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Invasion of the B-Girls.

By Demanding Urge.

Slow revolutions of symmetrical shadows spun lazily on the plascrete floor as the low energy demanding fans sought to urge the humid haze to circulate. The nanite-driven computer with integral monitor was a minimalist, transparent pane of thin, smooth-edged rectangular crystal. Extremely portable, the computer could be folded up and placed in a pocket or palm and had the capability to function as a communications link, personal identification, or to conduct personal financial transactions. Cross-indexed retinal and oral integrated response scans insured only the rightful owner had authorized access. A collage of shifting colored lights accented honey’s face. Her eyes were open wide, a deep guileless green, under an unlined brow. Red hair was cut in a page boy bob through which small ears peeked. Fine high cheekbones angled to a gently pointed chin, the lips were full, and she wore a dark lipstick. “ Initiate search, keyword: admantium. Engage.” Kneeling on her shins, spine straight, Honey quieted her mind of internal dialogue, much like the Zen minimalist décor. The walls were a dull white color, but had a silken texture. The interior was partitioned by light, sliding wooden frames covered in heavy opaque paper decorated with unobtrusive designs drawn by Honey. Called fusuma, they were suspended from tracks attached to the overhead crossbeams of her home in the mega-skyrise. Expensive natural materials and simplicity reflected Honey’s sense of austere elegance. In a small alcove set into one wall, a flower arrangement was simple yet absorbingly beautiful. This art-display alcove was known as a tokonoma. Adjacent to the tokonoma was the chigai-dana, a shelved storage area hidden by sliding panels. A hanging scroll called kakemono, provided an aesthetic focus on the other side of the room. The floor had a carpet of modular tatami woven straw mats. The only furniture was a small central table, low, with square cushions around it. The lighting was diffused by rice paper shades. There was something curiously satisfying about the spacious apartment, airy and full of soft, mellow light, the lack of furniture seemed to provide a sense of relief. That absence of all that was not essential pointed out a sense of disciplined strength which deliberately held in check the ornate and explicit in favor of the sober and the suggestive. The formal, balanced orchestration of natural materials manipulated the consciousness within its precincts. The studied sense of restraint, known as Shibui, is simply defined as knowing when to stop, and evoked a singular quality of dignity and importance. The interior provided an environment requiring a person’s presence and participation to fill the void. Emptiness provided space where the spirit can move freely and where thought can reach the very limits of potential. Honey’s apartment forced introspection. The solemn retreat heightened internal awareness. Here, Honey’s mind was her own, undistracted by the prosaic implements which engulf the unwary and unenlightened. This liberation of consciousness often told those entering alone inside it far more than they ever wanted to know about their selves. Motionless, barely breathing, Honey dwelt in the silence between two thoughts, listening to the singular sound of one hand clapping. Notions of self-hood, personality, and entity became figures of speech depending upon the arising of listening, taste, sight, hearing and smell. She preferred to develop a pure, lucid mind alighting upon no thing whatsoever to cling to; a bright mirror of the void that gave dust no place upon which to cling. Such a truth can not be taught, but rather experienced. Who could teach such a thing? Teaching ideas is the transmission of logical constructs from one mind to another but the essence of truth is that constructions of ideas are the greatest obstacle to enlightenment. Therefore the mind must abandon its pointless asking of questions and simply float as an undifferentiated part of existence. Honey had slowly washed the windows of her perception clean by sitting in zazen meditation for long periods of time, the detachment from the world of false reality allowing her to see the universe as it is. The purification unit softly sighed in the background, drawing air though a series of screens whose static charges attracted dust and pollutants precipitated them out before air reached the ozone chamber. Rarified oxygen then broke down any other organic compounds and sterilized the air. The final stage of intense ultraviolet radiation again