"Dave, how would you like to have the run of the mansion for a while?" Walker Winson asked his nephew at breakfast. "By yourself."
The young man looked up abruptly from his plate, taking in his uncle at the other end of the formal dining table, then glanced over unconsciously at the server who stood patiently to one side. Like all the beautiful female servants at the mansion, she was costumed in a skimpy French Maid's livery - complete to the little lace ruffle pinned in her hair - that highlighted her ouststanding figure and shapely legs. Like most of them, she appeared to have been transformed into a mannequin, remaining totally stiff and rigid upon the slightly raised platform that was her station. She held a half-used pitcher of orange juice in one hand and stared blankly at the floral centerpiece, never blinking. There was just a hint of a smile frozen on her petite lips that her professional demeanor had been unable to hide. With long chestnut-hued hair cascading over her shoulders and a lovely oval face, the girl was absolutely stunning. Not needed at the moment, she had been immobilized with one touch of Walker's Suspendor.
"That sounds..fun." Dave Brighton replied carefully, looking back at his uncle. He wanted to say more, but there were too many words he could say and he did not want to spoil the opportunity. "What's up; you're not going to be here?"
"Yep. Got to fly north to do some business. Its going to take at least a day, maybe two, so I wonder if you want to have some fun here when you get back from the convention center."
"Sure." Dave said. "Do I get a free hand?"
"Oh, why not? Just make sure we can find everything and everyone when I get back." Walker said with a knowing grin. "You can get to know Celeste there better too if you'd like. I'm sure you will have a lot of things to keep you busy."
Dave imagined all the things he could do. "I'm sure I can." His eyes strayed to the lovely maid, who could wait there forever and never know it.
His next surprise came a quarter-hour later when his uncle walked him to the circular driveway in front of the mansion. The older man had left his remote control pad on a silver platter held by yet another Suspended maid; Yvette this time. Dave knew they coveted the honor of being the one frozen at the entryway as life-sized statues and wondered idly where Collette, one of his favorites, was off to.
They approached a stretch limo in metallic gray with a 'Winson's Fashions'
logo on the sides, and Dave was distracted yet again by a flash of long dark-sheathed
legs as a young woman wearing a chauffeur's hat opened the car door for him.
The hat and the fitted silver-buttoned jacket were the only typical things about
her attire. Instead of slacks, she wore close-fitting shorts, opaque black hose,
and calf-length boots. A ruffled blouse replaced the shirt, and a chevron tie
accented her throat. The woman's short bobbed hair framed her face nicely and
a pair of gold-framed spectacles seemed to make her luminous blue eyes appear
enormous. She almost bowed as Dave entered the cavernous passenger compartment,
flashing an ample amount of slim leg and a brilliant smile in his direction.
"Take good care of him, Nicole," Walker Winson chided her playfully, "and keep your eyes - on the road."
"Yes, SIR!" She grinned back, closing the door and moving toward
the front of the limousine, hips swaying noticeably.
"Mr. Winson is a very generous man." The short man wearing glasses said as he led Dave through the roiling crowd of attendees. "When the Electronic Gaming Convention lost the hall we had hired to hold the show, Mr. Walker was willing to give us an excellent location as well as the technical support we need to hold this event - without any extra cost. He also arranged to have a lot more models and booth girls here than in the other place and I see that they're attracting many more people."
Dave scanned the floor and could easily see why. "Must be difficult trying to get all the costumes to fit the models." Dave Brighton mentioned as he looked at a very tall girl dressed in a very tight blue and white skirt and top outfit that revealed a lot of skin. Her midriff was bare and the skirt was slit high, allowing a lot of sculpted hose-clad leg to be seen above the high white boots. Her golden hair was done into a bouncy pony tail that curved up and then fell in a bob, with a circelette holding it. She was having a busy time holding a wood staff while signing autographs on glossy pictures and game boxes showing herself, but nobody cared and the blue eyed lady kept smiling and chatting up the crowd as she signed away. Of course the model was well paid to do this and other things like wearing the abbreviated outfit and putting on elven ears. "I mean this one, for instance, is about two or three sizes too small for her; I expect that different models were supposed to wear these costumes originally."
"That was no problem. Your uncle's staff helped us in a big way and we got the right girls into the right outfits for the convention. Her outfit, for instance, is of the requested size. And if we couldn't find the exact models needed," The short man said, pointing at some still figures posed by the curtained side of the booth, "They also supplied some very good mannequins to model the rest of the outfits. And, I'd like to say, they're a hit too because of how life-like they appear. People swear they are real girls and I have a lot of game companies already jumping at the chance to have something like that on display rather than flat cover paintings or cut-outs of pictures. The exhibitors really like the way you can pose these fantastic figures and have them hold in position afterward. The Ever-Adventure line, for example. Not only do they have a real model on hand to sign everything, but a real lifelike looking mannequin, too, so we can keep that at the booth when the model is on break to let people see what the Elven Princess on the box looks like in the real world and not on paper or computer screen."
