A view from one thousand feet was doubly impressive as the sleek corporate helicopter hugged the hilly terrain, skimming over huge tracts of coniferous trees and groomed fields while dodging the higher peaks that seemed to challenge them at times. The countryside appeared to be completely vacant; then there appeared an open area and a complex of buildings and landscaped gardens that seemed to dominate the vast estate while at the same time being an inseparable part of it. Off to one side there were a couple of additional buildings; garages or guest houses, Dave guessed.
The older man spoke, barely raising his voice to be heard over the whisper-quiet engines and rotors. "I've owned the mansion for a long time now. But it was too stuffy for the family and I have the penthouse in the city. Now I have other things going on in the mansion and avoid having people always being there who don't know the secret of the Suspendor."
David Brighton wondered what surprises his uncle would have for him as he sat inside the airborne helicopter. It was strange, flying without being the pilot, but nothing could be stranger then the secret of the wonderful life-like mannequins of Winson's, the chain of women's fashion stores owned by his uncle. But if Walker Winson was right, there were even more amazing things than those stationary lovelies and Dave was on his way to the mansion to see some of the fantastic wonders his uncle had promised.
It was all related to the Suspendor, a device that created the gorgeous, beautiful female mannequins used by Winson's from the gorgeous, beautiful female models who worked for the store. As he understood it, the latest form of the Suspendor used a tiny receiver / transmitter in things like earrings and rings to send coded pulses of radio waves, depending on what radio signal received from the Suspendor's controls. The waves created a field that could freeze a model into what looked like a display mannequin and that nobody could tell from a real mannequin. Another signal would wake up the model. Dave had already seen the incredible effects of the device in the downtown Winson's store.
The mannequin-model could be hard-frozen to complete immobility, like they were when on display in the store, or they could be left flexible enough to be poseable by somebody else into a stance they would hold rigidly until they woke up or were re-posed. Walker had explained they would remain totally suspended once the device was activated, with no additional energy required to keep the models in the frozen condition during everything that happened afterward. That meant there were no worries about batteries running down or power failures for the static users of the Suspendor. It also meant the immobilized models could spend years or centuries fully suspended as a mannequin and the subject would never know it. Dave wondered why his uncle thought to mention that idea.
"What do you do at the mansion now?" Dave asked. He wondered again what could be at the mansion to be better than what was at the store.
"I keep some of my -art- and other things I have collected over the years there. Sometimes I hold big parties there if I invite a lot of people. And some of my key fashion designers have a studio there so they can have peace and quiet while they work."
"You don't live there anymore?"
"Not really. Too big for a man like me. Besides," Walker smiled, "I would spend all the time with the models and I would never get any work done! Ah! Here we are!"
The helicopter circled over the mansion proper. It was large ashen building, three stories tall in the center, surrounded by large ornately landscaped grounds and lawns dotted with several white stone statues positioned on pedestals of varying heights. Dave wondered how many were really suspended models. A small, craggy, mountain on one side of the fenced-in estate finished the scene. He could also see a large swimming pool in back, flanked by more unmoving artworks.
His uncle replied as if reading Dave's mind. "And in case you want to know, most of those lawn statues are posed by my suspended ladies. Does mean we have to be careful about protecting them from birds and storms but they're easier to move around than the real statues, when I want them to. And they don't break, either."
The chopper hovered briefly, then landed on an asphalt pad next to the mansion and the two men got out and ran from the noisy flying machine. It took off immediately and flew away, to the relief of the gorgeous young woman dressed in a typical French maid's livery who was waiting patiently for the men. She had been holding on to her little lace hair ruffle until the wind from the blades subsided, but seemed unconcerned about how the breeze was lifting up her short skirt and exposing what looked like satin panties. Her long legs were sheathed in black fishnet stockings and she wore gleaming black patent leather high-heels. The bodice of the uniform was low-cut, revealing an ample amount of cleavage that bounced slightly as she stepped forward to meet them.
"Monsieur Walker! Welcome back!" The woman said with a cute accent. The brief maid's uniform looked good on her great form. "We all have missed you since you last visit here!"
"Thank you Collette. I hope everything is in order and nothing is wrong?"
"Oui, monsieur. We wait, for your wish." She curtseyed.
"Just like the old days, Collette? Anyway, this is my nephew Dave."
"Bonjour, monsieur David." Collette curtseyed again to Dave, pronouncing his name as 'Da-veed'.
"Hi, nice to meet you. Please call me Dave." Dave offered his hand, and Collette shyly shook it. She smiled.
"How about we go in so you can meet everybody else? I'm sure that you will like what you see." Walker said. The shapely maid led the way as Dave took in an eyeful and thought to himself I already do..
The next lovely maid standing just inside the glass doors was dressed like Collette, but with short dark hair instead of their greeter's blonde locks. She stood bolt straight, staring ahead, feet together, arms bent horizontal holding out a small tray with a remote control used to operate the suspendors. She didn't move a bit as they came in, not even when Dave said hello to her. He could see that her wide vacant eyes were jade green in color. On a second closer look, she was not costumed exactly like Collette, instead wearing black seamed nylon hose and garters along with a G-string thong that left her nicely rounded backside exposed.
"Surprising ah? Some of my house staff like Collette or Yvette here like to be suspended as much as I like to suspend them." Walker laughed as he took the remote control from the tray and pointed at frozen Yvette. A few seconds later, she reanimated.
The curvy maid blinked, looked around, and saw the group. She smiled pleasantly as she saw Walker and curtseyed to him and to Dave. "Bonjour Monsieur Walker. I am at your service, as always."
"Thanks Yvette. How long have you been here waiting for me?"
"Since last Tuesday, monsieur. Collette wanted to take the position. I got it though." She and Collette smiled.
"Hm. Well, Yvette, I'd like you meet my nephew David. He prefers being called Dave though."
"Bonjour monsieur Dave. It is my pleasure to meet you." Yvette curtseyed once more, showing her beautiful legs and bending just enough so the young man could see directly down her dress.
"Do you become suspended... often?" Dave asked.
"Oui!" Yvette replied with a giggle. "It is a privilege of working for your uncle. WE can't be frozen enough!"
"All the maids find it a very enjoyable experience. And since my maids are the best and most beautiful in the world..." Walker said as the maids smiled.
"There is like nothing in the world like being frozen." Collette gushed. "It is fabulous, magnificent, glorious.." the maid then started speaking lots of rapid French words that Dave thought could be describing a wonderful experience. She finished with another dazzling smile and "Merci, monsieur Walker."
"And we get paid quite well for it, too. Your uncle is a very generous man." Yvette said.
"And you are all very generous ladies. Now Collette, I think its time for you to replace Yvette as the maid 'in waiting' for me."
"Oui monsieur!" Collette said happily with a wide smile as she took the silver tray from Yvette. She adopted the pose the other maid had been in and took a deep breath. "I'm ready, monsieur Walker." She said in an eager tone.
Walker operated his remote and Dave saw another beautiful woman freeze into a lovely statue/mannequin. There was a fleeting moment when Collette was suspended that Dave just knew she could not move at all; a little shudder that might have been from pleasure as her body stiffened into position. Her smile seemed to harden into place as her eyes became glassy. Anyway, it was a thrilling event to watch.
"Something that I never get tired of," Walker Winson echoed. "At times I wonder if I'm paying my ladies to be frozen or my ladies are getting the better part of the deal; good money along with being frozen," he said rhetorically, appreciating the rigid beauty of the frozen maid Collette.
Walker chuckled to himself. "I don't care, since I win either way." He nodded to Yvette. "Please, let's show my nephew the rest of the mansion now. I think he will want to see everything he can in it." Placing the remote in his pocket he left the silver serving tray that the mannequinized Collette was holding empty for now. She would never know the difference...
"Oui, monsieur. It will be a honor, monsieur Dave. I hope you will like what you see." She led the way, wagging her shapely derriere at him.
"Where do you get the girls to appear like that? I mean, do you paint them or something? And how do they shine like real marble or stone?" The two men and the maid were walking through the halls and rooms of a mansion that was filled with expensive things, seemingly from the floor to the ceiling. The opulent luxury of the mansion continued to surprise Dave everytime he looked at something. But what surprised him even more was the number of frozen ladies posed as statues and mannequins throughout the vast mansion.
Some of the ladies were dressed in formal period clothing that Dave had seen in old black and white pictures or paintings. Others were posed as classic nudes or draped in cloth like ancient Romans or Greeks. Some of the models were made-up to look like Cleopatra or some other famous women from the historic past. Dave thought he also recognized Helen of Troy, Aphrodite, and a cool blonde he swore was the spitting image of Veronica Lake, posed as if on a movie set. There were so many of them in so many different poses and dress styles that Dave was almost unable to take them all in. And yet he had not seen the biggest thing.