sterilized the air. UV was effective, but every six months the lamp tube had to be replaced to keep the anti-microbial radiation at lethal levels. A yellow tell-tale flashed, soon the static plates would undergo an automatic ultrasonic cleansing cycle. Filters and sterilized air-conditioning were a fact of life. A miasmic fog of mutated germs, industrial pollution, humidity and dust blanketed the earth. A near perpetual twilight resulted. It was a dark world. In the not too distant past the bulk of the world’s population had died from escaped biohazards. No crops or domestic stock could be raised outside the vast domed greenhouses lit with replicated sunlight. Outside filtered areas, masks were needed, even the poorest people wore cloth filters treated with anti-microbial and pollutant absorbing materials over their mouths. Some walked to work under shielding umbrellas whose shafts shone out with white light. Others rode bicycles to work by shift-gang, the wetness glinting colored highlights on their repellent static fields, and the group pedaled to the hiss of rain slicked streets under synthetic composition tires. A highly efficient example of resource-conserving personal transportation, the friction reducing machines were the prevalent vehicle of the vast working class. Threading through the industrial pipe maze of the street level, the cyclists shrugged off the rain and never bothered looking up because the tops of the corporation pinnacles were never seen through the perpetual rains from the neon lit streets. Only the corporate officers and authorities had floaters and roved the skyways in fusion powered hover-cars. Bright navigation lights flashed in sapphire and magenta on all official aerial vehicular traffic, the multicolor optical strobes twinkled high over the street peoples’ heads in another world, beautiful, but remote and untouchable. Ending her meditations, Honey adjusted the polarized window glass to admit more pallid, yellowish light. Hours passed and little was revealed of adamantium. Her evocative lips pursed, sidetracked by another empty handed search engine. The origin of the permanently adhering costume and locked leg and arm bands of adamantium remained a mystery, along with their capacity to generate textile destroying force fields eradicating her entire wardrobe and disintegrated every shoe. How the hell was a girl supposed to work in a slick-smooth outfit having every appearance of being airbrushed on her shapely form? ”Can I explain this? No covering up, even blankets and towels are annihilated off my body--- Everyone is going to judge my unorthodox appearance, and now I have to buy some blow dryers that won’t electrocute me since all my towels have been disintegrated.” Honey almost cried. She was depressed, but a thought occurred that stuck in her mind. Sometimes feeling bad is good, it lets you see things and make changes that might otherwise never happen. Although knowing the indestructibility and removal-denied quality of the adamantine silk costume and bands, Honey realized the fear of other people’s opinions was more intimately threatening, binding, and tormenting form of bondage than that fused upon her lush body. The outfit Honey dearly loved, it suited her perfectly. Delighting her eye, invigorating her skin even as it trapped. The implied permanence of the possessing, encircling adamantium bands was a constantly reminding her nervous system of it’s presence; actually making her almost want to curl her toes in pleasure! Honey knew too, how society might judge her exterior textile covering, Just because she was a person getting the hang of being happy who she was. Would her friends stick with her? In contrast to her previous meditative state, Honey’s mind swirled and wind milled; thrashing out answers to questions as yet unasked, trying to anticipate all sorts of possibilities. “ All this damn worry is like paying interest on a bill before it is due to be paid. So what if I did try on some exotic garments and ornaments that pleased me and they stuck. It’s not like I deliberately set out to be like this forever, I just wanted to try something new and it stuck. To hell with what other people may think of me, the suit and ornamental bands are like a second skin and I like the way it looks. I will cross my bridges as they come, and not before!” Honey was at peace with herself, and pirouetted before a full-length mirror in the hallway. Her green eyes sparkled. The admantium bands took on a argent shininess, very much to her liking. Shadings and tones of metallic opalescence flowed across the adamantine silk, purples shifted to lavender then to