Brighton smiled. The eager organizer of the convention had no idea about what he was really seeing. Uncle Walker's line of department stores had some of the most beautiful models working for him and that helped make the Winson's stores the place for woman's fashion. But the real secret behind Walker's success was the hundreds of astounding 'mannequins' that Walker used in his stores... who were also shown in fantastic dioramas or rigidly modeling a dizzying collection of garments and costumes in the vast storage galleries beneath his mansion. More accurately, Winson's secret was the living models frozen stiffly into the most life-like mannequins in the business.
Walker called it the Suspendor, but his many ladies called it a miracle. It was an electronic device that created in the blink of an eye the gorgeous, beautiful female mannequins and statues from the gorgeous, beautiful women who worked for Walker at his stores and businesses. Developed long ago, and continuously improved, the latest form of the Suspendor used receiver / transmitters that could be hidden in little things like earrings and rings that the models wore. At a touch of switch on the controls, the device sent out coded pulses of radio signals into the receiver and then the woman wearing it. Depending on what kind of signal was received from the Suspendor's controls, the waves created an enclosing suspended animation field that could instantly 'freeze' a living model into what looked so much like a display mannequin or statue that she couldn't be told from the real thing, even at close range. Another coded signal could wake up the model immediately and yet another pulse would allow limited posing of the stiffened model without her waking up. It was a amazing thing to see the device being used nonchalantly, as if there was nothing unusual about it; despite watching intently as several models, guests, and servants had been turned into living artwork, Dave could still not believe it fully.
The subjects were always so eager to be suspended that Dave knew it must have other effects on the women than simply immobilizing them. Over the past few days he had already seen it in action (and the resulting inaction) at the department store, Walker's mansion, and the corporate retreat. While the suspended models were usually hard-frozen into complete immobility, they could also be left flexible enough to be posed by somebody else into a stance they would hold rigidly until another radio signal came along to wake them up or turn them completely immobile. When in that frozen state, they became as stiff and rigid as the display figures they impersonated. Once the device had been activated to immobilize the models, no additional energy was required to keep them in that totally suspended condition, no matter what happened afterward. That meant there were no worries about batteries running down or power failures for the users of the Suspendor. It also meant the immobilized models could spend years or centuries fully suspended as mannequin-like statues and they would never know that time was passing.
However, the women who used it so often liked it more than for avoiding aging. It did something - women found it so incredible. In the basement of Walker's mansion there were thousands of frozen models appearing as display figures in a variety of poses and costumes and clothes and accessories after having been "transformed" or suspended permanently. They were only unfrozen to be slightly poseable for a limited period but never woken up. That so many women were willing to be transformed forever was something that overwhelmed Dave. He suspected there must be something to the Suspendor's effects that women weren't telling about which they found very enjoyable, or even more intense.
But now he only had to look at the wonderful sights of frozen ladies at the convention, like the still clone of the elven princess. It was strange to see two princesses, both dressed and made up as the same character but one moving and the other still as stone.
Dave then spotted another comely distraction. "I see Craft-Woman is back."
"Yep. It's not that the games from that company are the best, but we love that woman in those games. She's one sexy adventurer." The braided hair, tough boots, shorts, shirt and backpack looked as good on this model as the first time Dave had seen the costume on the almost impossibly curvy figure of the game character as it had been rendered back then in low-res and choppy animation. Over the years, the graphics kept getting better and better to the point where he thought he could almost reach into the game and touch her. Now, here at the convention, he could.
Of course Dave also gotten to see another equally voluptuous raider on static display in the Gallery of the Transformed at the mansion, so he was used to the effect the lifelike figure had on his libido. But the woman here still looked really good. And familiar, in a way. He looked more closely at her face, the way she smiled, picturing her without the brunette wig.
"Michelle? Is that you?" He whispered into her ear.
She turned abruptly, flashed a brief grin, and then went back into character. "Whot you mean, guv'nor? Oim the Lady Craft and if the demons in the tombs know moy name, so should you." Letting her gloved hand fall to the holster at her hip, she acted mock-threatening.
"OK, OK; go get 'em! Did you get Fiona to coach you on the accent?"
Lady Craft winked mischieviously at him, then turned to work the remainder of the crowd of admirers who had congregated around her. Dave took the hint and moved along, resolving to look her up later when things had quieted. He leaned over to talk to the organizer again.
"How many companies are here? And how many games?"
"Too many to count! Hundreds, at least, maybe a thousand; this is the premier event." They passed a pair of frozen biker chicks posed in tight black leather and sawed-off shotguns posed next to gleaming Harleys. A big backlit sign next to them said 'Forget your job, your girlfriend, your life. This game will - blow - You - away!' The exhibitor leered at the motionless models for a moment. "And all of the companies want to have beautiful girls and mannequins like these in their booths."
They were interrupted by a pair of teen boys in black clothes. "WWF wrestling is the greatest man!" One kid said. "I can't wait to see the Iron Man when he shows up! I want to get my game box autographed."
"Dude, you see the statue they have of that new uber-babe in the league? They must have done something special, man, to make it look like that. When I was looking at that bodacious statue, man, she looks completely the same!"
Dave smiled, knowing what the 'special' treatment had been. The kids went one way as Dave and the man walked past a couple of achingly beautiful asian girls in satin hot pants, torso-baring knotted T-shirts, pantyhose, and calf-length white boots handing out shirts and pens and other free gimcracks. "The best part of the show besides the eye-candy is all the free stuff people can get." The organizer said as he waved at the girls. "You can't hold all the things you get, even with the satchels the Z-box folks are giving out. Of course, nothing beats playing the games."
