The Competition – A Tale of the Wizard
(chapters 1 thru 7)

by Anthyrax

Chapter 1:  The Mysterious Mr. Jones

Silver Nissan 626 pulled into the parking lot of the office complex.   A bright, sunny and hot Monday morning was shaping up, the desert heat parching everything, and creating dazzling reflections on anything vaguely reflective.   A rather plain man got out of the car and looked around.  His polarized glasses made the bright day tolerable, and he wiped his baldhead with a white handkerchief for a moment.   Dressed in a short sleeve white tailored business shirt, a power tie, and gray trousers, he looked very assuming and very much like any average commuter.  

He walked purposely for the nearest lobby entrance, the heat not predisposing him to mull long in the parking lot.   Inside, the air-conditioned breeze hit him like a wall, causing him to sneeze but instantly made the air more bearable.  The lobby was typical of those found in leased office parks all over the world.   A few signs directing visitors to various offices, an elevator, a drinking fountain and rest rooms, along with a travel agency and little deli made up the first floor.  Waiting for a few moments for the elevator, the man walked inside when the door opened.

Alone in the elevator, as most of the workers in the building arrived hours ago and it was too early for lunch and too late for midmorning break, the man pulled a wand out a trouser pocket clearly not long enough for it.   Swishing it briefly, he seemed satisfied, and then placed it back in the pocket just before the elevator opened again on the 7th floor.  

Tina sat at her desk, filing her nails, only occasionally having to answer the phone.   It was a slow Monday at Anderson Investigative Services, only a few phone calls to the investigators, most of whom where still out until after lunch.   The boss, Ms Anderson, had just arrived a few minutes before, looking gorgeous as always, but then, what else what a former Playboy playmate and model look like Tina thought with envy.   

“I wish I looked like that” she thought, “tall, blonde, big boobs even if they are fake, big blue eyes; geez, life is so unfair.”   Then with a slight chuckle, “on the other hand, losing everything else in the Dotcom crash except a little detective agency was probably more than humbling enough for her.”   

Tina liked her boss, mostly, she just felt that her little 5 ft 1 body, brown hair and brown eyes, and normal sized boobs, a little spread in the hips and cute but a tad mousy looks just weren’t in the same league as Pam’s.    She wished she could get the attention just once that her boss did.

Her boss was nice though; a little bit spacey, but nice.  

She saw the man walk in the door, and smiled at him.  

“May I help you sir?” she asked, “Wow, this guy looks like that little bald guy from those Dilbert cartoons that Paula likes so much” she thought.

The man replied, “Yes, I am Mr. Jones, I believe that I am... expected?” 

Tina glanced through the appointment book, “Hmm, well I don’t see your name anywhere,” she replied, just as he pulled out his wand and pointed it at her.

“What the hell?” she had time to gasp, just as a bright cone of yellow light shot from the wand and engulfed her.   Suddenly, she felt strange; a warm feeling surged through her, and she had a sudden feeling that she wanted a little girl to play with her.  She suddenly felt a massive spasm overwhelm her, so intense that she couldn’t even scream as she fell out of the chair.   Waves of pain and pleasure smashed over her and she could no longer focus.   She felt so strange suddenly, it seemed that her heart was no longer beating and she couldn’t seem to move.   A little voice sounded over and over in her head once the pain ended.                     

“You are a pretty little rag doll.  You want to be played with and loved and cuddled and squeezed.  You don’t need to think anymore; you just are.”  The voice pounded over and over in her head and after a few minutes, she realized the words was all true as her vacant mind embraced her new life.

Mr. Jones watched as the spell engulfed the girl, the warm glow surrounding her as she fell out of the chair.   As soon as he saw her, he knew exactly what she was suited for.   She was a cute young woman, and would make a cute little rag doll just like the ones she probably used to play with.   The spell changed her, her skin taking on the appearance of cloth, while her eyes became cute little glass buttons of brown.   Her brown hair took on the appearance of yarn, while her short skirt and cream blazer transformed into a little summer dress.   Her mouth, initially opened in shock, closed, and after a few moments was just a line of red yarn in the shape of a smile on her face.   Within a few seconds, her conversion was complete; a life sized rag doll lay heaped on the floor where Tina had fallen.

A bland smile crossed his lips for a moment, although his eyes only stared at her emotionlessly.  Satisfied, he walked past her now empty desk into the hall where the offices for the investigators awaited.   He spotted an older man in his 40s sitting behind a desk, typing something on his computer.   Mr. Jones walked up to him and as the man looked up, hit him with a spell.  A glow smashed the man to the ground in less than a second.   Joe, as his nameplate indicated, one of the principal investigators for the company, was a primary target of this little trip.   Mr. Jones had clear instructions regarding his fate.   The glow continued for a few minutes, and when it was over, a tomcat of mottled gray and brown huddled in the corner, mewling in fear.   Another blast of the wand, another moment of glowing magic, and a stuffed cat replaced the terrified transformed kitty. 

“My employer instructed me to tell you Joe, that he did tell you once that curiosity killed the cat” Mr. Jones remarked not unkindly.  Joe, helpless, his mind fading into blackness, heard those words just before everything went blank.   Listening for a moment, Mr. Jones heard just down the hall the sound of someone typing rapidly on a keyboard.

“Ah, that will be our highly efficient Paula,” he thought with a brief smile.  His instructions about her were clear as well.  Of all the investigators that worked for this little company, she was the hardest working and most physically dangerous.   Her previous career in the Army and Police, with the training that went with it, meant she was not to be underestimated if it came to a fight.  He planned not to allow her the opportunity. 

Paula sat at her desk, typing up her report from the weekend.  Their client, a corporate executive, was having difficulty with a rival who was trying to leverage him out.   Some strange things, concerning both her client and his rival, troubled her.   It was if every time someone got in their way they disappeared or suddenly backed away from confrontation without a rational reason.

She suspected both had Mob or Cartel ties and was planning to persuade Pam to turn them both in after she turned in this report.   Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the flash next door.

“Hmm; who is taking pictures today, I wonder?”

Paula was just standing up when she saw Mr. Jones walk into her office, holding what looked like a polished stick.  “Umm, can I help you, sir?” she said.   He seemed harmless enough, a bit nerdy, but probably a customer who got lost.   As she was trying to decide what to do next, a bright flash struck her in the eyes, and she stopped, dazzled and breathless, like someone had punched her.

“What the hell was that,” she thought as she reached for her gun in the desk drawer in front of her.   Except, her arms didn’t seem to be working, her legs either.   Mr. Jones watched her, frozen shock still, one hand on her hip, the other holding a pen and reaching toward the desk.   Her dark green eyes, their irises merely pinpoints, were open in surprise, while her pretty mouth was slightly parted while she had been speaking.   Another flash of light surrounded her, and Paula, now in complete panic, felt a sharp wave of pain smash through her.   She wanted to scream, but couldn’t open her mouth or move a millimeter.  She felt helpless, and now as the wave of pain passed, it was replaced by a wave of numb coldness; she became terrified.   Her eyes cleared and she saw the man watching her, a bland look of mild curiosity on his face.    She could see her outstretched hand taking on a strange tint, as it now reflected the light like it was dipped in baby oil.  

Mr. Jones watched as her as a wave of change swept through her.   Starting first at her hands, then feet, visible through the flats she was wearing, then sweeping up her arms and legs it covered her body like a coat of paint.   He watched as it swept over her neck and upper chest, visible through the tank top she was wearing, then went up her neck.   Her face was last; her eyes glazing over, irises widening briefly in shock and amazement just before the final stage of the change hit her.  A sigh passed out of her mouth a final time as her abdomen solidified and forced the air out.  

Paula had time to realize just how impossible this was as the last of the change swept through her.

“He has somehow turned me into plastic — how can this be happening?” she thought in terror and amazement.   She saw the details of his face fade away as her eyes fixed into a stare at the wall in front of her.   No longer registering anything except vague movements and shadows, she could no longer really see the world around her

She heard him say, just before her ears solidified, “Paula, my boss felt that you should wear nicer clothes.   He doesn’t think you dress up enough.”  Then smiling, “So you will now be dressed in all the latest professional fashions. I think he will be pleased.”

A voice now pounded in her head: “You are simply a mannequin; you exist only for display.   You do not ever think, you are just a decorative figure.”  Paula struggled to fight the voice mentally, but after a short while, her mind ceased to be able to think, becoming only vaguely self aware and certain that she indeed was just a decoration after all. 

Mr. Jones examined Paula closely.   She was tall, almost 6 feet, and she had fine cheekbones, a pleasant mouth and wide (previously expressive) green eyes and short black hair.   She was trim and athletic, with small but reasonably sized chest, fine legs and a perfect stomach and ass. 

She would make a fine mannequin.   Picking up her blazer from the coat rack next to her, he placed it on over her tank top, tapped her head briefly and was rewarded with the hollow sound of plastic, and left the room.  

After looking around the office, Mr. Jones determined no one else was there except for the boss, the piece d'resitance.  The annoying ring of a telephone disturbed him for a moment, until he leveled his wand again, and the phone disappeared in a poof, leaving only dust behind.  

Waving his wand in the direction of the front door, he waited to ensure that it was now secured, and was rewarded by a click of the latch falling into place. Satisfied nobody would interrupt him, he then moved toward Ms Anderson’s office.    Tina remained where she had fallen, her mindless glass eyes staring up at the ceiling, her body lying loosely on the floor beside her chair. 

