Poster Boys (mm asfr)

This story is copyrighted by the author.


"So what do you think it's all about?"

The three men seated facing Steve Petrucchio all shrugged their ignorance. They were in a small waiting room on the top floor of police headquarter -- the tall building the force referred to as "the roundhouse", since it resembled a giant thermos more than anything else. A complex of offices, file rooms and lecture halls, it buzzed with activity by day. But, unlike a neighborhood police station, it was all but deserted by late evening, especially the research and development section on this upper floor. The four off-duty cops were the only ones on this level now, aside from the man they had come to meet.

"All I know is what they told me," said the big, bearded man named Lucas. "It's a test of some new gadget, there's minimal risk involved, and it's good for major points toward my next promotion."

The others nodded. "And we're meeting a Dr. Wade," added Brian O'Toole, "who must be some kind of special civilian consultant, 'cause one of my old girlfriends works on this floor, and she says he's not regular staff."

Steve digested this with mild interest, and a bit of disappointment. Whatever exactly this special volunteer thing was, it would probably be over by midnight at the latest, and he wasn't on duty in the morning. He'd been surreptitiously eyeing the other volunteers, wondering if any of them might be up for a nightcap, and maybe a lot more, when they finished. The ex-girlfriend probably meant Brian was out, which was a shame; with his curly red hair and good-humored, freckled face, he was just the type Steve would have liked to get to know. But after ten years on the force, he had long since learned not to get worked up over every cute stud who came along -- with the rigorous physical training cops had to go through, he was surrounded by them constantly, and even in Philadelphia, they were straight more often than not.

Not that the other two were anything to sneeze at, he thought, looking at them with heightened interest as the field narrowed. Mike Shepherd, the tanned, youthful blonde, could have stepped right out of a surfer movie; his broad, frequent grin was particularly appealing. And as for the tall, brawny Lucas Brown -- well, with that thick beard and those tufts of fur protruding from his v-necked shirt, he was a classic bear if Steve had ever seen one. He'd be very surprised if Lucas did not turn out to be a brother.

"Whatever it is, I wish he'd get on with it," Steve hinted. "Places to go, people to be." He glanced casually at the mirror behind the vacant reception desk, checking his own reflection. Yep, he was looking his best tonight -- not that he didn't always, he thought smugly. With his chiseled Italian features and ripped physique, calculatedly bulging out of his black pullover shirt and tight jeans, he needn't worry about spending the night alone.

At that moment the door to the lab area opened and a slim, dapper figure in a dark suit stepped out. "Sorry to keep you waiting, gentlemen," the man said with a charming smile. "I'm Dr. Adam Wade. Thank you for coming."

The four rose, introducing themselves as they shook the doctor's hand. Steve thought that he would have guessed this man was a scientist even if he had seen him on the street; with his dignified manner and trim little red beard, he was a ringer for the father in those old "Jonny Quest" cartoons. Steve, like most of his friends, had always had his suspicions about why there was no Mrs. Quest in the picture.

"If you'll follow me, please," Wade said smoothly, leading them down a well--lit, featureless hallway. As they walked, he continued, "You four were recommended to me as among the best officers the force has to offer. I've looked at your records, and I have to say I'm impressed."

"Thanks, doc, I'm flattened -- uh, flattered," Mike joked. Dr. Wade chuckled, seeming amused at the corny quip; maybe he wasn't quite as smart as he looked. Then again, it was hard to imagine not laughing along with someone like Mike. Steve forcibly reminded himself to concentrate on the business at hand. They might technically be off duty, but this was still police business.

Wade led them into what looked like a classroom, with a long table and a chalkboard at the front and rows of desks pushed up against the walls. Propped against the chalkboard were a pair of life--sized cardboard figures, imprinted with the photos of uniformed cops. "My assistants," gestured Wade with a smile.

Steve rolled his eyes. Okay, that explained why the guy thought Mike was funny -- he had a silly sense of humor himself. He wondered idly what promotional event the stand-ups had been made for. And, now that the doc mentioned it, why didn't he have any assistants? Steve had always thought it was department policy to have at least one on-duty officer present during work with civilians. But then, with four off-duty cops here, maybe they thought it didn't matter.

Dr. Wade moved behind the desk and picked up a small object, a thin metal rod of some kind, which he fingered in his hands as they lined up to face him. "I know you all have signed forms agreeing to keep this research confidential. I want you to know that your assistance is very much appreciated. What we're going to be doing this evening is a little bit of testing on a new type of suspect-restraint device. It is designed to apprehend the suspect with little or no physical damage, even in a flight or struggle scenario. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what a boon that would be to the department's image."

They all nodded knowingly. It had been decades since the bad old days when Philly's police force was dubbed the nation's most corrupt, but the stigma was hard to shake, and there was nothing a sleazeball's lawyer liked better than getting his client's charges dropped with a phony claim of excessive force. Something like Wade was describing could be a big help.

"I've already done some tests with this device," he continued. "You might call it a new kind of stun gun, though it's a bit more complicated than that. Every subject has been brought back to his normal conscious state without any harmful aftereffects. What I want to do tonight, just to reassure the skeptics, is run a test on you fellows without any foreign substances in the way, proving that no shielding of any kind is needed to protect the subject. In short, gentlemen, I'm going to ask you to remove your clothing."

