Randolph and Kim

Chapter 1

AUTHOR'S NOTE: All of my stories have been written for an exclusively adult audience. They contain descriptions of violence, some of it of a sexual nature. They also include other sexually explicit depictions. They are in no way suitable for minors. Furthermore it is against the law in many parts of the world for this type of material to be read, either by minors or by minors and adults. Please make sure you are not acting contrary to local legislation before reading on and please do not read any further if you find this type of material offensive in any way. This is a work of fiction and any similarity between the characters and events depicted and any people/events in real-life, past or present, is purely co-incidence. A number of the characters and events portrayed are inspired by, or based upon, existing works of fiction. Although I have made every effort to keep plagiarism to a minimum, I must acknowledge a debt of thanks to the many artists and writers who have shared their talents with the public. I've released my stories to the public domain to make sure that as many people as possible who share my interest in this type of fiction can enjoy them. Please feel free to re-distribute them by whatever means you like, provided you respect the following points: (1) The stories will be re-distributed exactly as they are - unchanged and unedited. (2) No other person will claim authorship of any of these stories or any part of them. (3) The stories will not be distributed for profit, either on their own or as part of a group of other works. Lastly, thank you for your interest in this story. I hope you enjoy it!

Submitted for your evaluation: the story of one Randolph Thomas Sherman. Not a particularly attractive man at first glance, but appearances can be deceptive. In order to make a balanced observation of the man, some back-story is required. It has taken Randolph many decades to become the ageing, sour-faced and conservatively-dressed individual he is now. Much might have happened to him in the course of those decades to shape him into the form we now see. Let's find out if that is the case...

First entry in Randolph's file: Chicago, Illinois, USA. September 21st 1940. That's when he was born. Those were tough times. When Randolph was three years old, his father was reported as Missing In Action in Normandy. He remained Missing once the Action had stopped.

His widow, Randolph's mother, lasted four more years, although she spent her last eighteen months in an asylum for the mentally ill. The double tragedy left young Randolph, from the age of five, in the care of his father's sister. A cold, unloving woman, bitter at finding herself taking care of her dead brother's child, Marcie Sherman blamed the boy for her own unhappiness. And she rarely missed an opportunity to remind him of that fact.

Books and learning provided Randolph with his only his only effective escape from the harsh, unwelcoming world around him. Every moment that he could, he spent in his local library. In breaks at school, he read. At home, he read. He absorbed knowledge and thirsted for more. He excelled in his studies, and was rewarded by the reaction of his teachers - for the first time in his life receiving praise and attention from adults.

In 1959, Randolph won a scholarship to attend a prestigious university. He majored in biology and chemistry. There were no women studying sciences with him, but the few that were around the campus - mostly arts undergraduates - intimidated him. At first he simply could not find the courage to talk to them. He fretted over this; a desperate inner urge to be with females occupied his thoughts and yet he lacked the basic social skills to fulfil it. The more this paradox troubled him, the more his fear of women grew.

He began to resent the opposite sex for its apparent inapproachability and increasingly saw women as the unreachable, untouchable keepers of the secret to life's joy. As his need for them grew, so did his confusion. He told himself lies to calm his mental turmoil. His favourite lie stated that all women were evil and that the great "thing" that he was missing out on (he could never bring himself to refer to it, even internally, as "sex") was an overrated distraction. Women used their devious ways, their strangely fluid movements, their bewitchingly pretty faces - their wickedly-shaped bodies - to trick men like him into believing that "the great thing" (sex) was some glorious pursuit. Randolph convinced himself that this was not the case and, over time, came to believe that his shunning of women was to his credit, rather than his loss.

Still, he could not completely conquer the stabs of jealousy that tore through him every time he saw another man with a female companion. He dealt with them by developing a hatred for anyone of his sex who seemed comfortable around women - in other words, most other men. His strongest disapproval was reserved for his contemporaries who were most successful with girls. Those who went on dates. Touched women. Did what he really wanted to do more than anything else in the word: had sexual intercourse. He told himself, repeatedly, that those men were fools, letting themselves become slaves to their basest instincts. He was above all that. He, Randolph Sherman, was superior.

But it was difficult. To begin with, he was fighting a one-man war. No-one else acknowledged his moral superiority. Quite the opposite; they looked down on him because of his awkwardness, ignoring his principled stand. He knew that the other young men called him all kinds of words with disgusting connotations and, as for what the women muttered to each other behind their hands before giggling in that obscene, flirtatious way that they loved... Well. he didn't want to know.

That, of course was not entirely true. He did want to know - desperately in fact - but he convinced himself of the opposite. Terrified of the witch-craft-like effect women seemed to have on him, and sickened by the female-obsessed behaviour of other men, he shunned the rest of the human race as much as his studies allowed. This caused his general dislike of the species to strengthen. With plenty time to spend by himself, he thought about it a lot. He thought about how much he hated the male half of the world for allowing itself to fall under the spell of the female half. And he thought about the female half and how much he hated everything about them.

Randolph spent a great deal of time thinking about the things he hated most about women. He would think about those things most of all when he was naked. And as he thought, he would touch himself, all the while revolted by himself, by the way he was so powerless before the mysterious, hateful force known to the rest of the world as femininity. The images that came into his head disgusted him and made him touch himself more and more aggressively. His brain was at war with itself, confusing him, betraying him with pictures... disgusting, immoral, unignorable pictures.