Mr. Jones tried the knob of Ms. Anderson’s door and realized it was locked.   Motioning with his wand, it unlocked silently and he swung it open.   Ms Anderson was in the middle of changing; she was pulling a dress up over her head and didn’t see him come in.

“Perfect” he thought.   She was a sight, he acknowledged to himself.   “Amazing body; perfect for what fate is planned for her.” he muttered.

Pam, changing into something nice for a meeting with a client coming up at lunchtime, started when she heard his voice.   Struggling to turn around and pull the dress back down at the same time, she tripped and fell.  

“Who the hell are you?” she cried from the floor, her voice almost in a scream.

“I am a messenger,” replied Mr. Jones, “and my client, Mr. Baldwin, had decided that you and your nosy subordinates have pried into his affairs quite enough.”

Trying to pick herself up off the floor, she was starting to panic.   She knew she needed a weapon now, and fast.   Somehow she sensed that nobody in the office could help, nor could she escape.   Screaming, she finally got back up and realized that he was pointing what could only be some kind of stick at her.  

“No one can hear you now, Ms. Anderson,” Mr. Jones said blandly when she stopped screaming for a moment to listen for the help she expected.  “I have taken care of your staff, and now, I am afraid, I must take care of... you.”

“No, wait a minute!” she cried out as she turned to dash for the other door.   A green light hit her and knocked her to the ground.   She was immediately engulfed in a glow, and her body jumped and twitched spasmodically on the floor.  Pam felt a rush of sensations smash through her mind and body, and the most important one was sexual need.   She couldn’t move now, but God how she wanted to.   All her fear had been replaced now with a calm, underlying, need for someone to make love to her, to fuck her, to use her, to possess her.   Pam tried to fight these new thoughts, but after a few moments, she no longer wanted too.   A voice told her that now she was just a fucktoy, and it repeated over and over until she knew it to be true.

Mr. Jones watched the transformation engulf her.   He had seen on a cable show a story about something called “Real Dolls” and his client had agreed that being transformed into that form was the perfect fate for her.   The woman was now silicon and plastic, pliable and poseable, her mouth open and ready for use, her eyes staring blankly into nothing.   Her body, already perfect in its curves, was just the right shape for its new role.    Pam, her mind overwhelmed, dreamed only of being used.

The intruder, having carried out the first part of his mission, proceeded with the second part.   Moving through the office, he destroyed all of the computers, filing cabinets, and desks; converting them into dust or vapor.   He then collected the security tapes from the video cameras throughout the building and boxed them up, filled out a FedEx label for them, and placed them aside.  Collecting the rag doll, rigid mannequin, stuffed cat and love doll, he shrank them down to a few inches each, pocketed them, grabbed the box he would be shipping, and left the office.  

A couple of hours later, the remainder of the staff came in to start their day.   The three remaining investigators, all men, where baffled when they arrived.   Clearly the office had been robbed, but they couldn’t figure out how, or for that matter, where the boss or co-workers were.  The fact that the security tapes were missing pointed at a possible kidnapping, but how did the office equipment disappear as well?

Local Police and the FBI eventually got involved within the next few hours, but days of intense investigation failed to explain what had happened.  The only witnesses to Mr. Jones arrival were no longer able to talk, and no one else in the building had even noticed him.   The three survivors eventually decided to go out and get drunk, mourning the loss of their friends. 



Chapter 2:  What Happened to Anderson Investigations?

Tom Bradley sat at his desk in his corporate suite.   He was annoyed this morning, as he had been expecting a call from his friend Pam the last couple of days and hadn’t heard a word.   She had told him that her investigators would have something for him today, but not a word.  

Sipping coffee, his mood was not improved when his secretary brought in a FedEx package addressed to him.  

“You need to have that opened first Jess; I told you that,” he snapped.

Blushing and looking a little stricken, Jessica apologized and left. 

A few minutes later, she came back, several videotapes in hand.   “This is all that was in there Mr. Bradley; no return address either, Sir.”

Curious, Mr. Bradley dismissed his secretary and placed the first tape in the VCR.   His smile vanished when he recognized the location and saw what looked like a faint shadow enter.  Over the next hour he watched every tape, waves of sick horror spreading through him as he watched as incredibly four people were converted into inanimate objects by something he couldn’t see on the tape, and then the whole office was effectively wrecked.   His good friend Pam, the two prime investigators on his case, and the secretary, changed into... toys?

He only knew of one man who could do such a thing, but that wasn’t his style.   Was it?

Wes has supplied him with his mistress, and Vanessa was a very good mistress indeed.  Totally loyal (he hoped, now with a little uncertainty) in addition to being almost inhumanly beautiful and the kind of inspirational lover that men only dream of.   Well, if he had Wes as an enemy, he needed to know it now.   He picked up the phone and dialed the number.

Michelle answered the phone, her voice warm and friendly as always.   She passed the call to Wes, kissed him on the cheek and left the room, knowing he would want his privacy when talking to Mr. Bradley.   She returned to her work paying the household bills, while Jennifer cooked dinner and Brandi busily cleaned the sprawling house, with help from April.  All four of them were enjoying their time awake and alive.

Wes listened to Mr. Bradley on the phone for several minutes.  Once the initial terror and panic-stricken rush of information had paused, Wes began to talk soothingly.

“I understand what you saw and I assure you, it wasn’t me,”  He said, “but I want to know who did this as well.  Why don’t you come over and bring the tapes to my office?  I want to view them directly; maybe I can determine how it was done and, from that, who did it.”

A couple of hours later, Mr. Bradley drove up to Wes’s home and office.   Wes had substantially enlarged his home in the last couple of years, enlarging it to a large building with 14 private apartments, attached offices and entertainment space and at the base of the hill, by the highway, he had his own little strip mall, with a woman’s clothing store, hair salon, temporary agency and women’s health clinic all being run by his girls.   Tom Bradley was still not sure whether Wes was telling him the truth, but then, why would Wes lie; he was more than powerful enough not to need too.   His harem of beauties and his wealth, all obtained in the last couple of years, spoke volumes about that. 

Tom got out of the car, and walked up to the office.   Kristi, looking stunning as always, greeted him and brought him into Wes’s office.  She excused herself, and Wes and Tom talked about what had happened over tumblers of single-malt Scotch. 

Wes listened to Tom and watched the tapes.   It was clear that Tom had a very powerful enemy, one connected enough to hire someone just like himself, or someone was being used by that person.  

“Ok Tom, I will look into this for you,” Wes replied, looking and sounding grim.  “The reason you don’t see anyone on tape besides the victims is simple.   People like me, with our powers, simply don’t show up normally on your cameras.  Our powers protect us from anything that vaguely resembles a transformation unless we want it to happen, and to us, a picture is a form of that.”

“We are dealing with someone who has powers like mine, and your enemy, Mr. Baldwin, is the most likely candidate for having hired someone like that — if you were having him investigated. Were you?”

Tom looked stricken, “You mean there are more people out there like you?”

“Yes there are, not many; for only a few of us are powerful enough to have found the doorway to your world, and are flexible enough to deal with how different your world is from ours, but yes, there are a few.”  Wes replied.   Lighting a cigarette, he picked up the phone, and asked for refreshments from the house, as well as for Beth and Cindy to be brought to him.  

“I will look into this, and there will be no charge.”

Tom looked surprised and grateful.   “Can you do anything about my friend Pam?   She is important to me.”

Wes looked at him levelly, “I can’t promise you that I can Tom; transformations can be hard on the body and mind, depending on how the spells were performed they may be dead or their minds could be completely destroyed.   Moreover, they may still have their minds and consciousness, but the programming if any that was performed on them may have permanently altered it so that the people you once knew are gone.”

“What about your girls? And Vanessa for that matter?”  Tom asked, a little tentatively.

“Well, I don’t erase memories, I just put them in a box -so to speak- for a while.   Anything I do is only permanent if I choose to do so on purpose.   Generally, I only erase troublesome things like severe traumas, drug dependencies; things like that.   I bring out the best in my girls, keep them for a time, and release them back to their past lives if they wish it, or give them a new one, like I did for Vanessa and a few others.”   Wes replied.

Tom thought that sounded like rationalizing to him, but then again, who was he to disagree with a man who could change him into a newt or something if he pissed Wes off.   Besides, Vanessa seemed happy, remembered her old life and seemed very glad to have a new one.   Maybe Wes wasn’t entirely a monster after all.    Then again, maybe he was rationalizing too, Tom realized uneasily.

Wes watched the emotions play in Tom’s eyes and after a few minutes, when Tom seemed to have accepted what was said, began talking again.

“Well, this attack is different, and whoever did it definitely went in there with specific goals.  You may be in danger, and so might your family as well as Vanessa.   Why don’t you send her back here for now, and take some measures to protect your family.   Give your wife and kids these.” 

Wes handed him some necklaces, each of gold, with little charms shaped like galloping unicorns on them.

“These will protect them from attack, and if they are overwhelmed, they will be transported here where I can restore them if necessary.”

Tom took the necklaces and placed them in his pocket.   Just then, there was a knock on the door, and April came in, carrying a tray with drinks and snacks, as well as two painted ceramic dolls.    Wes got up, kissed her, and sent her on her way with a little pinch in the bottom.   April grinned, winked at Tom, and left.  

They ate in silence; Tom had a great deal of difficulty taking his eyes off the two dolls.   Both were beautiful, both were blonde and both would be absolutely stunning in real life.   Embossed on the bases of their stands where their names, “Cindy” and “Beth”.    After eating a snack, and having a drink, Wes poured two more drinks, and picked up the two dolls and set them on the floor a few feet away from them.   Speaking a command and waving his arms, Wes then stepped back. 