"I'm going to arrest you." Some arresting-looking model in a policewoman's uniform with short skirt and tight top and sunglasses said, pointing a prop gun at the two men. "All the things you did to my car and ya think you can get away from me?" The police car in the diorama looked like it had been totaled. A big sign said. "Urban Riot - Gaming for the Bad in You."
Onward, there were a couple of frozen models in chain mail bikinis and swords fighting some big plastic dragon somebody made-up with cheap paint. There was a big stack of game boxes with the same girls on them in much the same poses. "You can sell a lot of crappy games with the right bimbo on the box too." The organizer shook his head. "I hear bad things about the game but if it's got chicks in chainmail thongs on it you've got every boy - and quite a few men - buying it without touching a demo."
A giant yellow mouse walked by with another giant yellow mouse. The only little kids Dave could see in convention followed the yellow mice and grabbed them and hugged them and everything. "And there's the game that all the little kids want their parents to buy for them. That company is getting very rich from that crazy yellow mouse."
This had to be the kids section because the next pavillion over was introducing a game called 'Bunny Hop-a-long' that featured a cartoon-cute rabbit that navigated through a festively colored forest and meadow. It wasn't the game that caught his eye, but the marketing gimmick the game marketer used: Models costumed as Playguy Bunnies, or as close enough to them to make no difference. Though the magazine stopped featuring them and the restaurants had closed long ago, these girls in their sexy waist-nipping, bosom-enhancing costumes with satin ears and a white bubble of a tail were what most men still associated the word 'bunny' with. There were at least a dozen dazzling examples Dave counted, mingling with the crowd, avoiding getting goosed, and handing out demo disks that were immediately dropped in the bags by the mostly male show-goers whose kids would pick up the games later. Towards the back of the booth were a few more mannequin-bunnies, posed to show off their charms while pointing to artwork of the game scenes. Weren't there a few of them in Walker's gallery, too?
Dave smiled. Small children had their giant yellow mice but he had toys for big boys to play with and a lot more of them than even this vast hall could ever hold.
Some sun-bleached surfer girl was frozen in middle of a paper-mache wave on a real surf board. The swimsuit hid nothing of her ample curves or sculpted body and a lot of men were standing around just looking at the "mannequin." Some of them seemed like they were wishing the plastic-appearing girl was real, not just the figment of some horny artist.
Just imagine what they'd say if they found out she is real, Dave thought with a wry smile.
A big M1 battle tank (a mock-up? Dave wondered; it looked very genuine) sat in the middle of the convention center, with several models in uniforms that showed off their figures handing out caps and mugs to everybody. Other frozen 'soldiers' were posed standing in the turret hatch or sitting on the flanks of the huge war machine. Its sign said "The World is in Your Hands." Another mannequin stood at the front of the tank, rigidly offering a stack of leaflets from her outstretched hands beside a placard reading 'take one'.
In another display behind the tank were a couple of frozen girls in skintight silver lycra and rubber and metal outfits with bubble helmets that looked like they were from outer space (or at least a 50's version of it). Their faces had been painted red while the laser pistols they carried were blue and black; a sign with a gruesome octopus-like alien on it announced "We're coming to get you to help us fight the ug-moks.. If you're tough enough. We need heroes from Earth to save our people and you are it!"
"Makes me want to play the game." Dave said as he looked longingly at the frozen ladies. He would have also liked to play with the girls but he had a lot of chances to do just that, back at the mansion. They moved on to another exhibit.
The title of the game was 'Olympic Champion', another one that capitalized on the recent successes, which was predictable. However, the exhibit caused Dave to do an abrupt double-take. A raised pillar shaped a little like a torch towered above them and spinning endlessly upon the top of it was a figure that he instantly recognized. She was slight, but with muscular legs, clad in the micro-short lavender skating dress from that golden night. Her legs were sheathed in shiny dancer's tights that covered up the tops of her skates and her frosted Hammill-cut hairdo looked almost identical to that of the real champion. Holding a graceful balletic arm position, she had been posed with her back arched in the middle of a slow spin on the 'ice'. Somehow the runner on her skate had been affixed to a rotating shaft that supported her at a single point and supplied the only motion her frozen figure posessed. Every few seconds, her theatrically made up features and wide triumphant smile turned into view and then away again. It was just fast enough to look almost real, yet slow enough she could be seen easily. Adding to the spectacle was an actual slab of ice, judging from the cold air that blew around it, that circled the pillar and took up most of the middle of the exhibit. More figure skaters glided across the slippery surface, occasionally raising one leg or skating backwards as they handed out ice-blue demo disks to the show-goers. Innovative as that was, Dave's eyes kept straying back to the motionless figure spinning on the top of the pillar. He knew his uncle Walker had many contacts in the sporting world, and clearly the reknown of the Winson's fashions and stores was established, but had he been able to convince her to be Suspended? The idea seemed far-fetched, but the skating 'mannequin' looked just like the young girl who had stunned the skating world with her upset victory, and he had learned over the past few days not to use the word "impossible" too hastily around his eccentric relative. He'd have to find a way to ask, discreetly.
