by Freddie Clegg & Phil Lane
© Copyright Freddie Clegg & Phil Lane 2008 All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or reposted without permission. E-mail: email@example.com Web Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freddies_tales/
Chapter 22: Extraordinary Rendition
Subject: Fifty “Rendition”
Corinne, I don’t know what the hell is going on and I want to put on my file my concerns. Whoever these people are, I can’t see that they should be able to do this. I'll accept your assurances that this is all being done legally and that it has nothing to do with the suspicions about Fifty’s activities here, but I want it to be very clear that myself and the rest of the other staff are unhappy with this situation.
To: Jo, Charlotte & The Team
Subject: Fifty “Rendition”
Jo, Here's a formal response to your concerns.
Yes, Larry and I are just as concerned as you are. It seems astonishing that the American authorities can act as if the UK was just another part of the United States, but we’ve had legal advice that this is all allowed under US Law and UK treaties. Larry’s people are using their contacts in the Government to reach someone who can tell us just what is going on and hopefully help. I will brief the whole team just as soon as I have anything to report.
Jenny's Recollections (Day 40):
I'm absolutely petrified. What on earth is going on? I'm studying stress, and this is terror.
Last night I was put back in my cell as usual after a tough shibari session with Ylena. She had been as good as her word about the Russian flag. Red, white and blue ropes, white making a sort of harness arrangement around my head; a gag and a blindfold. Blue around my body; an intricate karada. Red around my thighs, my knees and ankles. Ylena is pleased with the effect. I have the same sensations as before. I find myself totally caught up in what Ylena is doing to me, completely absorbed in the feeling that every movement is held back by the pressure of the ropes. Ylena declared herself pleased with her slooga and then I was put back in my cell.
The bars locked closed, the shutters came down, the lights went out. I climbed into bed and pulled my blanket over me. There's no point in not trying to sleep and they keep us so busy that I need the rest anyway. Sometimes, I turn over the day's events in my mind trying to make sense of it all for whatever it is that I'm going to write at the end of this. This night though, I fall asleep pretty much straight away.
I wake up. I've no idea what the time is. All I know is that it's still dark. There's some noise coming from outside the cell, voices arguing. The shutter of my cell starts to go up. Light streams underneath it. As the shutter goes up, I see the cause for the noise. There are five men, all smartly dressed; dark suits, white shirts, dark ties, crew cut hair, dark glasses. All of them are solidly built. They all seem to have one earphone, with a curl cord disappearing beneath their collars. One of them, he looks a bit older than the other - his face lined with experience, is waving a sheet of paper at Charlotte, while Jo is standing with her hand on the switch that opens the door to my cell.
“I'm glad you decided to co-operate Ma'am,” the man with the paper says, in an American accent with a tone that is both polite and clipped. Charlotte looks as though she's not happy with whatever is going on. Jo looks annoyed, as well.
One of the other men walks across to the bars of my cell and calls in to me. “We're sorry to disturb you at this time, Ma'am. Could you stand up, please?”
He holds up a chunky mobile phone towards me. He looks at the screen and looks at me and then looks at one of the other men.
One of the other men disappears only to come back a few moments later. “Here is the picture modification from Langley, Sir.” He hands the first man another mobile. The first man holds it towards me and then nods to another of the group. “That's a confirmation, Sir” he says.
Another man approaches. He holds up an official looking ID card. I can read the words Agent Elmer Black, Department of Justice.
“Jennifer Alison McEwan. You are being detained in the custody of the Authorities of the United States.”
The American continues, “We have information that you and your associates are involved in activities prejudicial the interests of the Government of the United States and you are being detained for further investigation and questioning. Legal representation will be arranged for you at an appropriate time. I'm afraid that you have to come with us.”
“But why? Where? What's going on?” I'm pretty disturbed by all this. I can feel my pulse racing and it gets no slower when I realise that each of these men has a bulge in their jacket that suggests they are carrying guns.
“I can't explain that here, Miss, I'm afraid. You’ll be aware that we are at liberty to detain any foreign national suspected of offences against the US legal code. The Agency simply asked that we arrange with the people here for you to be transferred to our facility. I'm sure that it will all be sorted out there. You will appreciate that in matters of electronic espionage and sabotage, counterterrorism and Homeland Security the Western Governments and ourselves collaborate very closely.” Charlotte and Jo are looking on, mouths open in surprise.
I'm confused. “What do you mean, counter terrorism?” I'm thinking 'Agency'? What is this, the CIA, or something?
“You have links with Russia and certain individuals suspected of involvement with electronic sabotage.”
“No.” I say “No, I don't.”
“I'm sorry, ma'am, our information is that you are married to a Joseph McEwan, who was engaged in projects around the Sea of Azov prior to his current activities in Cambodia.”
“And, you don't think that constitutes 'links with Russia’?”
“Well, no. But well, maybe, I suppose...”
“Don't worry, ma'am. I'm sure we can sort this all out.” He turns to Jo. “Open the cell doors, please,” he says. Jo shrugs and does as he asks. “Thank you Ma'am.” He beckons to me. “If you could walk this way, Ma'am.” I look at Jo. She shrugs again. There doesn't seem to be anything else for me to do. “That's very helpful Ma'am,” the older man says. The men all surge in. Two of the silent heavies grab one of my arms each. Someone else passes and fastens wide belt round my waist and my wrists are clipped to each side of the belt. It only takes moments. Someone else again pulls a leather helmet over my head and laces it firmly, the laces at the back. I am blind and dumb and helpless.
I hear Charlotte say, “Is that absolutely necessary?”
“We don't tell you how to run your operation, Ma'am. I'm sure you'll agree we're best able to assess our own security procedures and approach. We carry out a strict risk assessment for every transfer.”
They're holding me tightly, but not viciously, although it’s perfectly obvious that if I try to make a sudden move there is no chance I'll be allowed to go anywhere. I can just hear the American speaking to Jo, “The Department of Justice is very grateful for your cooperation, Ma’am. I’m sure I do not need to remind you that these events should remain confidential, and this is, of course, covered by the provisions of your own Government’s Official Secrets Act.”
I am marched out of my cell, one of the heavies on each side, up to the ground floor and outside. There is the sensation of cold air on my naked flesh as we go outside and I'm lifted into some sort of van. My hands are re-cuffed to one of the seats, doors slam and the car sets off. The whole incident has taken hardly any time at all.
I've no idea how long we drive for. It's hot and stuffy with the hood still over my head. Neither of the men touch me at all, but I'm wedged between them.
Now, we're going quite fast, at a steady speed and on a relatively smooth road. It must be a motorway or a dual carriageway; we don't slow down or turn sharply for quite a while. Then, we're on to stopping, starting, turning and bumping again. And then, we stop.
There's the slamming of car doors. I'm expecting to be pulled out of wherever I am but nothing happens for quite a while. They've forgotten me! Of course it's a ridiculous thought, but then, it's a crazy situation. Then there's a clunk, cold air on my flesh again and my hands are released from the seat, clipped once more to the belt and I am out of the van still with the hood over my head.
“Mind your feet, Ma'am,” a voice says. “There's gravel here for few yards till we get to the Facility.” The gravel is sharp under my feet, but it’s only a few steps until I'm on stone and then through a door inside somewhere and there's wood or some warm surface beneath my feet.
I'm gripped by the arms again and hustled along again for a way, still with the hood over my head. Eventually, two sets of hands take me and I'm put down on the floor. Except, it's not the floor, I'm kneeling on cold metal bars. They push me forward from behind. There's a clang and a click. I try to move. My back and head bang against bars above me. I try to twist around and my shoulder hits against metal as well. My wrists are dragged behind my back and fastened together. My ankles cuffs are fastened too. The hood is unlaced, unstrapped and pulled off my head. I can see that I've been pushed into a tiny cage, not high enough for me to sit up in, not wide enough to let me turn around. There's a heavy padlock on the door. Even if I can get my wrists free from my cuffs, I couldn't get out of the cage. I'm in a dimly lit room. Two of the dark suited men that took me from Inward Bound, (or I suppose two other identically dressed men, how can I tell?) are standing looking down at me. One of them lifts his hand and gives a circling wave. I feel the cage start to move. In no time, it's ten or twelve feet off the ground, spinning slowly on a chain somewhere above my head. As the cage spins, I watch the men leave and I see that there are four other cages hanging from the ceiling of the room. What have I got into?
I'm in the cage for what seems like a lifetime. The bars are cutting into my knees, I cannot really get my feet into a position where they can help support me. I am cramped and cannot straighten out without banging into the bars. If I do try to move, the cage starts to swing.
The next development gives me no comfort, either. Suddenly, the room is filled with light as lamps set into the ceiling inches above my head come on. It's dazzling; they're hot. At the far end of the room the door opens and in strides the most daunting looking woman. My first sight of her makes me catch my breath. She's dressed as conservatively as the men, dark suit, white blouse, sunglasses. I can see that she's black, darker even than the picture of Diallo Ramatoulaye that Gerry had, or so it seems in the harsh light. She strides down the room getting closer to me all the time. Predatory. In charge.
The woman approaches my cage, takes off her shades and peers up at me. She turns and clicks her fingers. I feel my cage start to lower, going down until she is looking me straight in the eye. She smiles, but I don't sense any warmth. Her teeth are as white as her blouse. She reaches out and prods the cage, watching as I spin in front of her.
“Hmmm. Interesting,” she's says, peering at me. “We're going to have a real interesting talk about you and how your friends in Russia are these days and what they are up to.”
I have no idea who she is or what she is talking about. “I don't know anything about this,” I say, “I've never been to Russia. I’ve got no Russian friends. Sure, my husband worked out there for a while, but he hasn't got anything to do with the Russians beyond that. He was just part of trying to fix some of their water problems. That’s the only thing he has to do with the Russians.”
“No, of course. We know that. This isn't about him.”
“Oh,” I say, “but your people said...”
She shakes her head. “No, it’s not about him. It’s about you.”
I'm about to say something, but she carries straight on. “Now, don't interrupt Connie,” she says. It’s the closest she gets to introducing herself. She takes a final look at me. “We'll meet again soon. Don't worry, we'll have a long talk,” she says. I'm worried. And scared.
Connie turns on her heels and strides back towards the door, her heels tapping their way across the room. The lights go off. This time, it's pitch black.
By the time they come on again, hours have passed and this time the dark suited men come back. My cage is lowered onto a trolley. They disconnect it from the chain that has held me aloft and I'm wheeled off, still in my cage. I'm rolled into a small room, one of the men unfastens the padlock on the door of my cage, the other helps pull me out. I'm so stiff that I sprawl on the floor at their feet.
“You'll get used to it, kid,” one of the men says.
“No, she won't,” says the other, with a laugh.
I start to get some feeling back in my limbs, but all I can do is to stretch out on the floor. I'm groaning with discomfort, but my distress doesn't seem to disturb them. I'm worried that they think I'm going to be here long enough to actually get used to it and I still don't understand why I'm here.
I get the chance to learn more when Connie comes in. She's wearing black trousers, a white shirt and a tight black waistcoat that fits under her bust. All I can do is stare up at her as she strides into the room. Her whole presence radiates power. She turns to one of the men. “Can she stand?”
He shrugs, reaches down and unfastens my ankle cuffs. He steps back without helping me further. It's pretty obvious I'm going to have to do it on my own. I wriggle round and manage to get onto my knees. My thighs and calves are aching, stiff from being confined in the cage. My knees are grazed from the bars of the cage and my shoulders are bruised and scraped, too. Connie watches as I carry on trying to get up. It's not easy at the best of times with your hands locked behind your back, but I manage it. I'm not too steady on my feet and lurch over against the wall.
Connie seems impressed. “Not bad,” she says. She takes a good look at me, turning me this way and that. “All right. She's not in too bad shape. Get her showered, clean up those grazes and scrapes. I want an assessment on my desk by the end of the morning. OK?”
“Sure,” says the taller of the two men quietly. Connie is obviously in charge here.
“Any difficulties with the collection?” Connie says.
“No. The people there were perfectly cooperative. They were quite happy with the paper work.”
Connie nods and goes, leaving me with the two men. One of them helps me to straighten up, warning me to keep quiet. I try to ask them why I've been brought here, what is to happen to me. They ignore my questions, telling me to shut up if I don't want my mouth strapped shut again. I take their advice.
They hustle me away to a shower block and then to see a medic who looks me over, dabs my cuts and grazes with antiseptic and then declares me fit. She gives me a sort of orange robe, a bit like a hospital theatre gown. It has a badge saying “Detainee”. I put it on feeling strange, it’s the first clothing I've worn for a long time. It all feels a bit like when I first arrived at the Inward Bound Centre, but this time it's all more brutal, more matter-of-fact, like I'm on some sort of production line!
I'm taken back to see Connie again, this time in her office. As I'm brought by one of the heavies in suits there's another girl – her secretary, I guess - giving her a folder. It looks like some I've seen in the offices at Inward Bound. Connie doesn't look at me, she just goes on studying the folder.
“Well,” she says, “this is interesting. It's not often I get to deal with someone that has actually signed up for slavery.” She looks up. “That presents us with an opportunity. Sometimes, it can be a bit of a problem, what to do when we've finished these interrogation sessions. There's too much focus on some of the Agency's detention facilities now. I'm going to need some advice. Depending on what comes out of these discussions, maybe when we've finish we can just extend this contract,” she pulls out a copy of the form that I signed when applying for the Inward Bound course, “or maybe we can sell you on somewhere. Save us all the embarrassment? Unless, of course, we have got this completely wrong and you can – well – go back.”
I'm confused. My emotions are swinging between abject terror and blinding anger. Who are these people and why do they think that the Inward Bound agreement gives them any rights over me? I think back to when I first got to Inward Bound, and Anna joking suggested that they should sell me. Surely, they didn't mean that sort of thing seriously goes on?
“Excuse me, but what right has anyone from the United States to come and arrest me and start threatening me with prosecution?” I say.
“I think we'll do me asking the questions,” Connie responds. “But to put your mind at rest, I’ll tell you just exactly how. First, thanks to your Extradition Act 2003, our people merely have to make an extradition request and off you go. No court hearing in the UK needed anymore. Second, as one of the people from our Department of Justice pointed out to some people from your Court of Appeal, if a suspect is apprehended abroad and returned Stateside, you go straight to jail pending trial and your kidnap in the UK cuts no ice with our Judiciary. You’re a suspect and my colleagues and I are intending see you safe behind bars as soon as possible. OK?”
Connie’s explanation of the state of the world leaves me gasping at the arrogance of it and terrified at the extent of my predicament. She nods at my escort. He grips me by the arm and forces me to the floor until I'm lying sprawled flat out in front of Connie's desk. He grabs the back of my head and pushes it around until my face is pressed against the wooden floor. He spreads my arms out so that my hands are in front of my head, palms down. He kicks my ankles apart, spreading my legs. “Thanks,” says Connie. “That'll do for now.”
I hear the suit leave, shutting the door behind him, and then I hear Connie's chair scrape on the floor as she pushes it back. There's the tap of heels on the wooden floor as she walks around from behind her desk. I don't dare look up. From the corner of my eye with my face pressed against the floor, I can just see the tip of the toe of one of Connie's shoes. “Now let's talk about your travels on the internet and what you do at the orders of your boss and especially what you do for one Anatoly Kustensky,” she says.
“I don’t go on the internet, at least anywhere you would be interested in.”
“I have just explained the seriousness of your present situation.” Connie's heels tap on the wooden floor as she moves away from my head. “You'll really have to pay attention.” I feel something hard running up the inside of my thigh, like a stick or – Oh no! I realise what it feels like – one of Ylena's canes. The stick flicks at my robe, I feel it fall open behind me exposing my buttocks.
"Now listen to Connie and answer my questions. Tell me about your friends, the friends who ask you to hack our Department’s intranet.”
“I told you I have never been to your site. Anyway, I couldn’t hack anything, I’m no computer specialist.”
“Try again.” Connie's tone is becoming irritated, but I don't know what I can say.
“It’s the truth, I haven't.”
“I'll help you,” Connie says. “Tell me about Anatoly Kustensky”
“Who? No, I've never heard of him.”
“Well, what about this man? What did he ask you to do?” Connie stoops down and puts a picture on the floor beside me.
“Nothing. I have never seen him either”
“Well, I’m getting impatient because I know for a fact you see him quite often. Think carefully: twenty-five years without parole is a long time …”
“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, but I have never seen him. “
“Tell me about your boss.”
“Just how many bosses do you have?”
“Just the one.” I’m starting to get confused. “Professor Dawney - she is the supervisor for my thesis.”
“What about Kustensky?”
“I told you, I don’t know him.”
“I have to disagree, Mrs Jennifer McEwan. And, it’s going to be a long time before you see Mr. McEwan if these answers don’t get a lot more honest, because we both know that you and Professor Dawney used to share a bed and she was not pleased when you left to become Mrs. McEwan.”
“How do you know that?”
“It’s our job to know.”
“Well, yes but that was three years ago and ... “
“And, you continue to see her.“
“But, I can’t get out of it. I work for her.”
“Does Joe know about the two of you?”
“No, I well, he …”
“Do you love him?”
“Yes, of course. What’s that got to do with anything?”
She ignores my question. “But, not enough to be honest?”
“Yes, well no, well it was over between Angela and me and … “
Connie walks back towards my head, the tip of her stick trailing along my side as she does so. I'm terrified that she's about to lose her temper and start hitting me.
“With Prof? Yes, I’m supposed to.”
“So, you and your lover collaborated to keep your husband ignorant of your affair? And, what else did this extend to?” She's standing by my head again. She rests one of her feet lightly on the back of my hand. There's no pressure, but it feels if she shifted her weight by the slightest amount she could punch right through it with the heel of her shoe.
“Nothing. Nothing at all. I meant she collaborated with me on my project, that was all.”
“And, back in your bedroom?”
“In your bedroom. Was that 'psychological research' that went on there?”
“Nothing went on in my bedroom. She never came to my flat.” She's touching the back of my neck with her cane now.
“Oh, so you used to go to hers?”
“No. I told you there was nothing like that. Besides, I am now in another relationship.”
“We know. With Professor Dawney.”
“No, with Joe, my husband.”
“Did you find it easy, sharing?”
“Sharing! What on earth are you talking about?”
“You, Professor Dawney, and Joe. Very liberal minded, very intellectual.”
“No, it wasn't like that; it wasn't. I don't know anything about this. None of it is true!”
"And, what about him?" Connie taps the picture again, gently with the tip of her cane but her very gentleness seems so dangerous. "You didn't meet Anatoly Kustensky with Professor Dawney?”
I hear the tap of Connie's heels on the floor. She's returning to her desk.
“You can get up now,” she says.
As I scramble to my feet, I see her press a button. One of the suits appears.
“I've finished with her for now,” Connie says, without another word to me. “Put her back in her accommodation for now. And, see that she's safe.”
He takes me downstairs in the building to a large bare room. He puts me in one of what they call the accommodation cages – they're bigger than the cage I was put in first of all and made of wire mesh rather than heavy bars. 'Seeing that she's safe' means 'cuff her hands, so she can't get up to anything and strap this gag on her so she can’t call out.' There's enough space in the cage so that I can sit up and move around a bit. There are eight cages in this room lined up along the walls, four along one wall, four along the other. A solid partition separates each cage from its neighbours. All the other cages are empty. Each of the cages has a water bottle with a tube sticking through the bars. I could get a drink if it wasn’t for the gag.
I'm still only wearing my orange “Detainee” robe, but at least they haven't chained my ankles. I've been here about an hour when Connie's secretary turns up. Her English voice is so calm and matter of fact it sounds bizarre in these terrifying surroundings.
“Oh, I hope you're all right in there. It looks like you have enough room. Connie said to check. She likes to make sure things are done just so. Anyway, she says she wants me to take you down to her. She wants to have another chat.”
I don't like the sound of this. You hear all sorts of things about what goes on in these sort of places, but there's nothing I can do as she opens the cage and helps me out.
“Anyway come along,” she says in a friendly tone. “I'll take you over there, if you like.”
I'm not sure I do like, but with my wrists cuffed behind me I can't really object as she leads me out of the office.
The room she takes me to looks like a gymnasium. Wooden bars line the walls to either side. Mirrors cover the walls at either end of the room. Connie is there waiting for me; she straps a leather blindfold across my face and I am manoeuvred into the middle of the room. My feet are pushed apart and there is the sound of furniture scraping across the floor.
What feels like a plank is passed narrow side up between my legs. It brushes my labia. I have to raise just off my heels to avoid it. Various clicking noises follow. A strap is attached to the front of my collar and one behind. I cannot move either forwards or back. My ankles are loosely re-joined beneath the plank. I wince as someone spreads a cold jelly across my pussy.