In those quiet, solo moments, twice - sometimes three times a day - as he thought of all that he detested, his hand, with a will of its own, would seek out his penis which, also with a will of its own, became erect. His mind filled with the terrible images his yearning, repressed imagination generated. He saw women. Young women, fresh as spring, their faces bright with clear complexions. Their eyes would be blue or brown or green, but always radiant with long, showy lashes. Randolph saw lips, rich and thick, pouting overtly. The lips were usually brightly painted, drawing attention to their alluring presence. Drawing not just attention but also men - innocent, proud, intelligent men like himself. Ensnaring, cutting through male wisdom and intellect to something far more primitive beneath. Something which could not fight back.

As well as faces, Randolph saw bodies. Voluptuous, curvaceous bodies with long, beautifully-shaped limbs, rounded, smooth thighs and flat, flawless stomachs. His mind tormented itself with images of taut, spherical buttocks that bounced so suggestively as their owner walked away. Above all, the picture that most tortured him - the sight he most hated himself for seeing, and the one he was least capable of ignoring - was of breasts. Big, round, firm, proud, bouncing breasts. Breasts which begged him to touch, to caress. Begged him to feel their weight, to squeeze them, pinch their upstanding nipples, lick them and finally, to lay his head between them. Randolph imagined himself surrounded by the warmth of the breasts in his mind, made himself believe they were pressing, pushing so insistently into his face until... until the breasts and the bodies and the women won. At that point, he would reach for a kleenex in disgust.

He consoled himself with the knowledge that as he had committed the obscene act alone, his morality - his purity - was still intact as far as the outside world knew. He made sure of that by letting his dislike of all things female and all concepts sexual go on public display. The guiltier he felt about his frantic under-the-blankets fiddling, the more he presented to the world an image of a morally superior man sickened by the weakness of his fellow creatures.

Occasionally, jealousy won him over. He justified acts of cold-hearted maliciousness towards the objects of his envy as punishment for their immorality. One spring morning, he walked, nose arrogantly in the air, past two of the more popular male students. Each of them had his arms around a girl. The girls were dressed in the kind of obscenely tight clothes he thought about when he was touching himself. He knew as he saw them that he would be thinking about them that night and was furious that they would, with their evil dress and disgracefully voluptuous bodies, cause him to do something so foul.

Randolph punished the quartet by writing an anonymous letter to the local F.B.I. office in which he accused them of harbouring communist sympathies and of trying to subvert the entire university. All four were expelled soon afterwards. Although the author of the "red" scare was never revealed, most suspected Randolph. If he had been shunned prior to that, he was violently ostracised thereafter. He blamed everyone else for that and saw their treatment of him as yet another symptom of their moral bankruptcy. Proof of his need to stay away from them for fear of becoming tainted by their poison. Especially the women.

In this way, Randolph became one of the least popular students in the University's long history. At the same time, however, his academic work was equally as notable for very different reasons. His examination results were invariably excellent. His papers drew universal praise from his Professors and soon came to the attention of the wider academic community. When his degree course was completed, those who had followed his work urged him to continue his studies and work towards a PhD. The concept of researching alone towards that qualification and avoiding the social contact that employment would entail appealed, and he needed little persuasion to extend his student years.

His papers continued to provoke stir after stir in the scientific community. Rapidly, he became well known in his field, a rising star in the world of bio-chemistry research. His theories began to push back the boundaries of knowledge, opening up new avenues of study and experimentation. At the forefront of this new work, he continued to impress and enlighten those who read his work. The successful completion of his course, marked by the addition of the letters "PhD" to his name, surprised no-one. That was in the summer of 1967.

Randolph had no concerns about finding work after receiving his academic qualification. A queue of potential employers beat a path to his door, all keen to sign up the brightest young man in the field. But despite the offers of lucrative salaries and access to some of the best-equipped laboratories in the world, he did not find any of the propositions appealing. They all seemed to be promoting their "teams" - other men and, worse of all, women that he would be obliged to work alongside. One by one the representatives of the big pharmaceutical companies left without acquiring his signature.

As he was slowly coming to the realisation that, regardless of his reservations, financial imperatives required him to accept one of the posts on offer, the ideal solution presented itself to him. He'd met with a dozen men from a dozen companies all wearing the same grey suits, offering the same kind of working conditions, reeling off the same prepared speech about joining their "team". The thirteenth man was different. He wore a long, dark blue trench coat and a trilby hat and his offer contained no mention of any "team". Instead, he promised Randolph that he could work alone in a laboratory that was as up-to-date as any with a budget greater than most. And, as the man in the trench-coat said, his research would be for the greater good of mankind: "The U.S. government needs people like you to help in the fight against the spread of communists and their degenerate immorality." Randolph signed his name on the contract.

A sense of revolution was in the air. Not the kind of political revolution that Randolph would have known all about from newspaper reports, but a social revolution. Huge crowds gathered at generation-defining music concerts. In many circles, people talked openly about previously taboo issues. The ring of ice surrounding the topic of sexuality melted away. Films were made that reflected this new attitude and played to packed cinemas. Bright, flamboyant styles of clothing became an increasingly common sight. Men wore their hair long. Randolph Sherman bought himself a new, grey suit and started his new job, working for the government.