By now Todd, the organizer, had walked several yards onward and he motioned
for Dave to catch up. Ahead was another mounded wintery scene. He looked at models frozen in the middle of snowboarding in white powdery stuff that could not be real snow. "Those sports-simulation games must be popular. I never saw one featuring figure skating before, though."
"Yep. Snowboarding is another big thing coming up. We keep selling out the games when you get some in the store." The organizer said. "A lot of fun if you can move your hands fast enough."
"No problem for me." Dave agreed.
"Yes Mr. Winson told me about you. How do you like the flight simulators?" He pointed at the display across the broad aisle. There was a huge model of a F-14 Tomcat with a pin-up-looking girl-mannequin posed lying across one of the wings extending her legs out over the leading edge. "I mean they've gotten really good lately and I think they feel like the real thing."
"I fly real fighter jets for a living, and it's no game," Dave replied, wondering what she felt like. "The real Real Thing is much better then any simulation. And we got stuff for training you would not believe." Playing with games and models was nice but Dave like flying real planes rather than digital ones on Playstations.
"Oh, Okay." The organizer looked at his clipboard. "Theres more than flight simulators here. How about first person shooters, Hm? There's a big event for one of them. I think you might like it." The organizer steered Dave towards a tent-like pavillion.
"Look like a movie." Dave wonder as he looked at the stage. "Something like the Running Man with Arnold."
"It is suppose to be something like that." Todd, the organizer, nodded. "The guys who designed the game probably loved the movie and they wanted to make a game like it so they did." He pointed at the stage. "They also decided they wanted to have the dance sequence out of the movie in the game somewhere. It's part of the beginning. But they also included the sequence into their promo event here."
The stage was flashing lights on/off in different colors, similar to that at a rock concert. The exhibitor had built a stairway platform starting at the middle of the stage and leading to the back. It look like the set in the movie and so did the dancers. They were all women; tall, lean, slender, athletic dancers doing their routines with a lot of energetic movements and turns and twists and bends. They wore blue/white form fitting outfits that left their legs, arms, and a lot of the torsos open to the world, complete with tall heels. It must have been hard to dance in the shoes but these girls made it look so easy. "They must be really good." Dave said, impressed.
They started out frozen in position, silhouetted by the lighted backgrounds as they waited for program to start and then burst into movement the moment the music began. A lot of parts of the dance choreography had them holding poses for long time. They were all difficult poses to keep for a long time but the girls held themselves perfectly still and did not twitch. At all.
Dave had a suspicion. "Did Walker supply the dancers?"
"Not exactly. I think your uncle had a friend who knew the dance troupe. When the game designers asked for a complex dance gig, the friend was the one they hired to choreograph it. When we lost our original location, the friend got in touch with Mr. Winson."
"They are very good. I have to meet that friend." Dave said as he looked at the dancers who were once more holding still poses for now into several minutes. They definitely looked like they were using the Suspendor in the way they held some of the poses. Not that their hard bodies need help getting any harder. "I have to meet the dancers too, sometime. When is their break?"
"Might take a while. The game designers have a long event." The dancing continued again after the frozen pause to for some time before the music stopped and the dancers were all standing on both sides of the path to the stairs, suddenly appearing very much like a row of sculptures... Then somebody who looked a lot like Richard Dawson emerged at the head of the stairs and - as the game host - replayed the speech from the movie down to the last word. Dave looked at the girls and of course they were not moving a muscle as they held their static poses next to the path and along the stairs.
"Let's start running!" The game host shouted. And everybody in the room cheered like in the movie. The dancers started moving again, too, as the big screens in the exhibit flashed the matching game scene on them. It was amazing how good the computer graphics looked as they were almost like an interactive real life movie.
"You can play five males and five female characters in the game." Todd laughed. "The funny thing that game designers made up the guys but they used real women as models for all the female characters. They had some sort of full-body scanner that records the models' bodies in different poses. That takes a person able to hold the pose for a long while since they take a lot of scans for the game. I was at the studio one time they did some scanning. That model was really good! I mean she could hold her pose what seemed forever. The same woman who hired the dancers chose the five character models from the dancers in the game." Todd smiled. "She wouldn't tell me how the models could hold their poses so well. I guess Mr. Winson was lucky to be friends with her. She still looks real good for an older woman. I mean, I thought she was twenty years younger than she said she was."
"Oh, lots of women who know my uncle are like that." Dave smiled. That friend of Walker's must have been a mannequin model for him sometime in the past. Must still be a good friend, too, to convince Walker to loan her a Suspendor rig and help freeze her girls for the performance like that. Normally he kept the device very condifential. "They can do amazing things that you can't believe." Dave agreed.
"I'd love to know how they do that." Todd sighed at the dancers. "They are sure are bombshells. All these models and dancers are just so stunning and I want to know where you find girls like that."
The dancers had left the stage while the game videos were playing and Todd led Dave behind the stage. There was the guys who design the game waiting around a small round table, sipping mineral water, getting psyched to talk the crowd up after the video was finished. The dancers seemed to have another job or number coming up because they were all too busy changing behind a curtain. And stage crew was moving all sorts of props, getting the stage ready for another set.
