The Planet Ericpotsdam: Tales of the Transfer
I write science-fiction stories with a bondage slant. If you want to read BDSM sex and torture scenes linked by a little bit of story line, then I am not the author for you. In particular, this story starts slowly, and it has sections which are more concerned with plot than with chained women. Be patient. By the end there will be thousands of women in the story securely in restraints.
You may wish to read Village Visit before you read this story, in order to better understand the culture and people of Potsdam Village. Several characters from that story will re-appear in this one.
Chapter 8: Professor Rerger and his family
Professor Carl Rerger, and his wife Gail; the big decision
On her forty-ninth birthday, Gail Rerger looked at herself in the full-length bathroom mirror as she held her old one-piece competition swim suit in front of her naked body. She had been an excellent swimmer during her college years. She realized that something drastic would have to be done if she ever wanted to be in decent physical shape again.
On her fiftieth birthday, Gail Rerger tried her old competition swim suit on in front of that mirror and found that it fit. Thirty pounds of body flab had disappeared. The miles of laps that she had swum had done wonders for her muscle tone.
Carl Rerger had encouraged his wife quietly throughout her year-long diet-and-exercise program without ever making a big fuss. On her fiftieth birthday, he showed his appreciation by giving her a fuck-me baby doll set of sleepwear as a present. The fabric was orange-beige, semi-transparent, almost invisible when viewed against the background of Gail's skin. Carl thought that she would look great in that outfit.
He was disappointed that night when Gail wore a different pair of pajamas to bed, but Gail knew what she was doing. She saved the fuck-me baby doll until her monthly cycle put her at her peak of horniness. She wore that baby doll for one or two nights almost every month after that. Those nights were very special, for her and also for Carl.
But anything can become dull routine if it is repeated too often. After three years, the peaks of passion were no longer quite so high, and the nights weren't quite as special any more.
On the night their big decision was reached, Gail entered the bedroom wearing that baby doll, climbed on top of her husband Carl, pushed his book-display handheld out of the way, and kissed him hard on the lips. He marked his place in his ebook, set his handheld down, grabbed Gail, rolled them both over to put himself on top, and kissed her in return. Then he reached into the drawer of a bedside table and showed her a small bundle of straps that she had never seen before. He asked "Do you want to try something a little more adventuresome tonight?"
"Ooo. Is that thing for bondage?" They had never tried using bondage tools before. Her tone of voice showed that she had her doubts about this idea.
"Yes it is." He gave her one of the wickedest smiles she could ever remember.
"Why? Why, after all these years, are you suddenly interested in bondage?"
"It's not really a sudden interest. I have thought about it for years. I have grabbed your wrists and pinned you down in bed more than once before. But now we have an opportunity to escape the plague by moving to a new planet with the people from Potsdam Village. The villagers expect men to treat women that way, and the women are expected to like it. That's how I should be treating you, in order to blend in with the villagers. And they will be able to tell how I am treating you, even if we never do anything different outside our bedroom from the way we have always lived before. You have met Tina Carlsen. Charlie Burlington would be in trouble with the university administration if he put Tina in chains in public on campus, so he never does. But couldn't you tell that Charlie keeps her in chains sometimes, in private, even before she admitted it during her speech Friday night? I think that it shines out all over her."
Gail got a thoughtful expression on her face for a few moments. She said "I think you are right about Tina." She took a closer look at the small bundle. All of the straps were relatively short. Some of them were about eight centimeters wide, and these were well padded, with Velcro closures. Other straps were narrower, made of braided yarns, with buckles like those used on Boy Scout belts. Gail could not see anything particularly nasty or cruel about the thing, and after all, it was just a small bundle of straps. She asked "How does it work?"
"I'll show you." He wrapped two of the wide strap ends around Gail's right wrist and pressed them together to make the Velcro connection. He grabbed her left wrist, brought it gently alongside the right one, and wrapped it up in two more wide Velcro-linked strap ends, securing her hands palm-to-palm. He put a narrower strap around both of her wrists, slipped the end into a buckle, pulled it snug, and tightened the buckle. He asked "Comfy?"
Gail pulled, tugged, and twisted, but nothing released. She tried to reach the buckle for the over-strap, and couldn't because it was positioned tight on the little-fingers side of her hands. She said "It's comfy enough, but I don't think that I can get loose."
"You aren't supposed to be able to get loose." Carl's extra-wicked smile was back. He pulled her hands above her head, wrapped the last strap around a horizontal rod in the bed headboard, and buckled that strap back to the bundle on Gail's wrists. The buckle for that strap could not be moved out of the gap between Gail's forearms, and she could not reach it there. She couldn't get loose from that strap either.
Carl kept on smiling his wicked smile. He tried to bring Gail up to her first orgasm using nothing except his hands. He caressed, he massaged, he tickled, he kneaded, and when Gail was hot enough, he probed her crotch with his fingers. He kept this up for an hour, but he couldn't push her over the top until he brought his lips into play and French-kissed her. Then he held her for about fifteen minutes until she had a chance to recover her breath.
Then it was his turn. He plunged in and began to thrust. Gail wrapped her legs around his hips and held on tightly, suppressing the movement of his body against hers, delaying his climax until her second orgasm went off almost simultaneously with his first.
They had worn each other out completely. Carl climbed off and rolled Gail onto her side, away from him. He would have freed her from her straps if she had asked, but she never did. He spooned onto her, embraced her chest, and massaged her breasts gently until they both fell asleep.
Neither of them had any classes to teach before noon on the next day. When they woke up in the early morning, Carl put his hands behind his own back, pulled Gail face-up with the point of his chin, and tried to bring her to another orgasm using nothing but his lips. He worked on both of her breasts and both of her sets of lips. His tongue finally caressed her clitoris and finished her off.
After another fifteen-minute recovery, it was his turn again. This one turned out to be a quickie for both of them. Afterwards he released her and let her use the bathroom facilities on her own.
Over breakfast he asked her "So what did you think?"
"I tried to think of the right way to put it during my shower. I finally got it. The phrase you engineers use is 'feedback loop', a 'positive feedback loop'. Straps don't do that much for me by themselves, but these straps changed the way you looked at me. That changed the way I felt, which must have changed the way I looked at you, which further changed the way you looked at me, which made me feel even hotter, and so forth. It was the best fuck we have had in years. Four times in one night, for me, and at least two for you as well."
"I gather you would be happy to do it again."
"As long as you never hurt me. I have always thought of bondage as something that goes along with sadism, but it wasn't like that at all."