At first, they gave him small projects to complete, which he found deeply unchallenging. But after a couple of months, he was called in to see his supervisor. He was commended on his work up to that date. "We like your work." the supervisor had said. "And we like you. We feel we can trust you." He was asked if he was willing to take on a new, far more difficult task and he didn't hesitate before accepting. This, he was told, would be top-secret work. As he had no friends or close family, he was deemed ideal for such a project. There were documents - scores of them – which he was required to sign. His supervisor warned him that revealing a word of his new research to the outside world would be an act of treason, punishable by death. Randolph accepted the terms without giving them too much thought. Who would he tell, anyway? He was excited by the prospect of the project he would be undertaking.

Randolph threw himself deeply into his task: trying to create a device which could physically enhance a human being. His preliminary investigations into the effect of sunlight on chlorophyll in plants lead to him discovering that certain types of solar radiation produce a similar, but much more potent and permanent reaction in animal tissue. If enough energy from the sun could be somehow gathered, it might have hitherto unimaginable effects on a man's body. He worked on refining that theory, and began to test out various aspects of it in the laboratory. Every time he mentioned to his supervisor that he required another piece of equipment to carry out his experiments, no matter how expensive or difficult to procure it seemed, the machinery would arrive and be installed within days. Sometimes, even within hours. Randolph read the newspapers; he knew his country was fighting a war in Asia and that military interest would explain the government's enthusiastic support for his work, and, for the first time, he began to think about the wider implications of his research.

If his estimates were correct - he acknowledged that, at such an early stage, much of it was guesswork - then he might just be able to devise a method for greatly enhancing a soldier's strength and stamina. The effects might also include a substantial decrease in the subject's reaction times and a much improved speed of movement. If he was right about the behaviour of human cells - a very big "if" - then the subject might also become vastly less vulnerable to physical damage. Such a man would be an ideal soldier; harder to kill, almost impossible to defeat in battle. And, once again, if he was correct, a greater dose of stored solar energy would cause a greater augmentation of these physical abilities. A soldier could be made stronger, hugely stronger, or, even...

Randolph was convinced he had invented a method for creating a superman. He needed more tests to be certain of his discovery. He began to wonder what it would be like to be the subject of his final experiment - to be the man who would be given physical abilities far beyond the imaginations of most. Were he to be proved right, then such a man, given the maximum possible dose of concentrated solar radiation, would be virtually unstoppable. Such a man would not have to put up with things he found distasteful, like men who chased around after girls, or women who dressed like whores and constantly distracted men from higher callings. Such a man could lay down rules that would have to be followed. Such a man could punish those who transgressed his rules. Especially the women. He could punish the women for their sluttish ways. He could do whatever he wanted with the women... That is, whatever had to be done.

Over the weeks, Randolph began to realise that the full potential of his discovery would be wasted on soldiers or other men. Only he possessed the moral fibre and sensible, uncluttered judgement required by someone who commanded so much power. He resolved to withhold the potential of his work from his employers. He would give them what they wanted, a handful of stronger-and-quicker-than-average soldiers to kill communists in the jungle. But he would keep for himself the secret of real power. And by the time anyone realised what he had done, it would be too late for any of them to stop him. Then the women would come to him, and beg him for forgiveness, throwing their bodies at him for him to... No! Why did those creatures and their damned flesh keep invading his thoughts even now, when he was trying to ponder the greatest scientific breakthrough of all time?

Every Friday, he had to present a report on that week's progress to his supervisor. His earliest reports, about his theory and the tests he had carried out which supported it, were full and frank. But as he began to covet the full extent of his discovery, he became less and less honest in his briefings. At first, he simply neglected to reveal a key fact or two. As the months went by, he found himself inventing ever more elaborate lies about the limitations of his theories. The supervisor seemed interested and encouraging none-the-less, taking notes as Randolph spoke, posing questions. Almost every week, at some point, the supervisor would ask him if he was still certain that the process could be applied to any human being. He always appeared reassured when he received an answer in the affirmative.

The supervisor took a much keener interest in Randolph Sherman's project than he did in any other work being carried out under his authority. When he had first heard the young man's theories of creating a superman - since, sadly, revised to the creation of a near-superman - the supervisor had visions of a soldier in the jungle, surviving the best attempts of enemy soldiers to shoot him whilst he lifted one of their number off the ground with a single hand around his throat. And then his mind had wandered. Clips of a movie he had gone to see with his wife a few months before jumped into his conscience as they had done many times since that night in the theatre. The film was "1 Million Years B.C." and the clips in his head all featured its lead actress, Racquel Welch, in her movie costume of tattered cavewoman rags.

He'd been struck by the sight of her on the big screen. Her beauty affected him deeply. Her gorgeous face, long legs and fantasy figure were etched into his brain. Her glorious breasts moving beneath her costume haunted him so much that even now, months later, their image would pop into mind and push all other thoughts into some far, inaccessible corner. Now, as the part of his mind responsible for his professionalism struggled to bring his attention back to his meeting with Sherman, a couple of wires crossed. He tried to return to his original mental image of the superhuman soldier in the heat of battle. He almost succeeded. Almost. Except, in his imagination, he saw the battle, and the enemy soliders. But not the superhuman good guy. In his place, he saw Racquel Welch as a cavewoman.