Dave looked carefully and saw some guys looking over an electronic control of some sort with a very beautiful young woman dressed in a stylish business outfit. She looked up and saw Todd. "Hey Todd. How you been?"
"Hi Leah. I've been doing busy work but making good coin. How about you? Been really a life saver for us that you got this place on short notice. We thought it was going to be a disaster when the first convention center cancelled on us last week."
"No problem; glad to help. I've known Walker for a long time and he was willing to take on some more business." Leah laughed. "Anyway, who's your handsome friend?"
"Leah, meet Dave Brighton, nephew of Mr. Winson and his guest for today here at the show. Dave meet Leah Vail, the person who designed the entire dance routine for the game and is also head of Galatea Dance Company."
Leah smiled at Dave. "A nephew of Walker's? Its very nice to meet a relative of Mr. Winson."
"I like meeting a friend of Walker's, too" Dave smiled back. "Did you.. model for him?"
"Yeah; I meet him when I was a model for his stores." Leah laughed, glancing at him with a shared secret. "Did it for rather a few years, as I'm sure you can appreciate. Then I moved into arranging the displays and models. I've always liked the dance, was trained as dancer from grade school and so when I left the store, I started my own professional dance company. Your uncle gave Galatea a lot of support when we started up. It all helped me get the troupe established with a reputation, since my dancers can do things most other dance companies can't even touch. Some of those static poses are hard, you know."
The two smiled and passed another look of understanding. Dave knew that the Suspendor was in use, and she knew that he knew. They talked on for a little while longer and Dave learned Todd had not been joking. Leah was much older then she looked but she still appeared to be a stunning twenty-something model. "Was all your modeling for Uncle Walker?" He thought she must have been a frozen mannequin for several years to stay so youthful-looking.
"Did some fashion modeling too. Didn't always work in the stores, you know."
"I can see why." Dave looked over Leah. She was quite attractive with blonde-brown hair and green eyes. Her figure was tall and athletic, too, another gorgeous lady. Where does Walker find all these beautiful girls, Dave thought. "How did you know these game geeks?" he bantered.
"Well, we were friends from college. We had a reunion from class and we got to talking and that's how it is." Leah smiled. "I also helped them a little on one of their games. Actually they needed my models for it because nobody could do what my models could. Just look over there."
Dave turned and looked. There was a big oval track like a track, but with ice covering it or something white. It look like speedskating ring like the Olympics. Skating around the ring were several female figures in tight, form-fitting spandex/lycra outfits, each with helmet or goggles and some sort of futuristic laser gun, all shooting at each other. They each tried to hit the other skaters clothed in different colors (There were several teams - more than two - in different colors. All tried to hit the others and not get hit by the opposing teams.) What was really something different was when the girls actually hit one another. At that instant the girl who was hit suddenly froze in whatever pose she was holding at the moment and a buzzer sounded. She still slid across the 'ice' as though she could not move at all and bounced into the side. "Good thing the walls are rubber coated." Dave noted.
"Really tough thing to do for the computer to copy. We had to actually had to put the girls in the ring and have them freeze when the laser hit them. You can't believe the messes that could happen. We had lots of times when girls got caught into each other and you had a lot of pile ups. Took us a long time to get everybody away!" Leah laughed. "It would be lot easier if the computers just made up the girls in the computer, but my tech friends couldn't get enough of my girls once they had seen them once. So they had them do it again and again just to have them around."
"That's something worth seeing." Dave said wistfully, imagining an image of the rubber/latex clad shapely bodies frozen in all sorts of poses stuck in a jumble. It was very appealing.
"Takes up lots of space though." Todd said, not quite picking up on Dave's thinking. "Good thing the place is so big so we can do it in real life."
"People do like the display a lot." Leah said. She looked across at the other parts of the convention floor. "And we still have many more games around. All the first person shooters look the same to me, after a while. Just like all the fighting games."
"Not every game looks like you are some agent from the Sixties, but it's a popular theme this year." Todd said. He pointed. "Like Austin Powers all over again. Boots, color, clothes; everything!"
"What's that supposed to be for?" Dave asked as he spied a group of women dressed as Valkyries walking around the convention.
"We haven't got that one yet. They are for some new game that's coming out soon but we had the models around for the last several years and the game never comes out. Don't ask me why, either." Todd grinned. "I like them just the way they are. One year they had some sort of display looking like a ice cave and they would be posed like they were frozen in there by some ice monster. That got a lot of people to stop by the display and was really popular last year. I don't care if the game ever comes out; the people show up just to see the presentation!"
'Another something for the Gallery display.' Dave thought as he looked at the voluptuous Valkyries. That was one display he wanted to see as he remembered there were some Valkyrie women in the Gallery the last time he was in there. And if they didn't have any women on display, yet, there were a lot of costumes and Dave was sure Walker had some of those kind of outfits around.
"Be a lot better when the game comes out." Todd said. He swept his hand around. "I wish I could play all the games around here but there's not that much time in the world to do that. They are all wonderful to look at and they're all cool too. I want to take all of these games home with me to play."
'I want to take all the game girls home with me.' Dave thought.
