"Would you leave us alone now, Rachel?" Bertie said, and Rachel silently left the room.
"Was she right?" Dawn said breathlessly. "You were all men?"
"Now don't get excited. of course not. Rachel was just, shall we say, exaggerating. Quite a few members were at one time of the masculine persuasion, but we corrected that little defect."
"One of our better examples. A fine specimen of womanhood. But she was unique - we were able to get to her at an early age. We began training her as an infant."
"Oh, my God! Senator Boyce's son!"
"Oh, yes - I had forgotten." Bertie smiled. "She wasn't the only son of a famous person, either. Because violence was involved in the kidnapping, it got the most notoriety."
"You've kidnapped others? Turned them into women?" Dawn sat down meekly, folding her hands in her lap without thinking.
"Many others . Not just our little group here, but all over the country. And for years and years. It all started back in the '30's when Them was first formed. They decided to pull off a major stunt to call attention to the new group. They kidnapped a child, but it was such a bungle, they framed someone else and didn't claim credit. The child, unfortunately, died. Imagine if he had lived and had been given the same treatments as Rachel."
"Who was that child?"
"The son of an aviator - Charles Lindbergh. He went to his grave believing his son was still alive. If things had worked out according to plan, he would have been. But, enough of the past." Bertie went over to a locked desk and produced a key from her hip pocket.
"We don't believe our methods have worked satisfactorily on you, Dawn. At least I don't." She unlocked the desk top and folded it down. "Your will is very strong. You've turned into quite a young lady, however, you don't think like one. Therefore, we are going to change our plans concerning you."
Bertie removed two folders from a number of files inside the desk and then closed and locked it again. She walked over to Dawn, now sitting with her legs crossed, arms folded across her bosom. She had no expression on her face. Her heart began to thud quickly in her chest.
"This is the file on Rachel. It contains pictures. medical reports, school records, everything from age six. Rachel has been a fine recruit, but her usefulness has come to an end. You know too much, Dawn Cole. Rachel must never know about her true background. Ergo, you both must disappear. When this file disappears, Rachel no longer exists. And when this file is destroyed," she held up the second folder, "...Dawn Cole will no longer exist."
Dawn shot up from her seat. "You're going to murder us? How can you do that to us? We're no threat to you anymore!"
"Sit down!" Bertie yelled angrily. "Mind your tongue! I decide on who lives and who dies around here! And you are a definite threat to us! Maureen!" She yelled the name and the door opened. A redheaded woman stood in the doorway.
"Bring in our newest 'recruit', would you, dear?"
The woman left the doorway and in seconds returned. With Jonelle.
Dawn shot up again, and Bertie backhanded her across the face, sending her back into her seat.
"So you do know her. We thought so. You still have friends on the outside, Ms. Cole, therefore you are still dangerous to us. Maureen, remove them."
"Where to, ma'am," Maureen asked.
"Where to? To a holding cell! They're prisoners!"
Maureen closed the door to the room instead, leaving the four of them inside. "I can't do that, ma'am"
"What!! I won't stand for this insubordination! You will be severely reprimanded for this!"
"No, Bertie, I won't." Maureen walked up to a stunned Bertie and yanked the files from her hand.
Outraged, Bertie flung herself at the smaller woman, screaming at the top of her lungs. "Shut her up!" Jonelle said. Dawn looked at her, puzzled.
Maureen avoided Bertie's first blow, then deflected the second. She dropped the files and assumed a defensive stance. Bertie was still yelling, and Dawn could hear footsteps approaching. "Do it now!" Jonelle cried.
Maureen hit Bertie twice so fast Dawn barely saw it. The first shot to Bertie's nose stopped her in her tracks, the second blow to her chin sent her sprawling to the floor. She was now silent, holding her jaw, and in obvious pain.
Dawn retrieved the files from the floor and stood up straight, staring at Jonelle. "Jo - "
"We've no time for pleasantries, we have to get out of here. Now."
Someone was banging on the outside of the door. "What's going on in there? Open this door!"
Dawn noticed Bertie was watching their every movement, alert, ready to strike. Just before she could yell out, Dawn threw an expert sweep kick that sent Bertie head over heels. A follow-up front kick put Bertie out cold. "Nice work," the redhead said.
"Dawn, this is Tiffany Hardcastle, a private detective. Tiffany, this is Dawn, formerly David Cole."
"Hi," Tiffany said. She looked her well-dressed colleague over thoroughly, from her slender legs to her small waist to her budding breasts to her lovely face framed by full, gorgeous blonde hair.
