Chapter 18

Talib considered ringing the bell a second time, but the door finally opened. He recognized the woman who opened the door, she’d spoken a couple of times during their meeting. “Hi, Adieen was it? Are people ready for my visit?”

“Yes, come in. Who is with you?”

“This is my assistant, she goes by ‘Slave’, actually. She wasn’t able to make the come to the office on the day we met.”

“I remember you said something about another client.”

“Yes, she was attending to them at the time. Nice place you’ve got here.”

“Thanks.” She turned and called to the house: “The trainer’s here!” Turning back, she continued, “It was going for fairly cheap when we were looking for places to rent; the setup’s a bit odd, and no one knew what to do with it. The previous tenant had apparently kept a stable of ponies. Some of the equipment was left behind, which is what started this whole thing.”

Talib nodded, looking around. “I think I may have been here once. Can’t recall the occasion though.” He waited until the girls all appeared. “Hi, I’ve come bearing n-pads. Though, if you don’t mind, I’d like to look over the equipment you’ve got? See what shape it’s in, what’s usable, that sort of thing.”

Hadia was walking up. “I don’t see why not. The stable’s out back. Here, I’ll show you.”

“Thanks. This is my assistant, by the way. She uses the name ‘Slave’.”

Hadia barely batted an eye. “Nice to meet you, Slave.”

“Nice to meet you, Hadia.” She shook the offered hand.

“A team of four often works better if there’s a groom around; I’ll be having Slave work in that capacity, if that’s ok with you?”

Hadia and Adieen saw no problems. Cynthia had to ask: “Is she going to dress like that all the time?”

Slave was wearing a tight groom’s jacket, tall boots, and little else. Talib gave an apologetic grin. “I like to show her off. And as full-time Sentient Property, she’s gotten used to not wearing much. She’s probably feeling a little constrained, actually.” Slave nodded. “I can make her cover up if you want, but I actually find that having someone else around who’s ‘exposed’ often helps clients feel comfortable when they need to be exposed.”

Cynthia quieted, and Hadia opened the door they’d arrived at. “It’s actually attached to the house, through a bit of a breezeway. Actual stalls, then a tack room and the carriage room. We haven’t had any idea what to do with it, really. Besides try to guess what some of it’s for. At first we thought it was for actual horses, but…”

Talib was looking around. “Yeah, I can see the stalls are human-sized. Heated too.” He pressed a toe down. “And the floor’s softer than it looks. Someone was serious about this.”

Hadia led on. “We’ve got some equipment pilled up over there that we aren’t sure what it is.”

Talib glanced over. “A few cavaletti and a couple of breeding stands, looks like.” The girls had all stopped to look at him. “Cavaletti are like small jumps, but the pony is supposed to step over them, not jump. Helps train to watch where you step, and to lift your feet. Breeding stands… Well, you fasten a ‘mare’ down over the stand, then bring in a ‘stallion’, and encourage him to ‘mount’ her.” The girls all translated, and a couple blushed. “That’s not in our agreement, though if you pick up training really well, we might use the cavaletti.” He motioned over to a cabinet, and Hadia nodded. He walked over, and picked through the equipment there. “I suspected a much; this is basically all worn-out equipment. A couple of these bridles are usable, but only for light-duty.” He looked up. “Sorry.”

Hadia just shrugged, and led on to the carriage room. “Nice. Very nice.” Talib walked around it, appreciative, then released the brake and moved it around within the room a bit. “This is not worn out. In fact, if you don’t want it, I’ll buy it from you, once we’re done. It’s more for training than show, but that just means it isn’t decorated, and can be configured a couple of different ways.”

“We’ll think about it.”

“Take your time. I see there’s an n-pad programmer out here as well.”

“Yeah, it doesn’t seem to work. Just prompts for some code.”

“Hmm.” Talib walked over, and punched a few keys. In a moment the machine lit up.

“Wow. What was wrong with it?”

“Nothing, it’s just a class-10 device. You need a license to use it, so it was locked down.” He flicked a few keys, and it turned back off.

“What does that mean? And why can you use it?”

He turned and paused. “You are aware there’s different class levels to nannite-pads, right? Higher classes mean it’s doing more complex things to your body. Classes 1 through 3 are superficial changes, hair, skin, eyes, that stuff. Class 4 is light internal; hormone stabilizers, first aid pads, that sort of thing. Stuff that you don’t really have to know how to use. Class 5 and above are licensed: You need to have passed medical training, so you know what they are doing to someone’s body. There’s several levels of licenses, each covering different types of operations you can do, and knowing how they interact. It also takes more complex nannites to perform the higher classes, so you need a better programmer for the higher classes. This programmer is able to create class-10 n-pads, but because of that it needs to you enter your license credentials before you can use it, and won’t operate for anyone who isn’t licensed.” He shrugged. “It could probably be set up to create up to class-4 without asking for a license, but I assume there’s a standard one in the house, so they didn’t think they needed it set up that way.”

