A Settlement Story
by Kirsten Graham

Part 2

Author's note: This is a Settlement story. My latest novel is “The Settlement 3: The Expedition”, which is available from a1adultebooks.com.

The last section of the long girl-rail ran past some of the new fields before turning towards the new accommodation block. As Rachel traversed it, she could see two of the groups of women labourers working away, chatting and laughing as they raked and hoed. The sight made the blonde girl pause for a moment. The worker girls’ hands might be free to hold their tools, but they were all still naked, still fettered, still helplessly joined to the girl-rails, and they were closely guarded by men as well. Nothing about the scene suggested that any of the girls might have even the slightest chance of getting away from The Settlement. And whilst the male guards seemed to join in banter with the women, nothing suggested that they might ever help them get out of their bonds.

Rachel swallowed. She had to get a grip, had to come to terms with the fact that for Settlement women like she now was, there really was no possibility of freedom, no way to escape. The men of the community liked their women naked and chained, they had had twenty years to evolve their security systems to keep them that way, and they were totally committed to the way of life. Whatever they did, she, and all the other women in this community, would be remaining prisoners as long as they lived. Suddenly she wanted George. He was a nice man. He cared for her, he thought she was special. He would be around here somewhere. She just had to find him. Her eyes sought out the line of the girl-rail as it headed towards the accommodation building, and she set off along it.

* * *

Like most men who came into The Settlement community from outside, George had initially found its ways somewhat surprising. But again, like most men, he had adapted quite readily to the community’s ways, seeing the convenience of keeping females nude and chained, and enjoying their respectful attitude towards the men. He’d also adapted readily to his responsibilities, both as a jailer to the female residents, and as a provider of sexual stimulation to girls who had no way to obtain it for themselves. It was a matter of simple respect: Settlement men were expected to fuck women freely and regularly.

He looked up at Number 46, kneeling there, her muff pushed out, the soft light-brown hair soaking with girl-juice. Easing out of Number 501, he touched the older woman’s hip, encouraging her downwards.

It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.

* * *

Having a few moments before his next appointment, Mitch slid open his desk drawer and pulled out the photo of his dead wife, Abby. The image did not stay on public display because in it she was fully dressed, and, in The Settlement, just as actual women wearing clothes was illegal, so was displaying photos of women wearing clothes. To do so might give modern girls the wrong idea.

Mitch looked into the eyes and smiled. It was the only photo he had of Abby, and he loved it, but it was far from typical of the woman he had adored. She had in many ways been the inspiration for this place. She was a genuine submissive, who had always known exactly what she wanted. Long before the old world fell apart, she had delighted in their time together in a remote mountain cabin, where she had had the freedom to live naked and in chains, and she’d enjoyed introducing other girls to their life too, girls whom, it turned out, Abby understood better than they did themselves. And a couple of men, too. There’s been quite a few of them by the time the earthquakes started, regularly week-ending together in the hills, the women always nude and usually in bondage. And, seeing where the world was heading, Abby had been keen to seize the opportunity to found a community where they could live out permanently what had hitherto been a fantasy, limited by the boundaries of the old world. And here they were, more than two decades down the road. Abby had lived long enough to see it grow, see it succeed, see some of the girls she had first introduced to the life become senior residents. But now she was gone.

A rattle of chain from near the door brought the leader's thoughts back to the present. He looked up to see Number 281, one of his assistants, peeping in: “They’re here, Sir,” she said, politely. “Are you ready?”

“Oh, yes of course,” said Mitch. “Come in.”

He remained seated at his desk while five women came in; he watched them as they dragged their steel tethers around the girl-rails and so arrived in front of him: 281, followed by the two girls in the new electronic bondage, the blonde 498 and the dark 567, then the petite redhead counsellor Number 197, and finally his other assistant, the tall, long-haired blonde Number 241. They stood politely, legs apart, their leg irons hidden below the desk, but the tops of their thighs and their neat muffs clearly visible.

Mitch said nothing at first; he just looked, admiring the girls, taking his time. They were well turned out, he could see: Abby would be proud of them. Good posture. Hair clean and nicely brushed, a touch of eye make-up, tethers dangling neatly between breasts before curving to the side, where they did not obstruct his view. Each girl met his eyes as he looked at her, smiling prettily, her face framed by her shiny collar. There was nothing quite like a girl in a steel collar, Mitch thought. He turned their attention to the women’s naked bodies, taking a moment to cast his experienced eye over each one in turn. He looked at their arms: the girls, naturally, had their hands chained behind them, which made them, Mitch thought, look very neat and tidy, very feminine. He thought of Abby again: she had been a great believer in handcuffs, and not just because they had had them, old police ones having been in good supply, before they had got into making their own. They kept a girl in proper order, Abby always said, without making her completely helpless, at least if she had others around. And so experience had proved.

“H-hmm, Sir?” The redheaded counsellor’s gentle intervention brought the leader back down to earth.

“Yes, sorry, ladies,” he said. “Thank you for coming. “ He paused again, and the girls fidgeted slightly. Their leg irons clinked. He thought of Abby again. She knew all about the female psyche, and its relationship with bondage, but she was always careful too, to manage new transitions properly. That was what this was about. He looked at 498 and 567.

“You’re doing a new thing,” he said to them. “A brave thing. Testing new forms of bondage. That’s why I asked 197 to talk to you. Make sure you are OK.”

The females exchanged glances before 567 spoke. “It’s fine, Sir. We are ready.”

“197?” the leader asked the counsellor. “Do you think they’re ready?”

The redhead, whose given name was Carine, looked at the two young women next to her. She’d been drafted in, she knew, to determine if they were going to cope emotionally with their new electronic restraint. And with the fact that instead of being locked to the girl-rails, they were welded to them. That might have been a big thing for some women. It would for her, she knew. But Rachel and Kirsty had seemed utterly unmoved. “They’re fine, Sir,” she said. “They understand the score.”

Mitch looked at Rachel. She was only about twenty, he knew, but she was an intelligent, confident young woman. A natural leader. He respected her for that. He was distracted by her collar, and its lack of a padlock holding her tether in place. Just a welded link, like all the others in the chain. They’d discussed, when Abby was alive, the idea of welding the girls’ tethers. It seemed sensible in so many ways, but they had never quite dared do it. “How do you feel about being welded up?” Mitch asked.

Rachel smiled: “it makes no difference, does it, Sir? It was not as if there was any way to get our tethers or leg irons off anyway. This way we get our hands free more, which is nice.”

The remark prompted Mitch to re-examine the five cunts on display before him: beautiful, feminine triangles of soft hair, two blonde, two dark and one ginger, each one trimmed to a reasonable degree, but natural, as the leader liked, and as Settlement women were encouraged to wear them. And all, of course, fully exposed to his view, but as far as the girls went, protected areas: strictly off-limits, reserved, like their breasts, solely for the attention of the males of the community. 197, 241 and 281 had their muffs defended only by the presence of their handcuffs, keeping their fingers well clear of the forbidden areas of their flesh. 498 and 567’s intimacies, on the other hand, had the new electronic protection, that would keep them safe even when the girls’ hands were free. Or from the attentions of other females, for that matter – a form of disrespect that was a real risk, Mitch knew. Increasingly so, as the supply of men got lower.

