Market Forces
Part 1
by Freddie Clegg

Acknowledgements: This story was originally suggested by Nigel, a correspondent from the BDSM Library. Its development was helped by many of the comments and postings from folk on the (now defunct) message boards at, at its successor board on and at Thanks for all the ideas and the critical feedback to all that contributed and in particular to Nigel, Phil, Outlander, Lobo, Samarkand and Paul.

Needless to say the events and characters in this story are entirely fictional. No women were harmed in the production of this tale.

© Freddie Clegg 2007. No posting or reproduction without permission.

Preamble : Removal Men

Rebecca Hales was tired. It had been a long flight. She dragged her trolley bag through the front door of the flat she shared with her boyfriend. “Larry?” she called, not really expecting him to be there. No reply. Then she saw the note on the hall table.

Hi Hun, welcome back. I’m up in town tonight. Call me tomorrow when you get back, we’ll do lunch if you’re not too tired.

She looked at her watch. Half past nine. Time enough to have a really good soak in the bath and then decide. She took off her uniform forage cap and tossed it down onto the table. She’d flown for four airlines over the last eight years and uniforms for cabin staff had got no less stupid. Always these terrible heavy jackets, shapeless skirts and always the stupid hats. She shook her hair loose and kicked off her shoes. 'Yes,' she thought, 'a bath before anything else.'

Her intentions were interrupted by a ring at the door. Almost without thinking she reached out and opened it. Outside stood two men in dark blue overalls. The taller one of the two smiled and pulled his cap from a mass of black curly hair. “Ms Hales?” he asked. “Ms Rebecca Hales?”

Rebecca nodded, puzzled.

“Blue Box : Archive Storage and Removals,” he said, gesturing to a pile of bright blue, flat-packed, plastic crates stacked on the wheeled trolley being pushed by his colleague.

“I don’t think so,” Rebecca said. “I’m not planning on moving and I don’t have anything that needs to go to storage.”

The curly haired guy looked puzzled. He scratched the back of his head. “I’m sorry, there must have been some sort of mistake. Do you mind if I just call the depot to check,” he asked, taking out his mobile phone. He was holding it in front of him, pointing directly at her.

She thought nothing of it at first. Then she said “Why are you wearing latex gloves?”

He tapped out a sequence of numbers on the keypad. There was a quiet hiss. Rebecca looked down in surprise as the dart hit her. She gave out a short “Oh!” at the sudden pricking sensation. A tiny scarlet stain spread out around where the dart had pinned her white blouse to her belly. The chemical took effect quickly, her knees buckled under her own weight and she toppled forward into the hands of the curly haired man. He lowered her gently to the floor.

She was conscious, aware, but unable to move. He took her under the arms and pulled her back into the apartment. His colleague leant down and plucked the dart from her. This time she didn’t feel a thing. “Very neat,” he said, turning it over in his hand. “Very neat indeed.”

The curly headed man was rummaging through Rebecca’s handbag. “Be careful you don’t scratch yourself with that,” he said. “I don’t want to have to carry you out.” He pulled out a small, laminated photo-id on a silver chain. “Rebecca Hales, Atlantic Airlines, Cabin Crew,” it said. He held the photo against her face. “That’s her all right. Best to be sure.”

“OK,” said the other, as he started turning the flat-packs into the crates they were intended to be. “I’d have settled for this though.” He pointed to the badge on her jacket lapel that said ‘Rebecca Hales, Purser’ with small replicas of the French and German flags as indicators of the languages she spoke. “Time to wrap and pack, I guess.” He pulled Rebecca up into a sitting position, supporting her against his body. She could only watch as he reached around her and first wrapped duct tape around her ankles fixing them together and then did the same for her wrists.

The curly headed man emerged from the bedroom carrying a pile of her clothes. He put them into one of the crates and tossed something to the other man. “She shouldn’t need much of a muffler, but you might as well gag her properly.” Rebecca felt the man prise open her unresisting mouth and push a wad of cloth between her lips.

He pulled tape across her lips sealing the cloth in her mouth, half choking her. “You just love gagging them with their own panties don’t you?” he said and laughed. Rebecca still had no control over her muscles. The man wound more tape around her fingers this time and then bent her over, first taping her wrists to her ankles and then running tape behind her knees and around the back of her neck pulling her head forward onto her knees. She knew that even if her muscles would do as she willed she could do nothing to escape the embrace of the tape.

As the tape was pulled around her limbs she was aware that the other man was gathering up more of her belongings and dumping them in crates. “Pack up your dirty looks, your songs that have no hooks…” 'He’s singing,' she thought... “your stacks of Modern Screen, your portrait of the queen,” … What the hell is going on … “Da dada dad da-da, Da dada dad da-da,” The tape was jerked tighter as a length went around her calves and back bundling her up into a ball. “You're headed that a-way. You're moving out today.”

Her assailant called out. “She’s ready. Have you got everything?”

“Yeah. Let’s put her in her box.” He gripped her at the ankles, the other man lifted her from behind and she was lowered into the crate that sat on the trolley. The curly haired man tossed in her shoes, her hat and her handbag before fitting the lid of the crate. Rebecca heard the clack of the other crates being stacked on top of her own. The trolley began to move. As it bounced out of the door and up the ramp into the truck her captor was still singing… “So pack your toys away, your pretty boys away, your forty-fives away, your alibis away, your silly lies away, your old tie-dyes away, your one more tries away. You're moving out today.”

Chapter 1 : Lunch

I was sitting in my office at SaleWare. The sign on the door said 'Marketing Director'. I was feeling surprisingly fit after the previous evening. That’s the worst of customer hospitality events, I think. You always end up drinking more than you should – just in the interests of keeping the customers happy. And of course as the host you’ve got to hang on until the bitter end. I could only have had about three hours sleep.

Still, one good thing - I was amazed that I didn’t have the least sign of a hang over.

Everything seemed really great. In fact I felt really sharp and…

It was then that my brain ran into a brick wall as the alcohol finally caught up with me.

Five minutes later I was sitting at my desk with my head in my hands and a glass of seltzer fizzing noisily in front of me, courtesy of my secretary. I wasn’t in the best of moods when she put her head around the door five minutes later and pointed at the phone. “Can you pick this up?” she asked with a grin. “I didn’t think you want me to ring through - all things considered.”

I nodded, grateful for the consideration, and picked up the receiver. It sounded like a thousand angry snakes were hissing down the wires. I winced and moved the receiver away from my ear as the voice at the other end boomed out. “Morning,” it said. “Clegg here. We spoke last night. Thought you did a good job on the event. Wondered if you might be interested in a proposition.”

The good thing about Clegg’s staccato delivery was at least I didn’t have to cope with following long sentences. He didn’t wait for an answer.

“Good, good. Thought you’d like some lunch. I’ll be at my club, The Crescent. Come over about 1 o’clock. See you then.”

The clunk of the receiver heralded blissful silence.

I’d only met Clegg for the first time the previous evening. His company had installed our software earlier on in the year. I ran the marketing for SaleWare – it’s the UK end of a US software company specialising in systems for distribution businesses, merchants, wholesalers, that sort of thing. Anyway, we like to do profiles of our customers when the systems have been in and running for a while. Clegg’s company hadn’t been keen so I’d invited him along to a party we were having to launch the new version. I hadn’t really expected him to come but he’d been there large as life and, if the squeals of some of the girls we had on hand to ease the evening along were anything to go by, twice as willing.

He managed to avoid any discussion of a profile and then I got drawn into a debate on the merits of some particularly abstruse new feature with one of our more tiresome clients. I took a vodka or two to numb the conversation. I guess that started the down-hill road to my current condition.

I climbed out of the taxi as it stopped in the middle of a Georgian terrace of houses ranged in an elegant curve. A very small sign on a brass plate on some railings said “The Crescent”. Some steps led down to a basement entrance.

The woman standing at the desk just inside the doorway peered over her spectacles as I arrived. “I don’t believe you’re a member,” she said, suspiciously. I really wasn’t in the mood for complicated power games, though looking at her in her well fitting, sharply tailored suit and crisp blouse I might have been encouraged to other activities when in my normal state of health.

“Mr Clegg,” I replied. “I’m a guest of Mr Frederick Clegg.”

The woman’s look changed instantly to one of ingratiating pleasantness. “Of course,” she said. “Do come this way. I’ll show you through myself.” She ushered me across the dining room. It was a rather more modern setting than I‘d have expected for Clegg – I’d have thought deep padded seats and tapestries on the wall were more his style; this was all bare wood and steel. We arrived at the door to a private room and she knocked. I heard Clegg’s voice boom out, “Come!”

The woman opened the door and showed me in. “Your guest, Mr Clegg,” she said quietly.

“Excellent,” Clegg smiled getting up and extending his had to me. “Thank you, Hermione, give us a few minutes and then we’ll order.”

“Of course,” she said, smiling as she left the room.