"For the marble statues we paint the girls the color of the stone after we cover them in lacquer or for some colors, special plastic sprays. Like Teflon but better for their appearance. Then after the paint we put on another spray for more gloss or a waxy look or the polished look." Walker stopped to look at one of the statues closely. This figure was made up with a white marble coloration, standing straight up, left leg slightly bent and on her toes behind the other foot. The arms were held up in the air above her head holding a gold colored medieval cup; the woman's face was posed looking up at it. Her pale skin gleamed in the overhead lights. "They usually hold still for a longer time too, when they've been 'stoned' like this."
"Who does this?"
"The models?" Dave nodded, in constant amazement. "Well, girls from my stores and other businesses, mostly. Some of them like being statues a lot more than others and some like to spend a long time in suspension. And even my mannequin models need to take some time off. So they come here to be frozen and displayed for long periods as a vacation. I get an amazing artwork for six months, and they get a really good rest. Simple as that." Walker chuckled. "I like it when I have parties and invite some of the girls who had been posed as art, after they are unfrozen. Some of the other guests who have seen the girls when they were artworks are just amazed at how the girls look like so much like the statues that I had to 'move' away. For some reason, they never figure out the real reason for the resemblance. And the girls play along by keeping the secret too. Sometime I'll have to tell you about the twins in the fountain..." he trailed off into the remembrance with a smile.
"Not that you make it easy. To take any of them away, that is. I see you have a lot of security." Dave had picked up on a lot of the cameras and alarms that he could see, but he was certain there were even more that he could not find.
"Of course. I have the most valuable jewels in the world here and I don't want anything bad to happen to them." Walker said enigmatically. Dave wasn't sure of his uncle was talking about the girls or something else. "Ah, here we are!" the older man announced, stopping at the side of a corridor flanked by lovely women in designer dresses, all posed frozen as mannequins.
was such a simple door that Dave would have missed it without looking for it.
A little sign saying "Fashion Department" was the only thing that marked its
purpose. "Here's where my fashion team help make a lot of the styles you see
in the stores. Not everything, but a lot. I want Winson's to be known for our
clothes and elegant fashion and this is one of the places it comes from. Anyway,
I think so." Walker knocked on the door and then opened it without waiting for
a response. "It also gives me an excuse to have more beautiful frozen models
The working parts of the mansion used by the Winson's fashion designers were not as fancy as the living quarters, sculpture gallery, or garden but were still very expensive looking. There was actually not that many designers in attendance at the moment, but many people working for them fluttered about like a chaotic ballet that only counterpointed the more static occupants. Expensive looking sewing machines, materials, computers, drawings, photography equipment, and complete dresses and women's clothes cluttered the room.
And then there were the models. The studio was filled with a phalanx of stunning frozen girls who were lined next to one wall, waiting to be used for fitting the clothes. There were also forms and real mannequins, but it appeared that that suspended girls were the most popular for the designers, since they held their poses and didn't need to move. Dave thought he recognized the exotically beautiful face of at least one supermodel standing stiffly on a dais, draped in metallic fabric. He supposed (correctly) that they, too, occasionally needed some time off.
"Sorry for the rush and everything, but we got a big road show in Paris and Milan soon and we want everything to be just exactly right." The chief designer, a very pretty young woman named Sabrina, said to them as she rushed by. The room was also a place to work, and the designers and the staff were busy creating clothing designs as the two men watched. The frozen models were also busy, but they probably did not know it as the others rushed and worked around their suspended bodies.
"That's okay," the elder Winson called out to her as she flew by. "I wanted to show my nephew here what you do in a regular day. Next year's fashions are looking very good." Walker said as he looked critically at the clothes on one of the frozen models, a shapely brunette modeling a stylish cocktail dress. The fabric had an odd optical property that made it appear almost transparent from certain directions.
"Yes, I think, but it has been so busy." Sabrina rushed to one of her staff and changed some drawings. "We have not the time to think about how it all looks. And we have not had anytime, to relax. Couldn't even wake the models but they can get more time off than we do. Some days, I envy them their frozen jobs."
Yvette envied them, also, standing there so still and being dressed in such beautiful things. She, however, said nothing.
Someone else ran up, interrupting the designer's train of thought. "Sabrina, we got some problems with the outfits for Paris. The evening and formal gowns." A thin man said, carrying a stack of drawings and talking in a light Italian accent. "These cut will not work the way we want."
"Just alter - wait, I'll come and take a look." Sabrina introduced the man to the group. "This is Signore Tony. The best designer outside of Ralph Lauren or Versace. Tony, this is Walker's nephew Dave, who's come to take a look of your designs."
"Except I design clothes for the woman. Not the man. There's no such thing so as beautiful as the female form and I have to thank Mr. Walker for special chance to work with so many beautiful women." The man bowed. "I wish I had time to tell you of, show you, the wonderful dresses I have created to be worn by the most ravishing of all women, but we are busy, too busy to do such things right now." The man shrugged. "You will have to come back to another time when we are less running to see the glories our clothes and models."
"I look forward to that. I don't want to take time out of a busy day like today." Dave said as he looked at the frozen models being fitted for clothes. They were mostly in lingerie, but some of them were completely unclothed; the distinction between model and mannequin blurred again as Dave took in their creamy, perfect complexions and motionless sculpted curves.
"No, we should apologize." Sabrina said as she looked at some material, then handed it to an assistant as she rushed past. "Really, please come back when we finish up with this and we will be happy to show you the dresses and models and the dresses we have." Someone else came up to drag the designer away for yet another crisis.
"They seem very busy." Dave told his uncle, rhetorically.
"Always. Best people I know in the business, but they worry too much about being perfect. They want the perfect shape on their models too." Walker shook his head. They walked out of the room. "Could get very precise about it. They keep giving me a lot of measurements and numbers for the girls they would like to use. I can find them, sometimes, but even the world over there are only so many." He turned to the maid Yvette, who had accompanied them into the studio. "Remind me to reward Sabrina after this show with some suspended time in a window or one of the tableaux; I think she might enjoy modeling one of her own creations for a while..."
"Oui, monsieur Walker," she replied.
"Must be fun finding the right girl." Dave looked at a nude statue of a girl painted in a gleaming copper color holding a copper bowl. Some plants and flowers floated in the water in the bowl, while the statue glowed in a nimbus of brilliant light.
"That's the fun part. That's a real statue, by the way, molded from a body cast." Walker knocked on the statue and got a hollow metallic sound. "I like to try and confuse some of the guests by keeping them guessing which are suspended girls and which are real statues."
"Must be expensive." Dave wondered if the model for this statue was herself frozen in another part of the mansion.
"Definitely. Harder to move too." Walker stopped at another door that Dave would have missed usually. "Here's a little something special for you to see." There was no sign on it announcing what this portal led to.
The room within was brightly lit and carpeted like any rest area with couches, TV, chairs, table, frige, stereo, soda machine and even plants. There were a couple of doors leading to different rooms that Dave didn't see, and a curtain covering a wall that Walker went to and opened. "And this is a place that Yvette and Collette and my other maids know very well."
Behind the curtain was a glass wall with a series of doors built-in. Behind each glass was a space like a long but not deep walk-in closet. And within, standing straight at attention, were at least a dozen maids, all dressed identically to Yvette and Collette, all lined up next to each other. All standing quite still, looking at infinity. All completely stiff and suspended.
"This is where we like to be when we rest during the day." Yvette said. "Something about being frozen is so relaxing that we sometimes don't go to our quarters but come here. If you want to rest for a short while, you just touch the remote control here," she pointed to a control panel next to the glass and curtain, "and go in and get into position. The computer does the rest. It also wakes you if you're set to go to work again and we can always change the controls." Yvette smiled. "It is very restful and enjoyable."
By way of demonstration, Yvette touched the controls in a quick pattern of numbers, as if she were dialing a phone number she knew by heart. At the last keypress, one of the glass panels slid upward into the wall to reveal an empty 'closet' that she stepped into, then pressed another button on the inside. The glass panel slid back down immediately; Yvette had only a few seconds to get into position. She had the chance to look directly at Dave and started to smile when she froze into a lovely still mannequin who seemed to be looking straight through him. Even as a statue, or perhaps because of it, she was incredibly attractive.
looked at Dave. The younger man was speechless as he looked at the frozen women
like life-size dolls dressed as French maids. "Just one part of this place.
Hope you like it."
"Walker, where do you get the money to pay for all of this? You must have more gold than El Dorado!" Dave asked his uncle. "This is just amazing!"
"Oh, invested some money when I was young. Then I found some more in another country. Just part of the job." Walker said mysteriously as he, Dave, and a revived Yvette continued their tour of the mansion. "Lets simply say I got a lot of money while doing my duty and then I had the means to do this."
"Okay..." Dave did not know what to say, but he kept on wondering at the wonders he saw.
They came to a large room with one whole wall consisting of many large windows with a good view of the mansion grounds. Even the doors had lots of glass in them and Dave could see a big pool inside the room. "Indoor pool, uncle? I thought you were afraid of the water."
