| DAMSELS UNDER GLASS: THE SERIES
by Courier ©
| Chapter 1
worlds. The first is
the public region of the complex, the offices, corridors, labs,
conference rooms and cafeterias that support TESSERACT's thousands of
The second is an unknown and very private world, accessible
to a select few. At the core of this hidden realm is the "Biosphere," a
highly automated complex of domes, chambers and corridors that caters
the needs of Margo Wells and her Inner Circle. Parts of the
extend into the main campus, weaving, unknown and unsuspected, around
public corridors, allowing those using the hidden passages to observe
public regions but remain unseen. The Biosphere is the Inner Circle's
playground, where their elaborate fantasies are played out.
a secretary (not a member of the Inner Circle) stops to check
hair in one of the campus' omnipresent reflective walls, there is
a chance a bound and gagged Inner Circle member or one of Margo's
is watching, silent and helpless on the other side of the mirror... the
other side of "the looking glass."
below the Biosphere and the public regions is a third area, the support
infrastructure of the entire campus complex: the heating ducts, cable
runs, air conditioning machines and maintainence tunnels. These spaces
are equally hidden from the public, but not nearly as exotic as the Bio
Sphere. Most of the maintainence is handled by robots controlled by
subsystems of the EVE-6900 AI system. The lack of prying eyes and the
general ambiance of the tunnels (or
the acombs" as the Inner Circle members call them) made the system
attractive as a venue for "games." Why have a dark, forboding
corridor mocked up in the Biosphere by Eve for a game of Kidnapped
it was so much easier to just find a real dark forboding
corridor in the Katacombs? The "gritty reality" of the Katacombs
was a real selling point to the Inner Circle. Eve was already in
complete control the the Katacombs, monitoring all the entrances and
exits, so it was little trouble for her to also watch over the
any inconvenient exposure, re-route service-bots around games in
and generally fulfill her role as overseer of the Inner Circle. In many
ways, the Katacombs had become just an extension of the Biosphere.
their service usage and entertainment potential, the Katacombs are also
a great way to move around the TESSERACT HQ. Most visitors and
new employees consider the interior of the glass and stone
interconnected megaliths to be maze-like at best. Many just put
it off as a reflection of the CEO's eccentricities, but the longer they
work on the campus, the more they begin to understand that the
sometimes circuitous routes required for routine travel often lead them
to encounter a wider spectrum of the company than normally might have
been the case. When asked about the design, Margo Wells replied, "I
like my people to think, not sleep walk." Such considerations
aside, Inner Circle members use the hidden passages as a great
way to get places quickly in the complex. It seems no matter
you want to go, there is always a Katacomb short cut.
Paretsky theorized that this was also intentional on Margo's
part, to encourage her secret sorority to use the Katacombs, because
is a risk in using them, a possible toll to be
paid. Every Inner Circle member knows that when she steps
"through the looking glass" (that is, leaves the public portions of the
may become a playing piece in The Games of the Inner Circle
of course, she has a duly registered "Get-Out-of-Peril-Free" pass,
by Margo, Elke, or Eve). By passing through the looking glass,
declare themselves potential Damsels or Damsel-nappers, fair game for
diversion might be playing out in the hidden corridors. Granted, for
given trip the risk of capture is remote, but the possibility
makes the act of taking a shortcut interesting... like gambling
with one's freedom.
On a damp Friday afternoon Sabrina
Sanchez and Naomi Curtis had taken a detour into the Katacombs so
Sabrina could calm down. They were coming from a Special Projects
status meeting that had ended when Brie's fiery temper had gotten the
better of her. Several vendors had hoped to placate the Latina with
colorful fact-free presentations. Brie had allowed them to dissemble
for the better part of the hour meeting (getting more and more annoyed
with each distortion). Naomi, sitting in on the meeting as an
observer, had nervously watched as her friend's patience slowly
eroded. Naomi had wanted to intercede, but even she had grown
frustrated with the incompetence of the vendor reps. When Brie had
finally snapped at the end of the hour and dressed them down,
the wide eyed reps had been left speechless. So had Naomi.