“So you have a license for class-10 n-pads, which means you have some medical training.”

“Actually… I’ve passed a lot of medical training. It’s useful, especially when doing more extreme training, and people often want to be able to use higher level recreational n-pads as part of training. I’m licensed for class-19 nannite-pads. Class-20 and above is restricted to government-use only.”

“So what would you be able to do with a class-10 programmer that you can’t with the regular ones?”

“Well, class-10 is standard hospital issue. It can do most surgeries, for instance. Relevant to today, it can do large-scale body modifications — the legs I’ve got set up for you are class-7 mod, for instance, as are breast mods. It can’t do anything out of the human baseline, any neural work, or organ reconfigurations, but if you stay inside that a class-10 is likely to be able to do anything you need, particularly if you are willing to stage changes.”

“So you could perform surgery?”

“I’m qualified for n-pad surgery, yes. I’d still refer you to a full-time doctor to make sure you got the best options; it’s not my specialty.”

“What’s the highest class n-pad you’ve used?”

Talib turned to Adieen. “Actually, I recently got a chance to use a restricted class-19 pad; basically a half-step below a military pad. I was a bit annoyed with you girls, actually, as I was monitoring the progression of that mod when you set up your appointment.”

“Oh. Um, what did it do?”

Talib smiled. “That is confidential: I can’t discuss other clients. Now, if we’re done with me lecturing you all, can we see outside too? Based on this setup, I’m going to assume there was a hot walker here originally…”

“Is that the thing out there like a rotating metal tree?”

“Yeah, that’d be it. Does it still work?”

“As far as we can tell; we’ve played with it a bit, and are using it as an umbrella…” She led the way.

He looked up at it. “It’s even a four-horse model. Nice.” He played with the controls, and the cloth-draped arms moved silently. “It good shape.” He turned back to Hadia. “Would you mind if I used it in training? It will help a lot, actually. But I would need you to take down the coverings you put on it. They probably don’t hurt, but it’s not designed for them, and I wouldn’t want them to fall off during training.”

“What was it designed for?”

“Well, a couple of things. First off, it can lead a pony around in a circle without the trainer having to focus on the movement. This means that the trainer can focus on other parts of the training. Secondly, it can be used for exercise. Think of it as a complicated treadmill.” He grinned.

Hadia looked up at it. “Huh. Again, we’ll have to think about it. If it were closer to the main house, we’d be using it more as a patio, but…”

“I’m guessing this house has a real patio.”

“It does. We can go back in that way.”

No one had anything to say until they got back into the house. Once they had, Hadia turned on Talib. “Ok, so what do you, or your assistant, in that case she’s carrying, have for us?”

“Well, I’ve got the leg-mods, as well as some choices. You can wait on most of the choices, if you want.” He moved to address the whole group. “As I said, you’ll want to go to bed soon after I apply the leg-mods, or at least stay off them for the rest of the night. You’ll be able to walk if you need to, but it will get painful fast, and it will speed things up if you stay off. Since we’re doing those, I also brought along a fairly basic foot mod. You don’t need it, and it won’t be obvious. My assistant already has it in fact.” Slave put forward a foot for inspection. “It looks perfectly normal, but if she took off those boots she’d still stand on her toes. It’ll make it easier for you to wear hoof-boots, which you’ll be required to wear for the horse show. Now, hoof-boots are only a little bit harder to walk in than heels, and we’ll be training in them, but this makes it natural and easy. I’m bringing it along because it also requires you to be off your feet for a few hours. If you don’t want it now, we can do it later — even the day before the show, if you want. But now is easy.”

“We also mentioned getting everyone matching breasts. Again, we can wait if you want, but I brought it now just to everything together. I actually have two sets with me for that: One would bring you all to the same size as Joanna here, who has the largest breasts. The other is if you want to really ‘impress’ people with them, and would give Joanna one cup size larger, and match the rest of you to that. That’s about the biggest you could go without making it obvious that you’ve enhanced your breasts, like I have with my assistant. We can do that too, but I thought you might want to be a bit more subtle. Oh, and I’ve got the nipple-rings we agreed to as well.”

“I’m all for larger breasts.” It was Joanna who spoke.

“Don’t you get enough attention already?”

“Yeah, Jo.” Adieen mock-swatted her friend.

Joanna took the teasing in stride, and stuck out her chest. Talib felt the need to speak up. “You don’t all have to get it tonight, and for that matter you don’t actually have to match breast sizes if you don’t want to. But it will look more impressive and,” he glanced over at Cynthia, “make people think of you as a unit, not individual women.” Cynthia had noticed, and was processing that.

