By Also_KnownAs

Maddox was a wreck after his workout. The images of the man who had been transformed -- no, perfected was a better term -- the images of the man's body, his chest and arms and legs and belly overwhelmed with huge powerful bulges of primed, flawless muscle had spurred him on to press that much harder, curl one more rep, push one more pump and make his own copious collection of brawn scream for mercy. Sweat slicked his skin as he stood before the mirrored wall in his weight room... stood there simply looking at himself.

He did not flex his muscles into fat round balls, he didn't pose until the veins popped huge along his bronze skin, he simply stood there breathing deeply, his eyes scanning the lines of the body he had attempted so hard to perfect. He thought about the shots of hormones enriched by enzymes and radicals and god knew fuck all what was swimming through his bloodstream after a dozen different enhancements to him, body and soul. He scanned the lines of that body now, the face with its blue eyes surrounded by a wet crown of golden hair, damp with sweat. His long neck and wide shoulders were muscular and powerful. He had a chest with thick definition, and his stomach was flat and lined with bulges of power. Narrow hips lead to fat cables of strength lining his upper legs, then the wide diamonds on his calves. He had very little fat under his skin, and all in all he had to admit that he looked pretty fucking amazing.

But the images wouldn't subside. What he had seen in those beautiful and pristine pictures was nothing less than the male perfection he so dearly desired. His body was amazing, and would do amazing things. He had the agility of a gymnast and the strength of a weightlifter. He had the finesse of a master swordsman and the speed of a sprinter. And yet...

And yet what he saw in those photos was something so far beyond what he possessed that he found himself aching to possess it. He was ready to give anything, everything, to have it.

Minutes later, after he had stood in the shower, the hot water spilling across his flesh, hanging his head under the spray to cleanse the sweat from his body, he sat wrapped in a towel in the darkness of his media room awaiting the next download. This one, he hoped, would reveal the secrets that the last one only promised. This one would include the why's and where's and who's. Why was he handed this assignment? Where were these men? And who was that in those pictures, who had told them everything in the initial file?

While there were always secrets he had to keep, they never kept secrets from him. Maddox was trusted, a man given absolute authority to do anything necessary to get the job done.

He glanced at the readout on the system clock and almost exactly at the same time 4:00:00.00 appeared, the screen flickered with the receiving icon and his hard disk started whirring. He pulled in a deep breath, realizing he had never felt this level of anticipation before. This was a role like none he'd ever encountered.

He started accessing the files immediately, but was surprised when the download stopped only seconds after it had started. Opening the folder, he knew why immediately. It contained a single encoded text file, and if Maddox had to make a guess, he knew whose signature would be on it.

Maddox, Scott Serial 0000000SG5 YEO -- DAR Report headquarters immediately. Destroy previous file after memorization. Standard procedures apply. NC/NS Tipton, Maj. Gen. Sherman

Simple, direct, commanding. Pure Tipton, the bastard. Jesus, that man needed an enema. He scanned up the page. YEO -- DAR. Your eyes only. Destroy after reading. He did so.

So, he was being summoned to main office. They didn't want to tell him using the usual channels, he had to make an appearance. Something he hated more than almost anything. It was highly unusual that he'd be called in, clearly something was up.

And with Tipton, immediately meant immediately. He scratched himself, sighed heavily and got up, leaving the towel behind and walking his fine ass to the wardrobe to slap some clothes on his body and get gone.

Main office was an antiseptic nightmare, an underground labyrinth of white walls and white floors and white ceilings sucked of anything resembling life. Maddox was more than uncomfortable here, he sometimes felt trapped or caged, but he was smart enough never to reveal the slightest hint of that unease. He liked the world, and the sky, and the dirt and the germs. He liked being outside. And this was the antithesis of outside. This was nowhere.

The silence matched the cleanliness perfectly. He heard his own footfalls along the corridors but little else. He arrived at Sherman's offices and stood dutifully while he waited admittance. His clear eyes surveyed the clean-cut officer sitting at the white desk in his dark uniform with suspicion and distaste. He knew nothing about him, but the man seemed to give off officiousness like a stench.