Clegg watched the door close. “Snooty bitch,” he said. Hope she didn’t give you too hard a time.”

“Well, no,” I started but Clegg cut in.

“Good, good. Now let me get to the point. You’ve done a good job for SaleWare. I’d like you to come and do the same for me.”

“That’s certainly coming to the point, Mr Clegg,” I replied, startled by his bluntness.

“That’s me,” said Clegg. “Don’t believe in wasting time. My business, distribution and selling. World’s changing. Too many suppliers, too much competition, too few customers. People tell me I need some of this marketing stuff. Maybe they’re right. You seem like the man to do it. Talked to some people that know you. They seem to agree. So what do you think?”

“Well, Mr Clegg, apart from the fact that I don’t know you, I don’t know your company, I don’t know your products or your customers and I have a perfectly good job at the moment; I can’t think of a single reason to say no.”

“Capital, capital,” beamed Clegg, “you’ll need a sense of humour. Do you want some food or are you still feeling frail?”

He tossed a menu towards me. I looked down at the food on offer. It all looked appetising but none of it appealed just then. “I think I’ll pass, if you don’t mind.”

A waitress appeared, blonde, coolly dressed in charcoal grey shirt, tie and skirt with a black apron over it. She didn’t say anything but took out her pad. Clegg ordered a gravadlax starter followed by some monkfish. “Mineral water all right for you?” he asked, peering across at me.

“Mmm, sure,” I responded.

Clegg talked almost continuously about his views on business. He barely paused when first the starter and then the main course arrived. He talked and talked but I felt that the more he said the less I knew about what it was that his business did. He obviously enjoyed the company of women though as he kept up a suggestive banter with the waitress whenever she appeared.

The waitress reappeared with desert menus. Hermione came back into the room as well. Clegg leant back in his chair and turned towards Hermione. “I’ll have my usual,” he said. “My friend here will have a sherbet.” He turned back towards me. “Trust me on this one.”

Without a word and to my astonishment, Hermione pulled one of the high backed chairs from the table bent forward over the back and flipped up her skirt to reveal her naked rump. Clegg got up from the table unbuckling his belt and unzipping his fly. I looked on in disbelief. As I was doing so, the blonde waitress dropped to her knees beside me and, with practiced skill, unzipped my fly, pulled out my cock and had it in her mouth almost before I could react. A teasing, nibbling, sucking followed demonstrating her abilities as a fellatrix in a way that quite took my mind off of my hangover. Clegg, meanwhile, was working away at Hermione from behind her back, squeezing and pinching at her tits by reaching around her. He carried on with evident pleasure until he came with a grunt and turned to me with a smile. “Enjoying your desert?” he asked as the waitress finally brought me to orgasm.

The waitress zipped my fly and got up from her knees as Clegg backed away from Hermione. The two girls left us. Clegg, standing with his trousers still around his ankles, poured a brandy for each of us and passed one to me.

I nodded in thanks for both the brandy and the desert. It hadn’t been what I expected but my own firm was hardly above offering similar inducements if the situation needed it and I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth or to look a gift mouth in the mouth either. “Mr Clegg, I have to admit that the, shall we say, fringe benefits offered by your company seem attractive. But I still don’t understand what it is you buy or sell.”

“I’m sorry, old chap. I should have made it plainer - don’t mean to lead you up the garden path. It’s quite simple, really it is. Probably one of the oldest commodities on the planet.”

“Uh,, huh,” I said, “and that is…?”

“Women, old chap, women.”

I choked on my brandy in disbelief. “You must be joking,” I exclaimed but I could see from his face that he wasn’t. In fact he looked pained at the suggestion. “I’m sorry Mr Clegg, I might be interested in a career move but I don’t think I’d consider working as a pimp. Prostitution is hardly a legitimate line of business.”

Clegg tried to smooth me over. “I do believe you should think carefully about this. It’s not such an extraordinary career move. Some would claim that pimping is the ultimate form of marketing. Besides, I’m not really talking about prostitution, it’s more about trading – we’re a distribution company, I suppose. Let me give you an example of some of our stock.” He reached into his jacket and pulled out a slim folder. He passed it across to me. I opened it.

Inside the folder were a series of photographs, all of Rebecca. One thing that was clear from them was that Clegg was quite ruthless in his treatment of his merchandise. Poor ‘Becca was standing in a room somewhere. Her wrists were manacled and her arms were chained above her head. She been gagged – a bright red ball was wedged between her teeth. I assumed she’d been picked her up on the way back from the airport - she was still wearing her uniform, or at least some of it. Her blouse was torn open, one breast bare. Her skirt had been ripped as well, the dark welt at the top of her tights clearly visible where the side seam had been torn from hem to hip. Her hat was still perched incongruously on her head. She was looking pretty sorry for herself. “I suppose this is blackmail,” I said to Clegg.

“Well, let’s say it’s more a sort of ‘golden hello’. If you’re going to work for us we’d like to feel that you were fully committed, at least until you’ve had the opportunity to demonstrate your value.”

Chapter 2 : An Organisation

I looked again at the photographs. I’d often fantasised about having Rebecca like that but somehow things had never worked out that way. I handed the photographs back to Clegg.

“There’s only one trouble with your suggestion though,” I said as I pulled an envelop from my own jacket, took out the sheet of paper within and handed it to Clegg.

He peered at it and read it out laughing, “Rebecca, I’m sorry. This will be a shock but there’s no easy way to say it. I think we should end it. It’s not your fault. I guess I’m just not ready for the sort of steady life I think you are looking for.” He tossed the paper back to me. “Oh well, our intelligence isn’t as faultless it seems. Still it seems like we’ve done you a favour. Never easy saying good bye is it? And if you’re looking for a less steady life then working for us would have a lot to commend it. I mean, it’s not like I was asking you to join a tobacco company or something.”

For some reason I found myself warming to Clegg. “All right," I said, "tell me more. Well at least tell me as much as you feel able to without having to kill me if I don’t decide to go along with you.”

Clegg grinned. “Excellent,” he said, pulling up his trousers. “Have another brandy, it’s the best cure I know for a hangover. If you’re sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin.”

Clegg started with a question. “How much do you know about slavery today?”

It was a bizarre question as a continuation of a bizarre encounter but I responded as best I could. “Err, not much. I guess these days I mainly associate it with eastern block countries, trafficking women into the west, women kept in prostitution by drugs or threats of exposure to immigration authorities, that sort of thing. Look is this really a safe place to discuss all this?”

Clegg smiled. “Oh yes,” he said. “When I said this was my club, I didn’t mean that I was a member. It’s useful to have a base in London and the staff are very discreet.” He went on. “Well, what you say is true but that’s very much what I guess you marketing types call the bottom end of the market. Not my area at all. Least ways not as far as the market goes; I’ve no objection to Hermione’s bottom, none at all.” He grinned. “No, the area that I’m interested in is rather more sophisticated, shall we say, and with rather higher rewards.”

“But slavery nevertheless?”

“Yes, I won’t deny it. It is very definitely about the trafficking of women. Collected, rather as young Rebecca has been, prepared for their new lives and sold on. Like all trading businesses mine has its costs, its revenue and, I’m pleased to say, its profits. Most of our activity is concerned with the collection side, lots of research for the most part, although occasionally we’ll pick up inventory if the opportunity presents itself. We have one small preparation centre.”


“Well, you can guess how it is. Take Rebecca for instance. I imagine she’s fairly sexually experienced?”

I gave an affirmatory grunt, recalling some energetic evenings and week-ends over the last year. “Yeah, pretty much.”

“OK. Even so she won’t be used to the idea of being available as and when required. I’m afraid that today’s young women have developed a sense of independence that is not always conducive to our requirements. As and when required is what our clients expect. And how required come to that. She’ll need time to get used to that idea – our clients can be quite demanding – so she’ll definitely need time. And some encouragement. There’s a rather secluded location we use for that. We don’t do a lot of preparation - we’re not what you’d call in the mass market and many of our clients like them still to have a few rough edges to be smoothed out by themselves.”

“So, just the one preparation centre?”

“Yes. And then there’s the sales centre.”

“What, like a car showroom? You’re joking.”

“No, not joking. And yes, it is pretty much like a car showroom. Especially when we’re running an auction. Most of the stock is for private sale these days – a lot are commissioned collections anyway. That’s where the buyer specifies the inventory and we arrange as requested. We still have the occasional auction, though.”

“Your clients?”

“Wealthy, of course. Male mostly, though there are exceptions. I think every continent is represented though there’s a lot more activity in some areas than others. You do need a certain amount of space and privacy if you’re going to keep slaves successfully. They’re not the easiest of pets, as you can imagine.”

“And your problem with your business is?”