"That's not for me. I have different uses for it." Walker said with a smile. "I let my staff like Yvette come here to use it."
"Oui, monsieur Dave. Your uncle is a very good employer. It is very nice to work here for him." she concluded.
"That's when the pool is free, of course. There are other uses for it as well, like what you will see now." Walker pointed to all the people inside the room. There was a lot of activity around the pool when he and Dave went in.
On one side of the pool apron were a couple of people in scuba gear. They seemed to be working on some cameras, shrouded like the ones used for pictures underwater. Two beautiful women in two piece swimsuits were going through various poses, sitting or standing. The pool had dark colored walls, not the usual white or turquoise. There looked like bright color streamers and some plants floating from the pool's bottom. And some funny looking things on the bottom, and a couple of divers arranging or moving them. Dave looked carefully but could not see what they were from where he stood. Across the pool, there was an elevated seat where a voluptuous model dressed in a red one-piece swimsuit sat calmly frozen. Dave thought she looked familiar, then realized that Baywatch had been canceled for some time. Then he saw something else in the water.
"What is that stuff on the bottom? They don't look like the things you find in a normal pool." Dave asked his uncle. He pointed at the shapes on the bottom.
"Look again." Walker suggested. "They belong there in another way."
Dave stepped closer and looked down at the bottom of the pool where the light was better, and his jaw dropped. "Are there people on the bottom of the pool? Is that it? How do they stay there without coming up for air?" He saw what looked to be a life-sized mermaid, perched on a boulder, and a 'sunbather' that seemed to take no notice she was submerged in ten feet of water.
"Suspended models. Yes. We do some underwater fashion photo shoots here."
Walker smiled as he waved at the camera crew. "Met some photographers who do that once at some convention and liked the idea. They were saying how hard it is for models to do underwater shoots because of the need to get air, water getting into their nose and mouth and it being hard to look natural or comfortable for any long period of time. Course I had a way around those problems..."
"Hi Mr. Winson. Who's your guest?" One of the two models asked. She was tall and slender with blonde hair and green eyes that were a good match with the deep blue with green trim of her suit. "I'm Darlene by the way."
"And I'm Leanne." The brunette with gray eyes and large bust said. She was wearing a black-with-yellow-trim suit that failed completely in being able to cover her bounteous bosom or shapely derriere.
"Ladies, this is my nephew Dave. Great guy but he's taken already." Walker winked and everybody laughed. "He's here to see you put a shoot together."
"Like you always do?" Darlene joked. "Nice to met you, Dave and its no biggie. You heard of the suspendor I guess?"
"And seen it at the store, as well at this place. It's amazing. Yvette here seems to spend every free moment frozen stiff."
"Us, too." Leanne nodded with a smile. "We love using it, as you can see. Anyway, when your uncle asked for volunteers for the water shoots, a group of us rushed to be accepted. Its just like any swimsuit shoot - just underwater."
"How many are you here? How do you do everything?"
"There's eight of us. Pool is not big enough for more." Darlene replied. "We usual run through poses and settings on the surface. When we decide on a good one, the camera team freezes us solid and moves us into place in the pool. For some reason they don't want to suspend us after we get into the pool." She chuckled a little.
"Would make the job too hard." A man came over and shook hands with Dave. "I'm Ted, the principal photographer. Nice of you to visit us now, since we're about to start a shoot." He look at Darlene and Leanne appreciatively. "We're almost ready. Five more minutes, gals."
"Thanks Ted. Anyway Dave, when we freeze, the team basically sticks plugs into our noses so water doesn't get in. Really sucks when they forget to do that. We also have to use a gag." Darlene held up a dark rubber ball. "In the mouth to keep water from getting down into our throats when the mouth isn't closed. Takes a while to get used to but you always remember to get it out after you're re-activated."
"Sometimes the crew forgets to remove the nose plugs after they pull you out. That's a surprise when it happens and you've been activated." Leanne smiled. "But that's about it." She didn't say anything about the other things that could happen, but the other model piped up.
"Except when they change your swimsuit while you're frozen." Darlene laughed. "Same jokers from the store have the same tricks here. They sometimes leave you with nothing on, or as a stand-up in the shallow end. Or when they repose you. Last time I awoke, the crew had put a mermaid outfit on some of us. This time it looks like Mimi there got the treatment." She glanced into the crystal clear deep water.
"And we have photos too." Ted said. "Girls, decided on the pose yet?"
"Yep. Anyway, we have to work now, so it was nice to met you Dave." Leanne blew a kiss at him, then struck a pose with feet apart, right arm bent and hand behind her neck with left arm up and back. At the same time, Ted used his remote and turned Leanne into a frozen statue.
"Wow." Dave was still impressed by the process of turning a girl into statuary. Even after all the times he seen it, the feat still surprised him.
"You thought that was a wow? I think I can top that..." Darlene sat down poolside and arched her back, one arm back and holding herself upright. Her torso turned to the side she was raised on, while she swept the other hand into her hair and stretched her legs one over the other. With a brilliant smile, Darlene winked at Dave and then too was suspended into an immobile mannequin. Almost as soon as the two had been turned into rigid statues, the scuba divers started to carry them into the pool, paying no more attention to their unmoving condition than if they had always been that way.
"Mind helping us a little, Dave?" One of them called out.
"Sure." Dave helped lift the frozen figure of Darlene to the edge of the pool and lower her into the water, where she sunk slowly to the bottom, guided by another diver. Feeling how hard the girl was, Dave noticed she was complete frozen solid and really seemed like a statue that resembled a beautiful woman. Dave gripped Leanne around her stiffened waist and handed her down to those in the water. Divers carefully took the two models and lowered them into the bottom of the pool, before diving to arrange them with the other frozen models.
Ted himself took some of the underwater cameras and put his scuba gear on, before dropping into the water after his models. The other divers followed. Soon there was bluish-white flashes in the water as photos were taken. Dave thought it was amazing how the models' hair swirled around in the current as if they were weightless. After repositioning the models, the photographer took more shots of them from a variety of angles.
"Wonder why I never put an underwater window into the pool. Always wanted to see the shoot live, but never got the time." Walker smiled as he looked into the pool. "Makes me wish I could use scuba gear."
"It's all incredible. It's just incredible." Dave turned and saw that Yvette was standing straight, like at attention. Looking ahead, her hands together and on her apron, she looked like she was waiting for something, very patiently. But something told Dave that was not quite right. He turned to his uncle and raised an eyebrow by way of questioning.
"Oh, Yvette's been frozen since we got in here. You know she likes being suspended so much, and since she has seen the tour so often before, I decided to freeze her while you were checking out the underwater setup." Walker raised the remote control he had taken from Yvette before he had first unfrozen her. "For some reason, the maids never seem to mind it."
"I can imagine." Dave thought as he remembered all the women who had said they loved being frozen, back in the store. Danielle, Janice, Tanya, Sandra, Kristie. They all loved it. This one, too; that was something. "Are you planning to wake her?"
"No, lets give her some time off. We'll just move her out like this.." The two men lifted the frozen French maiden out of the pool room and placed her just outside the glass doors of the indoor pool, facing outward into the corridor. She looked quite cute standing there waiting for somebody to ask her for something. That person would have to be carrying a remote...
"Now, I think we're done with the pool. Maybe I shall give you another thing to see." Walker looked at his watch. "Now it is time for lunch, so why don't we go get some? I can show you everything else after a good meal."
"Sounds good." Dave Brighton wondered what else there could be to top the sights he had seen so far.
There was more of course. Far more.
"What is she supposed to be? And her?" Dave pointed.
The two motionless women were quite beautiful. Tall and slender with long legs and the lithe look of runners. The black beauty with chocolate skin was taller but the redhead was a bit more curvy. Both were dressed in form-fitting black leather bodysuits and were posed like they were ready to perform karate or some other martial art not far removed from dance. "They look like they want to beat somebody up."
"And they can." Walker looked fondly on the two figures. "Dave, met Talia and Bridgette. They are members of my security force here and despite their ornamental appearance they know more ways to fight people then I thought there were ways."
After a short lunch where two more French maids had served them a wonderful meal, Walker and Dave had gone into the middle of the mansion where all the stores and the services were based. They had visited the security room with monitors for the alarms and cameras placed all over the mansion. And then they had gone to the room where the security guards were stationed and found this tableaux.
"For some reason they like dressing like some biker commandos. Most of their team dresses better for undercover work. Yet they like to stay frozen too, to be able to surprise anybody who breaks in and doesn't get detected by the regular guards." Walker ran a hand over Talia's face and got no reaction whatsoever. "This time she's not faking it. They also pretend to be thieves and try to break in and test our security in here as well as at the stores. Here, you can ask them yourself." Walker stepped back slightly and used the remote.
