She sat looking at her self in the mirror wondering if this were a mistake. A knock at the door, “Come in”. She was expecting him. “How are you doing?” the old one asked. “Nervous!” the tense reply. “Normal,” he said “brought you something to calm you down.” Looking in the bag she said “Umm!
My favorite Ben & Edy’s pistachio!” He looked at her calmly, “Remember what you have learned and you should be alright. We’ll be there, just look for us in the front row seats, your friends.” He was gone.
Having a spoonful of the ice cream she thought, “It was the best day of my life that I did not –
Read the label !”
Veronica VanDerValt, the adopted daughter of B. S. VanDerValt and his wife Calean. One of the, (if not the) greatest fashion models of the UPWE! Did not matter she was a badger mutant, she was good looking an knew how to move (her dance training helped there). At 26 she was on top of the world (except for the death of her parents in the loss of their personal yacht because of a drive core breach 2 years ago), but now she was the Veronica ! She had a reputation for being hard <she was secretly kind>, a money waster <secretly funneled all she made and then some to charities>, and short tempered <well she was a badger>.
At the time this story starts we find Ms V just getting home from a shopping trip. Being the servants day off Veronica let her self in and spread her purchases all over the couch in her room. Two new dresses, new veridem framed glasses, (actually she wore these) a bottle of some thing or other beauty drink and several gifts for her staff. <I told you she was – oh, just pay attention to the story!> Oh yes, and a new bikini, which she wanted to try right away for she had (of course) an indoor pool. But first she was going to try the beauty drink. Taking a sip she found it very nice and tasty, so she sipped it as she changed. So tasty in fact she finished it before going down stairs to the pool . < Now we know she should have read the label before drinking all of it.>
Veronica felt no effects from the drink until on the way back from the pool, then – “Whoa! What was in that drink !” She thought. “I feel warm and – and heavier.” Looking in a mirror in the lounge off the pool room she saw, she was heavier !
Her first though was she’d fallen asleep and was dreaming. She knew better. It wasn’t much heavier but any heavier to a high fashion model was a disaster! The worst part was, she was slowly getting bigger, that is to say, fatter. “WHAT THE IL; IS HAPPENING TO ME!!!” Veronica yelled. What to do ? Call for help. Who? Her doctor, to late. A trusted friend ! That was it! However that narrowed it down to 2 . Silvina a fellow model and a good kid but not the sharpest skate on the ice. Ah! Of course Polly 2!
Polly 2”s full name was Polaris 297634. She was the one who funneled Veronica’s money into different charities for her. Quickly Veronica called hoping Polly was home – she was.
“Umm,” the Polarin said shaking her white bear like head when she heard Veronicas story “I really don’t know what to tell you.” A moment more “ WAIT I do have an idea ! A friend of my family pack, he’ll know what to do. Let me call him.” And she broke the connection.
“Wha—who –I didn’t say that was ok! Polly I’ll kill you! d it!” (Veronica knew some really good cuss words in non earth languages.) The vphone rang. She opened the connection “He’s coming over, be there in 5-10minutes. By the way , he’s one of the Warlords. So long, thank me later.” Patty said and broke the connection before Veronica could react, again.
“Oh great, a Warlord! Like I want to see one of them. “ <Which, if you ask me is a little out of line as Veronica had never met one.> Before she could say any thing else the door chime rang. She commanded the viewer to come on, front porch, and there he was.
From what she could see he was at least 2 meters tall and shaped like a beer barrel. It was hard to tell because of his outfit. Black knee length coat, dark gray pants, dark green shirt, and a cape. “Are you Polly's Friend?”
“Yes” in a voice not quite human.
“OH come in. I’m in the lounge. Come down—“
He held up a hand and said “I’ll find you.”
While Veronica waits let me tell you a bit about the Warlords. They are one of the Elder races, races have been around since it all began. There are 4 of them, as far as they know. In fact the Warlords are the oldest.<Note: this Warlord is a very powerful one!> As to the other Elder Races they do not enter this story.
Suddenly he was in the door way, all 2 meters of him. He was big! Fat and powerful looking . He looked down at her and said “Hello Ms VanDerValt, I am Warlord XP of the Imperial Fleet, Polaris 297634 told me of your problem and I am here to help. First, that swimsuit will be very uncomfortable in a few minutes so let us deal with that.” One thing she had heard was true- they did not waste any time. For once in her 26 years she was speechless at the sight of him. It was not his size or his coloring, a green gray under his skin tone. It was his eyes they – well – how do I? I’ll put it as best I can, where humans (and most races) eyes are white, theirs are green, where the iris and pupil are there was --- darkness! With a strange swirl of nothingness if you dared to look close enough. Most people did not! “Ms VanDerValt !” He said a bit louder. She snapped out of it.