At last the door to the inner sanctum opened and Maddox entered, straightening his super-powered body to be his most intimidating, because he knew that any less would be suspect to his boss. He saluted (although it wasn't strictly necessary) and stood at attention, the lines of his body rigid and stern. His eyes faced straight ahead and his jaw was set. When he heard the order to stand at ease -- and there was no doubting that it was an order he heard -- he folded his arms behind his back and set his feet shoulder width. It became apparent that Sherman never even looked at him. Fucker. "I'd ask you to sit down," the general said, "but I'm afraid the seat is already taken."

It was then that Maddox, whose senses were more honed than a cat's and whose reflexes were razor sharp turned to see a man sitting in the leather wingback in the corner of the office. And even if his senses and reflexes had failed him, his memory did not. The man, the beautiful man, smiled at him, nodded slightly, and then stood up, offering his hand. He was the man from the images, the perfect man, the beautiful, flawless, amazing collection of huge, powerful, raw muscular might with a face that would make the greatest artists of the millennia weep openly that they could never accurately portray its splendor and magnificence. He was the huge man, the man towering over Scott's own impressive stature, the man who, Maddox knew, could leap toward him and crush him utterly and there was nothing, not one thing, he could do to stop him.

The man gave off an aura of confidence and self-possession so strongly that for a moment Scott could focus on nothing else. Nothing but the man's sleek, muscular form wrapped in jeans and a T-shirt so tight and form-fitting that the phrase `painted on' could not do them justice. Literally nothing was left to the imagination, and it was all there for the looking. His broad chest and its ripe nipples, the ripples of power on his abdomen, the glowing, sun-burnished flesh along his arms highlighted with golden hairs perfectly placed. The jeans accentuated rather than hid his ample assets, and his thighs threatened to split them open along the seams at any moment.

But his sensuous mouth and equine nose and piercing eyes drew Scott's attentions away from his amazing muscular size. He noted the way the brawn of his arm flexed and bulged as he offered his grip and said, in a voice saturated with masculine power, "Hello again, Scott."

"Hello, Dr. Lassiter," he said, shaking the man's genetically perfected hand.

"Call me Jerry, please." He was smiling, and why not? He was perfect, and he knew it. He had designed himself, in a manner of speaking, to be flawless. He had personally turned all his own dials up to 12, and then amped them up higher still, beyond any measure in human perception. He had it all, and then some. The power, the strength, the beauty, and the capability of giving it to any other man he deemed worthy of it with a whisper, a touch, a kiss.

"How are you?" he said, because he could think of nothing else to say to this man.

"Fucking great, Scott. Pretty fucking great." His smile grew incandescent, and Scott could feel himself drawn to the man.

Until he was pulled back to earth by his master's voice. "Pull it back in, doctor. We have business to attend to."

Scott watched a sort of disappointment fall across Lassiter's beautiful countenance, but just as quickly the smile came back, he shrugged lightly, scanned up and down Maddox's own impressive form with a quick glance and a wink, then turned and sat down again, sprawling his massive muscular bulk in the chair, one leg over an arm and the other stretched before him. His ample dick shoved itself across his thigh as if it had a mind of its own and Scott wondered, absently, where the other one was.

"Welcome back, Maddox."

"Thank you, sir." As he turned his back to Lassiter, he thought he heard the man's deep voice mumble `nice ass.'

"I assume you've read the dossier." Not a question, so it didn't require an answer. "You have questions."

"Yes, sir."

"The first being why Dr. Lassiter has chosen to aid us."

"Actually, my first question was, `Why is the doctor bothering to wear clothes at all?' Sir." A rumble of laughter behind him, and the sound of skin on leather adjusting. No, not adjusting. Standing.

Because the man was next to him now, looming hugely.

"Don't ask," he thundered. He was looking at Maddox. Scott could practically feel the man's gaze on him. His voice sounded so genial and friendly. It dug into Scott's head and comforted him.

"Don't tell," he answered automatically. Jerry smiled broadly.

"If you two ladies are done flirting, I have some business to conduct with Major Maddox."

The huge mountain of muscle was moving again, laying his paw on Scott's shoulder and squeezing gently. "That's my cue, I think." Jerry looked down at Maddox and smiled. "See you later, Scott."

"I'm looking forward to it." He nodded a goodbye as the man turned and left the room.

"Eyes front, Maddox, if you please."

"Sorry, sir. He's rather... distracting."