She knew her friend had a temper, but the riot act Brie had read the
reps (with the occasional passionate Spanish phrase thrown in when one
language was insufficient to express her displeasure) had amazed even
her. As the suit clad sheep had skittishly gathered their papers and
expensive leather satchels Brie had glared at them in fuming silence.
Like an Aztec Goddess of Vengeance,
Naomi mused at the memory. Too bad Brie prefers the Damsel role.
Naomi felt a tiny thrill shudder through her loins. What
"I thought that one guy was
going to burst a blood vessel!" Naomi laughed as the two walked along
the silent corridor.
"The one with the
mustache?" Brie asked, laughing herself, feeling her tension begin to
uncoil. "I bet that idiota had to change his pants!" she added
with a giggle.
"You're such a bad girl," Naomi
scolded, "but I have the feeling the next report will be a
little more 'reality based'," Naomi said, quoting the last words with
Brie smiled and stopped, turning to her friend.
"You know what I really like after a fight like that?" she queried, her
dark eyes sparkling.
Naomi took a moment to look at her friend. Brie
was impeccably and professionally dressed, wearing a creme, two piece,
long sleeve suit dress with a short skirt, showing off her perfect
legs, dark stockings and low heel pumps. Top that all off with the
smoldering sexuality that Brie has in spades, thought Naomi, and...
"Well," Naomi mused playfully, "we are
on the other side of the looking glass. I'm sure Eve can find us a
Brie cut her off with a laugh. "I mean I'm
hungry! You have such a dirty mind, Bionda," she teased her
"You weren't complaining last weekend about my
'dirty mind'," Naomi defended herself.
"I didn't complain because a certain
blonde spokesperson shoved a ball gag in my mouth before she worked her
evil will upon me!" Brie countered, planting her hands on her hips.
"Oh, sorry. Let me try to see if I understand
this. When you were going," Naomi raised her right hand to her mouth,
made a fist and stuck her first two knuckles into her mouth between her teeth, "'Oooore! Oooore! Arder! Arder! Essss!!!
Esss!!!'" she exclaimed, slurring the exhortations around her mock-gag.
wanted me to stop?"
"By that point you had
thoroughly destroyed my maidenly will to resist!" explained the
raising a hand to her forehead in mock swoon.
"Maybe you should have
thought of that before challenging me to the wrestling match,"
Naomi responded, wiping her knuckles on her own suit.
"Hungry, huh?" Naomi
asked. "For food, right?"
"Si," answered Brie, "For
food... for now..." she added with a saucy smile.
"Come on. I think there's
a café off the next intersection. I'll treat you to a pastry ,
" Naomi said, then started off down the corridor with her friend. "If
Eve gives us a green light at exit we can take a long lunch."
"I get a latte with that
pastry right?" Brie asked as they detoured down another
"A single," Naomi replied. "I think you have
enough energy already."
The two friend's progress was halted by the
sight of something in an alcove of the corridor. From a distance it
appeared red and shiny, but as they approached they realized it was not
a what, but rather a who, a female captive who.
latex body suit.
The suit was equipped with a wide variety of zippers in different
locations to allow access to most parts of her anatomy. The zipper
across her bosom had been opened allowing her well formed breasts free.
They were the only part of her that was free.
woman's nubile body was suspended in the alcove by a web of ropes, her
legs were bent double, her ankles tied tightly to her thighs. Likewise
her arms were bound behind her, pulled tightly together and upward in a
double hammer lock. The ropes wove around her
well shaped form, accentuating her bosom, crisscrossing her taut
and diving, tightly, between her legs. From her shoulders, her waist,
ankles, her elbows and her crotchrope ropes extended to hooks fixed to
edges of the alcove. Although her weight seemed to be well distributed,
it was clear that the rope between her legs was carrying a little extra
tension. Brie and Naomi noted that the slick, red latex bulged out on either side of her loins, and the rope itself
disappeared into that cleft.
The woman's long blonde
hair was pulled into a ponytail and then pulled upward by another of
the web of ropes. Her mouth was filled with a red ball gag with
matching straps and a crimson leather blindfold.
