Her New World
The shades were mostly closed, letting little light into the bedroom. In the darkness could be heard breathing, the sound of someone sleeping, merely a lump under the covers.
A chime sounded, and for a moment nothing stirred, but then the chime sounded again and the lump shifted slightly, one bare leg snaking out into the air.
The chime sounded again quickly, as if whoever was there was in a hurry, and with a groan the sleeping figure pulled herself to consciousness. She sat up, hair falling across her face, bedclothes dropping to her lap revealing her lack of sleepwear, her arms pinned behind her, wrists locked together. She groaned again and shook her head before looking around for her bed companion.
"Bob?" she said out loud, tugging at the lock that bound her hands while wondering why he thought it necessary to restrain her. She’d made love to him that day for the first time ever; didn't that prove something to him?
The chime sounded again and Staci sighed, knowing that someone was at the door. It was her duty to get it anyway, but it would have been easier if Bob were there, she didn't really feel up to seeing anyone. Besides, from the feel of her body, remnants of their sexual releases still coated parts of her.
"Door Intercom," she ordered, and the apartment computer opened the line. "Hi, this is Staci. Who's there please?" she said, hoping that she wouldn't actually have to go answer the door in her condition.
"This is Tom. Open the door, Staci," said her visitor, and Staci instantly came more awake.
She took a deep breath, recent memories rushing to the fore. "Bob's not here, Sir," she answered.
"Open the door, Staci," was the reply.
"Yes, Sir," she said after a moment, knowing that an order from Tommy Windwalker carried as much weight as if Bob himself was giving it. And right now she didn’t want to do anything to break the fragile new relationship she had with him.
She struggled out of bed and padded nervously toward the apartment's front door. She looked at a clock and saw that it was early evening. Tommy Windwalker must have just gotten back with the rest of the explorers, and now he was obviously looking for Bob McKinly. The trouble was that Staci didn't know if Tommy was coming angry and looking for revenge. Naked, alone, and with her hands trapped behind her, Staci felt very vulnerable. It wasn't as if she didn't feel for the man, she did, and she even trusted him because Bob did. But a woman in her situation couldn't completely ignore that a danger could exist, and she wondered if it was wise to open her front door after all.
She stood in front of it and paused. "I don't know where Bob is, Sir, have you tried the bar?"
"Staci, open this door right now!" Tommy ordered with an edge to his voice.
Scared, Staci did so, to reveal her Master's friend standing in the doorway. He was dressed as he normally was, with the addition of a light jacket and heavier boots. But Staci's eyes were drawn to the sidearm on his hip, a pistol version of the magnetic gauss rifle Dick Janis had used the day before. She looked up at his face and saw the expression of a tired, angry man. But it wasn't a wild anger and that made her feel just a tiny bit better.
Tommy's eyes flickered over her defenseless body for a moment, taking in her obviously fucked appearance, before moving quickly into the apartment. He brushed past Staci so fast that she barely had time to jump out of his way, and she watched as he quickly searched her home before coming back to her.
"Where is he?" Tommy asked.
"I don't know. You woke me up and he wasn't here. Did you check downstairs?"
"I checked downstairs. He hasn't been in all day and he isn't answering his phone," replied the man, moving to close the open front door. "Is he hiding from me?"
"No!" said Staci, watching him carefully.
"Then where is he?"
"I said I don’t…Ow!"
Tommy moved fast and grabbed Staci by the upper arms, lifting her off the ground. He was breathing hard and it scared Staci half to death. "Collar, lie detector mode," he said.
"Lie detector mode, on," replied her green collar.
"One more time. Do you know where he is?" Tommy asked.
"No. I don't know where he is," replied Staci truthfully. She was scared but she was also angry. She felt insulted that he didn't trust her to tell the truth. But then she realized that his grief was probably affecting a lot of his rational thinking.
He stared at her for what seemed like several long minutes, before Staci told him that he was hurting her. Then he put her down and let her go, her arms now decorated with deep red marks.