"He's rather more than that, as I'm sure you'll agree. That man's formula may revolutionize the art of espionage and war." Maddox could not help but agree, but still a chill went through him at the man's obvious glee concerning the thought. Scott's job was not to engage in war, nor to make them better. He was there to stop them. The general's kept talking, mostly, Maddox believed, because he so enjoyed the sound of his own voice. "How are you feeling, Major."

Why did all of his questions sound like orders? He looked at the old man, sitting behind his mahogany desk. He was bald, with white hair at the temples and a paunch of fat on his belly. You could still see the soldier underneath the age and lethargy of the body that encased it. The eyes, above all, were alert and laser sharp. "Very good, sir."

"I mean in light of your encounter with Dr. Lassiter."

"I noticed most of the physical manifestations occurring as outlined in the casebook, sir. Indeed, the man's appearance and strength of will is almost supernatural."

"Yes, yes. But what did you feel, Major? What was your reaction?"

"Attraction, certainly -- physically and sexually. Desire. Jealousy. Lust. I felt a curious tugging sensation at one point as if I were being drawn to him. His beauty is such that I doubt anyone but the blind would be completely unaffected by him. His overwhelming presence is... well... just that. Overwhelming."

"Would you have difficulty being in the field with him?"

He considered it for a moment, casting his gaze at the beige carpet before answering. "No, sir."

"Very good." There was no clarification needed. These men knew each other too well. The general opened the top drawer and pulled out another brief, sliding it across the glossy top of his desk into Maddox's hands. "Your next assignment."

"Yes, sir."

"The details are enclosed, of course, but there are a few facts I have elected to tell you in person. These are not to be shared with anyone, under any circumstances."

"Yes, sir."

"You will be accompanied by Dr. Lassiter. He is aware of the arrangements. Due to his inexperience with your line of work, this assignment is not up to the usual standards commensurate with your talents. I'm sure you see the logic." Maddox nodded, but Sherman simply continued talking. "While your direct goal is to complete the assignment, your secondary goal is to observe and record Lassiter's reactions in the field."

"Sir, I..."

"Although the formula has succeeded, in fact exceeded expectations in some areas, there have been other unfortunate side effects that may mitigate its usefulness to us."

"I understand."

"Under no circumstances are you to be exposed to the transformation process."

"But, sir...."

"Under no circumstances, Major."

"It occurs to me, sir, that should Dr. Lassiter have other plans there would be little I could do to stop him."

"He understands the consequences."


"Dismissed, Major."

Maddox saluted, pivoted smartly and left.

Jerry Lassiter was standing outside, leaning against the opposite wall. His arms were folded across his chest and one slender eyebrow was arched above his clear, hazel eyes. His shaggy head of sandy hair hung just to his ears and the nape of his neck, and the front slid forward across his brow. A smile that showed no teeth creased his full lips, and he uncrossed his legs and stood erect as Maddox pulled the door closed behind him.

Scott had a hard time keeping himself from looking startled, because even after having seen this vision of masculine perfection only minutes before, his memory did not seem capable of doing the man justice. He was gorgeous, there was no doubting that. Maddox swung both ways, a self-described sensualist and sexual hunter, he had been with many beautiful people in his years, but none, not one of them of either sex, came within an inch of the man standing ten feet from him.

He felt like he was in very great danger.

Lassiter gestured up the hallway. "Shall we?" Scott's brows arched. "I assume you have a few questions for me -- like why I'm here, for instance."

Maddox smiled, attempting to hide his desire with nonchalance. "Where to?"

"My place," he said, grinning.

"On our first date? Don't I even get dinner?"

"Good to see you haven't changed." Jerry led the way. "But you need to be careful, Scott. I may take you up on your teasing now, you know."

"You've changed quite a bit, Dr. Lassiter."

"You noticed?"

Scott could smell something, not cologne exactly, something more like musk. "All for the better, I assure you."

"Thanks loads," he said. His tone was droll. "Was I really that bad?" They tuned a corner and brushed against each other. Lassiter felt hard as stone under the T-shirt.

Scott shrugged. "Frankly, I don't remember you having a personality at all."

Jerry laughed. It was a deep, rumbling sound, like thunder coming from a cave. "Frankly, neither do I." He paused in front of a door and looked at Maddox. "You do look really good, Scott." He opened the door. •

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