“Those eyes!” she said “ There –there aren’t words!”
“I know.” He said “You will get used to it. “ He blinked “About your problem, what did you weight when this started? Judging from the painting in the hall about 55 kg.” <For those living in the past 1kg=2.2lb so 55 X 2.2= 121lb and from now on it’s up to you to do the math.>
“Actually closer to 57kg. I’ve been trying to lose for a big shoot for Gucci-DeOre, and your right this bikini is getting tight!”
“One would imagine, you are up to 64kg. Please stand up.” As she did so, he pulled a flared tube from under his coat. Holding it up he said “An Imperial Sidllator, gar-en-teed to help win sword fights, gun fights and alter gents and m’ladys fashions.” Before she could ask what he was going to do a green flicker of “light” engulfed her along with a droning sound. Then it stopped.
Oh what relief ! No longer were the side straps cutting into her hips, no more pressure on her belly, and no more flatting her breasts. Veronica looked at her self in the mirror “Hum, not half bad. I always wondered what I’d look like with bigger boobs. If it weren’t for—what am I thinking!” Looking at XP she said out loud “Can you stop this before I outgrow these?”
“No matter, you won’t out grow them.” At her look he added “That material is altered so it will grow with the wearer, no matter how much you weigh it will fit. Now back to your problem. You are now up to 68kg.”
“You say it like it really isn’t a problem! WHY?!?” Veronica almost yelled at him.
“In most of the advanced races and all of the Elder Races fatness is a sign of health and beauty.
That’s why. “ He blinked once “Again back to your problem any idea what started it?” She shook her head no. “Your probably to upset, I’ll bet you do. Think about what you did today, anything unusual?”
The Unread Label.
“Let me think-I went shopping, but nothing unusual about that. I always go shopping. “ To his next question she answered, “Did I buy any thing out of the ordinary? No, wait – yes I did. Some taboulian beauty drink.” Some what? he asked, “Taboulian beauty drink.” Veronica repeated.
“Maybe Tantulian Beauty Drink?” He said carefully sitting in one of the chairs. At the creak of the chair he got up quickly and played the sidulator over it to change it into a strong recliner type chair. “Sorry about that.” He sat again. “Any way was it Tantulan Beauty Drink? Tabouli is a mid-eastern salad made with bulgier wheat.” She told him, yes, it was Tantulian! “Didn’t you read the label?” She was quiet. “Wellllll??”
“No. I threw it away.”
‘Eyes’ rolled up, “And may one ask, Why?!!?”
“I know what beauty is all about! I don’t need to be told! Why? What did I do? Is that’s what’s CAUSING THIS ??!!??”
“In a word --- yes.”
Veronica was quiet, for several minutes. XP had pulled his cape around him like a shroud. Just his head and shoes showing. “I think I should tell you what the label said.” Before she could respond –“The Tantulans are a race of Fat Admires. This drink will make you gain weight. Warning ! The effects are unstoppable and irreversible!” He looked at her calmly, “Your up to 76kg.”
“The-ther-there is nothing you can do about it?” She asked on the verge of tears. At a shake of his head she asked “ H- ho-how much will I gain?”
He replied, “It depends on how much you drank. To quote the back of the label ‘1ml = 1kg weight gain.’ How much did you drink?”
“The whole bottle!”
“There are 3 different size bottles, silver name plate 100ml, pewter 200ml, and gold 300ml. Which?”
“Pewter! I’LL WEIGH 200KG ?!”
“That plus what you started at, which you said was 57kg. So 257kg. Your at 78kg.”
Veronica started to cry, and kept on crying.
To tell the truth the Warlord felt kind of sorry for her. This was not of her choosing. He knew also that she did not deserve her nasty reputation. Well she was short tempered but that was natural for a Badgerin. Which brought up another question – What was a Badgerin doing on Earth? The UPWE had not made contact with the Badgerin yet, not for 5-6 years the concave of Elder Races predicted. Well figger that one out later. Now how to help this soon the be more beautiful, but didn’t think, it young lady out. He was watching her all this time, now with his finger tips touching and cape thrown back.
She looked at him trough her tears and said, or moaned “I’ll be to fat to move! Or only drag my fat, bloated body around! I hate this I’ve always moved so WELL! I’ve been a dancer you know and tried ice skating with Polly 2. Now that’s all done! “
Before Veronica broke down again XP told her “Not so.” She looked at him, mouth open but no sound coming out. Finely she asked why not? “The drink also increases strength and bone density to compensate for the greater weight. In most cases even agility is improved. ‘Now there’s glory for you!’ To quote Humpty Dumpty.”