"I have talked about it with Charlie Burlington. You know that his relationship with Tina Carlsen is much, much more than professor with staff assistant. He explained their connection. As far as they both are concerned, the most beautiful gift a woman can give her man is her body, bound, open to whatever he wants to do. The most terrible theft a man can inflict on a woman is to steal her body, or to abuse it if it is freely given. I agree with this. I will never hurt you deliberately. If I hurt you accidentally, then I will apologize most sincerely, and I hope that you will forgive me. I am absolutely not a sadist. I would much rather protect you than hurt you."
"So you have talked about it with Charlie Burlington. Has he persuaded you to join him on that new planet he keeps talking about?"
"Almost. I won't do it without you. I want to protect you from the plague that is now spreading here on planet Earth. Would you be willing to go, and wear a pretty necklace that you can't get off, and enjoy more nights like last night?"
"You have almost persuaded me, too. But I won't do it without Carol, and Roy, and our granddaughter Katie. She's such a pretty little thing. I hate to think of the way she would look if she died of the plague. Do you think that they would be willing to come too?"
"I'm planning to invite them to stay with us here until we can all transfer to the new planet. I sure hope that they say yes."
The professor's daughter Carol Rerger Hampton, son-in-law Roy Hampton, and their daughter Katie
On Sunday afternoon of the transfer weekend Roy Hampton walked through the kitchen of the Rerger home, where he and his family were staying, in preparation for the imminent transfer to CBQ 4960. The entire household was being packed up, and he was carrying another load of clothing out to the garage. Instead of helping pack, his wife Carol was sitting at the kitchen table, staring at nothing with a blank look on her face.
He asked "Uh, Honey, is anything wrong?"
"Don't bother me!"
"Are you going to finish packing up the pots, pans, plates, and silverware?"
"Leave me alone! Leave me alone leave me alone leave me alone leave me . . . " Carol jumped up and ran out the door onto the street. She slammed the door behind her.
Roy followed her as far as the door and looked out. Carol was running away. He wanted her to go with him to a new planet willingly, not because she was forced. He couldn't chase her down and bring her back without forcing her. Besides, that would leave their three-year-old daughter Katie unattended. Somebody had to take care of their little girl. Katie came up behind him and asked "Mommy mad?"
He turned and answered "Mommy is upset. Don't worry. She will be back pretty soon." He had seen that his wife was going onto the college campus, not out through the gate in the quarantine fencing that happened to be just down the street from the house. Somehow or other she would soon be coming along, or if absolutely necessary she would be brought along, to planet CBQ 4960.
When Carol began to think more rationally again, she realized that her emotions had carried her in the best possible direction. She was near the Ecology Department building on campus. She hurried up to Professor Burlington's office and found the door open. Tina Carlsen was packing her professor's framed degree certificates, his award plaques, and the paperwork that still managed to persist as part of normal office life despite all of the computerization that had occurred in the previous few centuries.
Carol demanded "How the hell can you stand it?"
Tina took one look at the expression on Carol's face and understood what Carol was asking about, even though the question might have seemed somewhat vague. Tina answered "Absolute trust." She interrupted her packing and added "Come over here, let's sit on the couch and talk." The big, heavy couch in the conference area of the office would not be taken to their new planet. It was still available for a counseling session.
When they were seated side by side, Carol asked "But why don't they trust us? Why do they have to keep us locked up like this?" She reached out and touched the steel collar that was locked around Tina's neck.
"The collar does not symbolize lack of trust. It symbolizes possession. It shows that My Professor wants me, and needs me, and can't be happy unless he has me with him, even when he isn't actually in the same room with me. It shows that he is absolutely committed to protect me from all harm. If I could take it off, I wouldn't want to wear it. It would be a symbol that My Professor is a wimp. And My Professor definitely is not a wimp."
"OK, I guess. But the thought of wearing a collar, locked on, still scares me. What else is he going to lock on to me?"
"Whatever he wishes. Why should you let that worry you? You trust him, don't you? Don't you think that he would put your wants and needs ahead of his own? Would he keep you chained up if that just made you cry? Besides, what about Katie? Do you really think that he wants to deal with a three-year-old on his own? Or chain you down so you can't help with her?"
Carol smiled at the thought of the daughter that had been nicknamed 'Two-speed Katie'. Katie was either running, and playing, and pushing through life full speed ahead, or she was sound asleep. There were no intermediate speeds in her life.
Carol said "I suppose I do trust him. I married him, after all." The two women sat side-by-side for a minute or two, saying nothing. Tina silently sympathized with her friend. Carol tried to get her fears under control. Finally Carol said "Now what? Will he still be able to believe that I trust him? I just ran away!"
Tina smiled. She answered "I think so. But just in case, if you are nervous about that, I've got something we could use. Handcuffs. If you return to him with your hands cuffed behind your back and the key tied snug around your neck, he will have to believe that you trust him, won't he? That's the real point of our willingly wearing our menfolk's chains. They are double action. They restrain our menfolk as tightly as they restrain us."
"What will Katie think?"
"She will think that her mommy loves and trusts her daddy so much that Mommy would rather be with Daddy, wearing handcuffs, than be anywhere else and free, as long as Daddy has the handcuff keys. That is a useful lesson for a little girl growing up in New Potsdam Village to learn."
"I don't suppose that I will be able to finish my Ph.D. It will be a shame to throw away the credits I have already earned."
"I don't see why not. My Professor insists that I get my own graduate degree completed. The CBQ 4960 campus will become an official college campus after the village moves, not just a nickname for an area that is mostly warehouses and transient-immigrant housing. We will have enough professors moving with us to provide a good teaching program."
"Women too. Plenty of Potsdam Village women already have college degrees. That includes women who were born and brought up in the village. Those women had the chance to sample other lifestyles when they went away to college. They saw what was best, and they came back."
"Oh good! I never thought of Potsdam Village women like that." Carol smiled for a few moments, and then added "I suppose that I should give Roy a chance to have me in chains, and see what he does with the opportunity. You said you had a pair of handcuffs available?"
Tina answered "Yes, I do." She re-opened one of the boxes that she had been packing.
Ten minutes later Carol got her courage up and banged on the front door of the Rerger house by kicking it. Katie answered the banging, shouted a happy "Mommy's back", and let her mother in.
Carol found her husband helping her father pack up the tools and DIY supplies from the basement workbench. She gave him an embarrassed grin, tugged on the handcuffs that secured her wrists behind her back, moved into touching distance, and said "I'm sorry. I guess that I just lost it for a little while. I went to talk to Tina Carlsen. I'm OK now."
Roy gave her the hug that she was asking for and said "Thanks for coming back." Then he took the handcuff key on its lanyard off of her neck and released her. As he removed the cuffs, he put a frown on his own face and shifted his voice down to a lower register. He said "You woman. Woman do what she is told. Go. Pack. Kitchen. Now."