“Like I said, I think I need some of this marketing stuff. We’re successful but I’m not sure we’ll go on being successful. We’ve lost a few clients recently. It’s always hard to find out why but I get the idea that they’re getting a better service somewhere else. Not that we’re bad, almost like someone else is better, if you know what I mean. I’d want you to come in, tell us what we ought to be doing and then see it through.”

“It’s probably the most bizarre proposition that I’ve ever had.”

“That doesn’t altogether surprise me,” Clegg smiled. “We may operate like an ordinary business but I can hardly pretend that we are. Almost every thing we do is illegal – that is apart from our tax and accounts; never sensible to upset the revenue men, eh? Still it’s also likely to be the most lucrative proposition you’ve had. If your Rebecca isn’t going to prove a point of leverage then you should at least get a finder’s fee for her – that’ll come in at $10,000 for a start.”

“That’s a finder’s fee?”

“Well, she’s an attractive piece. Useful skills too. There’ll be no problem in selling her on and she won’t need too much training, not with the job she’s been doing up until now. We’ll probably find a role for her with someone flying their own private jet. There’s money in this business Larry, but I do it for the love of it, really. We’ll put together a good deal but you’ll find it fun, mark my words.”

“Yes, I can see that,” I said. “More fun than SaleWare anyway. Look I’ve got a couple of good marketing execs over there that I’d like to bring along with me. They’re good girls; smart and hardworking.”

“I thought we’d just start with you Larry, if that’s OK,” said Clegg. “Let’s see how it goes. If we need more help I’m sure we can pick your girls up later on.”

“Ah, I see what you mean,” I said. It probably wasn’t fair to think about involving them, though I had to admit that at least one of them would be very much improved by the type of gag that had been used on Rebecca. “OK,” I said taking a deep breath. “How do I start?”

Chapter 3 : On A Mission

Clegg and I discussed it. I always like to get a feeling for the business overall before I jump to any conclusions. Clegg agreed and promised to set things up. “You’d better start at the sharp end,” he said. “I’ll get you out with one of the snatch teams.”

To say I was surprised was putting it mildly. I’d never thought of myself as a law breaker, well not apart from illegal parking and speeding. Still, Clegg wasn’t the sort to beat around the bush and I guessed he’d want to discover if I could stomach this stuff fairly quickly. Actually I was more worried about what would happen if I found out I couldn’t – or strictly speaking if he found out that I found out….

Not surprisingly the snatch team wasn’t keen on having a stranger, and a beginner at that, along, but Clegg had been pretty insistent when he called them and told them I’d be joining them.

A week later I was sitting in the passenger seat of a non-descript van as we pulled up at a garage. It was a quarter to midnight, it was dark; we were the only vehicle on the forecourt.

The driver turned to me. “Just don’t fucking foul this up, we’ve been setting this one up for ages,” he said conversationally. I tried to look unimpressed. He climbed out and went to the diesel pump. I heard him call into the microphone on the side of the pump. “Hey, can someone give me a hand? This pump’s not working.”

The speaker crackled back. “It should be fine.” A girl’s voice. “Try again”

My companion, Harry, spoke again. “No, not a thing.”

More crackles. “Hang on I’ll come and have a look.” That was my cue, I shuffled across to the driver’s seat. I watched as the girl locked the shop behind her and then half walked, half ran towards us, walking round the van to where Harry was standing by the pump. I just heard a muffled squeak, a thump and the sound of the rear doors opening and closing. Then there was a slap on the other side of the panel behind my back and Harry’s voice calling, “Go!”

I drove off, slowly and carefully as we’d agreed. We’d gone about five miles I guess when there was another thump on the panel behind me. We were out of town by then. I pulled over into a lay-by. As the van stopped I heard Harry get out of the back. A moment later he was climbing in and off we went again. “That seemed pretty easy,” I said.

“It is if you prepare enough.” Harry’s response was terse.

“I mean, it could have been difficult. What if she hadn’t come out?”

“She always does. There wasn’t any doubt.” He pointed to a side road. “Turn down there.” The road was dark. I almost missed the gateway on the left hand side. “In here,” said Harry. “Over there,” he waved, “into the barn.” I drove in through the open doors and stopped the van. “Come and look at what we caught,” said Harry, getting out. He was more relaxed now, but he still had his hand on the butt of the pistol in his waistband as he pulled open the van’s doors.

He needn’t have worried. Our captive – well I felt I’d helped a bit – was lying, face down, on the floor of the van. I climbed in. Harry had done a thorough job on her with duct tape. Several turns were wrapped around her ankles and above her knees. There was more on her wrists and he’d even taped her hands together, wrapping tape around her fingers as well. She was quite slightly built; she’d obviously given Harry no trouble. He turned her over. The tape had been used to good effect to gag and blindfold her as well. Her face was almost covered with the grey, shiny tape, bulges beneath it made clear that he’d packed her mouth and covered her eyes with pads before using the tape. All that could be seen of the girls face was her nose. She was breathing, slowly, quietly, apparently trying to listen for clues of where she might be but unable to hear much because of the tape that covered her ears.

“Well, what do you think?” asked Harry.

I looked her over. She was slim, wearing a pair of tight, low cut jeans. Her pink sweat top was stretched tight across small breasts by the way the tape was wrapped around her chest and arms. The top stopped inches short of the waist band of her trousers showing off a taut belly that you could bounce a coin off and a silver ring through a piercing in her navel. She’d evidently tried to struggle a bit during her ride - one of her trainers had got kicked off - but she’d made no impact on her bonds. With all the tape on her head it was difficult to tell anything much apart from the fact that her short, spikey, blonde hair wasn’t naturally that colour. The tabard she wore as her one concession to a fuel company uniform was a dull, brown, nylon material that clashed with the pink top. A badge on her lapel said “”E6 Fuel Stops – Happy To Help” and her name, I assumed, “Jackie”.

“She seems safe and sound. Is there much call for fuel pump attendants?”

Harry grunted, bent down over the girl and dragged her to the tail of the van. She squealed and tried to kick out. Without much effort he hoisted her over his shoulder. “Don’t be fooled by appearances. Let’s get her stowed, we’ll have a drink and I’ll fill you in.” As Harry stood up Jackie was struggling ineffectually and trying to kick with her bound legs. A door opened at the back of the barn.

Out shuffled a little old lady of about seventy. She wore a rather shabby grey dress with a shawl about her shoulders. She was carrying a small wicker shopping basket. “Hello Harold,” she said warmly. “Have you had a nice evening? I see you’ve brought another guest to stay for a while. I’ll settle her in if you like.”

Harry put Jackie back down on her feet. Pulling a knife from his pocket he sliced through the tape that bound her ankles. The little old lady walked up to her. “You come along with me, dear,” she said quietly. Jackie turned towards the sound of her voice and gave a puzzled, gagged, squawk. She tried to kick out. The little old lady gave a sigh and took a small pistol from her basket. Beneath I could see an extraordinary array of cuffs, shackles and gags. “Don’t be stupid, you dumb little cunt, this is a gun” the little old lady hissed, jabbing the pistol against Jackie’s ribs and grabbing her arm. The turning to the two of us, she smiled again. “Why don’t you boys go and have a drink?”

“Sure thing, granny,” said Harry.

I followed him out of the barn and into the farmhouse beside it. Minutes later we were sat beside a roaring log fire, each with a glass of scotch in our hands. “So?” said Harry.

“Like I said. Neat enough I guess but I’m not sure why you picked this one up.”

“Intelligence,” he said, “that’s the answer in this job. This one’s going to be a real asset. The garage job is just a fill-in for her; paying off her student loan. She’s an undergraduate at the university. Third year studying computer science and mathematics. She’s been working on encryption algorithms. This one’s not for trading, we’ll keep her in–house. She’s going to be very useful.”

“Still, isn’t it a risky place for a pick-up? There must have been CCTV on that forecourt.”

“Yeah sure. Here look.” Harry picked up the TV remote and the old television in the corner of the room flickered into life. He tapped in a few numbers on the control and we were watching a recording of the garage’s CCTV, views flicking from the forecourt to the shop and back again. The pictures had been taken the day before – Jackie was standing behind the counter in the shop, numbers at the bottom of the screen gave the date and time as well as the camera number. A man came to the service window. He was pointing to the pump we had been using. Jackie went out to look at the pump and then came back into the shop. “Like I said she always came out,” smirked Harry. “Quite a few people had problems with that pump. Very handy, CCTV.”

“But how do you do that? Won’t that have got pictures of the pick-up?”

“Let’s see,” said Harry, tapping more buttons. The picture changed. The numbers on the screen indicated 11:40 p.m. No sign of anything on the forecourt, Jackie was behind the counter. The numbers gave a jump. 11:55 p.m. A grey car pulled on to the forecourt and the driver got out to try to use a pump. He looked across to the shop and then walked over to hammer on the service window. Disgusted to get no response, he went back to his car and drove off. Midnight.

“So where are we?”