Connie speaks again. “Well Ms Jenny. We can do this the hard way or the easy way. Easy is where you just tell us what you are up to? Huh? Hard is …” She pushes me down onto the top of the plank, which is rounded and smooth and at once there is a biting feeling in my labia. It's as if I have run my tongue across the contacts of a battery, but worse because it was so unexpected. I jump back onto my toes.
Connie continues. “Hard, is your legs get tired and you sink down onto the pony and the pony gives you a bite. Up you go, back onto your toes and then you get tired and down you go and you get bitten again, maybe harder this time. Up you go again, but not for so long because your legs are getting so tired and maybe starting to cramp and down you go and BITE! Up you go and then you really start to ride, baby! Up, down, up, down, riding the pain from your muscles and the pain from your clit. Now, I can tell you don’t believe me, do you? Well, let's give you a chance to do some thinking.”
I want to call out, 'No stop, there's nothing more for me to tell you.'
Connie calls out to the others there, “Boys, leave her gag and blindfold on. I don't want her to have any distractions! You, young lady, I'll give you oh, an hour – or maybe two. Enjoy!”
It all happens just as Connie said it would: my calves tire, I sink down, I feel the electric shock from the “pony” as she called it, I rise again to my toes and I am eventually forced through tiredness to sink down. Soon, I am sweating and writhing on the plank and mewing and crying and then someone comes: the electricity is turned off, the gag is unstrapped and my blindfold is removed.
Connie is there, sitting in a chair. She looks up. “Well?”
“I’m sorry,” I cry.
“Sorry for what?”
“Sorry for, I don’t know, for not telling you what you want to know.”
“We only want to know the truth.”
“Please, I want to tell you the truth.”
“The truth about what?”
“Why I went to Inward Bound, the truth about that, then you'll see there's nothing else in this.”
Connie leans forward, “So, why did you go?”
“Well, ... well....”
“Baby, I haven’t got all day. Do you want more thinking time?”
“No, no please. Look, I wanted to do the things Joe and I never do and Angela had this idea.”
“Joe and Angela, huh? Joe is an engineer isn’t he?”
“What does he do – exactly.”
“I don’t know, exactly.”
“Don’t know exactly? Wrong answer.” Connie gets up and leaves the room. I try to call her back, but she ignores me. I had not noticed, but the plank of the pony had been lowered by one of the Heavies, so I could stand. He raises it back up. Ahead, I can see a green LED. It changes to red and the pony bites. I’m straight back up on my toes but really struggling to stay up. The red light fades to green. I sink down. Now it's just my labia crushed against the plank. It’s a faint relief. Suddenly, the LED is red again and I’ve been bitten, hard. I’m right up on my toes again … and so it goes on. I’m working between the inescapable tiredness in my legs, and the cycling of the current and just crushing myself on the plank. Tears begin to flow again. I’m really pouring perspiration and feeling very thirsty all at the same time.
Then, Connie comes back and relief comes, of a sort. “You were saying?”
“I, I don’t really know what Joe does. Not really. Not exactly.”
“Don’t know, or don’t want to know?”
“Jenny, do you know how much of a threat cyber terrorism is to the economy of the United States and Europe? Especially, state-sponsored cyber terrorism. Do you realise how much of a threat to the financial markets identity theft is? No. You don’t, do you? Not surprising, I guess, given that your own government can’t keep its own data safe! Do you know what we think?”
I silently shake my head.
“We think that you were recruited by your professor, or the man in the photograph, maybe. We think this gives you access to the academic networks to get cyber attacks out into the wider web. Blackmail a legitimate business by threatening to shut down its website or its accountancy or its billing software. You collaborated, because you did not want Joe to find out about you and Angela. You can’t be honest about your sexuality and you can’t stand up to Angela’s blackmail either."
I am silently shaking my head, tears in my eyes, spilling down over my cheeks.
Connie stares at me and sighs. “And, unless I start to get some honest answers, you are going to jail for years and years and years. No plea bargaining with felons who won’t face up to what they have done. Nope. Just years in jail. Don’t suppose Joe will still be around for you when you get out, will he? I mean twenty-five years is a long time to wait for someone who can’t be honest.”
And all the time, I am shaking my head and silently crying.
They take me off the pony; I am given water and then they put the gag back. They all leave. The door is locked. I am alone. Shaking. Sprawled on the floor, still blindfolded. Crying silently. Governments can’t let this happen to their own people, can they? Can they?
Chapter 23: An Uncertain Future
Inward Bound Files
From: Jo & Charlotte
Jo and I are writing this because of our continuing concerns over the recent incident with Jenny McEwan. While you may have received reassurances from the US authorities or whoever it is that this is all being done legally, we are both concerned that this organisation owes a duty of care to McEwan. We should be actively trying to either gain her release or be confident that these people have acted completely within the law.
It seems to us that we should take some legal advice on this matter because of our own involvement in McEwan's presence here. Have you had any contact with the Foreign Office, the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice or whoever this might come under that can give us any comfort on this? Should we as an organisation be trying to contact someone else that could help such as Liberty or Amnesty International or one of those other human rights organisations? Maybe even the media?
Corinne, we both think that we ought to be doing something about this and other members of staff are pretty worried, too, about one of the guests going missing on their watch.
Memo - Confidential
To: Jo & Charlotte
You are right, of course. I’m concerned about Jenny too and worried about our exposure. There’s no need to involve any other agencies. Larry tells me that his contacts say that there should be a rapid resolution. Give it a couple of days and I should get some more details. We can discuss it then.
Larry, the whole business with Jenny McEwan is really upsetting things here. People are worried both about McEwan and their own position. I really need to be able to say something reassuring about what's going on and I can't go on saying “Larry’s contacts say it’s going to be all right”. Even if people believe it then there aren’t many that would be easy with the Americans being able to carry on like this inside our country.
I really need to be able to give them some practical comfort, or you need to get McEwan back here within the next day or two, at most.
To: Freddie & Elly
By way of an update, see the copy of the attached from Corinne at Inward Bound. As you can see she's pretty concerned about her ability to keep the lid on things there. I'll talk to Connie and make sure she pushes on as quickly as she can. If we can make up our minds about McEwan quickly, then I think we can contain things. I really don't want a situation in which the Inward Bound folk suddenly discover a desire to chat to the media. The alternative is that we have to come up with some sort of alternative cover story for what we're up to and I don't want to start improvising at short notice. I'll go see Corinne and the team and reassure them.
Jenny’s Recollections (Day 40):
They take me from the gymnasium and put me back in my cage. I sleep fitfully. Sometimes I'd wake and I'd be aware of someone in the room watching me.
Daylight comes. They feed me. A dish of cereal and fruit pushed into my cage and then I'm left alone. Someone comes to check my water bottle and refills it. I'm left alone again. I'm still the only one here; still in my orange robe with the badge, “Detainee”. They let me out of my cage to use the toilet but they put me back in straight away. No one wants to talk to me. No one will tell me how long they intend to keep me here. Then there's more food.
It's later. Connie's secretary appears, looking slightly flustered.
“Oh, good you are here. I was sure you would be.”
I'm thinking, where else would I be?
“Anyhow, Connie wants to see you again.”
She sees the look of fear in my eyes as I back away in my cage as far from her as I can get.
“No, it's all right. She doesn't want to question you. I think they've done what they need to here. Why don't you come with me?”
Done what they want? But do they believe me? Are they just going to send me away somewhere? I am relieved that there may be no more questions and sick at what might happen now and the anxiety of just not knowing. Gingerly, warily, I climb out of the cage. Connie's secretary fastens my wrists behind me, clips a leash to my collar and leads me out of the room. She chatters away as we walk down the corridor. I'm wanting to ask her what this is all about but I don't get the chance to break in to her constant stream of talk.
“You'll find Connie very helpful. She's ever so good with all the detainees ... She works too hard really but she doesn't listen to me.... I suppose she really likes what she's doing. Well, you'd have to wouldn't you? Otherwise you wouldn't put up with it. And she's on call 24x7. I mean take you, turning up here at two in the morning. Of course she knew you were coming but you can't ever be sure what time Harry's people are going to arrive. Anyway, here we are, this is Connie's play room...”
Play room??? Now I am worried.
The room she shows me into has echoes of the one in which I first encountered Ylena. There's the same rather plush, comfortable feeling although this one has more of a Middle Eastern or Moorish feel to it. There's also the same disturbing array of paddles, floggers and whips in racks on the wall plus a lot of other stuff that makes one wall look like a display cabinet in the store that supplied the members of the Spanish Inquisition. My escort sees the look of shock on my face at the array of 'toys'.
“Now, don't you worry,” she says, “I'm sure that Connie will go easy on you, at first. She's not had such a bad day, today and you're new, of course. Well as long as you didn't upset her when she was questioning you. You didn't, did you? Sometimes, though, I wouldn't want to be in here for anything! Goodness you'd be surprised how irritable she can get. Takes it out on anyone that gets in her way. Now, I wonder how she'd like you?”
In my mind, I'm begging this woman to chain me up and go away, anything to escape from the constant chatter. Eventually she comes to a conclusion.
“This will do it.”
She guides me towards a wooden pillory at one end of the room. She unfastens my wrists from behind me and strips off my robe. She positions me at the pillory and slides the wooden bar down fixing my neck and wrists in place. I'm standing, bent slightly forward, with my hands at shoulder level. The woman takes two lengths of chain and fastens them around my ankles. She pulls the chains through rings on either side of the base of the pillory until my legs are spread widely apart as far as they will go.
“That should do.”
The chain is taut and I'm standing almost immobile.
“I'll let Connie know you're here. I'm sure you won't have to wait long.”
There's no rush, I think, but before I can say she's gone, leaving me alone in Connie's play room. I don't know what I'm expecting next. Right now I'm feeling strange. It's almost unreal; as if I've been dropped into some bizarre fetish novel. I'd pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming if I could only get my hands out of the pillory.
Given my state of confusion I'm not sure how I expect Connie to look when she comes in to the playroom. As it is she turns up dressed just as she was in the office. I'm almost disappointed but she still exudes a sexual power. In spite of my being drawn to her erotic charge. I try to protest. “What is all this? I answered your questions. I've nothing more to say.”
“Don't be silly,” she replies, softly reassuring, as if sensing my true feelings. “That was work, this is play.” She looks across at me. “Oh, good,” she's says. “I can always rely on Sarah. That's just right. Mmm, we're going to have such fun.”
Somehow, I think that the fun might be a bit one sided. Connie stands quite close to me.
“I get so tense after a long day,” she says. “It's a real treat to be able to unwind in here.”
She unfastens the waist band of her trousers and steps out of them, unfastens her waistcoat and slips that off. She unbuttons her blouse. I'm drawn to her every move, each action is performed with the deliberate, sensuousness of a wild animal. Some sort of cat, I decide. A panther, I suppose.
“They did a lot of work on you, didn't they?” she asks, reaching out and tugging gently on one of my nipple rings. “You didn't have these before you went to Inward Bound did you? Or,” she grips my nose ring, “this.”
“No, Mistress,” I say, almost surprising myself by calling her that. I don't know why I fall so easily under her spell. This must be outside any standing orders that she, or her agency had. They can't treat detainees like this. It must be covered by the Geneva Convention or something. It's barbaric, but I don't object.
“Very good,” smiles Connie, “at least you've learned some basic manners.”
She's looking straight into my eyes - I can't look away from her hypnotic stare. She moves behind me and runs her hand, slowly down from my neck, and the other down between my breasts, across my belly and down to my sex. By the time it reaches between my thighs to part my cunt, I'm lost. I don't try to fight her as she strokes the soft flesh. To my shame I find myself pushing forward as she moves her hand away.
“And not just manners, I see,” Connie grins. “Look at this, here!”
I feel her touching my buttocks. I know I still carry the marks of Ylena's last beating.
“This was done by someone that knows what they were doing, and you took it too, didn't you? Evenly spaced strokes, absolutely parallel. You weren't struggling, were you?”
It never occurred to me that I'd be betrayed by the marks of Ylena's cane, but it was true. “No, Mistress,” I say remembering how I'd lain so still, desperate for each successive blow.
“This is very good work.” I feel a single finger tracing the line of one of my weals. “In fact I think .... “
She breaks off as if she's decided on something. She goes across to one of the racks on the wall, I'm worried that what she's decided is what she's going to do with me.
“I shan't beat you,” she says over her shoulder. “It would be a shame to add to that pattern. Like painting on another artist's canvas.”
It's only as she turns back towards me that I realise what she is going to do. She's smiling, licking her lips in anticipation. Her white blouse is hanging open, her white bra draws my eyes to the dark chasm of her cleavage. But then my glance travels down to the great white phallus she has strapped on with a harness about her hips. “But that doesn't mean there aren't other things we can do with that pretty little bottom.”
“Nnooo!” I say, recalling the confused mix of discomfort and pleasure when Ylena had penetrated me there, “no, please don't ... “
“Ah, don't be reticent, little one” exclaims Connie, “it's so good to feel filled. But, just in case you feel a little distress, we'll use one of these."
She picks up something from the rack and advances towards me. It's a ring gag. I've seen them before but the Inward Bound people haven't used one on me. I'm shaking my head as Connie reaches me, but she's is not to be denied. She pushes the ring into my mouth and twists it somehow, so that my mouth is stretched wide open. I give a strangled “Gnnng” noise. She fastens the strap at the back of my head and from behind me I feel her stroking my back and buttocks.
“There.” You can cry out all you like. I so like the sound you'll make with this. Lose yourself, little one, lose yourself.”
She slowly wipes some tingly lubricant across my anal bud and, as she begins to press the dildo against the cheeks of my arse, I can make only a whimper but I know I'm already losing myself to this woman. I feel the dildo press inside me, filling me more than the probe that Ylena used on me. Connie's belly is warm against my back, the cool silk of her unbuttoned blouse, brushing against me as she leans forward.
“Cry for me, little one. Learn to do your best for Connie,” she whispers as she presses herself close, pushing the dildo home. She reaches around to my tits, pinching and pulling at them. I'm dribbling around the ring gag. She pulls and then presses forward again, sliding the dildo inside me. I gasp at each thrust.
It's much later, I've been taken back to my cage, but now they wake me up. Connie wants to talk to me again. I'm taken to her office. This time, it's all much more relaxed. She's sitting behind her desk. I'm even allowed to sit, my naked backside cold against the stiff leather of the seat that faces her. She doesn't mention our earlier encounter. I'm staring at her as she sits, composed and relaxed.
“Now, let's have a conversation about you and the Russians.” Connie has evidently decided that continuing down the track of pressing me about Angela isn't going anywhere.
“I don't now any Russians.” I can't imagine that I'm going to be any more help to her than I have been so far.
“Curious, given that Professor Dawney is so cosy with them.”
That's true, at least. She's always off to conferences in St Petersburg, or Moscow. “She never involved me with any of her meetings.”
“Not even in the UK? She didn't get you to 'entertain' any of her Russian contacts when they were over here?”
“No!” I exclaim indignantly, although it's quite the sort of thing she might have done if she'd thought of it. “I've told you I don't know any Russians.”
“How about this man?” She pushes a photograph towards me. It’s the same photograph she showed me before.
I look at it closely. He looks familiar but I don't remember meeting him. I shake my head. “I already told you, no. I might have seen him around the university but I don't recall meeting him. Ever. Who is he?”
“But, this is someone you see often!”
"He stands next to your Prof in the photograph on her desk. The photograph that’s been there for months. You are supposed be observant. You see, that sort of mistake makes me think you know exactly who Anatoly Kustensky is.”
It means nothing to me. I remember the photograph on Angela’s desk but I don’t remember seeing this man in it. He could have been there but I really don’t remember. I shake my head.
Connie takes back the photograph and puts it on the desk. “Do you know, I would like to believe you, but it just does not wash. At some stage you are going to have to come clean about what you have been doing for him. Either now or after we ship you to our secure facility at Guantanamo, Cuba. You must have heard of it. It’s that little tropical paradise that the press and those lefty liberals reckon is some kind of hell on earth. And by the way, it can take quite a while for your case to come to trial while you rot away there. And that’s before you start your sentence.”
Not surprisingly I’m sick with worry as I am taken back to my cage.
Another night passes. I sleep fitfully on the floor of the cage. All at once, the lights come on. Connie marches into the room, followed by a small posse of her secretary and two heavies. Whenever she appears, there is no doubt just who is in charge. It's as if she distorts the fabric of space-time by the sheer gravitational energy of her personality.
I am in still waking up. She gazes through the bars of my cage at me, then crouches down, her face a few inches from my own. I can feel my heart sinking. What else can they want from me? What else are they going to do?
“Well, Miss Fifty, I have some good news and some not so good news. Langley has decided you might be clean after all. That’s the good news. What do you think of that?”
A very small voice comes out of me, “Can I go home now? Please?”
“Well, can I go back to Inward Bound?”
“Well, maybe, that's the not so good news. You see, we might not have enough to take to Court but we have enough to make us very anxious and we just don’t feel easy about sending you back into the arms of Angela and Alexander. Then again, people are so critical of the work we do. So, we can’t just let you go and blab to the first newspaper you happen across, can we? They might not appreciate how important our work is here, mightn't they?”
I am shaking my head, the fear returning.
“No, they won't. So, what's to do, Huh?”
“Please, let me go back to Inward Bound. I'll sign anything you want. I'll keep your secret. Why not?”
“Oh, only a dozen or so reasons,” Connie smiles. “But maybe,” I don't get the impression that she's seriously considering it. “There are the other options we talked about though. Remember? Extending your contract? Finding a buyer? We know people that could put you right away from anyone you ever knew. That might be better than some of the other options. Decisions, decisions, decisions, just what to do...”
Connie’s speech has left me feeling as if I am going to wretch. “You're joking! You must be joking.”
Connie turns to her secretary. “Where are our friends with their next catalogue?” Connie asks her.
“I spoke to them this morning. Their sale is in two week's time, Ma'am,” she replies. “The catalogues have already gone out. They can put out a supplement, if you wanted to include this as one of the lots.”
'Sale' – maybe they are serious. 'Lots' – you can't talk about people as 'Lots', but they do. 'This' – she says, 'This.' Shouldn't it be 'Her'? I mean not that I'm encouraging them of course, but 'This'!
Connie looks pensive for a moment and then makes a decision. “Arrange for her to be appraised and valued. Get the details entered up and we'll decide in a day or so.”
What the hell is 'appraised'? Appraised is what I used to get by my head of department. These people may use perfectly ordinary language but somehow I don't think they're going to be giving me points for “problem solving ability” or “leadership skills”.
“Of course, Ma'am. One of their valuers said he could come out, if we wanted.” she responds.
Connie turns to me. She motions to two of the ever present heavies. “Give her some better accommodation. See she's fit and rested by the time the valuer turns up. I'd like to see whatever they have to say then. Clear?”
“Yes, Ma’am,” replies one of the Heavies. He has come into my cage and is taking my arm, half lifting me as he steers me towards the door.
Connie calls after us. “And, tell that valuer we aren't looking for his usual bargain basement price here. If we've got the inconvenience of having this young lady around at least we might make a few dollars on the exercise.”
This time I am taken to a new cell which has a mattress of sorts and two metal bowls on the floor, one with water and one with more muesli and water. They must use the same cook book as they do at Inward Bound. My hands are free now and I can bend over the bowls to eat and drink and at last I am left alone to sleep ….
After the cage and the hard bed at Inward Bound the mattress is almost too soft but I'm soon asleep. When I wake I feel better than I have for some time. I can get up and move around; stretch my limbs, yawn and scratch without anyone looking in on me. It's a few moment's bliss but then I remember why I'm here in these 'luxurious' surroundings. They can't really be planning to sell me can they? That sort of thing doesn't go on does it? And, even if it does, a government agency couldn't be party to it. Could it?
There's the sound of a key in the lock of the door to the cell. I look up from my mattress as the door swings open with a crash. One of the heavies is standing in the doorway.
“On your feet,” he says and stands back without waiting for a response to let a tall, quite heavily built man into the cell. He looks about forty-five with shortish curly hair. He's wearing a sports jacket over an open neck shirt and jeans.
“Is this the one?” he asks. The heavy nods. “Hmm, not too bad at first glance, I suppose. I mean, normally, we like them a little younger, but there's sometimes a buyer for something a little more mature.”
His whole attitude is like he's looking over a car in a showroom. Whatever the appalling reality of the situation; that annoys me. Mature! I mean, for fuck's sake, I'm only 28! I tell him so.
He's not pleased with my reaction and turns to the heavy. “I thought you said she'd been through training.”
The heavy shrugs. “I can cuff her if you like. There's a gag around here somewhere, too, if that's needed.”
“Let's wait and see. Listen young lady,” - he turns back to me - “in our business almost anything past twenty counts as 'mature' so I wouldn't get too upset. Now, put your hands on your head, stand still and if you don't want to spend the rest of the day chewing on a two inch rubber ball, I suggest that you find a way of restraining that nicely pierced tongue of yours.”
I'm startled by his blunt approach and quickly do as he says.