Tom watched in amazement as suddenly both dolls increased in height until they were life sized, then suddenly changed into living breathing women in a heartbeat and with a sharp inhalation of air. They took a moment to glance around the room and look at each other. The fact that they had been porcelain statues a second ago seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary.

“Good day ladies” Wes said gently, walking over and kissing first Beth, then Cindy, warmly.

They both kissed him back with enthusiasm, and then after noticing Tom, nodded greetings at him.

Wes handed both of them a drink and some food, and had them sit down.   After a long explanation about the new job he had, and prompting Tom to provide background on Baldwin, they both nodded and looked expectantly at Wes for instructions. Tom kept staring at them, stunned.

“Ok girls; this is what I want,” Wes ordered. “Research this guy, all of his assets and companies, find out what he is hiding, and if he paid our mysterious competition in any conventional manner.”   Wes smiled for a moment, “I also need to know where he might be holding those transformed people so I can go get them.”  The two gorgeous ladies nodded quietly.

Wes looked over at Tom and asked, “Will that do for a start?”   Tom nodded, still a little amazed by the days events.  “Go home Tom, get your family safe,” Wes commanded.   Tom left a few minutes later, his emotions a mixture of fear, amazement, and confusion. 

A couple of hours later, a taxi dropped Vanessa off at the hair salon down the hill.   Kim called up to report her safe arrival and Wes went down the hill to see her. 

“Vanessa, you look beautiful as always.”  Wes said warmly as they met.   Vanessa smiled, happy to see her benefactor, the man who had completely changed her life.   She felt like she was home visiting family -in a very real sense, she was- and could not stop smiling.  

“Vanessa, I need to put you in storage for a while,” Wes said gently; “Tom has a powerful enemy who has attacked a detective agency and probably will be looking for his family and you, too.  To keep you safe, I need to alter things so he can’t find you.   To keep my own family safe, I need to make it so that he can’t trace you to my home either.”

Vanessa was a little concerned, but she knew that Wes would protect her, and besides, she knew that she would feel wonderful while she was in storage.   She didn’t mind that part at all.   None of the girls did.

Wes took her next door, and had Vanessa provide her with a new outfit to replace what she was wearing now.  Vanessa changed from her jeans and tank top and put on a pretty print sundress.  Satisfied with her sleek look, Vanessa waited in the dressing room for him.   Wes walked in, kissed her again, and had her pose for a few minutes until he was satisfied.   Then, pulling out a plastic doll, he touched her cheek gently with it.

Vanessa smiled as a rush of peaceful tranquility swept through her.   She loved this part; it was amazingly relaxing.   She felt herself surrendering to the transformation, while Wes watched her with smile.   Her skin, already perfect from his previous work with her, began to shine in the lights of the dressing room, delicately reflecting the light.   Her eyes fixed, then became unseeing, as her body changed into a life-sized plastic doll.    After a moment, she then shrank down to an 18-inch doll sized figure and Wes pocketed her.   Kissing Vivian on the way out, he walked next door to the Temporary Agency to see Sarah. 

Sarah was working at her desk, and smiled broadly when Wes came in.   She loved him completely, and it was her month to have him to herself in bed.  She also loved the independence and trust he gave her with this business, it made the other months when she didn’t get him easier to take.   She listened intently as he gave her instructions to find a good secretary for an assignment he had coming up, and to let him know when she came in, because he needed to interview her too.    Sarah smiled and kissed him again as he left, and then got on the phone and began making some calls.

Wes went into the parking lot and began weaving some spells to hide the fact that Vanessa had arrived.   After a few minutes, he was satisfied and drove back up the hill.   He had work to do, and additional preparations to make.   

Later that evening, Brandi, April and Kristi were once again turned into dolls and placed on display on their shelf alongside the doll that was Vanessa, while Kim, Cheryl, Vivian, Jennifer and Michelle slept in their apartments, or in Cindy and Beth’s case, busily worked in the office. Wes already had the makings of a plan, and began shifting through the details in his mind.   Sarah and he talked for a while about the girl she found for his job, and then they watched an old Humphrey Bogart movie (Wes just loved movies; the intricate stories fascinated him).   After a couple of hours,  Sarah persuaded him to carry her into bed, where she loved him and took his mind away from his concerns.  Wes decided the adversarie's next move would come soon enough.

Meanwhile, in a mall a few miles away, a new mannequin graced the display window of an upscale woman’s shop.   A tall brunette, with green eyes, dressed in the latest in ladies professional clothing, she commanded the attention of any who saw her.   Oddly, this one didn’t have pivot points at her waist, wrists, and shoulders like the others but was made of a flexible plastic, almost like rubber, that could be bent and posed easily.   Nearby, in the toy store window, a cute life sized rag doll holding a stuffed life-sized gray and brown cat sat in a rocking chair, smiling her fixed yarn smile at the world.  

Even further away, in a mansion with a fine view of the lights of the city and the darkness of the ocean, another figure was displayed.   This one, a very sexy plastic-looking doll, life sized, obviously a sex toy with all the proper places ready for use, sat on the floor in front a closet, eyes staring blankly into space and a mouth opened slackly into an “o”.   The doll had a playboy logo tee shirt on, and nothing else, and looked amazingly like a former centerfold from years ago.  

A newspaper lay scattered near the doll, the front-page headline “No leads in the mysterious disappearance of a former playmate” lying in a direct eye line of the doll.   Assuming of course that the doll could read, and understand, and be horrified at what it saw.  



Chapter 3:  Mr. Jones strikes again

It was evening still, only a few hours after Mr. Bradley’s meeting with Wes, and a Silver Nissan drove carefully up a canyon road in the hills near San Luis Obispo.  It was a cool California evening, hundreds of miles and much cooler than the hot desert air of Palm Springs where the car was last seen.   After a few minutes, the car pulled into a gaudy Hotel parking lot of Pacific 1 and stopped.   A nondescript looking man got out, looked at the Hotel, then a guidebook in his hand, smiled and went inside.   A gaudy, almost obnoxiously tacky, lobby greeted him and he chuckled to himself.

Checking in, picking a room with a Fantasy Lord of the Rings type of theme, he went to his room and laughed when he walked inside.  

“Almost like home, just tackier” he chuckled to himself.  Obnoxious paintings of Elves and Dragons and some silly thing called a Hobbit decorated the room.   “What the hell is a hobbit anyway? Sure didn’t see any of those things back home...”

After settling in and making himself comfortable, he got out a wand, some chalk and a bag, then drew a picture of a door on the wall, waved his hand in front of the rectangle, then opened the door that suddenly materialized to step through.   Suddenly he was standing on the lawn that went with a large house.   In view was his hotel, a couple of miles down the road, its gaudy sign barely visible.  A dog spotted him, and as it started to bark, he raised his wand and it fell over dead, its heart stopped and its eyes staring into nothing. 

Mr. Jones chuckled, “A guard dog; how silly.”

He walked toward the back door of the house, vanishing from sight as he moved.  The backdoor opened, and a large man stepped out and looked around, clearly looking for the dog.   Mr. Jones continued striding forward, invisible to the man at the door.  

Jake looked around, but the dog had shut up and nothing seemed to be going on.   Mr. Bradley seemed worried and had brought him and his two other bodyguards in to the house today, telling them that a friend had been kidnapped, and he might be next.   Then, naturally, he had driven somewhere without telling anyone and scared the hell out everyone until he called and checked in.   At least now he was inside, asleep, and so was his wife and college aged daughter (a real cutie too).     Jake wasn’t too concerned though, after all, if Mr. Bradley was really worried, he would have called the cops.

Suddenly, Jake sensed something was wrong.   He thought he could hear something crossing the yard, but clearly no one was there.   Looking out from the door, he had only a second to realize he wasn’t mistaken when a bright flash hit him in the face, and he fell to the ground, writhing in pain.   As the blackness took him, he wondered what happened before he passed into unconsciousness.

Mr. Jones watched in amusement as Jake fell to the ground out cold.  Then he stepped through the door.  Another man sat on the couch in the living room, watching television.  Another spell, and the man never had time to even yawn as he collapsed over into sleep.  Mr. Jones walked through the house, stopping only to deepen the sleep of the final guard who was dozing in the guest room.   Satisfied, he walked into the daughter’s room.  

Sabrina, a beautiful young woman with long brown hair, deep blue eyes, and the typical California tan and with a perfect oval face, was studying.  She was reading through her notes, worrying about her finals at CalPoly, the local university, where she would finish her second year in time to celebrate her 21st birthday in style.   Her boyfriend was coming up from UCLA next week, and she had big plans for him.   Unless Daddy’s paranoia ruined everything.  Bad enough that her parents showed up unexpectedly yesterday and promptly moved into their room.   It wasn’t even the weekend, and Dad had promised that they wouldn’t come up to the weekend house until later in the summer.   Why weren’t they in LA were they were supposed to be? 

She heard something in the hall, and turned just as a light hit her in the face.  Before she could even gasp, she realized that suddenly she couldn’t move a muscle and some man was telling her to stand up.   She realized that she really wanted to, and it made perfect sense to take off all her clothes and walk down the hall with him.  After all, she really wanted too.    The pair walked into her parents' room, and he whispered that she needed to stand perfectly still now, and remain quiet, because he needed to talk to Daddy.   Sabrina did exactly as she was told.

Mr. Jones pointed his wand at the bed, where a man and woman lay sleeping.   The man slept restlessly, while the woman lay quiet.   A spell flashed, and suddenly both had their hands, arms, legs and feet tied together in duct tape, and both were gagged.  They awoke with a start, panic clearly visible in their eyes as Mr. Jones turned on the light.