In spite of her self Veronica started giggling trough her tears and said “That’s not what glory means.”
“That’s what Alice said. Back to you – What can I do to help you?” XP leaned back closing his ‘eyes’. “Please don’t say make me thin again, it an’t gonna happen. Fat you are and fat you will stay. Your up to 86kg. Besides Polaris 297634 weighs over 600kg and skates like a pro – come to think of it she was a pro.”
“I know (big sigh) it’s just such a shock. Because of one drink to go from the number one model in the universe to a big fatty (head shake) it just doesn’t seem right.” She said head down.
“Wee’lll truth be told you weren’t the number one model in the universe. Just this sector. Which is a small part of the universe. Sorry to disillusion you but as I said before fatness is more common in the older races then thinness. The top fashion model in the universe is some one who’s name you could not even pronounce, and weights more then you will, but back to my question; how to help you – are you familiar with mental surgery? Called by some wags ‘brain salad surgery?” She shook her head slowly. Tell me more she asked him. “It’s a way of going into a persons mind and helping them find a way to deal with their problems. I’m very good at it and I will try it on you if you wish.” In reply to her next question he said “No! Definitely not! It is no form of hypnotism at all. You are in control all the time. It is more like guidance and up to you. You can stop it any time you want.” – “Again no! The only pain is what one might find out that they have hidden even from themselves.” – “Maybe, maybe not there are no guarantees in someone’s mind. We just have to try it and see. At least it will answer a few questions I have and that will help!”
“What kind of questions?” Veronica asked “And how will they help me?”
“Because they are about you.” Holding up his hand he counted on his fingers.” One: What is a Badgerin doing on Earth? Two: Why does a Badgerin, a FA race, want to be thin? Three: Who are you really?”
“Ok, what is a Badgerin?? And why do you think I am one? Tell me then we’ll try.”
“To answer in reverse order; I know you’re a Badgerin because of your life song, that is how I found my way to the lounge. The Badgerin are a young advanced race in a unknown (to the UPWE) part of the universe. About 25 of your years ago they were involved in a war with another race called the Garkonins, nasty types, any way the Elder Races put a stop to it, but not before much damage was done. Including the death of the ruling family.” XP looked sad “They tried to fight it alone and did not call us soon enough. A mistake they won’t make again! We left a contingent of Darkoniens < third of the Elder Races> to watch over them.”
“I’m one of them—a Badgerin?” Veronica was puzzled! “I thought I was an orphan mutant, found by a Rescue Rangers ship.”
“That may be partially true. One way to find out.”
“ g let’s find out!”
“Sit back, relax, this may take awhile, do you want to do any thing first? A bite to eat? Use the bathroom? Whatever?” She thought she’d use the bathroom. On the way out she asked how much. “99kg.” He said.
In the bathroom Veronica looked at herself in the mirror, and sighed, then to be sure stepped on the scale ‘100’ it read. She examined her body, the new curves and bulges, again she sighed, did what she need to do, and reentered the lounge. XP had changed her chair into a more comfortable one and she sat. “Let’s get this show on the road!!”
The Locked Room.
After sitting down Veronica asked “What do I do?”
“Lean back, close your eyes, relax.” After she did so he said “ Now to get started.”
Veronica opened her eyes to find her self in a long dark hallway, on either wall were glowing screens. “Where am I?” She asked fearfully, “and where are you XP?”
“Do you want me in your mind with you?” His voice seemed a long way off.
“YES! I’m scared!! Stay with me!”
“OK.” Said a voice at her side “I’m here.”
“Where is here?” eyes wide open in fear.
With a sweeping gesture of his hand XP told her “This is the hall of your memories. Each glowing screen is an important memorie. You have only to touch the screen to relive it. That is if you want to, not all are happy memories. In fact I am sure some are very sad.”
“Are these all my memories? It seems like there should be more.”
“No, not all memories are that significant. There are many little memories that we simply have no need to have here. They are stored in the back-up attic of the mind. These are the ones that are more important to us. Very good times or very bad times.”
As she looked around she saw some screens were brighter then others. She asked why. “The brighter ones are happier memories, the duller are either not so happy or neither happy or sad only important things that happened to us.”