"Nice to meet you," Dawn said, embarrassed to meet a fellow detective this way.
"Open this door or we'll break it down!" The voice in the hallway shouted.
"There's no need to break it down!" Dawn shouted back. "I'm opening it."
Dawn went to the door and opened it. Peering eyes strained to see past her into the room. "This is my sociodrama class - we were in the middle of an important scene!"
"Uh - sorry. We thought there was trouble. Sorry. Is Bertie in there?"
"Yes," Dawn said. "She's helping me with my scene. By the way, could you find Rachel and send her back here?"
"Sure, sure, no problem. Sorry to have disturbed
The women left and Dawn closed the door again. She handed the folders over to Tiffany.
"This file contains everything about Rachel Morris, the former Richard Boyce, Jr. They've turned him into a woman."
Tiffany looked through the papers in the file. Then she looked at the second dossier.
"This is about you. It has medical records detailing hormone therapy... "
Jonelle interrupted Tiffany. "Dawn! Those breasts - they're real? You're a real woman now?"
"Not completely, but just about. They had plans to make it official, though. But not more than fifteen minutes ago, Bertie decided I wasn't responding to their brainwashing sufficiently enough. They were going to..." She stopped when the door opened and Rachel stepped into the room.
"What's going on here?" She walked over to Bertie and felt for a pulse. "Who did this to her? Who are you two?" She pointed at Tiffany and Jonelle.
"Rachel, listen to me," Dawn said. "Bertie told me they were going to dispose of me because of everything I know about you - about who you really are."
"What do you mean - who I really am?"
Dawn took the folder from Tiffany. "This is your file, Rachel. It contains everything about what they did to you since you were six years old. I know who your real father is, he hired me to find you."
"My father? I never knew who my father was, my mother never mentioned him..."
"She wasn't your real mother, listen, I can explain everything later. Right now we have to get out of here. And only you can help us."
"Why would I want to help you? Why would you want to leave?"
"They were going to kill me! And you! Don't you understand? You were the son of a United States Senator! They kidnapped you and turned you into a woman! If word about that got out and into the press, this group would be finished! You are of no use to Them any longer!"
Rachel stood and looked at Dawn, then at Tiffany and finally at Jonelle. "Is this true?" They both shook their heads. Rachel took the folder from Dawn and turned the pages, a pained expression on her face as she read what was on the sheets. "It is true. There is a newspaper clipping about the kidnapping in here...oh, God!" She sobbed uncontrollably,
"We have to leave now, Rachel. Lead the way." ~
Dawn found the desk key in Bertie's pocket and opened up the desk. While she went through the other files in there, Tiffany and Jonelle took a roll of masking tape and taped Bertie's mouth shut and her hands and feet together.
"There's enough in here for the feds to shut this organization down permanently!" Dawn said excitedly.
Tiffany and Jonelle lifted Bertie up and placed her into the closet. "Okay, let's get the hell out of here," Jonelle said.
"I don't have a lot of influence with the other members, but I should be able to get us out the front door without a problem," Rachel stated, her hand on the doorknob. "Here we go." She opened the door and led the others into the halIway.
There weren't any guards in the immediate area, but they were at the top of the stairs.
"Where you all going?" one of them said gruffly while simultaneously blocking their path.
"We have to go out, we need some things for our class. Bertie assigned these two to accompany us."
Dawn watched Rachel as she spoke and was impressed by how cool and calm she handled herself. Her own heart was pounding in her chest and she could feel sweat beading up on her forehead. She looked behind her at Tiffany, Maureen and Jonelle. They did not look back at her, instead concentrating on the guards.
"Bertie said so, huh? I know that one... " she pointed at Maureen. "She's only been here a short time. I better check with Bertie."
"We're only going to the drugstore; it's right across the street," Maureen said. "I'll bring them back safe. I can handle that much."
The guards looked at each other. They shrugged their shoulders. "Okay, but we'll be watching you."
Rachel led the group down the stairs. The two guards followed behind them. Suddenly one of them stopped. "I'm going to check on Bertie. I'll catch up to you." She went back up the steps toward the drama
Dawn was real nervous now. She couldn't understand why she was experiencing such an anxiety attack. She never had one before - and now was not a good time to get her first. Normally, she was very calm and in control in tense situations, but this time she was turning into a basket case. Sweat poured down her face. Her hands were cold and clammy. Her heart was drumming out of control - what was wrong with her?
