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|When Scott and I returned to the lab, we went inside (Scott had
to unwedge the makeshift door for me). Scott seemed kind of anxious and
headed directly for the test platform. When he got there, he opened up the
mirrors on the back wall, pulled off his baggies and started flexing in the
buff. Where as he had been extremely excited the last time he had treated
himself to this sort of exhibition, his face was now one of intense
scrutiny as he carefully traced every line of muscle with his fingers and
flexed in various poses and positions.
"What are you doing?", I asked sheepishly.
"I'm ready for the next step," he replied.
"You mean you want to get bigger already? We haven't fully examined what happened to you the first time," I noted.
"I don't care. I just want to get bigger. I'm already bigger than anyone else on the planet, but I want more," Scott said with a very serious tone in his voice.
"Well I'm in no position to stop you," I said. "The thing is you can grow anytime you want. All you need is a power source. Any power source."
"Yeah, you explained that before," Scott remarked, "but remember what happened the last time? I was standing here flexing for nearly half an hour with the power still switched on and I didn't grow any more."
"You got much heavier, your muscle density quadrupled and your strength increased more than ten-fold in that half hour," I said, reviewing the logs.
"But I didn't grow," Scott maintained. "I want to get bigger. The strength and all is great and I love to show off, but what I really want is to be huge."
I paused and considered his words. It did seem that the formula I created optimized for strength and muscle density in favour of size, though Scott's physique could not be regarded as insignificant. I would have to figure out a way of boosting the size aspect as well.
"Alright," I said, "I need a little time to work out a modified syrum that will give you what you want. Obviously, you could get bigger right away by finding a bigger power source, but eventually that would have limited effects as well and your body would probably re-stabilize at its current size, though your mass, strength and density would increase again in proportion to the new energy source."
"Don't worry," I grinned, "We'll get you so big even you won't know what to do with all your size." With that, Scott wrapped his massive arms around me and gave me a gentle hug.
"Why don't you go off to work and meet me back here this evening," I said.
"I should be able to give you some answers by then."
"Damn!", Scott exclaimed. "It's nearly noon and I was due in at work at nine! My boss is going to kill me!"
"Not likely," I quipped. "Just explain to him how much more productive you'll be now that you're ten times stronger than a bulldozer. Getting you there is going to be a little bit of a chore. You'll probably have to use the van. I'll ring the motor pool and have then pick it up from you at work. I'll arrange for your transportation back here."
"Okay by me," Scott said as he hurried out the door.
I had some serious work to do. First, I called my office and told them I was going to be taking the rest of the week off. Next, I called several of my suppliers and told them I needed the special equipment I had ordered delivered immediately. Finally, I sat down at my console and started playing around with my original formula to see if there was some way I could increase the growth factors.
The workmen showed up to install my equipment about an hour later. The new machinery included significantly more sensitive measuring devices, scanners, quantum densometres and high-capacity power couplings. I barely noticed them going about their business as I continued to work on the formula modifications. In retrospect, I suppose I should have recognized Paul among the workers but it didn't occur to me until much later.
By five o'clock I had hit upon a formula which looked promising in computer simulations and began producing a test batch of the syrum. The workmen had all left and I rang the motor pool to send down a Hummer. If Scott was going to grow even more massive, I needed something heavy duty and big to transport him. The Hummer arrived about 20 minutes later and I drove off to pick up Scott.
When I arrived at his construction site, there was Scott, surrounded by a couple dozen men, showing off. He was doing one-armed presses with a bulldozer, much to the amazement and obvious arousal of the men in the audience. When he saw me drive up, he carefully put the dozer down and walked over to meet me.
"A good day I suppose?" I asked.
Scott grinned. "Yeah, pretty good. These guys couldn't believe what happened to me. I told them to wait until tomorrow if they thought I was built today."
"I'll try not to disappoint them," I grinned, "Hop in. This thing is big enough even for you."
Scott opened the door and moved his massive physique into the passenger side of the Hummer. The whole vehicle sank rather dramatically to the right as it accepted his incredible mass onto the suspension. On the way back to the lab, Scott told me about his day.