“There’s a terrible flaw with these digital CCTV cameras. IP transmission through to the control room is very convenient but the problem with digital stuff is that it’s really easy to intercept and edit. Same goes for the number plate recognition stuff too. Probability is no one will notice the glitch when they view it. We can redo the time stamping so there’s no gap. That’s the sort of stuff we need young Jackie for.”

‘Granny’ appeared with a beatific smile on her face. “The young lady is all bedded down, boys,” she said. “These young girls you seem to pick up with are always so bothered about the accommodation. She was quite a handful, believe me.”

“Thanks Granny,” Harry said. “We won’t be long.” He turned to me. “You get to see all that you wanted?”

“Is that it?”

“Pretty much. She’ll stay here tonight. She’ll move on tomorrow. Granny’s got to go out with a load of pigs for market. Young Jackie will share the transport. We’ve got a compartment under the floor of the trailer. It smells a bit of course but she’s in no position to complain. Then we’ll transfer her over to a better truck for the journey to the Prep Centre.”

“Somehow I thought there would be more to it. The pickup I mean.”

“Oh, sure. This was a straightforward one but we like to make them as simple as we can. It’s all in getting the venue and the timing right, I guess. No point in making things difficult for yourself.”

“No. Well, thanks for that,” I said. “Any chance of a lift back to civilization?”

Chapter 4 : Preparation Is Everything

As it happened my visit to the Prep Centre coincided with when the girl I had helped to snatch turned up. The Prep Centre was a big shed – ‘Distribution Depot’ it said over the outside – sitting like a great white shoe box on the edge of a small airfield. A truck pulled up and backed on to one of three loading docks at the right hand end of the shed. “F.C. Meat Products” it said in large lettering across both doors and beneath it in smaller script, “Prime Quality – Farm Fresh – Organic”, a telephone number and the web site address “”. The doors at the back of the truck swung open with a loud clang as they slapped back against the sides of the truck. Inside there were four girls, taped up and gagged, strapped to the back wall of the truck. They were all looking startled and scared. I watched as each of the girls was loaded onto a four wheel trolley. A hook from the frame held them up on tip toe by the tape or rope that joined their elbows behind their backs. The trolleys were rolled off the truck, passing us and off into the depot. Jackie was rolled off first; startled to see Harry and me standing at the end of the truck’s ramp.

“Don’t we need masks?” I said to Harry.

“Oh no,” he said shaking his head as Jackie was pushed away. “No masks except on operations, and only then if there’s a risk that someone other than the target will see us. The boss doesn’t like them. Says they encourage sloppiness – this way it keeps people’s minds on the need to make sure our young ladies don’t wander off. We don’t blindfold them either once they’re here, for the same reason.” Jackie was squeaking quietly into her gag as she was wheeled away.

Next off was a girl in a long, electric blue, strapless evening gown. She was still wearing her jewellery – pearls and diamonds so big they had to be fakes, though I guess they might just have been real.

“Hope she enjoyed her party,” Harry grinned. Just like Jackie, her mouth was taped shut, cheeks bulging like an over-fed hamster. “The lads did a good job when they picked this one up. With her mouth stuffed like that there’s no risk of her making a noise. It’s no good just taping over their lips – they’re likely to push the tape off with their tongues if you leave them for long.”

The other two girls looked like they’d been snatched off a tennis court. One in shorts, a blonde, the other, mousey haired, in a short pleated skirt, both in white, both wearing short sleeved tops and trainers. They’d used one trolley for the two of them. Harry leant forward as the trolley came by. He reached out and groped the blonde’s breasts. “These are nice,” he said, squeezing and pinching as the girl tried to struggle away from him. “Not too big, nice and firm. I might get together with you later on.” She looked at him, her eyes wide in terror, as the trolley rolled her away.

“Don’t you have to leave the girls alone, then?” I asked. “I mean, shop-soiled merchandise and all that.”

“Nah,” said Harry. “We’re encouraged to. It lets the girls know what they are in for from day one.”

“That’s it - look cute and be ready for pain ‘Chic and Ow’, we call it –,” said a voice from behind me.

“Bloody hell, Rick, your jokes don’t get any better,” said Harry, turning round “This is Rick, he runs the place. Rick, meet Lawrence – he’s doing some stuff for Mr. C.”

I put my hand out to shake his.

“Great,” he said, with a grin. “When Harry met Larry.”

“Whatever,” responded Harry, “Mr C. thought he should have a look around. Can I leave him with you? I thought I might take up some tennis lessons. See you later, Larry” Without waiting for Rick to reply, he stalked off in pursuit of the trolleys.

Rick gave a snort as he watched him go and then pointed to a door at the other end of the loading dock. “Come on through,” he said, “I’ll give you the grand tour.”

Through the door lay a corridor with a series of doors leading off it. “What’s through here?” I asked. “Cells? Weapons rooms?” Rick looked almost embarrassed and opened a door revealing a few desks, some computers and two large filing cabinets. “Nothing so exciting along here. Just offices, I’m afraid. All this stuff takes a load of admin. You’ve no idea how much effort we have to put in just to keep track of where the girls are.”

“Uh, huh, I grunted. I wasn’t hard to be unimpressed.

“This, though,” he went to open another door, “is more interesting.” The room inside was a dark corridor. From it viewing panels looked into a series of rooms, each of which seemed to hold a captive woman. “Come on in – these are one way mirrors in the cells, the girls can’t see us. Not that it would matter anyway, I guess.”

We stood beside the panel looking into the room that held the party girl. Under the panel was a frame which held a card with a number – 06/034 – and a name - Vivienne - after it in brackets. She’d been stripped of her blue silk dress, but she was still wearing the underwear she had put on that evening, no doubt in hopes of an intimate encounter different from that which she could soon now expect. She had been left in her silk basque and knickers, together with her stockings and shoes. The tape had been taken off her wrists, elbows and ankles and now all that held her was a chain padlocked to the wall at one end and her ankle at the other. The gag had gone as well but I could see the red rash where they had pulled the tape from her face. The screwed up tape and a wad of cloth lay on the floor beside her. Her cheeks were tear streaked with mascara. Her hair was a mess - she had put her long brown hair up but some of it had come loose in her struggles and now tumbled across her naked shoulder. The room was empty apart from a single, naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling and a small metal bucket.

“OK,” said Rick, “this is how it starts. We bring them in here and keep them in one of these rooms for a couple of days. Mostly they think they’re being held for ransom for some reason. Two days - three days on their own; then they start to get a bit twitchy. The cells are all wired and video monitored so we can keep an eye on them. Let’s have a look in the next one.” We took a few steps along the corridor. “This one’s been here for a week.”

The girl in the cell looked less than twenty years old but a haunted look in her eyes suggested that she had seen more in the last week than in the rest of her young life. ‘06/022 (Anya)’ the label on the frame said. She was completely naked apart from a collar around her neck with a small metal tag hanging from it. Her head had been shaved. She wore the same chain as the girl in the cell next door.

“Watch this,” said Rick pressing a button on a panel below the viewing panel. A buzzer could be heard sounding in the cell. Almost at once the girl got to her feet and turned to face the wall we were looking through, she put her hands on her head and looked blankly towards us. “That’s pretty good. After a week they’re already conditioned to respond to simple instructions like that. It’s all part of encouraging them to get used to doing as they are told. When they leave here, they are ready to be trained for whatever specific role they are going to take up. We don’t do anything more than get them set up for it.”

The girl was standing only a foot from the viewing panel. Red weals were clearly visible across her breasts. “Do they need much ‘encouragement’ in the early stages,” I asked pointing at the marks.

“That’s quite mild,” Rick said. “We haven’t asked her to do anything difficult yet. She’ll still be in the state where she thinks she can go along with some things but hold on to some control herself. She’ll learn. Of course it’s difficult to strike a balance – enough encouragement to get them to comply, not so much that they end up damaged.” He pushed the button again, another buzz. She dropped her hands to her sides and then sat down again on the floor. “Each little buzz, each piece of obedience helps reinforce things. We don’t mind if it takes a while.”

The room alongside held the girl that Harry had gone off in search of. ‘06/038 (Carol)’ her label said. As we walked by she was being manhandled, still bound and gagged, into the cell. Harry followed her into the cell. “Put her ankle chain on,” I heard him say, “and then I’ll see what those titties are like close up.” He turned to the girl. “Don’t be upset little cunt,” he said, almost affectionately as he reached out a hand and cupped one of her breasts, “you’ll have plenty of gentlemen callers while you’re here.” She tried to pull away from him, earning a slap on the face. He grabbed her by the hair and forced her back against the wall of the cell. Pushing her sports top up over her breasts he started to pinch and squeeze her tits.

“That’s pretty much the shape of things here - sex and violence,” said Rick as we walked on. "By the time we send them on they’re ready for what they’ll have to cope with.”