Tommy moved over to the couch and sat down, one hand to his face as he stared at the wall. Not knowing what else to do, Staci went and knelt in front of him.
"Did you...just get back?" she asked, feeling like she was walking on eggshells and wondering where Bob was that he couldn't be reached by phone.
"About an hour ago," Tommy said quietly.
"I'm sorry...for what happened," Staci said, again feeling for the man in such obvious distress. "Priss was the best friend I had here. I'm going to miss her."
Tommy looked at her and Staci got the impression that he didn't give a damn about her feelings. But then his expression softened a bit and he looked away. "She liked you a lot too. She thought you were good for Bob, a much better fit than Maxine was." He sighed, "What happened...really? Remember, your collar is still set for you to tell the truth. I want to know, did Bob screw up? Did he cause Priss'...death?"
"No!" Staci replied, hurt by the accusation. "You're his friend, how could you even think that? Bob did his best to lure that creature away from Priss. No one knew that she would run into a bush!"
Tommy waited a beat, as if waiting to see if the collar was going to shock her, but of course it didn't. "I was told that he ran from her...abandoned her out there. I didn't want to believe it, but...she's dead, and he isn't, and it's kinda hard to argue with that logic."
Staci was appalled. "Who told you that?" she asked in a whisper.
"It was...just what I'd heard. We didn't get many details when we got called back. And when I got here, Doctor Kelly didn't want to talk about it. I saw Priss...what they let me see of her...and...had to...come here." Tommy, the ex-soldier, one of the biggest and strongest men to make the trip to Freedom, broke down in tears and turned away. He collapsed on the couch and started to sob, deep heavy cries that cut deep to the core.
Staci got up, wanting to give the man comfort and cursing the fact that her hands were bound behind her. So instead she carefully lay down on the couch with Tommy, letting him take her in his arms, pressing herself against him.
The grief wracking his body passed through to her, and soon she was crying too, the two of them finding comfort in each other.
Bob McKinly wasn't dodging Tommy Windwalker, not on purpose anyway. As Tommy lay crying with Staci, Bob was entering his second hour at the private Council meeting called together when the expedition got back to camp. In the same room that the meeting had been held in before were the Council members, along with Alan Kent, Lynn Laslo and her husband/owner Kyle Laslo the marine biologist, several other members of the Colony's small scientific staff, Doctor Don Kelly, and Dick Janis.
Janis had the floor, and he was treating the meeting like a trial.
"Those are the facts gentlemen," he said. "Through sheer negligence on that...woman's part, we have two people dead. Two women that we couldn't afford to lose. Why, just for child bearing reasons alone, the loss to the community is devastating!" He looked accusingly at Lynn, who sat in mute shook, while her husband stared angrily at Janis.
Kent stirred in his seat, glancing at the other members of the Council. He saw that many were moved by the accusations of incompetence Janis was leveling at the woman, although Bob didn't look like he was buying it.
"Anyone else have something to say?" Kent asked.
Laslo stood up. "Why are we here? Why are we listening to this man? He doesn't know what he's talking about! How could Lynn be responsible for the deaths of these women?"
"Because she was in charge, you asshole!" Janis replied. "She was in charge and she fucked up! That's what you get for having a woman in charge. I demand that she be stripped of her position and be treated like the other women here, as a slave. That’s what she signed up for, that’s why she's here! And as a slave she should be punished for her mistake!"
"There was no mistake," Laslo jumped in.
"HER mistake! HER mistake got Priss killed. Had we known about the real poison levels in those bushes, we would have cleared them out!"
"Those were the real levels. Lynn doesn't make mistakes like that!" Laslo yelled back, stepping toward Janis.
The men looked like they were about to come to blows, until Bob stepped between them.
"Hold on, hold on!" he said, physically pushing them apart. "Let's settle down here."
Both men move away from each other, Janis gloating.