“Ah, Mr. Bradley, what a fine beautiful daughter you have...”

Tom looked up and there was his daughter, standing completely naked, a silly grin on her face and her eyes staring vacantly into nowhere in particular.  He could feel his wife next to him, struggling.   Naturally, his daughter wasn’t wearing her unicorn necklace and glancing over, he noticed his wife wasn’t either.   Typical, he cursed mentally.

He saw a nondescript, rather bland bald headed man standing in front of him, who was letting his hands roam all over his daughter’s body.   Tom got even angrier, but was helplessly bound.

“Well, it seems that I have a message for you,” the man said, “Oh, pardon me, I forgot to introduce myself; I am Mr. Jones.   I recently enjoyed the company of your lovely friend Pam the other day.  

I am sure, if she could, she would have much to say about the time we have spent together since.”

Tom paled, “oh shit, just this once, why couldn’t those two have listened to me;, how can I save them, or me now?”

Mr. Jones pulled the wife Emily off the bed, where she now lay struggling on the floor.  He pointed a wand at her, and suddenly, she stopped struggling and as the bonds dissolved off her, stood up, having the same silly grin and blank look as his daughter.   Taking a moment to carefully strip off her nightgown, she stood over by her daughter.   Although older, the woman had maintained her figure well.

“Well, Mr. Bradley, you have a beautiful wife to go with your beautiful daughter.   Almost a matched set, in fact. I understand you have a mistress too; well, aren’t you the greedy one.”   Mr. Jones said blandly.   Tom said nothing, afraid to make a bad situation any worse.

“Well, I digress.   As I said before, I have a message for you.   Mr. Baldwin insists that you sign all the papers he is sending you no later than Friday.   That gives you two whole days.   He asked me to encourage you to not delay or obstruct the process; so, I tell you what, which one of these two ladies do you treasure more?”

Tom looked at him in horror, his eyes glancing back and forth between in his daughter and wife.  They settled longest on his daughter, which Mr. Jones noticed immediately.

“Well, that’s only fair, after all, if you treasured your wife more you wouldn’t have a mistress.”

Mr. Jones smiled, then mumbled quietly in Emily’s ear for a moment.   Emily, a tall woman, who her daughter favored in looks, was still a beautiful woman at 40.  She obviously worked out regularly and could easily pass for her early 30s, except for a few sun lines around her eyes. 

She had a beautiful tan, and her sun streaked hair looked very nice.    She took a few moments to pose for Mr. Jones, letting him guide her movements after her initial pose.   After a few moments, he was satisfied, and he tapped her shoulder with the wand.

Emily felt very odd.   A strange man was whispering in her ear.   She knew that she should be worried, that something was wrong with Sabrina and that her husband Tom was tied up in the bed.  But it seemed so important to her that she pose.   Then she felt a strange sensation rush through her being.   It started at the top of her head, a wave of coldness swept quickly through her body.   Initially, only her skin felt cold, but then her very bones seemed to feel the deep chill.   She felt very cold and heavy now, no longer able to move, as a strange voice filled her head:  “You are now just a trophy.  A perfect trophy, and the winner gets to keep you.  You wanted to be the prize and you always will be one now.”   Her heavy mind protested, although thinking about Tom and his affairs, she wondered if that was truly how she felt.   But the voice continued to echo in her thoughts, she knew she no longer could move and after a few minutes under the spell, she began to weaken.   The last thing she saw was Tom struggling to free himself and trying to scream just before her vision blacked out.   After a little while longer, her personality and mind overwhelmed, Emily knew she was indeed just a trophy after all.  And she was indeed a prize.

Tom watched in sick horror as a wave of greenish light swept over her.   As the light passed, her skin and eyes took on a darker copper color, before assuming a final bronze hue.   Within moments, she was completely bronze colored, even her eyes and hair were solid in that color.  Her figure looked slightly polished as it reflected highlights from the room.   Mr. Jones tapped her head with a ring on his finger, the solid sound of metal hitting metal replied.   Tom realized, as he struggled not to faint in horror, that his wife was now simply a beautiful statue of solid bronze.  

“Mr. Bradley, all you have to do is sign this paperwork and I will restore her, if you wish, and send your daughter back to you.   She will be coming with me naturally, as Mr. Baldwin doesn’t feel that your wife is a suitable incentive to ensure your behavior.”

Tom watched as Mr. Jones pulled out a piece of chalk, drew a door, and then stepped through it, leading his daughter who mindlessly followed.  In a moment they were gone, the door vanished, and he stared at his wife, now a perfect bronze statue with an engmatic smile on her face for possibly eternity.  

He struggled and screamed until he passed out, his cries muffled by the gag.  


Mr. Jones enjoyed a good portion of the remainder of the evening.   A few easy spells and Sabrina was absolutely convinced that she was with her boyfriend and that everything was perfect.    Tricking her with a little alteration of his appearance and meddling with her mind, he enjoyed her spirited and youthful stamina in bed.  Mr. Jones finally finished with her and put her to sleep around 3 in the morning.  Deepening her sleep so that she wouldn’t wake up until he was ready, he rolled over and caught a few hours himself.  

The next morning just before 8, he altered her appearance, loaded her in the car, and left the hotel for the drive back to LA.  

Hours later Will finally awoke in the guest room and, after stopping to use the bathroom, started when he realized it was noon.   Hurrying quickly, he checked the bedrooms, found Sabrina’s empty, with her desk lamp still lit and her computer still on, then walked down the hall, where he noticed a trail of clothes that looked like hers in the hallway.   Noticing that Mr. Bradley’s door was opened he walked in and stopped, stunned.

Mr. Bradley lay bound in bed, staring at what looked like a bronze statue of his wife.   It was a perfect replica of her too, although in the back of his mind Will couldn’t help but notice she must REALLY be a babe in real life, based on the statue.   Why it was there seemed odd, but not as important as why Mr. Bradley was tied up in bed.

Quickly untying Tom, he helped him up, and listened as his boss asked for help in a voice hoarse from screaming.

“Get me the phone, I need to talk to someone” Tom said, his voice coarse but clearly on the edge of panic.  “Then get out, and wait with other two in the living room.  My daughter has been kidnapped, and for Christ sake, don’t say anything or the worst will happen.”  

Will left, wondering why he didn’t mention his wife, because clearly she wasn’t around either.   At least in her normal form.   Walking into the living room, he found Dave asleep on the couch.   Waking him, with difficulty, he finally looked around for Jake, finding him asleep too on the back door stairs.  The dog was clearly dead in the backyard, blood pooled under it from its mouth, its eyes open in a blank stare. 

Will wondered what the hell was going on as he shakingly lit a cigarette.



Chapter 4: Wes takes charge

Wes arrived at Tom’s house within an hour after he got the call.  Tom sounded ready for a complete collapse, and now Wes was beginning to think about larger issues.   It was absolutely critical that his presence, along with the presence of others like him, remain completely secret from the authorities and the population at large.   For if it got out a retribution would occur from powers he had gratefully left behind on his world.   Retribution almost beyond imagining.   Tom must be persuaded, convinced, or if necessary, prevented from letting the word out about what had happened to his family.

Wes got out of the car, waited for a moment for Kristi to emerge and bring his briefcase, and then walked to the front door.   Waiting inside were Tom, looking distraught, and his three bodyguards, who looked quite sheepish.  

“Kristi, I want you to interview these gentlemen,” he ordered pleasantly.   All three looked nonplused for a moment, then after really getting a good look at their interviewer, all three men looked very pleased.

“Tom, why don’t you show me the house and tell me all about last night?”   Tom looked awful.   His eyes were bloodshot, his face pale, and he hadn’t bothered to shave or really dress.   His voice was tense and on the edge of hysteria, and clearly he was on the edge of complete panic and despair. 

They walked into the bedroom, and Wes got a good look at the statue that had been, was, Emily.   “She was indeed beautiful,” Wes thought to himself, “she would be proud of how she turned out.   Assuming of course, she was around to actually enjoy it.” He thought with a mental shrug.

Wes let his hands roam over her transformed body, feeling the cold metal and underneath, the faint magic still at work.

 “She didn’t wear her necklace.” Tom said, tears running down his face. “Neither did Sabrina.  I urged them to, tried to persuade them, but they both took them off for some reason.”

“I am sorry Tom; if they had, they would have only been temporarily immobilized and their minds would have been protected.” Wes said with a sigh.  Best of intentions.  “Well, I feel something still at work so let me alone for a moment.”

Wes concentrated and began to feel the statue's thoughts.   They were almost completely dormant now; except for a slow refrain that ran through her mind: “I am a statue, a pretty trophy.”   Wes shifted through her mind, and after a while, stepped back and looked at Tom.

“Tom, I can restore her to life, but bringing out most of her personality and memories will be difficult.”

Tom stumbled back as if pushed, then sat down heavily on the bed, tears pouring down his face, choking back a sob.  “I loved her, you know,”   he whimpered. “I know that I screwed around, and I really care about Sabrina, but it was Emily was who I always knew I would be with forever.   This is way more than I ever bargained for... What should I do?”

They talked for a couple of hours and, eventually, Tom accepted the decisions Wes made.  Meanwhile, Kristi, after having hypnotized the three bodyguards and interrogating them for two hours, put them to sleep with new memories of a peaceful night before, certain that the daughter was out of town on vacation and the wife was on her way to Rehab for a drug problem.  