As Carol left the basement to follow the orders of her husband who had suddenly become a primitive savage, he added "Woman wear cuffs again. Soon." His voice shifted back to its natural range as he finished by saying "And I'm really looking forward to it."
On Sunday afternoon one of the expert packing crews from Potsdam Village visited the Rergers. This crew had a steam tractor, which pulled five small wagons. Boxes and bags that contained almost all of the Rerger and Hampton households were quickly transferred from the garage and loaded onto the trailers. Since everything had been bagged, boxed, and stacked in the garage, the entire process took less than 20 minutes.
The Rergers and the Hamptons carried only one overnight bag per person that evening when they warped to CBQ 4960 together in the Hampton's air car. That car was newer and nicer than the Rerger's car, and it had a better ride when the cars were operating on wheels instead of air cushion. The air cushion could not be used during the transfer because of the large-volume air blast exhaust.
A villager in a green-and-white baseball cap directed the family members to one of the warehouses located near the warp gates on the CBQ 4960 side. The entire Rerger-Hampton family left their car, walked into the warehouse, and entered a large room, with walls two stories tall, typical undecorated warehouse space. Several rows of chairs occupied the floor, and there were several portable toilet booths around the sides. At second-story level, metal galleries ran around the edges of the space, with some bridges also across the center. One end of the space was divided from the rest by a barrier of chain-link fencing. A low platform was just beyond the fencing. A row of desks across the platform were marked by signs reading "A-B", "C-E", "F-H", and onward through the alphabet.
A young woman sat behind one of the desks, wearing a sleeveless dress and a round solid stainless-steel collar. The collar was decorated with a neat blue-and-white ribbon which was tied in a bow in front. She called "Our first customers. Come on down." She turned her head and added "Get to your desks, everybody!"
The Rerger family members walked across the entire large space and passed through a gate in the fencing . Other women took seats behind the desks. They wore similar collars with bows.
The Hamptons went to the "F-H" desk. The procedure that followed was typical bureaucracy in action:
"Roy, Carol, and Katie Hampton."
"Did you register for the transfer?"
"I suppose so. I filled out one of those multi-layer carbon forms, if that is what you mean."
"Yes." The young woman consulted a tray of cards, flipping the cards back and forth in the tray and observing "The alphabetical order of these things isn't perfect. We were too rushed to get the paperwork exactly as it should be. Some of the carbons were hard to read. Ah, here you are. You are assigned to suite 1016 in the Transient Hotel II. Your key, sir. Your wife can use the number-one collaring chair, behind me to the left. White collar, Sam!"
Sam proved to be a middle-aged man in a green-and-white baseball cap. He gestured and said "Have a seat, ma'am. I promise this won't hurt." The chair was very sturdy; broad cuffs were mounted on the armrests, and straps were ready to be buckled around her waist and chest. Some sort of bulky machine was located directly behind the chair. The machine contained reels of coated stainless-steel wire rope.
Carol Hampton hesitated. Sam said "You registered, so you are volunteers, and you get your choice. Shall we close the cuffs and buckle the straps?"
"Uh, no." Carol sat down, very tentatively. Roy nodded agreement, and then stood in front of her and watched protectively. Three-year-old Katie watched also with very big eyes. (Later in life, Katie would say that this moment was the earliest childhood memory that she could recall.)
Sam told Carol that "Some people think that a collaring should only be done with the woman securely held in place. But as long as you are a volunteer, and as long as it's OK with your husband, then the cuffs and straps aren't essential." Sam stepped behind the chair, guided a length of wire rope with a white plastic coating around Carol's neck, pulled the ends together, and pushed a button on the bulky machine. Something went "crunch". Sam said "All done!"
Carol then wore a collar made from stainless steel wire rope. A tag on the collar identified her as 'Carol Hampton, with Roy Hampton.' The collar was permanently sealed on, with no locking mechanism. The only way to get it off would be to cut it off. It is not easy to cut stainless steel from a person's neck without hurting that person.
A few minutes later the Hamptons and the Rergers walked together to the Transient Hotel II. They expected to stay there until the construction crews of Potsdam Village could catch up with the demand for individual houses. Most of their household belongings would remain in storage. The Rergers were in suite 1024, across the hall from their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. Gail Rerger wore a sealed-on white collar identical to the one on her daughter's neck, except of course that the name tag was for her and her husband.
Chapter 9. Crisis
Sheriff Theodore Wilkerson
When the regional SWAT team had been assembled, Sheriff Wilkerson briefed the members:
"I tried to go through one of the gates in the fences around the University of Southern Minnesota campus several hours ago. The team was myself and three other cops, with two patrol cars. The villager guards at the gate were polite, but they wouldn't let us in. I warned them that I would be back, with plenty of back-up and a court order. Now I have both.
"The chief gate guard told me that the villagers would try to avoid violence, but that fewer lives would be at risk if they maintained an absolute quarantine, keeping me and everybody else out. I must admit that there is some logic to this viewpoint. Nevertheless, the villagers are acting completely without permission or approval from any governmental authority. Their actions are against the law. Everybody in this room has taken an oath to uphold the law. So now we have to go in and stop them.
"I expect that many of the villagers will have hunting or target weapons. We have plenty of lethal firepower to oppose them, if absolutely necessary. But I do not want to see the use of any of that lethal firepower, if it can be avoided. The villagers haven't started shooting yet. I don't want us to be the first ones to shoot.
"So don't shoot, unless ordered. I will be the one who gives the order, if it is given. I do NOT want to testify in front of a congressional committee, saying 'The villagers shot first, and one of my SWAT team returned fire, and then I lost control, and that is why so many dead cops and dead villagers were scattered across the campus when the action was over.' I re-emphasize: don't shoot, unless ordered.
"We will try to accomplish our mission using non-lethal weapons. We will try shock and awe as our initial non-lethal weapon. We will march up to the gate in formation, vehicles in the center of the road and marchers on both sides, everybody in full combat armor. I will drive my police cruiser at the head of the column. The three armored personnel carriers will follow me. I will demand entry when I reach the gate. If we are very lucky, the villagers will yield to superior force with no shots, and no sound waves, and no taser darts or water blasts being fired.
"But we need to be prepared for non-lethal escalation. Carry your taser rifles at the ready. Be sure that your earplugs are in, because we may need to clear the gate guard out of the way with the high-powered sound generators mounted on our APCs. If the gate guard does not yield to that threat, we will engage with water cannon. The explosives experts will blow the locks in the fence gates. We will occupy the warp transfer facilities and prevent any further transfers.
"After that, the next moves will be up to the politicians. They will probably demand that the villagers return to Earth, and the villagers will probably say no. This SWAT team does not have the resources to round up all of the villagers who have left already.