Bob sighed. "I think...maybe, we should hear from Lynn about this," he said.
"Women have no voice here!" Janis said quickly.
"She's the one accused, she has to be able to defend herself," countered Bob, turning to Kent.
Kent nodded, "I agree. I want to hear what she has to say in her defense." He turned her collar gag off and asked her to stand. "Well?"
Lynn didn't say a word for a moment; she just looked at the floor. "I...I don't know," she said eventually. "When I heard about what happened, I couldn't understand it. Those plants just weren't that poisonous, not when we tested them which was fairly soon after we landed. The equipment we use doesn't make mistakes like that."
"Yeah," Janis chimed in, "so it has to be human error!"
"Shut up Dick," said Bob.
Lynn looked around at all the men in the room. She was the only woman present and felt the pressure of being the only submissive in a room full of dominants. Besides, Janis really scared her.
"Lynn," said Kent, quietly, "how do you explain the huge discrepancy between the toxin figures?"
"I can't, Sir. I can't even begin to. I need to see the figures, the test results, and go over the information again. There has to be something off somewhere. Maybe...maybe Priss was poisoned by a different variety of the bush, one that looks similar, yet is vastly more dangerous. We didn't check each and every plant out there. You have to remember, Sir, that this is a new world, where everything we didn't bring with us is unknown. We haven't had near enough time to study everything and conclude what is truly safe or unsafe. We all take a chance just going outside. There may be several reasons why that one bush was more poisonous than the rest. But sitting here, with you conducting your witch hunt, is not the way to find the answer!"
Kent bristled, "See here, this isn't a witch hunt. We simply want to find the truth."
Lynn looked accusingly at Janis, "Some people seem to think it is...Sir."
"How long will it take you to find out what happened?" Bob asked.
"HEY!" yelled Janis, "aren't you people listening? She shouldn't be doing anything! Let the men handle it!"
"She's our expert, Dick!" Bob said angrily.
"She's a fucking woman, and that's why she's here, for fucking! Aren't the rest of these men qualified to do the job? Tell me guys," he said turning to the rest of Lynn's group, "could you this job as well as she can? Or are you so-called Dominants going to let a woman tell you what to do the rest of your life?"
There was a sudden uncomfortable silence, until one of the scientists stood up. "I can do it, we don't need her."
"Greg!" Kyle Laslo said, looking at him.
"Dammit, Kyle, you know my views on this. Lynn is a damn good scientist, and I doubt she is responsible for anything that happened while we were gone. But as a woman she shouldn't have been put in charge. I agree with Dick Janis. Didn't we come here to establish once and for all that a woman's place is at the feet of her man, not the other way around?"
There were murmurs of agreement from most of the men in the room, and Janis smiled.
"Well said, Greg," he commented, "it seems as though the way is clear. I respectfully ask that the Council strip Lynn of her position and responsibilities and order her taken into custody pending the outcome of the investigation into what happened!"
There were seconds to the motion from several of the men, including a couple of the Council members.
Bob walked out onto the floor. "Taken into custody, by whom? You?"
"Why sure. I had my men set up a hut out back of the maintenance building which we can use for a jail until a proper one is built."
"No way, Dick! If she has to go into some sort of lock down then at the most it should be done by her husband...at home!"
"Not good enough, Bob!" Janis said, moving closer to his former Captain.
"Gentlemen," Kent interjected, "calm down." He waited a moment until the two men separated, Bob sitting back in his seat, before continuing. "I believe that we should vote on a few questions, on the information we have before us now. We aren't getting anywhere just yelling at each other. Agreed?" The six other Council members all nodded, including Bob. "But," continued Alan Kent, looking closely at the rest of the people in the room, "this vote is just for us. I don't want to hear one word out of anyone else, including you Dick."
Bob waved his hand. "I think we should vote privately. We've never voted in front of witnesses before."
"What's the matter, Bob," Janis said from his seat, "scared?"