“Better,” he says. He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a small hand held computer. He pulls a stylus from the side and taps the screen a few times, peers at it, and mutters “fucking technology” under his breath. He walks up to me and starts examining me, jotting down notes every few moments. He checks the movement of my arms and neck, opens my mouth and prods around inside it, feels my breasts and belly, stretches a rubber glove onto his hand and prods a finger into my vagina; all without comment. He waves for me to turn around. I feel his hands running across my shoulders and back down and around my waist, he feels my buttocks, and runs his hands over my thighs and calves. “Well, physically all right, I suppose, nothing special but fit enough. Tits aren't too bad, buttocks neat enough. Nice tight arse; that will be popular.” He's chatting away to the heavy as he examines me, making notes on his PDA. “Not sure about the shaved head; some folk like that, but it's better if they get to make the choice after they've seen what the lot looks like with their hair on. And that tattoo! Not my style but pretty dramatic. It'll have some appeal, but it needs finishing off.” Yes, I'm thinking, let me go back to Jonathan, he can do it. “She's quite intelligent, I understand. That may be a drawback of course, sometimes it means they learn quickly, mostly it just makes them stubborn. Don't kid yourself,” he says to me, “most of our buyers aren't looking for Scherazade, they're happy with a warm cunt that knows when to shut up.”
He makes some more notes on his PDA prodding at it with his stylus. He sees the scar on my forearm. “She's been chipped? Oh that's handy.” He waves the PDA over the scar. “OK, well she's on the register. Consensual, I see, but we won't let that worry us, will we?”
“Please,” I beg, “tell me this isn't happening. Tell me it's all some sort of joke.”
“It depends on your sense of humour, I suppose,” the man says with a smile. He turns back to the heavy. “I'll need to talk to your boss,” he says. “It's a bit hard to predict a price for a lot like this. I'm guessing though that the price isn't significant, you'll just be looking to move her on, so we won't bother with a reserve. Maybe you want to put a restriction on which territories she can be taken to and we need to know if it’s you or the buyer that's providing transport. Do you know?”
The heavy looks blank, like he'd just been asked to explain Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
“I guess not,” the man goes on. “I'll talk to your boss. Can you get some photos of her. Usual thing; full face, both profiles, full height front and back; close up on labia and arse bud; better do one of that tattoo as well.”
The heavy manages to understand this. He nods.
“Otherwise, I’m finished. Thank you very much young lady. Hope to see you in the Sale Room.”
The man closes his PDA, tucks the stylus back in its case and returns it to his jacket pocket. He smiles and nods.
The two of them leave me locked in the cell; I'm more terrified than ever before.
It's late when Connie comes to my cell. She looks like she's been in her playroom, I'm glad it wasn't me she's been playing with. She's wearing a skin-tight leather cat suit, zipped open at the front almost to her waist, ankle top boots in the same white leather. Her skin by contrast seems jet black; it’s glistening slightly from the sweat of her exertions. I watch fascinated as a drop of moisture forms close to her neck and runs slowly down, diving into the crevice between her breasts. I'm almost compelled to lean forward and kiss each bead of sweat from her body.
She knows the effect that her appearance has on me. She doesn't comment or try to do anything to make it easier for me. She squats down at the foot of the mattress and smiles across at me. “I'm aware,” she purrs, in a voice smooth with the relaxation that only sexual pleasure can bring, “that we haven't talked about your options.
“I didn't think I had any,” I say, sitting up, drawing my knees up to my chin defensively. Connie, undisturbed, continues to contemplate the line of my thighs.
“Mmm, of course. I thought I said that you had..”
“I thought you had decided to 'sell' me. Whatever that means.”
Connie smiles, as though she hadn't imagined that such an idea would be anything except obvious. “What it usually means. Someone parts with money. In exchange for which they get rights, usually exclusive rights, of possession, use and disposal.”
“Of a human being?”
“In this case, yes.”
“But that's slavery for real. It's illegal. Apart from anything else, you're a government agency. You're not above the law.”
“Well, no not exactly, assuming anyone came after us. But then, who would they send? Don't worry about legality. Lots of things go on that aren't legal. You just have to worry about reality. And besides there are choices, as I said.”
“Places you go to willingly. An extension of your contract. Your life will be much as it has been lately, but you will have had some control over what happens to you. You will have made the choice.”
“We have contacts with members of the Royal Household in a country on the western edge of the Hindu Kush. They are looking to employ someone to help teach the household English. Someone of your intelligence would be a suitable candidate. Of course, it is a less liberal culture than you find here, so your life would not be so different from now, but for a royal concubine there...”
“Concubine! And this is supposed to be better than being sold into slavery?”
Connie shrugs. “Perhaps a role in their ministry of culture; they need English speakers. Of course your duties would include serving the Minister, as well as the Ministry, if you see what I mean...”
“No, not that. No.”
“There are other possibilities. We have contacts in Zimbabwe. I know someone looking for a house servant. In fact, they are specifically looking for an English woman. I think they quite like the idea of the previous colonial rulers in a position of subservience.” Connie licked her lips. “There are other contacts in Korea, The Gulf States, Colombia,.... If you prefer a more physical assignment there is .... “
“I'm assuming this is some kind of brothel?”
“Oh, no, actually, I was thinking of something else entirely, but if that were to be your preference than there are plenty of ...”
“No, no! How is any of this better than being sold?”
“You make a choice. You go willingly. That means flying in the cabin of an aircraft, not unconscious in the hold. You travel with a minder, not in a crate. You aren't kept in restraints, as long as you show no sign of wishing to abscond or of not conforming to the terms of your agreement. You'd only be punished for a significant breach of rules. We'd stay in touch with your contract holder. Well, as long as we could. You probably wouldn't be sold on. ”
“Well, we can't guarantee what happens in some of these places. Once you're out of our jurisdiction, there's not much we can do but, for what it's worth, we're talking about people that have an interest in keeping us happy, so they're not going to get too far out of line if there's an agreement in place.”
“And, if I'm sold?”
“Well, then it's down to whoever buys you. We don't control the auctions. You could be lucky and get bought by someone as a companion for their aged uncle in his twilight years.”
I must have looked unbelieving.
“No, you're right, it’s not very likely. Mostly it's for sex. Usually, somewhere primitive. Just for as long as it takes to get tired of you and then you're back in the auction room, with a slightly cheaper price tag going to a slightly rougher buyer and so on and so on.”
I'm staring at her in horror. It's true then. I can choose to be a slave or I can be taken as one. I can make a choice of my owner or have my owner choose me. I can accept that I am someone's chattel, or I will be taken as one anyway. I guess my bleak expression lets Connie know that I have understood the choices.
“I know it's difficult,” she says, standing up.
The frisson of sexual desire I felt at her arrival has been dispelled by the horror of the situation.
“But, you don't have to decide right now. We're getting the appraisal and valuation anyway. If you're not going to be sold at least that way we'll know what you would have fetched on the open market. Have a think about extending your contract. I probably shouldn't say this, but I think that might be the best way for you - being that bit older, you'll be starting off with a disadvantage. Oh, and if you could remember a bit more about exactly what your Prof and her mysterious friend wanted you to do, that would be very helpful indeed. To someone in your position.”
She winks at me.
I nod. In this lunatic's discussion, of course I can see that her logic is impeccable. I cannot fault her analysis, but I still fall sobbing as she leaves my room.
Chapter 24: Some Restorative Justice
Jenny’s Recollections (Day 44):
The photo session is possibly one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. Worse than having Jo watch me on the toilet back at Inward Bound. Worse, maybe than when Jo showed me the video of me masturbating. At least, then, I felt I was still a person. This time I just felt like so much meat.
It is one of the heavies that comes in to do it. He doesn't even speak, just waves the camera at me like I am supposed to understand what he wants. He pulls me and pushes me this way and that. The worst part is when he wants pictures of my labia and my backside. He gets me to spread my lips and then to spread my buttocks while he takes the pictures. I'm pretty sure he takes more than he needs to. He takes some close ups of my tits, too, and he gets me to put out my tongue so he can take one of my stud. I don't remember the man asking for those either.
He ends up drooling almost as much as I did the time Connie put a ring gag on me. I'm glad when he goes and leaves me alone again. I'm spending a lot of time alone. Plenty of time to think. Too much time. Time to think about what might happen to me.
Connie's secretary appears She's got a pile of clothes which she gives me and tells me to put on. I've given up being surprised by what goes on here. I just do as I'm told, although this feels really strange. I haven't worn clothes for over a month and they feel coarse and stiff against my skin. They're nothing special - just underwear, a loose skirt, a tee-shirt and a pair of sandals– but it feels extraordinary to put them on.
One of the heavies is with her. It's the one that took my photographs. He gives me a grin of salacious recognition, as he takes me by the arm in a vice-like grip.
“She's not very happy, you know,” says the secretary, as the heavy manhandles me out of the cell and along the corridor. I assume she's talking about Connie. “Not happy at all. University friends of yours. Threatening to involve Amnesty International for heaven's sake. How absurd. They ought to worry about oppressive regimes, not bother with free western governments that are only protecting their citizens' interests.” Her rant against the liberal left continues all the way to Connie's office.
Connie is waiting looking as cool, collected and efficient as ever, although her tight lipped expression hints at annoyance.
“Jeez,” she says, “you're one hell of a lot of trouble for someone of zero added-value.” I don't say anything. Connie goes on, “Did you think any more about our conversation of last night?”
No, I think, of course not. You just gave me the choice between being sold into slavery with some unknown maniac who thinks he can buy and sell women and giving myself up to the same situation. I just dismissed it from my mind. I imagine that sarcasm is not required at this point. I nod silently.
"Well, let me just go over it again. If I decide you are not being cooperative enough, we'll just dispose of you on the open market, no choices. You will be pleased to know that we had a good report about you from your valuation, so your sale will be reasonably profitable for us. I have to say that's our preferred option, frankly, easier for us anyway. We don't really have to worry about you from that point on, we can't really keep contact with someone once they’re into the sale circuit. Alternatively, assuming you are being cooperative, we can get you a long-term contract with one of our contacts. That way we would still keep in touch with you. Check you are still OK. We would be a long way off, but still in touch.”
She's presenting this as a benefit. I'm not sure whether it's a good thing for them to be in touch with me, or not. But she goes on anyway.
“There is the Contessa, for example. She likes to use her slaves for a sort of sex circus and she is in the market for someone to team with a wonderful hunky guy she has just bought. I just know you could create the most fabulous performance. And then there is a client of ours in Thailand. He wants someone to tutor his children and someone who could keep the young men of the household out of mischief. Nice climate. I expect he would keep you naked, He is very rich, by the way, so your cell could be quite comfortable.”
Connie can see that I'm getting more and more distressed.
“Alternatively again, if you are very, very, very cooperative, I might just send you back to Inward Bound.” She sees my look of hope. “Yes, it's back on the agenda. We've got a visitor and you get a chance to listen in on our chat. Maybe I'll need you to say something. If you want to have half a chance of going back to your friends at Inward Bound then you're going to be very well-behaved.”
I'm thinking, why on earth should I believe you? But, then again, what does it matter?
“Now, little one, it seems like there are various possibilities here that we want to explore with your friend. First is the two of you are working with the Russians. Dawney is ex-KGB maybe; the Russians get her to recruit you to work for them. It wouldn't be the first time they'd used a dyke like her to get someone like you on board. So, there's you and her working as a cosy little pair.” She takes in my look of disbelief and ignores it. “Or, maybe, you don't even know you're working for her. Jenny, the innocent dupe? Do we believe that? Maybe, maybe. She seduces you, sets you up with Joe so she can put the squeeze on you later to get at him. That way, she gets you happily doing her bidding which at the moment is informing on certain commercial operations. Plausible, you must admit.”
“Only if you're completely paranoid. Oh, sorry, you're some sort of government agency aren't you? I forgot.” Connie's ramblings seemed bizarre to me and I was getting more and more angry but she ignored the sarcastic remark.
“Or, maybe it’s simpler than that. Maybe it's you, Joe, and Dawney. A cosy little ménage à trois with a little bit of spying on the side. Dawney gets to bounce with you, while Joe's away. He gets to bounce you both, when he gets home – hmm, less likely according to our information on Dawney but you never know. I know - Joe gets to watch you and Dawney. Not the most uncommon male fantasy, you'll admit. Maybe, he gets a kick out of being cuckolded by a woman?”
I'm staring at her in disbelief – how can she just conjure this sort of wild speculation?
“Anyway probably doesn't matter who does what, with which, and to whom, because there's the three of you all happily enjoying each other and feeding our Russian friend whatever tidbits he asks for.”
I’m angered by the absurdity of it all. “You seem to have overlooked the possibility that there's nothing going on. Or, doesn't that fit in with what your agency wants to believe?”
“Luckily you don't have to worry about that. All you need to do, if you want to keep the chance of going back to Inward Bound on the agenda, is just to be as cooperative as you can be. If we need you to tell our visitor that you're perfectly all right, and that there's no problem, then you will. OK? Now stand there.” She gestures to her side. “Ah! Here is someone you know. Let's hear what she has to say.”
I don't know if it is OK but I'm prepared to do as she says. Anything, to get out of the hands of the people here.
Connie presses a button on her desk and the monitor on the wall starts up to show a room somewhere else in the building, I guess. One of the heavies is standing beside a woman sitting on a chair. She's got some sort of loose leather hood over her head, but that doesn't seem to be interfering with her objections to her treatment.
“This is ridiculous,” she complains. “It's just so melodramatic.” The hood is pulled from her head. It's Angela. She scowls at the heavy. She peers around the room and finally stares at the camera.
“Professor Dawney,” Connie begins, her voice, distorted by some electrical circuitry, echoes back from the other room.
Angela looks up at the camera. “Who are you? What do you want?”
“Your assistance, Professor, in our enquiries.” The distortion of Connie's voice has a metallic quality, but Angela's responses are clear.
“Enquire away. I'm doubtful that I know anything of benefit to the security services. Ours or anyone else's.”
I'm watching her closely. She seems so composed.
“You're responsible for supervising research projects?”
“Yes. Of course.”
“And, all your projects are cleared through your ethics committee?”
“You are a member of the Foundation for Behavioural Psychological Research? You attended their conference in St Petersburg last year?
“Is that what this is about? Russians? They are all academics. Our work is open to all. Everything is published. There are no secrets in my field.”
“Not even 'An Analysis of Sexually Induced Stress In The Female'?”
I'm puzzled. Why are they quizzing Angela about my project. She's seen nothing of it since the original proposal. All the data is here – in my head.
“Ah – that's more of a trial, some evaluation of possible approaches, nothing more at this stage.”
Now, I'm indignant. This is going to be my doctoral thesis.
“So that's why it’s not been cleared with your ethics committee?”
“It doesn't need to be at this stage. It would only be cleared, if there were significant work involved and a doctoral thesis might result. So far, it's just some postgraduate exploration. It may come to nothing. It only involves one member of the department working on her own initiative. I took the decision that there was little value in clearing it. I allocated some limited funding on my own authority.”
I'm more than indignant.
“So, you've not discussed it with colleagues from abroad? It's not formed part of the international debate?
Angela shakes her head. “No, it's really only a codicil to some of the work I'm doing. Just some supportive research.”
I'm angry. She said this was important. That she'd discuss it with the Group. That I'd have the chance to make a name for myself with some really original work. It sounds like she was just using this to extend her own influence with the Group. That if there was anything useful, she was just going to absorb it. And, maybe she's encouraged me because of her and me.
“And you've not discussed it, shall we say, outside the academic community?”
“Why would I?”
“Maybe for some commercial sponsorship, perhaps? Universities always need funds. Seeking commercial applications for academic research would be part of your brief.”
“Yes, but not it in this case. I told you, it’s not important.”
Not to you, maybe, I'm thinking, but it was, is, to me.
Connie isn't deterred by Angela's obstructive manner. “So, maybe we'll talk some more about you and the Russians. Have you worked with them long?”
“Oh, maybe five years. They have always had a strong presence in this field.”
“We know. It's been of considerable interest to their security services and ours.”
“I wouldn't know.”
“Come on, Professor, you must be aware of their interest in the induction of psychoneurosis by conditioned reflex with stress? That work has been going on since the sixties.”
“I don't have any involvement with the security services. This conversation is helping me to understand what a good decision that was.”
“So, you made a decision about it? When did they approach you?”
“No one approached me. I mean, not in so many words. I imagined that they were using their own work in those areas.”
“So, when they told you to recruit the girl and get her involved with Joe McEwan ...”
“They did no such thing. Nobody told me to get Jenny involved with McEwan. There isn't any they. I don't have any involvement with Russian security services and I didn't get Jenny involved with anyone.”
“So it was you and Joe, maybe?”
“Listen. Get this straight I have no involvement with the Russian security services.”
“Did I say security services? The Russians are like everyone these days. There are plenty of private agencies. Private enterprise is no longer a dirty word there. Maybe, some industrial or commercial espionage, perhaps? We get as interested in that as anything else. Very hard to tell the difference these days between state interests and commercial interests. I think you've got a lot more to tell us Professor Dawney, and I'm not happy with what I've heard, so far.”
Connie’s mobile rings. Connie says “Thank you, Professor. Please wait for a moment.” She flicks the microphone off and lays the mobile on the desk between us so we can both hear her conversation with the caller. I stare at the black rectangle which will declare my fate to me:
“I've just come off the phone from talking to the boss. He's had a word with the Russians.”
“So do we have a problem?”
I'm thinking, never mind this. Please, what do you want me to say to Angela? I'll say anything to get out of here. It doesn't matter. I just want to go. Please. But, neither Connie nor the caller seem concerned with me any more.
“No. The boss seemed quite amused by the whole exchange.”
Amused! They are putting me through all this and this man is amused!
“He said that the Russian's exact words were, 'You think I need lousy English research on stress? When I have people who've lived through Stalin and Beria? Your country! You think stress is when your football team don't do too well. You come talk to some people from the Gulags, if you want to know about stress!' That’s pretty much par for the course with the Russian according to the boss; expresses himself forcibly, you could say. He definitely didn’t feel that anything being done over here was any sort of world-class operation. As for why he was involved with the Foundation, the boss is pretty convinced that his Russian friend was just using it as some sort of tax hideaway for a few roubles or dollars or whatever that he didn’t want to declare. Maybe, there’s something there we should be interested in, maybe not. Anyway the boss isn’t interested in your guest or Dawney. For now at any rate. Unless, something else turns up to change our views.”
Connie looks thoughtful. She reaches across to where I'm standing beside her and strokes the stubble on my scalp. “Well,” she says, “it sounds as though you're not too much of a threat to international security, after all. Maybe we should let you go back to your playground. At least, until we do find some further evidence.”
The mobile speaks again: “That was the boss's view.” I'm feeling hopeful now that these people will let me go after all. That they'll let me go back to Jo and Charlotte and the others.
“The appraisal and valuation was positive though. A good price at auction.” I'm scared again.
“How about Dawney....?”
“I don't think there's anything else I want to ask her,” the mobile responds.
Maybe you don't, I'm thinking, but I do. I want to know what the hell she has been playing at.
“She's been a real pain though. Caused us a lot of trouble. She's even,” Connie reaches out to stroke my head again, “even caused this young lady some real problems. I think I'd like her to feel that she really hadn't ought to play these games.”
“Does that mean you're planning to play some?”
Connie raises an eyebrow. “Would you mind very much?”
“Not as long as you don't do anything inconsistent with the Agency's policies.”
“As if I would,” Connie replies, with the air of someone who feels that gives her a lot of latitude. She flicks off the mobile and turns on the microphone again. Angela is sitting on the chair with the hood back over her head. The heavy has one hand on her shoulder, holding her down in the chair. “Thank you, Professor,” Connie says. “That concludes our questioning – for the time being.” There's a muffled grunt from under the hood. “For the moment. We appreciate your cooperation in our enquiries. You've been a great help, so far. I'm afraid you'll have to stay here for a while until we have the chance to check out your statements.” There are more muffled sounds that I take to be Angela's protests. Connie's next remarks are addressed to the heavy. “Check the Professor into the accommodation suite,” she says. “And, see that she's well taken care of.” I get a glimpse of the heavy helping Angela to her feet, as the screen cuts out again. She's trying to make some sort of complaint but the sound has gone, too.
Connie's secretary appears. “This one needs to be made ready for shipment,” she says pointing at me and I'm quaking again at the prospect of what's about to happen.
“But, the sale room can't take delivery until the weekend,” the secretary says.
“No, we're not going to do that now. She's to go back where she came from.”
I'm relieved. The secretary looks put out, but seems to cheer up by the time we've left the office.
“You'll be pleased to be going back, I'm sure. Of course, the shipment is a bit uncomfortable but I guess you'll be happy when you get to where you want to be. I'll put you back in the room you had before. At least, that will be comfortable for now. We won't be able to do any shipments before the morning, so you should get a good night's rest and then we can sort everything out tomorrow.” Of all the things at the Agency I'll be keenest to get away from, it's the constant chatter of Connie's secretary.