periwinkle. The ruby set into the left band about her upper arm shone with a bright, warm, inner fire. Confidently she decided,” Might as well hit the streets and take the world on in a direct frontal assault. If I get fired on appearances, so be it. I was looking for a job when I found that one, I will find another if it comes to that. I need a really sharp pedicure, and some intense polish for the nails. Where’s my pedicure kit? Aha! “ Honey pulled out a large tackle box that even a dedicated weight lifter would admit was far too heavy to even budge. Constructed of stainless alloy and mirror-like, inside were rank upon rank of every color in the spectrum of nail polish and the finest surgical-steel implements of pedicure. Her equally massive manicure kit, which duplicated every color nail polish, was in the other closet since they both could not fit in the same place. “Let’s see how well I can match these colors I am wearing…hmmm Honey became totally absorbed in her lengthy artistic pedicure, her tongue sticking out of her mouth in a gesture of intense concentration. “It’s time to set up shop and get to some serious business” Honey smiled, and raised her smile to such levels of cute as to be possibly lethal. Beautiful, yes, but there was danger in the hallway. From the direction of the stairwell, an ultrasonic scalpel beam sliced the carpet fiber from of being attached to the mat. Very little noise was made, a thin keening, like a distant overheated bearing. Quickly the carpet was scythed from the base, whereupon a series of glass spheres, each the size of a grapefruit, were hurled to the far back of the hallway and then walked along the intervening distance closer, in a series of crash-tinkle punctuated lobs. A dark, thick mist from the thin-walled glass spheres wafted up from the dissolving broken shards and covered the reaped carpet. During this process, the shadowy figure breathed through a set of nostril filters and backed away. Seeing the mist settle equitably along the entire length of the truncated hallway rug, the figure silently drew a small pen laser and slagged the brass exterior deadbolt of Honey’s apartment. The melted brass closed the keyhole up. On the other side of the door, a craving thirst developed, her tongue felt like dry cotton. “ I could really use an Orange MC squared, the relativistic carbonated beverage. ” She unlocked the door and as soon as her small naked feet stepped upon the sticky floor of the hall, glue coated fibers began to adhere to her soles to the floor and cram between her toes with a rogue’s familiarity. Quickly arrested, Honey looked down to see what had snap-grabbed her with such vehemence. At first glance her feet were stuck in fuzzy second-hand carpet slippers from skid row, lifting her feet stretched the gooey mass like an ameba pseudopodia extension on the move. Honey tried to get back into her apartment after seeing her feet resemble magnets dunked in iron filings. Staggering with smacking noises from the floor, hardly able to take a step, the molten lock face confronted her key with a cold shoulder. Honey was stumped. “What is going on…now I got to go phone a locksmith-----I can’t get this crud off my feet. Must make the stairway, unnhgh, ulp, can’t stand still, getting stuck, must walk, enough already! Let me loose! uhmmph, It’s getting hopeless----my feet are sticking harder all the time. I got to make it!” But the accretion glue had been applied to the length of the carpet, it was catalyzed into full bear-trap adherence by the pressure of her weight. As she walked, more and more fibers stuck to her feet, building up into ever accreting glue-sodden lumps. Walking was just about impossible, Honey found that every step was an ordeal. “ This is SO gross…” mumbled Honey. The carpet wads encasing her feet were full of cigarette ashes and dirt and bugs, alive and dead, and bits of trash, not to mention hair and beer residue. Walking became progressively impossible as the stuff weighed more and more and the increased surface area got a better grip on the floor like mutated sticky snowshoes. “Foo! This crap really stinks,” as she bent over yanking furiously at one calf of an immobile leg. The amalgamation was forcing her toes apart and lifting the nails from her feet as it wedged deeper. “ I’m only halfway down the hall and unless I put my arms behind my knees and pull as hard as possible on one leg at a time, I am gonna die of starvation before I reach the stairs; it makes my feet itch like crazy, I hate this!” Critical stuck mass had been reached and was now tending toward permanence. One large nasty looking carpet haystack stretched inches