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The Antaeus protocol

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Yes. It is another short story without continuation. There are other sorts of stories than multi-chapter ones.

Yes. It is another one in an army setting, as so many other stories of mine. I repeat myself.

Yes. It will be dark and dystopian, since this technology would always be abused, if it existed, which is a pity: I would have preferred a bright and colourful world of plucky, cheerful Captain Norways, Captain Luxembourgs and Captain Canadas full of high ideals. You have been warned.


The Antaeus protocol

He could feel the familiar scent of the hypertrophic solution. The odour made him think of wounds tended by iodine, swimming pools kept clean by calcium hypochlorite or chemistry lessons from school years, but, despite the similarities, the hypertrophic solution had a unique and unmistakeable scent of its own, and by now Sergeant Scott could recognise it anywhere. No one would say, that it smelled good, but, by now, Sergeant Scott had begun to associate it with Project Ultramarine, and most things with Project Ultramarine made him feel excited.

Most things. He could vaguely recollect aspects of the Project, that didn't make him feel excited: The simulated interrogations, the simulated torture, the abrupt wake-ups at 3 or 4 a.m., but those things beside, he felt honoured, that he had been chosen for the Project, and he felt excited every time Doctor Ohm scheduled him for The Chamber. It was almost as something out of a comic book: Scott had joined the Royal Marines, been re-assigned to SAS, done well in things related to endurance, marksmanship, diving, HAHO/HALO and intelligence, but he was scrawny, and had weak results in anything related to heavy equipment. One of his superiors had re-assigned him to a top secret project: Project Ultramarine. Sergeant Scott had increased six inches in height and 55 lbs in weight – none of it bodyfat, all of it muscle mass. Scott felt like a different person, and he liked to be one of the chosen for the project. He wanted to serve in the armed forces in order to protect civilians, and Project Ultramarine increased his ability to perform his duty. Just a few weeks ago, he had marched with heavy equipment across the Cairngorm Mountains with a medium speed of 18 mph despite an intense snow storm.

He turned around a corner. Brigadier Smythe-Fforbes had invited a handful of high-ranking officers, but it was not of Scott's concern to know any details. Need-to-know-basis. As usual. The scent of the hypertrophic solution was now mixed with whiffs of the dry air and scent left by anabolic radiation. Not exactly like the dentist's, not exactly like a tanning bed, but, despite the traces of hypertrophic steam, the air felt dryer than normal, and it tickled in his throat. He entered the Lab. Quite a few men sat on chairs or stood small-talking, when he entered. Doctor Ohm and Evans, the lab assistant, were the only civilians, and were easily recognisable in their white lab coats and black rubber gloves.

He saluted and stood at attention. 

"Stand at ease, Sergeant!"

Scott stared straightforward, but his enhanced senses had already identified an unusually high number of generals, admirals and marshals among the gathered men. For a few seconds his mind drifted – drifted back in time to his first exposure to The Chamber. Doctor Ohm had only exposed him to a low amount of anabolic radiation at that time, but, since it was his first bath in the hypertrophic solution, he hadn't known what to expect, and the experience had been overwhelming. The energy blast had hit him like a blow, and his wiry physique had began to fill out in a very pleasant way, that had taken him with surprise. He had become empowered, he had felt his strength increase, and the formula given to him 45 minutes before treatment had been released by the relentless onslaught of the anabolic radiation. After his first submersion in The Chamber, Doctor Ohm and Evans had permitted him three consecutive exposures, weeks of tests and evaluation apart. Doctor Ohm was reluctant to increase the formula, the concentration of the solution and the intensity of the radiation, and only increased them in small steps, after what seemed like careful consideration. Sometimes, Scott had noticed traces of impatience in Evans' face, but didn't give it much of a thought. He had also observed seemingly inactive lenses in the walls of the chamber – the radiation came from below and above. The Brigadier had been giving a speech, and Sergeant Scott's attention returned to the Lab.

"And as you have read in the handouts, Gentlemen, the effect is very promising. Before we proceed, I will let you observe the test subject's present level of ability."

The Brigadier waved in the direction of the weights. Scott had been told beforehand, that he should demonstrate his strength before the guests. Scott lay down on a bench, removed the barbell from the stand, and began to press the weight of 660 lbs up and down, up and down: Nine times. He could feel blood rush to his newly trained pecs. It felt good. He rose and stood at ease. The officers were whispering. The Brigadier continued.