Wes brought Emily back to life after several minutes of concentration and a number of spells.  The first spell, which brought about a bright yellow glow that finally overwhelmed and smothered a green glow emanating from her, dispelled some of the evil magic previously cast on her.  For a few moments, she remained a motionless statue crafted of flesh instead of gleaming bronze.

A second spell brought her to life; a reflexive gasp marked her return to humanity.   Tom and Wes helped her to her feet, then watched as she continued to smile blankly, and return to a pose that best displayed her body.   Wes shook his head sadly, cast another spell, and her eyes glazed over and her smile changed into a slack expression.   They dressed her as one might dress a doll, in a casual dress and sandals, then with Kristi’s help, put her in the car.  Emily no longer cared, her mind was now clear of her command to pose, but remained in a complete state of dormancy, awaiting a command to do anything, her mind a blank.   Once she was seated, Kristi put her to sleep with a command, and got in beside her. 

“Ok Tom, go back to LA and you will sign those papers.   I know; that's something you abhor, but it will get him to let his guard down, and he might just let your daughter go unscathed.”   Pausing only to light a cigarette (earning him a look of mild disapproval from Kristi), Wes continued, “My plan will then go into operation.   We will destroy him utterly, after we get him to sign over everything to you.   Along the way, I intend to take care of his magical friend as well.”

Tom looked at him, showing some hope for the first time, “Ok Wes, I will do anything to get Sabrina back.” Looking at his wife, her body an empty shell that once housed a vibrant and intelligent woman, he wondered aloud, “Will she always be like that from now on?”  

“I don't know yet, Tom; he will probably hold off to see if he gets what he wants,”  Wes replied. “Well, maybe” he thought to himself.  He knew that Jones (as the fiend was calling himself now), was probably running the show, and might just do something to the daughter too just for the sheer hell of it, even if he got everything he wanted.   Wes looked forward to sending Jones’ soul to the Outsiders. 

“We will be going now, I will check on you periodically to see that everything is ok at your end, but I wouldn’t worry for now.   They want you to sign those papers and will wait until you have done so, or not, before they act again.” 

Wes and Kristi drove off, leaving Tom standing in his expansive driveway looking forlorn. 


After less than an hour, they arrived back at Wes’s house near Morro Bay.  Taking Emily to Cheryl, who gave her a thorough exam, Wes decided that the easiest thing to do at this point was to put her in storage after she had some food and drink.   Sending Kristi back to the lab, he and Cheryl spent a couple of hours with Emily.   After she had eaten, and some healing magic by Cheryl and Wes, Emily began to lose the dazed look and return to a low level of alertness.   However, she had not yet regained any will of her own.

Emily felt the black curtain that was enclosing her mind slip away at last.   She was now in a strange house, and a beautiful young woman she didn’t know was talking to her gently, helping her to eat and drink, while a man she remembered who worked on occasion with her husband was looking on with concern.   She couldn’t remember why she was here, or how, and she felt a vague concern that everything wasn’t the way it should be.   She wondered when she could be a trophy once more.

“Emily, I am Cheryl,” said the earnest young woman.  “I am here to assist and guide you.  I work for Wes and your husband has asked us to help you recover.   You have been attacked by something that is hard to explain, but Wes will try to help you understand.”

“Where is this?” Emily asked.

“You are at my house,” Wes replied calmly.  

His voice is likable, Emily thought, “Where is that?”

“We aren’t far from Tom's vacation house in San Luis; your husband had us pick you up earlier today.” He said nothing about her being a statue.

“Why did someone want to attack him?”

Wes and Cheryl explained everything carefully to her, how a business rival was pressuring her husband, and how that rival had a powerful friend.   Wes explained that he worked with her husband on occasion, and was in some ways much like the one who attacked her.  Emily had difficulty believing parts of the story, especially the part about magic, but she seemed to understand.

“Ok, Emily, it is time I demonstrated something. Cheryl will help me, but I am not going to harm her.” Wes looked at his assistant and she nodded warmly.   He took out a little ceramic shard of pottery and touched her arm with it.   Instantly, Cheryl froze, and a blue glow surrounded her figure.    Emily watched in amazement as the glow swept through her, then faded.  As it faded, she watched Cheryl’s eyes glaze over, her smile become fixed, and her skin begin to harden and shine in the lights of the room.   “Touch her,” Wes urged, and Emily reached over and touched the now motionless Cheryl’s arm.   It felt smooth and hard, like glass or ceramic; when Emily tapped the flesh she felt its hardness.   Cheryl had been somehow been transformed into something else within the wink of an eye.

“How is this possible?” she asked, amazed.  Wes explained that what she had seen she would know of as magic, a feat possible because he, like the other person, were not from this world.   And that secret MUST be maintained, he vowed, or others would come to protect that secret. 

Wes touched Cheryl again, this time with his hand, and a pinkish glow surrounded her.  Her eyes began to focus again, her skin returned to its normal appearance and she took a deep breath and smiled at Emily, a living person again.   “It feels so wonderful when he does that, it's like you feel at complete peace for a while.”

“We are going to keep you here for a while Emily, for your safety,”  Wes said to her levelly.   “The one who calls himself Mr. Jones is not a nice man, and he is not gone.  Here you will be safe while I go and take care of him, put things right, and get your daughter back.”  

Emily was concerned about all of this, as well as a little afraid.   But her curiosity had been aroused and she was a bright woman.   She knew that this man was casually powerful in a way she had only seen in television or movies, kind of like the wizard Merlin from stories about King Arthur.   She felt he was telling her most of the truth, but not all, and that made her wonder about the rest.   Who was this woman, who seemed so completely devoted to him, where had she come from?     What really happened to her when he had first touched her with that shard?    There were some images floating in her mind, of a strange sensation, of standing cold and still, of being unable to move, of hearing her husband cry out. Why was she remembering those?

“Cheryl, would you show Emily around the house?   Introduce her to the others and keep an eye on her for me.  I have some things I need to do for now,”  Wes commanded.   Cheryl nodded, and kissed him as he left.  

The two women toured the house.   It was immense, with 12 private suites, each with a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room; plus a common area with entertainment equipment, a workout area, sauna and hot tub rooms, a really nice kitchen and large formal dining room.   Another suite marked Wes’s living area, but she didn’t get to see that.   She met Jennifer, who was busy planning out menus in the kitchen, and Michelle, busy over a computer doing the books.   Both were charming and beautiful, just like Cheryl, and she wondered.   Another beautiful young woman, Brandi, she met in the laundry room, where she was cheerfully folding cloths. 

Emily noticed a number of things about the women she met.  They all had perfect skin, without a blemish, a mole or an acne scar to be found.   Their hair was in perfect condition as well, in a variety of styles, but well maintained.   They all wore little necklaces, with gold unicorns on them, and seemed very happy.    “What is this, a harem?” She wondered to herself.  

It was a beautiful house, and very comfortable.   She asked Cheryl were everyone was from and learned that Cheryl and a couple of other girls were from California, while some of the others where from Texas.   Cheryl told her that she was a RN, while the other girls all had different lives before they met Wes.   There were eleven girls in all living here, and a few others that had moved on plus a temporary guest who was in storage with some of the other girls. 

“Storage?” Emily asked.

“Yes, you remember what Wes did to me?  Well, some of us spend days like that.  Its an amazing feeling, he always makes sure that we enjoy it.   And, we know that he treasures us all the more.   It also is the most amazing beauty treatment.   We didn’t all start off with perfect skin and in perfect shape you know,.” Cheryl said, grinning and blushing a bit.   “You should try it, you know, it’s very restful, and it will keep you from dwelling on what has happened earlier,” she said more seriously.    Emily looked at Cheryl pensively.  After the tour, Emily, still tired, asked for a place to rest and Cheryl and Brandi put her in one of the suites (ironically enough, the one that used to belong to Vanessa).      

Sleep came quickly to Emily, still troubled by what she had learned but exhausted.   Once Emily had laid down, Cheryl muttered a little sleep spell, and Emily went out like a light into a deep and dreamless sleep. 

Cheryl reported back to Wes, who had spent the last hour discussing things with Beth and Cindy.  He had learned a lot about Mr. Baldwin, and had some ideas about where to look for the missing people from the detective agency.    He now had a firm plan in mind, and Sarah had already sent the new temp to work for Baldwin’s office.   Another week, and he would be ready to move against Baldwin.   In the meantime, it was time to secure things here, and then go find Mr. Jones.

Over the course of the afternoon, all of the girls except for Beth, Kristi, Sarah, and Cindy went into storage.  One by one, they kissed him, posed and then once he completed transforming them into dolls in their favorite outfits, he placed them carefully on their shelves.   Soon, Vivian, Kim, Michelle, Jennifer, April, Brandi, and Cheryl joined Vanessa on display in his suite.   Then, he went into the room where Emily lay resting, and woke her.

Once she was awake, he spoke “Emily, I need to leave for a while, and I need to put you somewhere safe.” 

“You are going to put me in that 'storage' aren’t you?” she asked.  She found the idea oddly intriguing and, truthfully, found herself more than a little aroused by the idea.   “Can I see where the rest of them are, first?”

Wes looked at her, a little surprised, then decided why not.   So he led her to his suite.   It was larger than the others, with a library, a living room, plus two bedrooms and a bath and a small kitchen as well.  In the living room, a glass case was illuminated by light coming in from the windows.   In the case, nine exquisite dolls were displayed.   All were in perfect detail, and posed in a variety of ways.   Emily recognized the miniature Cheryl, Brandi, Michelle and Jennifer, and wondered who the others were.  