“Yes, well, it won’t be that much more you know,” said Mitch, not wishing the girl to be under any misapprehension about her new role. “Most of the work you will manage fine in your cuffs.”

“Of course, Sir,” responded 498, clinking the bonds in question behind her back. “We understand that. Women are meant to stay handcuffed.” If she was disappointed, she was careful not to show it.

* * *

Rachel was boiling with frustration when she finally made it to the accommodation. The grid of girl-rails around it had confused her; perhaps it was easy if you were used to it, but she wasn’t used to it, wasn’t used to being tethered, and she never would be. So she’d dragged her neck chain this way and that for what seemed like hours before finally finding the rail that led towards the door. She told herself to be calm; she would soon see George, and he would help. He was a nice man, and he loved her. She heard the panting and gasping of course, and the loud cries of female pleasure, but somehow the noise meant nothing to her. She was not thinking about sex, just about finding George. Crossing the threshold of the accommodation block, she stopped, unable to understand what she was seeing.

“Oh, hi 391,” gasped the man in question, looking up at her, before resuming his enthusiastic plumbing of Catriona’s shackled body.

* * *

Number 241, given name Johanne, showed the counsellor and the two electronically-bound women out and then returned. “Positions, girls,” commanded Mitch, and his two young assistants assumed the posture they had been shown as the response to this command. This involved carefully draping their neck chains across the desk, whilst moving around to Mitch’s side before bending over, resting their upper body on the work surface, and propping their ankles as far apart as their fetters would permit. The position left the girls’ various orifices conveniently open to Mitch’s access – their mouths from one side of the desk, their other places from side where he usually sat. He did not always take advantage of this access, but often he did, and of course the girls were in no doubt that instant and absolute submission to the man’s desires in this respect was a clear requirement of their job as his assistants, and there were plenty of others ready to take their place if this presented a problem. Not that it did – indeed, they both regarded their frequent sexual stimulation as a significant perk.

This time, Mitch stayed in his chair, content for the minute just to enjoy the girls with his hands. He felt the roundness of their arses, and reached between their legs, caressing, sensing how wet they were – quite respectfully so, as always. “So ladies,” he said. “Do you think they are ready?”

Johanne turned her head towards Sinead, who was, just at that instant, willing herself not to beg for more from Mitch. The brunette’s eyes were moist, her cheeks red.

“Yes…Sir,” Johanne panted, conscious of a finger near – but not quite on – her clit, but not daring to move backwards.

“I do too, Sir,” gasped Sinead. Sometimes these interviews were a competition between the two assistants, with the one giving the advice the leader thought best getting a good fucking as a reward.

“Good,” said the man. He pressed up between the females’ legs, lifting each girl off the floor slightly. Both responded, pushing themselves into his hands: how could they not? He spread his fingers out, palms upwards, feeling the girls’ soft public hair, enjoying stroking it, and occasionally, whilst doing so, trailing a finger in a warm, wet slit. Enjoying not quite letting either young woman get the feeling she really wanted. Briefly, he glanced up at their wrists, still of course chained behind them, and now twisting frustratedly, but completely uselessly at their cuffs. Just as Abby had liked her hands to be kept, thought Mitch. Nicely out of the way. He was not given to the idea of releasing his assistants’ wrists: in fact he never did so. Perhaps they got their half an hour a day for showering and so on when they were in the Women’s Quarters, he did not know, or care. But when they were with him, which was many nights as well as all day every day, they stayed firmly handcuffed, and they coped, just as Abby had done. Just as a generation of experience had shown that women quite naturally did. Mitch did not know whether Johanne and Sinead loved being locked in handcuffs as his wife had done, but if they did not, they knew better than to complain, or to ask for their hands to be unchained.

* * *

“Where did Ra…391 go?” asked George, finally rolling off Catriona.

“She just turned around and went out again,” smiled Louise, her chains rattling. She gazed longingly at the man’s still semi-erect member. “Sir, I don’t suppose we could possibly have another go?”

George looked towards the door, briefly wondering if Rachel was OK, and if she would come back. He rather fancied fucking her too: he always did fancy fucking her. She was very fuckable. But she’d gone, and Louise was right here. “Maybe if you lick me clean?” he said. “We can see what happens.”

Meanwhile Rachel had hobbled away, her misery complete. Once again, tears washed her cheeks, and she could hardly see; yet somehow, she managed to stay balanced and negotiate the girl-rail back towards the woods and the route to the main campus. In fact, she moved more easily than even a few moments ago, for distracted by her grief and anger at George, she was not thinking about her bonds at all. So, almost before she knew it, she was deep in the woods, in one of the passing loops, and prevented, for the moment, from going further by a red signal and an automatic bolt fastened across the girl-rail, against the approach of other females in the opposite direction. “Oh Rain and Sun!” the blonde wailed aloud. The last thing she needed now was to see anyone else. What to do?

Randomly, Rachel she set off to the side, to the woods. She made it precisely three steps before her tether brought her up short, her collar pulling uncomfortably on her throat, causing her to catch her breath. The cover, the blissful privacy of the trees was there, five metres in front of her, but she could not get to it, and just imagining she might did not help. Whatever she imagined, she remained just as attached to the girl-rail. She looked down at the metal conduit, sitting there, inanimate, unmoved by her plight. The girl-rail did not care how she felt. It did not even care that she was there: nothing she could do would make any impact on it whatsoever. It just went on doing its job, making sure the girl could never, ever leave the care and protection of The Settlement community.

Rachel gave another wail, wordlessly incoherent this time, and collapsed, sobbing, on the soft grass.

* * *

Mitch was a leader, so he made a lot of decisions, but he did not mind. He liked decisions, especially when, as this one was, it was a decision as to which of the two naked girls that lay bent over his desk he should fuck first. Today he opted for Number 241, who had just a touch – a very pleasing touch – of cellulite padding around her thighs and bottom. Dropping his trousers and grabbing the girl’s hips, he eased himself into her, finding, of course, no resistance and indeed a very warm welcome. Centimetres away, and having the sense not to try to stand up or move without Mitch’s express permission, Sinead looked over her shoulder, her pang of jealousy assuaged by the certain knowledge that it would be her turn pretty soon; it always was.

“The thing is,” said the leader, as, quite gently, he thrust in and out of Johanne’s body, “I have come to a decision.”

“S…sir? Sir?” Both girls questioned, the blonde somewhat more haltingly than the brunette, since she had other things to think about as well.

“This new experiment, the outpost,” he said, and then paused while he focused for a little while on physical sensation.

“Sir?” This time only Sinead spoke.

“Aaaah, yes. This outpost. I want it observed closely. So I want you two to go and join it. Be my agents. A mission.”

Johanne came, without much noise, but with an almighty shudder and a series of helpless yanks at her wrist chains. “Good girl,” said Mitch, pulling out of her, unspent, his erection intact.

“Sir?” asked Sinead, watching over her shoulder as the leader stepped sideways towards her, and smiling as she felt his hands on her hips.

“Will we get the new electronic chains?” Johanne finished off the question as the brunette’s flesh parted around the leader’s manhood.

* * *

Elaine hovered by the gate, fidgeting, pulling her cuffed hands first to one hip, then the other, rattling her fetters impatiently.

“You’ll have to go,” said the man. “It’s getting dark.”

