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The lights flickered.  There was a loud metallic “chung” sound as the assembly line shut down, ending the normal background rattle of the track.  A box that should have gone around a corner was lurched off the track and hit the corner of the cart Emily was pushing.  Cardboard broke, the sound of breaking glass, and a fine grey powder covered the lower part of her coveralls.

“Shit! What was that?” Her friend Sheila who was pushing the cart ahead of her spun around.

“Damn it! I knew something like this would happen.”  Hazardous chemicals.  Emily had warned something like this would happen, but they needed jobs and Sheila had said working in the shipping department they would never come into contact with anything.  A million to one shot that a package would break open this completely, but go figure it would happen to the one who predicted something would go wrong.  “Am I going to die? Am I going to get cancer?”

“Go! Wash it off!” Sheila pushed her friend towards a washroom.  “I’ll report it.”  All ready people were reacting to the brief power outage.  If this was dangerous then a clean up team would be on its way.

Emily unzipped her coveralls and removed them down to her waist as she entered the washroom.  Only her hands had gotten any of the powder on them.  And her shoes – damn, why had she worn her good shoes today. 

She started rinsing her hands off, washing up to the elbows just to be sure.  Her skin started to feel tight.  She looked at her hand and saw that the powder was turning to a rubbery substance.  She poked at it out of curiosity, then peeled it off her hand.  Most of the spill had been on the backs of her hands but where it had coated her fingers it was like removing a rubber glove.  She didn’t know why but she put it in her pocket.

Somebody pounded on the door.  “Coming in!” The hazardous response crew didn’t look much like a hazardous response crew.  They were just wearing lab glove and dust masks.  Through the door beyond them she could see someone sweeping up the trail she had left behind her.

“Did you get any in your eyes? Did you breathe any of it?” Apparently, she had done everything else right.  They had her step the rest of the way out of her coveralls and put them in a plastic bag.  They took her shoes and gave her some cloth booties to wear.  They brushed off her pants legs just to be sure.  No, the material was not dangerous.  This was all just a precaution.  Yes, she would get her shoes back after they had been properly cleaned – probably tomorrow.

Emily was relieved but still concerned over all of the cleanup procedure.  “It’s all government,” the manager who had shown up on the shipping floor told the workers.  “Nothing harmful had been spilled, but because some of the other chemicals we make are dangerous wee have to go through extra precautions for show.”  Emily stepped away from the explanation and studied one of the other boxes that had been on the track; it had no hazardous shipping labels on it.  Everyone was still listening to the official dogma so nobody noticed her break the seal open and look in the box.  Six bottles of grey powder, none of them had any hazard symbols on them.  She took one out and hid it where she could find it later.


Poly-hexyl-vinyl-blah-blah-etc.  There was a lot of technical information that she couldn’t understand when she looked it up online later.  Developed by her company.  Patented by her company.  Solely manufactured by her company.  Non-hazardous.  Yeah, right.  The company was very secretive about it, so she couldn’t confirm anything through other sites. 

OK, the EPA website should have something about it.  Very little, but it was not considered an environmental hazard.  FDA? Nothing.  Whatever it was it must not be meant to be eaten.  OSHA? Nothing.  Either they didn’t know about it or it wasn’t considered a general hazard.  Perhaps something a little more specific.  Emily did several searches of chemical safety and laboratory safety web sites.  Only a few had information on the powder – very little information but the information they were concerned with, the material wasn’t harmful.  All right, there were plenty of safe things that you didn’t want to get in your eyes or breath, so everything that had happened the day of the accident made sense. 

She opened the bottle she had smuggled home and poured it over her hand covering the whole thing then ran it under the faucet.  The powder seemed to gel and then blended together into a perfect glove.  She wiggled her fingers and made a fist.  It was like a second skin.  She peeled it off and studied it.  If it had been flesh-coloured it would be creepy, but this was fascinating.


Over the next few weeks she watched for a chance to steal more of the chemical.  Often things to be shipped were already packaged by the time they got to her.  She didn’t always know what was in the boxes she handled.  There was always someone around.  It took time, but eventually she managed to get more of the substance to her apartment.

She stripped in her bathroom and started rubbing the powder on her feet.  Would rubber stockings work as well as rubber gloves? Knee high? Thigh high? She was almost through creating pants when she realized that she wouldn’t be satisfied until she tried a full body suit.

She looked at herself in the mirror, turning to see if she had full coverage, correcting where she didn’t.  She scratched her cheek and looked at the smudge of powder on her otherwise clean face.  Oh yeah, this was happening.  When she finally stepped into the shower she was mildly disappointed that she couldn’t safely cover her eyes or mouth.