I'm back in my room. It's quiet. I'm sitting on my mattress thinking about Angela and the things she said. Wondering if there has been any point to this experience as far as my career is concerned. If the university hasn't sanctioned it, then, maybe they won't let me publish. Maybe they won't consider it for a doctorate. But, the more I think about it, the less worried I am, the experience has been a lot more important than any research project could be. If I can survive all that has been thrown at me over the last two months, then petty empire building academics can't harm me.
I'm feeling more happy than I have been for a while, when Connie appears and immediately I'm quaking again. What if she's had a change of mind? What if Angela's said something that means they can't let me go? She simply holds out her hand for mine and says, “Come with me.”
She takes me along corridors to another part of the facility. I guess that we are near where I first arrived and was kept, suspended, in my cage.
Connie sits down on the desk, leaving me standing. She looks across at me. “So, she's not very supportive of you, your boss, is she?”
I'm still angry about Angela's comments regarding my work. The more I think about it, the more of a betrayal it seems. Now, having Connie bring it up just makes the tears well up inside me. “No,” I say, tears running down my cheeks.
“Hmmm, well being a bitch of a boss isn't something even we can intern people for. We think you're both clean as far as we are concerned.”
“Does that mean I can go back to Inward Bound?”
Connie nods. My relief is overwhelming. “Sure, you can go back to Inward Bound, but what are we going to do with her?” Connie gestures to a lap top. There on the screen is a picture of Angela, obviously a surveillance photo snatched, as she came down the steps of the University Library.
“Can't you just send her home?”
Connie laughs. “Sure, baby, sure. You're very generous. I don't think I'd let her off so lightly if I were you. We thought maybe you two had something to do with some Russian activities that are – how does the jargon go – 'not compatible with their diplomatic status'. But, do you know what? We don't think you are, leastways not you. The question remains, though, what are we going to do about her? We want to be real sure before we put her back on the streets.” She has a sly smile as she looks at me. “I want you to see the Professor,” she says, opening a window on the screen of her laptop. I find myself staring at Angela again.
Angela is discovering the consequences of upsetting Connie. “Well, Professor Dawney,” Connie calls through microphone, “I'm sure your friends at Amnesty have said that the Agency is responsible for all sorts of despicable treatment of its detainees. I just want to reassure you that this is all being done with your best welfare in mind.”
I find Connie's reassurance hard to accept and I'm certain that the Professor will too. She's been strapped into a heavy canvas straight jacket, her arms crossed and then strapped down and the buckles locked off. A strap from the front runs down and beneath her crotch, but they haven't bothered to take her skirt off before fitting it and the skirt is all caught up in the strap, showing her legs.
“We know there's a risk for those in close confinement to self harm and we have to ensure that you couldn't do that. The hood is designed to prevent any risk of detainees gaining access to drugs. Perhaps you wouldn't think it much of a risk, but it is. Don't worry. You'll be given food and water regularly. Of course it may take a few days for us to finish our enquiries, but I hope you'll bear with us.”
The growled response from Angela convinces me that she's gagged under her hood.
Connie shuts down the laptop. “It doesn't repay her for the trouble she's caused you, but she may learn a little over the next few days.”
I can't agree with her, it seems barbaric to me in spite of Angela's treatment of me. But, on the other hand, I can't bring myself to object, either. I can’t help it. I start to smile very broadly. Partly it’s relief and partly, well, it’s seeing Angela getting her just desserts. Connie sees my smile and raises her eyebrows.
She turns to me. “So, little one, you are enjoying your boss’s discomfort are you?”
“Yes, I’m afraid I am,” I admit.
“So is she getting enough of what's good for her?”
“No!” I surprise myself with how emphatically I respond. I have to confess to feeling mischievous and more than a little vengeful after her remarks about my work. “She might be a bit too warm. With clothes on I mean.”
“Really?” Connie sounds amused. “So, what else should I do to her?”
“Er, well, I don’t know. Perhaps. Well, maybe she shouldn’t be able to move around too much. She might hurt herself, bang into something in that hood. Perhaps, she should be strapped to her chair or chained to the wall or… Well, I’m not sure, err, Mistress.” It seems the right way to address Connie, given the circumstances.
“It's different when someone else is the victim, isn’t it?
Connie chuckles. “Never mind, I'll think of something but I like your own suggestion at least for starters. “By the way:” She gives my nose ring a gentle tug. “Is this permanent?”
“Well, maybe I’ll have to do something about that … a little souvenir of your time with us.” She changes her tone. “Turn around, Fifty!”
I turn immediately.
“Hmmm, your bum is returning to normal. Pity. What are you doing tonight?”
“Er, well Mistress. I mean, I thought you said you were sending me back to Inward Bound, I mean I don’t know...”
“It would be a shame to leave you all locked up alone on your last night, don’t you think?” I don't get the chance to reply. “I think we should spend your last night together ...I’ll send Sarah to collect you. You can look forward to being marked by the experience,” she says with a smile.
“Thank you, Mistress!” I respond, though I'm not at all sure that I'm looking forward to it.
After my evening meal, I am taken down to Connie’s lair, and find her naked and clearly anticipating a good evening’s entertainment at my expense.
Even naked, perhaps especially naked, her emotional gravity commands attention. Her body is athletic and tightly muscled. She is pierced like me, except the rings through her nipples and her nasal septum are gold.
She has Sarah strap me to a frame and takes down a flogger from the rack. Aesthetically, it’s very beautiful. The tails are made from blue, red, white, purple and black leathers. If I’m to be whipped, then this is what I want to feel across my skin.
She begins gently, bright showers of sparks of pain falling across my back, shoulders, buttocks and legs. Slowly and almost lovingly she increases the tempo – we have all night she tells me – until the sparks have been fanned into fiery kisses covering me from my ankles to my neck and I am lost in reverie! I am slowly climbing to orgasm. Gasps of surprise become cries of pain, which become whimpers of desire. She senses my growing ecstasy (who could fail to?) and the whipping stops. I stand breathing hard (as if after running) and stand writhing and squirming, cruelly denied my climax. But then, erotic cruelty is her forte.
She takes me to a pillory. It’s like the one where I was secured before, but it isn’t as tall. She bends me over, bum out, body forward and locks me in it, my head down at waist level now. She lubes my bum and opens up my sphincter with a gloved finger, further and further. In time, her fingers are replaced with a butt plug. It opens me more and my sphincter swallows one ridge, then another and closes around a final small rim, keeping the plug secure. She is not finished, though. She weaves a rope harness between my legs and around my waist. “Must keep you nice and full for your trip back home, honey!” she says
I realize that there is a knotted cord in the rope harness which presses insistently on my clit. Her gloves are off and she walks round to look at me.
“This ring?” – she tugs my septum ring – “it’s through a grommet. That’s nice! Let’s see – hmmmm a four millimetre grommet. You would look good with a thicker ring, not too large, but thicker. Try this – perfect! You know that should stay. Yes that should stay!” She removes the ring and returns the new ring which now carries a chemical smell with it. “Now honey: I’ve sealed it closed with epoxy.”
I give a squeal of alarm. I can guess what that means.
“That’s right,” Connie smiles, “You’ve guessed. That’s what you do to make them permanent. That is not coming out. Ever. And do you know the best bit? It’s the heat from your own body which accelerates the set! You could release it if you could get your hands on it, but of course, your hands are snuggled in my pillory, so just enjoy!” She can see that I’m distressed by thus turn of events but she takes no notice. “Now,” she says, “it’s time for you to pleasure me, don’t you think?”
She draws a chair up in front of the pillory and slips down: it brings her cunt right opposite my lips. “So lick, baby. Let me feel that tongue stud gently play with my clit. Taste all of me. It’s the best! But, just make sure you take me all the way.”
She is asking? I can’t stop myself. I devour Connie, for the rest of the evening.
Chapter 25: Helping Others
Course 8 / Day 46:
Corinne’s mobile rings: “Corinne? It’s Larry. I’ve got some good news at last. It seems the Americans have ‘eliminated McEwan from their enquiries’ and she’s on her way back to you. Can you tell the others?”
“Larry, that’s a relief,” Corinne responds “Yes, I’ll tell the others right now – and thank your contacts for all their help. Are we ever going to get something approaching an apology for all this turmoil?”
“Er, well I wouldn’t hold your breath. Let’s just be glad the whole things over. If anyone needs an apology it’s McEwan.”
To: Jo and Charlotte
Further to my last memo: I am relieved to be able to let you know that that McEwan is on her way back. However, I’m not at all happy with the explanations we have been given. The whole thing sounds odd to me and I think that once the course is over the three of us should get together to talk about this in confidence. There’s a few things I’m unhappy about including how Larry seems to have been in the middle of all of this. Maybe we’ll know more by the time the course finishes.
Extremely anxious about Jenny. She was brought back late evening today by whomsoever.
Once in her cell, she wrapped herself in her blanket and curled up in the corner facing away from the door, weeping. She was disinclined to talk and initially declined food.
I took her up to the main accommodation wing and had her fed with what we had had for dinner after which her mood lightened, but only a little. Charlotte stayed with her overnight. We may find ourselves dealing with a real psychological casualty and have to seek professional help for her. I need not labour how serious this is.
Here is a copy of a report about Jenny McEwan just received from Jo. Just what the hell are we going to do now? If professional help is needed for Jenny, I - we - will have to provide a full account of what has happened to the medical authorities and I will not know where to begin.
Corinne, I know there may be some problems with McEwan. Yes, it will take her a little while to recover, but I’m confident she’ll bounce back.
In the meantime, I’m sure you’ll do everything possible to get her back on an even keel and to keep your people onside too. My recommendation is that you should return her to the regime she was under as quickly as possible. This will create a sense of reassurance with her surroundings and enable her to adjust back to the Inward Bound “normality” before attempting to return to real life.
Of course, the professional psychological help will be there if we need it. I’ve got someone that I‘ll get to come up and see McEwan. Keep me in touch with the situation.
To: Pam Jordan
Pam, our former “problem” got back home day but she is quite bruised by the interrogation. I think mainly psychologically, but I expect physically as well as she has been through Connie’s hands. I’m getting angry e-mails from the Inward Bound staff. Can you take a trip up here and asses the situation if McEwan is still giving concern? How long should I give it? I was thinking 24 hours max? Would that be OK?
I’m still in the Facility. Two heavies come for me. The same thick set men in dark suits and shades. I am hooded and taken out of the facility. I know only because I feel my feet on an outside surface again. No one speaks to me. I’m pushed into their van and driven off. At first all I feel is relief, each passing moment taking me away from my nightmare. Then anxiety replaces relief. What if they are not taking me to Inward Bound? What if I’m just being taken away? After an eternity we arrive somewhere else. The van stops, I am taken out, across some gravel into a building and down some stairs. We stop.
“Stand there, please, Ma’am,” says an American voice. My hood is pulled off and my hands un-cuffed. My eyes protest at the bright light, after the darkness on the hood and I see I am back, facing one wall of my cell, away from the door.
“We are obliged for your co-operation, Ma’am,” says the voice, to someone and then there is the sound of receding steps.
I’m overcome with relief and curl up in one corner of the cell, trying to shut out the memories of the last few days. When I wake up, I’m in a normal bedroom. Charlotte is there, too sleeping in an easy chair. The sun is coming through the window, and I can see the flowering shrubs in the garden…
Jo comes in. “How are you now, Jenny?” she asks. “We were all so worried about you.”
“Er, better than I was. I’ve still got this headache and I just feel exhausted . But, I am so glad to be back … did the men say anything? Are they still here? Are they coming back?”
“No,” says Jo with a smile, “they are not coming back and they didn't really tell us anything. Beyond that they had warrants and that they were anxious about a security situation and ....”
“It was terrifying, the interrogation was bad enough but there was worse they talked about selling me. Jo, I really thought that I was about to be sold into real slavery. That maybe I would just … just ….. disappear.” My voice is beginning to break up as I try to tell what happened.
“That's all right. It’s all right now.” Jo sits on the bed and puts her arm over my shoulder “Let's get you used to being back here again. Stay here for now and perhaps you could join the others later today or tomorrow. Could you manage that?”
“Yes, thanks, Jo. I would like that very much.” The more I think about it the more I want to do just that to get back to the way things are here.
“OK. Look I’ll get some breakfast sent up to you and we will get you back into routine as far as you are able. Let us know straightaway if you are not managing, OK?”
“Yes, OK. Thank you, Jo.” I stand up and cuddle her with relief at being safe once again. My back is reflected in the wardrobe mirror.
Jo says, “Wow! Someone has given you a good whipping, was that, was that, OK by you?”
Connie’s efforts of the evening before last are plain to see; I began and ended the scene naked and Connie wasn’t for giving me any clothes back again. It seems she likes her work to get a public showing whenever possible. The memory of Connie comes back in full force: a cocktail of terror and erotic desire, but I manage a smile and, bringing myself back to my position as a slave, say “Yes, Mistress, Thank you, Mistress. Thank you.”
By the time lunch has come and gone and I have been given permission to go down into the gardens, but Jo, or Charlotte, Celia, Gerry or George seem never to be far away. As for me, I am feeling just enormous relief to be back in familiar surroundings, comforted by the familiar “beep” as my RFID chip is registered by a sensor on the building systems again.
I'm ashamed to admit that I had completely forgotten about Angela. I wonder for a moment if it all hadn’t been some form of roller coaster ride organised by Inward Bound. But Angela would never have gone along with that, would she? And Jo seemed genuinely confused and upset by it. And, it all seemed so real. I mean, I had seen Connie at the garden party. Does that mean she was involved with Inward Bound, or did it just mean that she was part of some surveillance team? It's all so confusing – maybe while I've been here I've lost my ability to think straight.
The Inward Bound people do everything to make me feel at home again, gradually I start to feel better. As far as I can manage. Eventually, I'm back in my old cell, and Ylena comes to the cell to examine me, and pretends to be outraged that I have been beaten by someone else. But then, she admires the marks of Connie’s whip and tells me that I can most certainly expect another caning shortly. Gerry comes by, shaves my head again and gives my scalp a massage with some soothing moisturiser. Celia drops by to check my piercings and Jonathan looks in on me to tell me that I am due for some more work on my tattoo soon, but only when I feel I can cope with it.
At last, Jo gives me my work assignments - more gardening, cleaning in her suite and work in the kitchens. I'm not going to have the chance to get bored. It feels as though I am where I am meant to be. When I lay down on my bed, I look up at the blinking red light of the CCTV camera. It almost feels like a friend. I am asleep almost at once.
At breakfast, the other girls are all anxious to know where I'd been and what had happened to me but Jo tells them all that they are not to quiz me about it. She warns that any idle gossip about things that may or may not have gone on outside the centre will incur substantial demerits. That certainly seems to dampen down their curiosity and, since I am pretty certain that demerits will be passed my way too, it serves to discourage me from talking about it, too. Not that I want to pick at recent painful wounds.
It's Jo that comes to see me after breakfast. “How are you now, Fifty?” she asks. I go to get up, but she tells me to stay put.
“I’m fine, thank you, Mistress,” I say.
“Good,” she says. “Are you ready to pick up where you left off?”
“Yes,” I say, surprising myself with my willingness. “Yes, I am.” And, in a curious way, I now feel ready for anything.
“Very well,” says Jo. “You’d better come with me.” She smiles a sly smile …..
Jo clips a leash to my nose ring and leads me through the centre. I follow, as I must. She stops to talk to Charlotte at one point. I wait silently, head bowed, hands clasped behind my back while they talk of some session, or other, that they have planned for Carrie and Sue. Neither Jo nor Charlotte even mentions me. Their conversation is soon finished and Jo sets off again with me in tow.
She takes me to Ylena’s room. I’m glad but, even so, I’m caught between a confused desire to see Ylena again and the dread of a further round of punishment after my experiences with Connie.
Jo leads me through into the adjoining room with its scarlet wall coverings and pale blue carpet. There is a small box on the floor. It’s got various jars and bottles and clothes in it.
“Work time, Fifty,” Jo announces. “Mistress Ylena needs to use this room later, but the equipment needs cleaning. You can make yourself useful with this.” She points to the box. “You’ll find saddle soap for the leather and polish for the wooden racks that the punishment tools are stacked in. Don’t use very much, just enough to take the dust off and shine them up. On the side over there,” she points to a small white trolley, “are Ylena’s electrical toys. They need to be cleaned with an antiseptic wipe. So do the whips and canes and any of the straps and cuffs that fasten around the body. The insertable toys have all been sterilized by Mistress Ylena and bagged with the number of the slave they are used on, so it’s essential you do not open the bags or break the seals.”
I stand nodding as she explains the task.
“Do you understand what need to be done?” Jo asks.
“Yes, Mistress,” I reply and she leaves me. I start on my work, taking the whips, canes and floggers down from their rack first of all. There is a table on one side of the room and I lay them out neatly there. That way I’ll be able to keep track of which ones I have cleaned and which are left to do and make sure that I put them back in the same place that they have come from.
I clean the wooden racks. The polish smells sweet and scented. The racks aren’t very dusty but I try to be as thorough as I can be. I know that if Ylena were to use her canes on me, the last thing I would want was dust and dirt being crushed into a wound by the blow of one of them.
I finish the racks and start to clean off the canes, wiping each of them with an antiseptic wipe before returning them to their place, trying to remember exactly where each has come from. As I am doing it, I’m suddenly aware of how relaxed I feel. This simple task with the simple precision it requires is absorbing all of my attention, and I have already nearly forgotten the psychological pain of recent days. I’m feeling pleased with myself when I hear Ylena’s voice outside.
She appears in the room looking very firm and determined. Judy is following her with a smirk on her face. She looks at me in a way that I’ve come to expect from the staff at Inward Bound, but certainly not from the other slaves. I’m worried because she certainly took pleasure from ordering me about when I was told to please her before.
Ylena sees me. “Ah, Fifty! Moi slooga is back.”
I smile, pleased by her acknowledgement of my status. “Da, Gaspazha,” I say.
Ylena says. “Have you cleaned all my toys?”
“Da Gaspazha,” I reply pointing proudly to the rack.
Ylena peers at it and seems to approve. She turns back to Judy. “Tell Fifty why you are here, Nineteen.”
“Corporal punishment, Gaspazha,” Judy says with a gleam in her eye.” Her use of Ylena’s title rekindles old jealousies. She’s my Gaspazha. I am her slooga, vash slooga, I say to myself, watching in dismay as the brightness in Ylena’s eyes tells me that she takes as much pleasure in punishing Judy as she ever had me. But Judy’s next words give me a shock, “It’s for a corporal punishment session with Number Fifty.” She sounds like she is looking forward to taking a cane to my backside.
“Very good, Nineteen,” Ylena says. “How do you feel about that, Fifty?”
The truth is that I’m not very happy with the idea. I suppose that if Ylena is ordering Judy to beat me, it’s just the same as if she is doing it herself, but somehow it seems wrong to be being beaten by another slave. “If that is what you wish, Gaspazha,” I say, uncertainly.
Ylena smiles with approval. “Good answer, Fifty,” she says. “Good answer.”
“And you, Nineteen, how do you feel?”
“What ever you wish, Gaspazha,” she says, taking her cue from me, but a self satisfied little smile is playing across her lips...
“Very good,” says Ylena. “In which case we can begin.” She picks up one of the chains that she uses as a leash. I’m expecting her to clip it to my collar but instead she turns on her heel and fastens the chain to Judy’s collar and pulls her towards her. “You, slave,” she says firmly, “have still to learn some important lessons.”
Judy is obviously started by the change of events. “Please, I’ve done nothing to deserve punishment,” Judy pleads.
“Do you think so?” Ylena says. She turns to me and orders, “Fifty, you will help me deal with this!” Ylena twists Judy’s chain in her hand until Judy’s face is brought up against Ylena’s fist. She simply rolls her arm over and Judy is forced to her knees at Ylena’s feet. Ylena turns back towards me. “Make the horse ready for her,” she says.
I am slow to respond. Of course I know I must obey Ylena but I don’t like the idea that I am helping her to punish one of the other slaves. Ylena stills any objections I might have with a look and I set to unfastening the straps from the back and the legs of the horse. As soon as she sees that I have finished she has Judy get up from the floor and sends her smartly across to the spanking horse. “Strap her down,” Ylena orders. Then, without waiting to see if I am doing as she asks, she walks across, peers at the rack of whips and floggers and then goes out into the other room.
As she leaves, Judy begs me to help her. “It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t mean to seem disrespectful. Do we have to do this? Can’t you speak to Gaspazha?”
“You know I can’t do anything,” I say. “She’ll be back in a moment and she’ll want to see you secured. I’m sorry, but I have to. You must see that.”
