Recruit, The


By Richard Jasper

The next morning I reported to the infirmary promptly at 0800 hours.

The doc who had me sign the release form the day before told me that it would be one simple injection, which would probably make me sleepy and possibly hungry. I'd have a room with a bunk and access to the infirmary's small but well-stocked kitchen, as well as the small but choice paperback collection the doc had built up for his patients.

"Ready?" he asked, finally.

"You betcha!" I replied.

It turned out to be a big ass hypodermic full of a brilliantly blue liquid. The doc had no trouble finding a vein -- I've always been lean and vascular -- and though there was no sting going in I felt a flush as he slowly, slowly pumped in the liquid.

"How do you feel?"

"A little hot, but otherwise fine," I replied. "In fact, I feel really good..."

He nodded and escorted me to my room. By the time we got there I was beginning to yawn and by the time I'd stored my gear and put on the required hosptial gown ("You gotta be kidding, right?" He just shook his head...) I was feeling very droopy. And heavy, for that matter. My arms and legs felt quite leaden, but also full and tingly, as if I had a good pump going.

I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

When I awoke the light coming through the mini blinds told me it was well-past noon. Checking the kitchen clock I saw I'd slept damned near eight hours in what seemed like the wink of an eye. And I was ravenous...

The doc was right about it being a well-stocked kitchen. There was milk and bread and eggs and bacon and fruit and vegetables for 10 people. Fortunately, my momma'd taught me how to cook when I was a kid so I just pulled out the pots, the pans, the condiments and the spices and had at it.

For four hours.

By the time I finished, there was no bread, no milk, no bacon, no eggs, no fruit, no vegetables. You'd have thought I'd be sleepy after that particular repast but the fact is I felt totally wired. I was longing for the gym -- by that time it had been 24 hours and it was rare than I went more than that without going to the gym -- so I started doing some bodyweight exercises instead: push ups, sit ups, handstands, dips, there was even a chin up bar in the doorway.

I'd been going at it for about an hour when the doc came by to check on me. By that time I'd shed my hospital gown, which was totally soaked with sweat, and replaced it with a big, fluffy bath towel.

The doc seemed a bit agitated at the sight of me.

"So, Corcoran, how long have you been going at it like that?" he asked.

"Uh, hmm, well, now that I think about it, I guess a coupla hours or so," I replied. "Whatever that was you gave me sure gave me a helluva energy boost, doc. That was my fourth set of chin ups." "How many reps did you do?"

"That's the other funny thing," I answered. "I did 150 the first set, 250 the second set, and 350 these past two sets. And I really can't say that I feel it much..."

"How about giving me some pushups?"

I dropped to the floor and started cranking them out, in perfect form, taking my time. Ten minutes later, when I passed 500, he stopped me.

"How many other sets have you done thus far?"

I counted backwards.

"Five, I guess. And, uh, yeah, I guess I did the same number of reps for each set."

"How many was that?"

I frowned. It was finally beginning to sink in.

"Same number as I just did for you..."

The doc let out a whoosh, then scratched his head and looked around like he wasn't quite sure what to do next.

"Well, Corcoran, I think you're a bright enough fella to do the math. What you're telling me is that in the past hour you've done about 3000 push ups and more than 1000 pushups in the past hour. That's pretty amazing. What else have you been up, too?"

I blushed and glanced at the kitchen counter, which was a wreck.

I didn't think his eyes could get any wider but they did.

"Is there anything left?"

I shook my head.

"OK, then," he said, "I guess we'll need to restock. In the meantime, let's go check your vitals..."

He took my temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate, all of which were normal, then he had me peel and step on the scale. First he checked my height, then my weight, but I didn't pay any attention -- my energy burst was wearing off and I was beginning to feel sleepy again.

The doc frowned, checked his chart, then made me do it again. "Aww, doc..." I mumbled, comlaining.

What he told me next made my jaw drop:

"Just wanted to be sure. 5'11", 185 lbs. Corcoran, you've grown an inch taller and added 25 lbs., apparently all muscle, in less than 24 hours. I think it's about time for you to shower and get back to bed. I'll see you again at 0800..."

He snapped his clipboard shut and walked out.

Like he told me, I headed to the shower. I spent a long time under the warm water, half dazed, partly because of the workout I'd just put my body through, partly because of what he'd told me.

I rubbed the soap across my chest, my tight abs, my arms, my hard butt cheeks and I knew what he told me was true -- I *was* bigger dammit, and even harder than I was before.

Thinking about it all made that other part of me hard, too, and as I wrapped my thick, pumped hand around it I had another startling revelation... •

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