Rachel opened the front door of the building and held it as Dawn, Tiffany and Jonelle passed her. The guard stopped at the door and held it as Rachel exited. She stood in the doorway as the four walked across the street.
They reached the small drugstore and went inside. Tiffany immediately put a quarter in the pay phone and called Senator Boyce.
Back inside the house, the second guard alerted the other Them members inside after she discovered the bound and gagged Bertie. They collectively ran across the street, some of them pulling out guns. They invaded the drugstore, but didn't find anyone other than a terrified clerk.
"Where did they go!" One of them screamed. The others were already heading for the back door of the store which led into an alley.
Rachel and Dawn were already far behind Tiffany and Jonelle, all of whom were running for their lives down the alley. Dawn finally stopped and kicked off her high heels. She was so light-headed now, she seriously wondered if she was having a heart attack.
The alley led onto a large city street, the four women ran headlong into the mid-afternoon lunch rush. They continued to run, avoiding people as they did so, until Tiffany led them into a large office building.
They took the elevator up to the top floor and then the stairs up to the roof. There, Dawn collapsed in exhaustion.
"I (gasp) can't breath..." she said. Her face was red and soaked with sweat. Tiffany opened her blouse and took her pulse.
"My God! Your heartbeat is too fast - your blood pressure is ready to explode!"
"I can't, huh, can't..." Dawn began to hyperventilate. "I need help..."
Jonelle went back down the stairs and searched for a phone. She found one in an office with a deserted reception area and dialed 911, requesting an ambulance. She went back up to the roof and led the others back to the office. Rachel and Tiffany supported the gasping Dawn between them.
They laid her down on a couch and used magazines as fans, waving them over her to cool her down. Her heaving chest was soaked with sweat. Jonelle stared at the small, firm breasts beneath the drenched blouse and tried to convince herself that they were real. Her David had breasts almost as large as her own.
The ambulance arrived minutes later and the paramedics reached the off ice at the same time as the secretary who had stepped out for lunch. She just watched dumfounded as the paramedics worked on Dawn then took her out on a stretcher, followed by Tiffany, Jonelle and Rachel. She closed the door behind them and sat back down behind her desk as if nothing had happened.
Dawn was wheeled out of the building and into the waiting ambulance. Jonelle went with her and the others hailed a cab to follow them to the hospital .
In the waiting area of the hospital, Jonelle and Tiffany acquainted themselves with Rachel. She recounted stories of Them from as far back as she could remember. Tiffany was astounded by what the group had accomplished while retaining such obscurity. Then a doctor approached =
"Ms. Cole will be fine. She suffered a mild myocardial infarction, brought on by hypertension and exhaustion. Also, she's severely malnourished. We'll keep her overnight for observation, but I don't see why she can't be released tomorrow."
"Thank you. doctor," Jonelle said. "Can we see her?"
"Of course, follow me."
Dawn was lying in bed, her face scrubbed clean of make-up, her jewelry removed. She was under the white sheet, but her upper body showed she was wearing a hospital gown. "Hi, gang," she said.
"How do you feel" asked Jonelle.
"Okay, a little embarrassed about the questions they asked regarding my sexual status, but other than that..."
"Listen, Dawn, try to remember what you did with the files from Them's headquarters," Tiffany said.
"Oh, no! I forgot all about them! I must have dropped them somewhere..." Her face got even paler.
"Don't worry about it,' Rachel said. "At least you're okay. We can worry about Them later."
"I tried to call Senator Boyce again but can't get an answer," Jonelle said, sitting on the edge of the bed and taking Dawn's hand. "He must have gone crazy after the call he got from the drugstore. Once you get out of here, we'll go directly to him.'
The other three looked at Rachel who smiled weakly. "I don't know if I can face him. After all this time? And look at me - is this what he's expecting me to look like?'
"The man has been searching for you, spending every cent he owns on tracking down the thinnest of leads,' said Down. "He's still your father, and you're his only child, his only family. Everything will be fine."
The next day, Dawn checked out of the hospital. Jonelle brought her a change of clothes, and after a phone call to confirm that he was at home, the four of them made their way to Senator Boyce's house.
The Senator greeted them in his study. He expressed sincere gratitude at seeing Dawn again, albeit in her altered form. He thanked Tiffany and Jonelle for the job she had done in getting Dawn away from Them, and looked at the tall blonde who was unknown to him.
"Senator Boyce, may we introduce RacheI Morris, late the sociodrama instructor of Them," Dawn said, taking Rachel's hand and leading her close to the Senator .