Judy looks at me as though she doesn’t see anything of the sort. But she stretches herself out across the horse, reaching down with her arms to let me fasten her wrists to the legs of the horse and stretching her legs to allow me to do the same with her ankles. “All right,” she says reluctantly. I can tell she thinks I’m betraying her even though moments ago she was enjoying the prospect of my squirming under the cane that she would be applying.
I’m fastening the broad belt that goes across her lower back and fixing her helplessly to the horse when Ylena returns. I’m annoyed that Judy can’t see that I’ve got no choice. I pull the belt a bit tighter than is probably absolutely necessary. Judy grunts as I do so just as Ylena returns.
Ylena has changed out of the rather conventional blouse and skirt that she was wearing when she brought Judy in. Now she’s wearing a skin-tight, high-necked, black top, a pair of black leggings and high-heeled boots. She pulls on leather, fingerless gloves as she comes into the room. Her stern gaze is sufficient to reduce me to jelly. Judy cannot see her. Ylena says nothing. She gestures for me to stand beside the wooden rack and then walks around the horse checking that Judy is well secured and that the straps that hold her are tightly fastened. She stands up and grunts her approval. “Spaseeba, moi slooga,” she says. In spite of the fact that my efforts mean Judy is now helpless, I feel quite pleased with myself. Ylena gestures to a cabinet on the other side of the room. “Fetch a gag,” she says. “This needs to be kept quiet.”
I go across to the cabinet and open the drawer. It’s filled with an array of gags from balls in a range of sizes threaded onto straps to padded mufflers and rubber bar gags. Ylena isn’t giving me any clues as to the type that she wants. I pick one. It’s a bright red ball gag. I take it out of the drawer and offer it to Ylena.
“Oh,” she says with approval. “A cruel slooga.” She takes it from me and fits it onto Judy. It’s quite large for her. Probably larger than I had realised. Judy groans. I hadn’t meant to be cruel.
Ylena looks pleased with the effect of the gag, stroking the back of Judy’s head as she whimpers from the discomfort of mouth filling ball. She runs her hands down to Judy’s buttocks, “This needs attention,” she says, not really to Judy, not really to me. “To improve its behaviour. To increase its respect.” Eventually, she turns back to me. “Pass me one,” she points to the rack.
I’m confused. I don’t understand which of the many floggers, whips and canes she wants. “I’m sorry, Gaspazha,” I say. “Which did you want?”
“You choose, moi slooga, you choose.” Judy gives a muffled squeak of protest. Ylena lays a single finger on the top of Judy’s head to indicate she should be quiet.
I don’t know what to do. I hesitate. Of course Ylena can simply walk across here and pick up whichever whip or cane she chooses. If I choose it makes no difference to the punishment that Judy will receive but if I do chose Judy will see me as complicit in her punishment.
“Come on, make your choice,” Ylena insists quietly, looking straight at me. I know that she won’t threaten me and that when she says ‘make your choice’ she doesn’t just mean from the rack. I blush with shame, knowing that I can’t disobey her. I select a leather tawse from the rack. It’s what I would choose for Ylena, if she asked me what she should beat me with. That seems the fairest thing I can do. I walk across to Ylena, kneel beside her and offer the tawse to her.
“Spaseeba, slooga,” she says as she takes the tawse from my outstretched hands. Judy growls. “Stay there and watch closely.”
“Da, Gaspazha,” I say. In an attempt to make my peace with Judy I say, “Gaspazha, could you beat me instead of Number Nineteen?”
Ylena smiles. “Nyet, slooga, nyet. That would not be right. This slave is due for punishment and so, she must be punished. And besides, I know that you take pleasure from your beatings, so it is hardly a penance, is it?”
I blush with embarrassment.
“No, this must be dealt with.” She takes her arm back and lays a heavy blow across Judy’s back side. Judy yelps into her gag and turns her head to scowl at me. More blows follow, the tawse flicking down inches from my face, as I kneel beside the horse.
After perhaps a dozen strokes, Ylena pauses.
“Now, Nineteen brought you to see me for our first meeting and she fondled you and took advantage of you, before you changed your Profile to accept that.” Ylena leans down and whispers into my Judy’s ear. “Didn’t she?”
“Yes, but I really did not mind,” I reply.
“That’s not the point, “continues Ylena. “What happens to slaves depends on their behaviour and the decisions they make. Nineteen acted without authority and it is time she paid – to help her be better next time, whatever her pussy tells her!”
She turns to me and holds the tawse out. I take it from her, expecting her to ask me for another implement from the rack. I’m wrong. “Now, you have learned about the power of pain. Show me that you can apply it.”
I’m taken aback. She can’t want me to beat Judy. That’s not right. I’m a submissive. Submissives don’t beat people.
Ylena understands, of course, what she is asking of me. “Come, slooga, you have the tawse in your hand. Get to your feet and come here.” I look up at her begging with my eyes for her not to make me do it. Her quiet smile lets me know that there is no possibility that she will allow me to avoid this duty. She reaches out with one hand, the leather of her glove brushes against my cheek. “I know, I know,” she says. “Sometimes it is hard to be a slave.” She helps me to my feet and leads me gently to where she was standing at the back of the horse. Judy is struggling against her straps and squealing more loudly in her gag but all I can do is to stare at Ylena’s calm and smiling face. She points to Judy’s buttocks. “Let the blows fall here,” she says, “and here,” pointing to areas where her own work has not yet reddened the flesh.
“As you say, Gaspazha,” I say taking up the same stance that Ylena had taken before.
“I do,” she says. “And you,” she turns to speak again to Judy, “you should know that this is because you disobeyed the rules.”
Judy gives a quizzical grunt through her gag.
“Some time ago, number Nineteen, you were told to bring Fifty here to my room. When you did so, you were seen touching her sexually. You knew that you were not allowed sexual contact with another slave unless explicitly directed. You should know, too, that your every move is observed. Now you will be punished and number Fifty will carry out the punishment. Such delightful symmetry”
Until Ylena mentioned, it I had forgotten all about the episode but she is right. I was standing hooded and helpless outside Ylena’s room. Judy had led me there. She must have been seen on the CCTV camera. Even so, it hardly seems fair for me to punish Judy now.
“Begin!” Judy is shaking her head and trying to shout through her gag. Ylena ignores her and urges me on. “Please, begin,” she says. I am staring at her. “I said begin. It’s necessary that you begin.”
I lift the tawse. I‘m staring at her. My brain and my body are working on different channels. I’m aware of my arm coming down and the tawse striking Judy’s buttocks but I’m not thinking about it. What I am thinking about is the Milgram Experiment. Ordinary people. Doing what they were told. Causing pain. Even apparently killing someone. Just because somebody told them to. The tawse comes down again. Judy lurches against the horse. Ylena is looking on with approval. The tawse comes down again. Judy squeals. I pause.
Ylena says, “You have to continue.”
And I do. I’m sweating with the effort. Judy’s backside is red, swollen, and welted in places where I have failed to land the straps cleanly. I find myself watching the tawse come down, trying to think what I must do with my wrist, with my arm. And I realise that Judy is sobbing with the discomfort and humiliation of my punishing her for taking sexual advantage of me and that Ylena has said nothing more. And she hasn’t said anything except that I should do it.
And I do.
And I enjoy it. Connie appears again in my mind: 'It’s different when you are on the other side isn’t it?' she reminds me, smiling like a predator who still has me in her grip.
I’m suddenly horrified by what I’ve done. I drop the tawse and put my hands to my mouth. Ylena comes across and takes me in her arms. “It’s going to be all right, moi slooga,” she says. “Trust me to make it right.” Ylena tells me to release Judy from the horse. I unfasten the buckles on her straps. She climbs unsteadily to the floor and immediately makes to rub her bottom.
Ylena reaches down and fastens one end of a leash to Judy’s collar and the other end to a hook on the wall. She goes across to her computer and taps on a few keys. She turns back to me. “Now, moi slooga. I shall make it right with you two. The horse. Now it is your turn to lie down!”
Of course I obey and as I position myself, I hear her say to Judy; “ Nineteen, strap her down for me.”
“Da, Gaspazha,” Judy replies and soon has me helplessly restrained. So at least Judy will have the pleasure of seeing me beaten by Gaspazha, I think.
But what Gaspazha says is, “Now, Fifty and Nineteen. Slaves must be obedient and trust their owners. They must sometimes learn technical skills, as well as menial tasks. Today, Fifty began to learn how to give punishment and now it’s the turn of Nineteen. And, I am sure, Nineteen will enjoy her lesson! Hmmm?” Gaspazha leans down to me and whispers, “There, I said it would be all right, did I not?”
I glance up and catch sight of Judy with a broad grin on her face!
“Now, Nineteen. Fifty will say ‘thank you’ for each stroke you give her. What would you like to begin with? The tawse perhaps? Perhaps this one – it’s heavier than the tawse you tasted but easier to control. Strike there – and there.”
My ordeal at the business end of Judy’s tawse takes quite a while. Ylena is very picky when it comes to technique and any stroke she is not happy with has to be repeated and all through it I am careful to thank Judy for her efforts. Each blow cuts me and brings a gasp from my lips. I feel the cumulative effects of the pain. Each new blow seems to push me on, as though I am being driven up a flight of stairs. Each pause lets me slip back. Two up, One down. The pain climbing as my mind climbs the staircase. It goes on for some time. I am lost under the spell of the situation. I’m not struggling, just flexing my body. It’s almost as though I am trying to position my self so that she should strike me to best effect. I’ve lost myself in the waves of pain. And I’m helping my Gaspazha, I feel. Helping her educate another slave and suffering so deliciously!
“Enough!” says Ylena. “You will finish your tutorial with the cane! Now, take this one. Tell me about it.”
“Well, Gaspazha” begins Judy, “It’s very light”.
“Da! Moi slooga. It’s a thin cane. It will leave beautiful marks – in fact it probably leaves the best marks - and it feels bright and stingy. It’s a good cane to start with. Your mistakes will not be as bad for Fifty as they might be with the heavier cane. Aim for here then move slowly down to here. Try not to hit the same place twice. You should try to have the cane create pain and beauty at the same time. Don’t hurry! Strive to swing level in measured, parallel strokes. Begin!”
I am sweating profusely as Judy begins. Her strokes are not as accomplished as Ylena’s. But they sting just as bad. Ylena usually tells me how many I’m to receive. This time there is no such re-assuring target set and I am beginning to really feel sore.
“One – thank you, Nineteen.
“Two – ah! Thank you Nineteen
“Three – AHHH, thank you Ninettt …
“Four – thank AAHH AAHH thank you (I am gasping now and squeezing my buttocks to try and make the stinging go away) N - n - nineteen.”
“Now Nineteen. Saw the cane back and forward across her bum. MMMM like that. Give her a little recovery time. Actually this will allow her to enjoy her last two strokes. Now!”
“AAAAHHHH AAAAHHHH, thank thank you Nineteen.”
“Now, Nineteen. This will end your lesson – for today. A final cut. Aim here. Nice and firm. Full control. Keep your wrist straight. Now.”
I can hear Judy’s last stroke coming, hissing towards me. And then it lands, burning a hot track across my buttocks. I buck and writhe in the straps of the spanking horse
“AAAAAHH AAAAAHHHH AAHH, thank you Nineteen.”
“Enough!” pronounces Ylena. “You have both done well. I think number Nineteen is quite gifted at giving CP. We shall develop this talent. And next time, Nineteen, you shall have another opportunity to learn more about the cane from the victim’s point of view before I train you on another of your colleagues”.
Ylena turns to her laptop once more as Judy unstraps me.
“Now, slooga Fifty and slooga Nineteen. Go straight back to your cells. The doors will recognise you both.”
And, of course, Ylena is right. The locks on the doors open, programmed to recognise our chips. Judy goes into her cell and I pass further down the corridor to my own where I crawl on all fours across to my bed and collapse on it face down. My bum burns. After all within fourty eight hours it’s been whipped by Connie and thoroughly spanked by Judy. Welcome back!
Chapter 26: I’ve Got You Under My Skin
From: Jo and Charlotte
Charlotte and I agree: we have to talk through this business. The good news is that Fifty seems to be coming round, so to speak, with no sign of damaging after effects. One thing bothering us is that no one can have failed to notice the whip marks on her back, bum and legs. This does not look like some ham fisted interrogation beating. It looks exactly as though it has been done with erotic intent. Ylena would have been proud of it. If the Authorities are at the bottom of this business, it’s not only outrageous but it’s grotesque as well. If you combine that with everything else then we both share your suspicions of Larry and the explanations he has offered.
Course 8 / Day 47: Course Progress Meeting
Participant Notes: Fifty
Jo: Observation of Fifty overnight confirms that she found yesterday’s sessions particularly challenging. Her recent experiences have been very traumatic for her and she has found confronting her feelings about administering punishment distressing. Actions for today include further work on Fifty’s tattoo.
I had a dreadful night. Tossing. Turning. Fretting about yesterday. It’s not often since I’ve been here that I haven’t slept well. Which is odd given all that’s happened. I finally manage to get to sleep but it seems like its only moments before the lights come on again and the shutters on my cell go up.
It’s the morning. Charlotte comes for me. She clips a lead to my nose ring and I silently follow. I pass by Judy’s cell. She’s on her knees obviously waiting for someone to come for her. I can’t bring myself to look her in the face, because even though I was richly paid back by Judy for my efforts, I still feel uncomfortable about punishing a fellow slave. Nevertheless, this is part of our education, Judy and me.
Pretty soon, I realise that we are going to the medical room, which means Celia or Jonathan or both of them at once, I suppose. I’m not sure how well I will cope with this. I still feel tired.
Charlotte swipes her key card through the door lock and we are greeted by Jonathan. Well, I say 'we are greeted', actually Jonathan only speaks to Charlotte.
“Hi, Charlotte. Great to see you. I see you’ve brought Fifty for her next session.”
I guess that they must have arranged this before hand. I realise that I have become used to being spoken about as though my feelings or concerns were not important. Or actually, now I come to think about it, being spoken about as if I were not even there.
Charlotte smiles and nods. Jonathan carries on talking to her. “OK Charlotte,” he says. “just to keep you informed of what’s going on... Today I am going to carry on with the in-filling of the design. I won’t be able to finish it, though. It’s quite a large design.”
I know. I think, it’s a lot larger than I thought it was going to be, but of course he’s not talking to me.
“Actually, there is too much to do in the time that Fifty is here with us. I shall have to see Fifty in my Studio in another month or so. I guess that will be all right with you, Charlotte?”
All right with you? All right with Charlotte? What about me ? It’s me that’s getting the tattoo. It’s my back! I can hardly believe that I thought that. After all this time. Of course, I’m a slave and I’m having this done to me to please Charlotte. At least I guess that it’s to please Charlotte. Or is it that Charlotte thinks it will please me, eventually? Or is it that they just think that it’s good for slaves to have them submit to being marked? Or?
My thoughts are interrupted. Charlotte responds to Jonathan. “Sure. There’ll be no problem with that. Come along, Fifty.”
Charlotte leads me over to the plinth and I lay on it, face down, obediently, like an offering on an altar. Finally Jonathan speaks to me as he arranges his needles in their sterile packs and sets out his inks, getting ready for the task. “So, Fifty how are you today?”
“I’m good, thank you, Sir,” I reply. As I speak it sounds almost robotic. It’s a curious response, almost automatic, answering with what I know he wants to hear rather than actually saying what I feel. It’s not an exchange between two equals. I’m not even sure it feels like an exchange between two human beings. It sounds like that special way a friend of mine talks to her cat. And Jonathan is taking less notice of my reply than she does of the cat’s purrs and meows. Am I still human? Have I become some sort of “other”? Is that what being a slave does to you? That you adapt to the way you are treated and your status as a slave hardens around you like a new skin? Actually, they don’t stop my asking what’s going on. I do it to myself, I realise. Time to re-assert my humanity, I think. Time to re-engage my ego, even if I make my response in the respectful tone that is expected of me. “May I ask what you are going to do today, Sir?”
Charlotte and Jonathan both start to reply and say different things. I start to giggle. We all dissolve into laughter. It breaks the tension. Suddenly, I feel a lot better.
“OK, I’ll go first,” says Jonathan, taking charge. I hear him snap on a pair of latex gloves. He is running his fingers gently across my back as though he is tracing the areas he is going to work on. He helps me to stretch out on the plinth. “How are you feeling about this?” he asks.
“Good,” I say nodding with a smile. “The other girls are jealous.”
“And so they should be, young lady. Your back is just the perfect canvas for this. You ready for some more?”
I nod again. He starts to sponge my skin and lays down some Vaseline over the area he will work on.. “This time, Fifty, we start to fill in some of the detail. I won’t do too much but we’ll try to fill in here,” I feel him touch me just below the shoulder blade, “and here,” he touches me again, this time just around where he’d put the barcode, “I want to put some decoration around this. Look, you can watch.” He points to a mirror just in front of me. It’s angled so that I can see another mirror. In it, there is my back with the design outline spread across it.
The tattooing process is still a bit scary. Perhaps if it had been my idea in the first place or if Joe had asked me to get it done, it would be something I would be looking forward to with delicious anticipation. As it is, it’s all mixed up with learning to trust someone else – my owners - to have my best interests at heart.
“I’m going to do some of the filling in on the areas where we need blocks of colour,” says Jonathon. “This will be a bit faster than what I’ve done so far, because I will be using a larger needle, but I’ll be covering a larger area.” The apprehension is obviously showing in my face, because Jonathan continues, “But, its OK, Fifty, it will not feel any worse than the last bit, really.You heard me say to Charlotte that I don’t think we can realistically have everything finished before you return home, so I will see you again on my home ground. My studio is in London. Will that be a problem?”
I find it difficult to think about things after I leave here. Will that be a problem? I don’t know. I’m so used now to not making decisions. Why is he asking me to make a decision like that? Suddenly, I feel it’s all getting too much. Then I get a grip of myself. “No Sir,” I reply. “I will be able to manage London. It won’t be a problem.” Thinking about things after being here raises another question. “Erm, Joe – that’s my husband - might well want to come. Will that be OK with you?”
“Of course. It’s fine by me but, well, I guess it depends on what he thinks about what you have been up to!”
Yes, it does and, for the first time in quite long time, I start to think seriously about what Joe actually will think. After all there is a limit to everyone’s credulity and there is only just so much that I can reasonably explain under the heading of “selfless devotion to research”.
“So,” Charlotte takes up the conversation, “as you will not be going anywhere for an hour or two… ”
“Or three!” chips in Jonathan. My anxiety levels start to rise again.
Charlotte continues, “…. I thought this would be a good time to have you tell me how you thought you have progressed and if your IWB experience has been good for you.”
She’s sounds the way the Prof does when she quizzes me on work I’ve been doing but this is very different. There’s no question in my mind about whether she has any right to know how I feel. No question of trying to keep my thoughts and feelings private. “Yes, of course, Mistress,” I say. I’m almost surprised at myself. Goodness, how easily the right response for a slave comes to me now and how correct it sounds. I’m not sure how I’ll get on when I’m no longer here. I’m damned if I’m going to talk this way to Angela, though, much as she would enjoy hearing it from me!
“Exactly, so let’s begin. Well, not quite begin. First …” Charlotte sits on a low stool and slips her feet out of her flip flops and puts them to one side. She lifts her feet and placing them on the plinth right in front of my face. I remember the beautiful cowboy boots she was wearing when we first met. I can still see the stitching and the decorative punching in my mind’s eye. The sandals are just as nice as the boots were. I try to think if I have seen similar in the shops, but I don’t think so. She must have them made up specially. Hmmm. Money well spent. Her sandals are perfectly shaped to fit. The soles are nice and thick, but also look soft to walk on. The thongs are just a touch wider than you would see on sandals in the shops. Perfect.
I see her flex her toes. It is clear what she wants. It’s what I want, too. I start to nuzzle, kiss and lick her feet, just as I did that time before. Once more, they are warm and have a lovely leathery smell. She has rubbed in some sort of skin conditioner, which adds to the delicious sensation and gives her feet a slightly pepperminty flavour.
Meanwhile, Jonathan has begun again. There is the buzz of his tattooing handpiece and a sharp sting as he starts work, but with tattooing the sting just goes on. I try to breath through the sensation, which interrupts my work on Charlotte’s feet. I look up. She smiles, and motions me to continue, which I do as soon as I can. That’s not as soon as I would like, because Jonathan’s attentions are taking up quite a bit of my mind.
“So Fifty: have you enjoyed your time with us?” Charlotte ignores what’s going on at my back and what I’m doing to her feet.
“Yes, Ma’am …..I ….. I’m very glad I ……… came.” There are pauses as the pressures and stings at my back change.
“Enjoyed every aspect?”
“Well, ah …ha … ha …. Maybe … not every … aspect …”
“So what has been toughest?”
“Being arrested and … ha … Ha … aaaaahh … interrogated. And there was this woman…”
“Was that Connie? You were sleep talking when you got back and kept calling out the name.”
