her way to the restroom.

When she entered, the room looked more like a showgirl’s dressing room than an executive bathroom.  Women were changing their clothes, applying makeup and fixing their hair.  Anna had to wait for only a moment before she was in front of the mirror, washing her face, drying it and reapplying the cosmetics that had been laid out on the counter.

She, as others had done before her, and others yet would do after her, applied a thick pale foundation, with a slight metallic sheen, to every part of her face, neck, and hands and even the exposed parts of her chest.  The woman who had been wearing the same shoes as her the other day was behind her, applying the cream to her exposed back.  Anna then began to apply a thick coat of mascara to her lashes and eyebrows.  Once finished, she painted a thick helping of silver and grey eye shadows, in varying shades, to her lids, under her eyes and at the out side of her eyebrows, near her temples.  Shiny red lip color finished it off, followed by silver nail polish.  She then began to work a clear hair gel into her golden locks.  She noticed that it too, had a bit of silver in it.  Once finished, she got up and took her place behind her mysterious friend, helping her apply her makeup as she had been helped. 

By the time Anna returned to her cubical, there was only an hour to go before lunch break.  She would have to work fast, if she was to get everything accomplished.  She began typing feverishly on her keypad, so fast in fact, that it was hard to keep track of what it was that she was typing.  Her finger clicked away with mechanical precision.  It was as if her hands were no longer under her control.  She caught a glimpse on occasion of what she was typing.  It seemed as if she was closing someone’s bank accounts, and canceling leases, telephones and leaving notes for people about someone moving away.  But she didn’t make out whom it was about.

At lunch she sat with Dana and Kim.  Kim was now dressed in the same outfit as Anna, save the makeup, and Dana’s toes were now clad in silver nylon.  They said very little, and seemed almost relieved to get back to work. 

Anna rushed to her cubical and flipped open her laptop.  The screen flashed three times.  The clerk surprised herself, when she turned away from the monitor, and began walking to the elevator.  Many others were also waiting at the elevator doors.  They all quietly entered at the same time, and awaited their decent into the bowel of the office building. 

As the doors opened, the women walked, in synchronized single file, down a long corridor, through several self-opening doors, and into a large, well lit chamber.  There, they broke into two separate lines and, as if lining up to be on display, formed two groups, standing quietly. The groups faced each other, and Anna could see many familiar bodies.  All women that she knew from her floor, all dressed in the same silver outfits, all wearing the same makeup, and all standing perfectly still.

After what seemed like several hours of silently standing, staring at the other group, the captive women were joined by more of their own.  As the others filed past, Anna was pleased to see Kim take her place at Anna’s side.  Then as quickly as the silence had been broken, it returned.

Hours passed again, and yet another group of clerks entered the room.  They too were dressed in the same outfits, with the same makeup and hair.  Anna saw Dana take her place in the group that faced her.  Her friend was now wearing the same outfit that she had snickered at earlier.  But it was okay now.  Everything was good.  Anna made note of how shapely Dana’s body was.  It was a shame that she had hidden it her whole life.

The moment the two groups became silent, a noise sounded, and monitors began to lower from the chamber’s vaulted ceiling, coming to rest directly in front of Anna’s eyes.  She could only assume that the others were getting a similar view.  A familiar image flooded the screens.  Silvery pools that bubbled and swirled, only this time, the women did not pass out.  They remained totally conscious to the changes that began to occur.

First, a strange sensation occurred in Anna’s feet.  She could not tilt her head far enough to see, but if the events that were happening across the isle on Dana’s feet and legs were any indication, she soon knew what was happening.  The straps of the women’s shoes began to meld into their feet.  Their toes began to lose definition as the process continued.  Soon their feet resembled one homogenous platform soled, stiletto heeled, silver boot.  But this boot had no visible ending.  In fact the silver speckled pantyhose were quickly becoming a solid silver mass, which eventually took on an almost chrome-like shine.  As Anna watched the silver color move up under Dana’s skirt, she felt an orgasmic wave come over her own vaginal area.  She could feel it changing, becoming hard and chromed, and smoothing into an almost indistinguishable mound.  But the wave did not stop there.  It continued to rise up the captive women’s bodies. 

Anna could again see the chrome color climbing up Dana’s bare back, rising over her flat stomach to her pert breasts.  As Dana’s slightly metallic hued flesh became solid metal, Anna could feel her breasts smoothen, her hard nipples disappearing from view.  She watched the transformation continued down Dana’s arms, and felt the same happen to her.  The chrome washed over her limbs, and her fingernails vanished into her new shiny skin.