"Ophf!" People said as the girl in the blue two piece form-fitting exercise pants and top hit the girl in the skimpy bikini top and shorts. The two were like live characters transported from some fighting game into the convention set complete with sparring ring and mat and everything. They were playing characters from a fight game but the fight was looking a lot more painful live than on a video screen. "Ouch!"
"That's got to hurt." Todd said as he watched. The bikini babe had taken a roundhouse kick to the torso.
"We've got a lot of fighting games coming out this year because of all the game consoles coming out." Todd commented. "Some new stuff and a lot of sequels folks have just wanted to see for a long time. Same thing about all the games is that we don't have enough time in the world to play all of them. Makes choosing tough, they're all so good!"
"And the fights? That looks like a lot of pain for the models doing it." Dave said as he saw the blue girl throw the other one across the ring. "That's something I don't do." He much preferred a simpler martial art, where less effort was required to gain the upper hand.
"Well, then watch the girls as they do it." Todd shrugged. "But a lot of people do like to watch them spar. Guess it's the girls, and the way they get worked up." They walked past a couple of statues dressed like the girls in the ring, mounted on rotating pedestals. They were posed like they were about to fight, with stern 'game face' looks and all.
Dave examined the blonde figure in the blue and saw she was suspended. No statue could ever get the little details like skin pigment and irises of the eyes just right. "I like to watch them; you're right on that one."
They were away from the main floor of the convention center, in a side wing, but there seemed to be more people here than elsewhere. They all seemed to gravitate to this one section of the show. "Here something that you have got to see. I don't know how they work but they're really cool to watch and play with." Todd said with a happy expression.
Leah, tagging along, just smiled and nodded at Dave to tell him that it worked the same way he thought it worked. More Suspendors.
This part of the convention had been turned into some kind of hallway that seemed to branch many times like a maze, going everywhere. On both sides of hallway were glassed-over niches. Big display set niches like one might find in a museum of nature history. But the scenes on display inside were not the same as in a natural museum diorama. These were much more arousing than natural. In one display it seemed like a frozen picture out of a Red Sonja epic, with warrior women engaging some strange colored monster with a lot of tentacles. The women were wearing armor and chain mail, not revealing like some of the swimsuit-for-fighting costumes seen in other displays. These appeared more authentic. But the dungeon scene (There was a really nicely done stone cavern look-alike with moss and plants, and things that Dave could not say what they were) was incredibly realistic. Next to the glass front was a big button.
As Dave watched, someone in the group of visitors before the window pressed the button. Dave was amazed at what followed.
Inside, the scene the frozen warriors and the monsters suddenly were not frozen, but started moving! Each of the warriors attacked and shouted or screamed something and there were some nasty sounds coming from the monster as it fought against the warriors. It did not seem scripted, yet the fight continued at a draw. They all kept moving for couple minutes before the warriors and monster stopped, frozen again, in whatever poses they had held at the end. It must be exciting for the onlookers because they pressed the button again to see the figures move and freeze once more.
Another scene was a line of cheerleaders dressed in in pro-team colors. They were frozen in the midst of performing some kind of acrobatic routine. Someone pressed the button next to their window and the frozen cheerleaders came to life, placing their arms over the shoulders of the girls next to them. One of the cheerleaders stepped stage front and did a split, landing on a floor that was made up like a football field with mock grass, white lines, and yard markers. Then they all froze again with the other girls watching them. It was strange how their pom-poms continued to rustle for a few seconds after the cheerleaders themselves snapped into complete immobility.
Some of scenes Dave could tell had something to do with a game, like the scene of frozen beach volleyball players, suspended in mid-play on a floor covered in sand with a net and concrete block walls looking like some beach. The ball was hung on transparent wires so when the girls froze as the timer ran out, the ball would stop in mid-air as well. Another diorama had some scantily-dressed girl adventurers like Lara Croft sneaking into an Aztec looking dungeon; a press of the button started them moving, jumping, leaping, swinging and doing things to make people very happy to look at them before they froze back into a still life from the game. There was Duke Nukem-like game with the choice babes (The ones you rescue and the mutated ones) and fem-bots too, but with a girl dressed in a catlike all black leather outfit as the heroine instead of the the macho guy shown on the box.. "She sells better here." Todd said. "You can play her in the game too. Same with most spy games," Todd pointed at a scene with girls dressed in black jumpsuits sneaking into some important looking place with lot of security guards in it. "Even the Bond girls look great in this one. There's something about even a green cammo combat uniform that looks sexy on a Bond girl."
The next scene showed some girl dressed like skateboarder freeze-framed in the middle of her routine; farther along there were rollerbladers, frisbee throwers, and even a women's basketball team. Dave liked the tennis players in their white short skirts, posed looking like they were on a court but he wondered how the ball remained suspended where it was. Then he saw the hair-fine wires again.
Another display had some buxom ladies dressed like sci-fi characters in tight-fitting space suits going through a cramped space station or spaceship with very beautiful blue-skinned aliens about to ambush them. There were some girls dressed like pirates of the Caribbean - if there had been female pirates back then - looking like they were taking over a ship with very curvy crew.