Kent shook his head before Bob could reply, "We'll vote with everyone present, unless they cause trouble. Okay...first question. Are we agreed that an investigation is needed to find out why the toxin levels reported to this Council shortly after we landed are so different from what they were when Priss...was poisoned?"
Fairly quickly six hands went up and Kent added his own. He was glad that no one considered outright that the only answer was that Lynn had made a mistake.
"Good, then it is so ordered. I want a thorough investigation. Answers are needed. Okay. Second vote. Is Lynn Laslo to remain in her position while the investigation is taking place?"
Bob raised his hand, and after a moment, it was joined by only one other. Bob looked surprised. "Come on guys," he said, looking at his fellow Council members. "She's trained for this, it's what she does!"
Kent sighed, "Apparently not anymore. Is she to be prevented from taking any part in the investigation at all?"
Four hands went up, and then five as Kent added his vote.
"Is Lynn to be held in custody waiting the outcome of the investigation?" he next asked.
Again the vote was five to two in favor of the question, and Bob looked disgusted.
"Should Lynn wait out the investigation in her owner's custody?" Kent then asked carefully.
Now the vote was slower, with Bob going first, raising his hand and glaring at the others. Another joined him, then another, the voters avoiding Janis' eyes. But there were no more.
Kyle Laslo stood up. "Wait a minute! I'm her husband, her owner...her Master! If anyone is going to lock her up it's ME! You want her under arrest until we clear this thing up, fine. But I’m going to do it!"
"The Council has voted otherwise, Mr. Laslo. Lynn will be placed in Dick Janis' care pending the results of the investigation," said Kent.
"That's bullshit!" Bob McKinly said, also standing. "You can't give her to this man! You know what he's like! She hasn't been declared guilty of anything, yet here you are sending her to prison already! It's Laslo's right to look after his own woman, and that includes any disciplinary matters that might come up!"
"Enough, Bob, the Council has voted," said Kent.
"NO! How would you feel if it was your woman about to be handed over to Janis? Would you be so eager to see her go?"
"Bob," said one of the members, "calm down. She's just a woman!"
Bob blinked, and at that moment realized that Janis' influence among the men of the Colony had spread farther than he’d thought. Even though they were submissive, no woman here was ever thought of as "just a woman". It was like they were saying "just a dog", with as much concern about their rights.
Lynn spoke up. "Please...let me stay with my Master."
"WOMEN DON'T HAVE A VOICE HERE!" Janis yelled, cutting her off.
"Well I do!" yelled Laslo. "And I protest this...outrage!"
"Protest all you want," said Kent, standing, "but the vote is carried. She is to be turned over to Dick Janis. I think we're done here for now. I expect you and your people will want to get to work. You want her back Kyle; find the truth in this matter."
He started to leave and people took this as their cue to also leave the room. Laslo stood shocked and watched as Janis came over. "Don't worry," he said with a smile, "I'll take good care of her. But you had better collar-gag her, I don't want to hear one word out of her while I have her."
Bob moved between the two men. "I'm holding you personally responsible for her, Dick," he said. "She comes back undamaged."
Janis just smiled and took a lock from a pocket, locking an unresisting Lynn's hands behind her. He waited for Kyle to give her collar the gag order, and then without a word hauled the woman out of the room.
Laslo and Bob watched them go, both amazed at the turn of events.
"Bob, you have to do something," Laslo said.
"Is there any chance she might really be guilty of making a mistake?" Bob asked quietly.
"No! Those tests are very reliable. There has to be something with the bush itself."
"Then you'll get her back, and I'll make sure that Janis doesn't go overboard with his so-called care. But you know what worries me most?"
"What?" said a distraught, Laslo.
"By granting Janis custody they've just given him what he wanted, an official position as Colony enforcer. What's betting he uses this as precedent for making other arrests...in the name of the Law of course? I think we've opened a box we shouldn't have."
Laslo looked at Bob for a moment. "Is what I've heard about Janis true? That he's a real hard case when it comes to domination?"