She understood this, of course: she had to get back to George’s apartment before the evening bell. But he had still not returned from the outpost, and she had to tell him about Rachel. About how they had found her sobbing incoherently in the woods, how Lydia and Madeleine had raced off to find some men and one of the little trolleys they used to move women around when they could not walk, and how they had taken her to the Infirmary, where, if she was still incoherent, she was at least safe and sedated. Elaine would have gone down to fetch George, but the gate man would not let her: by the time she had asked, the afternoon was gone and it was as far as he was concerned time for women to be heading indoors, not out. He had long since set the electronic locks on the long girl-rail so that they would not admit any more girls to the woodland section. Females still in the outpost would have to stay there till the morning, sleeping in the new accommodation block.

“Just five more minutes, Sir,” she said. “I will make it back.”

George strolled on up the last section, feeling pleased with life. He had not heard about Rachel, and business with a couple of other females who had joined the little party with Louise and Catriona had kept him busy for the rest of the afternoon. Then he had had the pleasure of checking over everyone’s restraints and making sure they were all securely imprisoned in the accommodation block before he set off back.

And then, rounding the last corner, he saw Elaine behind the locked gate, silhouetted against the darkening sky. He knew it was her of course: he was intimately familiar with her shape. There was no mistaking the precise dimension of her hips and thighs. They were a sight that made him feel even more pleased with life: he liked lots of women, but he loved Elaine. He loved that she was of an age and an intelligence with him, sharing common memories from the old world, and being able to discuss science and help his work. He loved her earthy sexiness – she was not an old-style model, but a real woman, with real female fleshy bits. And of course he loved that, just like all those other girls, she was always nude and helplessly chained. He smiled to himself. Perhaps it was time for a little interlude with Elaine later. He would have the stamina, that was for sure, despite this afternoon’s little session doing his manly duty for those others. That was one of the things about The Settlement life compared to the old world: one orgasm a day might have finished him off back then; two at the most, and then nothing for days or weeks. But now, here, he seemed to have almost infinite reserves. It was something to do with the atmosphere of the new world they had created here, men and women together.

However, as he approached Elaine, it rapidly became apparent she was not immediately in a receptive mood as far as sex might be concerned, and that she had news to tell: she gave a rapid account of the goings on with Number 391, and then left George to make his way to the Infirmary while she headed home, in a rush not to be caught outside after hours.

* * *

About half an hour after the evening bell, Sinead and Johanne found themselves locked up in the little sleeping cage they often shared, situated in a curtained-off alcove at the back of Mitch’s office. It was smaller than the usual cages in the men’s apartments, though it did have the same ensuite facilities - a sink, shower cubicle, and toilet - which was just as well because there was no question of the girls getting out until morning. Not only were they securely held behind the cage bars and isolated by a padlocked bolt on the single girl-rail that led to it, they were also completely alone in the building, Mitch having gone back to his apartment where he was expecting other guests, and neither he nor anyone else would return during the night. So the girls could not get out, and they could not see out either; their little alcove having no windows. They could not even hear the bells, for the cage was deep within the centre of the administration building and the curtains of the alcove muffled most sound. The only indication even of the passage of time was the automatic light, which would dim to a very low level an hour after the evening bell, and come on again ten minutes before the morning one. But the controls for this light were, of course, well outside the cage, far beyond the women’s reach, and they operated themselves with no advance warning of any kind.

In truth, their situation did not much bother the two assistants: it was not, after all, much different from that which faced every other woman in the community during the hours of darkness, and which they had known every night of their adult lives. True, at first they had found the solitude a little worrying; in the Women’s Quarters there were always other cages near enough to allow chatting to the girls in them, even if they could not be seen, and most of the time if you were caged in a man’s apartment, he was there, on the other side of your bars. Here there was only silence beyond the cage, with no possibility of attracting anyone’s attention until the building was opened up again in the morning. But they had each other, and this evening they had a lot to talk about.

Sinead sat cross-legged: not a position that was quite respectful, when a man was around, when kneeling with your knees wide apart and nothing to block either view or access between them was definitely the order of the day, but now there were no men around, and Sinead wanted to examine the steel rings that encircled her ankles and provided a secure anchoring point for the forty centimetre chain that fastened her legs together. What particularly interested her on this occasion was the small keyhole with which each ankle ring was provided.

Until today, these details had been of very little concern: since her fetters, like those of all the Settlement girls, were never taken off, the keyholes, and the keys that went in them, had never actually been used. Even now, it was not the possibility of somehow removing her fetters that occupied Sinead’s thoughts: she was a loyal Settlement girl, and did not question the rule that required her to be fettered, just as she did not question any of the other rules regarding female security. And (unlike her handcuffs), Sinead found that her leg-irons did not significantly impede her ability live her life or to contribute to community activities, and since they were comfortable and, she thought, rather attractive to look at, she was more than content to spend her life locked into them.

But being locked into them was one thing. Tomorrow both she and Johanne would, Mitch had informed them, be going to the smithy to see about getting the new electronic chains, and that meant being welded into their collars and fetters, welded permanently to the girl rails. That was something else altogether.

“Really,” said Johanne, who shared the concerns, “does it matter?” She was kneeling, not for reasons of respect – though her knees were, by force of habit, properly spread, but because this gave her the opportunity to have a good feel at her ankle rings, her hands, as usual, being locked safely behind her back.

“It shouldn’t, should it?” responded the brunette, looking up at her companion. “I mean, it’s not as if we would ever not have chains, is it? We need them. So why does it matter if they are welded rather than locked?” Sinead uncurled her legs and knelt, like Johanne, feeling the cold metal of her tether slide sensuously across her flesh as she moved. She liked that feeling, and the understanding it gave that her neck chain was always there, holding her without hope of freedom, keeping her safe. But that was locked on her too: would it be different if it, and the collar to which it were attached, were welded in place? But somehow, she knew that it would.

In the silence outside the cage, the power timer – Mitch’s own device, salvaged from the old world – clicked, and the cage was cast into deep shadow. Johanne shuffled to her bed mat, the action naturally causing her to put tension on the short metal link joining her wrist rings behind her. It was not a feeling she minded as such. It was just how she lived, how she had to live, because she was female. But she thought of the conversations she had heard, those she had had over the years, with other women in the community who wished, or even imagined they could somehow get free of their bondage, live without chains. Of course it was stupid: natural to think like that sometimes, people said, but obviously stupid. Everyone knew that women needed to be chained: how else would they be kept safe, especially as now there were so few men?

* * *

Number 567 was a popular girl: young, pretty, intelligent and articulate, and she had thus never gone short of offers from men. And lately she had accepted most of them, knowing that once she moved to the new outpost – which could only be a few days now – she would not get anything like so much attention. And whatever the scepticism amongst some of the other girls, she knew that the new electronic devices with which she was fitted would function perfectly. The chains would give her no more chance of escape from the community than ever – ie none at all – and the various piercings would ensure that even when the remote system allowed her to have the full use of her hands, she would most definitely not be able to use them for any disrespectful purpose, at least not as far as the stimulation of the intimate areas of her flesh.