“These are all of your girls?” she asked.  

“Not all, some will be coming with me or staying behind to provide assistance to me when I go.”

“They all love you this much?”  She looked at him, startled.   “Do they know where they are or what has happened to them?” 

“Yes they do love me this much and to your other question, not entirely.  You see, they are either completely at peace or in a couple of cases, at the height of passion.   To them, that feeling stretches from the instant they transform until when I awaken them again.  It seems like hours to them, but they are not aware of anything else in their stored state.”

“Ok” she said.  And suddenly making her mind up, she turned and kissed him.   “Thank you so much for what you are doing for Tom and Sabrina,” she said, “Please bring my daughter back to me.  I will do whatever you want, even become a doll for you.”  

Wes had her pose, helping her take a position that best flattered her figure, and when she was ready, he touched her gently with a piece of marble.   Instantly, a white glow surrounded her.   Emily felt strange suddenly, she felt like she was laying in a bed, and pulling the covers over her head and felt remarkably at peace for the first time in years.   All of her worries no longer seemed to matter, and she watched as the world lost focus and as her thoughts stretched out into the infinite, she realized just how wonderful this state was.    Wes watched as her skin, then hair and eyes paled into white, then gradually took on the appearance and texture of the marble.   Once the transformation was done, he removed her clothes, and then shrank her down to 22 inches tall.   She was a beautiful marble statuette, and he was again impressed by her beauty and poise.  She would look wonderful displayed with his girls until the time came to restore her and send her home.

Wes placed Emily on the shelf next to Cheryl and then closed and locked the case.   Leaving the room, he called Beth, Kristi, and Cindy to join him, and gave instructions to Sarah.   Giving her a last kiss, which she returned fiercely, he got in the car and he and the other girls drove away.    Sarah watched them until they were out of sight, then went back in to wait.   In her hand was an envelope, with detailed instructions and a shiny key.   An envelope she hoped she would never have to open.


Chapter 5: On a collision course

Mr. Jones sat on the balcony, enjoying the warm breeze and watching the waves of the Pacific pound against the coast below him.   People walked about on the beach below; it was another pleasant day in Malibu.  In the room behind him, a young woman lay in bed, her dark hair and tanned skin visible between the sheets and her pillow.   She stared vacantly up at the ceiling, her eyes unfocused and distant, and on her pretty face a blissful smile could be seen.   She seemed to be silently lost in meditation; as the minutes passed she remained completely still.   A closer inspection would reveal that she wasn’t breathing at all and the sunlight streaming in the sliding door glinted off her smooth firm tanned skin, giving her figure a glossy look.   Touching her would reveal that she was in fact an object of plastic, and not alive at all; at least not in the way most people considered anything living.   But if you could get inside her empty head, you would hear a girl's voice saying over and over again: “I am now a pleasure doll, I exist only to serve.  When awakened I will serve my owner and when posed I will always look my best.  I am Sabrina, a pleasure doll.   I exist purely to give pleasure.”   Other more profound thoughts and memories were now buried deeply within her mind, dormant and locked away, requiring the right sort of keys to free them again.

Mr. Jones finished his cigar and sipped his brandy, looking over at the motionless figure in the bed.   She had become tiresome to him after a while, a bundle of youthful stamina and insatiable desires; too much effort was required to keep constant control, so a simple spell had sufficed to quiet her.   For now, she would serve his amorous purposes just as well in her present form; he could always reanimate her for brief periods when he wanted to.   Later, if he so desired it, he would restore her thoughts and give her back to her father, maybe.   Even if Bradley kept his end of the many demands from Mr. Baldwin.   After all, she was really a very pretty young woman, so full of energy and life, at least until he had used her up.  

But now is time to get to business again.  It was Friday, and time to go with Mr. Baldwin to meet with Mr. Bradley.   It should be an interesting meeting, as Mr. Bradley had not offered much resistance since a visit was paid to his house, his wife transformed into a bronze sculpture and his daughter taken away.   He had become very compliant indeed.  These American businessmen amused Mr. Jones; they reminded him of the robber Barons and conniving Wizards back home, but with not nearly as much backbone. 

Taking a few moments to check his appearance, he smiled blandly, enjoying his tailored suit, and left the room, pausing only to blow a kiss at the rigid life-sized doll that had been Sabrina Bradley.

Downstairs, a chauffeured limo picked him up at the front door, and he got in and began talking to his employer, Mr. Baldwin.  

“Do you expect any further problems with Mr. Bradley?”

“No, I expect your efforts will have made any potential problems go away,” replied Mark Baldwin with calm look.  “Taking care of those skulking detectives was very helpful as well.   I expect he will turn over control of everything to me today; your 10% fee of the proceeds will make you at least $3 million richer by this evening.” 

“And the girl, do you want me to give her back?” Jones replied, looking slightly more interested than usual.

“Yes, for now.  There are other girls, after all,” Mr. Baldwin replied casually as he looked over papers in his briefcase.   Busy as he was, he missed the brief scowl that crossed Jones' face. 

They drove for an hour in heavy LA traffic, until they reached the airport, where they boarded a small bizjet, which quickly whisked them away.   Flying over Southern California, Jones and Baldwin continued to discuss their plans, and went over the background information on their next target.  

After a while, they landed at the small regional airport that served the Monterey peninsula; a car with driver picked them up and drove them to Baldwin’s regional office in Santa Cruz. 

As they walked in, Baldwin could not fail to notice a new girl working on the files, a pleasant looking woman in her 40s, and glanced questioningly at the assistant who had picked them up at the airport.

“That’s Barbara, sir; she is filling in for Alice this week.”  The assistant, Charlie, motioned sor her to stand, and Baldwin shook her hand, then kissed it gallantly.   Jones looked directly at her and Barbara felt an odd feeling of being probed deep to the core or her being for a fleeting moment, then the two men walked into Baldwin’s office and shut the door.

Barbara sat back down at her desk.   She suddenly realized that she was supposed to call Sarah now, and picked up the phone.   She remembered how that nice man, Wes, had told her how important it was to call only when Baldwin came to the office with anyone unusual; creepy Mr. Jones definitely was that.   Charlie had also mentioned that Baldwin and Jones where coming, and how important it was to impress them.  Odd however that she didn’t remember having to call Sarah sooner though; it was almost as if the compulsion had been waiting in the back of her mind all this time. 

Sarah was sitting at the desk in her office when the phone rang.   It had been a long couple of days for her since Wes and his other girls had driven off.   She was scared for him and the girls, as well as Mr. Bradley's family, and wanted everyone home safe as soon as possible.   The phone rang again before she picked it up and talked briefly to Barbara, covering the purpose of the call with talk about mundane things like Barbara’s pay schedule and the like.   A few coded phrases confirmed what she needed to know. Once Barbara hung up, Sarah quickly got back on the phone and called Wes on his remote.

Wes and the girls were on the way back from Palm Springs now, driving over the pass into the Central Valley, still hours away from home.   After a couple of days of investigating, they had found the homes of the missing people from the detective agency, and carefully had obtained personal items from those homes.   With those, Wes had managed to track down Kim, Tina and Joe.   All three had been stolen away from their temporary homes in the mall, transformed into dolls, shrunk down and now were resting in a brief case in his trunk.   Pam had been harder to locate, but had been found.   It would take a more intensive effort to get into Baldwin’s house though, and Wes wasn’t ready to move on that just yet so she would have to stay there a little longer.

Wes answered the phone and, after a short talk with Sarah, including some reassurances, he hung up. After telling Kristi to pull over into a side road and driving a little further to a secluded location, Wes explained what was going on, then he had the girls get out of the car.   Taking his briefcase out of the trunk, he was ready for a quick getaway. One by one, he kissed the girls, turned them into plastic dolls, then shrank them and the car and placed them all into the briefcase along with the dolls that were once Kim, Joe and Tina.   Taking a few more moments to draw a pentagram on the ground, he stepped into it and vanished in a flash of light, leaving a swirling dust cloud that rapidly wiped out all evidence that he had ever been there.   An instant later he appeared back in his study with a flash of light and a pop of air.  Sarah was waiting, with a tray full of drinks and some food.   Setting them down, she rushed over and kissed him.

Rushing now, for things were going to start moving quickly, he pulled out the dolls from the briefcase and, one by one, returned them to normal size.   After restoring Krista, Cindy and Beth to human form, he and the other girls ate while they briefed Sarah on what they had found at the mall and Sarah briefed them in turn on the goings on at Baldwin’s office.  

“We have a few hours to work with then.   I have located where Sabrina and Pam are now located.  Since Baldwin is busy, now is the time to move in and collect them.   Jones is with Baldwin, so the girls are relatively unprotected,”  Wes said, his face grim.   “I will leave those three,” he noted, pointing at the mannequin, life-sized rag doll and stuffed cat that were Kim, Tina and Joe, “as they are for the moment. They are safe enough in these forms for now, and it will take some time and energy to restore their original bodies and minds that I cannot spare today.”           

Sarah asked “Why, if things are so urgent, did you come all the way back here before going back to LA?” 

“Well, it’s simple really. I needed to eat,” he replied,  “and teleporting to LA drains a lot of energy from me when I am already tired.   Leaving the people I recovered here, along with Brandy and Cindy to keep working, is easier for now.  I have to recover for a little bit after I use such potent magic, and food helps me recharge, kind of like your civilization does with batteries.   I can only do so much without that recharge.”   At this point, Wes was wolfing down his third helping of food, “Besides, I will need an energy reserve for the next few hours, and this is a very good place to get it.”  He smiled at her, “Excellent lunch, by the way.”