The two women awoke ready to fight until they saw Walker with Dave. They then exchanged introductions in a businesslike manner. Talia had the sensual look of a jungle cat, while Bridgette seem ready to toss a bad guy or a drink.
"We try to make sure the best security is available for your uncle's estate." Talia explained. "Besides testing the security system and the guards, some of us also go undercover. Some are positioned with the models, some with the artworks and some with the staff, like the maid corps. All of my team are the best trained security pros in the world, and most have been in the military, like you, or law enforcement."
Dave hadn't mentioned his vocation to them at all, and up until now they had been frozen. Either they were excellent judges of character or had been briefed previously. Impressive, whichever was the case. "How do you go undercover? I mean, as part of the staff I can understand, but in with the models and artworks?"
"Very simple, Dave." Bridgette responded, tossing her hair in an offhandedly sexy manner. "WE act like the models and artwork ourselves. But we have a special chip in our suspendors that automatically wakes us up when the alarm is sounded. We also wear a tiny hidden earpiece and microphone to communicate with the rest of the team so we know what's going on when the alert sounds. Hardly ever are we completely suspended. Plus, some of the team is active at all times to back up the regular guards."
Talia continued. "All of us are always near our gear. For some of the team acting as artwork, we have the weapons in the pedestals or bases, especially if they are on the lawns. The military statues are of course the easiest; those aren't prop swords they're holding! They also wear a special layer of stiff lacquer, that holds them still when they remain awake, but can be quickly dissolved by a special chemical they carry when they choose. That can really surprise anybody getting past the fence and onto the lawn."
"How many are you here?"
"I can not say, sir. You will have to ask your uncle." Talia replied. Dave look at his uncle but Walker shrugged.
"Are you just on the estate?"
"No sir. We have operatives at all Winson's stores and offices as well. We have been hired to protect your uncle's business and we try to protect as much of them as possible." Talia stopped. "We also provide security for the more important parts of the estate, places that nobody else is supposed to visit."
"Were any of you models before?"
"Of course." Bridgette winked. "You'd be surprised at how many models seem to have what we look for in operatives. Skills like electronics or lock-picking, disguises, languages, weapons, and martial arts. Take Erika." She pointed at a tall blonde woman in similar tight-fitting leather outfit and posed rigidly in a classic stance from "Charlie's Angels" along with two other unmoving girls. "She was a top mannequin model in your uncle's store before we signed her on. She has a black belt in karate and knows all the electronics widgets we need to keep this place safe. Once we hired her and gave her additional police training, she returned to the store as a model, but is ready to provide security at the drop of a hat."
Dave approached the frozen model closely and looked into her beautiful face, noting her cornflower blue eyes and her short bangs that had fallen across her forehead as she remained in position. It was difficult to believe that anyone so gorgeous could be an effective security officer too, but he realized that was his prejudice from military service. These girls would be, different.
"Erika succeeded in catching a couple shoplifters in the main store and some thieves trying to steal a lot more. She also stopped an attempt by some rival agents to steal the suspendor technology. They try to take a few of the girls away, but the operatives there stopped them cold." Talia was justifiably proud of her co-worker and fellow model and it showed in her voice.
"I hope so!" Dave was shocked. "How could anybody do that? Remove the girls, I mean."
"A rival department store working on their own realistic living mannequin line. We knew they wanted to see how we did it, but we never expected they'd try to break in and steal a couple of the mannequins. One of them was Erika, here; case closed. Business is usually good but sometimes it can get difficult." Walker said. "One of my competitors. Not the best company. We heard rumors of what they failed with while trying to create a mannequin line but we never confirmed it. Like they actually know how we do it. No one will ever say a word."
"That's why we constantly train and test our security. We don't want any other attempts like that to succeed, so we make sure they don't get past square one." Talia nodded. "We don't intend to see anything happen like that on our watch."
"Do you have any more questions?" Bridgette asked. "We have all the time in the world and we like a man who looks like he knows how to handle himself in a fight, though we can teach you a few things. Not just in fighting, either." She licked her lips.
"Ah, no. I'll ask when I can think of something more." Dave was impressed by the women and their forthright manners. They definitely looked like they knew what they were doing. And probably more so than him. It was a little intimidating, until he realized they were on his side.
"Very good. Now, since we've been activated, we should practice our skills. We have to be ready at any time. Excuse us." Both Talia and Bridgette nodded at Walker and Dave, and left the room.
Dave gasped, wondering how many times he'd said that word. "Wow."
"That was a very attractive bunch for your security." Dave said to Walker. They were walking in a long corridor below the mansion after the meeting with the rest of Talia's and Bridgette's team. Dave had not seen before a group of biker babes like that! "And they like being statues too? Kind of hard to believe..."
"You heard how they like it." Walker smiled as he led Dave from door to another. "Once they freeze, a lot of girls can't get enough. Even the ones who are guarding me." He laughed. "You know, some of the team are acting like statuary nudes around the estate. Totally in the altogether; not even a G-string or anything! And they're ready to just go from being total freeze to taking some bad guy down without anything on. They're that good."
"I want to see them in action like that!" Dave laughed with his uncle.
"I think we have a couple of incidents recorded on video tape. The staff aren't just on duty here, though. Once a couple of thieves broke into one of the stores and started robbing our jewelry section. A couple of the frozen security team were the store that day, so we woke them up and they chased the thieves down and caught them in no time flat. Strange seeing the a bunch of gorgeous women in underwear and swimsuits and evening gowns running down and beating up a bunch of big beefy guys with bags of loot." Walker laughed as he remembered. "It was a good thing that most people knew we also have mannequin models. We would have never explained their presence to the cops any way else. It was really funny too, because some of the team lost their bras and tops while they were stopping the thieves and Talia and the girls have absolutely no modesty about their appearance. They almost got arrested for indecent exposure!"
"That would have been really famous!"
"And Talia was the person who got the idea of putting her girls up as those Greek nudes on the front lawn. They've got clothes and equipment in the pedestals they stand on but don't bother with them most of the time. Hand-to-hand is usually enough." Walker smiled again. "They just step off the pedestals the moment they come awake and know what's going on. Ready to go fight without a thing on! My male security guards often have a hard time acting right, that is keeping their minds on apprehending the perps and not gawking at the moving statues...."
They arrived at a largish elevator door, marked by a panel with two buttons on it with arrows pointing up and down. Flanking the portal were two silver statues of women posed holding weapons. The one on the left was full-figured and held a curving scimitar at ready in a way the light reflected off its long razor sharp blade; her associate on the other side of the elevator possessed Asian features, a petite figure, and was posed in a stance that looked almost like a dancer's until one noticed the 'fans' she exhibited were, in fact, polished steel and that a the scabbard of a Japanese sword rested in the curve of her back. Every bit of their rigid figures was covered in chrome or silver, even the strands of their hair (ponytailed on this one) as well as their eyes. Dave thought at first these were real statues, but there was something about their arrested poses that was very intimidating in a static way. "More of your security forces?" he questioned his uncle, who smiled as he reached past the ninja to press the lower button.
"You're learning. Yes, both Indra and Tomiko are on guard duty here. If you look carefully, you can see where the radio earpieces are hidden by their hairstyles."
Dave leaned over, careful to avoid the sharp blades, but just then a soft 'ding' sounded and the bifold doors opened with a slight 'whoosh'. The two men entered, leaving the frozen guards to their silent vigil. Even though it was obviously made for freight, the elevator car was nicely finished in hardwood panels and stainless steel. Walker pressed a single button and turned to Dave as they started to move subtly downward. "Now I am going to show you the greatest secret of the mansion. Of my business. The biggest reason why I want a special person - you - to take over from me. You know that I can't be running things forever and I need a singularly trustworthy person to handle everything."
As if on cue, the elevator stopped, the doors opened, and Dave gazed upon something unbelievable. "What is all this..?"
'This' was a huge room, almost a cavern. Several football stadiums could be fit into it, up and down and side to side. A ramp full of jumbo jets would not have filled the room. It was big! The biggest room Dave had ever seen, and that included the NASA hangars down at the Cape. Giant metal halide lights hung from the arched ceiling and the metal beams running across the expanse, threw a lot of false-daylight illumination over the room which was painted completely white. This gave the appearance sometimes that things were floating in mid-air.
Everything could be seen clearly but Dave Brighton still couldn't believe his eyes. "This is too weird."
Standing to either side of the elevator on this level were another pair of statues with well-defined musculature, these frozen ladies costumed in leather and chain mail bikinis that showed all too much skin for combat but were nevertheless very pleasing to the eye. Arranged in the style of barbarian warriors, they presented heavy broadswords that gleamed in the light. One possessed flame-red locks that cascaded freely in waves over her chisled shoulders reaching to the small of her back. The other had shorter straw-colored hair held in place by an iron-studded headband and wore calf-length fringed boots. He stealthily touched the body of the blonde and felt hard, plastic-like skin covering her contoured abs. A glance at her gorgeous unmoving features gave no sign of awareness in those glassy eyes or resolute expression. More security, Dave wondered, or simply additional decorations? Before he could ask, his uncle stepped forward to the balcony rail and the younger man followed. The view was stupendous.