The next phase was much more frightening to watch.  As the chrome rose above Dana’s neck, her dark hair began to fall out in huge clumps.  Indeed, all of the women in the room were losing their hair, including Anna.  Their lashes and brows followed suit and fell to the ground.  As the transformation reached her lower lip, Anna could see that her friend was now completely bald.

Surprisingly, as the chrome surrounded her mouth, very little changed.  Her lips felt like they had grown puffier, as was evident on the faces of the other women, but the remained bright glossy red, albeit metallic. But red none-the-less.  It was the transformation of Anna’s nose that would visibly alter her face.

At first it felt numb, followed by a complete loss of feeling.  It was at this moment, Anna realized that she was no longer breathing.  She no longer needed to.  Glancing across the room, Anna witnessed the amazing change that was taking place on Dana’s face, and indeed on her own. 

Her nose was collapsing in on itself, shrinking into her skull, as what had been a fleshy lump, became smooth chrome.  Soon there was nothing left to even suggest that woman had ever had a nose.  A few seconds would pass, and then Dana’s ears would follow the same process as her nose.  After disappearing into the sides of her head, three short slits appeared where her lobes had once protruded.  As the silver wave continued to spread upwards another change took place. 

It was difficult to view Dana’s alteration, as Anna’s own eyes where going through the same change.  But it appeared that her eyes were growing larger and longer.  The bridge of her non-existent nose dissolved and what had been two separate eyes became one long strip.  It was three-quarters of an inch thick, glowing blue, and wrapping well around both sides of her face.  Anna’s vision returned to normal.  Better than normal in fact.  She could now zoom in to within a millimeter of her friends head.  She could see the texture of Dana’s bare scalp change from rough flesh, to ultra smooth metal.

And then it was over.  The room, in which 27 attractive young accounting clerks had entered, now contained 27 metallic droids. 

The door opened and an older man in a white lab coat, that many of the former women would have recognized as the head researcher, entered.  He stopped in the center of the room and observed the collection of chromed beauties.  He broke into a smile.

“This is better than expected”, he spoke with a loud, authoritative voice, “Many of you are wondering what exactly has transpired here, so before your human memories and thoughts are deleted and your souls erased, I figured that I would explain.”

He paused.

“You were all selected because of your skills, social activities, and appearances.  The laptop computers that you were given, have been administering measured doses of mutating radiation, which was been changing you at a molecular level.  The computer has also been brainwashing and beginning the reprogramming of your minds, which I am about to finish.”

He looked around the room, as if to look for a reaction in the crowd.  He smiled when he did not get one.

“The shoes, pantyhose, undergarments, and makeup foundation all contained the metal alloy that your body would need to complete its transformation.  As you can tell, they have all melded with your new bodies.  The mascara and hair gel were hair removal chemicals.  I really am sorry that you all had to go bald, but in your new existence, you will find that hair is completely unnecessary.  As are noses and your inefficient ears, having been replaced with new audio sensors.   The eye makeup contained the ingredients for the optical sensor which replaced your eyes.”

He paused again to let it all sink in.

“Your lips were kept, and are now made of a very soft, very pliable poly-resin, which will allow for you to perform certain acts of pleasure for your supervisors when required.  You cannot see now, but your two other sexual orifices are still functional for that purpose.  The dress that you wear, was simply a whim on my part.  I figured your bodies would be too distracting for your supervisors, perhaps even blinding for that matter.”

He chuckled to himself for a moment, and then continued.

“Now, in a few moments we will erase your individual personalities, memories, etcetera, and download your new “Clerk-Droid” programming.  You will become the most efficient accounting department in the world.  So much so that you twenty-seven droids will be able to perform the tasks of the entire accounting staff of two hundred and seventy humans.  Not to worry though; no attractive, young females will be laid off,” he chuckled again, “they will merely be 'upgraded' ”.

With that her signaled to another man standing at the corner of the room, who touched a button on his computer terminal, and all at once Anna’s mind went blank.  When it cleared, Clerk-Droid A01 took its place beside Clerk-Droid D03, at its new computer interface, and began processing information.



Kelly was called into her boss’s office at five minutes after nine.  She had just gotten the call.  The entire accounting staff was being transferred to the Chicago headquarters immediately.

Author's Note:

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