As Brie and Naomi
inspected the guest (not a regular Inner Circle member, as neither
woman recognized her), the ropes suddenly quivered and contracted, they
then released and the captive bounced and wobbled in her rope harness.
"Smart ropes," Brie commented, watching the girl squirm as she bounced
on the crotch rope.
"You recognize her...?"
Naomi asked looking at the tightly packed captive.
"I don't think so, but if we take off the
blindfold to have a look we'll get in trouble," Sabrina said.
"And that's stopped you exactly when
before?" her friend inquired. One thing that Naomi had learned in being
around Brie is that the Latina loved making little transgressions for
which she could later be "punished." The chores in the house the two
always seemed to end up with Naomi's complete and Brie trying to look
sheepish and promising to do anything if Naomi wouldn't punish
her. Not that there's anything wrong with that, Naomi thought
"It's stopped me when someone owes me
pastry and a latte, querida," Brie explained, still examining
the squirming captive. "But you know," she began impishly running a
finger across the bare left breast of the blond prisoner, "we could see
if she makes noises we recognize..."
"I'm thinking that if you do much more of that
you'll be up for Damsel Expropriation," Naomi warned her friend, "I
just finished reading the by-laws for my Alice-II exam, and you are
on the edge. Whatever you do don't touch a nipple!"
Brie harrumphed and removed her teasing hand.
"Very well, but if I have to be such a good girl I demand a double
latte and two pastries."
The two continued down the passage. "How about
a decaf double and one pastry?," Naomi offered in return.
"I still think you're wired enough."
"If you do the laundry at home for a week,"
Brie replied, sure she could wring something out of this.
"A week!?!," Naomi spluttered.
"Otherwise I'll go back and make you an accessory
to Damsel Expropriation." Brie good naturedly threatened.
"But I tried to stop you!" complained
"That's not the story I'll tell, under duress,
of course." Her Latina friend answered.
"All right," Naomi sighed, "two pastries and a
double decaf latte... But I'll get even some time."
I'm counting on it, Brie thought.
Further joking was cut short by
curiously muffled sound of running footsteps coming from the passage
who...?" Naomi began, only to be cut short when a figure came careening
the corner ahead. A small figure with... bunny ears?!?
ersatz bunny was Jodi Weber. She skidded to a halt in front of
the two surprised starring women. The honey blonde's outfit started
with large white
furry rabbit feet, fitted like oversized slippers over the feet of long
white leather thigh-high boots; boots that narrowed to garter-like
straps; straps that in turn were connected to a wide belt and secured
by tiny pinging and tinkling sliver padlocks. Her pubic hair was dyed
white like the leather, setting it off nicely against her tan skin. The
belt cinching her narrow waist was in turn locked closed. Her hands
were covered by oversized
"rabbit paws" with matching full-length white leather gloves, the tops
of which were locked to a white fur-trimmed leather collar, in the same
style as the boots and belt. On top of her head the furry bunny ears
to be connected to hoop earrings with more tiny locks. Completing the
ensemble was a daub of brown make up on the tip of her nose, drawn on
whiskers, and prosthetic buckteeth!
The diminutive aerobics
instructor paused a moment, trying to catch her breath, gesticulating
wildly with her pink and white paws, and then...
Jodi finally wheezed. "Kat's testin' weapons an' stuff an' I told
an' you an Bug an' Annie knew 'bout it an' wanna help and RUN!" She
scurried off down the corridor the way Naomi and Brie had come, her
"rabbit booties" slipping on the polished floor, causing Jodi to swing
her hips and windmill her arms comically, struggling to maintain her
balance and build up some speed.
Brie noticed that there was a large
powder puff white tail attached to the back of the "rabbit's" belt,
but that Jodi's dimpled bottom was otherwise quite bare... then Brie
heard heels tapping in the opposite direction. She turned to find
Naomi beating a hasty retreat the way they had just come. "Hey!"
She called after her friend. "Where are you going?