We walked on, passing five or six more cells, all occupied by naked, chained, prisoners. At the end of the corridor a door opened out into a brightly lit lobby area. At a desk to one side, next to what was evidently the door to a parallel corridor serving the cells themselves, a bored guard sat, working away at a cross-word puzzle. Manilla folders were piled up on the desk in three trays, Incoming, Outgoing, Storage. Rick walked across to the desk and picked up one of the folders from the tray marked Storage. “Here you go,” he said, passing it to me, “these are the sort of records we keep.”

It was the file for the girl I had helped capture. On the front the word “collected” had been stamped in red. Inside the front cover was a full face photo and a form listing a set of basic data; name, age, height and weight, vital statistics, home address, work place. There was space for details of medical conditions, educational qualifications, close associates. In the rest of the file were a series of what seemed to be surveillance reports. There were more photos of Jackie – her in a coffee shop chatting into her mobile phone, emerging from a clothes shop clutching a large carrier bag and wearing a big smile, skipping up the steps of the university library. The final document in the file was a short memo which said. “Subject authorised for collection for internal use. Not for re-sale. FC.” I handed it back.

“You see, we try to run a professional operation.”

“Sure,” I said, “why wouldn’t you?”

Rick showed me through another door. “These are the research facilities,” he said. It looked just like another room full of computers to me. “We do some from here, most of the major stuff is done elsewhere but if we’ve got an opportunity for a pick up we can carry out the basic checks – make sure they won’t be missed too quickly, that sort of thing.” “Harry said you use video surveillance in research.”

“Oh sure, we keep any thing for the current projects on a video server farm – we can call up anything we’ve got at one of these work stations. Use it for planning or briefing the snatch squad as we need to. Here, look,” he scrolled down a list of numbers, until he picked out “05/209 (Caroline)”. A tap on the keyboard brought up a further list, dates, times, locations. “These are all cross referenced as we collect them. Some of the footage is from intercepted public systems, sometimes it’s our own concealed cameras. Another tap on the button and the file started to play. It was a bar. Sitting at it staring at a half empty glass was a man. From the back it could have been anyone. “That’s Harry,” said my host. He always likes at least one chance to get up close to the target. Says you can’t really judge weight, agility, stuff like that, from video.

A girl came into the bar, the camera lens zoomed in on her, out of focus for a moment. She was a blonde, wearing a v-neck sweater that clung tightly to a pair of tits as round as grapefruit. She walked passed the camera and it panned back, following her across the bar. Her arse was as nicely rounded as her tits. The bar was empty but she stood right next to Harry. He looked up as she reached the bar. There was no sign of the barman. She turned to Harry, “Can I get a drink here?” she asked.

“I guess,” Harry replied. “I got this in living memory. You don’t look like the kind of girl anyone would let go short of a drink for long.”

“Well, thank you kind sir,” Caroline answered. She was twisting a lock of her hair in her fingers as she talked, looking straight at Harry. The barman came into shot. She didn’t notice him; she was just looking at Harry. They talked some more. She was flirting, he was flirting back.

He looked at his watch and apologised. “Sorry, I have to go,” he said.

“I may still be here later,” she said.

“That would be great, I’ll maybe get back.” He left her. She turned to the barman and ordered a vodka and tonic. He served her. The video stopped.

“And then?” I asked.

Rick picked another file further down the list. The video started up again. This time it was dark, out of doors. Harry was standing at the back of a large saloon car. He lifted up the lid of the boot. The camera zoomed in. It was Caroline. She was unconscious; gagged with silver tape that reflects the lights from the video camera. The same tape was wound around her chest and arms, just below her tits. It dragged her sweater tight across her breasts making them look even fuller and firmer than they did before. Harry smiled at the camera and dropped the lid of the boot. The video stopped.

“Its not just video though,” Rick says selecting another file. It was Caroline voice again. This time she sounded like she was on the phone. She’s talking to an answering machine “Hey,” she said. “I thought I’d call you. Just popped back to the room. I met this cute guy and … well you know me….let’s see how it goes. Wish me luck.” The phone went dead.

“Phone tap?” . “Uhhuh,” says Rick. “Phone taps, bugs, anything really to get the background or limit the risks. With that one we could hack the machine and wipe the message. Harry doesn’t like leaving loose ends.” He smiled. “The other thing we do is to record all the debriefing sessions we do here. Here, watch this…” He clicked on a file labelled “05/224 (Jane)”. The video had been shot in a small room with a single chair. Behind the chair was a door. It opened and two men pushed a tall blonde girl into the room. She was wearing a white blouse and a straight black skirt. She was wearing heels – they made her stand taller than the two men. Her hair was quite short, cut close to her head giving her a curiously punkish look that contrasted with her conservative clothes. She was gagged. They sat her on the chair and tied her to it. They took off her gag and left the room. She was looking around to left and right. A disembodied voice said, “Hello, Jane.” She looked startled, staring around herself, looking for the source of the voice.

“Where are you?” she cried. “Why am I here? You’ve got to let me go. There must be some mistake.”

The voice seems to sympathise with her. “Don’t worry, Jane,” it said, “There are mistakes sometimes. I’m sure if there’s any mistake we can soon sort it out. Perhaps you can help me?”

“Oh,” Jane said, puzzled. “Help you? Why should I help you? Why don’t you let me go?”

“Well, Jane, I could but then if there hadn’t been a mistake – then that wouldn’t be right would it?”

Jane seemed confused. “Err, no, I guess not but you can’t have meant to kidnap me.”

“As I say, it’s possible that a mistake has been made. Let me ask you some questions. In your office, tell me, are you the only senior secretary?”

“Oh no, there’s four of us.”

“Ah, perhaps that’s the problem. Tell me about the others.”

“The others. Ah – there’s Angie. Actually she looks a bit like me, blonde too but a bit shorter. Her parents are quite wealthy. They’ve got a yacht, she goes off for long weekends, we never know whether she’s coming back on Mondays but she doesn’t’ seem to care – says she doesn’t really need the money. You must have meant to kidnap her. Or, Louise. Oh, no I shouldn’t be telling you this.”

“It’s all right. You’re just helping me out. We have to correct any mistakes, don’t we?”

“I, I guess so, well, Louise she’s …..”

Rick turned down the volume. “Will you look at that,” he says. “She’s falling over herself to find something that will let her get free. We’ll get enough information to pick up two of her three friends over the next couple of weeks. You get that sometimes. If they don’t resist then often they’ll be really cooperative. Makes our job easy but, hah,” He flicked the video off in disgust. “I’m glad I haven’t got friends like that. Anyway, where have we got to?” He scratched his head and thought for a moment. "OK let’s see. You’ve seen research, the reception cells, a little bit on debriefing, something about the records and admin. I guess you should see something of the processing that goes on after arrival.”

“OK,” I said, “lead on.”

Rick led the way back out into the lobby. Alongside the desk that guarded the entrance to the cells were three other doors, each labelled with clear signs, Evaluation, Orientation, Despatch. As we got back to the desk Jackie, now naked but still bound, was hustled through the door from the cells. “Ah, here’s your little friend,” Rick said, picking up her file. “Why don’t we go watch as some of the blank spaces in her profile get filled in.”

Jackie was kicking and struggling against the two men holding her as she was half pulled, half thrown through the door marked “Evaluation”. We followed her. Beyond the door was a small doctor’s surgery. As we came in one of the men called, “Hey, Rick, since you’ve got her file can you note the scores down?”

“Sure,” Rick replied.

Jackie was squealing as they pushed her onto a pair of scales in one corner of the surgery. “Stop struggling, cunt,” barked the man, cuffing her and sending her reeling against the wall. Dazed, she stood as still as she could on the scales. “115lbs,” he called out to Rick. He grabbed her by the arm and pushed her back against a height scale on the wall. “5 feet four.”

The other man picked up a tape measure from the desk and pulled it around her chest, waist and hips. “34, 22, 32,” he called out to Rick. “Looks like a B cup to me.”

Rick was noting down the details as a blonde woman in a white coat came in. “Another one?” she asked. “Where’s the file?”

“Here you go, Doc” said Rick passing it to her. He gestured towards me. “This is …” he began.

“I know. Well don’t get in the way either of you.” She turned towards Jackie, “Put her on the couch,” she said and then walked across to stand beside her. “Now, young lady” she said quietly. “I need a blood sample and a urine sample. You can either help me or you can be difficult but you won’t like how I take the urine sample if it comes to that. OK?”

Jackie looked around at the two men, the doctor, Rick and myself. She nodded slowly and grunted an mmphed acceptance through the tape of her gag. The doctor rolled her onto her face and stuck a hypodermic into her arm, She drew off a sample of blood into a small tube. She tossed a stainless steel bedpan onto the couch alongside the girl. The two men knew the drill and lifted the helpless Jackie onto it. “Let’s have it,” said the doctor. Jackie whimpered and looked around again. The doctor slapped her. “Do it, or I’ll get a catheter,” she snarled.