as Honey’s thighs flexed against the elastic grip. Both her feet and ankles were mired in a single, sluggishly quaking heap of glue soaked fibers. “ This is worse than old mop heads soaked in Maxim!” Retorted Honey to nobody in particular. Indeed, nobody took interest, this was the megaplex of course, and residents were too busy crying over their own problems or were too lazy to help. Many just too fearful of other people, period. Bodies lay behind locked doors, wasted in defeat by a paradise they could not quite ever earn. Even if someone were to try and help, their doors were glued shut. The zazen transcendence came over her mind. Honey thought sideways and unleashed inhuman strength, ripping up the flooring, did a half-flip, stomping her feet to the wall and running like a gecko, above and perpendicular to the floor. Residual glue on her soles allowed her to obtain firm traction on a vertical surface as long as she used every bit of her strength. Like a cheetah, Honey was capable of brief bursts of incredible strength, but how long could she keep it up, drenched in sweat, lungs bursting, muscles feeling twice their mass in lead. The aluminum wall was dimpled with craters marking her passage. Honey gathered the last reserves and vaulted from the wall grasping the stairwell railing and sticking her feet firmly to the top of the metal stairs. She stood breathless and heaving with exertion, sweat ran off her and pooled on the floor as she leaned on the railing for support. After a few minutes she tried to walk down the stairs. It was then Honey found that the remaining glue was enough to fuse her feet to the metal. She had forgotten to clean her bare feet in her exhaustion. She could see all her toes were webbed together and a thick wreath of glue surrounded the sides of her feet. No tugging worked, there was no elastic stretch, just a sunburned feeling from her gripped toes and the soles and sides of her feet. Again and again Honey tried to break the iron grip on her feet. Perversely her came up with whimsical thoughts, even in her trapped position, she had to laugh as she thought what a great adhesive holo-ad she would make. Her stance, though stuck, became dramatic, and in her best acting voice intoned,” She eventually gave up trying, hours of struggling proved futile. It was too late. The glue was dry and permanently set. Her feet were clad in indestructible glue with no antidote. She will never get her feet free, thanks to Maxim Glue. Absolutely permanent and completely indestructible.” “ Well said, and nice outfit,” remarked a tenor voice. On the landing below a figure stood. “ Can you help me?” “ Yes, but not right now.” “ What the hell you mean, not now?” “ I glued you,” he said, never once taking his eyes from the lavender-suited girl. Slowly, he unbuttoned his white lab coat on the ground. It lay wadded at his black boots. Honey knew from her studies of ninja, and this slender, intense fellow seemed a modern rendition on an ancient assassin. He wore a specter fiber suit. It’s nanites matched the ambient lighting, rendering a wearer very difficult to discern in almost any surrounding. “ Against all better judgement I want to talk to you.” Honey replied, “It’s not like I am gonna walk out on you.” “ An endearing characteristic, but I want to know more about why you are not afraid of being stuck and trapped by a stranger.” Honey smiled, and suddenly leaped up, rending metal and before the specter fiber clad man could move had a hand around his windpipe and was holding him off the floor and dangling him like a meat puppet over the stairwell. “ I got all day, whatcha’ gonna say? “ Honey tightened her grip, shutting off the carotid arteries. She idly inspected the nails on her hand. Abruptly she tossed the man like a sack of grain down the stairs. Surprisingly he got up. Dusting himself off he smiled. Not a mark was on his throat. “ You are indeed the One spoken of, I thank you for letting me be the instrument of your testing. Our criterion is crisis and observation. "Huh?” blurted out Honey. The man turned and proceeded through the vestibule door seal, closely followed by Honey. From somewhere down the street a dark low object, like a giant ebony cockroach, skittered around pedestrians and cyclists, avoiding collisions with a low powered X—band radar. A sort of enclosed hover-sled whined up, electric motors powering fans inside nacelles on the underside. The low black rear deck clam shelled open. He got in and lay down at the console, his belly over the layer of fuel cells powering the hover sled. Honey slid in next to him fearlessly, full of curiosity. "“So what’s with