After they had eaten, Wes had Sarah bring in Cheryl (still in her doll form), transformed her back to her human form, then gave her some task to do.   Wes napped for a couple of hours with Sarah laying with him, massaging his tired muscles until he fell asleep.   She held him closely for a while until it was time for him to awaken, then gently roused him.  

Wes got up, showered and shaved, then after telling the girls to get things ready, he asked Kristi come with him as he, briefcase in hand, and Kristi disappeared into another flash.    The other girls; Sarah, Cindy, Beth and Cheryl, looked over the three transformed people who were now merely things, shuddered, and went to work with extra energy.   Sarah and Beth resumed researching Baldwin further, Cindy continued hacking into his computer systems, and Cheryl headed down to the clinic to get things ready should they be needed.

Meanwhile, all that day, Jones and Baldwin had been meeting, discussing plans and ironing out details.  Just as Wes was waking up further to the south, the phone rang in Baldwin’s office; Barbara informed Baldwin that a Mr. Bradley was here.   Tom did not look at all well today; his face was pale, his eyes were drawn, and he was noticeably nervous, Barbara thought.  After showing him in, she called Sarah again and reported, just as she had been programmed to when she was hypnotized a day ago.

Tom Bradley was afraid, and angry.  Baldwin had changed his meeting plans, and made Tom drive all the way up here from LA this morning, seemingly just for the hell of it.   His bodyguards had to wait outside, and Tom was feeling very vulnerable as he walked into the paneled office. Seeing that the man called Mr. Jones was there too only made him more agitated as he remembered what had been done to his wife and dreaded what might have been done to his daughter. Right now, they held all the winning cards.

“Mr. Bradley, are you ready to sign?” Baldwin asked pleasantly.   He was confidant today, fully in command of the situation, and he knew it; Tom realized bitterly.  Tom nodded and sat down at the long conference table.   Charlie came in, with a sheaf of legal papers, and Tom began to sign over total control of his company and assets in exchange receiving a substantial check; though not nearly substantial enough for the value surrendered. 

“My daughter and wife?” he asked bitterly, “What about them?”   

“They will be restored to normal, when Mr. Baldwin so instructs,” replied Jones.  

Glancing over at Baldwin, Tom gritted his teeth and asked, “So, when will that be?”

“As soon as I make sure this transaction goes through, Tom.   Naturally, I have to make sure I get full value for your 'security deposit' after all,” Baldwin replied, his eyes cold.   “Most likely tomorrow, however.”   Jones merely smiled enigmatically.

Tom nodded, looked over at the two men with a deep hatred in his eyes, and left.   Baldwin smiled after the door closed.  “I never liked that asshole. Jones, I have changed my mind about the deposit.  You can keep the daughter for your own purposed and, while you’re at it, I would like the statue of his wife brought here.   She will look nice decorating my foyer.   Oh, and take care of Mr. Bradley too; after all, he is a loose end and we don’t want him talking to anyone in his grief who might possibly believe him.”

Jones nodded, a bland smile on his lips, and got up to retrieve his prize.   Charlie returned just as Jones was about to leave and whispered something in Baldwin’s ear.                                             

“Wait a moment Mr. Jones, it would appear that our new assistant Barbara is a spy for someone.   Would you mind finding out who she is spying for, and what she had revealed?   You can keep her as well, when you’re done.”  Baldwin said, a grim smile on his face.   “Apparently she was making phone calls, telling someone who is here.  We can’t have that getting out.  Taking care of Tom Bradley can wait until later after all.”

Barbara was sitting at her desk, typing up some correspondence she had been given when Jones opened the door.  She wasn’t paying close attention to anything other than her typing when she realized that Jones (a scary man she thought) was standing in front of her desk, staring straight at her.   She met his eyes straight on and then suddenly she couldn’t look away.   Fear and terror filled her thoughts, a nameless dread, as she felt like she was falling into an infinite abyss.   Her last thought before her will and mind was snatched from her own control was “Why me, what did I ever do to deserve...” before her consciousness was totally snuffed out.   Some force commanded that she stand, so she stood, awaiting more commands. Taking the zombie that was Barbara into another office, Jones began to ask her probing questions.   Her free will destroyed, she readily answered; Jones quickly learned about Sarah and Wes, and the temp agency in San Luis Obispo, a couple of hours away.  Barbara didn’t know much about Wes, just that he had hypnotized her into reporting what she knew. Barbara gave Jones a complete description of Sarah, however.

After about an hour, obtaining everything she knew, as well as the information needed to make her disappear, Jones was satisfied.    Barbara sat in the chair, her wide eyes staring at nothing.  The mind probe had been very destructive, and the impact on her brain was severe.   Her memories were now in tatters; her identity and free will had been completely obliterated by Jones heavy grilling, much like the aftermath of a sledgehammer smashing open a flimsy wooden door.   She could now only fully recover if he healed her, and he had never really bothered to study that, nor did he really have the inclination to bother.   Her body still had some uses though.   She was an attractive, well-built woman, who had once been beautiful before children and the California sun had added stretch marks, fat and sun damage to her skin. Although she was 48 now, Barbara was still attractive and, with some alterations, she would make a fine addition to Baldwin’s collection after her extracted life force gave Jones the energy he needed to deal with this new threat.  

Jones stripped her of clothing, then commanded her to stand.   She immediately complied; her mind unable to refuse and, for that matter, no longer considering anything besides what she was told.    Jones posed her figure in a variety of positions then, finally satisfied, he froze her in that position with a wave of his hand.   Reaching over, he kissed her, and continued for several long moments.   His body began to glow a faint orange.   As he kissed her, she began to glow with a soft green aura and her body began to change.

First, her heavy hips shrank to a more pleasing size, and at the same time excess fat literally melted away as it fueled the changes in her body.   Her breasts, previously sagging a bit with stretch marks as well, firmed up and lifted into a more perky position, their nipples pointed and erect.  Stretch marks faded away, as did the sun lines and blemishes.   Like a clock speeding in reverse, years faded away; a now youthful woman, with a firm and ripe body, stood, still frozen in position as the magical kiss went on. 

Now, another change became noticeable.   Her skin was starting to fade in color, and with it, her hair.   Body hair dropped away, while her vagina tightened and shrank in size, before it and her anus disappeared completely.   Her belly button shrank in size, while her eyes, still open, began to glaze over.   Her pupils lost their rich brown coloring and began to fade as well.   As the kiss went on, her last breath left her with a sigh, and a crackling sound became noticeable.  Jones continued the kiss and the final stages of the transformation were completed.    Her blasted mind gradually drifted away as her cells crystallized one by one into inert stone.  All color bleached away completely, leaving her skin and hair an alabaster white, with her eyes gradually fading to sightless orbs of white as well.    Within moments, a lifeless but very beautiful marble statue was all that remained of Barbara.  

Jones looked different as well.   He now appeared more youthful and a few lines around his face were gone.  He smiled, this time even with his eyes, and patted the statue on her shapley stone rump.

“Thanks, Barbara; so nice of you to give yourself to me so completely.   Too bad you can do it only once.”

Jones walked outside jauntily, and had Charlie point out Barbara's car to him.  They both got in, using her keys, and drove it around back, where they got out.   In a few moments, with a wave of his wand, and the car was nothing but a small pile of colored dust, which the strong wind from the Pacific blew away seconds later. Like crumpling up a bit of clay, Jones likewise destroyed all traces of her keys and other possessions.

Charlie, horrified, but quiet, went back inside, to think about what he saw, and to fear what would happen if he ever crossed these people.


Jones got in his car, and drove away, bound for Tom’s house and to arrange his future to meet his every desire.

Jones was deep in thought as he drove south, wondering who this Wes fellow was that Barbara described.   Clearly, Wes had some powers like his, at least in mind control, but whether he was in his league in other powers was another question.  Time to settle that question, after he dealt with Tom. 



Chapter 6: Looting Baldwin’s treasures

Wes and Kristi stood hidden behind some trees along the Pacific 1 near Malibu.   Seconds before, they had simply appeared, and now they looked out over a cliff at the beach houses far below.  There was one in particular that they wanted, and time was short.  It was a warm day in Southern California, with a light breeze blowing in from the Pacific, the noise of the waves and occasional passing cars the only real sounds. 

“Are you ready?” Wes looked over at her as he asked.

“Yes; ready when ever you are, sweetheart,” Kristi said, smiling with excitement.  

Wes pulled out a little bag and handed her a ring, then placed one on his own finger.   As they put them on, both disappeared from normal sight, though they could see each other.   They then began walking quickly down the hill toward a house a couple hundred yards away.   Within minutes, they were at the front door, where a couple of alert men sat on beach chairs, watching all around, but not prepared for invisible invaders.

Kristi, cloaked still, walked up to each one, and kissed them on the lips.  Instantly, each fell asleep; the first slumped over and as the second man turned hurriedly he too joined the first in sleep.   Satisfied, they walked through the door without opening it.    They walked through the house, being careful not to sink into the floor, checking each room.  Another couple of men were watching television, and Kristi took out one with another kiss, while Wes touched one with a feather and that one went down as well.   Satisfied that everyone else was taken, Wes cast a spell, and the power immediately failed in the house and surrounding block. 

With the loss of power, the battery backups for the cameras failed as well, as did the auxiliary power lines supplying the alarm system. The house was ready to be searched.

