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Days are long at MagiCont. You spend an 8-to-5 job where you have to supervise a large group of willing workers in a company about the unexpected. For the first couple of days this is relaxing, but afterwards it gets repetitive and tiring. Wander, noticing this early on, allowed me to express my individuality in the workplace, which gave me the ability to train myself in contortion for four hours of a nine hour work day.

When I wake up in the morning, it's around 6 in the morning and the sun has barely come up. My neighbourhood is asleep and my house is completely quiet. During the night I usually curl up into a ball, bent backwards with my head just below my rear. The stretch not only helps me prepare for the next day, but also tightens my body up so I don't feel too loose to sleep. To help me feel comfortable in the stretch, I don't wear pyjamas but underwear, since it doesn't chafe.

This day was different. The previous night I was feeling extremely loose, even in the tight backbend, so I slept in a frontbend with my head sticking out from between my legs. It was hard to get into bed because I couldn't get in the bend while in bed and I had to walk myself to my bed to lie on it.

I woke up strangely out of the bend, completely straight. My body felt extremely loose, much looser than the night before, but I could move around quite well. I got out of bed and headed to the kitchen, cooking my favourite breakfast of pancakes with toast. I find that the meal, contrary to what most say, helps to loosen up my body the fastest after eating. I was told that bacon gives more elasticity to the joints, but being a Buddhist I prefer not to eat it.

I quietly ate my meal at my table, a small round one made of wood, then headed out to the lounge room to have a rest. My rests usually last around five to ten minutes, and pass by before I know it. At 6:30, I got off the fluffy couch to do my first of eight hours of contortion training. This allows me to relax and prepare for the day that comes, and also passes by in a way that feels soothing, like meditation. I never do any serious stretching in this first hour, as it is only a warm-up for later in the day.

Starting off with just some simple toe touches, both front and back, and splits; I continued onto more extreme bends up to a 200 degree oversplit, pushing my shoulders through my legs in a frontbend, and a headseat. I felt a small stretch during this hour, but no strain was needed.

At about 7:30, the general ending time for my first hour of contortion, I headed to the bathroom to have a nice hot shower that would clean off all the dirt from the previous day and from the hour of contortion. Feeling not only clean, but also very loose, I stepped out of the shower and used my foot to flick the towel to me. I wrapped it around my body and strolled into my bedroom to get changed.
MagiCont doesn't have a specified uniform; they only supply outfits to wear in certain areas. I generally keep to a specific code with my clothes however, because they not only have to be practical but also professional.

I chose a skin-tight shirt and pants, with a small gray jacket on top. The clothes, with the jacket, create a sense of being a professional on me, while without it they act like a leotard to help me feel comfortable while I stretch.

With only five minutes until 8, I casually strolled to the front door, picking up a small suitcase, and walked through it. Instantly I was transported to my office, half an hour from my house, almost magically. Wander had installed a magic door in my office recently, allowing me to travel from my house to work in mere seconds. The door could transport me straight home during the day, even during work hours. It is a wonderful gift from Wander, and I thanked him greatly for it.

Now in my small office at work, I sat down at my desk to do some work. There were a couple of forms to fill out, standard ones about projects that were currently running. There were a couple about some old ones, including the Permanent Body Modulation System, but there was nothing new or interesting.

Coming onto 9am, I finished my work and headed towards a nearby water cooler to relax before I had my second hour of contortion. Pouring myself a glass of water, I looked around at the quiet workplace around me. People were quietly tapping away at the computers; most doing their work, but others I knew were having a small break and surfing the web. I didn't blame them, as it was easy to get distracted and the workload was surprisingly low.

I felt a small push on my hand as someone got their own cup of water. Unusually, I didn't notice anyone coming near me when I looked around, but I knew who it was easily.