"As you may understand, this neglected branch of research is in need of further funding, and, as you have seen and read, the results are very promising. But this is not all. You will also witness the next step of the test subject's enhancement. Doctor Ohm? Mr. Evans? Sergeant Scott!"


"Please proceed to The Chamber, Sergeant."

"Sir! Yes, Sir!"

Evans stood at the landing, and helped Scott with the facial breathing mask and the electrodes at his temples. Scott descended down the steps in the still empty chamber. Evans closed the lid. Normally, Scott would have undressed before entering the chamber, but, as he understood it, The Brigadier would give the guests a show, in order to ensure funding. The glass was too thick to allow him to hear all noises from outside, but his enhanced ability to listen would allow him to receive a few fragments, at least.

The Brigadier gesticulated outside, and seemed to continue his speech. Doctor Ohm turned to the console, and Evans stood ready by the switches for the gas and the solution. A hissing sound began, and Scott eagerly inhaled. It had become better and better by each time, and he couldn't guess how much better it would be this time. A silent murmuring sound, he now was familiar with, grew in intensity, turning to a hum, and, as the murmur increased into a humming sound, Scott's anticipation increased, too: The anabolic radiation device was heating up, and he was soon going to be exposed to something, that would improve his endurance, increase his strength and enhance the size of his muscles. He swallowed. A whispering sound combined with a slight dizziness witnessed, that the formula was spreading in his body, and it was ready to react to the anabolic rays.

The chamber felt dry, and the hair on his forearms bristled like the first time. Like the other times. Any second now. He swallowed. Unconsciously, he tensed his muscles in anticipation of the oncoming flow of energy, and his dick awoke inside his pants and camo trousers. He became acutely aware of his bodily extension: How his feet were enclosed by green socks and boots smelling of boot polish. His camo trousers smelled of moth repellant, and the olive-coloured t-shirt felt snug and tight on his hard and built torso. He could feel the pump in his pecs, from the bench press a few minutes earlier. The humming increased. So did his blood pressure. He wouldn't call it fright or fear, but each step of enhancement was a step into the unknown. He was the prototype. It hadn't been done before. No one could know with certainty, that each latest step was free from risk. Even if the experiments had turned successful in the past, the new factors introduced at this step could have unforeseen consequences. He ran the risk of bodily harm or even lethal effects, but on the other side, if it worked, the positive effects might be far beyond their expectations. He hoped, that Doctor Ohm knew what he did, but the almost exaggerated cautiousness, by which the scientist had  proceeded during Project Ultramarine, comforted Sergeant Scott in his doubts: The Doctor didn't take any risks. Any second now. The breathing mask hissed. His throat felt dry. He swallowed. He could hear his pulse in his temples. His dick throbbed against the fabric of his pants. Evans had mentioned something about high testo levels. The Chamber hummed more loudly now. He braced himself. Then it erupted.

The rays beamed through him, penetrating every muscle fibre in his body, and there was nothing he could do to protect him from it, had the effect been dangerous. But it felt good. He could feel his muscles react to the radiation, feeling more than pumped, sore and heavy and powerful at the same time, and he could feel the hem of the t-shirt slip out of his trousers, and slide upwards over his waist and belly-button, revealing his cobble-stone six-pack and his steel-hard obliques. He was overwhelmed by the sensation, and only absent-mindedly aware of the splashing sound of hypertrophic solution, that, with increasing force, began to fill the chamber. The t-shirt felt ever tighter, and the anabolic rays empowered him, more than ever before. With a yelp, he flexed his arms, and the short sleeves of his shirt ripped apart. With a moan, he did a crab, and the remaining fabric fell into the solution, tumbling around in the bubbling liquid. Though cargo trousers are supposed to be wide, the camo-patterned trouser legs could no longer contain his growing – nay, expanding! – quads and hamstrings, and the tatters, that once had been trouser-fabric was soon floating together with the former t-shirt. The Brigadier said something. The audience looked amazed. The level of the liquid rose quickly, and Scott felt relief, when he became fully surrounded by it, floating in the hypertrophic solution, that increased the effect of the anabolic rays tenfold, twentyfold. The boots felt uncomfortable around his feet. It had been a bad idea to keep them for propaganda purposes. They actually felt quite painful and too tight! And then his growing feet forced themselves out of the army boots, which sank to the bottom of The Chamber. Only his pants remained, and they were made of some sort of stretchy fabric, that felt comfortable against his bum and dick. Wet. Elastic. Expanding. Keeping his rod in place. Adapting.

