Airealist, The

Date Written: 
01/04/1997

Kim reluctantly seeks a position as an apprentice Airealist, and quickly discovers that there's so much more to her talent than she realized.

It had taken Kim over two hours to find the shop, tucked in as it was to the rear of a launch lift platform from the flight deck. As far down in the core of the station as this location was, the gravity was spastic, changing dramatically the further she went from the residential halls. Right here it seemed to be about one gee, although it had been so long since she had been planetside that it was hard to tell.

The neoarc sign over the small door read "Ms. Vleck's." That was all, nothing else. It was hard to believe that behind this rust spotted exterior lived one of the more powerful thaumaturgic practitioners in orbit.

Kim swallowed hard, and then reached up to press the door alarm. She was far too young to remember when magic had become part of the science continuum back in the late 2030's. Thaumaturgy had been an accepted thing for her all her life, speeding man on his way to the stars. Ever since Kim was young she had wanted to be a mage.

It was not that easy however. More of a genetic predisposition than anything else, good mages were born, not made. Kim had been incredibly envious ever since her little sister was discovered to be the bearer of genes for becoming a mage of Force, able to create and control nuclear reactions with the right training. Later on, when she found out she too was a gene positive, she had been wildly exited. This had later turned to disgust when it was discovered that her ability lay in an incredibly esoteric form of arcane lore. She was one in a million, one in a billion. Kim was a aieralist, controller of air in enclosed spaces. In other words, about all she could do was manipulate balloons.

After deciding she still wanted to learn, even if in such a strange way, Kim then had to find a mentor. It had taken three weeks to locate one on this out of the way station, then several more to get her to agree to take Kim on as a student. Today was Kim's first day of schooling.

Kim could hear the dim sound of the buzzer as she pressed the button. The door slid aside with a groan, and she stepped forward into darkness. After a few moments the surroundings became a bit more visible, congealing into display racks filled with small trinkets. As she stepped closer, she realized that each small item was made up of entwined balls or long sausage like shapes. In spite of this, there were some incredibly complex pieces of amazing beauty. Kim was soon engrossed in examining a full replica of a Hermes-Class starship in 1\3500 detail.

"Ahem." Kim started up. Out from behind the counter came a small woman, barely up to Kim's shoulder. She was somewhat older, having the look of well worn skin that many spacers get after long years with little ozone. Although she was shorter than Kim, she more than made up for it in width, having shoulders easily twice as broad as Kim's. Barrel chested and wrapped in some sort of toga, she reminded Kim of a boulder come to life.

"Kimberly Tanner, I presume?" The woman smiled, revealing pearly white teeth. "Ah, I see you are examining some of my work."

"Yes... Um, it's quite nice..." Kim was somewhat taken aback by her new mentor. This was hardly what she had expected. Unlike the soaring cathedrals of the matter manipulators, or the even more grandiose homes of the mages that could handle more than one plane of control, this place was small, almost cramped. She had expected more, even from a master of such an insignificant form.

The woman seemed to sense this. "Not quite what you expected, is it?"

"Well..."

"Come child. If I am to teach you, you must at all times be truthful. This is not the home of some grand and powerful controller of the fifth force of the universe, is it?"

"No, I suppose not, Master." Kim blinked as the old woman beamed.

"Master. I haven't been called that in years! There are not many who wish to learn this sort of thing anymore." She ran one finger down the edge of one of the display cases. "Truthfully, I am quite surprised you sought me out."

"Well, I, um..." Kim paused, abashed. She had been told to be truthful however. "It's always been a dream of mine to be able to manipulate some form of thaumatergic energy. Even if it is something so small." Kim gasped and covered her mouth.

Far from being offended, the woman continued to smile. "But you came to me, even if it seems 'so small'. Come girl, turn around for me. Let's see what you look like."