“Ye ….ye ….. yes. Co….. Connie,” Jonathan has found a sensitive area. It’s hard to break my mind away from what’s going on behind me, hard to keep up the conversation.
“So what was she like?”
“Well, you know those pictures of how … how … How … Stars bend space-time because they have so much gravity?” The tattooing is not so bad here. My words all just tumble out as if they want to be said before things change and speech becomes hard going again. “Well, Connie is a bit like that except with her it’s emotional gravity.”
“Well ….aha …. Aha …. Yes. But I guess I also kept getting hot for her, too …..”
“Well, yes, I’m sorry. I was just saying how I felt at the time.”
“No, don’t apologise Fifty. You have to be honest. That’s very interesting. So if she were here now and wanted to take you away somewhere, would you go?”
I‘m worried about where this is leading. I feel myself tense. I sense Jonathan feels it too. He stops working for a moment. Even though I’m concerned, I can’t help the answer. “Er, er well, yes, I might want to go.”
“So suppose she said she wanted you to go be someone’s slave, maybe for quite a long time, what would you say?”
“Not her slave? Oh, er … well, er ….. I guess part of me would want to do it for her but mainly, … I mean I was attracted to her ... her ... emotional power.”
“So it was really her?”
“Yes, I’m sorry. It was her.”
“No don’t be sorry. You are just telling me how you felt. And what else about Inward Bound?”
“Well, there is so much else. I will have to think carefully back on it all …”
“This is your research?” Charlotte has a sly smile on her face, as if to say, 'And, just remember what trouble it got you into'.
I catch myself hoping that Angela has had a some taste of what I’ve been going through when she was left in Connie’s capable hands. “Well, yes but I’m sure anyone would feel the same. There are just so many things I’ve done that I would not have had the courage to do otherwise …”
“Well, I mean, things I have experienced. Mostly it has been things that were done to me, of course. Although I allowed it. I stayed here. I could have gone.” And I wonder to myself: could I? I mean, yes, they would have let me go but could I have gone?
“Would you have been brave enough to do them for yourself? To find all this for yourself?”
“No, Mistress, I guess not.” I know that I couldn’t. Some of it, yes. But the tattooing? The beating? The shaving? The piercing? The sheer terror of the abduction and the interrogation? The sex? Well, maybe the sex!
“So, you are glad we pushed you just a little?”
Just a little? More than a little, I think, but I say, “Yes, Ma’am. I’m very grateful that you pushed me hard.”
“Yes, Ma’am. Hard.” And, I smile.
And she smiles back at me. And, at that point, I really am glad. The shaving. The piercings, The spankings, The tattooing ouch! Yes, even the tattooing!
“But your job? That must need quite a lot of initiative – you must have to work on your own. And then I suppose you must have teaching to do? That must need self-confidence …?”
“Yes, that’s a good summary, Ma’am.”
“So, was it difficult to put that all to one side?”
I think about what she’s saying. I haven’t really been conscious of ‘putting things to one side’ it’s just how things have happened. Once I’d taken that first step. It’s like getting on a slide. You can’t decide half way down that you won’t go the rest of the way. Charlotte is looking down at me. I kiss her feet again but I know that I am going to have to answer. “Well, …er ….er, I think coming … here,” Jonathan has started work again. “Uhh…needed a sort of self confidence, but at the beginning … well, ..er … I mu… must say I did…I did…..think.. I was crazy…to come at all.”
“And, what will Joe say when you get back?”
That’s a question that pricks me like Jonathan’s needles. What will Joe say? The sensation on my back right now is a hot vibrating spot about a centimetre in diameter. Well, that’s what it feels like. It really is quite sore. I am squeezing my hands together and breathing out slowly and carefully. The result of all this will be beautiful, but the process really is quite tough. And what will Joe say?
AHHHH: I am breathing heavily now and conversation with Charlotte becomes impossible. If I concentrate on the pain of the tattooing I can just about breathe in a controlled way but if I am distracted by talking, the pain seems to slip out of control.
Jonathan senses I am just about all in and calls a halt. “Well done, Fifty!” he says. “That will do for now.”
“I’m sorry Sir. I feel like a complete wimp.”
“No, not at all. You are having a huge tattoo done and backs are just sore.”
“It’s funny, but when I have been whipped and spanked, the pain was quite different.”
“Yes, it’s very different. Different circumstances. Different tools. Different operation, if you will. Anyway, I think you have done very well and I think we should call it a day for now. Here: get up. As long as Mistress Charlotte over there is happy that her feet have been adequately cared for.”
Charlotte smiles. “Oh yes,” she says. “You are quite good at feet, aren’t you, Fifty?”
The way she says it, it’s almost like she thinks I enjoy it. Which of course I do. I blush. I climb a shade unsteadily from the plinth and notice I am shaking although the room is really quite warm. Jonathan wraps cling film over the area he has been working on, fixing it with micropore tape.
There,” he says, “at least that should stop your being beaten for a few days.”
“You’ll have to cover a lot more of my body to stop Ylena from finding a spot that she can spank,” I say with a smile. How on earth can I joke about that? I don’t know but I can.
““Hmmm. Yes, but there will be plenty left and in any case, I have left Ylena’s prime areas untouched so she does not have to make any compromises,” Jonathan winks, as he says this and I chuckle in response. “Same general instructions as before, Fifty. Take off the cling film in the shower. Wash very carefully with some mild soap and pat dry. Your skin will feel rather rougher than last time. The area will scab over and in a week, or so, it will start to itch as the scab separates. NO SCRATCHING. Understand?”
“No Sir, I mean, yes, Sir!”
“Perhaps Charlotte or Jo will be able to put some skin cream on for you? Or have one of the other slaves do for you. After all we artists expect our canvas to be properly cared for!”
“Hmmm,” says Charlotte, “I’m sure we can manage that.” She raises an eyebrow towards Jonathan as if to say “Don’t nag!”
I wonder if Jonathan has a bit of the Prima Donna about him? Still, it’s good to feel I really am being properly looked after. During this last few minutes Charlotte has made tea – even for me - and the tea is just wonderful. We sit together and drink it from delicate china bowls. The tea is served without milk. Charlotte and Jonathan chatting; I’m happy to sit quietly.
It’s almost normal until Charlotte picks up my leash and clips it to my nose ring. “Come along,” she says, as she slips her feet back into her sandals.
A little while later, I am being led by Charlotte back towards my cell.
“Can we continue the debrief another day, please, Ma’am?” I ask, “It’s just that I’m all in now.”
“Yes, Fifty. That’s a good idea. I think you were wrestling with what your husband was going to say.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” I reply. “It’s not an easy call to make. Can I have my evening meal and sleep on it?”
“Yes, you may. Might be less of a problem than sleeping on your back?”
And she smiles. And I smile too. It’s been a good day. In my cell I lay down on my tummy. I’m asleep almost at once.
Chapter 27: Seeking Perfection
Course 8 / Day 48: Course Progress Meeting
Participant Notes: Fifty
Jo: My aim with Fifty was that on her return she should be reintegrated into the course as quickly as possible. There are still eight days before she completes the course and the time needs to be used effectively to minimise any detrimental impact of the “rendition” fiasco as far as possible. Anyway it is time for her to try to put what she has learned into practice in a more integrated way.
It’s morning. The shutters go up on my cell. Things are refreshingly normal again, I’m back into my routine; washing, using the loo without even thinking about it now. I get up and see Jo watching me. I’m not embarrassed.
“Good morning, Fifty,” she says as she opens the cell door. “Before we start today, let’s talk for a few moments.” She sits on my bed and I kneel on the floor. “Tell me, what do you think are the characteristics of the ideal slave?”
It's a strangely difficult question, because it’s such a big question. I've been here so long now and that has been the entire focus of my training. But somehow it doesn't seem as simple as it does when I'm in the middle of a task I have been given – or on my knees in front of the Masters or Mistresses. And then there is the tension inside me when I think about Joe and me. The moments pass and Jo waits patiently, seeing that I'm considering my words carefully.
“Well, Mistress, I’d say obedience, responding quickly to instructions and carrying them out properly. And respectful behaviour to her owners. And doing what owners want, not what the slave might want and to be content with thinking about what the owner wants first and what the slave – I’ll say me – I mean being happy to put what I want second. And not to be … er …disappointed by always coming second.”
I am still wrestling with my thoughts and Jo senses I’m not finished. She pauses and I go on. “When I first came, well, I had no real idea what on earth was going to happen. I mean, how this whole experience could last two months but now I think two months is maybe not long enough … And I also think that it’s different if you are in a happy D/S relationship at home. The girls who are – I guess like Judy – are really lucky. Me? Well, I feel this tension inside about how I will get on with Joe when he gets back and when I’m at home again ...“
Jo interrupts me. “Those are all good answers, Fifty. It’s interesting to see that you are moving towards one of the specially important things which is about anticipation. You were starting to tell me about relationships, which is key in consensual BDSM. But I was after practical things at the moment, in particular to do with anticipation. The best slave isn't one that just obeys orders. It is one that acts without the need for orders, one that knows what needs to be done to provide for the Master's or Mistress's comfort and does it, and spends every waking moment thinking about how to be of service and then putting that into action. Did you ever see that film Gosford Park? I’m thinking of the scene in which the Housekeeper says: ‘We aim to be the perfect servant. We know when they will be hungry before they do and have food ready in anticipation.’ So she knows when her Master is hungry and the food is ready, she knows when he's tired and the bed is turned down, she knows what he wants before he knows it himself. You shouldn't just aim to be good, you should aim to be the best, the perfect slave.”
“I can see that Mistress. But, it's a big challenge.”
“Otherwise the slave is a little more than a robot or worse. She’s someone that is only indulging themselves, using her owner as her slave.”
“Yes. It would be more like the Stepford Wives than Gosford Park.”
Jo lifts one eyebrow and then laughs. “That’s very good, Fifty and I think you are exactly right. I guess to really make the relationship work, there has to be some unpredictability and surprises coming from both sides. Now, to change tack for a moment. Tell me Fifty, have you come across the expression, 'topping from the bottom'? It's where the submissive takes control of the relationship and uses his or her behaviour to drive the dominant in the direction that the submissive wants to go.”
I nod. It's something that Angela accused me of a few times. I wonder again how she is getting on. I guess she must be back at the university by now, assuming Connie has finished playing with her. I allow myself a little smirk. She really did deserve something. Jo brings my attention back to the here and now.
“Well, you'll know it's quite common and it’s where quite a few D/S relationships come unstuck. And perhaps some more conventional relationships too. We can avoid that when you are with us because we have more control over you, but when you are back with your owner or partner ...well, it can be an issue.” I think that she’s trying to give me a subtle warning. “Anyway, Fifty, I would like to give you some practice at anticipation. For the next few days, your main task will be the personal servant of Master Gerry. He'll be living in the guest suite. You will look after him there and see to his every need. You will aim to be the perfect slave. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Mistress, but I'm not sure that I can live up to that.”
"Maybe the model to keep in mind is the relationship Lord Peter Wimsey has with his ‘Gentleman’s Gentleman.’ Of course Bunter would be an important step up from you because he is not a slave, but I'm sure you will give it a good try. Take yourself up to the guest suite after breakfast in the morning and start then. The security has been programmed to let you through. Now, before you get to work, something more personal. How are you feeling? I'm sure your back must be sore.”
I nod, grateful for her concern. “Thank you Mistress. Yes, it does feel bruised and sore.” Not like a session with Ylena, though, I think to myself. “But, it’s not too bad.”
After Jo leaves, I think for a long time about what she has said. It makes perfect sense, of course. Why should the Master, or Mistress, have all the responsibility of deciding what needs to be done and when? Of course it has to be the role of the slave to see what is needed too, and then to anticipate the owner's needs. Maybe, that's the problem I've been having with Joe. Or, he has been having with me. Maybe I need to think more about what he needs and not always seem to be pushing him towards my wishes?
It's the following morning after breakfast – which includes much more admiration for the new areas of tattooing that Jonathan filled in yesterday. I head off to the guest suite, determined to do the best I can in looking after Gerry.
It's a small set of rooms; a bedroom with a large walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom, a small kitchen with a well stocked fridge and cupboards, a comfortable lounge, and a small bare room – not as big as the closet. I take the latter to be slave accommodation if required, especially given the rings set in the walls and the floor. There's a suitcase on the bed and a carrier bag on the floor beside it. Gerry's things, I assume.
I'm not sure what to do. I have a look around the rooms. There doesn't seem to be any sign of Gerry and no one has told me what to do. One thing I do know is that Gerry is very fastidious about his appearance, he'll want his clothes to be neat and tidy. Actually, he'll want the suite to be neat and tidy too, so I decide to put his things away for him. I unpack his suitcase into the drawers in the bedroom and hang the shirts and trousers in the closet. I arrange his washing and shaving things neatly on the shelf in the bathroom. There's a book in his bag. I put it neatly on the table in the lounge. It’s called ‘External Works’ and it’s huge. Curiosity gets the better of me and I leaf through it. Really, it’s more of a catalogue. The book is full of ads and contacts for things architects and builders might need to put outside a new development. Top soil, stone paving, cast iron bollards, it’s all here in astonishing variety. I guess that Gerry must be an architect in “real life”. I close the book and turn to the job of putting his other things away.
Everything looks tidy and I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. Then I think, his shirts looked a bit creased from being packed. Perhaps I should press them, there was an iron and a board in the closet. I'm about to set the board up in the bedroom when I think, what if he came back now, he wouldn't want to have to watch me ironing, so I take the board and the iron and his shirts into the small slave room. There's just enough space for me to work. It doesn't take me long and when I've done his shirts are crisp and fresh. He'll be pleased, I'm sure. Actually I’m pleased with myself and then surprised and disappointed that I have never thought of being this careful with Joe’s things.
I'm wondering what else needs to be done, when Gerry turns up. He's looking a little stressed, which is unusual, he's normally so laid back. “Ah, Fifty,” he says. “They said you'd be here. Now, can you unpack my stuff and ...”
“I've done that already, Sir,” I say. Gerry looks pleasantly surprised, I feel smug. “Why don't you sit down and relax for a moment. Perhaps I could get you some tea or a drink. There's plenty in the fridge here. I'm sure I could find something that you'd like or I could go down to the kitchens.”
Gerry collapses on the couch gratefully. “Nice idea,” he says. “But tea! Jeez, you Brits think that's the cure for everything. I'll take some coffee if you can make something that tastes like coffee rather than that instant stuff. And don't go running off, I like to see you around. I'm still pleased with the job I did on your scalp. It suits you and I like looking at it.”
“Thank you, Sir,” I say, pleased by the compliment, but a bit taken aback by his revelation.
I forcibly return my mind to practical questions. “There's an espresso machine in the kitchen and fresh ground in the fridge. How would you like it?”
“Oh,” Gerry says with a smile, “just like me, straight, black and short.”
I smile in response and disappear into the kitchen. When I come back with his coffee he's leaning back on the couch. I put the coffee down beside him on the table. “You look as though you had a hard day at the office, Sir,” I say. “Can I be of service? Perhaps, you'd like me to take your shoes off? Maybe a foot massage would help? Do you want to tell me about it? Sometimes, just talking can help you relax, too.”
“Hey, slow down, Fifty,” Gerry says. “The last thing I need right now is an eager slave. I'm just going to chill out for a while, read my book and relax that way.”
“All right, Sir,” I apologise and suppress a giggle as best I can. He is right of course. “I'll kneel by the wall over there, if you like, until you need me.”
“That's very good, Fifty. The last thing I want at the moment is pressure.”
I do as I said and kneel down. I don't want to stare at Gerry or have him wearied by me fidgeting in the corner so I consciously cast my eyes down to look at the floor. I hear the clink of his cup as he finishes his coffee and the quiet flap-flap of paper as he turns the pages of his book. It is difficult to stay kneeling, still and silent but I focus on trying to make sure that I do nothing to distract Gerry. I suppose it is an hour later, I’m feeling stiff from trying to keep still for so long. I hear Gerry stand up and walk across towards me. He puts his hand beneath my chin and lifts my head up.
“Fifty,” he says, “that's been a great help. I really needed that chill out time.”
“Thank you, Sir,” I say.
“And, right now, I'm going to take a shower.”
“Yes, Sir,” I say, “There are towels in the bathroom. And your washing things are in there, too.”
“Thank you, Fifty.” Gerry smiles and heads off into the bathroom.
I wait until I can hear the swoosh of water in the shower and follow him. I can see the dark shadow of his body behind the shower screen. I gather up his discarded clothes, place a bathrobe on the stool beside the wash stand, and scuttle out again.
The clothes go into a washing basket. I lay out a clean set on the bed and then I clear up the empty coffee cup. There doesn't seem to be anything else I can do at this point, I don't think that Gerry would welcome an offer to scrub his back, so I go to wait in the small slave's room.
I am still waiting there, kneeling, when he comes to find me. He's still wearing his bath robe. “Come into the lounge,” he says. I follow him. He sits on the couch and beckons for me to kneel beside him. “Did you press my shirts?”
“Yes, Sir. Was that OK?”
“Definitely OK, Fifty, you're doing a terrific job and I feel much better after that shower.”
“I'm glad, Sir, I am trying to make things as comfortable as possible for you.”
“Well, you have been doing very well. I think you deserve a little reward, don't you?” He reached out and gripped one of my nipple rings. Even though the rings have been in for a long time now, my nipples still feel very sensitive if anyone touches them. I give a little gasp. “And, I expect that you like that don't you?” I nod. Gerry smiles in response and gets to his feet. Still holding my nipple ring, he leads me towards the bedroom.
“I like to see women enjoying themselves,” Gerry says as he encourages me towards the bed and sits me on it. “OK Fifty, stay there.”
He leaves me. I wonder what is going to happen. I know that the staff aren’t supposed to have sex with us, but I find myself feeling that I might not mind if he were planning to break the rules. I am wrong though. When he comes back he is leading Carrie on a leash.
“Now, Fifty-two,” he says to Carrie, “I hear you’ve been learning to improve your massage techniques. I want you to show me how well you’ve been doing.”
Soon her fingers are gliding across my back, lubricated with some spicy smelling oil. Then she has me roll onto my back. She carries on with the massage, playing with every part of me. Well, almost every part of me. She carefully avoids touching me anywhere close to my sex but the more that she stays away from this, the more aroused I become. Her touch does become more sexual, however. Her fingers start playing with my nipple rings, twisting them in their piercings and brushing past them as her hands push my breasts upwards. Her hands caress my scalp. She rolls my nose ring through its grommet and then lets her hands slide down my neck, brushing along my arms to the inside of my elbows. With each touch I become more and more aroused, until I'm lifting my hips each time her fingers brush against me and her hands stroke across my skin. My hands start to stray towards my groin but Gerry leans over and takes them very gently. He puts them back on the bed, shaking his head and saying, “No, just enjoy her touch.”
Carrie moves one hand between my thighs. I think for one delightful moment that she is about to continue her touching there. But, all she does is to part my thighs, before she moves her hands back to my nipples. I whimper with a combination of frustration and desire, until finally Carrie lowers her head and buries her tongue in my sex. After her attentions to every other part of my body it seems to take no time at all before I come.
“Ohh, thank you,” I sigh, as I collapse back on the bed.
“That's for being a good slave,” Gerry says, taking credit for the kindness that Carrie has done me. “You Brits may not know anything about service in restaurants, but you can get the idea if you put your minds to it.”
“You're teasing me, Sir” I say, sensing that a little levity wouldn't be out of place.
“You're right, Fifty,” he says, with a grin, “it's one of my great pleasures.”
Carrie hasn’t spoken since she came in to the room and Gerry doesn’t want her to stay. He sends her back to her cell.
Slowly I regain my composure. It's curious, I think. Usually, you'd expect the slave to pleasure the Master but he has obviously delighted in watching Carrie’s pleasuring me. I reach out with my hand to his thigh, indicating that I'd be only too happy to do the same for him, whatever the rules say. But he just takes it in his, lifts it to his lips and kisses it. He shakes his head. “Not now, Fifty. I have some things to do.” He sees my look of disappointment. “Enjoy that for now. Maybe I'll have you play again later.”
We don't, but it doesn't matter. He goes out of the suite and I spend the time while he's gone cleaning up in the bathroom, straightening the bed and laundering the clothes that he took off. He comes back. I cook for him and wait while he eats. I clear the dishes and wash them, all without a word from him or me. I go back to see that he's watching TV - American football. Again, without speaking I kneel beside him, remove his shoes and socks and massage his feet. He smiles and lets me. When I finish I curl up at his feet like some pet cat. He reaches down and strokes my head for a moment before his attention returns to the game. I don't mind, I just snuggle myself closer to him, the back of my neck against his feet.