“Come on girls, you don’t know what you’re missing.” Joanna teased back.

Cynthia had thought it through. “So they wouldn’t be looking at us, they would be looking at the team, that’s what you are saying?”

“Right. I mean, some will at least. And they won’t be comparing one of you to the rest as much either, they’ll look at the whole.”

“Ok. I’m in.” The other girls looked at her, in mild shock. “Hey, I just want to get this bet over with, and this sounds like it’ll help us win it.” She grinned. “Besides, I wouldn’t mind it if Joanna stopped bragging.”

“Point. We’ll all be matched in size.” Adieen fired back. “Suck on that, Jo.”

Joanna was obviously regretting this argument. “Well, I’m still what we are using as standard of measure, here.”

Talib had to join in. “Actually, for the enhanced size, I picked what I knew was the biggest that still doesn’t automatically make people think ‘enhanced’. I just used your sizing to describe it because it was easy.”

“So there!” Adieen shot at Joanna, then turned to Talib. “I’m in. Larger size.”

“Me too,” Cynthia added.

Hadia shook her head at Joanna. “Works for me. Matched set. You in too, Jo?”

“Or do you want to have the smallest breasts here.” Adieen wedged the knife in.

Joanna rolled her eyes. “I’m in.”

“Ok then. Any of you who want the foot mod, you’ll need to have a pair of high heels. Not your highest, unless you want to be wearing all new shoes for a while. The shoes will be fine, but it’ll set your feet to take that as the ‘lowest’ heel you can go.”

Adieen immediately left. Cynthia wavered, then left as well. Hadia spoke up. “I’ll wait, though I’ll probably want them for the actual show.”

“No problem.” Talib said, then added. “You are actually going to get a bit shorter with the leg mod: I worked out a length that would work for everyone here, and you are the tallest. The leg length isn’t an average, so you won’t get a lot shorter, but you’ll lose a bit.”

“What about me?” Joanna asked.

“You’ll get taller, just a bit. You probably won’t notice. The ones who will are Hadia and Adieen. The one who will really notice is Adieen.”

“She’ll be glad.” Hadia spoke.

“I’ll be glad what?” The lady in question was walking back in.

“You are going to get taller. You’ll actually have some very long legs, for your height. Much longer and you’d look out of proportion.”

“Am I going to be as tall as Hadia?”

“No, though you’ll get closer, but from the waist up Hadia will still be taller. Those the shoes you want to use?”

“Yeah.” She held them up, and Talib took them.

“That’s a fair amount of heel, actually, for something that’s not a fetish boot.”

She shrugged. “I wear heels a lot.”

Talib didn’t feel like he needed to respond directly, and Cynthia arrived back in a moment later, a pair of heels in hand. “Ok, then if everyone is ready… I am going to have to ask for you to get undressed.” He grinned an apology, and waved to Cynthia before she could object. “The n-pads for the legs need to go about waist-high, and I need to be able to tell clearly where they are going in relation to a couple of muscle groups. The breast pad will need to go between your breasts, so I’ll need to get beneath your shirts. If it was only that, you could wear a bra, but they’ll get uncomfortable fairly quickly as you outgrow them, and we also want to do the nipple rings as well. Panties are fine, but for Adieen and Cynthia, I’ll need you to be otherwise barefoot, so shoes and socks have to go. This is a medical procedure, despite how lightly I’m treating it.” He laughed to help set them at ease. “I can have my assistant take off her jacket, if it’ll make you feel more comfortable.”

That did manage to get a laugh. Adieen shrugged, and her and Hadia started taking off their clothes. Joanna followed, and Cynthia, predictably, was last.

Talib didn’t bother to wait for everyone to finish, Adieen was closest and done quickly, so he started on her. He had Slave bring over the case she’d been dutifully carrying, and hold it open for him. An n-pad between the breasts, one right at her waistband, one with a steel ring on it on each of her nipples, and he quickly prepared her shoes for her, and let her put them on.

The rest followed quickly, and he made a minimum of fuss. “Ok, thank you ladies, I’ll leave you to your evening, and I’ll be seeing you later. The n-pads will tell you when they are done in the normal way.”

“Wait!” Hadia called out. She’d slipped a shirt on, but hadn’t gotten her pants back yet. “We worked up a schedule for you, unless you need changes.” She pulled up a screen and showed it to him.

Talib looked it over. “That should work, no problems.” He looked back up at her. “We can do the first couple of trainings at my facilities, if you want.”

“From the sound of things, we’ve got better.”

“For this, yes, you do, but if people are more comfortable…”

“Here will do. See you then.”

“See you.”

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