"I think that the most probable outcome is: the villagers who have gone will stay on CBQ 4960, at least temporarily, but they won't be allowed to close the gates. The plague will spread through the open gates and kill more of the villagers than would have died if they had just stayed on Earth. I don't think that would be a good outcome, just the most probable outcome. The villagers are acting foolishly, outside the law. Plagues do not allow people who take foolish and illegal actions to have good outcomes.
"It's time, now. So use the toilets if you need them, get into your armor, and take your assigned places in the APCs or ready to march. We will be moving out from this police station in fifteen minutes."
- - -
Half an hour later the police SWAT formation reached the east gate of the USM campus quarantine fencing, in full view of the small detail of villagers at the gate. Sheriff Wilkerson ordered "Close your shields!" and the policemen closed the face panels of their helmets, which made them suddenly look much more menacing.
Swoosh Bam! Ka-rash! Tha-thump! Villagers in small tents on the roofs of nearby buildings had responded to the closing of those face panels. Something had flashed low and close over the roof of the sheriff's cruiser. Two holes suddenly appeared in the center of the cruiser's windshield. In a calm, robotic tone of voice, the cruiser said "Short circuits in power packs 22 and 23. Function can be continued based on power stored in other packs."
The driver of the second APC came on the radio, saying "Seven, eight, nine, ten, uh, eleven. Everybody from the first APC made it out the back hatch safely. They look pretty badly shook up, though." His tone of voice was much more emotional than that of the sheriff's cruiser.
Sitting next to him, Sandra Williams exclaimed "I thought that the windshield glass of this model police cruiser was bulletproof to small arms."
Sheriff Wilkerson replied "It is. The villagers must have some bigger guns than anybody expected. It would take a 12.7-millimeter round, or something even heavier, to punch through. Two bullets came through, and two more have mangled part of the power supply. That wasn't bolt-action elephant-gun fire. The heavy weapon is probably fully automatic."
Sandra looked around behind the cruiser and observed "They have antitank missiles, too. The lead APC has begun to burn."
Sheriff Wilkerson said "Goddamn! We still don't have the firepower to force an entry against that kind of resistance." He clicked his microphone button and ordered "Marchers, help the cops who were riding in the lead APC. Troops in the second APC, evacuate and withdraw. Second APC driver, provide ambulance service as needed for the injured cops from the first APC. Third APC, withdraw."
The combination of shock wave and hot vaporized metal had shorted out the entire power supply of the first APC. The circuitry had overheated, and the APC burned. The crew had been shaken up, with superficial skin burns, but fortunately there were no apparent severe injuries. The crew members had closed their face panels and installed their ear plugs before the shock wave and flash fire had passed through their vehicle. But to be safe, the crew members would all have to spend a night in the hospital under observation for possible internal injuries. Their gear had absorbed one punch, but it could not be expected to absorb another. It would all have to be replaced.
A few minutes later the entire SWAT team was en route back to the police station. As they traveled, Sandra Williams commented "Sheriff, it seems that shock and awe was just as effective as you hoped it would be. But it worked backwards. I certainly was shocked and awed by the outcome of that little encounter."
Moses Potsdam and Dave Antonion, in the Campus 911 Dispatch Center
Dave Antonion watched the incident at the east gate through two of the security cameras that were controlled in the dispatch center. When the SWAT team retreated, he commented "The Ma Deuce was designed clear back in the twentieth century. There are newer weapons that can deliver a lot more firepower. But for delivering just enough firepower to do what was needed and no more, you still can't beat a Ma Deuce .50-caliber."
Moses Potsdam was also in the dispatch center. He answered "I'm glad the village rocket club's antitank bazooka worked so well. You would think that it had a fancy guidance system instead of a simple gyro stabilizer. Now the cops have to worry about what else we may have hidden away in those tents on the roofs. They won't dare send full-size helicopters over us. We might have antiaircraft missiles too."
Dave asked "Where did we get those machine guns, anyway? I know that the missiles are simple home brew, just hobbyist rocket motors and guidance gyros, plus a shaped charge of C-4 with a copper liner. But the guns couldn't have been made by hobbyists."
"Some of the guns are home brew. Those are the fake ones. I expect that police drones will be circling beyond the range of the submachine guns that we might use to shoot them down, to give the cops an aerial view of the campus. They won't be able to tell which of our fifties are real and which are fake. That is part of the reason for the roof tents. I inherited the real fifties from my dad. I don't know exactly where he got them."
"He must have expected that his village would be under siege someday. I understand that he didn't trust the federal government."
"Neither do I. Now is the time. Pass the word all around the campus to establish an immediate curfew. All students to be in their dormitories. Activate the phone and internet jammers that we got from that museum of technology; only the latest models of electronic gear will be able to get through then. And close the quarantine fence gates."
Professors Junius Brown, of the Theater Arts Department, and his wife Charlotte Brown, of Foreign Languages
Professor Charlotte Brown had finished her work for the day in her office. But when she tried to leave the campus, the guards at the gateway of the new quarantine fence had refused to allow her through. She was told "You know, ma'am that we are imposing a quarantine on this campus. Routine passage through the gates in the fencing is no longer allowed. Do you have official authorization from President Lee to leave the campus?"
"You mean that I can't leave the campus to go home? I'm a professor. That ought to be sufficient authorization."
"I'm sorry, ma'am. I have no orders for opening the gates for professors." The professor argued with the guards for several minutes more, but the response remained a polite refusal to allow passage.
She called 911 to report this problem and demand action. The 911 operators were no more helpful. She became one of the first campus residents to suspect that the Potsdam villagers had taken over the 911 dispatch center.
So she went to her husband's office in the Theater Arts building. She found her husband Junius in his office, talking to one of his former students. The student was wearing a Potsdam Village West High baseball hat, blue on front and back, white on sides and on top of the brim. As Charlotte entered, the student was saying "I have to get back to the roof now. Think about what I just told you. I hope you can respond appropriately."
Junius answered the student "I'll do my darndest. Thanks for the briefing." The student left.
Charlotte started "Junius honey, I need your help to get back to the house. The guards have closed the north gate, and they won't let me through. I think it was because I am a woman, and the Potsdam Villagers won't pay attention to what women want. You are a man. Maybe you can persuade them to let us through together."
Junius sat at his desk, drummed his fingers on the desk top, and stared at his wife for a few moments. He thought about her and about their relationship. She wasn't exactly the girl that he had married any more.
For one thing, she had the beginnings of a pot belly. He couldn't yell at her about that. He wasn't in top shape either.