She walked over to one very bright screen “OH this is the week Polly2, Silvina and I went on that big skating vacation! OH that was so much fun! We didn’t care about the outside world at all! We did what we wanted, ate what we wanted, went to bed and got up when we wanted! I gained 6kg and didn’t care. If I had time I’d relive that one for sure!” XP told her he’d teach her how. “That would be great!” Veronica said “Oh look.”(They stood at a dimly glowing screen)”The day I won model of the year. It didn’t impress me then either come to think of it.” They stopped at a screen with a black border, “ The Rescue Ranger telling me of Mum and Dads death.” She shivered “Don’t want to relive that one!” They moved down the hall “Looks like I’m getting younger. – Gee not many really happy--- WHAT THE HELL!!”
For before them was a locked and bared door!
After some time in silence XP said “Interesting.”
“Oh yea!” Veronica retorted “What is that all about! I’m locked out of my own mind??”
The Warlord kind of chuckled, “Nooo! It’s memories that for some reason you’ve locked away from yourself. Probably because they’re to painful to you. As you were getting younger coming this way I’d say they are of your childhood. We should open it and see.”
“If they’re painful why should I? I don’t want to get hurt all over again!!”
He slowly turned and looked at her with his inhuman eyes. “I thought you wanted to know who you are and how to be happy. I think you were happy back there.”
“How can it be I’d be happy and not want to remember it, damn it!”
“What was your last memory before this door?”
Veronica looked at the panel. It showed a young B.S. and Calean bringing home a very young chubby badger – human looking girl. She heard XP’s voice say “You said yourself how there were few really happy memories you had. Therefor I feel that what is hidden away are your youngest years and how a Badgerin came to earth.”
“OK! Ok. How do I open it?” Then muttering “I hope I don’t regret this.” XP sighted “With the key around your neck."
“What key?” She looked down, between her much larger and shapely breasts hung a gold key on a silver chain. “Oh that key.” She said beyond suprise now. With trembling hand she
moved the key into the lock and turned it. Quietly the door swung open.
Well, XP was right. Behind the door were more panels all of her childhood. All the bright light of good memories. Before her adoption. Their she was playing with her favorite nurse at the children’s home! Sharing a bed time snack with her. All the children out on a trip to Mars tougher. So happy –“It hurts to remember them!” Veronica said, “I’m not that happy now. I miss Nursey!” She looked at XP “That’s what you meant by memories being so happy they hurt to remember. I was happy then, I’ve never been really happy since I was adopted!.” If she could she would have sat down and cried but no place To sit.
“Doesn’t that nurse look familiar?” The Warlord said. “Imagine her 20 years older, with gray in her hair and 50kg heavier.”
“Ok, well she looks like --- MRS. HARMONY! MY COOK! Son of a – I never noticed it – is she really?!” She looked closer “MY God it is her!”
“Probably took the job to be close to you.” Walking over to the last panel he added, “Now this is strange.”
It was black.
“Well one way to find out.” Veronica reached out to it---------.
The small ship twisted and turned the pilot keeping it away from the Garkonins disrupter blasts. Suddenly one he could not avoid hit ! In an explosion of flesh, metal, bone and electronics he was blasted to the winds of space! In the only room in the ship the woman threw herself between the explosion and the child in a crib. Her body torn by twisted shards of metal and was sucked out the hole. “managing to control life support for child” an electronic voice said “must get her out of here” then “worm hole ahead must sheer into it only hope”. Then a flash of unworldly color and “made it “ from the computer. A day it drifted then “ship approaching no power to run drive core breaching acting friendly transporting abroad”. It was, in fact, a Rescue Ranger ship and an away team was beaming abroad. One pointed at the girl in the crib “There’s our life form! It’s only a baby, quick get her and lets get out of here before it blows!” One of them cradled her in their arms as the computer said (though only the baby understood Badgerin) “long life take care my princess”. A swirl of light and they were on the Rangers ship on a view screen the small ship flashed into incandescents and was gone.---------
The screen went dark.
Veronica threw her arms around XP’s neck and was crying the way she would never cry again!
She cried, sobbing her heart out for her lost mother, dying to save her, and her father, dying to save his people.
XP was non perturbed by her crying on him like this, it was not the first time he had been somebody’s shoulder. He only said “Go ahead cry it out I’ll be here.” She cried herself to sleep.
According to the clock on the table she’d been asleep for only a couple of hours. She looked up to find XP he was standing in the doorway talking to somebody. “She’s awake.” He said turning to her, “Feeling better?”
“I don’t know, but thank you, who are you talking to?” Veronica asked yawning.