He was adapting, too. He floated with closed eyes in the warm solution, and he allowed his big, growing hands explore the slabs of power-beef he once had called his pecs. His shoulders were increasing too: Hard! Bulging! Still growing! Each one of the three shoulder muscles clearly separated – which also was true about the two heads of each biceps. He let his index finger touch his biceps and run along the separation between the two muscle heads. His palm squeezed his tensed biceps. It felt hard and good, approaching the size of a handball now. Size of a handball! His dick twitched. Size-of-a-handball-now!

The liquid turned the thick glass into a mirror. He could watch his own reflection, and it amazed him, but the thick glass made it hard to hear what happened outside. He thought he could hear fragments of an argument. A few tumbling chairs? Raised voices? The Brigadier? One of the generals? Doctor Ohm?

".... No! Safety precautions..."

And then gunfire. A few shouts. An unknown voice:

"... proceed... ...increase... ...activate the Antaeus Protocol."

"No! Not the Antaeus Protocol! Too dangerous! ... untested..."

"... increase..."

He felt alarmed for a few seconds, but then something happened. Something amazing. Something that defied all description.

The electrodes used for programming of brainwave-pattern activated, and they activated with heightened intensity. It was not like any of the gradual and mild programming sessions he had experienced before. He was overwhelmed. The promise of mental and bodily pleasure made him eager to learn new abilities, and the Antaeus Protocol taught him to kill without remorse, erased his conscience and turned him into an obedient combat-machine. There was a second or two of hesitation and surprise, but the human instincts and hesitating conscience were soon quenched by the unbending and relentless Antaeus Protocol. His resistance was broken. He accepted the Antaeus Protocol, and, in the same second, the anabolic radiation increased in intensity. His eyes widened. His entire body spasmed for a few seconds. He could feel his cock rip the fabric of his pants apart. Testo levels! TESTO POWER!

The surrounding hypertrophic solution bubbled intensely now, increasing the effect of the rising anabolic radiation manyfold. It went far beyond any of the earlier experiments, and Scott was now unaware of his surroundings, lost in the overwhelming experience of extreme, unlimited GROWTH. The unknown lenses he had observed before in two of the walls began to lit up, and flashed into life. The chamber, the liquid and anything inside the chamber were now exposed to two different types of power. The effect of the hypertrophic radiation was multiplied by the synergy of the unknown power. Scott's arms and legs thrashed around uncontrollably in the energised, bubbling liquid and his moans increased into bellows and roars: Bellows and roars of pleasure, bellows and roars of unbridled aggression and bellows and roars of a nameless ecstasy going beyond them both. He grew uncontrollably now, but he didn't want to control it. He just wanted more. He wanted all of it. He wanted uncrushable brawn and indestructible muscle mass. In the mirror-like surface of The Chamber he could see his physical appearance transcend all formerly known limits of the human physique. He must have been 6'10'' now, and he was still increasing rapidly in height. His muscle mass was like some unknown matter which was boiling over, but there was nothing random or deformed with his shape: The expanding steel-hard beef was shaping itself into the most well-proportioned and efficient icon of strength beyond strength, masculinity beyond ultra-masculinity. The gigantic shape of a titan emerged. A powerful titan bulging and throbbing of muscular strength. Scott felt the mounds – no, mountains! – that were the building blocks of his body, and increasingly more power was still ever crammed into ever fibre of his being. He could tangibly feel himself grow, and then he saw something, that looked like a liquid metal, like mercury, and shiny like a mirror, form around his body. He could feel the substance surround him and enclose him, and, when the process was finished, he felt entirely invulnerable. He felt indestructible, like a titan of yore. He was undefeatable, like Antaeus. Come hell or come high water, he would obey every order. He was the prototype of the Antaeus Protocol.

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Project Defender and Unit 246 will go in another direction by time.

I believe Project Defender already have, but it is at stand-still for now, until I get some writing advice about Cpl Taylor. Until I know how to portait Cpl Taylor, we are left with an insane and monstrous villain in that story.

Readers looking for sweet and tender moments would better read my non-army-themed stories, like My little buddy or With a little help from magic, but, on the other side, they are less appealing to my straight readers, than most of my army stories.

I like your repeated input. Do you want to continue parts of this discussion by private messages?

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Great work! Love the base idea And the transformation style. Wanna read more about Scott, but I like the idea he can't become just a machine :)

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