the glue? “ He slumped his shoulders. “ I am not sorry to have stucked your feet. Let me level with you, glue stalking is the only way I can relate to girls, due to terminal shyness perhaps, but more so that I am driven to it; plain Joes like me, we have had too many heartbreaks. I had to regain my sense of manly dignity and self-respect. This is my psychological therapy: to place the girls I am attracted to but feel threatened by rejection in a state of stuck. They simply can not make me feel inferior, because they can not get away from what I put on their feet. It started as a whimsical excursion into a new pleasure but has now become a passion to live for. You are so very pretty and exotic -- I simply had to glue your lovely, small, high arched feet to the hallway floor. I relate to feet because of always looking down when a beautiful girl comes along. I had romantic ambitions, but nothing to show for my dreams. I lived as I dreamed---alone. The good dating life has proved elusive---- had to regain my self respect; hence I love a girl in glue.” Rapidly coming to terms with the off-the-wall situation, Honey felt compassion for the fellow. Choosing her words carefully, “ I never met a glue stalker before. I think you should get permission to glue and pay for damages. Otherwise, it is rather interesting.” “ A clean –up crew is already in route, and your account has been increased by 1000 credits, just because I am stuck does not mean I am irresponsible or self-serving. You hungry? “ That was a good workout you put me through, uh, what’s your name?” asked Honey, in a demure manner. “ Crayton Rhames, pleased to stuck you.” “ Honey, pleased to be stuck.” “ Want to try the Future Diner? They have the best organic formulators.” “What ever you want, Crayton.” Honey smiled. He was honest and cute. And he knew how to take a beating with good grace at the hands of a girl. “ Time for you to meet the gang, push that button marked lunch beacon. Honey pressed it, and miles away, a garage door lifted a couple of feet up and from their basement lair a squadron of low slung urban assault sleds whined. These were not scouts, but the heavy armor of the Glue Stalkers. Shaped like overgrown ironing boards, they had high horsepower electric motors directly mounted to each individual fan nacelle. No transmission gearing was needed. The flat interior bed of the vehicle upon which the operator lay contained advanced fuel cells. A map was projected onto a monocular slung from the helmet over the left eye. Periscope vision blocks provided full 360- degree observation through the armor. The throttles for the fans were slaved to dual trackballs for each hand. An automatic turret-mounted Maxim gun with its potent air compressor and glue reservoir tank sat like a round cheese on the ironing board shaped low chassis. It bore an uncanny resemblance to the Monitor, an ancient Union gunboat that sank the Confederate gunboat Merrimack. The urban glue-assault vehicles had a boron-silicate composition armor/frame, which was light, strong, and offered a reasonable degree of ballistic protection. Following the homing lunch beacon, the assault sleds silently perfected their diamond shaped formation with by a system of optic lasers and receptors. One man would steer the entire formation, leaving the others to man the Maxim guns. Arriving at the Future Diner, Honey said, “ I want to meet your friends, but first glue me down.” “ I can not believe a beautiful girl just asked to be glued but I won’t argue with you.” Crayton dropped a few spheres on the sidewalk causing a brownish puddle . Honey put first one foot, then the other into the center and held still. “ Do you want me to blow on it? “ asked Honey with a mischievous smile. “ It’s already dry, try to lift your foot. “ Honey strained, the glue stretched, then snapped her foot down in a display of elastic attraction. The assault hover sleds began arriving, those boys hated missing a meal. First out was The Detective, who ran over smoking a Sherlock Holmes pipe and wearing one of those field stalker hats, and closely observed every portion of Honey. Inspecting her feet and ankles with his magnifying glass, The Detective spoke,” I have come to the following conclusions. You did not resist being glued. You have no fear of glue. The adamantine garb you wear is permanently bonded to your skin and rare, exotic adamantium metal bands are locked on your limbs.” The Scientist spoke up,” I have noted unusual magnetic activity centered on these bands.” “ It’s a trap!” said The Paranoid. “ Tut,Tut, old chap, that is simply not cricket, give the young lady the benefit of speaking