Several levels of catwalks covered all four walls. Two of the walls had shallow niches with glass door covers filling every space on every level. Two other walls had what looked like cabinet drawers covering every space available on every level. Several people in white lab coats moved across the floor and along the catwalks. They looked so small in the enormous room. And then there were the statues. The statues! There must have been thousands and thousands of them everywhere. Statues of the most beautiful women Dave had ever seen in one place. He took a step forward, then paused. There were so many ways to turn and so much beauty to see, he could not make up his mind where to start.
His uncle whispered in Dave's ear "Suspended, they are. Every single one of them. They all started out as volunteers, too. Nobody was forced or bribed. Every single lady here consented to be suspended of her own free will." Walker looked at the expanse of petrified pulchritude. "Some start as part-time models, or part of the estate staff; perhaps by meeting the profile for one of my cadre of serving maids. Everyone knows that a condition of working for me here is wearing a suspendor and the possibility of being frozen without notice at any time. Occasionlly they are put off by that; not a problem for there are plenty of applicants. In a short time the staff comes to realize that the sensation of immobility is not at all uncomfortable and as you've seen already it can be highly pleasurable or desirable. After that point there are even quite a few who will sign up for the full transformation."
"Permanent suspension." Walker replied. "We can change it to poseable but don't ever unfreeze them. We usually keep them at a setting of stiff-frozen but poseable. I make sure to clearly warn all of them that if they agree to be transformed I won't be waking them up again once they are suspended for good. Maybe a partial freeze to change their poses or costumes whenever I have to, of course, but never fully wakened or reanimated - ever again. That scares most of the casual ones away. But some of the girls will still want to do it, despite all the cautionary tales and restrictions. They've seen some of the dioramas and study close at hand how their motionless figures will be prepared and displayed as statuary, mannequins, or whatever. This discourages a few others, yet a goodly number continue to volunteer themselves. Then there is an interview; I don't freeze them forever for stupid reasons like being mad at their boyfriends or running away from bill collectors. And I warn them again and again that when permanently frozen they become my property - chattels, really, but I leave that part to my legal staff. They don't get to choose what or even if they wear anything or how they are posed or how or when I want to change their pose or how they might interact with the other frozen figures. That part gets a few more. But many still agree, even so, their desire to be suspended is so intense."
"How long has you been... getting them?" Dave asked with unbelievable look on his face.
"Ever since the first store opened over forty years ago. The number of girls who volunteer has gone up each year. And the number of girls to 'transform' has increased each year as well. At a slower rate, but it's gone up nevertheless."
Dave could see hundreds and thousands of them. Incredibly beautiful women, of all sizes, physiques, ethnic backgrounds; representing a wide variety of body types and hues of skin. All frozen solid as stone. A large number filled the niches, while others stood singly or in groups on the floor of the vast gallery. There seemed to be no end to their numbers. "Are there girls in the drawers too?"
"Yes. We actually ran out of space sometimes until we put in the drawer units."
Most of the women were on the floor of the room, arranged into neat rows and lines. They were mostly standing, some looking straight ahead as if at attention, in many different poses. Some were nude while others were dressed in very complex dresses or costumes and most anything in between. Some were historically dress like in medieval times or from foreign places like Japan or Arabia or a particular fashion style like the flappers of the '20s. Others were dressed as fantasy figures with shining armor or skimpy leopard skins, sporting bows and swords or powered spacesuits and lasers. A few were so covered in equipment they looked almost like they were mechanical robots, standing deactivated in place. Some wore clothes like a contemporary woman would dress in now: formal dresses, gowns, swimsuits, underwear, business clothing, sports or exercise outfits along with western and casual wear. A small tableaux was garbed in high-fashion ensembles in wildly impractical designs that barely concealed their slim figures as they paraded in static line down a simulated runway. Others were hard for Dave to understand at first, like a large collection of young ladies dressed in cheerleading outfits of professional teams and colleges and high schools too many to count as well as in many, many yearly fashions. It was as if they had appeared from many different eras across time. Same with still more still lovelies dressed as nurses, bikers, cowgirls, maids, Goths, dancers, Bunnies, flight attendants, lady executives, waitresses, rock stars, and students. There was a group of models clad only in bikinis in different styles and from different eras, all standing in a group like a cross-dimensional beauty pageant. Another group was made up of very petite girls clad in tunics and forest-colored tights who carried short spears or longbows. Their boyishly cut hair almost concealed their pointed elflike ears. Spanning eras and genres, another troupe of tall, slim ladies wore the short pleated skirts and bow-trimmed bodice of the Sailor Scouts like living, but not very animate, anime characters. The relationships of other groupings were less obvious and in many cases appeared completely random. A girl looking like a punkette in some hard rock band was playing air guitar right next to a dusky Aztec princess frozen while raising her arms in silent prayer while next to her an extremely curvy lass in a skin-tight spacesuit and bubble helmet posed in mid-cringe as she recoiled from some totally invisible alien monster. Nearby, a line of rigid cheerleaders costumed in skimpy blue-and-white Dallas colors, shining skintone pantyhose, and calf-length white boots rooted silently for their team next to examples of Amazon warriors or jungle maidens. A woman in a Roman toga stood next to a gleaming golden C3PO look alike. Satin evening gowns juxtaposed with Red Sonja outfits. Occasional high-tech outfits were also represented; Dave picked out what must have been a model intended to be a doppelganger for the futuristic avenger Joanna Dark, except that her lithe character had never been so still in the video game. Some of the models looked to be clad in garishly colored skintight dirt bike or ski uniforms, complete with matching boots, gloves and aerodynamic helmets that partially obscured their lovely faces. In some ways, they looked almost like the TV hero characters of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, except for the sponsor logos and numbers plastered over the shiny fabric. A buxom lady Dave almost recognized was posed in a white twill jumpsuit seemingly covered with snap-pockets. Her already slim waist was cinched in by a wide belt while waves of chestnut hair floated around her head as if weightless. She had exotically tilted eyes and a narrow aquiline nose combined with a wide mouth and a lovely smile of invitation.
The same wild variety occurred with the accessories that the unmoving figures wore. Different styles of watches and necklaces from the years. Footwear from different years and fashions. Cellphones and straw baskets. A stewardess holding a ridged drinks tray next to a latex-catsuited dominatrix raising a cat-o'-nine-tails. Everything was here. None of them so much as batted an eye.
"Walker, this looks like the worlds' largest collection of life-size Barbie dolls!" Dave looked around, gawking at the amazing collection as he strolled along the catwalk peering down at everything. He saw movement out of the corner of his eye, obvious since everyone else was so still. Some people in white doctor's lab coats were walking among the frozen girls, changing their dresses and poses, altering appearances, brushing off dust. They paid no attention to the two men observing them. "I mean, I can't believe what I am seeing!"
"You need to see it all before you can start to believe it." Walker stopped next to a niche. An elegant woman dressed as a 50s beauty queen, with period-style bikini, tiara crown and flowers, was posed like she was waving at the crowd. A wide joyful smile was held on her unmoving features. "I always take the girls who volunteer to see what full transformation is like to this next place." He stopped at another niche, opened the door and lowered the arms of a stunning redheaded bride gowned in a froth of white lace holding flowers with both hands. "Most every woman can imagine her wedding day; here we can make it last forever, or so it would seem." He carefully posed the girl so she appeared to be standing at the altar instead of throwing her bouquet. She took no notice as the glass covered her once more. "Marie, here, pledged on the spot; taking the place of the model who was here before. We found an excellent place for that one, too. Want to see the diorama where she's at now?"
"Sure. But.. but.. I don't even know where to begin." Dave try to say something but he was still getting over the sights. He looked at another niche. A tall woman with long platinum blonde hair (Not a hair anyplace on her lithe body other than on her head, Dave observed carefully) was posed standing ramrod-stiff, wearing nothing at all. She looked straight ahead toward infinity and Dave wondered what she might be dreaming about. "Wow. That sounds so... weak, but I've run out of superlatives. This one is absolutely exquisite!"
"I get that reaction about most of my models." Walker kept walking. "The women that decide to permanently frozen have to be pretty determined about it. I like to choose only the best and most beautiful and most poised. The most exquisite, you might say. And then they have to convince me they want to do it, unequivocally. I never ask or prod anyone. They always volunteer without my saying a word." Walker swept a glance over his collection. "And I always try to convince them otherwise." I don't often succeed, either, he thought.
"All they have to have is a good reason?"
"Well, not exactly. I make sure they are always in the best shape and physique. Looks better that way after the transformation and sometimes a period of exercise regimen gives them time to rethink their actions."