Despite himself, Steve's pulse picked up. He wouldn't mind seeing these guys in the nude at all -- if any of them were gay, they'd see it in each other's eyes under those conditions -- and he couldn't help wondering if, beneath his professional manner, the doc was having the same thought. You could do a lot worse for a late date, and he looked like he'd pick up the bar tab too.

"Well, all right, doc," Mike drawled with one of his boyish grins , "but remember, this is strictly business."

"Oh, right," Steve jibed as he began to remove his shirt. "Like there's anything you haven't seen in the station house showers."

"Some of us avert our eyes," said Brian with mock loftiness, peeling off his sport-jacket. Steve couldn't help noticing that Lucas wasn't joking with the others, just looking at Wade speculatively as he loosened his belt. Had they both had the same thought?

In a couple of minutes the four were nude, lined up again expectantly facing the table. The others looked expectant, anyway; Steve was focusing all his will on keeping his cock from standing up at the sight of the three hunky hardbodies beside him. Dammit, what he'd said was true: he didn't have this problem in the men's room or the showers! But the oddness of this situation made it feel different.

"Excellent," said Wade, sounding as if he meant it. "Now, um, Brian, isn't it? If you would step a few feet away from the others."

Brian complied, looking just a little nervous. "You said this is harmless, right, doc?"

"Absolutely," the scientist assured him. "You won't feel any pain. In fact, you won't even know anything happened till I bring you around. As I said, I've done this dozens of times before."

Brian squared his jaw, grinning. "Well, okay then. Let 'er rip."

"Watch closely, gentlemen," Dr. Wade instructed. He raised the slim silvery rod, which Steve could see had an assortment of tiny buttons along the side. He pointed it straight at Brian's broad, hairy chest, and rapidly touched the buttons.

And an instant later Brian, as such, was no longer there.


One moment Brian O'Toole was standing there, broad shoulders squared and hands on hips. The next moment, with a sucking sound like air rushing out an opened airplane window, all the dimension went out of his body. The muscular chest seemed to sink in upon itself. The bulging biceps lost their thickness. Where a second before a man had been, there was now only a flat, two-dimensional figure, like a cardboard cutout. It no longer had visible sides -- just a front surface and a back surface. Where strong, sturdy legs had supported a man's weight, there were now only pillars of something paper-thin.

The thing that had been Brian O'Toole fell over backwards against the edge of a desk, and leaned there stiffly at an angle. The ruddy face stared blankly at a corner of the ceiling, the cheerful grin frozen on its flat surface. The mouth had been very slightly open, but there was no longer an opening there, just a thin patch of darkness between the flat teeth. It was as if a photo had been imprinted on a blank surface.

Steve Petrucchio and his brother officers stared in horror and amazement. A moment ago this had been a fellow cop, full of life and personality. Now, to all appearances, it was nothing but a cardboard cutout.

"You killed him!" gasped Mike.

"What? Oh, nonsense," remonstrated Dr. Wade calmly. "Watch." He leveled the shiny rod again and ran his fingers along its length, hitting the buttons in a different sequence. An instant later the flat figure puffed out like a balloon, its head, torso and limbs swelling back to their original dimensions. Alive and whole again, Brian's heavy body, propped off balance, fell to the floor with a thud, crying "What the hell?"

The other three cops rushed to his side, all asking at once if he was all right. Sitting up on the floor, Brian scratched his head in bafflement. "Well, I think I broke my ass, but other than that... yeah, I guess so. What did that thing do to me, doc? The last thing I remember is when you were pointing it at me."

Dr. Wade looked interested. "Nothing else? No feelings of dizziness, perhaps, or disorientation?"

Brian thought for a second. "Maybe just for a split second. Then I must have gone out like a light."

Lucas was staring at him. "You did more than just black out, man. You... you changed. You were all... all flat like a paper cutout." He suddenly looked suspiciously at the two standup figures propped against the chalkboard. "Like them."

"Yes," nodded Dr. Wade, smiling. "That was my inspiration. I ran across those old standups in a movie theatre lobby a few years back, and something clicked in my mind. I realized I had the key to inventing a totally painless, harmless police weapon. That's why I carry them with me -- they're my luck charms."

Brian rubbed his rear end. "Well, I'm not sure my butt would agree about the painless part. But... you really mean it? I was actually... flat like that?"

"Flat as a pancake," Mike assured him seriously. "Flatter."

"Oh, man." Brian looked awed. "I wonder what that would have felt like."

"'Feeling' really isn't an option in that state," Dr. Wade explained. "While you were completely alive, and in fact considerably more resistant to harm than in your normal state, your brain and nervous system were out of commission. A sort of suspended animation, really." He looked at the others. "You'll have the chance to see what it looks like, of course. I asked for four volunteers in order to run a full battery of tests."