It's only later when the game is over and he gets up and says he's going to bed that I leap up and dash away to turn down his covers and plump his pillows. He comes in as I finish, watches as I hang up the dressing gown he had discarded on his bedroom chair, and lets me wait until he has climbed into bed. I say, “Good night, Sir,” and get as far as the door before he calls me back.
“Come here,” he says turning back the quilt. ”Thank you, slave. You’ve done exceptionally well.” I can’t remember when I last felt so proud of myself.
I spend three days serving Gerry in the guest suite. He never beats me, never gives me an order, and never fastens my cuffs. Yet, at the end of it I am more of a slave than I have ever been in all my time at Inward Bound, lost in my desire to anticipate whatever it will be to bring pleasure to my Master. And yes he does make sure that I keep my head as smooth as a billiard ball, so there’s clearly no escape from that expectation!
I overhear Gerry talking to Jo, saying that he has to leave here today, that he won't be sleeping in the guest suite tonight. Almost without thinking, I am packing his case, folding his shirts, and gathering up his things from the bathroom. When he comes back to the room all is ready. He looks at the packed bags, smiles and puts an arm around my shoulder and kisses my scalp. All the while, I'm thinking why did I never try to do this for Joe? It used to be like this with us when we first met. There was nothing I would not do for him, nor him for me. After marriage – well I suppose the pressure of our jobs and other “responsibilities” encouraged us to take each other for granted.
Finally, I realise that this is what I want: our first relationship alive again. Somehow, whatever happens after I leave Inward Bound, I have to make this happen for me and for Joe.
Chapter 28: A New Beginning
Course 8 / Day 56: Course Progress Meeting
Participant Notes: Fifty
Jo: Fifty will complete her first course with us today. We can expect that she will need some level of ongoing support following her return to normality, especially after her experiences with the rendition. Please direct any support request calls from Fifty personally to me or Charlotte for at least the coming 8 weeks.
It’s the end of the final day of the course.
There are sorrowful goodbyes at the Centre. Jo, Corinne, Ylena, Jonathan, Charlotte and, best of all, Gerry are all there to see us off. But, just before I leave, there is one thing that reminds me that maybe things aren’t over.
As we’re standing in the hall waiting to be taken back to London, Jo goes to the small table that stands on one side and opens the drawer. She takes out a small pistol shaped handpiece and points it at each of our arms in turn. “There,” she says, “that’s checked all of you out on the system, for now at any rate. It will stop the alarms going off when your tags can’t be sensed any more. Oh, we'll have our collars, wrist and ankle cuffs back too.”
It feels very strange not to have them on, but I wonder if it they can be removed from our mind quite so easily? And what’s even stranger for me at least, is to be wearing clothes again, even though it’s just jeans, flip-flops and a tee-shirt!
As the tag reader beeps when it senses my chip I’m reminded that, whatever else, I’ll still carry quite a few mementos of Inward Bound. It will be quite a challenge adapting to everyday life again, especially since I’m going to have to relive it all in my mind while writing it up and preparing the research proposals, whatever Angela says. I will have to tell the faculty at Inward Bound just what I’ve been up to. I wonder if I we will be able to go on with this after all that has happened?
We’re just about to leave when Charlotte emerges from the house with a flat, square, red, leather-covered box. She waves to Judy to come forward and calls for our attention. “I think you all know that Judy has been on her second experience here,” she says. “Well, her real life Master has asked if we can make sure that he can keep track of her after she leaves here.” Charlotte opens the box. Inside is a slightly heavier version of the collars we’ve been wearing at Inward Bound. She takes it out and clips it closed around Judy’s neck with a rather final sounding “clunk”.
“If any of your Masters or Mistresses are interested,” Charlotte goes on, “it works by reporting where it is using a Global Positioning System. It can be programmed to report its position every hour or more often, provided you plug the collar in for a re-charge on a regular basis. Or it can be set it up so that your Master or Mistress sends a text message to the collar and it will respond with where it is. Now you need never be worried about getting lost again. I think Judy’s Master was worried that she might wander off.”
Judy doesn’t look entirely pleased with this development but she doesn’t say anything. She puts her hands up to feel the collar as it sits in place around her neck. “There’s no catch that you’ll find,” Charlotte says. She holds out a silver ring. “The collar has a magnetic lock. Your master will have this ring. He will be able to unlock it should he wish.” Judy drops her hands to her sides and nods submissively. Charlotte smiles. “There,” she says. “now you are all ready to go.”
A few moments later, I'm sitting in the same vehicle that brought me to the Inward Bound Centre with the same four other girls that were with me on the day we arrived here almost two months ago. But, this time, they are being a bit more severe with us . As a last fling we have been given discipline hoods to wear on the trip back. Well, I guess that’s progress. We were all chatting away together as we waited in the entrance hall but now we're all quiet - we cannot be anything else! However, I suspect each of the others, like me, is lost in thoughts of what has been and what has yet to be.
George drives us back towards London. Eventually, we stop. Charlotte has made the return trip with us and strips off our hoods. We’ve stopped on the Embankment, opposite the London Eye. It’s time to get off and finally go our separate ways. She embraces us individually.
“Well, are you glad you came?”
“Yes, Mm..” Charlotte stops me with a finger against my lips.
“It’s Charlotte now, not Mistress - now that we are back on earth,” she says.
I laugh – we all laugh – and at last head off back to our everyday lives. Well, except Judy, maybe.
In true Inward Bound fashion, I have been given an envelope with an Underground ticket which will take me to Marylebone and a rail ticket to get me back home. At least, this time they’ve also given me some cash to get something to eat on the way back. Mind you, I have lost absolutely all my spare fat and I’m not for putting it back in a hurry.
So, at last I am back, unlocking my front door. I feel strangely flat, lonely, aimless. Going into my own home at last, there are the familiar smells of home, but an odd, empty aura too.
The message light on my answer phone is blinking. I had told people that I would be away so I wasn't really expecting much. Four calls. They all turn out to be from Angela.
“Jenny, call me as soon as you're back. You've no idea how anxious I've been about you and how keen I've been to hear about your research.” BEEP “Hi, Jenny. It’s the Prof. Really keen to talk to you. Call me.” BEEP “Jenny, I'm guessing you should be back soon. I really need to get to work on a paragraph for our Department’s submission in the RAE. I've done something, but you'll need to review it. Plus, I guess that you'll want to do a British Association presentation too. Call as soon as you can.” BEEP “Jenny. Sorry, but this is really urgent. Now I've got some Americans that want to talk to me about this. Call when you can.”
I listen to Angela’s voice warily. Her insistence, her sense of urgency, contrasts sharply with the curious flatness that I feel. She hasn't once said anything that might show any sign of interest in how I feel. Then, I think about the dates and times. These messages are all two weeks ago. What was Angela thinking of? She knew I was supposed to be away for eight weeks. She suggested eight weeks, but she’s calling me after six weeks ... did she contact Inward Bound and ask for me back to work on the RAE submission? And then there is the sinister reference to 'The Americans' . That must have been the Agency. She hasn't called since. Ha! I guess she’s had something else to think about. A wide smile breaks out across my face. I’m sure I can rely on Connie! In fact I have never felt happier about Connie than I do now.
The phone rings. Against my better judgement I pick it up. It's Angela.
“Jenny, thank goodness, you're back. We really have to talk. As soon as possible. Are you coming up to the university tomorrow?”
I listen to Angela without saying anything. She still doesn't stop to ask how I am and if she feels any remorse or even questions her actions after her encounter with Connie and the Agency, whoever they were, it doesn't show. I don't really have a chance to speak as Angela crashes on and actually I don't want to.
“So, how soon do you think you can get back to work on the RAE? I've done something, but you'll need to review it and I want to make sure that you've got a good structure for the presentation I mentioned too.”
I don't say anything. I just drop the handset back onto the cradle and hang up. The phone rings again. I don't answer it. I know it will just be Angela and I don't want to listen to any more.
One of the things that Inward Bound offered to organise was to keep an eye on the place while I was away. The keys have been left on the kitchen table with a note, an envelope addressed to me - and a bag containing a pair of linen trousers, a white sleeveless top and a pair of sandals. I smile. The note reads, “Welcome back, Jenny. You'll find things a bit strange for a while. If you need to talk to anyone give me a call. You know where to reach me. Love. Jo. XXX”
'A bit strange' is something of an understatement. It's a nice thought but right now I don't want to talk to anybody, I just want to think.
A shower is always a good start. I head upstairs and strip off. I feel more comfortable naked these days. It is bliss to stand under the stream of hot water knowing that no one is watching me. The water feels good on my skin and tingles on my bare scalp. Even after all the time at Inward Bound that still seems strange, but only occasionally, now.
Once out of the shower, as I run the towel over my arms, I remember the RFID chip. The scar has virtually gone now; you wouldn’t know it was there. Unless you had one of those readers. I suddenly have a horror of setting off alarms as I go through supermarket checkout. Surely that can’t happen, I think. Perhaps I’ll call Jo and ask her.
I look over my shoulder at my back in the bathroom mirror. My tattoo might not be finished but I still think it’s magnificent. I wouldn’t have thought I would like something so large but it’s so dramatic, so – well – beautiful. I hope Joe thinks so too.
I sprawl on the bed and flick on the television. I haven't seen any in two months and I can't say I've missed it. I thumb through channels aimlessly, then click it off and toss the remote aside. I stretch out on the bed and suddenly I'm really tired. In moments I'm asleep.
I wake up. Really awake. Really rested. It's still dark. I grope for the bedside clock and press the button. It’s only half past two in the morning, but I am awake. I haven't felt like this since the last time I flew transatlantic. It must have taken me three or four days in Denver before I got around to waking up at the right time. Only this time I haven't crossed any oceans, leastways not in the usual way. I go to make myself some tea, padding downstairs, still naked. The message light on the answer phone is blinking. Two messages. I must have been sleeping soundly, I hadn't even heard the phone ring.
The first one is Angela. “Jenny, I'm so sorry if I caught you at a bad time when I called before. I do want us to get together soon. I'm really keen to find out how you got on, so why don't you pop around to my study tomorrow first thing.” I can think of a hundred reasons why not and not one reason why I should. She still hasn't mentioned her encounter with “The Agency”. I wonder if she ever will. I press the delete button.
The second one is Joe. “Hi Honey, just to let you know that I'll be back into Heathrow around seven thirty. Guess you're out enjoying yourself. Hope you haven't been too lonely. I've missed you. See you tomorrow.” I press the replay button and listen to it again and again.
The kettle boils, I pour water onto a tea bag – green herb tea seems like the best in the middle of the night – and take the cup through to the lounge. I curl up on the couch. I think back to my last few days with Gerry and I know just what I've got to do. I want Joe to have as good a home-coming as he possibly can have. I drink my tea and think through everything I need to do. It's going to be a busy day.
I also remember the envelope, which is still waiting for me on the kitchen table. Inside is a letter and an “I might have known” smile breaks our across my face as I read:
Now you are back in your home environment, I’m sure you will want to keep the lessons you learned fresh so here is some home work for you:
1.We would like you to keep your head shaven if you can, although we realise this is some thing you will have to agree with Joe. For some slaves it can just be an imposition but we all thought it really suited you and it would be nice to think of you staying that way.
2.Keep up your training. Good physical appearance and strength are important for everyone as well as slaves. Remember, diet gives you muscular definition and exercise gives you strength and fitness. You will find a list of gyms local to you over the page. Join one!
3.Jonathan will be in touch to arrange another session with you, when you have had time to pick up the threads at work.
4.We expect you might want to see Ylena again before too long! Here is the address of her website. She will be looking forward to hearing from you.
5.You will be able to contact your fellow slaves through the Inward Bound site.
Best wishes, Charlotte
I look from Charlotte’s note around my home. It’s tidy enough but it’s not kept to the standard to which I have just been trained! Maybe that’s why they had me doing so much housework! I stay naked– cleaning in the nip seems the natural thing to do now. Thankfully our home is not overlooked, especially not in the middle of the night.
I set to with a will. Joe will be back tomorrow and I want everything to be just perfect. By and by all is to my satisfaction – right to the top of the Inward Bound scale, I reckon!
Next: food. I sketch out a menu for the coming week and a shopping list which buys to reflect what I’m actually going to cook – another first!
It’s as I am cruising the aisles of our local supermarket early in the morning (with a shopping list that includes an electric razor, by the way!) that it occurs to me that I have not spent a moment worrying what other customers might think of this shaven headed girl with a ring in her nose. No one else pays me much attention. I’m now torn between conflicting emotions: first, surprise at not being “noticed”, second relief that no one else seems to mind and finally a surge of pleasure that I have absolutely no excuse but to keep my head shaven and my ring exactly where it is, although that’s something Connie took out of my hands. Thank you Connie!
As I get back home, a plan is forming in my mind. I check Joe’s travel itinerary. He will be landing back in London this evening, about 7.30 on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok. A journey from London airport to the Midlands in the late evening is not much fun and very bad news after a fourteen hour flight. I’m going to book a hotel for us both – and the weekend in London – and no expense spared. Well, Angela’s endowment fund has saved our housekeeping expenses as well as kept me at Inward Bound. Time to take advantage of the opportunity.
The booking safely made, I rush upstairs to pack for the weekend: clothes for sight seeing and smarter clothes for going out, at which point I discover another little Inward Bound trick. A note from Jo this time:
We thought it was a waste for you to keep yourself cooped up in bras all the time – it’s not as if you need the support in any case. So we have removed temptation from you, but there’s a couple in case you have to go to some really formal do and a couple of sports bras. Also, Charlotte thought that as you enjoyed her bare feet so much, we would have you go barefoot more permanently, so we have only left you your sports socks, a couple of pairs of tights and some thicker socks for winter – and that’s all you will need.
Best wishes, Jo and Charlotte
I can’t say I am exactly surprised at this turn of events and it rather confirms my earlier feeling that Inward Bound was going to be hard to shake off, not really that I want to.
But at least it makes packing easier and I shall have to make sure I do not buy any “pinchy” shoes in future which will be much better for me! Funnily enough, going barefoot for two months has allowed my feet to spread and the only shoes I’ve got that are properly comfortable is a pair with flat heels and round toes – more suitable for a slave, I suppose…
I am in plenty of time to meet Joe’s plane. I see him as he and his fellow passengers spill out of the Terminal Three Arrivals. He looks weary and has his head down as he wheels his case towards the lift down to the Heathrow Shuttle. I step out in front of him.
“Hi, Joe,” I say, putting my arms around him and planting a kiss on his lips. At first he is taken aback with surprise- I have not come to the airport to meet him before. Then his face breaks into a wide smile and he returns my kiss – and then steps back – and gazes at my septum ring (I have reduced the shock quotient by wearing a bandanna around my head). He is about to speak when I use the Jo and Charlotte trick on him. I press my finger against his lips and say, “Plenty of time for questions later! Now we are having a weekend to ourselves. No writing reports for you and no Angela, in fact, absolutely no Angela, for me. Just us. I hope that’s to your satisfaction, Sir? Here, let me take your case.”
I smile broadly as I say “Sir” and of course Joe completely misses the significance. But that doesn’t really matter to me any more.
He smiles back and opens his mouth to speak, but again no words come out until he manages to say, “So, where are you taking me?”
Where are you taking me? Such a significant phrase for me over the past weeks ...
“A hotel. It’s obscenely expensive, but you deserve it – we deserve it. We have the room for tonight, Saturday and till lunch time on Sunday. And I have booked a show for Saturday plus dinner and then lunch Sunday before we go home.”
“Jenny, this doesn’t sound like you. What exactly have you been up to?”
“Well, I’ve been doing some fieldwork – it was a sort of close up observational project and (it’s now or never. As we pass through the tunnels to the train platform, I slip my bandanna off my head) I got really quite close up!”
Joe gasps and I laugh, then he laughs and suddenly it seems OK. “Glory be, Jenny I mean I, well I, I mean you, you’ve just never …”
“Never done anything like this?”
“No, you’re right – probably should have, ages ago. Well, I’ve done it now.”
“I’ll say! Yes, you have really done it now. But look, you are going to have to tell me just what the hell Angela has had you up to...”
We are now on the platform and the approaching train pushes a strong breeze ahead of it and the cool air playing around my bare scalp feels just wonderful. Gerry you don’t have to worry; I’m definitely staying shaven, I think to myself.
“Well, Angela, (in a flash my memory has me back at The Facility. Connie is holding my hand. We are both looking at Angela on her laptop. I wonder what Connie did with her? Whatever it was, I’m sure it was unforgettable, from Angela’s point of view!)... Angela had me join this group which was providing … er … sort of extended BDSM adventure holidays and my job was to collect observations on the effects that the stress of the course had on the participants for a research proposal. And because this was the pilot phase of the project, we both thought it would be best if I was undercover as a participant on the course and these are some of the things that happened to me…”
“Just some of the things?”
“Hmm, I’ll fill you in over the weekend.”
“Look, Jenny! Is that bitch Angela manipulating you all over again?”
I turn and face him: “Joe, yes, I think that was in her mind, but I’m past all that now and I have learned the courage to be the person I want to be, and I hope you will want to be with me as I truly am, too.”
“Jenny … I will always love you as you are.” Joe cuddles into me, anxious, protective.
The hotel is very grand. The Portland is an off-the-scale Victorian building opposite the BBC, but it’s got just what I was looking for in the way of a special atmosphere for Joe’s homecoming. While he is in the bathroom I have his things unpacked, dirty clothes dispatched to the hotel laundry and fresh clothes laid out for him on the bed. So is this Topping-From-The-Bottom? No, definitely not. This is Energetic Service. I guess Joe will still feel uncomfortable about me being his slave. But what about playing at being his slave? In fact what about being his PA and leave the games for the bedroom and the privacy of our home? The PA does sound good, though. And, acceptable in vanilla company!
I’m undressed and getting out the clothes I shall wear to dinner when Joe comes in from the bathroom and confronts my tattoo. I hear him take a sharp intake of breath and I instinctively turn sharply to ask what’s the matter, thus quite unconsciously bringing my pierced nipples into view.
“Jenny! For goodness sake! Just what did they do to you?”
Joe comes to me and runs his hand gently over my tattoo. The skin is still rough and tender.
“It’s OK,” I say. “You will not be able to see it under this dress …”
“Well now, that is a shame!” Joe replies. “Just stand away from me a little so I can get a better look at it, Jenny. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I have always thought that tattoos were a bit tacky but this, this … it’s a work of art.”
“Hmmm, well it’s not quite finished yet. I’ll have to see the artist in his studio in London a couple more times at least.”
“Can I come?”
“Yes – I asked.”
“So is that where you have been? London?”
“No, we went somewhere in the country, I’m not sure where, it was to keep it all a bit confidential.”
And so we are now in bed together. Joe is sleeping off the effects of his journey and I am laying awake, turning over once more the events of the past two months. There was a time when I would have been at Joe to make love as soon as we could, but now I am content for him to have his space. I begin to muse again about being a slave: anticipating the needs of my master, my owner; putting him first and being content to be second. Who would have guessed, on our wedding day that we would reach this point together? And then I begin to think about our wedding. The public vows we made. ‘To have and to hold. In sickness and in health. For richer, for poorer. With my body I thee honour. To cleave only unto thee.’ The vows that I made to Joe and the vows he made to me. They don’t ask me to do anything different from what I want to do now. Except that the relationship is mutual, tender, patient, consensual. And, as I want to slave for Joe, I hope he in his way will want to slave for me and maybe we will both be able to say “the very instant that I saw you did my heart fly to your service; there resides to make me slave to it and for your sake”
Strangers often give little away about themselves. Lovers – especially married lovers - have to trust each other with the knowledge of who they both really are, to be content and comfortable naked in each other’s presence. Physical nakedness is relatively easy because our sexual drives carry us forward like a fast rising tide. But to be spiritually naked and unashamed – that’s so much more difficult. I now think the unhappiness Joe and I felt probably had its roots in our – well my – inability to be honest about who I really was. My time with Inward Bound has at last given me the courage to finally let down my guard completely. I hope Joe likes the person he finds…
In this story, everyone seems to be doing research – Angela, Jenny, Larry, Harry, Connie and even Freddie’s alter ego and name sake, Freddie Clegg, so we thought you might be amused to see some of the research Freddie and I (writes Phil) did as we put the story together. We tried to give Thesis a sharper edge by writing as close to the real world as we could and we were surprised (to say the least) to find some of our own musings turned out to have very close parallels in the real world! We should also point out, by the way, that neither Freddie nor Phil has any commercial connection whatsoever with any of the companies mentioned.
Chapter 1: Board Meeting
1. Freddie Clegg Enterprises:
Readers who want to know more about this organization and about how Larry Ross came to be in their employ should read 'Market Forces', Freddie’s previous magnum opus!
