The next room, predictably, was almost identical to the previous one. The main difference was that this one contained three steel lockers, side by side, each a few inches taller than Priya, who happened to be the tallest of the three women. All three women were relieved — and surprised — to discover no pools or vats of any kind.
‘Alright, time for a costume change,’ Master said over the intercom. ‘Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching you wriggle around in, and jiggle out of, your swimsuits, but what’s the point in having a bunch of dolls if you can not change their clothes on a whim? Tits, yours is the one on your left. Wobblebottom, you’re in the middle. Cougar, right one is for you.’
None of them wanted to acknowledge their new nicknames, but by now, each of them knew which was which. The fact that they had stuck so easily only made them feel more insulted, but ever since seeing what happened when somebody disobeyed, nobody wanted to be caught doing so. So, Tara went to the leftmost locker, Stacey stepped into the middle and Priya opened up the right.
What they found inside was far more varied than their current uniform swimsuits. Tara pulled her outfit out first, a long, sky blue qipao with long gaps from either side of the waist to the bottom of the dress, around knee height. A thick yellow line traced the outer edge of the whole outfit, with two swirls branching out to highlight the breast area. Only after a moment spent appraising the outfit with a dumbfounded look on her face did Tara notice the spiked bracelets and boxing shoes in the bottom of the locker.
‘The fuck is this?’ she asked, holding the ensemble at arm’s length.
‘Not a big Street Fighter fan?’ Master asked rhetorically. ‘Don’t worry about it, Tits, just put it on.’
Priya was next, leading with a ‘what the hell’ before she had pulled hers out. ‘What even is this?’ Her hanger held a kind of white top with red stripes, but it was almost entirely backless except for a bra-like strap just above the midpoint. The whole thing looked like it had been shrunk in a bad washing machine. The tight, rubbery-looking leggings looked like they would cover more, but even they had large, unnecessary gaps on the sides of the thighs, highlighted by red piping. The bottom of her locker held comparatively ordinary black leather boots, with a white stripe down the middle and a thick buckle at the top.
‘Fair enough,’ Master replied. ‘Blaze Blue is a little more obscure than Street Fighter, but it doesn’t matter. Get it on.’
Stacey was last to get her costume out, having watched the other two women with morbid curiosity. Hers was more recognisable, even to her. The blue tones, white highlights and pink stripes were unmistakable: Stacey would be dressed as Dva from Overwatch, complete with futuristic headset.
‘Time to get changed, ladies. I promise I won’t look — honestly, I want to see you all afresh.’
‘So, there’s a changing room?’ Tara asked.
‘Goodness, no. I promise I won’t peek. I can not speak for you lot, though. I know Stacey enjoys a good ogle.’
Stacey’s mask of dispassionate disinterest slipped, then. For the briefest moment, before she could catch herself, she looked distraught that one of her deepest secrets had been partially revealed. It soon dawned on her that Tara and Priya would likely assume Master was just saying anything he could to make them uncomfortable, but she couldn’t be completely sure they hadn’t seen her expression change. She forced herself back into a nonchalant shrug, hoping her body language said “ha, men, eh?”
She needn’t have bothered. Tara and Priya were too preoccupied with their new outfits, and trying to remove their current ones in the least revealing manner — essentially trying to get naked without seeming naked. Priya had already slipped the straps of her swimsuit off, folding one arm across her chest to cover her breasts while pulling the skintight fabric down the rest of her body, inch by inch.
Purely by chance, Stacey looked over at Tara as she was in the middle of doing what Priya had already accomplished. She was treated to the sight of Tara’s large, round breasts bouncing as Tara freed them from the confines of her black swimsuit. Stacey knew she shouldn’t look, let alone gawp, but she couldn’t help it, and Tara was so busy tugging the swimsuit down her body as quickly as she could that she didn’t notice. Stacey watched, dry-mouthed, as Tara’s breasts bounced and jiggled with every tug and pull of Tara’s hands.
