Torture Dressed Like Therapy

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It was unsuspected. Just and unfortunate draw of bad luck. They hadn't been looking for anyone specific, just whoever they could get their hands on - fast and easy. 

Some cruel, twisted minds were just looking to tinker with the limits of the human body. To see just how far it would go. None involved, of course, were bold enough to volunteer. They wanted to explore this stretch of a theory with no expense to themselves. 

And poor Glen just happened to be walking home alone on the night they decided to find a test subject.

He woke up in a dark room, heart pounding and panic settling in his chest. Two people stood by the doorway, murmuring about him. He strained to hear what they were saying as his head cleared.

". . . perfect. Such a small man. The contrast will be even more notable."

"We'll get some fine results from him. Those lithe little arms and legs will be tricky. How far d'you say the skin will hold? Should we be worried?"

"Nonsense. I'm fairly certain that the compound is limitless."

"Yes, but that is what we're testing. We can't be sure that we're right."

"I have the utmost confidence in - he's awake."

They both turned to look at the dazed man on the floor. He sat their, blinking up at them in confusion. He brought himself into a seated position, rubbing his head. "Where . . ."

"Don't worry, boy. You're not in danger."

"What . . . Who are you?" He wanted to leap onto his feet, shout and demand answers, but his mind was sluggish, thoughts coming slow to him. He teeterd back onto floor when he tried to stand, feeling intoxicated. 

"Relax. You'll feel woozy for a good while. But I'm glad you're awake."

One of the men muttered something to the other, prompting him to leave the room. He appeared a moment later behind a glass wall. Glen eyed him as he sat down at what looked like a home made control panel; buttons and wires strewn about in an unorganized fashion. Behind him were what seemed to be large metal canisters.

"You've been chosen to do some tests, for us. There will be no arguing out of it. Very important research is conducted here." 

"I never agreed . . . to this," glen struggled. 

"Nevermind that," the remaining man said. He turned to the wall. There, Glen noticed a large tube hanging from a sketchy duct near the ceiling. It was black and ribbed with a small nozzle at the end. "You need not do anything. Just sit back and relax. And no try not to tug at the tube. It will be sealed to your lips until we've given you the proper solution." This mad man brought the nozzle over to where Glen laid on the floor. 

"No," Glen uttered, weakly swatting the prying hands away. 

"Hush now. You're too weak to do much. That will wear off in time, but you see how we needed you compliant at the start? Now open wide."

"Stop," he tried, but it was no use. The man, this mad scientist of sorts, grabbed him by the hair and forced the nozzle between his lips. Some sort of thick substance coated the rim and it soaked into the pores of his skin, sealing like epoxy to his mouth. His heart rate picked up as he tried and failed to breathe through his mouth, making muffled, panicked sounds.

"Relax. Breathe through your nose. You'll be fine."

Though still heaving, Glen did manage to breathe more deeply through his nostrils. The man stepped away and immediately Glen reached for his face, trying desperately to pull the hose free.

"I told you. That won't work."

Glen continued to try anyway, falling onto his back in his weakened state. He tugged and pulled but all it did was strain the skin about his lips into a pucker. 

"Make yourself comfortable. You should have plenty of room to grow." The man gestured to the high ceilings and far corners of the barren room before leaving through the door to join his partner. He then found a microphone at the desk and turned it on. "In a moment, we will begin to slowly fill you with gas. It's my own compound, concocted specifically for this experiment. It is similar to helium but quite unique in its properties. We do not entirely understand how it works, but that is what you are here for. It should enable you to withstand monumental amounts of growth and you, my friend, are the first lucky man to experience this sensation. If this goes well, I can take this discovery to new hights. Who knows, I may even name my precious compound after you."

"Mph," Glen tried, as he sat back up again. He looked hopelessly back at the two men, the silent one still adjusting random dials and such on their strange control panel. 

This must be a dream, he reasoned, though it felt all too real to be convincing. He could hardly remember where he was last. Perhaps he had dozed off on the couch or passed out at a party. The last thing he recalled was vaguely saying goodnight to a coworker as she left the bakery. 

"We will begin the process now, my friend," the mad man said. "You may feel a bit lightheaded and possibly some pressure. This is normal. Manson, if you would start up the pump." 

The quiet man nodded without looking and flipped a few more switches before finally pressing one, final button. 