She was in the same pose as the soldier had been before, her arm extended high, her back straight, which caused her generous chest to appear even more prominent. In the hand at the end of that extended arm, was an enemy soldier's neck. Racquel was holding his entire weight with one of her hands, clamped tightly around his throat. The supervisor could tell both from the way the soldier was dangling and the casualness of the screen beauty's stance that the man felt lightweight to her. Somehow, the image was the most erotic he'd ever known. He sought to enrich it and imagined a hail of hostile gun fire hitting the film star and merely bouncing harmlessly away from her, its only effect to tear away her rags, leaving more and more of her body exposed until she was completely nude and he could imagine the sight of her large breasts jiggling as bullets struck them before rebounding away.

A moment later, the supervisor was silently reciting the names of baseball players to himself in a last-ditch, panic attempt to prevent himself reaching an orgasm as he sat behind his desk in his office in the middle of a top-secret meeting between government scientists. He averted the crisis, but only just. Shortly afterwards, he ended the meeting early. As soon as Sherman had closed the door behind himself on his way out, the supervisor ran to his private bathroom. Less than a minute elapsed before he returned to his main office. As he did, he wondered if he would be able to influence the powers-that-were into selecting a woman as the first test subject should Sherman's work ever come to fruition.

As unaware of his supervisor's particular interest in his project as the supervisor was of Randolph's own selfish plans, the young scientist set about his work in the laboratory with an even greater fervour than before, working long into the night and at weekends, forgetting meals. He had no social life to neglect, no friends to miss, just a single goal to aim for: the acquisition of power. Power for himself. But to achieve that target, he had to continue his efforts for the government. He still had to turn his theories into some kind of practice. Then, one Saturday night, whilst his contemporaries were all out in filthy bars, listening to degenerate music, and going to repulsive parties where unspeakable acts were carried out in upstairs bedrooms, he made a huge leap forward. By bombarding a chemical compound with a very specific type of radiation, he created a crystal that could absorb the sun’s radiation, store it, and act as a partial bridge between solar energy and organic cellular energy.

He was more than halfway to making his theory a reality. Without sleep, he waited for dawn when he could begin the process of filling his crystal - which he immodestly named the Sherman crystal - with the sun’s power. Setting the fist-size semi-transparent, multi-facetted rock in a housing by an East-facing window, he arranged an array of testing and measuring devices around it and waited. And waited. The morning passed, and the first seeds of doubt began to sprout in his mind. Then, about noon, the first measurement of stored energy was recorded.

The Sherman crystal was absorbing power. He was vindicated. But as he watched his instruments in vain for signs of any further development, he realised that he had grossly miscalculated the speed of the process. He moved the crystal to the windows on the opposite side of the room to make the most of the afternoon sun. By dusk, he recorded a tiny further increase in its stored radiation. His experiment was working, there was no question about that. But it was a slow, slow procedure.

Randolph made sure he was in the laboratory every morning before dawn to position the Sherman crystal. He began to loathe overcast weather, cursing the hours of solar energy that were lost to clouds. Whilst the crystal slowly gathered power, he busied himself working on the final part of his process: the transmitting of energy stored in his giant-dull-diamond into a living being.

It took him three months to devise and build the transfer device. Despite its appearance - a huge, complicated affair – the principle on which he hoped it would function was simple. The charged crystal would be placed in the machine and then a beam of pure radiation would be fired through it into the recipient. But until he actually tested it with a prepared Sherman crystal and a live subject, he could only speculate as to its effectiveness.

One morning, a grey-haired man in full military uniform entered the laboratory, accompanied by Randolph’s supervisor. A curt introduction was rapidly carried out during which the stranger was named as General Smithson. “I’ve come to see how your work is progressing.” The general announced. “If you could please arrange a demonstration.”

“I should have something ready in a couple of months-“ Randolph began.

“Now.” The general interrupted.

Randolph knew he was obliged to comply. In truth, he too was keen to measure the effects of the small amount of energy that had built up over the past fourteen weeks within his original crystal. Retrieving the rock, he noticed it was slightly warm to the touch. He interpreted that as a good sign. He set it up inside his cumbersome transfer device and pointed the end of it at a work-surface on which he placed a small cage containing a rodent’s wheel and an adult white mouse.

There was a large meter with a dial affixed to the side of the cage. Randolph drew the General’s attention to it. “It measures revolutions per minute of the wheel,” he explained. As if on cue, the mouse climbed into the wheel and began to run. The needle on the dial responded immediately. “As you can see, the mouse is currently turning the wheel approximately 22 times every minute. Now I will switch on the beam generator and transfer the energy from the crystal.” Somewhat anticlimactically, the enormous device made no noise save for a low hum as it was powered up.

“How long before you can fire the beam?” the General asked.

“It’s already fired,” Randolph explained. “It’s radiation is well beyond the visible spectrum, so it is completely invisible to the human eye.”

“When will we know if it’s worked?”

“I estimate that in an organism of that size, we should be able to measure the effects of the energy transfer within a couple of minutes.” None of the three men present were apt at making small talk, so the next one hundred and sixty seconds passed in silence. At the end of that period of time, the mouse stretched as if awakening from a sleep and clambered into its wheel. And then it began to run.

“Ha!” Randolph exclaimed, delightedly if unprofessionally. “I knew it! I knew it would work!”