Her hair was cut short, a mass of tight black curls. Once upon a time she had worn her hair straight and long, down to her shoulder blades. He had liked it that way. He had told her so on one of their earliest dates, and he had reminded her soon after their marriage, the first time that she had gotten it cut short and given a permanent. But she thought that she didn't look mature enough to be a professor when she had long straight hair. She kept her hair the way she liked it, not the way he liked it.
When he stopped to think about it, he realized that a great deal about their relationship was the way she liked it, and not the way he liked it.
It didn't take him very long to come to that conclusion. Only a few seconds had passed before he opened his mouth to start explaining. Before he could begin to speak, Charlotte asked "What are you staring at? Is there something wrong with my appearance? What is wrong with you now? I need you to do something!"
He nodded his head. He definitely needed to do something. But it wouldn't be what his wife expected.
Once again he opened his mouth. Once again Charlotte cut him off, saying "Don't just sit there. I need your help to get through the quarantine gate. Are you afraid of arguing with the gate guards? Come on, don't be a wimp."
She finally gave him a chance to reply. He said "That is the second time in the space of fifteen minutes that I have been called a wimp. I find that I rather resent it. I guess that I will just have to quit behaving like a wimp, if I don't want people to call me one. "
He stood up and walked out of his office. He turned right as he entered the corridor, and she protested "Where are you going? The door of the building is the other way." Junius didn't answer. He continued down the corridor to a large storage room for props used in previous Theater Arts Department productions. Charlotte followed him.
He pulled a box off of the shelves in that storage room. The label stated that the props had been used in a play called Trial in Tombstone, a western drama. He opened the box, rummaged around, and pulled out a bulky metal bracelet. Charlotte asked "What the heck is that for?"
Junius answered "I'll show you. Hold your arms out." He opened the bracelet as if to put it on one of her wrists, then split it into two bracelets hinged together. He clipped one of the split bracelets on her left wrist, pulled her hands behind her back, and clipped the other one on her right wrist.
She didn't fight him while he cuffed her, although she did not understand why he had. These bracelets couldn't be real handcuffs. Her husband had opened them easily without using a key.
She pulled and tugged on the bracelets. But although they had opened easily enough for her husband, they wouldn't open for her. Charlotte said "Hey! How did you get these damn things open?"
Junius answered "You need a key, now that they are on you. They are Hamburg-8 cuffs, ladies size. The original design is old enough to have been used in Tombstone, Arizona, during the town's heyday." He continued to rummage through the box of props. "Here we go, I knew I had seen this key while I was looking for the cuffs." Then instead of releasing her, he put the key onto his key case and put the case back into his pocket.
She demanded "What is the meaning of this?"
"I just had the situation explained to me by Jake Lanning, a former student of mine from Potsdam Village. You are not getting out. You are being taken to planet CBQ 4960 whether or not you want to go. The villagers plan--"
Charlotte interrupted him. "That is an outrage. Did you cuff me to help them? You need to tell these villagers . . . " She continued to protest. Junius turned away and began to do something with a couple of bandit-mask handkerchiefs that he found in the box of props. He listened to about one word in five:
". . . I will never stand for it, and you shouldn't either. . . ."
" . . . against the law . . ."
". . . kidnapping . . ."
". . . they can't possibly mean it . . . "
". . . you should tell these charactegthhhh. . . Uhm! Ugh mmm mmm mmmmm!"
He had turned her around, stuffed a balled-up handkerchief in her mouth, and tied it into place with another handkerchief.
Then he replied. "This is the only way I can be sure you won't interrupt me again. You have developed a bad habit of doing that, and I have developed a bad habit of tolerating it, for the sake of domestic tranquillity. Other people, students and professors, have noticed that you always seem to disagree with everything that I say. No more.
"Now let's get down to the essence of the situation. The villagers have sealed off the campus. Jake had to go back up on the roof after he explained things to me, because he is one of the crew of a heavy machine gun that is set up there. That will give you some idea of how serious the villagers are.
"They are going to move to planet CBQ 4960 and then close the warp gates to keep the plague out of their village. They will have an entire planet to populate. They are taking every girl and woman who is now on the campus with them, to build population up rapidly and have as much genetic diversity as possible.
"So you are definitely going with them. I can't stop them; they've got me outnumbered. They should be willing to let me stay on Earth, because I am a man. If I don't go, they will assign you to some other man, and you will bear his children.
"But I love you. I do still love you. I want to protect you. I don't even want to think about you assigned to some other man. So I will be going with you.
"If I want to keep you, I can't be a wimp. If I behave like a wimp, they will take you away from me. So I have to be assertive. I have to be the one in charge. You have to put up with it. Otherwise I will lose you. And I do love you, and I do want to protect you.
"Do you understand, finally?"
Charlotte's first reaction was to give him an angry glare. She was far from submitting to this fate. As she understood things, her own husband was betraying her. She would stay alert for any chance to escape. Her chances would be better if she weren't cuffed and gagged, so she let her shoulders sag to imitate a defeated woman, she looked downward submissively, and she nodded her head.
Junius noticed the angry glare, and realized that he would have to be careful about allowing her too much freedom. He asked "Do you promise to let me do the talking if I take your gag out? It can't be comfortable to wear." Charlotte nodded again.
When the gag came out, she said "I'll try, but it's going to be tough, not being allowed to have any opinions of my own."
He answered "That wouldn't be very fair. I love you, and I married you, partly because you are smart. Tell you what. You can talk all you want, on any topic you want, and I won't punish you in any way, if you do it according to the rules. You have to do it while kneeling at my feet. If I hold up my hand with my palm toward you, you have to stop talking and let me answer."
"Good God, Junius! Please, Junius! That would be utterly humiliating!"
Junius held up his hand to stop her from talking, and she yielded. He replied "I will grant you 'humiliating'. That is a matter of your emotions, and you know your own emotions better than anyone else. But it is not utterly humiliating. 'Utterly' implies that that is as far as anyone could go, so nothing could possibly be worse. 'Utterly humiliating' in this case would mean that you would not be allowed to talk freely unless you were kneeling at my feet naked, in chains. I won't do that to you. Not unless your actions humiliate me to the point that I have to."
Charlotte realized that she had no good answer to that possibility. She would have to behave, or at least pretend to behave. After several seconds, she changed the subject a bit by saying "Take the cuffs off now. Please. I promise I'll still be quiet."
He answered "You started out by ordering me to take the cuffs off, and then added 'please' as an afterthought. You still need them on, to remind you that I am in charge now. Would you be more comfortable if they were in front?"
"Okay, stand over there by that roof support post." When she followed this order, he walked up behind her, released one wrist, pushed her arms around the post, and locked the cuff onto her wrist again. She was left with no choice but to stand with her arms around the post and watch.