her mind , please,” quoted The Gentleman. “ I say every man for himself!” shouted The Anarchist. “Let’s blow something to smithereens,” replied The Nihilist. “ No, I want to set it on fire first!” yelled The Pyromaniac. “ Everyone calm down, we have a nice girl stuck pretty well here, so let’s set a good example for her, please, “ said The Psychologist. All eyes looked at Honey. “ Crayton took a hard fall at my hands, I felt sorry—and like having some new fun. So I let him glue my bare feet down, and I think he did a pretty good job. Look-“ Honey pulled and flexed, using her hands to tug on her legs. Smiling at the guys, her green eyes were bright and sparkling, and she bent over and did some thrashing about, the muscles rolling in waves across her powerful and highly symmetrical form. Her feet did not budge. The glue had hardened. ”That glue doesn’t strand, but it has my feet in a death grip. It is so permanent. I like that part the most---being stuck forever, never escaping, giving up hope.” Honey flashed a radiant smile that lingered on each hopeful face as she slowly put her hands on her hips impishly and arched her chest. A change swept up the fellows, with unspoken reverence a silence descended upon them all. A sound like a boiler factory on wheels became audible. It became louder. It was the dreaded B-Girls. Their hover-cycles were painted concentrically with black and yellow rings. ”Been up to your old tricks gluing girls down? I warned you weirdos before. Kiss your weenies goodbye!” said Polly, an Amazon of a she-woman. She cracked her knuckles suggestively. Her muscles had muscles. Her blue-black hair was cut in the shape of an anvil. She had a brick chin and the presence of a battle cruiser. Many of the guys secretly admired her roughgirl attitude and strength, even as they feared her wrath. Though she was large framed, yet her figure was very womanly, and she had large, dark, almond shaped eyes-- Her entourage of rather tough ladies dismounted their Haley hover cycles, save for one backing her bike around, revealing an odd sissy bar. It was made of steel, tall and rectangular, with a weighted blade riding inside grooves up and down inside the frame. The blade fell into a locking collar whose hole too big to be a cigar cutter. The vicious B-Girls cyclists had the guys surrounded and were sharpening their stingers when there was a concrete ripping sound. “ Leave my friends alone, please, and I like being glued down Polly,” a delicate yet pert voice said clearly. “ Well, who’s the fluff?” Polly retorted in her chains over gravel voice. “ Your little friends are mine to play with, now. You gonna try and do something about it?” Shininess sparkled in electric blue-white along the admantium bands. Concrete cracked, bits of glue and rock stuck to her feet-- but Honey confidently walked toward Pulverizing Polly. Her bands glowed faintly, tinges of shiny blue-silver. With no apparent effort, Honey easily picked up the large Harley with one hand on the tubular frame and shook it at arms’ length as though it were a recriminating finger at the bloodthirsty Amazon. It being a Harley, loose parts rained to the ground in piles. “ Your bike is needs work, Harleys always do, vibrating constantly. So unbalanced, Polly. How many attitude corrections do you have to make in a turn to avoid losing it? Polly seethed and sprang at Honey, but found that glue puddles had her boot soles fused and trapped. Efforts to remove the motocross boots by the B-Girls failed. Their boots were stuck on also; curses and consternation from the B-Girls filled the air. Polly simply fumed. “Damn it, we should have known to watch our step around these guys. What the hell was I thinking about?” The afternoon sun dimmed as scudding clouds wrapped around a cumulonimbus rolled overhead. A fresh cool wind, rich in rain and ozone flooded the street. Swifts circled, dived and climbed rapidly in the darkening sky, devouring bugs, these birds never land, and always are flying, till death. Honey set the Harley down, lighter for all the loose parts that had fallen off. Honey smiled, reaching a shining place, drew a bit of liquid light, held it, and released. A silvery fountain of ambient light flashed from every surface of the adamantium bands in a bright argent spike that pierced closed eyes and hard skulls. There was a crack of thunder, a cold wind, and a sparse, almost dry sleet fell, about the size of chickpeas. Yellowness pierced the clouds as the sun shone through a thin portion of the storm clouds. As the shaft of sunlight fell upon the Glue Stalkers and the B-Girls, a change occurred. The Surgeon took a can of