It was only when the other two women had gotten their swimsuits off entirely — Priya trying to cover her breasts and pussy with one arm, Tara simply holding one hand between her thighs — that Stacey realised she hadn’t even started changing. She had some catching up to do if she didn’t want to attract questions like “what were you doing this whole time?” Skipping any attempt at dignity, Stacey simply grabbed the straps of her swimsuit and pulled the whole thing off in a couple of movements. One pull had the straps dangling at her waist and her tits hanging out, the second had the entire swimsuit round her knees. A quick kick had it on the floor, and her completely naked, streaked with cheese from the previous ordeal.
Getting dressed again was a more taxing ordeal for all three women. Priya had difficulty even figuring out what went where, what with all the superfluous straps and buckles. Tara’s was simpler to find out, but difficult to get into without help. The tights went on first, smearing gooey cheese around where the material clung to her skin. The dress was simple enough to get over her head, but she had to ask Priya for help with getting it fastened. Stacey, meanwhile, had an outfit that was designed to looked painted-on. Without any sort of talcum powder, tugging the lycra into place a bit at a time was a painstaking process. When she finished and looked down at herself, she saw that every curve, every bump and every crease was plainly visible. Her nipples, which were not even fully erect despite the chill, stood out even to her. She could only imagine how she looked to everyone else.
Nobody spoke for a moment as the three women examined one another. There was no hint of checking each other out, at least not from Tara or Priya, and Stacey did a good job of hiding it. Like the other two, she was mostly just curious what everyone looked like in their new get-ups. It just so happened that she was also enjoying the look of Tara’s nylon-clad leg poking out of its slit and the hint of Priya’s sideboob in her ridiculous, what? Shirt? Whatever the hell it was, it was having a hard time containing her breasts.
‘Oh, Master, we’re finished,’ she said after a few seconds of this.
‘I told you I wouldn’t peep, didn’t I? Wow! Don’t you all look… interesting.’ It wasn’t quite the phrase any of them wanted to hear, but they all knew from experience that it could have been worse. ‘Tits, I guess we’re gonna understand for sure if thick thighs safe lives, eh? Cougar, I hope you can contain yourself, because that outfit is gonna struggle to do it for you. And Wobblebottom, wow, I hope for your sake the next game doesn’t involve bending over much. I bought the most expensive version of that outfit I could, so I don’t want you splitting the back of it.’
That was more like it. Each of the women looked chastened, but Stacey in particular found herself blushing deeply at the casual abuse.
‘Alright, speaking of the next game, I bet you can not wait to understand what it is, right?’ Nobody answered the question so he continued, ‘well, the gamer chick outfits are no coincidence. I’ve got a series of gaming-related games for you all to enjoy. First up is a bit of classic platforming action. In the next room is a kind of obstacle course, except, well, you’ll see. Go on.’
Another previously-invisible door opened up as he finished speaking. Stacey strode in first, rubbernecking to inspect her surroundings. Tara and Priya followed close behind, Tara mumbling ‘oh my,’ to herself. Inside the new room was an elaborate series of platforms and pillars, designed to look like something from an early Super Mario game. There was even a blocky, three-tiered castle at the far end, with a tall green-and-white flagpole beside it.
It was Tara who broken the awed hush: ‘so, what, we have to reach the end?’
‘Pretty much, yeah. Just, ya’ know, maybe don’t look down.’
‘Huh?’ Priya again, warily approaching the begin of the course. There was rim around the whole thing, about a foot high, about three quarters of which was brown with the top section painted grass-green. Peering over the side, she was the first to understand what Master had been talking about. Below the platforms that made up the course was a shallow trench. That trench was filled thick black slime of some kind. Whatever it was, it bubbled and steamed but, worst of all, something — no, some things — moved beneath the surface. ‘Oh, god. What the hell is that?’ she asked, horrified.
Master sighed theatrically before answering. ‘I told you not to look down, didn’t I? Alright, time to explain. As I mentioned, the next few games are video game themed. Most of them are mash-ups of my favourite games. So, as Tits rightly surmised, the idea with this one is that you guys race to the end of the level, the loser facing a forfeit of course. The mash-up, well, the pit below the Mario level is a swamp out of Dark Souls. So, you can take it turns. No helping one another. If you fall into the swamp, you still have to get to the end, it just won’t be very fun for you so be careful. Not too careful, though, because the slowest of you will face a punishment from the other two. Understood?’