Something whizzed and whirred, clunky, clanging sounds coming from the ceiling above Glen. He looked to where the house came from the wall and braced himself when he heard it start to hiss. 

He squeezed his eyes shut, wary of whatever drug or poison these cruel men were going to force into him. 

A scent reached his nose. It smelled like strawberries, though incredibly artificial - like a berry scented soap. Gas pushed into his mouth and forced it's way down his throat, flowing into both his stomach and lungs alike. 

He was, indeed, struck with a sudden wave of dizziness. He slumped back onto the floor and laid there as his mind danced unsteadily. His eyes fluttered open and he stared at the blank, white ceiling. 

He felt trapped. Though unrestrained in a big, empty room. He felt like he was stuck in his body, unable to wake up and leave this illusion of himself behind. 

This was real. 

He knew this was real, but he still couldn't quite fathom it. Even as his abdomen felt tight, and his stomach felt full, he still couldn't comprehend that he was here, in this place. Just that morning he'd been selling cakes and muffins in a run down old ma and pap shop. Now he was some lab rat. 

The woe overwhelmed him so suddenly that he couldn't even find the tears to cry. Instead, he just let his eyes fall closed and fell to sleep on the floor. 


"Good morning, my friend."

Glen blinked his eyes open, finding that there was a bright light shining down on him. He squinted into it, bringing a hand up to shield his eyes. 

He still felt sluggish, but was a lot more coordinated than the night before. He say up and groaned at the full feeling in his stomach. 

"You're doing nicely. Do not worry, we are introducing you to the compound very carefully. The flow will be steady and slow, at least for now, at the start."

"Hmm?" He looked over at the two men in the window. He wondered if they had been there all night of if they had returned to wake him. 

Glen felt like he'd eaten a whole feast all on his own. He was a tiny man, at least in gait. He easily felt full after large meals, but this felt like he had a rock in his stomach! 

"The gas is concentrating in the more accommodating areas of your body. But not to worry. It will disperse as time goes on."

More fully awake, Glen leaned back on his hands and looked down at his stomach. His belly stuck out ever so slightly, showing that he was indeed full. Just not with food. He lifted up his t-shirt and looked at the small amount of pudge he had gained. He pressed down on it with his hand, groaning at the pressure. It felt like being hit in the gut right after Thanksgiving dinner. 

"You'll notice that you feel more coherent. The drug we gave you last night is simply wearing off. I advise against trying to stand just yet. You will likely still be weak."

Glen nodded and let his shirt fall back over his stomach. He wondered how long he was going to be kept here. How much of this gas were they going to put into him? He sat there on the floor, breathing deeply and steadily through his nose. 

He wondered why he was so calm. Maybe it was something in the gas. Maybe he was just in denial. He wasn't sure. He wrinkled his nose as he focused on that strange strawberry scent again. Then, having an idea, he turned to the window and waved his hand in front of his nose as if to say "something smells." 

"Ah yes, I'm glad you asked. The scent is an added touch, to make the experience more pleasurable. If this goes well, I may consider creating different variants. It does not completely mask the scent of the raw compound however. Perhaps in later tests, I could perfect that."

Glen looked away from them and back down to his stomach. He just sat there, listening to himself breathe. 

He felt numb. Desperate. But he couldn't get himself to panic. Something in the back of his mind told him that it was futile. 


A few days went buy and Glen remained compliant. He wasn't sure why. He was, however, happy to be back on his feet. He was still tired as hell, but he could stand and stretch out his sore limbs. 

His stomach was more noticeable now. It stuck out quote a bit, causing his shirt to ride up at the bottom. It was increasingly uncomfortable, but he tried to ignore the feeling and pretend that everything was normal. 

He'd learned that the more talkative of the two men was named Joseph. He and Mason spent most hours of the day just sitting in their little, dark room and watching him. He noticed cameras were pointed at him from behind the glass as well. He shuddered at the thought of being live streamed but reasoned that they must not be posting his face anywhere. After all, they did kidnap him. If the folks at the bakery hadn't begun to worry about him yet, his roommate sure must have. 

Being able to stand made him think about running, trying to break out. But Joseph was right when be said that he still felt exhausted. And the tube running from his mouth to the wall didn't even allow him to get near the door. 

He absentmindedly scratched at the seam where the nozzle met his lips. It grew itchy from time to time but was otherwise not a very noticeable sensation. 