Maxim, and began gluing the Harley back together. The Scientist with the slide rule and micro-tools had a photographic memory and technical schematics to any hovercraft at his fingertips. Soon all the glue guys were displaying rapid silent teamwork repairing the Harley. The B-Girls tried to untie the laces to their boots, but somehow they had been beaten to the punch. They were sealed in Maxim. Collapsible warning barriers came out of storage compartments in the hover sleds along with high-speed machine tools drawing current from the sleds. It took hours, but the dozen hover bikes of the B-Girls had been rebuilt to exacting tolerances. Polly was speechless. The Maxim rebuild treatment had silenced every rattle as for once the Harley purred smoothly-and nothing had fallen off. Polly began to like these glue guys, even if she could not move her feet. All the Hover cycles were tuned and Maximized. The girls began to really look at these fellows differently. Unlike most men, they were sensitive and except for gluing girl’s feet to the ground, relatively nice and gentle, surprisingly considerate, in fact, opting after conferring with Honey about it being more romantic to dine in front of the restaurant, they arranged to have their meals brought outside. Folding chairs and tables were set up that had giant umbrellas which lit up with florescent tubes as dusk approached. Polly thought the tiny matching umbrellas in the drinks was a nice touch. As the party ambience spread, the fellows found the easygoing confidence of the B-Girls reassuringly alluring. The marvelous feminine muscles displayed put the boys in an absolute tizzy; more than one thought about how much glue could be slathered on those expansive muscles. These tough ladies would be able to handle burning glues as a matter of toughness; showing how they could just take it. The groups freely intermixed and as the food and alcohol flowed, becoming a block party with more people showing an interest in making new friends. Using a laser scalpel, The Surgeon deftly sliced the rear of the boots in half and the B-Girls had an impromptu foot beauty contest after being promised that the fellows had a very deep and abiding interest in female footwear and would buy nothing but the best to replace the boots fused into the concrete. Honey was ever the radiant charming host, her suit and bands faintly glowed a purple ionic sheen. Several girls had flowers delivered. The guys who didn’t get flowers were very put out and began to wheedle their prospective partners for favors, and their whining paid off. Everybody was happy. Honey had played the role of peacemaker and everybody thanked her. Especially The Librarian, whose feet dangled above the sidewalk as Polly sweet talked him, safely nestled in her massive arms. Within a week, a thriving joint enterprise was set up. It was called Maxim Menders. They made a fortune off gluing not only expensive glass and ceramics back together in expert restoration, but Harley hover cycles also, so they did not drop parts on cruises and long runs. Honey was elected president, and the money would help finance her quest to find the origin of her bands and brief single-suit, which she wore proudly, being comfortable with her identity. By being nice and stuck, Honey had significantly benefited everyone, including herself. Several months later, Honey looked at the large slab that had been poured that day on the new site future site of the Maxim Mendit plant. Suddenly Honey’s right foot punched through the soft crust of the cement slab, she had wandered daydreaming, now she needed help! Her foot settled into the enfolding, squeezing concrete. It surged over the top with a smothering heaviness. Her left foot sank into the spongy gray mass as she shifted her weight to free her other foot, which was over the ankle in clenching, congealing cement. The thick mixture flexed upward, clinging to her feet and ankles tenaciously, large uplifted gripping mounds stretched and then contracted, drawing each foot into an individual tight anchorage. Honey pulled again and again, but the stuff was being mixed more by her thrashings and set quicker for her struggles. Rock-hard, the cement had deeply swallowed both of Honey’s feet nearly as high as the leg bands. Escaping air bubbles sounded like a satisfied burp as the concrete continued to weigh ever more heavily upon her small, imprisoned feet. No lovers had clasped more tightly to each other than the stony vise enclosing Honey’s feet in that foundation slab. A sign which she had passed by and ignored read: “ PERMACRETE: SOME THINGS ARE FOREVER.” No, said Honey softly, not stuck again!