Kim set down her travel bag and turned slowly, feeling Ms. Vleck look her up and down. Although quite thin, she had always done some sort of aerobic training, giving herself a wiry build. At the age of eighteen, she had become resigned to looking somewhat like a boy unless she were willing to undergo surgical alteration, which seemed a bit excessive. Beyond that was magic, but that way, while far less invasive of the body, was also far too expensive. It was her face that stood out however. With high and prominent cheekbones emphasizing enormous eyes of seemingly endless depth, she had managed to mesmerize more than one person. A talent that was somewhat wasted in the present situation, she thought to herself.

Ms. Vleck wandered around her for a moment, mumbling to herself in a language that Kim could not make out. After a few moments of this, she went behind the counter, motioning Kim to follow.

Kim was surprised to see the extent of the house. She had expected it to be small and cramped, much like the showroom. This was not the case however. The rooms were airy and open, well lit and clean. The studio impressed her the most however. Over ten meters across and high, it had various tables scattered about and loaded down with all sorts of odds and ends. Across the back of the room stood several canisters with various labels warning of gaseous contents.

On the central table, like a diamond in its mount, burned something Kim had never seen before. A complex and ornate mounting, looking like it were made of solid gold, was mounted firmly by mechanical waldos. Over it flowed living flame, swirling and looping almost to the ceiling, but never leaving the area over the mount. The colors were myriad, dazzling in their brilliance.

"You like?" Ms. Vleck smiled.

"It... It's beautiful," Kim breathed. "What is it?"

"A sculpture for the coronation of Maris the Fifth. I did one for his sister when she was enstated, so he thought he should have one as well." Turning a sly grin on her student, she commented, "Still seem like a useless talent."

Kim blushed, looking aside. Her teacher grabbed her bag and hustled off towards the residential wing. "But come, I will show you your room. We will get aquainted, then I will give you some reading matter that you might find interesting. Tomorrow we will begin your understanding."

Kim shifted uncomfortably on the mat off to one side of the studio. Clad as she was in a plain blue unitard made out of some stretchy material, she was a bit cold. Mrs. Vleck had tossed it at her the night before, along with a datapad whos memory banks contained numerous descriptions of various balloons, their uses and functions as well as what they looked like. Kim had found it somewhat boring, but persevered in the reading, finishing it up just before Ms. Vleck had returned to put out the lights. Apparently Kim was to be on some sort of schedule. The brightening of the lights had woken her, and after normal morning activities she had proceeded to her present location.

Ms. Vleck walked in, humming a merry tune and still clad in the same toga like affair from last night. With a cheery "Morning Dear," she rummaged around for a few moments, then came over to where Kim was sitting.

"First off, what's this?" She tossed something into Kim's lap. Kim picked up the small piece of plastic, remembering it from her studies the night before.

"A similflex fiber balloon, color chantry blue." Kim noted absently that it matched her unitard nearly perfectly.

"Very good. Now, blow it up." Ms. Vleck looked at her intently. "Come on, I wish to see your style."

Kim blushed lightly, then proceeded to take a deep breath. She puffed into the balloon furiously, but it resisted. Her cheeks swelled out from the effort and she acquired a distinctly red sheen, but the balloon slumped back to lifelessness as soon as she paused to take a gasping breath.

"I take it you've never tried this before," Ms. Vleck cocked an eyebrow at her. "Dear girl, didn't it ever occur to you to do any of this sort of thing before you came to me?"

Kim squirmed in embarrassment. "Well, I didn't expect to be blowing up things with my mouth, if you know what I mean. I thought it would be, you know..." She waved her fingers in the air.

Ms. Vleck sighed, then took the balloon from Kim's fingers. "This might give you an idea of how to go about it." She set the balloon to her lips. With a single continuous breath, it bulged outward, growing larger and larger until it had attained the size of her head. With a single deft move, she tied off the nozzle and softly bumped it over to Kim, who caught it with a reflex motion.

"Care to try again?"

"How'd you do that so smoothly?" Kim enquired. "I mean, it just filled up like you blew into it continuously."

"I did."

"No way! I mean, that's too big a breath."

Ms. Vleck turned and pulled a what looked to be a large bag off of one table. Kim recognized it as a bubblebox toy, an inflatable sphere made out of a clear membrane that was comprised of one giant molecule. It was incredibly tough for its size.