By the end of the forth day, his stomach was quite large. His shirt rose up above his belly button and it still felt incredibly tight. He was plagued by stomach aches but was able to alleviate them slightly by stretching out on the floor. 


"We've noticed that your skin is growing quite tight and that you have yet to be alleviated of such discomfort. The feeling of pressure was meant to only last a day or two. Now approaching a week with no signs of it lessening, I have decided to adjust the formula for the compound. It should help to make your skin and tissue expand more easily as well as minimize the possibility of stretch marks." 

Glen waved them off, sitting on the floor and holding his stomach in pain. The aches had only worsened as the days went on and his stomach bow made him look bigger than a pregnant person! That, and his backside had begun to feel some pressure as well. 

Mason went to work on a few of the dials and gauges, adjusting the ratio of whatever horrid chemicals they were sending down his throat. 

Glen fell alseep early in the day, relieved as the pain began to ebb away. 


But when he woke up, the shock had finally worn off. 

He had caught a glimpse of himself in his reflection on the glass window. He'd woken up before the so called scientists had arrived, so their little booth was a little darker than usual; painting a clear picture of Glen's reflection. 

His stomach and hips appeared wider than he had thought they were. His shirt still hing loosely off his scrawny shoulders, but was pushed up his torso by his newfound girth. And the hose! The nozzle that was sealed to his face looked like a grotesque limb slithering out of his mouth. 

At last, he panicked. His heart pounded in his ears and he tugged and tore at the hose in his mouth, trying fruitlessly to dislodge it. 

In his blind panic, he didn't notice when Mason came into the room, the first time either of them had entered since his first day. He grabbed onto Glen's hands and pulled them away from his face and then pinned him to the ground. As the world came back to him, he could hear Joseph crying hysterics in the booth. Glen's eyes rolled wildly in his head as he tried to catch a glimpse of him wailing his woes. 

Mason was speaking to him, instructing him on how to breathe, and Glen realized that he was hyperventilating. Tears were rolling down his cheeks and he found himself choking on his own phlegm. 

When Mason's efforts to calm him didn't work, he grabbed Glen by the shoulders and hoisted him up. Glen was forced to look at Joseph, crying and panicking much like he was in the booth. 

Guilt stirred in his chest from causing such discomfort in Joseph. It was stupid. He was being held captive and tested on like a guinea pig, but Joseph always spoke so kindly to him. He was always considerate enough to tell Glen what was going on. He cared about Glen's enjoyment of the experiment. 

Glen calmed down a bit, but was still frazzled. Mason left him on the floor and turned the lights down so that they weren't as bright. 

He was so ungrateful, trying to destroy this whole project just because he was uncomfortable. What a selfish man he was. 


"Good Morning, my friend! Feeling better?"

Glen felt quite numb from the day before. Joseph and Mason has left him alone for most of the day. The room was dim and he was left to just slowly fill up. Regardless, he mutely nodded. 

"Very good." 

It was all so very confusing. Glen had lost count of how many days he had been there and it was hard to tell if it was day or night since there were no windows. He had only the state of Mason and Joseph to go off of when he guessed the time of day. 

He didn't know if he and Joseph were friends or not. Something felt wrong about it. 

Later in the day, Glen became suddenly aware of the fact that he hadn't eaten or drank anything since before he arrived. He looked to the window in concern, miming the act of eating the best he could with a tube in his mouth. 

"Oh, don't worry about that," Joseph explained. "The compound supplies all the necessary nutrients. Plus! Since there's not food or drink involved anymore, no need for bathrooms! See how this discovery could be the way for the future?"

Glen oddly did see it. Imagine the free time one would have if they needn't eat nor drink. If only the gas could stop him sleeping as well. 

"All of that is part of the experiment. But we're more interested in how much you can grow."

"Grmm?" Glen questioned, thinking that these fools were just going to make him grow fat. 

"Yes grow! You will be massive! It will be the new look to be achieved in years to come, I'm sure. My friend, you shall fill the whole room!" 

Glen pictured himself as a giant, growing big and tall, towering over the town, including the small bakery that he worked for. Then he looked down as his bulging form, and wondering what in earth these mad men had gotten wrong. 

"You will understand what I mean in due time, my friend." 

Glen nodded. He sure hoped so. 


"Good news, my friend!" Joseph said one day, stepping into the large room instead of his booth. "Your growth is going well!"