Richard Boyce looked at the statuesque beauty and saw her lower lip quivering, her eyes watering. He stuck out a hand, but Rachel didn't take it, instead staring deeply into his eyes, her brows knitting tightly in confusion
"Do I know you, young lady?" The Senator said, seeing something vaguely recognizable in the face of the woman.
"D-daddy?" her voice wavered and was barely audible. "Pardon?" There was a hint of confusion in the voice of the Senator now. Neither had broken eye contact since Dawn's introduction.
"Senator, it took many hours and a Iot of your money," Dawn stated suddenly. "It was an extremely traumatic experience, one that will take many months, even years to recover from. I very nearly died, and was subjected to a feminization process that may have reached a point of no return at the hands of somewhat ruthless women with a severe hatred of men.
"These women decided many years ago to strike at the male-dominated world by forcefully turning men into women. If they were able to resist or didn't live up to expectations, they were eliminated.
"Twenty-some years ago, they kidnapped a small child from a prominent young U.S. Senator. Unfortunately violence erupted and people died. The child was never found or heard from again. The case was closed years later with the discovery of a small skeleton in the basement of a burned out building, the former headquarters of Them - the suspected kidnappers.
"The child lived, however. The woman who had taken him tried to leave the group and raise the child as her own. This failed. The woman was found and killed, the child returned to the group. They raised it welI, educated it at the best schools, intended to make it someone to build the group on in the future.
"The child grew up, strong and brave, highly educated with an advanced degree in psychology. . ."
Senator Boyce interrupted, looking at Dawn with watering eyes. "My son...? Where?"
Dawn looked at Rachel, who was still staring at the Senator, mascara-stained tears running down her cheeks. Boyce followed Dawn's gaze and looked deep into Rachel s eyes.
"Senator, this is your child - Rachel."
"Daddy?" Rachel was in near convulsion. Tiffany held her shoulders from behind. Jonelle choked back tears of her own. Boyce walked slowly out from behind his desk, never taking his eyes off the trembling girl .
"My son? Richard?'
"Richard is no more, Senator," Tiffany said. "This is your daughter, Rachel."
Boyce looked Rachel over from top to bottom, seeing the expertly coiffed blonde hair framing the fine feminine features highlighted by Iight make-up. Her slender shoulders ended in soft, pretty hands with professionally manicured and polished nails. He took in her ample breasts, now heaving with her every breath, under the attractive floral print blouse. Her slender waist, the swoop of her hips that led down to her long legs showcased in a short white skirt and perched on white pumps. Everything about her was totally female surely this couldn't be his long lost son?
But something deep inside told him it was. Something he had seen when his eyes first met hers. It was intangible, but it had been there. This was indeed Richard, Jr. He rushed forward and threw his arms around the trembling figure
Jonelle dabbed at the tears welling up in the corners of her eyes. Dawn's chest felt constricted again, and she had to struggle to catch her breath. Even the normally emotionless Tiffany Hardcastle found herself choking up over the heart-rending reunion.
"We'll leave you to get re-acquainted with Rachel, Senator Boyce," Dawn said, backing out of the room and motioning for Tiffany and Jonelle to follow. But the Senator never heard her. He just hugged his child closer to him, as the tears poured down his face.
Outside, the three made their way to the rented car.
"So what now, Dawn?" Tiffany asked, sliding into the driver's seat. "Officially David is dead and buried. Will you continue as Dawn?-'
Dawn sat in the middle of the front bench seat, Jonelle getting in last next to her. "I don't know, I haven't thought about it. I've been this way for so long now. . .
"If you even think about being a man again, I'll kill you for real!" Jonelle blurted out, a huge smile spreading across her face.
"Well, I guess that settles that. What about you, Tiff?"
"First off, I have some phone calls to make to find out what happened to the Them group after we escaped. They think we have their files, so we're still a threat to them."
"They'll have to shut down operations in this city at least. We know too much about them." Dawn took Jonelle's left hand in her right . Jonelle smiled. "We'll have to keep an eye out for them..."
"Or leave this city and start a new life," Jonelle piped in. "You can start a new practice, as much as I hate detective work..."
"I could use a partner. What do you say, Tiff?"
Tiffany smiled and started the car. "I'll think about it. I don't know if I can handle anymore of the cases you two get involved in."
"After this one, everything else will be extremely dull. But we made quite a team. What do you say?"
Tiffany shifted the car and clutched Dawn's free hand in her right. "Quite a team," she said.
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