She stood timidly back as she always did while cold water hit her feet starting to coat them with rubber.  When the water warmed up she stepped more fully into the stream.  The sensation of the rubber climbed up her as her powder covering got wet.  She started going through the motions of showering, but rubber touched rubber rather than skin touching skin.  She turned to make sure that her back got wet and felt the rubber closing over her.

When the sensation of the water died down, she got out and rubbed the steam off the mirror with a towel.  Her dripping black hair contrasted with what looked like her light grey skin.  Her lips and dark brown eyes stood out giving her an alien look.

She didn’t so much dry herself as shoo the water down her rubber covering with the towel.  She blow-dried her hair and tied it back.  “What to wear?” she thought, knowing that the answer would be nothing.   She ran her hands sensually over her body.  This was going to be a fun night.

She almost had to force herself to make and eat dinner before deciding how to spend the rest of the evening.  She would be looking in the mirror a lot.  Posing, caressing herself, just being super sexy.  Naked but not naked, she purred at herself.  Romance novel or movie? – either way she knew she wouldn’t keep her hands off herself.

Then came the really hard decision, should she sleep in her rubber suit or not.  It would take longer to get ready for work if she waited until morning, but she really wanted to know what it was like to wear this to bed.  Call in sick tomorrow? She pouted at the thought; she really couldn’t afford to lose her job. 

Reluctantly, she pulled at the rubber on her arm to pull the glove off.  She hadn’t made gloves.  She felt around for the opening – Crap!.  Eyes, mouth, nostrils – no way those would stretch out enough to get out.  Crap! It wasn’t so sensual when she grabbed her ass this time.  She sighed with relief when she saw that the powder hadn’t worked its way that far up, but the opening was still too small for her to get out that way.  She hadn’t rubbed it on her scalp but enough had gotten past the hairline when she applied it and she had spread it even further while in the shower.  Rubber was bonded to roots and she’d have to rip out clumps of hair if she wanted to get out that way.

Knife.  She went to the kitchen and got paring knife.  It did nothing.  Sharper knife.  No good.  Soon she was less concerned about accidentally cutting herself which hadn’t been a risk after all – she could feel the blade pressing against her but it wouldn’t penetrate her rubber coating.

She spent a frantic night trying to free herself but nothing worked.  Nothing she could do on her own.  As the sun rose it became obvious that her only choice was to call her work and admit everything.  Who do you ask for in a case like this?


They sent someone to pick her up after she told them the extent of her problem.  Maybe if she had stopped at the neck she could have dressed and driven herself, but there was no way she could drive there without attracting attention in her current condition.  She tugged at the rubber on her neck – nope, this stuff was tough enough that even if she had stopped at the neck she probably wouldn’t have been able to stretch it enough to get out.  She was surprised to see a limousine pull into her apartment parking lot.  Tinted windows.  Good choice.

“Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time this has happened.”  An executive, someone from legal, and a Human Resources rep were waiting in the back seat for her.  “There are procedures.”

“So, you can get me out of this.”

“No.”  The lawyer shuffled through some papers he had in a file.

“This is part of a military contract,” the executive said proudly.  “Easily moldable, impenetrable rubber.  Guaranteed fifty years before it starts to degrade – well, it hasn’t quite been tested for fifty years, but if it doesn’t last that long it’s the next CEO’s problem.”

“But there is a procedure,” Emily said.  “Wait.  This isn’t the way to the plant.”

“You see, dear,” the lady from HR said in a voice meant to be reassuring but failing under the circumstances.  “You signed certain non-disclosure agreements when you were hired.”

“Let’s not get into the whole issue of your stealing classified materials home with you,” the lawyer spoke up, still reading what Emily noticed was her personal file.

“Anyhow,” the executive spoke up again, “that suit you are wearing is technically company property up to or until it is delivered to the army.  Presently, I don’t think that they will be wanting it, so it’s ours.”

“And so are you,” the HR lady said cheerfully.

“What? You don’t own me!”

“Actually,” the lawyer said producing a form with Emily’s signature on it.  “We’ve been through this before.  The confidentiality and classified substance points raise a lot of legal issues and, well, you can’t be allowed to walk around in public in your current condition.  I believe you have appointed us as your guardians should you,” he read from the paper, “’become inseparable from any product produced.’”

“You also gave us power of attorney,” HR lady said.

“Where are you taking me?” Emily demanded.  She noticed that the doors were locked.  She also noted that any one of the other three could overpower her on their own.

“To the ranch where we keep our rubber slaves,” the executive told her.  “You’re still an employee and have to earn your keep somehow.”   

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