Glen looked at him skeptically. Over the past few weeks, his thighs and torso had begun to fill out, but he was nowhere near proportional. He waddled about the room most days, bored out of his mind. He remembered at some point that Joseph compared the compound to helium, and realized that he didn't feel any heavier than before this process had begun. Though he was getting bigger, the only thing that was increasing was his size, not his weight. 

"Since you've held up so well over the past month, Mason and I have decided that it would be alright to increase the rate of your expansion." 

Glen's eyes went wide. Faster? He already felt like he'd done more growing than a man is meant to do in a lifetime! 

"Exciting isn't it?" Joseph came forth and looked at Glen's clothes. "Looks like your Jean's will hold out for a while. But I think you could do with a new shirt, hmm?" 

Forgetting the aspect of growing further for a moment, Glen got excited. He'd feel a thousand times more comfortable in a large shirt. 

"I'll go ahead and get you a new set of clothes for when these ones tear."

Tear? How big did they think he would get? 

"That will have to wait," Joseph continued, returning to the booth. "Mason, go ahead and increase the rate."

"Mm!" Glen protested, not having realized that they planned to increase the rate right then and there. 

He watched as Mason slowly turned a dial and he instantly felt the pressure in him rise. He stumbled backward and felt the has spread throughout his body. 

"That's enough, Mason. Don't get too excited."

The flow steadied. But it was still so different than before. He could actively see his stomach growing now, the change happening before his eyes. 

His thighs and backside billowed out quite a bit, giving him odd, teardrop proportions. If he thought he was waddling before, he was wrong! Over the course of the day, Glen lost a good deal of his mobility. Even his chest finally started to puff up more noticeably, stretching the fabric of his shirt tightly across his torso. 


The following day, his expansion increased. When he stood, his legs were in a wide stance, and his upper arms had started to gain some size as well. He found that he couldn't put his arms down all the way any longer and he wondered when his proportions would even out. If Joseph really was going to turn him into a giant, Glen thought it might actually be quite fine so long as it worked. Perhaps things would get big first, and then he'd start to look more like a normal man again. He was no scientist, so he could hardly fathom what the process was. 


A day later and his jeans finally began to give up on him. He did his best to slide them off his hips, but he could no longer reach all the way down to his ankles. 

Mason came  rushing in to help him though, so he wouldn't trip. "Your new pants aren't made yet," he told him. "But we'll bring them in as soon as they're ready."

Glen nodded, shifting uncomfortably in his underwear and shirt. Though tight, the shirt was less irritating. It sat snugly across his ballooning chest. It made him feel buff almost. Glen smiled at the thought. If he became a real giant! He could be the strongest man in town! And the most agile! Since he was still so light. 


The next day, Mason brought him his new pants. They were elastic, obviously commissioned especially for him. They fit like sweatpants over his bulging hips and thighs. He sighed at how soft and warm they were. Mason had to help him pull them up, as his arms could hardly bend much these days. He went ahead and cut away his shirt too, replacing it with a big red one. 

Sometimes he wished he could talk to them. Glen wanted to tell these scientists how well their experiment was going! How hollow he felt, how odd it was to see his belly and thighs grow so large that it was hard to distinguish them from each other any longer, what it was like to see his reflection in their dark window at night and not recognize who he saw staring back at him. 

He wanted to ask about being a giant, about when he'd start looking more normal again. Surely it must be soon. He'd filled out so much space that he'd be twice as tall as he once was if all the mass was spread to where it was supposed to go. He felt less like a prisoner now that he promised himself a life of gigantism. He'd enjoy being a towering oddity. This odd, round state was just a worthy price to pay, surely. 


A few mornings later found Glen on the floor. He had laid down to sleep last night but, when morning came, he found it difficult to get up. 

Joseph came in when he saw him struggle. "Now, my friend, have you gotten yourself stuck?" 

Glen nodded, face flushing red as he teetered on his backside. He twisted and turned but couldn't roll over enough to stand. 

"We'll have to help you up for now. Later on in the process, you likely won't need to lay down any longer. But we're in the tricky stages now."

Glen pondered this statement as Joseph rolled him up onto his feet. Did Joseph's idea of a giant sleep standing up? Did they not need sleep? The thought excited  him. 