XP held his hand toward a woman almost as tall and maybe fatter as/then him and said “Allow me to introduce you to my First Mate QT.” Veronica realized she had the same greenish gray undertones and inhuman eyes XP had, a Warlordes! “And this is our friend Dotty. I’m sorry you could not pronounce her name. She is a Tantulen.” She was not as tall as the two Warlords but was even fatter. <If you’ve ever seen Johnny Swells pic ‘Growin out’ you’d get the idea, including the hair.> Also she was blue as a Corn flower and her hair was purple. (By the way QT’s hair was red and I mean red as opposed to XP’s who’s hair was a steel gray.) “They came over to help. As it will be a day or two before you can get some clothes to fit you Dotty is loaning you some of her old ones, and QT will escort you to bed.” Then to the question her eyes asked “173kg.” Then to her next question “I said I would. I’ll stay the night, besides I’m going to be doing some ‘redecorating.’ Your new size will need it.”
So after saying good night to XP and Dotty she went up stairs with QT. “Will you and Dotty stay with XP?” Veronica asked.
“No, Dotty has a family to get home to and I need to get back to the Collapsar, XP’s man of war.”
“How big a family?” to Veronicas next question. “Well one husband and 8 children 4 boys 4 girls and one on the way. He will be a boy. The next a girl.” – “Always even numbers it’s their way.” As they reached to top of the stairs, “I hope you approve of what I did with your room I changed it very little except to strengthen the furniture and make the bed bigger.” Veronica allowed it was very nice. “Thank You, now here is a nightgown of Dottie's for you.”
Looking at her self in the mirror after changing Veronica said “How many children did you say Dotty and her husband had?” 8 and one on the way QT said. “No wonder if she wears this kind of ‘nightgown’ to bed!” Veronica exclaimed. It was kinda <make that very> sexy. As our heroine slipped into bed she asked “How much?”
“186kg by tomorrow morning you will have reached full weight. Good Sleep.”
After QT left Veronica started thinking about the day. She did not think long however, because soon ----zzzzz.
The New Life.
When Veronica woke the next morning from a dreamless sleep the first thing she did was look at herself in the mirror. “Wow, I’m big!” She thought. “I don’t look bad though, I have a nice shape and I’m starting to like my life after what XP showed me. Oh, I’d better find him!” Quickly she dressed in one of the outfits Dottie left (after showering of course) and started down stairs.
As she passed trough the lounge she saw much of her furniture was bigger and stronger looking. “So that’s what XP meant by redecorating.” She thought. Outside the kitchen she heard voices. It was XP and Cook, no not Cook but Nursey! Her beloved friend at the children’s home!
“Yes, Anderian coffee is good but have you ever tried Calian coffee?” XP’s voice said.
“No, can’t say I have.” Came Mrs. Harmony’s voice.
“I’ll send you some. Now I must warn you about your boss. 1) She now knows who you are. 2) She made the mistake of drinking a bottle of Tantulan Beauty Drink without reading the label.”
“Oh, dear the whole bottle? What size?”
“Oh, the poor baby. She must be so upset!”
“No, actually she came to gripes with it pretty quickly.”
“Yes, and you didn’t help her. Mind Master.”
A strange smile in his voice, “You should know Warm Hart. Yes, I did guide her a bit.” Then he said to the door “It’s your house, Veronica come in.”
The first thing she said entering the room, “You know each other?” Looking back and forth at them.
“Yes, but that has nothing to do with now.” XP said. He looked at her with a tilt of his head looking for all the world like Cooks/Nursey’s corgi ‘Cookies’, he was looking at her the same way under the table. (Only Cookies had pointed ears and red fur. Oh, he was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.) “Slept well I trust - and go a head you both want to!”
It took nothing else! Veronica and Nursey were in a joyful hug, crying tears of joy while Cookie ran around barking barks of joy. She barely heard the Warlord say “I take my leave now, call me as you need me. Y’all take care now.”
It was a nice sunny day and only 32kl to the Imperial residence, besides the was a little place on the way that made the best blueberry pancakes on Earth, he’d walk.
She hit the ice hard as would someone weighing 263kg would. The ice frozen by the Poloren method did not even chip. Ah, for the pin of a Vernes or Akia to descried the program! The jumps, triples, quads, quiets and so on! The spines the leaps, ah, to be such a writer! Sadly I can not, I can point out the front row, in the special seats, where sat a blue as a sapphire lady, a white lady bear furry, an older chubby lady with a young slender one, but most of all the tall greengray lady and man! At the end of the exhibition program the skater bowed to everyones applause cept one. The man stood reaching under his cape he pulled out, to the gasp of the crowd, an Imperial Flame Flower, with it’s green gold flame, a Warlords highest mark of praise and honor and thew it to her. Veronica deftly caught it, bowed to him alone and skated around the rink holding it up. The fire trailing behind her! A badge of her the life he returned to her. Her new life!
“Th-th-th-that’s all folk’s.” <?>