"If that's all you heard, then you haven't heard anything," Bob replied.
"Well then...I guess I'd better get things organized. We have the truth to discover."
Bob just nodded and a moment later he was the only one left in the room. He had a horrible feeling in his gut, and knew that their so-called paradise had a serpent living in it.
Before going upstairs to his apartment, Bob McKinly decided to step out for a moment. He needed the air and the space in order to calm down.
Looking around he saw that the once bustling Colony was rather quiet, with few people out doing anything. Bob knew that it was fear that kept people inside, fear of another animal like the one that attacked Jill, fear of the plant life that had looked so innocent until now...fear of the planet itself. Bob knew that the honeymoon was over, that every single member of the Colony now knew that the new world they had come to was truly new!
It wouldn't last though, the fear. In a few days people would be back to doing what they were doing before it all went ape shit, and even Janis' pony track would get used again, once assurances were made that a repeat of the disaster that had befallen them would never happen. Humans were like that, they never let reality slow them down very much.
Bob sighed and pulled out his phone, turning it on. He saw that Tommy Windwalker had left him a couple of messages, and that gave Bob pause. In the back of his mind he knew the man was back, but the meeting had given him the excuse not to deal with him right away. There was no such excuse now though, and Bob knew he owed it to the man to seek him out.
He thought about giving him a call, but then decided that it would be better to see him face to face. He didn't find Tommy at the home he had shared with Priss, and Bob wondered if his friend might be at the bar. Then Bob thought about what he would do if the situations were reversed, and knew he had to get home. He had a feeling that Tommy would be there and while he trusted his friend he knew that he had left Staci there alone, and who knew what Tommy had already been told about what happened.
His guts seemed tied up in knots as he approached his front door and he took a deep breath before opening it. What he saw let him relax a little.
Tommy was seated on the couch, a drink in his hand, looking down at the carpet. He looked worn-out to Bob, as if all his energy had been drained from him.
Kneeling on the floor close by was Staci, still nude as he had left her, still bound. She looked like she had been crying and Bob's first instinct was that Tommy had maybe hurt her in some way. But her smile at his appearance belayed that thought as she wasn't acting scared or nervous.
Tommy looked up too, and while he didn't smile he didn't look murderous either much to Bob's relief. Evidently someone, probably Staci, had told him the whole truth about what had happened to Priss.
"Tom," Bob said, nodding his head and stepping into the apartment.
Tommy looked at him for a moment before getting up. His eyes looked red as if the big man had been crying as well, something he wasn't known to do. Bob didn't blame him; he had shed his own share of tears in Staci's arms the night before.
He took a step toward his friend. "I'm sorry, Tom."
Tommy glanced at Staci for a second, her smile now one of encouragement and directed at him, before turning back to look at Bob. "Staci told me that...you did what you could," he said. Then he pointed at the wall screen. "Also that...seems to prove it. You have nothing to be sorry for."
Bob wondered what "That" was and moved further into the apartment to look at the screen. He was shocked. It seemed that someone at the track the day before had been using a camera, and had filmed the entire unhappy event. That video had then been uploaded to the Colony net, and now Tommy could see for himself what had happened.
Bob was angry that someone had posted something so traumatically tasteless for everyone to see, as if their memories of the event just weren't enough, and he was really sorry that Tommy had gotten to see them.
"Screen off!" he ordered and the screen went white. "You shouldn't have seen that," Bob said to his friend.
"It's okay, I've seen worse. Remember, I was a soldier once. Besides...I needed to see for myself." Tommy sighed and finished his drink, moving slowly. It was evident to Bob's bartender’s eyes that the man was drunk. Again, Bob didn't blame him.
"You look like you could use some sleep," Bob said carefully.
Tommy shook his head. "I'm fine. I just...," he faded into silence.
"Staci," said Bob, "come here."