The trio’s total lack of enthusiasm allowed Master to continue enjoying the sound of his own voice. ‘Tits, as the loser of the last game, you can go first. Then MILF, then Wobblebottom. I’ll begin the timer as soon as you get moving.’
Tara took one look down, wondered she saw something moving in the black sludge, and resolved to avoid falling in to it at all costs. She puffed her cheeks out and set off at a jog towards the first platform. The gap between her and it wasn’t too big, barely wider than a long stride, and she cleared it with ease. Indeed, she was more concerned about overshooting and going over the far side. She stuck her arms out as she landed to help maintain her balance, and she was able to stop her momentum with a few inches to spare.
So far so good, but even from here she could see that the gaps between the platforms got wider as the course went on. Combined with the fact that her run-up would be much shorter, she was already worried about what might happen a few platforms in. Still, it wasn’t as though she had many options, and the more she dawdled the more likely she was to lose. Spurred on by memories of her recent forfeit, she leapt for the next platform. She made it safely again, but the margin for error was noticeably smaller already.
As Tara prepared to move on quickly, she noticed something different about the next platform. An animatronic plant emerged from it, stayed put for a couple of seconds, then disappeared into its hole again. It was large enough to take up most of the platform, meaning that she would have to move quickly, and time her jump perfectly, to avoid being knocked into the swamp below.
Tara watched the plant complete its cycle one more time, trying to internalise the rhythm before she leapt once more. She timed her leap well, landing just as it disappeared, but her follow-up was what did her in. She was just tensing to jump again when the flower came back up, nudging her off the platform and sending her flailing towards the swamp with a ‘no-ooo!’
Landing with a large splash, Tara was surprised by how quick the fall had been. The swamp wasn’t particularly deep either, but the fact that she had belly-flopped into it meant that she was absolutely doused in the thick black sludge. What the hell was it, anyway, she thought to herself as she stood up and made a pointless attempt to wipe away the worst of it. It clung to her outfit, soaked right through her thin, flimsy tights, and stuck to her skin like she imagined the tar from a 50’s B-Movie swamp monster might. It was vile, but not in the same way as cheese-slathered worms were vile. It was stickier, thicker, tackier.
It dawned on her that she was spending far too much time dwelling on what she was thigh-deep in and not enough time making her way out of it. She had a race to win — or to avoid losing, at least. It was then, taking her first step, that she felt it — something moving. She shrieked, jumping forward instinctively in a bid to get away from whatever she’d felt. She felt it just the same in her new spot, though. Reluctantly looking down, she saw that she was surrounded by some sort of giant, horrifying slugs. She felt weak suddenly, wan, but at the same time an eagerness to get the fuck out of there overwhelmed her. She leapt forward again and set off at the closest approximation to a run she could manage in the sucking mire, spurred on by a deep-seated, lizard-brained survival instinct.
Her progress was slow, like trying to Baywatch Run over waves with her legs at weird angles, only slower still thanks to the thickness of the sludge. Every movement was a reminder of the horrible creatures she was wading through, and every so often she would shiver with renewed disgust.
Eventually she reached the far end of the course. A wooden ladder led up to what she assumed was the castle at the end. She couldn’t see it from her current position, and any sense of spatial awareness had been lost in her disgusted panic, but it was the only way out of the swamp and she was gonna take it. She bolted up it in no time, slimy feet slipping on several rungs, but never both at the same time. At the top, she hiked herself up so that her chest was flat against the floor, her dress riding up and bunching in undignified fashion but she couldn’t care less about that for now — let Master ogle her as much as he liked if it meant she was away from the slug things. Pulling herself upright, she realised she was indeed at the foot of the castle and a few steps later she was finally at the true end of her ordeal.
‘Not bad,’ Master said dismissively, paying no heed to Tara’s suffering. ‘Not good, either, but I’ve seen worse. Next.’
Rapt horror seemed to be the theme of the day, but both Priya and Stacey were startled out of theirs by Master’s voice.