Checking each room carefully, they found the poseable life-sized doll that was Pam, and then in a guest bedroom upstairs, the rigid plastic doll that had been Sabrina.   Satisfied, Wes shrank them both to portable size and placed them in his briefcase, then took the time to restore power to everything.   Kristi turned on the computers in the house, cleared any passwords, and made sure all were hooked up to the localnet. She then connected them to the external DSL line.   Only one computer was not fully hooked up, and she took the time to install a free internet service, create an account in Pam’s name, and link it to the web as well.    Kristi then pulled out her cell phone and called home, getting Cindy on the other side.   A brief conversation followed, and then the disk drive lights started flickering as computers all began one by one to upload their contents across the web to Cindy’s server machine miles away. 

Meanwhile, Wes turned each of the four sleeping men into Basset hounds and one by one carried them out into the yard.   He grinned, knowing that the spell would only last a few hours but that should keep them out of trouble and far away while he finished what they were up to.    He began by looking in the garage and toolshed for a power mower or leaf blower.

After about an hour, the job was done.   Wes knocked out the power again, then Kristi turned on the gas in the house after shutting all the doors and windows.   After a few minutes, satisfied that all was ready, Wes opened the door, and cast in another spell as Kristi watched from a few yards away.

Wes turned and ran, and after a moment, fell to the ground behind a landscaping boulder as the house exploded into flame, a huge fireball bursting out all the windows and flaming debris landing seconds on a couple of nearby cars, setting off their alarms too.   Standing up and brushing himself off, he grinned at the destruction.

“You OK, Kristi?” he asked.

“Yep, that was pretty spectacular; it even woke up the dogs,” she laughed. 

Indeed, all four hounds were barking hysterically, looking in all directions, then at each other.   After a minute, they all dashed at a full run for the trees nearby, tails between their legs. 

“Well, the fun part's over, its time to leave,” Wes said. “Head back to where we teleported in; I will meet you there.” 

Wes, still invisible, as was Kristi, took a few minutes to cast a few warding spells, ensuring that all traces of them were banished.   After a few minutes, satisfied, he joined Kristi in the woods, where they both took off their rings.   Kristi, still grinning and giggling, kissed him hard and could hardly contain herself, while Wes enjoyed her excitement.   After a few moments though, Wes began tracing another hexagon on the ground, and then kissing Kristi again, he pulled out the little plastic doll and while her back was turned as she watched the house continue to burn and the first fire trucks pull up, he touched her with it.    He always enjoyed this part as he watched the transforming glow begin to surround her.   He fondled her breasts, massaging her tits with one hand, while caressing her softly through her thin shorts with the other.   Already excited by the adrenaline of the day’s events, Kristi surrendered into orgasm just as the full effects of the transformation hit her and her body stiffened at the instant of climax.  

Inside of her mind, she screamed in joy just as the moment took off into the infinite.   Wes grinned, stroked Kristi's plastic cheek, and then shrank her down and placed her in the briefcase next to Sabrina and Pam.  

After a moment, taking one last look at the fiercely burning house and the now frantic firemen trying to put out the blaze, he smiled and stepped into the hexagon, spoke a command and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.   A few moments later, another gust of wind erased the sketched hexagon as if it had never been. 



Chapter 7: Jones gets a surprise

Meanwhile, nearly three hundred miles to the north, Mr. Jones pulled up to his favorite hotel and smiled his bland smile.   “I just love this atrocious monument to bad taste,” he said, the smile almost reaching his eyes.   Jones got out of his car, and again walked up to the lobby of the hotel, requested his favorite room again, and after a few minutes, was all settled.   Taking some time to drink some juice, he readied himself for his next task. 

Drawing another doorway on the wall as he had a few days before, he stepped through onto Bradley’s yard.   He heard sounds coming from the front of the house, so he walked through the back door after unlocking it with a gesture, and strode into the living room.   He saw several pieces of luggage on the floor, and just then, one of the bodyguards stepped through the kitchen toward the living room.  Jones aimed his wand, and the man fell to the ground, his eyes staring at nothing and a small trickle of blood seeping from his mouth, nose and eyes.  

Jones walked through the door to the garage, spotted another man moving luggage around in the trunk, and that man too fell to the ground, dead in an instant.    Taking a moment to close the garage door, shutting the view of the scene from any potential neighbors or passers by, Jones stepped over the corpse and back into the kitchen.   Just then, the third bodyguard stepped out of the hallway, just in front of Tom, and they both immediately saw the body and then Jones. 

“Oh shit” Jake said, pulling his gun, while Tom immediately turned and ran back down the hall.   Before Jake could fire, a beam of light hit him in the face,and he fell backwards, trying but failing to scream as his body glowed, then became indistinct, almost as if it was a bad television picture.   After a moment Jake lay on the ground, still, his face in a horrified grimace, while his body leaked blood and fluids from its now burst chest.    Jones stepped over the messy corpse, and moved down the hall in a careful purposeful walk.  One more to go.

Tom ran terrified into the bedroom, looking frantically for the shotgun he kept hidden.  He heard Jake fall with a wet plop, and a sob slipped out as panic filled him.   Finally, he found the shotgun at the top of the closet and he was just turning and leveling it at the door when Jones entered the room and a bright light struck Tom directly in the face.   Instantly, Tom’s face grew slack, his eyes glazed, and nerveless fingers dropped the shotgun on the ground.   Taking a moment to thoroughly assume control of the industrialist, Jones then proceeded to ask him very some pointed questions about where the statue that had been his wife was. Tom's mind was an open book and all the secrets were there for the taking.

Jones was fascinated as he learned more about Wes.   “Apparently this Wes is just like me” he thought, as he probed further.   He learned all about Wes providing Tom with Melissa, and Kristi, who apparently was an assistant, as well the fact that apparently Wes had a plan to restore Tom’s money after taking out Baldwin.   Only as an aside did he learn the details about the mistress, Vannessa, and that Wes was helping her to hide as well.

“He wants you very badly too,” Tom droned on, his mind now completely shattered under the power of the mind control probe.

“Well, I guess I could use some excitement,” Jones replied blandly.  His eyes finally lit up with real joy for the first time as he pondered how exciting a confrontation would be.   A battle of giants, so to speak. But it was time to wrap things up for now.    No nasty evidence should remain.

Jones took a few more moments to completely destroy any free will that Tom had left, as well as smash his memories and ensure that he was now nothing more than a mindless drone.   Then, he locked Tom in the hall closet, turned on the gas in the house and just before walking through his magic door, cast another spell.   

All was quiet for a moment, the yard now empty, and only the faint hiss of a gas jet could be heard.   Then a shattering explosion erupted from the large wood frame house, with a secondary explosion from the gas tanks of the cars following a few minutes later.   Inside the closet, Tom had only a fleeting moment to feel the heat of the blast, before the blackness took him.

Stepping into his hotel room, Jones took a few moments to rest.   The effort of casting all of the magic over the last few minutes had been draining, and what energy he had pulled from Barbara was not enough to cover all he had used.   He would either need to rest or find someone else to gain energy from.   As time was becoming a problem, now that it had become clear he had competition, he decided he has better find someone to recharge from.   He remembered the hotel had a dress shop, and decided maybe it could use another display mannequin. 

Taking a moment to check his appearance, he smiled his cold bland smile, and stepped out of the room.   He could hear the distant wail of sirens and he smiled to himself.   He glanced over by the pool, and noticed several people looking over to the horizon, where a dark plume of smoke could be seen a couple of miles away.  

Jones walked back into the lobby, then turned left into the large gift and clothing store.   This late in the afternoon, most of the guests were at dinner or just checking in, so the clerk was bored.   She was a young woman in her 30s, her hair a bleached blonde, and wearing too much makeup but she wasn’t unattractive.   Some improvements and she would make a fine mannequin, he thought to himself.   Checking carefully to be sure they were alone, he then asked her to check something out for him.   As she walked over to look at the shirt he was holding up in order to check the price, he grabbed her and spun her around before kissing her right on the lips.  

Shocked, Valerie couldn’t believe what happened.   He was impossibly strong, and try as she might, including attempting to knee him in the groin like she had been taught in class, she couldn’t get away.   Then suddenly, she realized she couldn’t move, that every slow movement felt like she was lifting a million pounds.   She felt strange too; the kiss, although at first unwanted, was becoming more and more pleasant and she felt a tremendous heat building in her loins.  

After a moment, she began kissing him back hungrily as waves of pleasure surged through her body.   An observer would see her changing now, her hips and thighs slimming fractionally, her heavy breasts shrinking to a more reasonable but very pleasant shape and size, her double chin fading away and any lines and blemishes clearing up.   Within a couple of minutes, still lost in the rapture of the kiss, she had assumed the shape she had when she was a 20-year-old beach bunny drawing the eyes of all the boys.  

Jones continued to kiss her, and the waves of pleasure were now smashing down her will and she was completely lost in them.  No longer able to think, she no longer realized that she could not move.   She became stiffer and stiffer, a plastic sheen now showing on the exposed flesh of her face and arms.   After another moment of building ecstasy, a final wave of pleasure shattered her last thoughts and she blacked out.   Never to wake up again.   

Jones now looked even younger too, almost in his twenties now.   He released the stiff plastic mannequin that used to be Valerie, the sales clerk, and smiled, his eyes glinting with pleasure.  He moved her over next to another display mannequin, then took a moment to improve the actual mannequin so that it looked as lifelike as Valerie.   Smiling again, he left the gift shop, just as an elderly couple walked in, nodding a pleasant greeting.

“Apparently all the staff is out at the moment,” Jones said lightly.  “I couldn’t find anyone to help me,” he lied.    With that, Jones returned to his room to consider his next move against Wes and his ladies.



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