Her husband began to load two large electric carts with things he wanted to take to a new home on a new planet. The carts had been used backstage and around the Theater Arts Department building to move props, and racks of costumes, and music risers, and orchestra chairs, and flat panels for building stage sets, and other supplies. The journey to the Ecology Department Building would be the longest trip that those carts had ever made.
Junius realized with regret that he wouldn't have any of the things from his house. Most of his own clothing, and Charlotte's clothing too, and all of their furniture, would have to be left behind. How could they be replaced from the resources in the theater building? It took Junius a few seconds to figure out some answers to that problem. Then he pulled his Schaeffer Scriber from his pocket and began to ask it questions about where props from various plays were stored. The Scriber had a prop-room file index in its memory.
A few years earlier, a drama student named Rory Howard had written several risque musicals. The tunes had come from the classics: Mozart Abduction from the Seraglio, and Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, and Disney Aladdin. The words were new, and they were much hotter than any original words for the same tunes. Rory had demonstrated a superb ability to talk college-age women into appearing on stage in revealing outfits. Many of the scenes in his musicals were decorated with as many as a dozen pretty girls.
Now where were the costumes for those musicals? And where were the left-over fabrics that had been made into those costumes? Those items ought to be worth something in a town like Potsdam Village. They could be turned into cash, to buy things like underwear and kitchen pots and pans that weren't available backstage.
He was able to locate only six of the harem-girl outfits, total, from all of the Rory Howard musicals. Only about half of the original supplies of see-through fabric, shiny satin, and stretchy spandex were still available; the rest had been used to make many more similar costumes. Junius grinned when he realized what had happened. Many of the pretty girls who appeared in those musicals had kept their costumes to wear for their boyfriends.
While he sorted through theater supplies and began loading his first cart, Junius left Charlotte standing handcuffed to her roof support post. After the first few boxes of props, he found her a folding chair and moved it by the post so that she could sit down. She gave him a nasty glare, sniffed back some tears, and did not bother to say thank you.
Junius and Charlotte would not have to buy clothing or furniture. Usable outer clothing could be taken from any number of prop boxes or wardrobe-room hangars. Junius doubted that the villagers in Potsdam Village would be critical about whether or not he and his wife were dressed in current style. The risque musicals had included bedroom scenes, so mattresses and beds were available. The stage sets for other productions had included lightweight tables and a couch. Most of the chairs in their new home would be the ones that had been used by the orchestra, because those were lightweight, comfortable, and easily moved.
Charlotte sat quietly with her arms around her support post. She realized that she was trapped, with no way of escaping the fate that the Potsdam Villagers were planning for her. Her husband - her own husband! - was betraying her into it. She began to cry.
Eventually Junius kissed his wife on the forehead, patted her back reassuringly, and said "Back shortly". He headed for his office, to pick up personal keepsakes, and then to the dressing rooms to look for additional usable clothing. When he returned, pulling a cartload, he found two young men with his wife. They wore Potsdam Village hats. One of them was his former student Jake Lanning, back down from the roof.
Jake introduced the other one. "This is Matt Higgins. He is the commander of my section of the Village Transfer Volunteers." Matt was big; he looked like an angry football lineman.
Charlotte wasn't crying any more. Her emotions had shifted from depression to fear. She looked at Jake, and especially at Matt, and she wished desperately that she could be somewhere else. Anywhere else.
Matt knelt at Charlotte's feet with a packing-strap applicator tool. He said "Evenin', Perfessor. This your cunt?" He flipped a loop of plastic strapping around Charlotte's ankles and began to ratchet it tight.
Junius answered "She isn't a cunt, she is my wife. I'll thank you to show a little respect."
"Yeah, yeah, wife, cunt, she's female, they're all the same. We gotta policy. No alarms given to the cunts in the dorms 'til we can grab 'em and haul them off to our new planet. So this, uh, wife, uh, is goin' to have to travel past them dorms in one of the storage chests. We don't want her breakin' away, or screamin', or showin' them other, uh, females, the way she's strapped up." Mick pulled the cut-off-and-seal lever on the strap applicator and stood up. Charlotte's ankles were secured close together by a strong plastic packing strap. Only a very sharp blade could remove it.
Jake said "We can at least make her comfortable. Let's put a couple of throw rugs in the bottom to act as cushions for her knees." Suiting action to words, he grabbed some rugs from one of the prop shelves and put them into a large storage chest. The label on the chest read 'Dostoyevsky'. The props for the old Russian play had been casually dumped onto the prop room floor.
Matt was standing behind Charlotte with the packing-strap applicator ready for use when Junius unlocked the Hamburg-8 cuffs from his wife's wrists and released her from the support post. Before Junius could react, Mick grabbed her arms, pulled them behind her back, held them securely in one hand, and ratcheted a loop of packing strapping snugly onto her wrists. Then he wrapped his arms around her waist, picked her up, and said "Let's load her." Charlotte aimed a look of desperate appeal at her husband.
Junius responded "Put. Her. Down. Now! She's my wife! You have no claim on her, and nobody else does either!"
Matt set Charlotte down and snarled "You wanna load her yourself, OK, you do it. It's gotta be done."
Junius gave Charlotte a worried look and said "Look, honey, it does have to be done. I will be with you every inch of the way, all the way to our new planet. Remember, no plague on the new planet. No plague. Relax. Fall back into my arms." He picked her up tenderly, bride-at-wedding style, and carried her over to the waiting storage chest. She looked up at him, seeking reassurance, and he gave her a strained smile. He helped her kneel down into the chest. He kissed her just before she bent down to put her chin onto her knees.
Jake said "Let's cushion her better than that." He folded a heavy winter coat over her back and tucked it in on each side. He looked up and added "OK, Professor, you have the privilege of closing it."
Junius repeated "I'll be with you every inch of the way" as he closed the lid of the chest.
Matt grinned, and commented "I've heard of the game of good-cop-bad-cop that the police play with criminals to get them to confess. I think it works just as well when we play good-master-bad-master with women." His snarling tone and his lower-class accent had disappeared. He spoke too quietly for Charlotte to overhear him, locked away as she was in the chest.
Jake said "I didn't know you could talk like that kind of bastard."
Matt turned to Junius and asked "Professor, did you ever hear of a play called The Gun Moll?"
"I read through the script once. I didn't like it enough to put it on here."
"We did it in high school. I played the part of Ignatz McNasty. I never expected that I would need to play that character again."
- - - - -
Junius did cheat just a bit during the trip to the warp link. He left Charlotte and the cartloads of supplies for a few minutes. Jake steered the carts onward toward the Ecology Department Building. Junius spent the time on a side trip to his wife's office, to pick up her framed Ph.D certificate, and her academic robes, and some other items that he knew she would want to keep.