The general was peering at the meter beside the spinning wheel. “25 revolutions per minute,” he read, in a monotone. “Is that it? Is that tiny increase all you have managed to achieve?”

Randolph was crest-fallen. “The… the Sherman crystal needs time to charge up properly. A much much greater effect will occur if the crystal is exposed to sunlight for a longer period.”

“How long would it take to produce a doubling in an organism’s strength?”

Randolph went to a pad of paper, picked up a pencil and began to scribble illegible notes and calculations. After a while, during which he had filled most of the page with graphite markings, he looked up. “Approximately six years.”

“Six years?” the general seemed stunned. “We’ll have lost the war by then!”

“I thought we were winning,” Randolph said, confused by the general’s lack of enthusiasm and the statement which seemed to contradict everything he had read in the newspaper that morning.

“Um… yes, yes. Just a figure of speech.” the general muttered before clearing his throat and thanking Randolph for his time. Before Randolph could respond, the military man was halfway out of the door, the supervisor close behind. As soon as the door closed, Randolph grabbed his pad of paper and the pencil once again. He began jotting a fresh calculation.

He was certain now that the accumulation of power in a Sherman crystal was an exponential process; the more energy the crystal absorbed, the faster it could absorb new energy. He wanted to know how long it would take until the crystal became completely saturated with power. Until it could absorb no more. Until its power could be transferred with truly startling results, not just a fifteen percent increase in a mouse’s speed. He wrote frantically, tearing off one page to begin filling the next, figures and formulae appearing as fast as he could write them down. Finally, he drew a thick circle around one particular number. The answer.

Randolph had calculated that in order to soak up sufficient solar energy to be capable to transforming a man into a superman, a Sherman crystal like the one he had used on the mouse would need to charge for 37.4 years. He could give the government what they wanted within half-a-dozen years, but his own dream would have to wait for four decades. He would have to be patient.

The next morning, pre-dawn, he arrived at the laboratory entrance. One of the regular young ladies was seated behind the reception desk. Randolph loathed her. He hated her immaculately-brushed long blonde hair, which she let cascade, shamelessly, over her shoulders. He hated her perfect, white teeth which she flashed so ostentatiously and her big blue eyes with their long, fluttering lashes which she made even more prominent by painting them with mascara as if to tell every man she greeted that she was available for… for disgusting things. Things she evilly made him think of by wearing her uniform shirt so tightly that he could see the outline of her breasts.

As normal, Randolph stared disapprovingly at that hypnotic, rounded outline as he completed the formality of stating his name and security code. Why did he have to go through this ridiculous ritual with this... this whore day after day? Surely even her man-snaring, lust-obsessed brain could remember his face by now? But he knew it was not the vile woman’s decision that the protocol had to be observed. It was someone higher up the chain. Someone who feared the possibility of agency staff being replaced by doppelgangers. Or worse: doppelgangers with communist sympathies.

Now what was happening? The stupid whore was looking down at a list of names. Was she checking his code, just in case he was an impostor? Someone who had gone to the finest details to transform himself into a carbon copy of Randolph Sherman, but had not bothered to memorise his six-digit security code-number correctly? She looked up from the sheet, the movement of her head de-obscuring, once again, his view of her chest. Surely she had to know the effect those two… things had on men? Why did she flaunt them so disgracefully?

“There’s no-one by that name on the list, sir,” she said. Randolph thought he could detect a note of something more than professional courtesy in her smile. Satisfaction, maybe.

“What are you talking about?” he demanded.

“There’s no Randolph T. Sherman on the list, sir,” she repeated. It was definitely satisfaction. Randolph wanted to slap her. And to rip her shirt off and bury his face between those… No, no! What was she doing to him? How could such an intellectual inferior play with his mind in this way?

“Stop this nonsense!” Randolph exclaimed, rather like an exasperated parent addressing a tantrum-throwing child.

“If you like, sir, I can call a member of the security team.” She picked up a telephone, already dialling a single-digit number and turned to face him, the radiant grin still fixed on her features. Randolph returned it with a sneer of contempt. Within seconds a security guard appeared from the room behind the reception desk. In terms of physical size he had more in common with a grizzly bear than he had with Randolph.

“What’s the problem?” the bear growled.

“The problem is this: your receptionist here is so busy making sure her face is well-painted that she doesn’t seem to have enough time to do her job. She can’t find my name on her list. Maybe there’s too many letters in it for her.”

“What’s your name…. sir?” enquired the big man, leaving a long-enough pause before the “sir” to make it clear that any implied respect was not intended.

“Randolph T. Sherman. I work on Hercules Project. Hell, I AM Hercules Project. Now let me get to my lab!”

“Sherman, Sherman, Sherman….” the security guard muttered. “Ah yes. I have a package for you.”

“Bring it to me in my laboratory.”

“I’m afraid that you cannot enter the building unless your name is on this list, sir.” The receptionist chimed in. Now her grin was one of smug victory.

“This is preposterous!” Randolph exploded. Neither the girl nor the bear responded. The large man disappeared into the room behind the main desk for a moment, returning clutching a brown paper package and a white envelope. Randolph snatched the envelope and tore it open, reading the brief, typed message it contained twice before mumbling “No. No. They can’t do this to me. Not after all I’ve achieved!”