Ms. Vleck smiled at her and took a slow and deep breath, her ample ribcage swelling up as she inhaled. Then she placed the bag to her face and exhaled.

The bubblebox lifted and stirred in the first few moments of her exhalation. Within seconds it had become perfectly round, glistening in the light. Ms. Vleck did not stop there however. She still continued her output, the sphere growing in size. Kim watched with growing awe as the bubblebox continued to increase in size, soon becoming large enough to cover Ms. Vleck's head from view. Kim could only see her face through the slightly distorted view of the balloon. The balloon became even bigger, Ms. Vleck continuing to blow. Only when it had started to warp the view of her down to her waist did she stop.

"There." Ms. Vleck did not even sound out of breath after that monumental release. "Do you still think that's too big a breath?"

Kim shook her head mutely. She had heard of this, but had forgotten it in the mundanity of her arrival. Ms. Vleck could probably fill the entire room with a single balloon off of one breath without really trying. She watched as Ms. Vleck released the bubble, which drifted slowly off to the side.

"Now, enough with the demonstrations. It's time for your first test, one that you will come to know rather well in the weeks to come." Ms. Vleck went over to a cabinet and yanked some apparatus out of it. A long tube, almost an inch wide, was connected to a gag.

"Now put this on." Ms. Vleck handed the gag to Kim. "Don't be shy, just bite down on the mouthpiece and clip the buckle together on the back.

"What's this for?" Kim eyed the gag suspiciously.

Ms. Vleck suddenly was all business. "One of my prime requisites is that all of my students follow the rules. The first rule is that when I ask you to do something, you do it. Now, please put the gag in your mouth."

Kim complied, chewing on the mouthpiece for a bit before she became used to the rubbery taste. The gag wrapped about her head, two buckles clicking together behind her neck. Up front it was quite wide, going from just below her nose down to wrap a molded piece around her chin. Once in place, she realized that about all she could do was mumble

"Now, the object if this exercise is to improve your lung ability. It's a simple contest." Ms. Vleck picked up the other end of the tub. Kim thought that perhaps she was intending to connect it to some bellows or something that she'd have to pump on for a few hours. Taking a deep breath through her nose, she took in the heady smell of the gag.

"You are going to try and blow as hard as you can down your end. I will try to blow down this end. The winner is the one who pushes the most air into the other."

Kim blinked. That was no contest! Ms. Vleck would easily win. Her widening eyes apparently alerted Ms. Vleck to something.

"Oh, you're quite right. It's unlikely you'll win at this stage. However, this is an incentive exercise to get you to work harder at your skills and abilities, once they are taught to you. I'll tell you what, let's put some stakes on this. The winner gets to have the loser do something for her. Housework, clean up a mess, work on inventory or orders for the rest of the day. It'll give you something to work for. The strap on part there is to teach you the correct method of inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth."

Kim sighed inwardly. She could see a lot of days cleaning up in the future. Oh well, she had rather expected to do it as an apprentice anyway, and this ways sometimes when Ms. Vleck was at a low point perhaps she might win. Looking up, she realized that Ms. Vleck was waiting for some sort of agreement from her. Nodding, she took a deep breath through her nose.

"Alright then. On the count of three we start." Ms. Vleck took the other end of the tube and raised her other hand. "One, two, three!" She chopped her arm downward.

Kim puffed furiously, snorting air in through her nose. She realized it was a losing battle, but hoped to make a good showing. Funnily enough, it seemed as though Ms. Vleck was taking everything that Kim was sending her way, not returning at all.

Suddenly, Ms. Vleck exhaled.

Kim's cheeks squished against the gag as Ms. Vleck's breath rushed into her. She tried to push it back out, but the flow continued as Ms. Vleck, with a cheerful twinkle in her eye, simply overwhelmed her with more pressure. Kim had lost.