Then Junius took Charlotte and his cartloads of supplies into the stream of people - still mostly villagers - who were going through the warp gate to planet CBQ 4960. He was guided to the same large high-ceiling warehouse room that the Rergers and Hamptons had gone through just a short while earlier.
Junius opened the 'Dostoyevsky' chest and helped his wife out. He carried her, bride-at-wedding style, up to the "A-B" registration desk and set her down there.
The registration procedure was a bit different. The woman at the desk asked Junius "Did you register?"
"Are you taking responsibility for this woman?"
"Professors Junius and Charlotte Brown."
"Professors, OK. We will assign you to one of the larger suites in one of the transient hotels. Fortunately we do have suites available. The hotels were built to accommodate thousands of new planetary immigrants at a time. The hotel designers planned for more families with children. Please fill out this registration and housing form." She turned and added "Sam! Blue collar, tagged "Junius Brown, j-u-n-i-u-s , I do have that spelled right, don't I?" Junius nodded yes.
Sam turned to the two professors and said "Bring her over here, please. Sit her down in this collaring chair. If she lifts her arms a bit as she sits, she can let her hands hang behind the chair instead of getting them squashed between the chair back and herself." When Junius seated her, Sam pulled one belt tight around Charlotte's upper chest and shoulders, and another tight around her waist. He began to do something on the bulky machine behind her.
Charlotte sat trapped in the collaring chair and stared at her husband, her only possible source of aid in a world that was becoming a nightmare. He returned to the "A-B" desk to fill out a form with multiple layers of carbon paper, by hand, instead of keying the information into a computer. That would never have been the way things were done back home. Junius looked up for a moment and smiled at her reassuringly.
Sam fed a length of blue-coated wire rope around Charlotte's neck and pushed a button. There was a double "crunch". After that she wore a permanent collar with an embossed tag describing her as a "Possession of Junius Brown". The tag did not include her own name.
When Junius finished filling out the registration form, he cut Charlotte's ankles loose from their packing strap with a very sharp pocket knife. The woman at the desk handed him an old-fashioned mechanical pin-tumbler-lock key and called "Len. Take these two to Suite 1124, Transient Hotel II." Len was a thin gray-haired man with a generous bald spot, perhaps 70 years old.
Len asked Junius to "Please come this way, Professor. Do you want to put a leash on your woman?"
Junius studied his wife, who looked frightened, and replied "I don't think that will be necessary. She has been well trained. Come along, dear." Charlotte came along. She didn't see anything else that she could do. For one thing, her hands were still strapped together, a strong reminder that she had to keep behaving like a submissive.
Len guided the Browns over to the hotel, coincidentally to a suite directly above the Rergers. He demonstrated some of the room's features. "The door lock in this room has already been replaced with a double deadbolt. You will need to use a key to get both in and out. The programmable safe in the closet is still electronic, we'll get around to replacing it with a mechanical-locking version eventually. If you keep your room key in the safe, and you don't tell your woman the combination, then you can be confident that she cannot escape. You have a three-room suite. We have installed chain anchor points in all of the rooms. If you don't have the equipment to use those anchor points, then I recommend Savage's Hardware as a good place to buy some so you can rig her however you want her."
"Uh, thank you. I don't think we need anything else right now."
"You are welcome." Len left. Junius followed his suggestions about deadbolt-locking the room door and securing the key in the room safe.
The room had one large comfortable chair. Junius sat in it, wondering if his wife would sit in his lap. She had done that before in hotel rooms when she was feeling frisky. Instead she walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. She had never seen herself securely collared and wrist-strapped before. Her world was changing, whether she liked it or not. She realized that her behavior would have to change too, to roll with the punches. She still felt betrayed, and just a bit frightened, but to her surprise, she also began to feel turned on by being placed completely at her husband's disposal. Being just a bit frightened was making her feel hotter. She hadn't stayed angry with her husband, because he had defended her against the boss Village Transfer Volunteer who kept calling her a cunt.
She asked herself: how could she best show her husband how the situation was making her feel? How could she persuade him to do what she needed him to do? She thought about giving him a gesture of submission. Just thinking about that made her own internal fires burn a bit hotter.
So she came back out of the bathroom, knelt at Junius's feet and looked up at him. She asked "Please, Junius love, would you release me from my wrist strap so that I can use the bathroom?" She didn't want him in the bathroom with her, supervising her use of the toilet.
He looked over at the room door. Charlotte was locked in and could not escape, but at the same time, the world was locked out. Nobody else could bother them. He said "OK, we're private now. Stand up and turn around. When you are in the bathroom, take your clothes off, and leave all of them in there." And then he cut her wrist strap off.
She followed her husband's orders. When she came back out of the bathroom, she was naked. She did not feel at all humiliated. They had complete privacy. Her husband stared at her naked body in a way that he hadn't for years. She realized that she could live in safety in this new world if she could keep that look in his eyes.
He ordered her "Into bed, on your back, lying on your arms. Stay there!" She put her forearms side-by-side under the small of her back. When he came back out of the bathroom, he was naked too. That was the start of a fabulous night of passion. Charlotte had never suspected the layers of erotic emotion that would be triggered by just a bit of fear and by submitting to her husband's authority.
Clocks at New Potsdam Village were running about four hours behind those on the USM campus. The Browns put all of that extra time into lovemaking. Charlotte eventually begged Junius for permission to use the bathroom again; until permission was granted, she stayed in bed with her arms behind her back as she had been ordered.
Next morning Junius asked "Was it as good for you as it was for me?"
Charlotte nodded, but then she said "I don't think that it was the ultimate, though. Just yesterday you were telling me that the ultimate is when you can't go any farther, and we certainly could have. Let's try it again, soon, with me wearing the handcuffs. We could try something even snugger after you have had a chance to visit Savage's Hardware. I never thought that I would be so completely turned on by giving up all control. If it happens again, and if restraints have the effect that I think they will, then you can have all of the control every night."
Excerpt from an eConference, among Sheriff Theodore Wilkerson, Secretary Faye Ellen Roe, Governor George Johnson of Minnesota, and several military and police officers, Sunday afternoon
Sheriff Wilkerson was saying "So that is the situation. We haven't had anybody killed, yet. I think that the villagers were deliberately trying to minimize casualties when the fired on the full SWAT team. They could have blown my brains out, and Officer Sandra Williams's brains too, when they opened fire. Instead they aimed at the middle of my cruiser's windshield and at our power compartment. Neither Sandra nor I were hurt.
"We need more firepower than the police can provide. But I don't want to kill any villagers if we can possibly avoid doing so. Perhaps we could send in a first wave of police, carrying non-lethal weapons, backed by combat troops who are ready to return fire if the villagers shoot first."