This evening, however, there was Scott, a tall, lithe man, several years her senior, and with whom she communed quite regularly on and off. There was nothing to bar him from using Rachel’s flesh, and indeed he had commenced his attentions, his rather masterful, efficient attentions, by fucking her up against his doorpost as soon as she had set foot on his veranda. After that, he’d served them juice, and then asked her, politely but in a way that suggested the merest hint of reluctance would constitute extreme disrespect, to suck his cock.

Of course she had obliged, using all the skills she’d been taught in the relationship classes during her final year in the community education programme, but more or less as soon as the man had been fully hard again, he’d dragged her over to the bed and taken her again. It had been quite quick, but from her perspective, no less intense for that, and when they had finished she was certainly ready for dinner.

The slight downside was that unlike their previous encounters, Scott was not able to undo the girl’s cuffs: only Chris had the keys, electronic and physical, that fitted them. It had made no difference during the sex, when Rachel would always expect to be handcuffed anyway, but she did enjoy eating with her hands, using cutlery, and always before Scott had allowed this.

This time, however, it was not to be, and instead the man prepared a big bowl of bite-sized stewed vegetables, and they shared it, he first taking a forkful himself and then feeding one to Rachel as she knelt on the floor by the side of his chair.

* * *

“Sinead, can I have a cuddle?” said Johanne, in the darkness.

“Of course, love,” replied the brunette, “come over.”

After a good deal of shuffling and the consequent rattling of women’s chains, the two assistants lay together on the narrow mattress usually used by Sinead alone; they were spooning, with Johanne in front, Sinead behind. The position was, perhaps, slightly dodgy: there was a fine line between girls giving each other acceptable comfort, and girls touching each other in a way that was frankly disrespectful. But in this case neither female intended any disrespect, and in any case the unique isolation of their little cage meant that no one would discover them, even if they did. Sinead could sense her friend’s unease, indeed she shared it. She wished, momentarily, that she could wrap her arms around Johanne’s shoulders, but that was not, of course, something her bonds permitted.

“The thing is,” said Johanne, trying to articulate her worries, “what if there does come a time when it’s safe for women not to be chained? But we are already welded in to our bonds?”

Sinead pushed closer. Johanne’s fingertips rested in the only place they could, brushing against the brunette’s pussy. “If that did happen, they would find a way to un-weld us again, I’m sure,” she said. “But it won’t. They are not going to change the system that’s made The Settlement work all these years, are they? We’ll always be chained in one way or another.”

“The men like it,” whispered Johanne. “Mitch certainly does.”

“Of course.” Sinead pushed in still further, and was pleased when Johanne’s fingers responded a little. Not a disrespectful stimulation, just a stroke of her soft pubic hair. “Of course men like us chained. It keeps us safe and respectful, makes us look beautiful and they enjoy having power over us, with our handcuffs and so on. Why would they not? But we like it too… don’t we? You remember being little, wanting to grow up and get your chains?” The two had been raised together, in The Settlement’s family compound. “You wouldn’t want to live differently, would you?” But even to Sinead herself, the question sounded uncertain. Johanne certainly had a point. And no one could know the future.

“I don’t know,” said the blonde. “Maybe. Is there a different way to live? Maybe a way where you could hug me, and I could do this…” her fingers stroked again, “without worrying about being disrespectful.”

Sinead said nothing for a while. She thought, whilst enjoying the comforting touch of Johanne’s stroking fingers. It was difficult to go against your upbringing, and her upbringing had focused completely on the need for her to live, once she was grown, subject to her community’s strict and detailed requirements for female security and nudity. She had never much questioned it, and she certainly understood that there was no way, physically, to break the security, even if she’d wanted to. But what if things did change?

* * *

Number 567 was rather enjoying dinner. She knelt at Scott’s side, knees spread, her hands behind her, her tether dangling between her breasts, and when he offered her a morsel she had to kneel up and grab it from the fork with her lips. And each time she did so, she presented her body to the man, and her chains rattled, emphasising her total helplessness and dependence on him. The whole experience made her feel incredibly feminine, and as her stomach filled, her vagina seemed to feel emptier and emptier.

But about half way through, the doorbell rang, disturbing the routine. The girl got to her feet, and made her way around the girl-rail, turning her back to open the door with her manacled hands: “Chris, Sir, Oh,” she exclaimed, as the electronics wizard stepped over the threshold.

“Sorry to disturb,” said Chris, addressing Scott, who still sat at the dining table. “I just wondered if you needed 567’s wrists free tonight?” He brandished his electronic control pad; one push of a button on that would separate Rachel’s new cuffs.

The girl in question stood by politely, thinking that perhaps at this stage there was no point, but Scott had other ideas: “Aye, go on Chris. She can clear away and tidy up. Did you want some food?”

Chris pressed his button, and while Rachel stretched and, instinctively, examined the cuffs which remained, of course. on her wrists, he replied: “No, thanks. I’ve got 498 at home. I need to go and unlock her too!” And with that he was gone.

* * *

Elaine got to George’s apartment in time, or at least without being caught, and went inside. But she did not cook, and she did not set the girl-rail bolt or lock herself in her cage. It might be different when there were others around, but now she was alone, and as far as she was concerned, being nude, handcuffed behind her back, fettered and tethered to the girl-rails was enough, and if George didn’t like it, he could lump it, or punish her, if he chose. And if he wanted her to fix dinner he could bloody well unchain her hands first. She herself was quite fat enough to manage without any more food today. Thus, when the man eventually returned, he found Elaine sitting at the apartment table, reading, going through the irritating, but for a handcuffed girl, necessary rigmarole of standing up and turning round each time she needed to turn a page.

The man paused only to kick the girl-rail bolt closed, and then he sat down opposite her, head in hands. “You should have set the bolt,” he said, flatly.

“I wasn’t planning on escaping,” replied the woman. “What’s up with her?” she continued, really already knowing the answer.

“Bondage blues,” he confirmed. “Some girls really do find it hard to accept our life.”

“I know,” said Elaine, wondering whether to nominate George for a prize in tact.

“She must have talked to you?” said George, inquisitively.

“Of course,” came the response.

“Well? What did you say?”

“I told her that she was a Settlement girl now, that she had no possibility of escape, she would never be released, so she had better get used to it.” The statement was made rather forcefully, and George felt somewhat taken aback.

“Oh,” he said. “Do you suppose that helped?”

“Perhaps,” said the woman, “I should have told her that girls escape all the time from here, and she would soon be on her way?” Elaine tugged at her cuffs, which George had made no move to unlock. He could not help noticing her breasts bouncing as she fidgeted.

“You know what I mean, 378,” he said. He looked glum; Elaine studied him for a few moments. He really did care for Rachel, she knew. Just as he really cared for her. She relented: “I also told her that it was possible to be happy here, if she accepted it, and that there were nice men here, though even the nice ones would never think of letting her go or anything.”


“She will come around, Sir. The infirmary people will care for her, and the counsellors will help.”

“Yes, of course. Oh well, bed time I think. Do you want to sleep with me tonight, Elaine?” He was not supposed to use her name; she had not pledged to him, but they were in private and it was just another example of the understanding they had.

“Can I have my handcuffs off for a bit?”

“No, you can’t. Far too late for that. Come on.”

* * *

“So,” said Scott, “can you show me this piercing? The one down here?”

They were lying on his bed, Number 567 on her back, her hands, still unlocked from each other, by the side of her head, her thighs wide apart. His hand was on one of them, close to her intimacies.