Shrugging, Kim reached up to undo the gag and find out what her chore for the day would be. This was probably a standard ritual that all newcomers had to go through during their beginning years. She tugged for a few seconds before she realized that the gag seemed to be stuck tight.

Meanwhile, Ms. Vleck had continued to breath. Kim realized that it was becoming difficult to breath the excess air through her nose. It probably was not good that she was taking in all that already used air as well. The carbon monoxide content had to be somewhat high.

Ms. Vleck exhaled harder.

Kim urfed into the gag as she felt the increase. Grasping the hose, she tugged on it, but the fastenings were too tight to come loose. She felt as though she were taking an incredibly deep breath, the air forcing its way into her. Waving her hands, she motioned at Ms. Vleck. It felt as though she could not take any more.

Ms. Vleck exhaled harder.

Incredibly, impossibly, Kim felt the air, smooth and tangy sweet, swirl down into her stomach. No gag reflex was triggered, only a sensation of fullness.

Kim glanced down, then stared in shock. Her stomach was swelling outward slowly, somewhat like a balloon. In fact it looked just like the small blue balloon had earlier. Putting her hands on it, she marveled at how tight and firm it felt. Pushing inward, her hand sank down a bit, then was met with resistance as the pressure built up higher.

Kim's figure was already looking like that of a very pregnant woman when Ms. Vleck stopped. Pinching the tube with her hand, she examined Kim closely. "Very good. You're not panicking. Most people would in your situation, you know."

Kim held back a shudder, trying hard to look casual. Her groping hands gave away the strain she was under however as they moved up and down her new paunch. No wonder she had been made to wear the unitard this morning.

"Now you begin to understand the power we wield," Ms. Vleck said with deep seriousness. "What I do to you as a point, I can do to anyone, anytime. Strange as it is, odd as it feels, this I can do."

Kim realized that, even though Ms. Vleck was not letting her breath, she had no need to. Surmising that it had something to do with all the extra air in her stomach, she attempted to get ride of some through her nose. With a sudden whoosh, she let loose a gust of air from her nose. At the same time the gag popped loose, falling from her face. Kim's stomach rapidly subsided as she let out a great heaving wheeze, finishing with her lungs.

"How do you feel?" Ms. Vleck looked worriedly at her. "That didn't bother you, did it?"

Kim explorationially poked at herself. She thought she should be upset, but truthfully the experience had not been that nerve racking. For some reason she just did not feel that angry about it.

Ms. Vleck nodded when Kim commented on that to her. "You sense a basic ability to do that yourself, otherwise you would have reacted more forcefully. Normally that can cause great paranoia, or even temporary insanity to have the body start to act so peculiar. Now, on to your chore for losing!"

Kim grimaced slightly, but nodded assent. She had spent far too long getting here to antagonize her teacher now, and besides, that last had shown her that her abilities might not be as limited as she had first thought. Besides, it was not wise to upset someone who could manipulate her very body in such strange ways.

Ms. Vleck thought for a bit, idly tapping on finger against her nose. "We'll skip cleaning detail for now. You'll have plenty of time for that later. Oh, I know! I'm now going to demonstrate to you that there are many other variables involved."

"What do you mean?" Kim asked curiously.

"I mean not only can the air intake be moderated, so also can the shape of the device holding the air, as well as its weight and density. But here." Ms. Vleck removed the gag from the end of the tube, leaving only the mouthpiece, and handed it to Kim. "Now that I know you're not going to go screaming in terror down the hall, you won't need that anymore. Bite down and I'll explain what I'm doing."

Kim slowly put the end of the tube in her mouth as the other woman went over to one of the many tanks against the far wall. "What I'm going to do now will involve many aspects of what I just told you. I will manipulate your weight, size and shape all at once. Do you feel comfortable with that?"

"No, but I'll do it."

"Good!" Ms. Vleck smiled. "Not that you really have a choice. This is the next exercise and it is necessary that you undergo it. It will start to train your power on how to manipulate your body as well. I will have to do it for you at first, but later you will be able to do it on your own. Now, are you ready?"