"In fact," Joseph continued, surveying Glen's progress, "I believe we ought to increase the rate again! Oh, that would be wonderful. You could skip this awkward time."

Glen smiled, hoping that he'd soon start to look like a proper giant if they continued. He nodded in agreement, struggling to tip toe around the room so that he could face the window. 

"Perfect!" Joseph returned to the booth in a hurry. "Mason! He's eager to grow! Increase the rate!"

Mason nodded, a smile on his face. He turned the dial.

"Mhr!" Glen was surprised by how much they had sped up the pump. Pressure inside of him grew spectacularly, making him feel sore all over. To his surprise, he grew even rounder. His chest and belly both ballooned outward, his thighs and hips spreading his legs apart over the course of the day. His feet lifted off of the floor, his puffy calves and ankles taking on a cone shape. His arms followed similarly, though not yet as extreme. They rested out at his sides and it was difficult to bring them in or down with how much they filled with gas! 

Joseph was beyond excited by this, and Glen told himself that it was because he was so close to becoming a giant! Any day now and this compound of his would start to take a more humanoid shape, surely! 

But that night, when Mason shut off the lights and Glen was left alone with no one but the hissing sound of the pump, he found he couldn't lie to himself any longer. 

Joseph had never said anything about a giant. Nothing. Glen figured he had imagined it at some point, some lie he told himself to make his situation just a tad less bizarre. But he was never going to even out. He was just going to get rounder and rounder until what? He didn't know. Is this really what Joseph thinks the future will hold? Men adoring to be big, round orbs? Maybe he just didn't see the vision yet. Maybe Joseph knew something that he didn't. But no matter what lie he came up with, what outlandish reasoning he figured these men might have, Glen couldn't stop the hopelessness from overcoming him once again, at last. 

He moaned and cried at his reflection. He was just a lumpy ball. He desperately forced his hands to come to his mouth and futilely clawed at the nozzle with a whimper. Maybe if he couldn't separate the novel from his lips, he could just tear his face off. It seemed kinder. He scratched and pulled and tugged with all his might until his arms grew too thick and stiff. He couldn't reach his face anymore. He just sat awake, alone and scared, able to do nothing but wait for his captors to arrive.


"Oh dear," Joseph gasped as he saw Glen.

They found him, sitting awake and exhausted, his face scratched raw from his attempts to free himself. 

"Mason! Get some of that remedy!" 

Mason rushed away as Joseph came forth to console Glen. 

"My friend! Why have you done this? Oh look at you! You've worked yourself too hard."

Tears pricked at Glen's eyes again. It was more difficult to be mad when Joseph was worrying over him. 

Mason returned with some sort of paste and, with the wonders of their outlandish science, it provided immediate relief for the scratches about Glen's mouth. It left his face feeling cool and moisturized. 

And Glen was grateful! And ashamed! But also frustrated with himself for feeling so! These people kidnapped him! Stole him off the street! But he couldn't help but feel gratitude for them, for taking care of him in such a state. 

"Was it itching you so badly in the night?"

Oh! And these poor caretakers didn't even suspect that he had defied them. The guilt and shame hit him so terribly that he sobbed. 

"Oh here." Joseph dabbed away his tears with a hankey. "That should stop the itching, that ointment. And we can even increase the rate further today if you'd like." 

Glen didn't nod. He didn't think he wanted to drow anymore. He forgot that he had never wanted to grow in the first place. But he didn't object either. There wasn't any other option, was there. He couldn't walk, let alone escape. And there was no way these dedicated freaks would willingly let him undo all of their hard work. 

They both returned to the booth beyond the window and Glen saw Mason turn the dial once again.

His chest and stomach billowed out, no longer distinguishable from one another. Instead, they just formed one curve, pushing his pants and shirt far apart.

His back was forming similar shapes as well. His butt and thighs simply molded into the outward curve of his back. His shoulders puffed up and his arms grew more and more stout, stinking out from his body immobilized. 

His thighs had all but morphed into his belly and sides, barely existent on their own. His lower legs were stubby and thick and pulling his feet in closer to his body. 

He continued like this. For days. He was just a round ball of a person. For a while, he anguished in his fate, lamenting to no one but himself what a terrible situation he was in. But worrying did not stop him from growing. It didn't slow the flow of this simply magical compound. It may just continue to fill him forever. Who's to say it would stop. They were here to test his limits weren't they? What if there were none? 