The commanding general of the Iowa National Guard replied "I have a couple of units that are trained for riot control. They also use non-lethal weapons. I could loan them to you for the assault. I would need them back pretty quickly, though. The plague has reached Iowa and I'm afraid that we will have riots of our own here."
Secretary Roe said "We will need some heavy weapons too, tanks which are immune to the kind of low-power antitank rockets which can wreck a police APC without killing its entire crew. General Roberts, do we have any regular army units equipped with the latest M204 tanks available?"
General Roberts replied "I can get a troop detached for that purpose."
Secretary Roe asked "Can we have everything assembled together by tomorrow morning? We need a timetable for action." She soon got over-all agreement that an appropriate assault force could be organized by then.
So she announced her decisions. "We will gather our forces and be ready to move in by tomorrow morning. In the meantime, we will give the villagers one final ultimatum. Maybe they will back down when they realize how much force we are about to hit them with.
"Sheriff Wilkerson, can you get a written message to the villagers without endangering somebody? They may ignore an electronic message."
"Yes, I think that I can do that."
"Here is the message. Tell this Professor Burlington, and Moses Potsdam or whoever is in charge of the Potsdam Villagers, that I want all villagers off of planet CBQ 4960 by the end of tomorrow afternoon. The University people who are already on the planet can take care of the domestic animals. I will be bringing an inspection team out to your campus tomorrow morning, arriving about 9:00 am. I expect to find the evacuation of the villagers from the planet to be well under way by then. My inspectors and I will authorize all further transfers. Nobody who is now on Earth is allowed to go until after my team has arrived. Have I made myself perfectly clear?"
"Yes ma'am, you have."
"The assault will go in at ten o'clock tomorrow morning if the villagers have not backed down by then. We will roll up the entire campus and keep right on going to planet CBQ 4960, with modern tanks in the lead through the warp gate. We will herd the villagers back if they won't come back willingly."
Governor Johnson asked "What about the risk that the villagers will sabotage the warp gate?"
Secretary Roe answered "Warps are damn solid, once they are established. There was a gate in Miami that survived a hurricane, and one in New Orleans that was three feet deep in water at the height of a flood, and one in Tokyo that was only briefly interrupted by an earthquake. And there was the one in Casablanca that terrorists tried to blow up. They detonated an entire truckload of explosives right in the middle of the gate. The warp energy field absorbed the full force of the blast and recovered completely within ten minutes. I don't see how the villagers could do any worse than that."
USM South Campus Campgrounds, after the Incident at the East Gate
Shots had been fired. The assembled SWAT team had been forced to retreat, with one of their APCs destroyed. The steady stream of people and supplies through the warp gate could no longer be camouflaged. There was no longer any point in pretending that the villagers were politely waiting for official legal permission to transfer Potsdam Village to its new planet.
And so the Village Transfer Volunteers swarmed into the campgrounds that the villagers had used on the USM South Campus, tearing down the remaining tents and loading all of the camping supplies onto waiting carts. Most of the village's ponygirls were still on the campgrounds, waiting to pull those carts. The Transfer Volunteers also helped to put the ponygirls into their harnesses, working with pony team coaches and other veterans who knew how the harnesses should be assembled.
None of the Transfer Volunteers were willing to take the time to play with a girl who was just about to have her ninth birthday.
Moses Potsdam came down to the South Campus to see what progress was being made. Carianne Eisen spotted him, and of course she remembered the tall man with the full head of gray hair and the gray mustache. They had met when she led the parade onto the Randall Farm three nights earlier. When he saw her, he said "Hello, young lady. Are you ready to go?"
"I didn't get to lead the whole parade through the warp gate, like I did as far as this campgrounds. But I was told that I am still supposed to lead the ponygirls. And nobody has done me yet. I've got my cart packed, but I can't get all of my harness on by myself, because some of the buckles are on my back. Besides, it would be cheating for me to hook up to my own cart and put my own cuffs on. My Daddy always did me before, but he needed to go through the warp gate already. He told me it will have to be Mrs. Ernsberger. Do you know where she is?"
"No, I don't. She must be around somewhere. She's probably very busy getting other ponygirls ready to go." Moses took another look at the disappointed and worried expression on the little girl. He smiled, gave her a quick bow, and said "Ms. Eisen, I would be very grateful if you would you allow me the honor of doing you now."
Carianne broke into a broad grin and answered "Sure." Then she curtseyed - her third-grade class had done a peasant dance for a parent-teacher school assembly, so she knew how to curtsey - and she said "Mr. Potsdam, I accept your offer with all due gratefulness and humility." If he was going to play fancy-talk, then she would show him that she could play that game too.
Ten minutes later, Maria Ernsberger emerged from the crowd of ponygirls that she was trying to organize into a double line. She saw Carianne, who by then was wearing her toy handcuffs and who was strapped to her cart that carried her rag dolls and their dollhouse. Maria Ernsberger said "Oh good, you are all ready. Thank you, Moses Potsdam. Lead them out, Carianne! Forward ho!"
Later on in life, Carianne Eisen would tell the story many times about how she had been harnessed and cuffed by Moses Potsdam himself before she led the ponygirls through the warp gate to their new planet. The toy handcuffs that she wore that day were mounted in a picture frame as a permanent memento. The story gained a great deal of impact when she realized that that must have been the last time that Moses Potsdam had cuffed anyone, anywhere, with anything. Of course neither Carianne nor Moses realized that this would be true at the time it happened.
Moses Potsdam and Professor Charles Burlington, in the University Campus 911 Dispatch Center, Sunday Evening
The two leaders watched the video camera displays as the last of the ponygirls went through the warp gate. After that, the only villagers left on Earth were the Village Transfer Volunteers.
Burlington asked "How long do you suppose we have to transfer University people through the gate?"
"Until tomorrow morning at 9:00. Sheriff Wilkerson personally delivered a formal note, written on paper, to the guards at the East Gate about fifteen minutes ago. It's an ultimatum from Secretary Faye Ellen Roe. She will be here tomorrow to personally lead an assault on us, if we haven't surrendered by then. Her quote Inspection Team unquote will have to approve any further transfers after that. Her forces will include detachments from the Minnesota State Police, the Minnesota and Iowa National Guards, the regular Army, and local law enforcement. Are you trembling in your boots?"
"Yeah. Trembling with excitement. A surprise attack before tomorrow morning is unlikely. They won't be able to gather that much force before tomorrow in any case, due to the logistics of it all. So we have all night to transfer University people safely."
"I agree. I'll pass the word to the Transfer Volunteers. We have twelve hours to carry out Operation Sabine. We'll start immediately."
End of part 5
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