Kim nodded slowly. She realized that the first time had not hurt. In fact it had been somewhat interesting to feel and see. She munched on the mouthpiece, waiting to see what was next.

She did not have long to wait. Ms. Vleck put her mouth to the outlet of one of the larger tanks, then twisted the valve on the top. She sucked on the hissing device for what seemed to be an inordinately long time before she turned back to Kim. All that Kim could notice that was different was that she seemed to be holding a deep breath, her broad chest tensed up.

Wordlessly, Ms. Vleck retrieved the hose. As she once again put it to her mouth, she winked at Kim, who stood trembling while biting the mouthpiece.

Ms. Vleck exhaled.

The lungs were bypassed this time as well as Kim's cheeks, but she could feel the gas flowing deep within and swirling about coldly as Ms. Vleck blew her up. From here she could barely make out the label on the side of the tank. It's logo was a simple double dot setup. After a few seconds, she realized that this was the atomic number of helium. Ms. Vleck was pumping her up with helium!

When Kim looked down, the first thing she noticed was that she could no longer see her feet. This time it was not her stomach, but her bustline. It was slowly moving outward as the gas rushed in. She realized she had already increased a cup size or two. As she watched in fascinated amazement, she became even more topheavy. For the first time in her life, she was sporting a full figure.

Kim cupped her breasts with her hands, smiling as best she could around the mouthpiece. Still she swelled bigger, her legs puffing up a bit in nice curves leading to well rounded calves.

Ms. Vleck exhaled harder.

Kim became more and more pumped with gas, a feeling of pressure spreading through her body. It was not painful and was in fact a rather snug feeling, what with the unitard wrapping around her expanding form.

Ms. Vleck exhaled harder.

Kim watched bemusedly as her beanbag sized breasts swelled outward. Odd how so much of the gas seemed to be going there, she mused. Laughing inwardly, she wondered what the boys back at her school would say if they could see her once waif like figure now. A light blush crossed her face as she thought of this. She could feel her legs still swelling, the comfortable pressure increasing and holding her in a gentle embrace.

Ms. Vleck exhaled harder.

Kim's swollen shoulders rode up somewhat. Twisting her head over, she glanced curiously at her arm, examining its sausage like muscle structure. She realized that she was more and more resembling a huge female shaped balloon, inflating, swelling, balling up, expanding larger and larger. With a sudden jerk of surprise, she realized that her feet were no longer touching the mat! With a slow and ponderous motion, she rose upwards several feet, there to hover like a tethered blimp at the end of the air hose.

Ms. Vleck finished with a sigh.

Kim spit the mouthpiece out and watched it fall away. Slowly she rolled in the air to the right, spinning upside down. "This is so weird."

Ms. Vleck watched her for a moment. "Do you feel anything unusual?"

Kim thought about it for a bit. Somewhat to her surprise, she felt calm and relaxed, almost dreamy in a way. This was a far cry from what she felt a person who had been turned into a zeppelin should feel like. "I feel... very mellow. I..., I think I'd like to just drift around here all day." Kim noted that she spoke normally for being a bag of helium. Her breathing was in no way interfered with either.

Ms. Vleck nodded. "You just might be a worthwhile student after all." Suddenly she clapped her hands together. "I'm going to go do some work up front. I'll be back in a few hours. If you can get down yourself, it will be something of an accomplishment. If not, well then, enjoy your afternoon rest. We will continue at five o'clock."

With that Ms. Vleck bustled off, leaving Kim to her own devices. There was not much to be done however. She was well over ten feet from the floor, spinning lazily along her axis. Blowing hard produced only a slight motion change that did not really get her anywhere. Besides, truthfully she was just too comfortable to really care.

So began her first day.

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Link2Hyrule
This was my first inflation

This was my first inflation story, and still one of my favorites.  Recently I've been thinking that it might be nice to see more installments with Kim and Ms Vleck.  Maybe more lessons involving the body, or even something maybe further down the line with Kim trying it herself on someone.  I don't know whether the author would be willing to entertain this notion or not; still, would be nice.