Jackie whimpered again as the ringing sound of her pee hitting the steel of the pan confirmed her compliance. “Why the urine sample?” I asked.

“Pregnancy test,” the doctor replied as Jackie was pulled off from the pan. “We don’t get many but it complicates things if we don’t know early on.” She reached for a small jar on her desk and pulled a pair of disposable rubber gloves from a box and wiped off Jackie with a wad of tissue. “On the other hand,” she went on, “you’d be surprised how often I find little trophies hidden in the most unusual places. Take her gag off.”

One of the men pulled the tape from her mouth and she cried out as the tape ripped away from her skin. He prised out the wad of sponge that had been filling her mouth. She barely had the chance to squeal before the doctor crammed a Whitehead gag into her mouth, ratcheting it open to force her jaws apart. Picking up a torch she peered into Jackie’s mouth, running her fingers inside. Apparently satisfied, she turned her attention elsewhere, pushing Jackie back onto the couch and plunging her fingers into the girl’s vagina. Jackie groaned as the doctor’s fingers probed inside her. The doctor ignored her complaints and rolled her over once again, this time probing with her fingers inside the girl’s anus. More gagged whimpers accompanied the doctor’s actions. The doctor stood up and snapped off her latex gloves. She turned to the two men. “Any sign of medication?”

“No, nothing we could see in her handbag,” one of them replied. “A half used pack of contraceptive pills and some headache tablets was all she had that looked medical.”

“Fine,” she noted down some comments in the file and handed it back to Jackie’s guards. “I’ll add the test results later. You can put her back in the cells now.” Jackie was pulled from the couch and hustled away.

“Thanks, Doc,” Rick said. “That’ll do us for now, I think. You OK with that Larry?”

“Yeah, sure,” I said, although it wasn’t clear how this was helping yet.

“OK,” said Rick, “let’s go look at Orientation and Despatch.”

Chapter 5 : Well Begun Is Half Done

Rick showed me through the door marked “Orientation” into another featureless corridor.

“I’m not sure we really need a separate area for this,” he said. “We could just as easily do their training down in the reception block. Still we’ve got the space so I guess it doesn’t matter. Anyways, it’s just the basics they get put through here; learning to cope with simple commands, that sort of thing. Have a look at this one.” He pulled open one of the doors. “She’s been here a few days now. Just starting to get the hang of things, she is.”

Hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room was a small cage, barely larger than the girl it contained. Inside it knelt a girl, blindfolded and naked, her wrists and ankles shackled to the bars of the cage that held her. It was only as she lifted her head in response to our arrival that I saw her collar and tag and the stewardess cap. I realised it was Rebecca and I saw at once from Rick’s grin that he knew who she was as well. “A friend of yours, Mr C. tells me,” he said.

I nodded. Rebecca, confused and traumatised by her experiences, barely registered our presence. I looked at her feeling sympathetic in one sense but curiously detached in another. Only a week before we had been sharing a bed and yet now, somehow, it seemed quite reasonable to see her like this.

“They all spend some time caged, just to get the hang of what they can look forward too if they don’t behave,” said Rick, interrupting my thoughts. He swung the cage around. As he did so I could see that a pair of vibrators had been pushed into her and then fixed rigidly to the bars of the cage. He flicked a switch on the side of the cage and the vibrators sprang into life. As they did so Rebecca gave a soft groan and began to wriggle in time with the motorised thrusts. The cage swung right around. “No gag, you’ll notice,” Rick went on. “She’s learning to keep quiet. If she manages to take an hour or so of this without too much moaning she’ll be allowed out of the cage for a while.”

“Isn’t it, well, a bit brutal? I mean is it really necessary to treat them like this?”

“Yeah. The way I see it, if we get them orientated properly they get an easier ride with their owners. We can’t change the fact that they’re going to be owned, but this way it should go better with them. By the time they leave here they’ve left their previous lives behind. They can cope with what comes next. I tell you, if your paths cross again she won’t even recognise you.”

“OK,” I said, “maybe I just haven’t got used to this business yet.”

“I know how it is. I was the same at first but there’s been a lot of thought put into this whole process. If you like I can have her put in a room for you afterwards. Nothing like getting close to the product for seeing the benefits of the system.”

I thought about it for a moment but shook my head. It didn’t seem like a great idea just then.

“Please yourself,” Rick said. “I might have a go myself, Clegg doesn’t mind if we take the odd hour off, providing it benefits some of our guests in one way or another. Anyway, that’s basically how we do it. Simple tasks with rewards to reinforce appropriate behaviour. Let’s have a look at the next one.”

We left Rebecca swinging in her cage trying to cope with her simple task of keeping quiet with the vibrators pulsing away in her pussy and her arse.

“Here’s an interesting one,” said Rick. He said opening the door to another cell where a naked girl was kneeling, chained by her collar to a steel pillar in the centre of the room. “This one was a librarian,” he ushered me into the cell. “Turned out to be relatively sexually inexperienced when we interviewed her and while that’s attractive to some folk most buyers want some basic skills. We use this to train the ones that aren’t very capable at oral sex. Look at this.”

As we walked around the post I could see that her mouth was round a large artificial phallus that projected from the pillar. She was sucking at it enthusiastically. “Looks to me as if she’s learning what she needs to here,” I said.

“Yes,” said Rick. “And as long as she keeps that up she’ll be all right.” He saw my puzzled look. “Check out our little book worm’s titties,” he went on. She had clamps on her nipples which wasn’t unusual for the girls in the Prep Centre but from each ran a cable that disappeared into the pillar. Her pace slowed as she tired. Almost at once she squealed and bucked as an electric current shot down the cables. She set to again, using her mouth with renewed energy.

“And if she doesn’t there’s an electric shock to reminder her what she’s supposed to be doing? Ouch! How long does she have to keep that up?”

“She’ll do an hour today, a bit more tomorrow. We’ll increase the time and increase the voltage over a few days. She may not develop much technique but she’ll at least develop some stamina and it should cure some of her gag reflex.”

“How come?”

“There’s a sensor in the tip of the phallus. As long as she keeps it pressed against the back of her throat the shocks take a little longer to develop.”

“Impressive engineering,” I said.

“Well, that’s one of Freddie’s personal contributions. He’s good at that sort of thing. Seen enough of this?”

“Yes, sure,” I said. As we left the cell I heard the girl give another squeal and whimper.

“OK, here’s another of Freddie’s engineering solutions,” he opened another door. Inside four running machines were lined up facing the room’s one way mirror. On each a chained, corseted, girl was walking slowly and carefully. “This,” Rick said, “we’ve had to install because girls today just don’t know how to walk properly.”

“It’s not a problem I’ve really noticed myself,” I said.

“No, you wouldn’t, but it matters to our customers. Look what they’ve got on their feet.”

Each of the girls was wearing shoes or boots with extreme high heels. Two of them had on shoes with thick platform soles.

“Most of the girls we pick up spend most of their time slobbing around in jeans and wearing trainers. They just don’t know how to walk properly in heels and they’ll all need to do that when they come up for auction. We don’t want them falling off their shoes like Naomi Campbell, do we? So we give them some acclimatisation here. They’ve rarely had any experience of being corseted either. That changes their whole posture so they need to get used to that too.”

“I presume they’re chained to those treadmills,” I said peering more closely. Every so often one of the girls would slow her pace and then give a gagged yelp before stepping out again.

“Uhhuh,” Rick responded. “And you’ll see that their tits are wired up just like the last girl.”

“OK. So how does that work?”

“Do you see - at the back of each treadmill there’s a little black box on either side? That’s a photo-cell and lamp arrangement. If they slow down and get carried back by the belt they break the beam and zip.”


“A quick shot of electricity through the tits gets them going again. They don’t have to be fast, they just have to keep up a steady pace. It seems to work.”

“Our Freddie is an ingenious soul.” We left the room as the girls walked on.

Rick showed the way to another room. It looked more like the bar of a comfortable hotel than a dungeon cell. Rick sat down on one of the deep padded armchairs. “Strictly speaking this is part of ‘Orientation’ but it’s also somewhere for us guys to take a bit of time off – we give the girls a chance to practice their service skills here. Do you fancy a drink?”

I nodded in acceptance. “Why not?” I said, “I’ve been in stranger looking bars than this.” To myself I thought, 'Stranger looking maybe but probably not, actually, stranger.' Remembering what Clegg’s club had been like in London, I hardly thought that this would be any less bizarre.

I wasn’t disappointed. Rick pressed a button. In response a door swung open and one of the girls teetered in on stilt high heels, evidently she had at least succeeded in completing that aspect of the training. In front of her she pushed a trolley containing an array of drinks and glasses. I guess “high fetish” would describe the look. Her head was encased in a skin tight hood of red latex so thin that her features could be clearly made out beneath it, as could the fact that her mouth was filled with a jaw-breaking ball gag. Her head was held erect by a broad leather collar locked about her neck with her number tag tangling from it. Her breasts were bared, her only other garments a waist cinching corset and a leather single sleeve binder that held her arms locked behind her back.