Looking at the transformed ladies, Dave stared at the girls frozen in their different costumes. They had moved away from the section of the wall containing the glassed-in niches to an area containing a series of small dioramas, some containing only one still figure, others a grouping or even more. A line of Rockettes frozen in a chorus line, on a stage that looked like the Music Hall, giving they appearance they were a living picture of the real group. Next to that was a jungle set with a blonde dressed in animal pelts showing a lot of skin posed as if she was hunting a lion or something, further along was a full tatami room along with an Asian girl stopped in the middle of taking a low bow in her traditional dress kimono. Another larger tableaux featured a series of dancers in go-go boots and rainbow colored skirts and dresses, dancing as if in a disco that had somehow become halted in time - even the strobe lights did not change colors or move to spoil the effect. In a street scene, a policewoman in dark shorts and a deliciously tight uniform top posed rigidly looking like she was writing a ticket for a car parked outside a restaurant or club where a girl dressed like a belly dancer performed before the world in the showcase window. On a low stage, three girls had been hypnotized into performing; a dark-haired one in a butterfly-sequined top was standing mannequin-like with her arms held gracefully in the air. Another, turned rigid as a steel rod, had been laid horizontal between two chair backs. The male hypnotist (one of the only obviously artificial mannequins Dave had seen at the mansion) was posed as he guided the third girl, a cute blonde in a white top and jeans, into a deep trance. Her open eyes gazed dreamily out into space. Nearby, a clique of young looking girls in school uniforms appeared like they were sharing secrets. One of them held a cell phone to her ear. None of them moved a muscle.
"You don't have any teenagers here, do you?" Dave asked in alarm.
"Of course not. We just dressed them like that. I have clear rules about who I may transform and I don't hire any models that young."
A group of gymnasts in their leotards and exercise outfits were caught doing some really amazing things like hand stands and tumbles and leaps in mid air. There were fine, almost invisible, wires and stands to support them and it all looked very dazzling, like a moment in frozen time at a gym. Beside them were some women caught in the middle of an aerobic exercise routine, equally motionless and still.
They came to another larger diorama of a swanky bar decorated in dark mahogany and brass. A hutch of Bunnies, in full corseted regalia, dark hose sheathing their long legs, wearing white collars and cuffs along with the requisite rabbit ear headpiece and puffy tail were posed about, some carrying drinks, others standing at ease in the trademark stance. Still more had been captured chatting with each other or bent over a billiards table, engaged in a 9-ball contest that would never end. The styles of the costumes reflected the changes over the years from the original satin to the garish mod-patterned ones popular in the 70's and then the velvet material used in later years. Even the lingerie-like teddiette and garter combo was represented. Standing statuesquely at the door, holding open the handle emblazoned with a familiar rabbit's-head logo, was a particularly dazzling young lady of amazing endowments who looked ready to burst out of her costume's tight embrace. Dave thought she was an exact image of a playmate who had met a tragic end before he had been born; looking though the old magazines he'd always regretted not being able to meet Dorothy. Now, in a strange way, he had.
"How many women do you have here, Walker?" Dave asked his uncle once again.
"A lot." His uncle told him they numbered into the thousands. "We used to keep them in a large room in the mansion basement, didn't figure on the number of volunteers. So about ten years after we started, we ran out of room, so I bought this place."
"What is this place?" Dave looked at the room itself. "Looks like you can hold a whole city in here. And you look like you do keep a city here." A city of statues...
"We're now under the mountain you saw from the mansion." Walker waved his arm. "This was once a huge airplane hangar. There is a large airfield next to the mountain on the other side from the mansion. I own that too, so the helicopters have a place to land and the girls going to the resort can travel in peace."
"So this did once have aircraft." Dave looked at a suspended model wearing the leather and twill clothes of a 30s pilot like Amelia Earhart. "It looked like a hangar to me, but I've never seen one so gigantic."
"Of course. It used to be a hangar in case Russian bombers came to attack this part of the country. The military would fly their airplanes in here to protect them. When the government closed down the airfield, I used some contacts and bought the whole place for a cheap price."
"Cheap?" Dave wondered how as he looked at another series of cheerleaders. Groups of perky frozen girls represented all the professional sports teams, and a lot of colleges he knew of. A lot more colleges that he didn't know were here, too, and what looked like some high school cheerleading uniforms as well. In some cases the still figures modeling the outfits were more bodacious than would be expected for teenagers; in fact some of them appeared stunning enough to have made the Dallas squad, Dave thought, wondering why the girls in his high school couldn't have looked like that. "This place is so big! It must be expensive, just to keep running."
"Oh, some money. The brass hats also wanted a look at the suspendor. Didn't tell me, but they were probably interested because they heard the Russians must have been working on something or other like it. It was all hush hush at that time, but I still have some friends from the old days still working in the government. I've always thought of myself as a patriot..." Walker's voice trailed off.
Dave looked at the line of girls wearing different styles of nurses outfits. Their caps changed with the years and the style of the dress but they always seemed to be in white uniforms. Like all the girls dressed like construction worker seemed to wear a red flannel shirt and jean shorts. "What about the girls in the drawers and niches?"
"Well, if they have special outfits or some other reason, we display them in the open for a while. Take Rose here," Walker pointed to a dark haired woman sheathed in a lavender party dress holding an empty wineglass and posed as if talking to somebody who was not there, "She was one of the first ladies to be transformed; gave me a hell of a fuss too until I agreed to it. So, Rose is kind of special to me; I keep her out in the open more often. And the dress she's wearing is one of a kind from Italy, made fifty years ago. Its worth a lot of money now. I also make sure the girls are well taken care of. After all, they've given me their lives, in a way."
"Must have a lot of dusting." Dave saw the staff moving and changing some of the girls.
"We have lots of fans and vacuums. We also have very good security. Some of Talia's team are always patrolling and guarding this place. And we have a system to handle fires and things like that." Walker smiled. "We also have a plan to move all the transformed girls out of here but that requires a lot of trucks to do so.
They stayed at the place on the catwalk for a little bit more. Frozen women were everywhere they looked.
on," Walker said, as he walked toward an elevator. "Let's take another look
"That looks like a flying saucer!" Dave said. He looked up at a metallic lens shape about a meter in diameter with a large ducted fan in the middle of it floating unsteadily above the ranks of frozen models on the floor. What looked like a camera lens poked out from underneath the craft as it hovered silently in midair "Another toy?"
"Yep." Walker walked briskly past a brunette dressed in latest business fashion, a dark blue lightly striped pant suit, frozen while checking her watch, a tall blonde wearing cut-off Jean shorts and a white camisole and a smile with nothing else underneath, a tall dark beauty dressed like a Zulu warrioress with spear and shield looking fierce, a group of petite models wearing the same high school cheerleader uniform and shiny fleshtone pantyhose, all stopped in the middle of a pom-pom waving cheer, an ancient Egyptian queen, and a woman dressed like she might have been going to market in 1900. Next to her was a well-endowed young lady in desert clothing sporting a pair of pistols strapped to her firm thighs. Her dark hair was braided to keep it out of the way, but her raiding had been interrupted and now she stood motionless as all the others. Walker did not seem to notice them at all, being distracted by guiding his nephew. "Nice way of looking at the girls up close without going down to each. The disc is hooked to a computer that keeps track of every single one." He laughed. "Also blows the dust away. A little gizmo my scientist friend came up with lately."
"Must be neat." Dave looked at a busty platinum blonde dressed like (and with similar features to) Marilyn Monroe bent forward as in the famous photo. Somehow here skirt had been frozen in mid-swirl, or it was wired in place. "It look like someone here has been dressed in every single outfit in the world across time!" He look at a girl swathed in just furs. "All of time; I mean, I'd fight a sabertooth tiger to defend her honor."
"Not as ambitious as that, but we try to get a nice rounded collection. I do like some types more than others." Walker adjusted the poses of a group of models dressed in swimsuits looking like they were starting a 500 meter race. "And we can't give all the models real jewels or gems. That might be noticed." Walker nodded at a couple women in the white coats who were dressing a couple of naked models with beautiful dresses from Victorian times. "Some are kind of wild." He patted the rigid face of one of the biker babes. "But I like that sometimes."
"Must be quite a change." Dave look closer at a bright-red-haired model attired in an all-black satin Goth outfit complete with white make up and dark lipstick and eyeshadow. She looked like she was trying to invite some Goth boy to party when she had frozen in her tracks. "Though I never thought you go for something like that."
"Have to think of something. They don't all have to look like they came from Kansas... or Hyperborea."
"But what about the girls you have in the buff there?" Dave pointed at a large numbers of models standing without a thing on, or just heels. Some had been frozen in artistic poses, others just seemed to be placed at attention, arms at their sides.. "Run out of ideas?"