"Zoe," I said, looking towards the glass wall of her nearby office, "Why don't you come over here?"
Hearing no response, I looked down at the water cooler and saw her hands pouring a seemingly-endless amount of water into a small plastic cup. I gave one of her hands a little tap, and looked back at her office.
Zoe was looking up and out the window, straight at me. Her right hand lifted its index finger and stopped pouring the water. In an instant, Zoe's lips were at my eye level, detached from the rest of her body.
"Shouldn't you be having your second hour of contortion?" She asked.
"Couldn't you have just come over here instead of detaching your hands?" I asked her, retaliating to her question.
"I could, but I've got a surprisingly high amount of work to do," She said. As I looked back at her office I noticed that she was working hard on a large pile of forms, using magic to write on and move them.
"I guess that's what it's like to research a fairly hidden topic," I said, "It's too bad you can't go back in time, before Salem."
"That's a lie," Zoe said, "There were no witches burnt. It was only a demonstration gone wrong, and a black mark on magic. I've got to thank the employee that found that out."
"I'd better not distract you from your work," I said, and headed back to my office as the clock reached 9.

As soon as I was in my office I closed the door and walked through the one to my house. I took my jacket off and neatly placed it on my coffee table, while I did some small stretches to limber up. A minute later, I was ready to contort my body.

I started off with a frontbend. Standing up straight with my feet slightly apart, I bent forwards with my hips, keeping a straight back. When I reached my feet my back was still straight, but due to the limits of my joints, I bent my back forward. Eventually I reached the point where my chin was on my tailbone, having wrapped my hips with my stomach and chest. My back was heavily strained, so I straightened myself up to get ready for some splits.

I spread my legs apart, my right foot in front, until my legs were in the splits. Reaching forward, I pulled a pile of cushions towards me, then stacked them in a pile up to my current eye level. With ease I lifted my right leg up and sat my foot on top of the cushions, my splits now about 225 degrees. I pulled in my leg and lifted it up until it was vertical, then placed some more cushions on the stack and pulled it towards me. I was now in a 270 degree split, but I felt I could do a lot more.

I pulled my leg towards me, increasing the size of the split and creating a fair amount of strain. When my split was around 300 degrees I stopped and took a breath, then returned it to the stack of cushions. I twisted my body to go into a side split, then repeated the procedure with it then subsequently the left split.

When I stretched my splits, I stood up with my legs together and headed to the lounge. It was time to stretch my backbend. My goal at the time was to be able to get my shoulders between my legs with minimal strain. I was able to get my shoulders between my legs in the past, but only with enough strain to hide it.

I spread my legs slightly and leaned backwards, bending at my lower back until my head was at my knees. There was no strain here; it only came with stretching my upper back and pulling my lower back. I pulled myself through, bending my upper back until my head was between my legs. The strain was only just starting to reveal itself.

Continuing my pull I managed to squeeze my shoulders through my legs, the strain gradually increasing to the point where it was bearable, but hard to hide. I could push further, though, so I continued the bend until my head was touching the top of my hips. The strain just became unbearable, so I quickly got out of the bend and sat down on the lounge.

It was time to put my legs behind my head, or to be more appropriate, down my lower back. I pulled my right leg up and over my head so it sat on my shoulders. This was extremely comfortable and occasionally I would decide to spend one or two hours like this during work. This was not enough, so I pushed it down my back until my foot was touching the seat of the lounge.

With my leg all the way down my back, I lifted my other leg up and sat it on the shoulders, then pushed it down until it was at the same level as the first. With a quick readjustment I moved my legs into a lotus position. There was no strain here, but it was slightly uncomfortable.

I lifted myself off the lounge and sat on the floor, my legs still behind my lower back in the lotus. In this stage it was obvious what I'd do: tighten the lotus until both legs are against each other and pointing to the floor. With a push I managed to get my feet to my hips in the lotus, but at this point the strain was almost unbearable. My hips were completely dislocated and my knees felt that they were going to dislocate. Quickly, I loosened up the lotus and pulled my legs back over my head.

By this time, it was coming close to 10am, so I had a little stretch to cool down, then picked up my jacket and put it on while walking back through my front door into my office. I sat down at my desk, and with a new stack of forms and papers to fill out and sign, I went back to work.
This is part 1 of a two-part story about the work that is done outside the test subjects' lives, in particular of the two research managers.

Part 1 explains Natalie's side of the story, with an 9 hour workday that is almost half-filled with contortion. It only explains the early part of the day, since part 2 will be Zoe's side of the story.
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