As she came up beside our couch I realised that she was pushing the trolley by means of a bar that was fastened to a dildo that was strapped into her, penetrating her vulva.

Another girl followed her into the room. Similarly dressed, she also appeared to have a plank strapped to her back. It was only as she knelt in front of us that I realised it was her role to act as our drinks table. Rick picked a beer bottle and glass from the trolley and stood them on the table. “Help yourself,” he said waving to the trolley girl. I assumed he meant drink, although the girl’s reaction suggested that she was equally expecting me to take advantage of other services.

I restricted myself to joining Rick in a beer. He took a sip from his glass. “These two have been here a couple of week’s now,” he said. “They’re fairly docile. They’ve learnt to do as they are told, although this one,” he reached forward and pinched one of the trolley girl’s nipples, ”this one still thinks she can decide when she’s going to behave and when she isn’t. Don’t you?”

The girl shook her head slowly, the movement impeded by the rigid collar that she wore.

“Well, that is good news,” said Rick, smiling. “We’ll be able to get you helping with the training of the new girls, then.” The girl looked distressed, shaking her head again. Rick turned back to me. “You have to keep racheting things up. As soon as they think they’ve given in you find a new hurdle for them to jump over. That way you build up the submissive response over time. This one,” he pointed to the table, “is doing much better. She’s pretty well jumping through any hoops we put in front of her. We’ll move her on to her owner within a week.”

“She’s been bought then?” I asked.

“Yeah, that’s not so common now. It used to be that almost all of them were picked up to order so they were bought before we’d grabbed them. Nowadays we’re auctioning more and more of them. That’s not so good - it’s never certain what you’ll get for them and the market’s been a bit flat lately.”

“How come you’re not grabbing so many to order?”

“I’m not sure why the commissions have dropped off. I guess there’s competitors out there offering better rates. Guys in the Sales Centre would have a better idea, I guess.”

I made a mental note to add that to my thinking on Clegg’s marketing problems. I needed to remind myself I was supposed to be working, though it was pretty difficult, supping beer in the company of two virtually naked women.

Rick downed the last of his beer. “Anyway, I was going to show you Despatch,” he announced, getting to his feet. “Fuck off, sluts,” he barked at the girls. The table shuffled slowly, away on all fours, taking care not to dislodge the empty bottles and glasses still balanced on her back. The trolley followed her, each step causing the dildo attached to the trolley handle to push into her cunt. The gag only served to make her muffled whimpers sound more plaintive.

“OK,” said Rick. “Let’s move on.” We stepped out of the room, back into the corridor and on into a loading dock. “Well,” he said, gesturing, “this is Despatch. We either ship direct to the customer or via the Sales Centre. Shipping to the Sales Centre is the easiest of course – it’s only about three hours from here by road so all we have to do is make sure the consignments are in here just before the trucks turn up and that they’re securely packed. ‘Ship to Customer’ is a bit more of a challenge. It’s usually overseas – airfreight mostly – and the flight times are often ten hours or more. We use standard airfreight containers like these – modified a bit. Here, I’ll show you – this one’s going out in about an hour.”

Rick pulled open the side panel of the container. Inside there were two couches set side by side. On the nearer was strapped an almost naked, partly conscious girl. She turned her eyes slowly towards us as the panel opened, aware of the sudden bright light. Her mouth and nose were covered by an oxygen mask that was held in place by tape that seemed to cover most of the rest of her face. Her eyes flickered and she sank back into sleep.

“Drugged?” I asked.

“Uh huh,” responded Rick. “It’s the kindest way really. She’s almost unconscious, so it minimises the risk of her doing any harm to herself by struggling.” We walked over to the container. The girl couldn’t move; straps around her forehead, arms, chest, belly, thighs and ankles held her in place on the couch. I could see that when the side panel of the container was closed foam padding would restrict her even more. A breathing tube ran from the mask to gas bottles below her couch. A small gauge on the bottles showed they were 90% full. All the girl was wearing was a pair of padded pants. Rick saw me looking at them. “Well, she can’t get out of the hold to go use the washroom,” he said. “We keep them off liquids and use diuretics for a day before shipment and the drugs suppress the production of urine but there’s always a risk of spillage.”

“Where’s she going?”

“Err, not sure. Let’s see.” He reached across to the girl’s couch, in a pocket by the side was a folded document. He opened it out. “Shipment note,” he said, explaining. He read it. “Oh yeah, I remember this one. She was a bit unlucky.”


“Yeah, We had a very nice snatch set up. We were picking up a student, Carol – degree in modern languages; very bright, doing post graduate studies in Russian. That’s very useful at the moment both from the point of view of new acquisitions and for some of our new customers too. So we monitor our little student’s house and get her pattern of movements. It’s the end of term so she’s not going to be missed for a few days at least, weeks maybe. We’ve got the whole thing set up. A little light jemmy work at the back of the house; get ourselves in; set up to wait for her to come home that evening; nice quick grab and bag and Robert is very much your father’s brother.”

“But it wasn’t as easy as you thought?”

“Well, yes and no. Getting in was no problem. The snatch team had no difficulties at all. Only problem is they’re just sorting out their stuff in the hall when they hear a voice from upstairs calling ‘Carol, is that you?’ and they realise that the brown smelly stuff is in the fan.”

“Ah, not your actual cunning linguist then?”

“You catch on quickly my friend, no, not our linguist at all. Anyway the lads are crouched under the stairs as our friend over there comes down stairs. She’s been in the shower; she’s wearing a towelling robe; she’s got a towel around her head and nothing else. The lads had no choice really, so when she gets to the bottom of the stairs they jump her. She puts up quite a fight – turns out later she trains at a gym – both the lads end up with bloody noses and one with a considerable pain in his crotch. However they manage to subdue her and strap her wrists with the belt from her robe. They weren’t too gentle but then having your balls kicked tends to cause your judgement to suffer. It definitely was not the girl they were looking for; the towel has come off her head and even the dimmest of our snatch teams can tell the difference between a blond and a brunette. The real target is not due home for another three hours and this one is busily trying to bite her way through the hand that’s keeping her quiet. Well to cut a long story short they find some stuff to gag her with – I think it was her face cloth and a pair of tights she had hanging on the bath rail – and hog tie her on her bed. Well, much as they might enjoy the prospect of a young lady trussed up wearing nothing but a bath robe, they at least know that they’ve got to sort things out. They make a couple of calls and we decide to bring both of them in. They make sure this young lady can’t wander off and wait for the real target to turn up.”

“So Carol’s house guest gets to join her in an exciting new life.”

“Well, sort of. Having brought her in it turns out that the house guest here doesn’t really have much in the way of any specific skills we need, so we’ve just sold her on. Got a reasonable price which will cover the overheads but that’s about it. Anyway, the irony is that this one’s off to a little dacha near Kharkov, so she might end up learning some Russian a bit more quickly than her friend, though my guess is she won’t be reading Chekov or Turgenev.”

The girl slumped back in her couch, the effects of the drug overtaking her. Rick put the shipment note back in its pocket, lowered the panel of the container and fastened it.

“Do you get many problems like that? Unplanned stock?”

“Not as much as you’d think. The research is usually good enough. And usually we can off-load them. It just seems a bit unfair, somehow. I must be getting soft in my old age. Let’s have a look at this other one. She’ll be on this afternoon’s truck to the Sales Centre.” Rick pointed to a cable drum on the far side of the loading bay. We walked across.

After the relative comfort of the long haul container, the poor girl being shipped out to the Sales Centre was clearly going to have a more difficult ride. She obviously hadn’t had the benefit of any tranquilising drugs. As we approached the drum the distinctive sounds of complaint muffled by a mouth filling gag could be heard.

Rick rolled the drum away from the wall. The grunts of complaint got louder. I had to admit the way that the cable drum was being used was ingenious. As Rick swung it around I could see that the girl had been strapped in place, face up, around the core of the drum. She was naked apart from the straps that held her tightly against the drum’s core. “Toss me those slats,” Rick called, pointing to a pile of short pieces of wood. I passed them across to him one at a time as he fitted them inside the drum until they made a second outer core, completely enclosing the helpless girl and making her gagged grunts sound still quieter. “There we are,” said Rick, “a convenient package we can roll straight onto a truck.”

I realised there were four other drums on the loading dock. “Are all those the same?” I said pointing. I looked at the drums. On each was stencilled the words “FC Components Ltd. ‘Plug & Play’ Wiring Harness & Cables”.

“Yep,“ said Rick, “that’s the results of the last week’s orientation. They’ll be in the Sales Centre tonight. There’s an auction at the weekend and then they’ll be off to their new owners."