"Not always in the creative mood. And some clothes are hard to get, particularly the period gowns. Now, Leslie here," Walker pointed to one of the lab-coated women working on a petite raven-haired frozen model, "is dressing Kendra -I think- in a very rare dress from French imperial days. She'll go into a covered niche when complete because that dress is very expensive and very rare. Had a hard time getting it in the first place but one appeared in London at an estate auction and I got a chance to snap it up." Dave's uncle smiled as he watched as the pliable figure of the transformed dark haired model was adjusted to fit the dress on her slim figure. She seemed to retain some residual stiffness, as if she were made out of clay. "Kendra was transformed around a dozen years ago but we never got a chance to dress her properly. So she's spent most of her time here naked as a baby."
Dave thought about the image -- what a nursery! "I can certainly see why you want so many without any clothes on." He eventually asked, "Do you have any window scene setups here like at your store?"
"A few; you'll see more later. Sometimes pretty silly ones, really. Beach babes, girl's locker room, a fake modeling shoot, dance team competition, slumber parties, gym; you name it. Everything I get silly ideas from. Not as much space here to do it as in the store. We're digging more room, extending the cavern, but that will not be finished for a while." Walker smiled. "It's mostly the same as in the store in most scenes but a few are very different. The biker bar or that sorority pledge and initiation night one we're working on. Can't really put those in the store. And the chess board, too."
Dave's uncle merely smiled and pointed out a direction to go. Dave knew there were more wonders to be seen.
"This is the largest, most beautiful chess board I ever seen, Walker!" Dave said. They were standing on a catwalk again and looking at one of the scenes. It was in a different room from the Chamber of the Transformed. This room was much smaller but it was still very large by normal standards.
Below on the floor were the pattern of sixty-four black and white squares laid out as a chessboard would be. This board was much bigger, however, with the squares being large enough to park a small car upon. And instead of the carved pieces found in a regular chessboard, the pieces on this board were all frozen women captured in a number of suggestive poses and dresses that tended to the skimpy side, Dave thought appreciatively.
"I would dress then like traditional chess pieces but then the girls would be too heavy for the staff to move around." Walker pointed at several white coated assistants waiting to move the frozen girls like the pieces in a chess game that they had become. The figures were all very beautiful in their pale or dark makeup and matching clothes as they stood on their appointed squares on the board. Even the matching wigs they wore were ash blonde or jet black.
"It would be annoying to use a lift to do it." The elder man commented absently.
"These girls look far better to me than usual chess pieces." Dave looked at the girl-pieces. Each girl was dressed completely in the color of her side. But the outfits were not 'normal' for chess. The pawns had jeans (white and black satin) with halter tops of the same color along with matching hose and high heels. There were cowgirl outfits with lassos for the knights, and ninja outfits with swords for the rooks. The bishop pieces wore formal gowns with dome-shaped tiaras, and the queens had been costumed in skintight Lycra catsuits while holding a long snaking whip. The king was completely encased in a bodysuit that looked like it was made of metal. Interestingly even the 'king' was clearly a frozen girl, judging from the hourglass figure of the armor being worn by the piece.
"Had to think of something to dress them up as. Couldn't have them in only one type of clothes. Otherwise, you wouldn't know what piece they were representing. And it was fun to brainstorm the ideas for some of the costumes." Walker chuckled as he looked at the kings armor. "It was hard getting aluminized lexan to shine like metal! But the Metropolis theme for them looks good from here."
"How do you tell your people to move which girl to where?"
Walker pointed at a computer connected to a normal size chessboard, one that had scaled-down girl pieces on it. "This. You make the move you want and then you let the computer do the rest. Watch." He took one of the white pawns and moved to capture one of the black pawns.
On the floor below, the square of the white pawn glowed a green and the square of the black pawn glowed a red. Some of the whitecoats came from where they were waiting and moved the white pawn to the black pawn's square. Then they lifted the frozen black pawn and carried her to one side of the board, putting her on one of the white pedestals lining that side. There was a line of matching black pedestals on the other side of board.
"And that's it." Walker smiled. "It's a different way of playing chess but fun to watch. Want to try a game?"
"Uh. Maybe later. I think I like a good game of poker better." Dave said. He knew he wasn't good at playing chess and his uncle was very good.
"We can play that too. I also have a different version of the game." Walker smiled.
"Sounds interesting." Dave offered.
"Yes. If you wanted to play strip poker this is the chance." Walker suggested. He smiled. "Its different, though. Each player gets a suspended girl who starts out fully clothed. When someone loses a hand, we take a piece of clothing off the girl for that player. One might say everyone wins with my variation on the game!" Walker smiled more widely. "When I play with some of the engineers we always seem to have all the girls without a stitch on at the end of the game."
"Don't say you have a complete room setup for that!" Dave joked.
"Well, just one of the spare rooms with a table, chairs, frige and bar. And pedestals to put the girl you are betting up on. We don't always take a transformed girl for the games. Sometimes other models come stand in, even the maids a couple of times. Of course we freeze them. We always ask, of course, but it does offer something different."
Dave thought of the image and smiled. "Have to play a game of that sometime, with Yvette or Collette That sounds like fun."
"Why do you have those drawers?"
"Well some of the girls are wearing the same things as others. The cheerleaders, for example, or bikers. Sometimes just because they don't have a dress that can get crushed lying down. If we can save space that way, we will try it. We also rotate the girls from the drawers to the floor. Keeps the dioramas looking fresh, with new faces and figures to see." Walker shrugged. "It just an idea I had. Sounds good and it works."
Moving again through the Chamber of the Transformed, Dave still saw new sights he had never seen. There were girls looking like they were ready for a night on the town, brides in white, women's field hockey players from the middle of a game. There were secretaries from 1950s with seamed hosiery and garters, perky salesgirls from any modern store, formal dresses from dozens of royal courts. Petite doll-like Asian racequeens in hotpants, shiny hose, go-go boots, and stiff smiles posed with their trademark umbrellas next to country girls in cowboy attire with jeans that looked sprayed on. Tough looking bandanna-wearing commandos in green next to miniskirted or jumpsuited women that looked like they had stepped out of Star Trek episodes, complete with prop(?) tricorders and phasers. Aerobic dancers in slinky leotards alongside chic girls in elegant bra/panty sets. A lot of almost-recognizable superheroine-looking types with spectacular figures clad in skintight catsuits, latex, and high boots. Whoever had chosen the models had selected near-lookalikes for the DC and Marvel characters. The banana girl dress from 50s commercial was on exuberant display next, alongside babes in chain mail with swords. Valkyries and Amazons with bows and swords and armor and funny helmets. Lady knights in full armor like medieval knights of old. Sultry temptresses in low cut dresses with plunging necklines looking ready to seduce someone stood next to women in space suits aiming their laser blasters at many-tentacled alien creatures. The only feature the models had in common seemed to be their incredible beauty and their absolute immobility.
The scenes were interesting too. A dance studio session like out of a Chorus Line or Flashdance. The inside of a Arabian harem. A gymnastic competition like the Olympics with acrobats posed in every imaginable setting. Evil female agents forcing almost-naked bikini-clad beauties into icy cold freezing chambers like in some pulp horror movie. Women warriors with swords, shields, and armor fighting sorceresses in dungeons. A jungle tribe of beautiful women celebrating some ceremony. Scenes out of mythology where fantastic creatures possessed the power to transform females into stone; the cold victims of Medusa (herself played by a Transformed beauty with jade-green hair out of which a tangle of snakes emerged) and a Basilisk stood in poses of fear and surprise at the moment they had become stone. Another warrioress caught in the moment of petrifaction, her skin fading into airbrushed pale whiteness.
Toward the center of the vast hall were several recessed stages with what looked to be a series of tableaux that had many lovely models posed in them. The first was a cluster of finely upholstered furniture and benches that were occupied by a least a couple of dozen frozen models that were dressed in all manner of fine lingerie, from wispy half-transparent slips, to bra-panty-and-garter sets, to bustiers, merry widows, teddies, corselets, and sleek catsuits in both sheer nylon and peekaboo lace. The girls seemed to have been interacting with each other when they were frozen since many rested their arms on another's shoulder or posed together in similar stances. Others lay seductively on the posing couches, or leaned against the solid half-height walls of the set. A visual merchandiser had surely worked on this grouping, since they were all perfectly costumed and made up. It was a shame, Dave reflected, that such a window display was far too risqué for stateside tastes; he had seen a few uninhibited lingerie displays in Europe and this one put them all to shame.
On the other side of the wall, thumping bass-heavy rock music pulsed across a scene that was decorated with overhead spotlights and mirror balls providing the only movement as a corps of exotic dancers were presented frozen in the act of performing their provocative routines. Some stood proudly topless in the middle of a timeless bump or grind, clad only in a sequined G-string. Others slithered around vertical chrome fire poles, locking their legs against the supports as they perched acrobatically several feet in the air or held themselves inverted with no hands on the bar. Still others were posed arrested in the middle of exuberant dance routines inside of plexiglas cubes or cylinders. As with the gymnasts, occasionally fine transparent filaments were used to hold the models in the more unbalanced positions. Someone, Walker maybe, had stuffed a few $100 bills into the G-string elastic on several of the nearby dancers.