"The foreman was a little ticked that I was late, but when he got a look at me, he shut up", Scott said. "I think he's got a thing for me. He couldn't keep his eyes off me the whole day. But neither could the rest of them. I made up for lost time by hauling whole palettes of bricks from the delivery ramp to the elevator. When they say that, these guys went wild.
They started wanting to feel my muscles and testing my strength. You saw me playing with the bulldozer? Earlier today I was bending I-beams into pretzels. They loved it."
"Well I'm glad you had fun," I said. "I've been busy tweaking the formula and may have hit upon something that will work. I should warn you I haven't tested it yet and there may be some side effects but you will probably like the effect."
"What's different about this stuff?", Scott asked.
"Without getting to technical, the original formula constantly rematrixed your bone, tenden and muscle tissue into stronger and stronger fillements.
More muscle per unit volume. More muscle density, more strength. The problem was that you weren't seeing any of these increases because the formula rematrixed automatically. You were growing but not in size. For example, right now, you're probably dense enough to stop an armour piercing bullet within the first few cell layers on your pecs. If you didn't have this super density, you'd be much bigger than you are now.
"The new formula works a little differently. You will go through a plateau approach. Your size will increase as you flex and use energy just like before. Your muscle density at this stage will remain the same. When you've stopped flexing, any further energy you draw will be used to increase the density. So you'll never shrink like you did the first time.
And any time you want to grow, all you have to do is flex with a power source available. Any time you want to increase your density and strength per unit volume, draw power without flexing."
"Sounds great, Doc," Scott said, obviously excited. "I can't wait to try it."
We pulled into the lab, got out of the Hummer and opened the bay door. To our surprise, there was Paul, standing in the bay.
"I've been waiting for you boys to get here," Paul said, smiling from ear to ear. "I wanted you to be the first to witness my transformation."
Scott and I looked at each other then at Paul who had just unsealed a vial of the modified syrum.
"I wouldn't recommend that," I told Paul anxiously. "You don't know how to use it and that batch hasn't been tested yet."
"I know all I need to know," Paul said harshly. "Scott's bigger than me now and I don't like it. This stuff is going to change all of that. I want to be the biggest, strongest man on the planet." He put the vial to his lips and drank it down.
"Damn you Paul!" I shouted, "get into the lab quickly. I need to monitor what's going on. There's no telling what the new syrum will do with your body chemistry! It was balanced for Scott!"
Obediently, Paul obeyed as Scott walked behind, his face belaying his anger. I ushered both men onto the platform and activated the equipment.
The new scanners began tracing their bodies and feeding data back into my console. When they had gathered all the relevant information, I ushered Scott to one side.
"He doesn't know how to activate the formula, even if it does work for him," I said quietly. "Besides, he'll need an energy source and I don't intend to give him one." Secretly, I passed a vial of the new formula to Scott. "Keep this with you. Don't drink it yet."
We returned to the platform and Scott stood next to Paul.
"When does this stuff kick in?" Paul asked impatiently.
"With Scott it took about 20 minutes or so but with you, it might not work at all. Like I tried to explain, I tailored this formula specifically to work with Scott's DNA, not yours. You really shouldn't have taken matters into your own hands like that."
Paul scowled. "What choice did I have? I mean look at him," motioning to Scott's magnificant physique, "He's huge! Bigger than me! I don't like that. I have to grow! How much longer?"
"Any time now," I said. Paul began to flex. He was as big as a guy could be before this stuff. His physique was well-sculpted and hard but he looked like an under-nourished kid standing next to Scott. After about ten minutes of hard flexing with no results, Paul lowered his arms and walked up to Scott.
"It didn't work," Paul said angrly, "But don't count me out yet. I'll get bigger than you. I promise." With that, Paul shoved his fist into Scott's massive pecs. As it hit, both Scott and Paul gasped. There was a blue spark at the point of contact and then another and another. Blue energy bolts erupted from Scott's body and focused on Paul's fist and forearm.
Scott raised an hand to his head as if in pain. Paul, suddenly realizing what was happening quickly embrased Scott in an hug. As more and more of their bodies contacted, the energy bolts became more pronounced, dancing across their muscles in a strange, electric ballet. To my shock I noticed that Paul was beginning to grow. He was using Scott as his power source.
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