Chapter 6 : Hands On

Freddie had got an office for me in the run-down block that he used on the edge of the city. “FC Enterprises” it said on a dingy plate by the door. The whole building looked pretty dingy. The up side was that I could get to Brick Lane for a good curry at lunch time. The down side was that even if I didn’t feel like a good curry I could still smell it all day.

Upstairs there were researchers and the accounts department. I was sitting in my office, going through my thoughts after my visit to the Prep Centre. What worried me was how normal it all felt, how easily I seemed to have slipped into accepting the ideas, the whole basis behind this bizarre business. A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have believed there was such a place as the Prep Centre in the heart of England. Now I was trying to work out ways to make best use of it. I suppose I ought to have had some moral scruples about the whole thing but I guess I was just focused on the problem. It’s one of my faults, I know, solving the problem at hand even if I should really be thinking about other stuff.

I was thinking about the trip up to the Sales Centre when the phone rang.

It was Freddie. “Morning, Lawrence,” he boomed. “All well at the Prep Centre?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Good, good. Now tell me, do you know an Amanda Hollis?”

“Yes, sure,” I said, “she’s a friend of Rebecca’s, works for Atlantic Airlines too. They used to crew together sometimes.”

“Word is that you two used to ‘crew’ together occasionally as well when Rebecca wasn’t around?”

As I was beginning to appreciate, Freddie’s intelligence network was extensive.

“That was a long time back,” I said.

“Good, good. Then you won’t have any objection to us adding her to the collection?”

As always I was non-plussed by Freddie’s matter-of-fact approach. Thinking about it, compared with the rest of what I’d been involved in over the past weeks, it was hardly much of a problem. I hadn’t seen Mandy for six months – somehow she and Rebecca had always been on the same trips for a while. And anyway it hadn’t been much more than a shared physical thing – Mandy was fairly energetic between the sheets, if you know what I mean – so I couldn’t say that I had any real reservations about Freddie’s proposal. “No,” I said, “not really.”

“Excellent, excellent,” beamed Freddie. “Thought that would be the case. It’s just that she’s been kicking up a bit of a fuss over her friend’s disappearance and that could be a bit inconvenient. I thought you and Harry could deal with it. You seemed to get on all right with the last one.”

I was conscious that I hadn’t been more than a spectator at the garage job but Freddie didn’t seem to want to be diverted by practicalities. “Sure,” I said, feeling less than confident, “leave it to me.”

“And make it quick can you,” Freddie came back. “I’d like to get her in before she causes any ripples.”

Harry was hardly what you could call happy when I spoke to him. The broad gist of his remarks was along the lines that he thought we didn’t really have enough time to do a proper job and that flight attendants were always a problem, ‘cos you never knew if they were going to get re-rostered and you’d find all your plans in the skip. Since it was my fault (not sure I quite understood that bit) I could do the hard work.

I say the broad gist because it was sometimes quite hard to make out his exact meaning in between the various expletives.

We talked through Mandy’s likely whereabouts. Harry’s view was that her flat was the best bet – he was fed up with trying to find good pick up points in airports and the muzak in Heathrow Terminal 3 drove him mad. He also “suggested” that I could make up for the fact that I’d obviously caused all this rush by setting up the snatch myself.

I gave her a call. She was pleased to hear from me. She was worried about Rebecca. “So am I”, I said, “why don’t I come round and we can talk about it.”

“I’d like that,” she said.

So that evening I was standing outside her door with a chloroform soaked pad in a sealed plastic wallet in my jacket pocket and very clear instructions from Harry once again not to “fuck this one up either.”

Amanda let me in. She was looking cute. Like I say, I hadn’t seen her for a while. It looked as if she’d dropped a few pounds. She was wearing a shirt and jeans, they were tight and I liked the effect. She’d left the shirt unbuttoned enough to show a hint of cleavage. I guessed that her thoughts weren’t entirely on Rebecca. She fixed us both a drink.

“Have you heard anything from Becky?” she said. “We were supposed to do a trip together on Monday and she didn’t show up. It’s not like her and I know you two were, well, seeing quite a lot of each other.”

“No,” I said, peering at the vodka and tonic she’d brought. “No, I haven’t seen her for a while. Things were, well, you know how it is.”

“She didn’t say. I mean I thought you were still together. If I’d known I might have given you a call.”

“That might have been nice.” I downed the vodka. She smiled in return.

“Can I get you another?” She sank her own drink.

“Mmm, please.”

Amanda picked up the two glasses and headed towards the kitchen. I followed her and thought that now was as good a time as any to make my move. I slipped the plastic wallet from my pocket and pulled out the pad. I caught up with her just as she reached the refrigerator looking for some ice. I was surprised how easy it was. The pad went over her nose and mouth, her arms flew out and the glasses cart-wheeled across the room to shatter on the floor. She gave a muffled squeal as she gasped for breath but all that did was to give her more of the drug. I got my other arm around her chest. That stopped her arms flailing. She tried to break free of my grip but I had her held tightly and soon her struggles subsided. I felt her go limp and let her slide to the tiled floor of the kitchen. “How easy was that?” I thought. “Even quicker than Harry had said.” I pulled out my mobile to give Harry a call. No bloody signal.

I went back into the living room and the signal improved. I tried Harry’s number again “Hi,” I said. “Smooth as a nut. Bring the car round the back and we can go out down the fire escape as we agreed.”

“O.K.” said Harry. “Open up, I’ll be there in a minute.”

The fire escape was through Mandy’s bedroom window. Sure enough, moments later, Harry appeared outside. I pulled up the window and he climbed in. He looked around. “Where is she then?”

“In the kitchen,” I said, pointing the way out through the bedroom door. “She went out like a light. It was even easier than you said.” He followed my pointing finger.

Harry came back almost immediately. “In the kitchen, you said?”

“Yes, sure why?”

“It’s just that there’s a lot of broken glass in there but, unless this lady is particularly petite, I don’t see her there.”

I barged past him into the kitchen but sure enough Amanda wasn’t there, just the broken glasses and the discarded chloroform pad.

“You did give her plenty of it?”

“Yeah sure. Well, hey, I’ve not had any training in this. How am I to know? Look she can’t be far away. She can’t have gone out through the front door, I’d have heard her. She must still be in the flat somewhere.”

“Let’s hope so. We’d better go look, hadn’t we?”


Harry started checking the cupboards in the kitchen. I went back into the living room. As I stepped in, she was standing behind the door. I didn’t hear anything until she hit me with the vodka bottle. The next thing I know is I’m on the floor with a headache worse than the one I had before my first lunch with Freddie.

Moments later Harry came back into the living room. He was half pushing, half carrying a struggling Amanda. He’d got his hand over her mouth but underneath it I suspected that Mandy’s language was every bit as colourful as Harry’s had been earlier.

“I think you lost something,” said Harry, grinning. “Now if you could find something to make sure our young friend doesn’t wander off again and something to keep her quiet too, that would be really helpful. And you,” he turned to Amanda, “quit struggling or you’ll get another dose of that pad and I’ll keep it on for long enough this time. Plus it’s covered in broken glass which will make a mess of that pretty face of yours.”

I had a look around her bedroom and grabbed a couple of scarves and some pantyhose. I took them back to the living room where Harry had wrestled Mandy to the floor and was sitting astride her back. I tossed him the stuff. “Yeah,” he said. “That’ll do.” He pulled Mandy’s wrists together behind her back and tied them there before tying her ankles too. He rolled her over on to her back. She was scowling at the two of us.

“What the hell is this all about, Larry,” she gasped, “Is this some kinky game? What on earth’s going ounggh.” Harry cut her off by wedging one of the scarves into her mouth. He tied a knot in the middle of the other one, pushed that into her mouth over the other scarf and knotted it off behind her head. Amanda gave a groan.

Harry sat her up and turned to me. “Now why don’t you go pack the young lady’s case like we agreed and we can be on our way?”

Embarrassed by my poor showing, I scuttled off to do as he asked. The idea was to make it look like she’d decided to go away for a few days. So I picked out a selection of clothes and underwear and put them in a case. Harry had said to bring her work uniforms and airport passes as well, so they went in too.

It didn’t take long but by the time I’d got back Harry was already amusing himself. Somehow Mandy’s blouse had come unbuttoned and Harry’s hands were all over her tits. She was wriggling to avoid his attentions but the panty hose knotted around her wrists and elbows meant that she wasn’t having much success. The scarves made sure that her objections weren’t heard.

“Hope you don’t mind Larry,” he said. “I’m a sucker for a well filled blouse, if you’ll pardon the expression, and this one had a rather pleasant pair of tits inside it. You got the case? OK, let’s take little Mandy here for her trip.” He reached down, picked her up and threw her across his shoulder. She kicked out a bit until he slapped her backside. “Don’t be a silly girl,” he said, heading for the bedroom and the fire escape. I followed him carrying Mandy’s bag.

End of Part 1