2. A University in the English Midlands:
There are several universities in the English Midlands. We have deliberately not been specific about which particular university Jenny Mc Ewan works at, but she lives in Warwick and there is one there
3. Second Skin
This magazine was invented by Freddie but in the real world, you could always have a look at Skin Two! Their website is www.skintwo.com
4. Professor Angela Dawney
Angela was inspired by Professor Madeline Dawnay, a character in the SciFi TV series ‘A for Andromeda’ written by the noted cosmologist Fred Hoyle and broadcast on BBC Television beginning in 1961. Professor Dawnay was played by Mary Morris who sported a cutting-edge, short, butch, haircut when she played the part. Freddie and Phil are (just) old enough to remember the series! Sadly only one episode remains. The series is famous for being Julie Christie’s first screen role. It was remade in 2006 in an OK version for BBC 4 with Jane Asher in the role of Dawnay. (not really how we see the Prof at all, I’m afraid).
A country market town north of Cambridge, England.
6. Brick Lane
A commercial street in the Whitechapel district of the East End of London, near the old London Docks. It has always been a rather work-a-day area and after the docks moved to Tillbury became rather run down. Now, however, it is a centre for Indian food. If you like a good curry you can find one around here (with care). Also not far from where Jack The Ripper used to ply his grisly trade. You can find it on Google Earth, but we are not being drawn on which building is the HQ of FCE although it might be loosely based on an office that Freddie once worked in real life. Also the title of a proper (much hyped, shortlisted for the Man-Booker prize in 2003) novel by Monica Ali and more recently (2007) a feature film of the book. Probably more literary than anything Phil or Freddie aspire to. We’ll let you judge whether or not this is more entertaining.
7. Sarah and the characters at the Board Meeting
More about this desperate crew can be found in Freddie’s earlier story Market Forces – except for Connie Mbazu who first appeared in Freddie and Phil’s last story 'The Greenwich Tales'. Phil had Connie just where he wanted her at the end of GT but this time ...
8. Jenny’s surrendered wife fantasies.
Laura Doyle’s book attracted plenty of controversy when it was first published. http://www.surrenderedwife.com/ Interestingly, Wikipedia talks about a “surrendered wives movement” without providing any evidence for it at all beyond describing the basic tenets of the book.
Chapter 2: Acquisitions
Kushtia is a fictitious country somewhere between Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Iran. It has got its own unique culture and you can learn more about it in Freddie’s tales 'Market Forces' and 'Anthropology'.
2. BDSM weekends
There really are one or two places you can go in the UK to spend a weekend in a BDSM guest house. Phil for one has never been to any of them and so we will not quote a web address except to say that you can look them up at: www.informedconsent.co.uk and then click the link to “services”. You might also want to have a look at www.ladomaine.com.
3. The Other World Kingdom
OKW really does exist and once again Phil has no personal experience to draw upon. However, their website makes it look as if the experience would be rather harsh, if you were a male sub. (But I guess that is the idea, says Freddie) If you dare, go to: www.owk.cz
4. Centre Parcs
A well known inland holiday resort company in the UK and Europe. Originally a Dutch firm, the Cambridgeshire village (as they are called) at Elvedon even used to have distinctly Dutch sanitary wear in the villas and the staff, including cleaners, travelled around the site on bicycles. Centre Parcs is very family friendly and vanilla but perhaps not completely. Phil read in the papers that the pool was open for adults in the late evening on a “costume-optional” basis. You might have to go to find out for real. It’s not mentioned on the website! www.centreparcs.co.uk
Chapter 3: Fond Farewell
Meeting of BDSM enthusiasts in vanilla venue. Especially good for new people to introduce themselves and take the measure of new acquaintances in safe surroundings.
2. Fancy your academic potential?
“How to Get a PhD” from the Open University Press covers finance, choice of topic, and in particular, several pages about the relationship between the Phd student and their supervisor. Jenny and Angela would have found it useful – but if they had read it, Freddie and I might not have had a story to tell! How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors. 4th edition Estelle Phillips and Derek S Pugh. Available from www.Amazon.co.uk
3. Fetish Wear In Public?
Of course there’s a web site for it: http://www.publicfetishgirls.com/
Chapter 4: First Contact
1. Café Nero.
It’s a large real-life chain of coffee bars in the UK : “The best expresso this side of Milan” they claim (“No,” says Freddie, “that’s mine!”) and they are actually very good! They are not known for their hosting of activities like these but you never know. Don’t you ever wonder what those people hunched over their laptops are actually doing?? :-) www.cafenero.com
2. Santa Maria Novella.
An up-market Italian firm of perfumiers . You can visit them at www.smnovella.it or Google Santa Maria Novella perfume to find an outlet near you. It is rather special.
Chapter 5: Goodbye & Hello
Seaside resort on the north sea coast of Yorkshire, England. It’s very picturesque. A small harbour nestling in a steep sided estuary. Famous as the birth place of Captain James Cook and in the fiction of Bram Stoker, infamous as the port where Count Dracula arrived in England.
Chapter 6: A Long & Winding Road
A university town in the English Midlands famous for its excellent castle.
2. Warwick Sports Centre
Warwick has several sports centres. This isn't based on any of them but it seemed a more likely venue for a swimming pool than Warwick Castle.
3. NX Hair
The shop; entirely fictional. The receptionist; entirely believable.
4. Hello! Magazine.
A glossy magazine available in the UK to keep you up-to-date with Celebrity Gossip. A favourite of hairdressers and hospital waiting rooms. www.hellomagazine.com
5. Journey Times.
We checked all Jenny’s journey times which were correct at the time of writing (least ways according to the timetables – we haven’t allowed for leaves on the tracks). www.nationalrail.co.uk www.tfl.gov.uk/tube
6. Marylebone Station
One of our favourite movies is the classic 1960’s spy movie 'The Ipcress File', which begins as two of the characters reach Marylebone Station. However, if you are traveling from Warwick to London, the train will indeed take you to Marylebone. There is one other Ipcress reference hidden in the story. Afficionarnos may spot it! www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marylebone_station
7. The Elephant, Fenchurch Street
There is a brightly painted model elephant street sign hanging outside The Elephant and hence Jenny found her way to the meeting point easily. http://fancyapint.com/pubs/pub2209.html
8. Gerry’s first speech.
Gerry paraphrases the speech from Jane Austen’s 'Pride and Prejudice' given by the unsavoury Mr Wickham to the Bennets, just before he and Lydia leave for Newcastle where he will join his new regiment: “The carriage awaits, duty and honour call us to the North. Let us not say goodbye, but as the French have it, au revoir”. Blimey, says Freddie, I hadn’t reaised we’d come over all literary.
National Car Parks has a facility not far from the Elephant pub. www.ncp.co.uk
10. The Story of O
We’re guessing you know this already folks, but in case you don’t: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Story_of_O www.amazon.com/Story-O-Pauline-Reage/dp/0345301110
Chapter 7: Admissions Procedure
1. Collars and cuffs
There are a surprisingly (encouragingly??) large number of firms in this market. You might like to look at: www.slaveregister.com/listings/collars but what we actually had in mind were some of the Tollyboy products. Check out: www.tollyboy.com Once you are in the site, pick “jewellery” from the product index.
Chapter 8: A Problem With Puppy Fat
1. Body Fat Percentage.
2. Weight loss strategies
Definitely Phil’s area of expertise. For more on this see 'The Greenwich Tales'. A helpful website is: http://www.anitabean.co.uk/weightloss.html but please bear in mind that this is a completely kink-free vanilla site.
3. Electro-conductive rubber
This really is available although the the kit used by IWB was entirely our own invention. Check out: http://shop.e-stim.co.uk/index.php?cPath=22_40
Chapter 9: Bad Hair Day
1. Ramatoulaye Diallo
…really was the Face of Africa. Here she is: http://members.fortunecity.com/pete100/smoothoperators/id17.html
2. Inspired to shave your own head?
For more information, visit: http://www.headshaver.org/ Personally Phil suggests just having the barber or hairdresser give you a number 1 crew cut and then go over what’s left with an electric razor! (Alternatively, says Freddie, just wait for the advancing years and it does it on its own.)
Chapter 10: Piercing Questions
1. Chlorhexidine mouth wash
Sold in the UK as “Corsodyl”. The bottle cap doubles as a measure and has a mark on the inside to show 10 mls.
2. Celia’s Medical Kit
If you are into playing doctors and nurses you can get kitted out like Celia at: www.awbent.co.uk Pick up the link to scrub suits, for Celia’s blue surgical scrubs and www.westcountryclogs.co.uk for your own white surgical clogs. Alternatively Google search “toffeln”. Please remember that these are both completely vanilla, kink-free, firms, if you contact them.
3. Tongue piercing technique
As experienced in real life by one of us, but not in quite such an exotic way!
4. Medical Fun generally
If medical play is your scene you almost certainly already know about www.medicaltoys.com
Chapter 11: Why Weight?
1. Weight & Strength Training
There are dozens of books in the Amazon on-line catalogue and websites about weight training and the personal sites of bodybuilders – just do a Google search. However here are a couple of books Phil found helpful:
1. Weight Training for Dummies Liz Neporent, Susanne Scholsberg and Shirley J Archer . For Dummies Books: John Wylie
2. The Complete Guide to Strength Training Anita Bean, AC Black and Co.
Chapter 12: Ylena Zhukova
1. The bambach saddle seat. The saddle stool in the e-mail room was inspired by a real product which you can go buy yourself! Its called the Bambach Saddle Seat and you can find it at: www.bambach.com.au and www.bambach.co.uk However, Bambach are not the only firm in this market.
Chapter 13: Is There Life After Housework?
1. Victorian Mosaic tiles.
These were very popular in their day and were often used to surface the front porch of houses. And even the front path. Recently they have become popular again and two companies manufacturing the tiles are Original Style (www.originalstyle.com) and Maw & Co. (www.maw.co.uk). The tiles are not too expensive but the trick is to find a tiler who can put then down correctly. The lines of tiles need to be ABSOLUTELY straight and the whole floor needs to be ABSOLUTELY flat.
2. The two bucket technique for washing floors
This comes from “Is there Life After Housework?”, Don Aslett, Exeley Publications. Don taught himself t be an expert cleaner to fund his was through college and remained in the business afterwards. His book is full of excellent advice on keeping the house clean yet reducing the work you have to do! (Assuming that you don’t have your own slave and even if you do this might help them free up some time for other activities.)
Chapter 14: How To Be A Gardener
1. People chipping
When Freddie and I wrote 'The Greenwich Tales' we were taken aback when two ideas we had invented for the plot actually came to pass in real life. The idea of chipping the IWB slaves seemed to be the sort of thing IWB might do but nature began to imitate art once more when we found a media report about a company in the United States which wanted to have some of its employees chipped: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48760 Now visit this astonishing website: www.digitalangel.com and then follow the links to http://www.verichipcorp.com/ where you will find proposals for “wanderer prevention” and patient records data. In fact their Wanderer Prevention system is exactly what IWB seem to have installed – except that Freddie and I thought we were writing fiction!
2. The International Register of Slaves and Submissives
This can be found at: www.informedconsent.co.uk and follow the link to The Slave Register
3. Breastfeeding with pierced nipples
Here are a couple of encouraging references: http://health.yahoo.com/experts/pregnancy/1957/can-you-breastfeed-with-pierced-nipples and http://www.llli.org//llleaderweb/LV/LVJunJul99p64.html So if Jenny and Joe have kids in due course, Jenny’s pierced nipples will be one less thing to worry about!
Chapter 15: The Garden Party
1. Naked slave waiters
This chapter was inspired by something Phil heard on BBC Radio 4. The COE of a Corporate Entertainments company was being interviewed and he disclosed that his most unusual request was to provide naked slaveboys and slavegirls to be waiters at a private party! So what on earth did you do? asked the astonished interviewer. Well, came the reply, I put it to the staff who were all very much up for it. We did the party and the staff were not naked – but they were not wearing much! Unfortunately, neither Freddie nor Phil get invited to parties like that!
2. Jenny’s muzzle harness
This was inspired by an item available from Top-To-Bottom-Leathers: www.top-to-bottom-leathers.co.uk. When you enter the site follow the link to Products, then pick Hoods, then pick Muzzle Harness.
3. The Greek looking sandals
The ones that we had in mind were from: www.pipersandals.com. Please bear in mind that this is a completely kink-free, vanilla, organisation, if you decide to contact them.
4. Jenny’s serving tray
This isn’t quite what we had in mind but if you wanted to re-enact the Garden Party, this would do the job: http://uk.geocities.com/voodoo_restraints/serving.html
Chapter 16: Getting What She Came For
1. E-stim things
http://shop.e-stim.co.uk/ Definitely kink-friendly and vanilla-free, this time! We also have it on good authority that some of the kit you can buy there and at other similar outlets could produce the effects enjoyed by Jenny!
Chapter 17: The Tattooing Incident
1. Jenny’s tattoo
There are lots and lots of tattoo sites on the ‘net. However you might like to look at www.tattoo.dk. Click to read the site in English, then click the link to see Erik Rieme’s work. His “latest” (as at May 2008) gives you an idea of what we thought Jonathan did to Jenny.
Chapter 18: Elementary String Theory
1. Shibari / kinbaku-bi
Some useful information on shibari can be found at http://rare.ropemarks.com.
Chapter 20: The Problem With Research
1. Pump up the volume
You really can buy an e-stim kit which responds to an incoming signal such as music from a CD or moans and gasps picked up by a microphone!
2. Charlotte’s wedge for Jenny
Jenny was strapped to a “Liberator Shape” which you can find at: http://www.liberator.com/z_black_products_shapes_gamma.php
Chapter 21: Private Investigations
1. Research Assessment Exercise.
The majority of funding for British Universities comes from the Government. When Mrs Thatcher was Prime Minister, a scheme to assess the research quality and productivity of universities was devised and called the Research Assessment Exercise. It places significant demands on the university staff and the conversation between Angela and Roy could have taken place at any university in recent years! http://www.rae.ac.uk/
2. The Vice –Chancellor.
The “chief executive” of a British University
3. Research Ethics Committees
Exist to protect human subjects in clinical research. Many Learned Journals will not now accept articles and research reports for publication if the investigations have not been approved by a research ethics committee. The constitution and rules governing the committees will vary from country to country. Here is a link to the European Community arrangements which would apply to Angela and Jenny: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_Committee_%28European_Union%29 and a more general reference: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis.cfm
4. The British Association
Angela might have has one of a number of scientific societies in mind. An example of the species is The British Association for the Advancement of Science. Visit them at: www.the-ba.net
One of Larry’s former colleagues at Fredie Clegg Enterprises. Harry is in charge of what you might call “Black Ops”. You can read more about Harry in “Market Forces”, on Freddie’s Yahoo site.
6. Anatoly Kustensky
Another character from “Market Forces”. One of Harry’s Black Ops Team misidentified Anatoly’s daughter as an abduction target. Anatoly was not terribly pleased and Freddy has been trying to develop better relationships ever since!
Chapter 22: Extraordinary Rendition
1. Jenny’s Shibari Head Bondage
Phil didn’t think this was very credible so I found an example. I’m not sure that it’s an authentic Japanese form but I think it looks like the sort of thing Ylena might have done. (Check out the one named Basic Face Bondage.) http://www.youtube.com/twistedmonkcom
2. Energetic CIA activity in London
Was suggested in the recent movie “The Bourne Supremacy” in a terrific scene which takes place in Waterloo Station.
3. UK Extradition Act 2003.
Now you might be surprised at how easily Jenny, Charlotte, and Jo have been taken it by all this CIA hokum, but this Act was passed by the Government as part of its response to the “new situation” created by the 9/11 attacks in New York. The main purpose of the Act was to make the extradition of terrorist subjects easier but most extraditions from the UK have been to do with more routine criminal offences. A particular cause celebre in the UK was the case of the “Natwest Three”. Three former employees of the National Westminster Bank were extradited to stand trial in Texas on fraud charges. However they were British citizens who were alleged to have committed their crime in London against a British bank – which incidently declined to instigate a prosecution! However a fourth individual was an employee of the Enron Corporation which was what sparked the interest of the authorities in Texas. Formerly the United States authorities would have to show before a court that there was a case to answer, now after the Act ,they merely have to make a request for extradition and the British authorities are expected to comply. Which is what happened.
4. Connie's electric pony
This can be found at http://shop.e-stim.co.uk and follow the links to Electro Furniture and then to Very Alternative Furniture
5. “US says it has the right to kidnap British Subjects”
This was a headline in the Sunday Times, 2nd December 2007. The story continued… “a senior American Jurist has told Judges from the Court of Appeal that the United States reserves the right to kidnap British subjects and take them to the United States, if it suspects them of a crime in the United States.”
Chapter 23: An Uncertain Future
1. Foreign Office, Home Office, Ministry of Justice
British government departments dealing with foreign relations, internal security (amongst many other things) and the Judiciary. www.foreignoffice.gov.uk www.homeoffice.gov.uk www.ministryofjustice.gov.uk
2. Amnesty International
A wholly admirable international non-governmental organization seeking (for example) the release of political prisoners: www.amnesty.com
A British non-governmental organization concerned to oppose the abuse of power by the government and promote the defense of civil liberties. It was formerly the National Council for Civil Liberties. www.liberty.co.uk
4. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow proposed (1943) the idea that humans prioritise their behaviour to meet their needs according to a hierarchy with Physiological needs (breathing, food, water, sex, sleep) taking priority over the needs for Safety, for Belonging, for Esteem and for Self-Actualisation. Although based on questionable research and by no means universally accepted it remains a popular way of explaining human motivation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs http://www.maslow.org/sub/lowry1.htm
Chapter 24: Some Restorative Justice
1. Connie’s multi-coloured flogger.
We had the idea from the catalogue at Heartwood Whips of Passion. www.heartwoodwhips.com
Chapter 25: Helping Others
1. The Milgram Experimemt
In the early 1960’s Dr Stanley Milgram showed that ordinary people tended to obey authoritative commands even when obedience was in conflict with conscience. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment Jenny is probably being too hard on herself – Judy definitely deserved her spanking!
Chapter 26: I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Tattooing has come a long way in recent years and there is no shortage of sites on the ‘Net to give you pause for thought. However our ideas about Jenny’s tattoo came from Erik Rieme’s site: www.tattoo.dk Click the link to read the site in English and click the link to Erik’s part of the site. One of our Editors did not think Jenny would easily put her trust in Jonathan & Charlotte when it came to the design, but read the story of Torben’s Tattoo in Photo Collection 2.
Chapter 27: Seeking Perfection
1. Gosford Park
Gosford Park is an Academy award-winning 2001 film, directed by Robert Altman. The film is set in 1932 at an English country house and presents a murder from the perspective of the servants in the house. Rather than a simple mystery to be solved, the film uses the whodunit format to create a drama showcasing the tensions of the British class system. Many intertwining subplots detail the complex relationships among the characters, both above stairs (the wealthy guests) and below (the servants). The story is fictional, but features the composer and singer, Ivor Novello as a character. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gosford_Park
2. Lord Peter Wimsey and Bunter
Lord Peter Wimsey is a fictional character in a series of detective novels and short stories by Dorothy L. Sayers, in which he solves mysteries—usually murder mysteries. Bunter was his ever faithful valet and – as required in all detective novels – sidekick. The novels are set in Britain contemporary to when they were written, from the early 1920s to the late 1930s; pretty much the time of another of Freddie’s tales, “The Golden Age”. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Peter_Wimsey
3. External Works
Gerry’s catalogue called External Works is real (of course). It has details of everything from traffic lights to tennis court surfaces and it’s quite interesting even if you aren’t an architect but are a bit of an anorak like Freddie. You can find http://www.endat.com and pick up the link to External Works.
Chapter 28: A New Beginning
1. Keeping track of slaves.
The slave-tracking collar is really available. It’s really been designed for pets and the elderly but, hey, why should dog owners have all the fun? You can learn more about it at www.retrievatracking.com. The magnetic lock on the collar is one that’s really available too. See it here at http://www.zip.com.au/~koroba/necklace/Neck0081.html
2. The Embankment
This road follows part of the north bank of the River Thames in London, eastwards from The Houses of Parliament, it is a wide road and provides a dramatic stage for the final mile or two of the London Marathon. (and, says Freddie, “The Greenwich Tales”) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thames_Embankment
3. The London Eye
Is the tallest Ferris Wheel in Europe and provides wonderful views of London – its well worth a visit! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Eye You can book tickets at the official London Eye website: www.londoneye.com
4. Thai Airways
Their flight frm Bankok really does arrive at Heathrow at 7.30 pm – or it did at the time of writing! www.thaiair.com
5. The Heathrow Shuttle
This is the railway connection from central London at Paddington Station to Heathrow Airport, although its correct name is The Heathrow Express. www.heathrowexpress.com
6. Jenny & Joe’s Hotel
The hotel opposite the BBC was inspired by The Langham. See what you think at http://london.langhamhotels.co.uk/
7. Jenny’s final musings
The Shakespeare quotation is taken from Shakespeare’s 'The Tempest', Act 3, Scene 1.