Some scenes had favorite characters from a fighting game like Soul Calibur or something like that, doing their sword routines. For some reason the displays for Sophitia and her sister Cassandra (in those skimpy outfits that looked really good) had some kind of hallway between them so people could look at all sides of the models between matches. Dave had never seen a more dazzling incarnation of Ivy, with her lithe long-legged body and dancer's moves while fighting. As luck would have it, she froze while very close to the front glass and seemed to be looking straight through him. The lilac-haired punk swordmistress looked incredibly sexy; he wondered if Leah knew who the model was.
There were also the 'standard' Marvel and DC characters there with special effects ready to make them look like the characters the women pretended to be, even during their transformations. Other artfully decorated scenes were taken out of horror games or movies like Resident Evil and films like that. In one smaller diorama at the end of the row, a black-leather-clad warrior queen was there fighting some blonde enemy with big hair and white thigh-high boots. Barabarella; he remembered in the classic scene.
"Look at those girls," Todd pointed, "the first all female football teams in a pro football game. I have seen some girls on football teams, but I love to see a whole team of babes." Dave smiled and nodded, though with all the padding and protection it was difficult to tell.
Some of displays Dave couldn't see why they were there. There was some night club diorama with the most beautiful girls in it, with a glass hallway leading to a frozen party scene with equally beautiful girls. It was like some movie set, with the girls who resembled some famous real actresses and models (not the actual ones, he was sure - or was he) halted in mid-gesture and mid-pose. In a way the scene was almost like a waxwork exhibition. It looked like some B-movie that he had seen long ago at a party somewhere, a little movie but one that got Dave very interested. Once a while, when someone pressed the button, one of the characters from one scene would walk down the hallway to join the other display. There were some typically cliched Hollywood glamour shots too with other star look-alikes, including some girl dressed like Marilyn Monroe in that famous pose of hers on the subway grate. In this scene as well the skirt was being blown up by the blast of air from below.
Another scene looked like some Middle East harem, with outfits to match, and another was like a scene from some gymnastic meet, featuring the kind of gymnastic routines done with ribbons and hoops and balls. "It's rhythmic gymnastics. Something more popular outside the states. You should attend the events more often. Or, for the first time, in your case. Its a beautiful sport," Leah said when Dave asked.
The odd thing of all the events was what happened during those occasional sometimes when a scene was frozen. A few people would come out of a door in the back wall into the frozen scene and repose the figures or move them out or replace them with a different frozen girl or give them some other things to change what they were holding at the moment. Then they started the unfreeze again and the girls would act like nothing wrong even if they were now talking to different people, wearing something else, or holding a different prop.
"Now this is something that I could look at all day." Dave said appreciatively as he gazed around at everything and everyone. "I think this is great!"
"I think you might have seen something in a different place that was better, but this is good." Leah confided with a smile. She remained his impromptu guide for the rest of the day after Todd wandered off. They had a pleasant conversation over cocktails afterward and made plans to meet again. Dave got back to the limo, reanimated Nicole, and headed back to the Winson estate.
Collette was not at the mansion when Dave got back. The frozen maid standing at the door was a different one, not Yvette either, and when he asked the (moving) staff he learned Collette was off for the night. Dave was briefly disappointed but was then surprised to find a yellow sticker note on the mirror in his suite. "Follow the yellow note road." Next to the note was a remote control for the Suspendor and a PDA pad with note from Walker that said "Think you may want to use these tonight. Hope you like it!"
Dave began to follow the string of yellow notes from his room, through the mansion, to and then beyond the elevator leading to the Gallery of the Transformed. He walked past the inside swimming pool with same red swimsuit clad lifeguard sitting in the same chair and holding exactly the same pose since last time he was there, as well as most of the motionless bathers. Some of the girls from the swimsuit shoot remained posed on location. The many models frozen as statues and artwork stood still as ever in the hallways as Dave walked down them. There were some of Walker's beautiful security agents around too, some frozen but most unfrozen and on evening patrol in the mansion. Surprising Dave, most said hello to him by name. Another proof that they were very good at their job and not simply a bevy of very pretty faces. They said nothing about the trail of yellow notes that wound around the grounds like a treasure map.
Since Dave remained wide awake, even at late in the night, he decided to visit the Gallery. It was more fun than watching TV or something like that, he figured. From his last visit with Collette he knew the way back to the elevator. And the little yellow notes helped him find his way too. This time with nobody waiting for him, Dave took a long look at the two suspended agents still guarding the elevator to the gallery in their silver-clad martial poses. He decide to ask Walker how the two women (Indra and Tomiko?) had gotten their silver metallic disguises.
Nothing seemed to have changed in the Gallery since Dave last visited. There were a few people still walking around even this late, but not as many as first time he toured the place with his uncle. Leaving the elevator, he saw the trail of paper continue across the catwalk and down to the main floor of the cavern. 'Somebody put a lot of work into these notes,' Dave thought.
He took more time to look at and sometimes adjust the models while he followed the yellow notes. Along the path there was lycra spandex clad blonde lady frozen in the moment of her aerobic routine in a glass-covered niche. Dave stopped and decided to see if the PDA worked on her. He pressed some buttons, found nothing happened, and took a while to figure out what he was doing wrong because he was like any other man in not wanting to read instructions or ask for help. None of the Transformed models would ever answer him but a big "HELP" button on the PDA was available, taunting him as much as the motionless woman's blank gaze did. He wondered how come Colette had picked tonight to take off; she was always a great help and a very attractive young lady too.