“Looks like Randy’s going to be looking for another job.” the pretty blonde receptionist giggled, relishing his crushing defeat, any pretence at civility now abandoned.

“Bitch. Whore.” Randolph cursed her.

The security guard raised an eyebrow and took an intimidating step towards him. “Your personal effects, sir,” he snorted with a nod towards the brown paper package that was now lying on the desk. Slowly, humiliated, Randolph picked it up. He turned on his heels and walked pathetically away.

When he got home, he re-read the curt dismissal note he'd been given then angrily threw it into the trash. He sat down on his bed, thinking of the injustice of it all. His anger focussed on the receptionist who had first told him he couldn't enter the building. He thought of her delight at his suffering, the brightness of her smile, her painted face, the shape of her breasts so ill-concealed by her uniform shirt. He loathed himself for not being able to stop himself as he unfastened the fly of his grey trousers and reached in to take hold of himself.

A while later, he tore the brown paper from the parcel containing his personal effects. The contents - a comb, some loose change, and a retractable pencil - spilled out across the kitchen table. The only other thing in the packet was his lab-coat. Disgusted, he tossed it onto the tiled floor, and was surprised by the dull thud he heard as it landed. Something was still in one of the pockets. He bent down to investigate. A cool, hard object.... It couldn't be... But it was. Randolph extracted the discharged Sherman crystal and held it up to examine it. His creation. The thing that could have given him the power to change the hateful world in which he lived. If only the government had been more patient. Now his dream was in ruins.

A shaft of sunlight momentarily beamed through the kitchen window, and it made Randolph freeze in his thoughts and movements. He'd told himself that his dream of power had died because, without access to his remarkably-equipped laboratory, he would never have been able to create another Sherman crystal. Yet he now had his original crystal in his hand. He knew that it worked; the mouse had proved that. He just needed to charge it properly. As for the ray to transfer its accumulated energy into his body... well, he had 37.4 years to build another. The rock didn't need a lab in which to be exposed to sunlight... it just needed sunlight.

"I can do it!" Randolph shouted out loud, although there was no-one there to share his delight. "I can get the power! Then I'll show them! The supervisor, that stinking general, his army, the government! They'll all be sorry for the way they treated me. That big security guard... I'll toss him aside like a matchstick! That receptionist bitch with her painted face and her obscene breasts - I'll make her regret messing with my mind and laughing at me. All of her kind will learn! One day, one day, they will all learn!" He struck his fist down on the kitchen table, determinedly.

His brain was alive with calculations. 37.4 years... he'd be 65 then. It wouldn't matter once he transferred four decades' worth of energy from the Sherman crystal into his body. His age would be irrelevant. He held the crystal up in front of his eyes. It was hard to believe that this insignificant piece of semi-transparent rock was going to change the world. All he had to do was get it charged. But where? His kitchen window only let in direct sunlight for part of the day. The obvious place was the roof. But, where he lived, there was little sun from late autumn until early spring. He needed - deserved - better than a Sherman crystal that wasn't in direct sunlight all day, every day...

A month later, Randolph had sold his house. His government salary had been huge, and his expenses low so he had managed to save a considerable sum. More than enough to tie him over while he found a new source of income. Somewhere sunny. After considering the possibilities, and finding them all to be abhorrent in their own way, he chose California. He immediately rejected Los Angeles. He hated the bustle of big cities anyway, but L.A.'s smog made the place completely unsuitable for his crystal. San Francisco, he realised after only a few hours, was full of those so-called "hippies". They disgusted him. He hated their garish dress and above all the way the women were so open with their whorishness. Sitting on the lavatory in his motel room, he pondered their obscenity as he manipulated himself to an angry, despicable orgasm.

He bought a modest suburban house in a small town far from the major cities. Before he'd even begun unpacking his personal effects, he visited the local hardware store and purchased a ladder. Back home, he immediately climbed onto the roof of his new home and set to work installing the Sherman crystal. He mounted it carefully on top of a weather-vane he'd bought for the purpose. Climbing down, he noted with satisfaction the way the crystal glinted in the streaming sunshine.

His new neighbour, a man maybe slightly older than himself, came out of the house next door and introduced himself. "You're not going need a weather vane much in these parts!" the neighbour commented.

"It's a family heirloom." Randolph deadpanned in reply.

"Oh, family heirlooms are wonderful. Do you have any kids to pass it on it?"

"No. I hate kids." Randolph could not keep the contempt from his voice.

"Well, perhaps you'd like to come over for a glass of lemonade once you've done unpacking.."

"No thank you." said Randolph. He and the neighbour barely exchanged another word for the next two decades.

Randolph got a job working part-time in the back room of the town's electronics store. He repaired televisions, radios, electric toothbrushes - whatever the townspeople brought to the store. The work was a long way beneath him but he had decided never to use his genius for the benefit of others again. Besides, the arrangement suited him. He didn't have to deal with customers and the short hours gave him plenty of time to pursue his hobby - trying to recreate the energy-transfer-beam generator. To that end, he stole parts from almost every piece of equipment he repaired, taking them home to his garage which he converted into a kind of workshop.