Priya realised with dread that she was up next. Absently adjusting her comically ill-suited outfit, she stepped up to the edge and prepared herself for the jump. In the back of her mind, she was thinking about the fact that Tara was younger and fitter than she was, and that if she couldn’t make that one jump…
She shuddered at the wondered, took a couple of steps back for a run up, and launched herself towards the first platform. Like Tara, she made the first one without drama and took a moment to compose herself for the next. She was quicker than Tara, she felt, but now was the first moment of truth: the platform that Tara had failed to get by. Priya took a moment to time the process, just as Tara had, and went for it. She made the jump, just barely, and used her over-balanced momentum to propel her forward into the next jump. It worked. She was off the third platform before the plant re-emerged.
Unfortunately, that momentum now proved to be too much. Platform four was obstacle-free, but shorter than any of the others. Priya went careening off the far end, unable to scrabble to a halt in time. A second later, she landed with the same mortifying splatter as Tara. The only real difference was that where the sludge had clung to Tara’s outfit, it oozed inside Priya’s with ease. Her top had more holes than a colander, and she soon felt the horrendous sensation of slimy slugs slithering all over her unprotected breasts.
Yelping noisily, she jumped quickly to her feet, did her best to dislodge some of the creatures, realised they were worryingly large, and ran for it in much the same cartoonish manner as Tara. She continued to try and swat the remaining couple of slugs away, almost totally oblivious to her surroundings. Unfortunately, it was this lack of awareness that meant she tripped over the lip of pool. More fortuitous was the fact that she fell forward, out of the swamp as opposed to back into it, but landing in a sloppy heap was no less uncomfortable for all that and the slugs were still wriggling and writhing, no matter how much she tried to ignore them.
After one last go at sweeping over her hands over her chest, Priya set off up the ladder, slipping a little bit here and there. She was more careful than Tara, but slower because of it. Still, the ladder was treacherous with two people’s-worth of sludge on each rung so it was case of better safe than sorry. Sure enough, Priya was up the ladder and atop the castle a moment later, more relieved than happy.
‘Come on then, Buttzilla. I’ll tell you the times once you’re all finished. I’ll just say that you’re both surprisingly close so far.’
Stacey was still watching in horror and disgust, and seemed to have genuinely forgotten about her unflattering nickname. Mastered cleared his throat, ‘when you’re ready.’
‘Oh, right,’ she replied to nobody in particular. She took one last glance at her colleagues, both of whom were preoccupied with trying to remove more of the horrid sludge. She made her way to the edge of the starting platform and immediately made the mistake of peering over the edge. A lurch in her stomach told her not to mess this up, since staying put wasn’t an option. She took a couple of steps back, sucked in a deep breath, and launched herself towards platform two.
Like her colleagues, she made it comfortably, but that was only the beginning. She managed to talk herself out of having another look down, spending a few seconds judging the gap and preparing herself for the leap instead. She made this one with ease, too, and did a better job of stopping in a timely fashion than either Tara or Priya had done. Next up was the issue, though. One way or another, both her friends had fallen at this next hurdle, so Stacey observed the cycle of the plant three times before deciding she was as ready as she’d ever be. She didn’t have as much of a run-up on this platform, but it was enough, and she used her momentum to keep going past the pipe and plant and take a semi-blind leap towards platform four.
It was a close thing, extremely close, and for a moment Stacey wondered she was gonna tumble backwards into the slug-riddled swamp. That was enough motivation for her to make sure she avoided that particularly undignified fate. Alas, it also meant that she overcompensated and went toppling over the far edge instead. So close and yet so far away from the end. She got a glimpse of the castle as she plummeted towards the horrifying mire.
She landed on her front with a thick splat, sludge splashing out from under her in all directions. She jolted upright, not even needing to feel the slugs — though she did, and she shuddered almost violently in repulsion — before getting to her feet and setting off at as close to a run as the sludge would allow. Outright, clean victory was beyond her now, but Stacey would be damned if she was gonna accept a punishment like Tara’s. Spurred on by the horror of her current surroundings and the anticipation of an equally horrible forfeit, she bolted up the slippery ladder, narrowly avoiding another fall on various occasions. She made it to the top, though, and collapsed in an exhausted heap on the slime-spattered floor. The messy puddle she was laying in seeped through her exceedingly thin clothing, but since her initial fall had saturated the front of it anyway, this situation was comparatively bearable.