The disco music faded quickly as the two men rounded the edge of another short wall that separated the club from a setting that mimicked a formal ball or reception. Here, in stark contrast to the overt sexuality of the previous scene, the women were all elegantly gowned and coifed and had been posed in attitudes of casual conversation or elegant repose. Many wore long satin opera gloves in black or white. Nearly all displayed brilliant jewelry in the form of necklaces, bracelets, and brooches. If they were genuine, and the baubles looked it, there must have been several million dollars worth just in this one diorama. Several of the frozen women held glasses of what looked like champagne, but Dave had no idea how the bubbles managed to stay in the glasses; they didn't move an millimeter either. High fashion was well represented here by haute couture designs that featured clingy fabrics, outrageous slits and reveals, and unusual accessories. Here when breasts were bared it happened with a hint of mystery through the sheerest of veils. One ensemble was hardly more than a cinched leather corset over what looked like a puffy ballet tutu done in black fog; a matching cloud in the form of a hat or bunched veil perched in the lady's woven hairstyle like an outlandish bird's nest. In the center of the loose grouping, stood a motionless figure of a maid holding a serving tray where additional glasses of champagne were silently offered to the equally silent guests of the party.
Dave tugged at his uncle's elbow and pointed to the frozen serving girl. "Is she Transformed, too?" The girl was stunning, with dusky brown hair cut in the classic pageboy style and a face that possessed amazing beauty, especially in her large violet-hued eyes and slightly too-large mouth that was held in a cute pout.
Walker Winson chuckled. "No, that's Monique. When she's not on duty, her way of relaxing is to find a place in one of these settings and try to blend in. This time she didn't even have to change out of her work clothes!"
"Wow," Dave said, yet again, as he took in the sight of her coltish figure and long legs sheathed in shadowy nylon hose. He could have spent more minutes just ogling her, before thinking of asking his uncle to use the remote, but the older man had moved onward to the next diorama. Dave whispered to the statue "Don't go anywhere, I'll be back later." He felt a compulsion to sneak a kiss on those pillowy lips and realized that even though there were people all around him, not one of them would lift a finger to stop him. It was just a quick peck, and he was slightly surprised when he touched her and realized that her whole body was as stiff as a statue; those soft lips turned out to be as hard as molded fibreglass.
"Coming, Son?" Walker's voiced drifted back from the adjoining tableaux. "Got something here that I don't think you've seen before."
The older man was right, Dave saw as he turned the corner of the set and stole a last glance at Monique's shapely backside. This next scene looked like snowdrifts and ice caves sculpted into fabric and foam. The entire display was pure white, and there didn't seem to be a flat surface or square corner in the whole space. But that wasn't what was so remarkable; the figures that populated the tableaux were. They came in all colors of the rainbow, their motionless female figures covered from head to toe in shiny skintight Lycra that hugged every contour and curve of their spectacular shapes. The all-over fabric made them look faceless and hairless, almost like dolls, as they posed there. Some wore brief items clothing on over the Zentai suits. But their concealed appearance alone was not so remarkable. Their interactions were. In singles, pairs, trios, or multiples, they explored their bodies and each other without apparent inhibition at the moment they had been frozen stiff. Every female-female position from the Kama Sutra was represented, along with a few that looked to Dave's not unpracticed eye as completely original. Not all of the motionless figures looked like women, and he wondered about that, too. Ever the gracious host, Walker had strolled into the diorama and was inspecting the couplings as an art dealer would examine a fine sculpture. The he did something that completely flabbergasted his nephew; he laid down on one of the figures, a curvy buxom lass who was crouched in a way that her open lap looked somewhat like a couch. He shifted around so her frozen bosoms massaged his back. "Ahhh, that's the spot. You should try this sometime..."
"Uh, maybe later." It was almost too much to imagine, using a living sculpture as a back scratcher. Even so, there was something about the sinuous groupings of Lycra-covered bodies that did suggest furniture in a way. Something done by an avant-garde designer who had absolutely no inhibitions. It was strange how the anonymity of the figures seemed to make what they were posed doing less lascivious. While it was clear that his uncle enjoyed this display in particular, it didn't do as much for him. This time it was Dave that wandered off in search of other wonders too see. He did not get far before he found something.
Apparently his rich uncle collected more than simply beautiful women for here, resplendent under the spotlights, was the spotlessly waxed fuselage of a P-51 Mustang. The old proud warbird did not have a speck of dust on it, and looked to be a racer from the bold nose art that proclaimed her to be "Miss Behavin'." Sitting in front of the wing, perched on a box that had been painted to look like a shipping crate, was the model for the painting. She had been posed in exactly the same position as the art, and was wearing the same costume of wispy nylon that caressed her statuesque figure. Off to one side, a small fan blew a stream of air at the frozen model that made the ends of the fabric flutter in a way that also had been captured in the painting. Further back, towards the tail, a miniskirted racequeen in shiny hose and high heels rigidly held a placard that gave the specifications and history of this particular warbird.
Off into the shadows at the edge of the huge room there were other aircraft, and vehicles, each with its attendant still signpost figure. The dazzling girls all appeared to be dressed identically and held the exact same pose with their left leg slightly forward and the right one almost at right angles. It was as if they were manufactured figures, not real. The enormity of the place continued to boggle his mind.
So many scenes and so many frozen women; Dave was so busy looking at them that Walker had to repeat what he said.
"Why don't we get some dinner now? Then you can explore a little of the mansion yourself. Don't need me to give you the grand tour anymore." Walker announced. "If you need a guide, I think Collette might want a chance to know you better. She's done the offering tray long enough, I expect. I think Yvonne should have a chance at it. Yes that would be a good idea."
"Sounds like fun." Dave replied, wondering what he might be able to see on his own private tour of the mansion. He had one scene already picked out for a repeat visit. "Do I get to alter the displays?" He joked.
"Please don't touch the artwork. They're valuable and touching them might ruin their value." Walker dead panned. Both men laughed.
"Tomorrow you'll see the health spa and retreat that's beyond the hills on the other side of the mansion. A select few of my business associates along with my models and staff get to use it exclusively. And with my models, you already know how they can find rather provocative ways of resting and relaxing. I allow them to do it in any way they want there." Walker nodded at his nephew. "I know you'll like how they do it there too."
"If it's like anything here, I know I will." He could imagine what might be waiting there. Wow...
"Oh definitely." Walker smiled. "As you'll see."
Walker was sitting on chair on the patio looking at the mountain. His nephew should get a chance at the place by himself by now. It would be fun to see his face tomorrow. The ladies at the spa and retreat had very interesting ways of resting. Even Walker was amazed sometimes.
He smiled when Yvette approached and handed him a drink on a tray. "Here iz your bourbon, m'sieur Walker."
"Thank you, Yvette." He took it, sipped, and looked for a place to put his glass. He found nothing and was going to just hold it before he got idea.
"There seems no table to put the drink on, Yvette, so I think its time for you to be my serving table for a while. Just hold tray down here like so and you'll become a lovely maid statue."
"Thank you, monsieur Walker! Oh, thank you!" The maid bent forward a bit, enhancing her cleavage and holding the tray out, anticipating what was to come. Walker nonchalantly reached to the control; then Yvette stiffened with a slight tremble and was instantly a frozen statue. A big smile painted on her face told how happy she was. And she felt it too.
Thank YOU, Yvette," he said, placing the glass on the tray she held stiffly out to him. Her pose made her shapely tush stick out a little, exposing her thong panties and gartered stockings. She reminded him a little of an old adult cartoon character from the magazines of his youth.
Walker looked at the suspended Yvette standing there very cute with the serving tray in her flattering black and white maid's uniform. He wondered for a moment at what to do next. Then he grabbed his cellphone and dialed a number. He spoke when the woman at the end picked up.
"Hi, Deanna? This's Walker. Yes, I know Kristie and Sandra are getting a chance to be frozen. You'll be too, soon as I get back. Anyway, I want you to do something for me. Get a couple floor substitutes and pull Danielle and Janice from the alcoves near the office. Yes, those are the ones. Yes, wake them up. Tell them to pack for overnight and get them to the helicopter. I'll send it over at closing time tomorrow. That's all." Walker said. "I know they like to do everything in a group but Tanya's a bit hard to get out of sight." He listened. "Well, if you can, do it. I think they will like what I have going on here. I'll be back to the office soon and yes you can be a display when I do. If the work needs doing wake up Kristie or Sandra. All right, you're a sweetie -- what would I do without you? Anything else? Oh yeah; call Mike Green tomorrow. I want to buy another aircraft. Not the usual G, it's a gift. Great. Bye."
Winson took another sip of his drink and thought of what great fun he was going
to have, tomorrow.
Continued, in Part Three.....