Increasingly he became known around town as a sour, miserable, anti-social presence - one best left alone. In his street, rumours spread about the noises of machinery coming from his garage when he was in. Sometimes, bright flashing light could be seen escaping from the edges of the big door which was never opened. Gossiping neighbours invented tales in which he was building a Frankenstein's monster or an atom bomb or a rocket ship. But he never gave them cause for real concern. People soon understood that all he wanted was to be left alone, and they were, on the whole, happy to oblige. Especially as any contact with him invariably left the other party stunned by his rudeness.

And in that manner, twenty years went by. Randolph became middle-aged, but other than the ageing of his body, outsiders could discern little difference in his manners. Of course, the loneliness of his life did cast an ever darker shadow over his countenance, his mind’s defence mechanisms building up an ever more solid and impenetrable dislike of the rest of the world. The passage of time did nothing to ease his bitterness towards the government that had discarded him so abruptly. If anything, it had intensified. Every time he left his house, or returned to it, he would glance up at the Sherman crystal on the roof, glinting in the sun as it slowly absorbed energy from Earth’s star. That was his one hope of retribution. Of eventual triumph.

Two decades was plenty of time for him to collect a huge array of parts from domestic electronic equipment. He worked long and hard to re-create his energy transfer ray, spending hours alone in his garage testing theories. New appliances began to be taken into the shop for repairs. Small machines for playing audio cassettes through headphones for people to listen to that horrid modern music that he so disliked. Video recorders. And, most excitingly for Randolph, microwave ovens. The types of energy converters that had been the exclusive property of top laboratories were now beginning to appear in every kitchen. He realised that, with extensive modification, parts from these new cooking devices could be used in his beam-generator.

In the autumn of 1985, his long-time neighbour moved out. A young, newly-wed couple moved in to the house next door. Randolph hated them on first sight. The man was too casually dressed, often appearing unshaven. As for his wife – she was an abomination. She would parade around the street and in the yard behind her house wearing tops that were so tight they were little more than second-skins. From his upstairs bedroom window, Randolph could look out on that garden and see her. He spent many hours doing just that, tutting in disgust as he stared at the way her T-shirt did nothing to hide the obvious roundness of her generous bust. Sometimes, when he used his binoculars, he could even see the clear shape of her nipples. That was obscene. It made him touch himself as he watched her.

It was worse at night. With his window open he could hear the cries of the couple as they performed the disgraceful act of intercourse, oblivious to the fact that any normal, morally-upstanding person might be listening in to… to their filthy activities. He knew the woman was a harlot. That was why she dressed the way she did. But couldn’t her husband learn some self control? Obviously not. He was completely under her spell, just another weak-willed man unable to resist the siren’s lure of a whore. The noises they made were disgusting. He convinced himself that he was not jealous. He was just morally outraged. When he was most outraged, he would listen to the sounds from next door as he furiously stroked his organ.

The degenerate couple had been his neighbours for two and a half years when, as Randolph watched the wife in her back yard one morning, he noticed that she looked pregnant. They hadn’t told him their good news, of course, as any communication between them had ceased after the husband’s first, disastrous attempt at starting a conversation. Randolph’s reaction to the woman’s state was one of disgust. Procreation revolted him. Worse than that, the thought that shortly his privacy would be disturbed by the sound of a wailing infant from next door really angered him. For a few weeks, he considered moving house. But he realised that anywhere he moved to would likely be just as bad, if not even worse. And his beloved crystal would never find a better home than the one it had occupied for the past twenty-three years.

The spring of 1988 was one of the worst of Randolph’s life. The new baby screamed long into the night most nights of the week. The sluttish mother brought her damn child out into her back yard often, meaning that its yells seemed even louder to him. Sometimes, he could even hear it screeching as he worked in his garage. Worse than that, she would often feed the thing out in the yard. Randolph could not believe her complete lack of decency as he held his binoculars to his eyes to study as she scooped out her milk-filled, bigger-than-ever breast and put the baby to it. As he played with himself, he shook his head in horror at the thought that this woman could expose herself like that in a place where anyone – well, him anyway with his eye-glasses – could see.

The child’s nocturnal screaming became less and less frequent as the months went by. The mother stopped suckling, and Randolph, carefully examining her in disgust from his bedroom window as she sunned herself in the garden, noticed that her belly and breasts returned to their previous dimensions. One day, he saw the two parents encouraging their child to try and take a few, shaky steps out in the garden. Three months later it was running around unaided, making far too much noise for his liking. He heard the child’s name being called more than often enough. “Kimberly, come here! Look what I’ve got for you!” He considered complaining about the noise, but decided not to. His words were unlikely to have any impact on such morally lax people.

For her fourth birthday. Kimberley’s parents bought her a bright pink tricycle. To Randolph’s horror, the child took to riding it up and down the pavement in front of his house. No matter how many times he came out and gave her disapproving looks or even openly scowled at her, she continued to pedal past his front door. The tricycle had one of those irritating little bells attached to the handlebars. She used it incessantly. The sound of that horrible tinkling outside his house infuriated him. It annoyed him most when he was working in the garage and he could hear her outside on his driveway, ringing that damn bell, going around and around and around until he wanted to grab a shovel and… As he worked on his transfer ray, he longed for the day that he could use it. There would be no more children riding tricycles in his driveway after that!

One day, late in the autumn of 1996, Randolph was at home when his doorbell rang. He went to the door and opened it, prepared to tell whatever salesman was out there to get lost. Instead he found his hated neighbours’ now eight-years-old daughter. Next to her, a rough home-made cart stacked with boxes of cookies. “Hello Mr. Sherman” she trilled brightly.