“You will have to look, Sir,” she replied. “It will hurt if I do it. That’s the point.” The man shifted until his face was opposite her muff, as if he were about to lick her out, but instead of using his tongue, he gently parted her lips with his fingers, peering in to see the little metal piercing. It went right through her clit hood, with large discs on either end so that it would not come out without a very great deal of pain and damage. The electronics must all be inside, he thought, for there was nothing to see. The whole thing was small enough not to show as the girl went about her daily business, and he had not felt it when fucking her earlier on.

“So it really inflicts pain, if you mess? How? It’s so small.”

“It’s my collar that hurts me, Sir. The piercing is just a sensor. Ah!”

The sensation she had now was the man’s fingers doing some more exploring around the general region. In the meantime, the rest of him moved up the bed towards her face. She lay back, a dreamy expression on her face. Her hands remained on the pillow beside her: not knowing quite what to do with them, she was pretending to be yoked.

But he did not immediately penetrate her, nor did he kiss her. Instead she felt his grip on her arm, just above her cuff, and felt him move her limb – she was powerless to resist his strength – downward, until her hand came to rest at her crotch. Scott smiled at her as the sensor kicked into life and the tingling of the electrodes in her collar began: “Sir!” she exclaimed. “Please!”

“How long have you got?” he said, looking at her hard.

“About a minute, Sir.” She felt the tingling grow, and sweat pricking her brow. “Sir!” She pulled futilely and tried with her other hand to pull his arm off her – but she dare not reach too close to her crotch with that hand, too.

But Scott was fascinated. Fascinated by the wonders of technology and by the beautiful young woman that they seemed to control. She was struggling hard now, he could feel her strength, though it made little impact on him. “Sir!” she pleaded again and then “Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrr!” The shriek convulsed her, blowing her free from his grip, catapulting her from the bed.

“Aaaaaaaahhhh” she whimpered, and lay sobbing on the floor.

* * *

Carine paused in her breakfast preparation, and held her small hands out in front of her, staring at them. She did this quite often at this time of day. It wasn’t so much that they were unlocked from her handcuffs: she was used enough to that, though there had been a time in her life when she had rarely had that privilege. No, it was that they were unlocked from her handcuffs and that she was completely alone. Alan, the man whose apartment she shared these days, had gone, as he often did in the mornings, to the bakery to get fresh bread, and, as he also often did, he had not refastened the young woman’s cuffs before leaving her.

He was not, of course, supposed to do this. The Settlement’s regulations, established many years before by Mitch and Abby and the other founders, were very clear on the subject, and stated beyond doubt that female hands could be freed from restraints only when their owner was directly supervised by a man. But then again, the regulations also said that a man was pretty much free to do as he wanted in his own apartment.

When he had first done it, first left her alone without her cuffs, Carine’s reaction had been one of worry, that Alan was playing fast and loose with her security, and that it would get her into trouble. Particularly as only the night before, he had caught her in the middle of a determined attempt to get free of the girl-rails and escape, and it was generally known that she had similarly tried to escape on a couple of other occasions in the past.

But she had rapidly realized there was far more to it than that. For one thing, he was not taking any chances with her security at all, at least not so far as possible escape was concerned. She still had a steel collar locked around her neck, she was still anchored to the girl-rails, the bolt on the rails prevented her leaving the apartment and none of these restraints had she the remotest possibility of defeating, hands free or not. The designers of all The Settlement’s security systems had naturally envisaged that whatever precautions were taken, the situation might occasionally arise in which a female found herself alone with her hands free, and had engineered the collars and girl-rails with this in mind. They could not be broken, the locks could not be picked. They were quite simply escape-proof.

But whilst Alan’s interpretation of the rules might have no implication for Carine’s continued life padlocked at the end of her two metre tether chain, it was certainly a test. It tested her ability to control her emotions so as not to be drawn, as on past occasions, into futile struggles against the girl-rails, and it tested her ability to keep herself from touching her body in disrespectful ways. Though, she thought, that was at least easier now that she was more or less guaranteed regular attention from Alan’s manly hands. But even so, it was not easy, being, as the man had put it, trusted. Especially as Carine had no experience outside The Settlement, and no understanding of any life other than one in which women were required to be chained. And one thing you could say for being chained is that you knew where you were: if your bonds allowed it, it was OK. If it wasn’t OK, you could not do it anyway, as your bonds – or some close supervision – would prevent you. But now she did not have that reassurance. She needed self-discipline.

Resuming her preparation of breakfast, Carine thought about her work, her clients. As counsellor, her job was to help other women with emotional issues, and almost all of the emotional issues they presented were really about living in bondage. Of course, the female human was well adapted to a life of bondage, but that did not mean there were never difficulties, unhappiness or resentments. Carine thought about what she said to most of her clients: the one certain thing about life in the community is that when you went to bed in the evening you would be naked, handcuffed, fettered, collared and chained to the girl-rails. You couldn’t get free, and no one was ever going to unchain you. So there were two choices about how you woke up: you could wake up smiling, accepting your life and determined to make the best of it, or you could wake up resenting it, desperate for some unattainable release and all set to spend the day in misery. The trick was to learn to choose the former. Easy advice to give, but she also had to follow it herself, and that was often hard, and harder still when her man tested her limits as he seemed to enjoy doing.

The sound – the ubiquitous clink of a woman’s tether chain – brought Carine up with a start. She turned round, facing away from the counter, and placed her hands behind her: whatever Alan thought, it would not do to be caught alone with her hands free, especially not by another woman. Though interruptions were rare so early in the day, she always kept her handcuffs nearby just in case. Though – damnation – today they were not quite near enough. They lay there at the far end of the counter, well out of reach from where she stood.

It was not one but two visitors: Lydia and Madeleine, the petite girls still being linked together by the padlock at the rail end of their tethers. They did not come further than the door, for they could see that the bolt on the rails would confine them inside if they clicked their neck chains through it. They stood there, looking anxious.

“Hello,” said Carine. “Can I help?”

“We need you, please, 197,” said Madeleine. “At the Infirmary. Number 391’s having some sort of crisis.”

Carine looked back at the other redhead; she was anxious herself, but not about 391; rather she was desperately trying to think of a way of reaching and replacing her handcuffs before 514 and 610 noticed she wasn’t wearing them.

“Right,” she said, slowly. “Well…I’m locked in just now, so you’ll have to wait till Alan gets back to undo the bolt.”

“He isn’t here?” asked Lydia, Number 514, wide-eyed and innocent. “Oh. Well, why aren’t you wearing your handcuffs?”

* * *

“Any chance of a fucking before you go out?” Elaine asked George, speaking through the bars of her sleeping cage. She asked that a lot these days, and each time she did something inside her boggled at her brazen-ness. She would have never been like that in the old days. And since Rachel had arrived on the scene, she had competition. Sure they had been together last night, but only briefly. Elaine’s pussy still itched.