Steve felt a moment of panic, but it quickly subsided. After all, Brian was no worse for the experience. And seeing the other guys flattened like that... there was something fascinating about that idea, something arousing about the thought of these big, hunky men becoming so utterly helpless. Steve had acted out some fairly kinky scenarios in his time, but this was on a whole different level!

"Um, could we stand against the wall?" asked Lucas. "Maybe with desks in front of us, so we won't topple over the way Brian did?"

Dr. Wade looked embarrassed. "Of course. I should have thought of that myself before we started. I do apologize. We scientists get so wrapped up in the technical side of things that we sometimes forget the practical aspects."

They lined up along a wall, each pulling a desk to a few inches in front of him. "Me too?" asked Brian.

"Yes, I'll want to do repeated tests on each of you. Don't worry, as you've seen, it doesn't take long." He looked over at Brian as the redhead joined the others, standing to Mike's right farthest from the door. Steve half-smiled to himself; he had noticed that Wade was right-handed, and had purposely positioned himself at the far left of the line. He would get to watch each of the others transformed before his first turn came.

"Yes, it won't take long at all," Wade murmured to himself, fingering the steel rod thoughtfully. Then he raised and pointed it.

Brian, reaching out to pull a desk closer, fell back against the wall. He no longer had outstretched arms; just the outline of them imprinted on the sides of his flattened chest. Every detail of his rippling muscles was still there, but they were no longer dimensional -- merely a perfectly detailed etching. A startled expression was frozen in his eyes.

"Very good," said Dr. Wade quietly. "Excellent." He tuned slightly and leveled the rod at Mike, who braced himself, grinning nervously.

Steve looked over at Brian in fascination, drinking in the sight of that ripped, powerful body reduced to a flattened sheet of... whatever he was now. He felt himself getting hard, and couldn't resist glancing at Brian's own crotch. There was no longer a penis or a sac, only the flat, perfectly detailed image of them. Hearing the tone of Wade's voice, he had to wonder if he was getting off on that too.

And it was then that Steve really saw the expression in Wade's eyes. And his blood went cold.

"Lucas," he whispered as softly as he could, not moving his face. "Look at Wade, look at his eyes."

Lucas did, just as Mike suddenly ceased to be a three-dimensional man, flattening into a motionless, wafer-thin object. He was still grinning as he softly fell forward to balance against the desk, his sightless blue eyes staring down at its wooden surface. Every detail of his lean, muscular chest and back was perfectly preserved -- but not his sides. He no longer had any sides.

Lucas' eyes widened as he saw what Steve had seen in the eyes of Adam Wade -- the intensity of obsession, the bright gleam of madness. Lucas glanced rapidly at Steve, but there was no time to formulate a plan. The scientist was already turning toward him.

Lucas did the only thing he could do. Praying that it would give Steve the moment he needed to act, he flung the desk out of his way and charged forward, rushing Wade with outstretched arms. The scientist jerked back, taken by surprise, and almost tumbled over backwards. Twisting to one side, he fired his weapon blindly.

Steve had launched into action at the same moment Lucas did, hoping to get behind their crazed host and grab him. Unfortunately, when Lucas had hurled the desk out of his path, he had unwittingly tossed it right into Steve's, tripping him up. It took only a moment for Steve to regain his feet, but by that time he no longer had Lucas as an ally. Lurching to his feet, Dr. Wade slapped aside the flattened figure of a huge, hairy man, frozen in profile with a look of desperate anger on his features. The figure's tensed biceps bulged at maximum size, every line caught in its action pose, but they were only lines now, utterly powerless. What had been a powerful, vital man flopped over to lie flat on the floor.

Steve was way past finding anything about this stimulating. He would be way past anything at all in a moment if he couldn't get away. As Wade turned towards him, the cop launched his athletic body at the doorway, diving with his arms straight out.

Dr. Wade sighed as a flat, round disc fell to the floor, rolling on its side like a dropped coin. One side of the disc was a mass of dark, finely detailed scratch marks, like the photo of a recommended hairstyle on a barber-shop wall. The other side bore the image of a pair of soles, every tiny line and hair represented in perfect detail. Between the soles was the flat image of a man's testes sac, as seen from below.

Not really what he had wanted at all, the doctor thought; the feet were very nice, he had to admit, but it was a shame to lose all the rest of those finely-toned muscles. After a moment he shrugged philosophically. He could always turn Steve back and redo him from a different angle later. Or perhaps he would just keep him as he was, reduced to something barely recognizable as human; the feeling of power that gave him was incredibly stimulating. It wasn't as if he didn't have plenty of hunks to play with already.

* * * * * * * * *

The officer behind the security desk looked up and nodded affably as the well-dressed man stepped out of the elevator, toting a bundle of large cardboard cutouts under one arm. "'Night," he said pleasantly, not really knowing who the guy was, but happy at any break from the monotony of night duty.

"Good night," said the man whose name was not Adam Wade, and who would vanish from his rented apartment before dawn, heading back to Chicago under a different name with a long art-school carrying-case on the luggage rack.

"Say," joked the night guard, pointing at the bundle of flat figures tied together with dark string, "those guys don't have to sign out, do they?"

The man flashed a grin. "No, officer," he replied. "They're off duty."