“What do you want?”

“I’m selling cookies for the girl scouts. Will you take one? They’re only a dollar a box.”

“I don’t like cookies.”

“Mr. Simpkins over the road took ten boxes. It’s for the girl scouts.”

“If I buy something, will you go away and leave me alone?” She didn’t answer his question, but the look on her face seemed to say “yes.”

“I’ll take half a box.” Randolph said, fishing two quarters from his trouser pocket.

“Um… I can’t break them in two,” the girl said. Randolph snorted and extracted a crumpled dollar bill from another pocket. He almost slammed it into her tiny hand, grabbing the box she proffered in return and slamming the front door in her face without so much as a “thank you.” Inside the house, he threw the unopened box of cookies into the trash. He hated that child.

When Kimberley was twelve, she started playing her horrible music too loud in the garden. Randolph decided that his best hope of retaining his sanity was to completely ignore the child. The policy served him well for two years. After that period had elapsed, as he glanced out of his bedroom window one day after fourteen year old Kimberley had returned from school, he noticed something. The girl had started to change. He could see the beginnings of her figure now starting to appear. How reprehensible of her parents, he thought, that they allowed her to wear clothes so tight that he could see how her body was developing.

He began to watch out for her as she left in the mornings and when she came back in the afternoons. What was wrong with the society he lived in that she could go out, day after day, with her flat midriff on clear view? Her wardrobe was a disgrace. Many of her tops were so tight, he could almost follow the daily increase in the size of her bust. He found himself tortured by impure thoughts once again. Despite his disgust, he could not take his eyes from her maturing body. He knew all her outfits and spent hours watching her trying to tan herself in the back yard. He heard the disrespectful way she spoke to her parents and closely studied the obscenity of her dress.

By the following summer of 2004, she had started to wear bikinis. Randolph was sickened by the way her parents let their fifteen year old daughter flaunt her still-ripening body in that way. Staring down from his bedroom window as the young harlot walked into her garden, he noticed that she now had quite a visible cleavage. It was just so obscene. His hand stroked his throbbing erection as he looked at the disgraceful spectacle, shaking his head in disbelief at the sheer immorality of it all. When she bent down to pick up something from the lawn, the view she offered of her nubile, rounded buttocks nearly gave him heart failure. How could such a public abomination be allowed? He almost dropped his binoculars in horror.

That autumn, Kimberley got a new set of clothes. Within a fortnight, Randolph was familiar with just about all of them. Of course, he found them all disgusting. She had a green top that was the least-tight fitting of all of them, and covered the largest portion of her midriff. He went to great lengths to convince himself that he was not secretly disappointed on days that she wore it. The top he found most unacceptable was the yellow one. It was ridiculously tight, allowing him to see the precise shape of each of her burgeoning nipples. More shockingly, it was low cut, leaving a large expense of young cleavage clear for all to see, as well as the three inches of tanned, smooth belly below. Sometimes, Randolph saw her wearing it in his dreams while he slept.

Over the next half-year, her physical development completed. Her breasts became full; astonishingly large for such a slim young girl. They were firm and upstanding at the start of her first summer as an adult. Her face was fair too. Randolph noted with great displeasure how her lips were large and usually pouting, her eyes big and blue with those long lashes he found so repulsive. She remained slender, her navel and the surrounding smooth flesh constantly on display, even as her hips became increasingly curved. Increasingly, she wore cut-off shorts that showed off her lengthening legs and her disgustingly round thighs. She learnt and quickly perfected what Randolph called the “whore’s walk”, making all the obscene parts of her body move in such as way that he couldn’t help but touch himself as he watched her striding into the yard.

It was not just her appearance that he loathed. He could not stand the way she spoke to her parents and other adults. So disrespectful. The music she listened to was hateful, too. The tunes just incomprehensible repetitive noise, the lyrics – those that he could understand – just obscenities shouted over the background racket. Working in his garage, he occasionally overheard her passing by talking with one of her friends on her cell-phone. He could not believe the way she spoke. It was as if she was proud of her ignorance, her lack of proper education and moral fibre. To Randolph, the girl symbolised everything that was wrong with the modern world he lived in. There was no morality. No discipline.

A change was desperately needed. A new sense of leadership. An end of the tolerance of moral decay. Society needed a strong leader, someone who could teach people to be decent, who would punish those who were not. A leader who would truly lead by upright example. According to his calculations, the Sherman crystal that had been on his roof since 1968 was almost fully charged. Once he transferred its power into his ageing body, he could become the leader that the world so badly required. He would show the youth of the day how to behave. How to dress decently. His moral code would be the only moral code. As leader, he would force the women to be decent. Not to torture innocent men like himself with their obscene flesh. All of them. Except perhaps for that hateful tease next door. He had special plans for her.

He also had special plans for the government that had mistreated him. And the army that didn’t have faith in his work. He’d show them all just how wrong they were. There wasn’t long to wait. His transfer-beam-generator was ready now. Soon. Very soon.

And that is Randolph Sherman’s back-story. Perhaps your first impression of him wasn’t so harsh, after all. Let’s re-join him now, in the present.


Conceptfan, Jul. 2005.