He was comfortable. Being so big and yet still so light made him feel grand at times. The drum of his belly and the tingly feeling in his arms and legs as each day they sunk further and further into his form. 

And Joseph was always so thrilled to see his progress. He was good for nothing else now. He might as well live to appease this joyous man. In the name of science or just plain curiosity, perhaps Glen could accept his new lot in life. 


One dull evening, Glen was dozing off during the day. His progress had become boring as of late. He was mostly round. His arms and legs pinched out litte bumps from what was otherwise a sphere. His hands and feet, though plump, were still mostly in tact, and his head was in similar condition. Though he did continue to get larger, he didn't go through many amazing changes these days.

That was, until one day he found that the warm spot on his backside where he usually rested against the floor suddenly disappeared. He opened his eyes more fully and looked around. Nothing looked different.


Just as Joseph cheered, Glen felt the toes of his right foot tap the floor before rising away again. 

He was floating!

"Mason! Mason! Increase the flow just a tad! I want to see him fly!"

Glen watched as Mason tapped the dial ever so slightly. This time, Glen didn't actually feel much of a change, but he did indeed begin to rise up into the air.

"Mmph! Mm!" He waved his little fingers and toes in excitement as he gradually went up until he bumped into the ceiling. "Mmrf." 

"Amazing job, my friend."

Glen closed his eyes as his body settled against the ceiling, feeling content. 


As the weeks went on, he simply continued. His arms and legs had finally flattened down into the overall curve of his body for the most part. Just little, tiny bumps for wrists and ankles kept his inflated hands and feet poking out. His head had sunk in a bit, his neck almost certainly gone, somewhere amongst the flesh of his shoulders. 

He supposed he technically did still end up turning into a giant. He was about nine feet in diameter, his belly slowly growing as though it wanted to get back to the floor without giving up his newfound flight. The shirt and pants they had given him were resilient. They stretched and stretched but never tore, though they didn't do a very good job of covering his midsection. 

It was almost peaceful, sitting up in the ceiling. Maybe the people of the future really would aspire to become what Glen had become. And seeing Joseph grow more and more excited each day was the only thing that Glen got to see, so he treasured it. 


It was a normal day, at least for them. Glen was up in his spot, watching his friends survey him. Mason was reading the machine and taking down notes. Joseph was praising Glen on his progress. 

Then suddenly, a strange banging sound that Glen had never heard before could be heard from the space outside his room. Joseph and Mason grew alarmed and rushed out, leaving Glen behind to worry. His hear pounded in his ears and his eyes flickered between the doorway and the window as he anticipated their return. 

Suddenly, men wearing full body suits, coated in pockets and straps and all sorts of complicated things, burst into the room. Three came in and gawked up at Glen through their masks. Then, Joseph came back into the booth, frantically fighting off these uniformed men.

"Stop! Stop! You can't touch that! He's up there! You can't take him off it! He's come so far!" 

He swatted at them, but one quickly grabbed his arm and attempted to restrain him. More men came into Glen's room and dragged Mason in with them, some sort of potion being confiscated from him. 

Joseph being contained, one of the intruders moved to tinker with the controls, but Joseph kicked him and he fell forwards onto all of the buttons and switches. 

"Mmrrph!" Glen groaned as he felt the airflow increase, more than it ever had before! His eyes went wide as his body grew and grew and grew.

"Turn it off! Turn it off now!" A voice shouted. The men in the booth scrambled over the controls but Joseph smiled. "Look at you! Look at you! My friend! You are so glorious!" 

Glen was scared and excited and confused and shocked and he kept getting bigger and bigger he feared he'd take up the whole room. The clatter and clang of people fighting, of the men messing with the controls, it all was so loud that it rivaled the obnoxious hiss of the pump. 

"Mmmmrr!" Glen's hands sunk into his form, widening and stretching into the sphere that he was. His fingers grew further apart, becoming short, round goosebumps over the expanse of his body. His feet did the same, his body going numb as every last bit of him was stretched so thin. 

His face! Oh god, his face was being stretched out as well. His head sinking down into the orb, his cheeks morphing into his torso. The skin around his eyes tugged and he tried to squint them shut against the strain but he couldn't.

"You've made him grow too fast!" Joseph hollered, wailing and crying at the intruders to stop. "He could have sustained this for five times this size but you've blasted him fit to burst! Stop! Stop it!" 