George, however, was distracted, worried about the younger woman, and anxious to get to the Infirmary. So anxious that he just walked out of the apartment, leaving Elaine there in her cage. “Hey, Sir, George, Sir! Don’t leave me here!” she called out after him, pressing herself against the steel screen, but he paid not the slightest attention. Perhaps he just did not think, perhaps he had elected to exercise his right to do as he pleased with a female who had voluntarily entered his apartment: it made no difference to Number 378. She was a Settlement woman, locked in a Settlement woman’s cage, and she would thus be staying in it until George came back to release her. “Bastard!” she yelled, enraged, to the empty doorway beyond. She heaved uselessly at her shackled hands and threw her weight, equally uselessly, against the bars, which did not even rattle in their seating.

* * *

“Morning 122!” smiled Martin, the under chain-smith, as he strode towards the Smithy. He smiled brightly at the tall blonde woman who waited for him. She could not get in until he let her: the Smithy, quite reasonably, was forbidden to unaccompanied females, and was well protected by a double bolt on the girl-rails and a locked door. So she just stood nearby, as usual, allowing the early sun to play on her naked flesh, raising her face to the sky.

As he unlocked the door, Martin turned to look at her: she had her back towards him, her shackled hands resting gently on her buttocks. He admired the view: he did, he thought to himself, like women’s backs, their plain smooth flesh, the gentle curve of their hips. He swung open the door: “In you come then, 122.”

He let her go first, enjoying the sight and sound of her movement: beautiful naked female and bright metal chains in perfect harmony. As she passed, he slid one of the bolts back into place, confining her inside: a necessary precursor to unlocking the girl’s cuffs for her work, which involved keeping records of who visited the Smithy and what they had done. But he did not do that immediately: they had another morning ritual first.

“Which today, Sir?” grinned the woman. She was perhaps in her mid thirties, slim, shapely, her hair cascading round her shoulders.

“Doorpost, I think,” said Martin, dropping his shorts and kicking them aside. Moved and stood by the frame, ready. He pressed against her, grabbing her buttocks with both hands, then moving one to help him navigate his way inside her. She was of a height to allow him entry without unduly stressing his knees. She looked into his eyes, her lips parted as he pushed up, filling her.

They did not go on long: sometimes they did, but not today. He merely thrust a few times, getting 122 thoroughly wet, and then pulled out. He had already made love with Number 423, his regular girlfriend, before coming to work, and he had to save something for the customers: girls coming to have their chains attended to often seemed to get uncontrollably horny, and it was unfair, he felt, not to help them out as much as he could.

* * *

Carine felt herself flushing, the sweat pricking beneath her collar. But it was only to be expected: one thing about being naked (as The Settlement’s founders had understood only too well) was that it was very difficult to keep anything secret. Whatever you said, your body just betrayed everything. It was instantly obvious, especially to another woman, whether you were just holding your hands behind you, or whether they were properly locked there.

“He’s just gone this instant,” stuttered the girl, stepping over to her wrist bonds and grabbing them. “I was just…” she faltered.

Fortunately, Carine was assisted by the fact that, as far as 514 and 610 were concerned, the idea of being left alone with your hands unchained simply did not compute. The founders might have understood that such occasions might sometimes arise, but they had never done so in the years since Lydia and Madeleine had commenced their adult lives in the community, and thanks to their careful upbringing, immersed in the ways of The Settlement, the two girls simply had no conception of what they were seeing. As soon as Carine had snapped her cuffs back into place, the whole issue just seemed to be forgotten.

“What’s the matter with 391 then?” the counsellor asked, feeling much better, and she listened while Lydia gave a brief account of how Rachel had been found and brought to the Infirmary.

Madeleine stood by, saying nothing, pulling gently at her handcuffs.

* * *

The Smithy had a full length mirror close to the door, and Sinead now stood in front of this, looking at her reflection. Martin, the under chain-smith, stood behind her and slightly to the side, one hand on each of the girl’s shoulders, also admiring the image in the mirror. A little to the side, Johanne stood silently, waiting and listening.

“I can’t believe you can seriously imagine,” the smith was saying, “that there would ever be a future in which girls like you would not be chained. I mean, look! How gorgeous are you? Why would you want to be different?”

Sinead looked. She saw a naked girl, tall, with clear skin, brown eyes, long thick brown hair. Full, firm breasts. A slim waist. A neat brown muff. Long but shapely legs. And bright steel fetters, and a tether chain fastened with a large padlock to a closely fitting steel collar encircling her neck. Arms disappearing behind her back. She pulled her hands to her hip, so she could see them, and the cuffs that held them, completing the picture. She took Martin’s point. She could, she thought, see herself as men – and as many other women – saw her; beautiful, desirable. But also confined, controlled, helpless. Secured. Protected. Her gaze strayed to the smith, tall behind her. Dressed in T-shirt and shorts. And not restrained in any way. Not protected in any way, as she was, by her chains and the girl-rails. Not able to expose his beauty, as she, and all the women were.

The girl relaxed, letting her hands rest in their accustomed place behind her, making sure her ankles were spread as wide as she could get them, and standing tall, feeling her tether rub between her breasts. Suddenly Sinead felt very feminine, very proud to be a woman, very proud to be locked naked into steel chains. Of course she could not imagine it being any other way. She did not want to live like a man, that was for sure. And she did not want to be free from the girl-rails. That was, when she thought about it, a silly idea. No woman could really want that, could she?

“OK?” questioned Martin, looking the girl in her eyes, via the mirror.

She turned her head, and met his gaze more directly. “Yes, Sir,” she said. “Sorry. Come on, let’s get on with it.”

“Very good. This way then.”

The man stooped and unlocked a girl-rail bolt that would allow his two customers to pass further into the smithy, and then ushered them forward, walking between them, a hand on each woman’s bare buttock.

* * *

The Settlement’s Infirmary had a male ward and a female ward, on opposite sides of a hallway. The male ward was quite bright and airy, with large windows offering a view to the distant hills above the community. The women’s side was, like everywhere else in The Settlement that females were permitted to sleep at nights, a prison. It was accessed via a double screen of bars from the central hall, where a man was always on duty keeping an eye on things. The ward itself had smaller windows, high on the wall, admitting plenty of light, but preventing any view outside, and lined with closely set steel bars. Inside, the patients all wore their normal bondage, and, since an escape attempt the other year, the previous lenient regime had been tightened, and they were required to have their hands chained except for brief periods during meals and morning and evening ablutions. Further, whilst they could (subject to doctor’s orders) walk about the ward whenever they wanted, when they were not doing so they were expected to be chained to their beds, using a padlock to fasten their fetter chain to a length of chain that ran to the footboard. They had to ask one of the nurses to fetch the male door attendant whenever they wanted this undone, and were expected to lock it up again themselves when they returned. The staff felt that this arrangement helped their management of the facility, since it meant that most of the time the girls could be found where they were supposed to be. Apart from their bondage, the female patients were, of course, nude. Being in the infirmary did not change the community’s position with regard to the complete unacceptability of clothing for its females.

Rachel, of course, was not ill as such, in the sense that she had no physical ailment. She was just very miserable. The previous night she had sworn at George and all the Infirmary staff. She had slept only because they had sedated her, and in the morning she had refused breakfast, or conversation of any kind, and she now sat, her body upright, her legs apart with knees slightly bent, staring sullenly at the padlock that fastened her ankle chain to the foot of the bed. If she thought coherently at all, she thought that at least with this lock she could see it. But that did not make things any better: quite the reverse, for she could see that it was nothing special, just a simple, standard padlock of which The Settlement’s living arrangements naturally required hundreds and hundreds. Simple and standard, but utterly impossible to remove without the key, or heavy tools, on which neither she nor any other girl in the community would ever get their hands.