Finally, he got it working; the PDA gave him detailed info on the frozen woman in the niche. "Suzanne LeFay... frozen... when?" Dave was surprised by the year displayed on the PDA. Suzanne must have been one of first ladies to be Transformed, it was so long ago. But when Dave looked at the shapely figure in the glass enclosure, the lady looked like she had been frozen just a couple minutes ago because of her modern hair style, make-up, and clothes. "Walker must like you very much!" he said to the statue. A little blinking message on the PDA told Dave a lot: 'Please don't touch or pose the girls in the alcoves or drawers, Dave. I like them just the way they are now. Walker.'
It was on the main floor that Dave found the first mystery figure. There was a line of cheerleaders wearing the colors of a pro-football team. In the middle of the line, Dave found a empty space where a cheerleader should have been posed frozen. Just in front of the open space was the missing cheerleader model posed in an even more sexy stance than the other cheerleaders. One hand was on her hip, holding both pom-poms and the other hand held a post-it note before her frozen face. Dave took a good look at her and then the note. It read "A little surprise for you, Dave. Just follow the yellow note road and you enjoy what you find at the end. See you there!"
"I wonder who you are and what surprise you have waiting?" Dave said. He looked at the sexy cheerleader. "You can't tell me, can you?" She remained a beautiful still-life. "I thought not," he answered himself. Starting to move the figure back into the line, Dave then discovered that somebody had dressed (or un-dressed) her, leaving the motionless girl without any panties under her short skirt. He decided to let the staff take care of restoring the cheerleader figure into costume and position. The curiousity of what was at the end of the note path was getting to him.
There was another familiar figure that Dave recognized along the way. The Goth girl he had seen the first time was in the same place. Dave came up to her and carefully looked at her. So pretty, and yet so unusual in her pale makeup, flaming red hair, and black clothes. The next figure Dave found out in front of their proper place was a airline stewardess, from the 1960s or 1970s by the look of the blocky high heels and pillbox hat she wore. She was posed in the middle of demonstrating how to use a life jacket and get out of the plane. However, she showed a lot of cleavage, even for that time; a quick glance (and then a longer one) revealed her bra to be missing and her full breasts unrestrained by the loose yellow jacket. In one hand was a note that continued "Another sign to get you to the surprise. Hope you are following them because we don't want you to get lost!"
'We? There's group of people doing this? Who is it, they?' Dave thought as he tried to repose the stewardess girl back to where she belonged. Draped across the signpost was a likely-looking brassiere and uniform jacket. He took the time to remove the life-vest, replace her undergarments and blouse before returning the frozen stewardess to her static demonstration. The lovely young brunette hadn't blinked an eye, of course, she could not since she was as hard-frozen as all the others. Dave thought about the clues that the signpost figures were giving him. Always something with clothes - and what pieces of clothes they were!? Must be something good coming up.
It was strange following the yellow notes stuck on the transformed women, because they were on the most provactively dressed models, ones who had been moved out of their displays and partially undressed. The instructions all just said "follow the notes!" with an occasional smiley face on them. He noted garters, thongs, the occasional nylon stocking in addition to bras and panties among the missing garments.
Finally Dave came to a scene in the very back of the gallery. There was a pool of water - or something that looked like water - with a platform in the middle of the moat that had an unusual house on it. Like a big dollhouse for real people, it was decorated in bright colors such as red, purple, and white. Dave thought the house looked like it should belong in a Gallery full of transformed "dolls" instead.
The water in the pool was not deep but there was no need to walk in (or on) the water. A path led across the pool to the platform that had been made for walking on, a special path that Dave wondered where Walker had gotten the idea for. It was made entirely of transformed models, lying on their backs with legs together like railroad tracks, alternating so each model's head was opposite the models' feet next to her. They all were dressed in brightly colored and striped one-piece swimsuits with goggles and swimcaps. Each had a smile on their frozen face and their arms were posed straight out from their bodies with their lower arms bent at right angles parallel to their torsos and next to their heads, holding onto the legs of the girls on both sides of them. They laid out next to each other to all the way to the platform, a living statue span; there was a sign next to the path that read "Please, step on us. We don't mind!"
This bridge of babes was sound, if unusual, and there was no other way to get to the platform except to swim. "If you don't mind.." Dave said and stepped carefully on the first model. She sunk a little bit into the water of the pool, but held his weight. It was a strange feeling, walking on the models. He thought it should be like walking on a firm bed, but it felt instead like he was walking on stone or something very hard. Clearly the suspendor had been cranked up to its maximum setting for these beauties. The girls who were transformed looked like they were in very good shape. There were lot of flat and washboard stomachs on the girls and that told Dave that his uncle allowed only his best girls to be transformed.
He got to the other side and looked at the house. It seemed more like a life-size doll house close up and Dave walked around it to make sure it was not open. There was a light on inside but he could not see what was inside. Around the side he found an unlocked entry.
Then Dave opened the door and saw something that was beyond his imagination. "Danielle knows how to do things! I'd have never thought of it.." he said aloud to the bewitching tableaux that greeted his eyes.
To Be Continued... Dave hits the Jackpot