What was she trying to say?" Brie was fully fluent in
but still, it wasn't her native tongue, and when Jodi (or Charlie) ran
all their words into a stew... it had to simmer for a while for her to
decode it. "Naomi?" Brie repeated, but her friend had already
Then a strange sound
echoed down the corridor from behind, for all the world sounding like a
"Splort?" Brie mumbled as she pivoted
quickly towards the source of the sound and was immediately
struck by... something. It was soft and wet, but had hit with
enough force to push her back hard against one of the corridor
walls, pinning and sticking her in place. It's like a cross
tapioca pudding and cappuccino foam, Brie thought, looking at the
mass that covered her in a web of goop. She tried lifting her arm to
some of the stuff away, only to discover it was doing a very good job
gluing her arm to the wall... and her other arm... and both her legs!
struggled, but light as the stuff looked, it held like gooey rubber
Brie looked down at the goop,
fascinated. Before her eyes it seemed to be congealing, pulling
together into small clumps and long cord-like tendons. She could see it
flowing off her hands, but then bunching up around the cuffs of her
suit jacket. She could also feel it seeping through her clothing, a
sort of soft dry sensation. And through all this, it contracted
slightly, holding her
in an ever tighter embrace.
"It's the latest in
non-lethal weaponry," a distant, echoing voice announced from down the
Brie looked up towards
the source of the words. A backlit and silhouetted women in a
glistening black body suit was approaching down the smooth corridor.
apparition wore a belt with several pieces of holstered equipment and
a bandoleer of short cylinders. She held a snub nosed
weapon, equipped with a built in flash light and a short stubby clip.
woman's head was encased in a hood of the same shiny black material as
the suit. Her face seemed to be uncovered, but was still too
for Brie to discover her identity. Then the woman took several
graceful feline steps... and Brie didn't need to see her
face to know it was Kat, Katherine Mayfair, TESSERACT Chief of Security
and all around tough cookie.
she was in real trouble. As the menacing form
of her captor surveyed the goop's progress, Brie wondered if she was in
trouble for some cause. There was the matter of a little
unauthorized VR time she
hadn't reported, but Charlie had insisted (and Brie hadn't been in a
to argue) ...or maybe it was the time she and Naomi had "borrowed" some
proprietary toys for her birthday party. No, Margo had mentioned
that at the party and she hadn't seemed angry.
Wait... "Jodi!" Brie
"Jodi," Kat confirmed. "She
told me you and Blondie and the rest are really interested in
helping me test the latest in non-lethal ordnance."
"That little..." Brie mumbled,
struggling in her slimy contracting prison. Kat leaned in and
looked Brie in the eye.
"You weren't much of a challenge,"
Kat noted, "just standing around like a deer in the headlights. Where's
your survival instinct?"
"I didn't know anything about any
tests!" Brie complained. Of course she knew perfectly well that she
wasn't going to talk her way out of this. Once this Kat caught
a mouse she never ever gave it up.
Kat ignored the protest. "Looks like
the Web Gun is working as advertised," Kat mused. "Can you move
Obligingly, Brie struggled for all
she was worth. She pushed back against the wall in an attempt to free
any of her limbs, tried to pull her arms in, her legs up. She
accomplished nothing at all. In fact, her motion seemed to spur the
goop into more rapid adhesion!
Kat nodded her approval. "It should
be getting a little tighter, but not too much," she advised.
"The theory is that if you hit someone with a web in the open, their struggling causes it to harden
"Harden?" Brie asked nervously.
"Yeah," Kat said, "See, the resin
to materials like cloth, metal, plastic. It then hardens into a solid
Don't worry about your hair. It hates Keratin... flesh too. In
the safest way to be around this stuff is totally naked.
Next time maybe, huh?"
"How long are you..." Brie was again
cut off, this time by Kat's hand across her mouth. Brie noted that the
palm and finger pads of Kat's glove were smooth, but not as slick as
the suit appeared.
"Now, since I know that your
girlfriend's and Trickster's exit access has been disabled, you and I
have a few minutes to chat... and things." Not the words Brie ever
wanted to hear from Kat!
|| of Brie's Story — Chapter 1