There were several other beds nearby, but most were empty. There were only two other female patients, a prettily chubby girl, Number 14, who was heavily pregnant and under observation for some potential complication or other, and an older, dark-haired woman, Number 21, who had contrived to break her arm – an ailment which left her in an interesting position with regard to her security arrangements, since the splinted limb could not conveniently be chained. Instead it was strapped across her body, whilst her other, uninjured hand was locked in a cuff attached to the rear quarter of a steel belt which was padlocked around her middle. The belt was a type of restraint reasonably common as an alternative to handcuffs for Settlement girls: it had, of course, a second cuff, which in this case simply dangled, open, until the broken arm was sufficiently healed to be properly restrained.

Number 21, Sharon, was actually rather bored. Of course being bored was a hazard for Settlement women – they did after all spend long hours locked up with little to do, and after a while they generally got used to it. But mostly they were not locked up alone, there was always chat, which kept them entertained. But the Infirmary was not the Women’s Quarters, it was much quieter, particularly as Number 14 was almost constantly asleep.

Thus, on the way back from the bathroom, which was at the opposite end of the ward from the entrance, Sharon paused at Rachel’s bedside, looking down at the girl who still stared morosely – and rather obviously – at the padlock that held her to the bed.

“Bummer, isn’t it?” said Sharon, looking down.

“Fuck off,” said Rachel.

Undeterred, in fact relishing a challenge, Sharon sat on the bed. “I can’t really fuck off very far,” she said. “I’m locked in, just like you are.”

Rachel continued to stare, ignoring the older woman.

“I remember when my daughters were first chained,” Number 21 carried on. “After a few months they hated it. The time they spent sobbing on my shoulder. I wished I could hold them, but…” Sharon gave a little jerk on her cuffed wrist, indicating her meaning. Hugs were not really possible inside the Women’s Quarters.

“But it’s like grieving,” the older woman continued. “For a dead parent, a dead friend, a dead world out there: there’s no bringing them back. You have to go through the process, and it takes time. But in the end you have to accept it. Or die, I suppose.”

At this point, Rachel finally looked up. She stared into Sharon’s face, her own eyes burning. “No it’s not,” she said quietly. “It’s not like that. You can’t bring a dead person back to life. But someone – some man – could go and get the keys and unlock our collars and neck chains, and let us go. They have that choice!”

“They have, yes. But you don’t. And you can’t depend on someone else’s choice to make you happy,” said Sharon, gently. “Only your own.”

“What do you know about it anyway,” spat the younger woman.

“Quite a lot, actually,” said Sharon. “I’ve been here twenty years, raised two daughters who are in the community too – obviously.” Obviously, since, being female, the girls had been given no choice about remaining in the community.

Rachel made no response to this, she just went back to her staring. Sharon sat for a while, looking at the girl, remembering. Remembering the years of her own journey, and those of her two daughters, now living their own lives, established members of The Settlement. It seemed so long, sometimes: so long since there had been anything else. So long since there had been another way of living. But she remembered the miseries along the way – her own and her children’s. Especially when she saw other girls, new girls, in those same dark places.

“Anyway, I should get back to my bed,” said the older woman. “I’ll leave you, but if you want to talk...”

“No, wait!” exclaimed Rachel, suddenly. Her chains rattled as she moved, shuffling until she was in a kneeling position.

“Thanks, 21,” she said. “What’s your name?”

“Sharon. A pleasure.”

“I know you are trying to be helpful, but you can’t think it’s right, that I should have to be like this? Always fastened to these girl-rails. When I don’t want to be?”

Sharon looked at the girl, kneeling there, nude, shackled, looking every inch a Settlement girl. She had even knelt with her knees widely spread, just as they were told to – the position just came naturally. Her hair was rather bedraggled, and her face somewhat tear-stained, but not withstanding that, Number 21 could see that her companion was a beautiful young woman, a prime piece of meat that many of the community’s men would be glad to enjoy for a while. And certainly not one that they would consider, even for an instant, might be unlocked from the girl-rails.

“I know what you mean, Rachel,” she replied, gently, “but after all these years, I think it’s not for me to judge. The community decides what’s right and wrong, not individuals. Otherwise there’d be chaos. We lost one world, we can’t afford to lose another.”


“And our system works. I’ve lived here safely for two decades, raised two girls who are also happy here, now.”

“Happy living in bondage? Having to serve men?”

“They don’t have to serve men, just respect them. And yes, happy in chains, and safe. I would not want them to go away from here, outside. At least their mother knows they are safe here.”

“You’re just saying what all the others say,” said Rachel, pulling frustratedly at her handcuffs. “You’ve all been indoctrinated!”

“Huh, maybe,” said Sharon. “But that doesn’t mean that what I say isn’t true. Look around you.”

Rachel did so.

“Not in here, silly. I mean, metaphorically. Look at the community.”

After a brief, contemplative silence, Rachel changed tack. “Sharon,” she asked, “you’ve been here a good while. You must know of girls that have tried to, you know, get free of the girl-rails and so on, get away from The Settlement. It must have happened? Is it true, do you think, what they tell you, that no one has ever escaped?”

“As far as I know, it’s true, yes,” responded the older woman. “I mean, everyone gets frustrated, has a little tug now and then, but that does nothing, as I am sure you know. I remember one incident I heard of years ago when a girl was left with her hands free and managed to get a tool of some sort and started trying to prize the lock off her tether, and I know a couple of other times when girls have been caught with bits of wire and so on that they apparently intended to use to pick locks. But they’ve certainly never succeeded. I mean think about it: you’d have to get your cuffs off, get free of the girl-rails, probably break out of a cage, and then make it past the boundary. And where would you go then? If you were going to run you’d need your fetters off, too.”

“Hmm. And no one’s ever persuaded a man to turn her loose?”

“What conceivable reason would there be for a man to do that? And even if he wanted to, what could he do? He can’t just walk in and get the keys for her tether, can he? You really do need to set these ideas aside, Rachel, you do.”

“What about voting ourselves free? Don’t we have equal votes at the community council?”

“Ha!” chuckled the older woman. “An interesting idea that I’d like to see you try. You’d be laughed at – and then accused of being disrespectful. Some things go beyond what the council would consider. They are part of the very identity of the community.”

* * *

When adjusting a female’s chains, it was of course necessary to ensure that security was properly observed, and the principle means by which this was achieved, at least so far as any adjustments to collars or fetters were concerned, was to ensure that the woman being attended to was completely unconscious during the work. She would drink a specially prepared draft causing her to fall asleep, so that the smith could make whatever adjustments were necessary, even fetching the keys and removing her collar and fetters, for repair or replacement, or just for a check of her skin condition beneath the bonds. The girl was thus spared discomfort during the work, and by the time she was woken, she would once again be collared, and fettered, with all keys to those bonds, and all heavy tools, safely away again, well out of reach of anyone fastened to the girl-rails, and of course with no memory of spending even an instant without her normal bondage. The community was firmly of the view that no good whatsoever could come of its female residents gaining any experience of life without a securely locked tether chain.