At last, the airflow stopped. 

For the first time since he'd been here, there was no familiar compound entering his body. In fact, some of it left. As the pump turned off, some of the gas left Glen through the hose, returning his head, hands, and feet into existence slightly. 

His body quivered at the foreign feeling. He shut his eyes, trying to calm himself. So much had just happened. After weeks and weeks of nothing but these white walls and these two mad men, he was overstimulated. 

Roped were thrown up to him and lassoed around his hands and feet. They tugged him down and his stomach lurched. He hadn't touched the ground in ages. It felt wrong to descend.

One of the masked men shoved Mason towards him. He made eye contact with Glen, looking guilty and apologetic. Glen watched as Mason took an eyedropper out of the potion and let a single drop fall onto Glen's mouth.

The masked men shoved him aside and massaged the remedy into Glen's skin. He felt the area soften, and, at last, his lips parted. 

Glen gasped. But he soon began to hyperventilate, crying and shaking, trying to look over their shoulders at where Joseph was sitting, heartbroken.

He passed out. 


"Glen, is it?" 

Glen blinked his eyes open and stared down at a young man with a beard. "I'm Hank Klestofer."

Glen just stared st him, flabbergasted.

"You can speak now."

"Oh," Glen said, but his voice was clumsy and sounded foreign to his own ears. 

"Your name is Glen Hartwor, yes?"

"Yeu," Glen slurred.

"You realize that you were kidnapped by two individuals and tortured through unethical scientific processes?"

"Nn . . . No . . . Torture?" 

"Your captors have been conducting unethical experiments for months."


"Yes, on you."

"How . . . long w's I . . ." 

"A little under a year." 

Glen just stared at Klestofer, trying and failing to process the information.

"You were reporting missing back in July. No one knows that you've been found yet, because we need to restore you before you can be seen by the public. We can't have people trying to carry on those two's legacy."



"Are you sure?" Glen asked, getting better at speach. "Is that possible?"

"We don't know yet." 

"But Joseph," Glen argued. "Where is he?"



"Lad, they were using you for some sick game."

"No, they were trying to help! To, um, progress."

"Do you really think that the future entails human blimps?" 

Glen's mouth hung open. He struggled to find a reasonable explanation.

"Kid, they didn't even know your name. They just wanted to see how far they could go. There was no goal."

"No! No. It can't . . . What about me? I spent such a long time . . . for nothing?"

"I'm afraid so, Glen. We'll see about deflating you soon."


More months passed as Klestofer lead the mission to deflate Glen. They got enough out of him to stop him from floating pretty easily, but he would say and droop and suddenly Glen would have trouble breathing and they'd be forced to reinflate him or else risk suffocation. 

Glen spend the whole time in a daze, in shock from what had happened. Logically, he knew that was tortured and imprisoned and experimented on. However, he couldn't help but want to see Joseph again. His excitement was much more pleasurable than the determined and disappointed faces of the people in the strange facility he was in now. 

Eventually, their efforts to deflate him were diminished. Klestofer divided a final plan. It would be the only way to keep Glen sustainably.

"We've confiscated the formula for his compound but adjusted it to prevent flight," he explained to Glen as they hooked him up to his new lifeline. "Your body has been deformed so severely that it cannot be deflated without collapsing in on itself. Furthermore, you cannot return to eating or drinking as your organs are no longer equips to handle such processes." A tube, similar to the one he had been stuck with for a year, was inserted into his body on the side of his stomach. "You will continue to live off of this compound through, what will be referred to as, your feeding tube. This will also keep you inflated to prevent death or injury. Unlike during the experiment, the gas will be cycled through to prevent you from growing whilst still providing you with nutrients."

"So I am stuck like this?"

"I'm afraid so."

"Will I go back home? Tell my friends that I'm alive?"

"No. You will have to find friends here."

Glen looked around, his little padded room felt more like a prison than Joseph's ever had. "If I'm to be like this . . . After all that. You should have just let him continue."

"He would have moved on to test more people. We could not allow him to proceed."

"I would have expanded forever," Glen argued. "He never would have stopped. He'd never move on."

"You can't know that."

"I do."

"What difference does it make? Did you like being blown up?"

"No, no. But . . . It was easier to lie. It was easier to think that I was going good. Now, I'm just . . . here."

"And here you'll stay." 

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