Martin was in no doubt, on this occasion, that he should deal with Number 281 first, as she had been the one with all the questions. So he allowed 241 to wait in the outer area, chatting to Number 122, while he escorted Sinead into his working area, refastened the girl-rail bolts behind her and sat her on his bench. The bench was about two metres long and a metre and a half wide – big enough for a woman to lie on. In its centre it had a hole, about five centimetres in diameter, in which was a chain, prevented from dropping right through by a steel rod welded to its end. It passed down through the hole and was fastened to a ring set in the concrete floor, but when Martin pulled on it, there was enough length for it to come well up above the work bench. He passed it around Sinead’s waist, threading it behind her cuffed hands, and fastened it with a padlock, not tightly, but quite securely around the girl’s middle. This would ensure that, whatever of her bonds he might remove, she would, even while unconscious, still be shackled in place.

Having done this, the smith gently unlocked Sinead’s wrist bonds, freeing her arms. “Thank you, Sir,” she said, politely, whilst rubbing her wrists. Then, “have you done many of these jobs so far?” She asked.

“The electronic bonds? No, but I have a full order book. They are mostly made in advance anyway – fitting them is the easy part. Mitch told me some days ago that you two would be coming, so yours are all ready.”

“Oh.” Sinead did not quite know what to say to that, since the leader had only discussed it with them the first time the previous day. But the leader was obviously planning, and there was of course no reason at all why he should share his thoughts before he wanted to – with anyone, never mind with a couple of girls he employed to run errands.

“Now the draft,” smiled Martin, handing the girl a small cup of thick, dark liquid.

She smiled nervously and took it – she had had it before, of course, two or three times, when she had attended the smithy for regular checks on her bonds. She had a little look around, smiled again and drank the liquid down in one gulp. Then she lay back on the bench.

Soon, she was snoring peacefully. Martin stood for a minute, looking at her, thanking the Universe that had brought him to a life where he spent his days working intimately with beautiful, naked women. For what could be more intimate than being responsible for the bonds that the girls were required to wear, and which defined every moment of their lives? Reaching out, Martin laid his hands on Sinead’s sleeping flesh, running them up and down, enjoying the soft curves of her shoulders, breasts and hips, and finally the insides of her thighs. He allowed a finger to brush between her nether lips, where in a moment he would have to work on the electronic piercing. Satisfied she was fully asleep, he went to get his tools, and the keys for her fetters and tether.

* * *

The whole business of Carine’s illicitly unchained wrists seemingly as if it had never been, she followed 514 and 610 across the campus, dodging in amongst the morning traffic that clogged the girl-rails. Once they got to the quieter areas, Number 514, the fair-haired Lydia, seemed disposed to chat happily, amplifying her tale of the previous day.

“I thought she sounded odd,” the girl said, of Number 391. “It’s like she was making all these remarks about wanting to go where there aren’t any girl-rails, and wanting to be able to take her handcuffs off herself. I mean, girls shouldn’t think like that, should they? It’s disrespectful, for one thing.”

“Mmm.” Carine sounded non-committal.

“And it’s stupid and unhelpful, too,” Number 514 went on. “Girls can waste hours imagining they might live without chains, or even wear clothes like men, but we all know it’s just a stupid fantasy. It could never work in reality. God, imagine how weird it would be!”

Madeleine, walking along next to Lydia – still, of course, padlocked to her – continued to pull thoughtfully at her handcuffs. “Carine,” she said at last, “what are panties?”

“Where have you heard that term?” responded the naked redhead. “Was that something 391 talked about?”

“Actually no,” answered Madeleine. “It was in the Women’s Quarters, some of the older women a few days ago. But I’d heard it before, too. It’s a garment of some kind, isn’t it?”

“So I understand,” said Carine. “From long ago, before the end of the world. When women wore clothes. I’ve never seen them, so I can’t be sure what they are like, sorry.”

In fact the counsellor had a very good idea what panties were, for her clients variously talked about them and all the other accoutrements of female life in the old world, and although she had never seen a clothed woman close up, she had come across pictures. But that was a while ago, and things had been tightened up since then, such pictures removed from the community. Girls of Lydia and Madeleine’s age, a couple of years younger than Carine, were quite deliberately kept in ignorance of the details of former ways of life, and any women coming in from outside were stripped naked and chained to the girl-rails long before they got near the existing female residents. Of course that did not stop them talking, sharing experiences, but at least there was nothing concrete to disturb the younger women.

Carine, particularly since she had started working as a counsellor, was of the view that this was the correct approach as far as the order and happiness of the community was concerned, and she was not going to upset Madeleine with accounts of thin, stretchy material pulled tight between your legs and over your cunt.

* * *

“So how does it feel?” asked 122, as Sinead stood and looked in the full-length mirror.

The brunette looked at her: “The tongue piercing feels a bit odd,” she smiled, “but everything else is just like normal.” Number 281 had a good look in the mirror, seeing what she had seen before Martin’s ministrations – a beautiful young woman, wearing the standard Settlement uniform of nothing at all, except for bright steel chains. Of course there was now no padlock at her throat, and the collar had its solar panel and battery attachment, but at first glance these things were hardly noticeable.

And neither, now it had happened, did Sinead find the experience of wearing these new bonds – with their permanent welds where once there had been locks - any different. Certainly there was no emotional thunderbolt or anything like that. But really, why should there be? True, she had not been given a chance to feel around the bonds from outside - her hands having been fastened together again behind her back before she had awakened from the sleeping draft – but she could testify that from inside, from the perspective of someone whose neck and limbs were confined by them, her new electronic restraints felt just the same as her original ones had done: comfortable, secure and entirely familiar.

* * *

“Oh, Sorry,” said George to Number 378, when he returned to the apartment, “did I leave you locked in there?”

“Yes, you bloody did leave me locked in here,” cried Elaine, watching him finally unfasten the cage door. She’d sat on her bed mat and fumed for nearly two hours while he had been away, not that in the few years she had been in The Settlement she had not had a fair amount of practice at sitting in locked cages, unable to get out and with nothing to do. She glared at him as she finally passed out of the enclosure, her neck chain looped over her shoulder so she could pull it with her cuffed hands.

“You’re not questioning my right to keep a woman in my cage, are you?” George said, rather cheekily, as she stood before him.

“Perish the thought,” lied Elaine. “No, not questioning, just complaining.” She looked up at the man, and found her anger subsiding. George had been called ‘geeky’ before now, perhaps because of his scholarly manner, but he had never been geeky with her. He had always been… masterful. Unlike some girls, unlike confounded 391, she, Elaine had had the wit to realise from the start that her Settlement bondage was something she had to learn to accept, not fight. But having George looking after it had certainly helped her achieve this. He had been caring and considerate without suggesting for a single instant that he was not absolutely committed to the community’s ideas about the way that was appropriate for females to be kept.

“Well anyway, I’m out now,” she said. “Tell me how you got on. How is 391?”

“Better,” he said. “I think Number 21 had got to her before we did. I met 197 up there and we all had a chat. We agreed that 391 needed a distraction, and we talked about her volunteering for the new outpost. Maybe that would help. Anyway, she’s coming home after the doctor has checked her again, and we’ll see how it goes.”

End of part 2

Copyright© 2013 by Kirsten Graham. All rights reserved.