Staci got off her knees and padded over to him. He unlocked her cuffed wrists and gave her a moment to work the stiffness out before whispering to her, "You okay?"
"I'm fine. He didn't do anything to me. He was angry that you weren't around but that soon passed and he started crying and drinking," she said.
Bob nodded. "Help me get him on the bed; he can sleep it off in there."
Staci moved close to Tommy, who put his arm about her shoulders. He held her tightly and then looked up at Bob. "You know, you owe me a slave girl now," Tommy said, the hint of a smile on his lips.
Bob chuckled slightly glad the man still had some humor in him. "Not right now I don't; but you know you can borrow her any time!"
Staci blinked, not that thrilled about being talked about like she was a lawn mower or other tool.
"Maybe I'll take her with me now," Tommy said his voice growing thick as the alcohol quickly overtook him. He wasn't so far gone though not to notice the look Bob and Staci traded, or the way Bob stiffened up. He smiled. "I guess you guys finally made it, huh?" Staci's sudden flush confirmed his suspicions. "Good for you. Priss and I...we always knew you would, eventually. I'm happy for you."
"Thanks Pal," Bob said, moving to take Tommy's other arm. "Come on, you can take a nap on our bed. I don't think you'll be going home today."
Tommy nodded, and the man was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
Over the next few days, while Tommy Windwalker stayed at the McKinly home while getting through his immediate grief, the Colony biologists worked hard to figure out what went wrong with their assessment of the thorny bushes. Being practical men, they knew that it was unlikely that a mistake had been made. No one, not even Lynn, had done any job alone, so any mistake reflected on all of them, not just on Lynn. They knew that the only official reason she had been charged with the blame, was because she had been in charge of the research team. The unofficial reason, as they also knew, was because of her being a woman, and while all didn't have any problems with her scientific credentials, most of the men on the team were in agreement that a woman should never have been put in charge. Dominants all, they believed that submissive women should be just that, submissive, and had no place in positions of power. So, they worked to clear themselves more than they worked to clear Lynn, and in doing so discovered some rather startling facts.
The first thing they did, after some of Dick Janis' armed men assured them that it was clear of large animals, was to confirm the toxic levels the medical team had determined for the bush that had killed Priss. It was indeed lethal, so they pulled some DNA from it and began testing other bushes in random areas, doing toxin screens and DNA on those too.
Their hope was to show that the bush in question was of a different species than the ones they tested earlier, explaining the extra toxicity that way. What they found though both disappointed and alarmed them. Not only were all the bushes the same species, but most of them were also highly lethal as well. What puzzled them though was how some of the thorny bushes showed the lower level toxin rather than the high level one, and that usually when one showed the low level then at least a dozen bushes around it also were non lethal. What's more, after several days of successive testing, bushes that had read as lethal one day were now testing non lethal.
Heads were scratched until someone ran the DNA sequencing again, this time looking for more detail, and discovered that groups of bushes with the same toxin levels all had identical DNA to each other. That is, each bush within a group was a perfect match to the rest of the bushes in that group, while only a species match to other bushes outside the group. Further digging, literal digging that is, exposed the fact that all these bushes shared a common root system, much like Birch trees on Earth. They all had identical DNA because in a sense they were all one creature rather than individual bushes, sharing nutrients among each other. Once this was known then more DNA testing was done to every thorny bush around the Colony, resulting in the discovery of close to forty of these communal entities living around them, each one consisting of over a dozen bushes.
This fascinated the biologists, but it didn't get them any closer as to why some of these groups were deadly and why some weren't.
Then one bright young man discovered something that threw light on the matter. While walking through the forest he heard whimpering and followed the noise to its source. What he discovered was a four-legged creature about the size of a small dog, trapped in the thorns of one of the bushes. It was obviously being poisoned, but what really engaged the interest of the man was how a thick, brown cord coming from deep within the bush, had seemingly pushed itself into the body of the dying animal. The biologists rushed to see this latest development once they were told about it, and after a day or so of more testing and observation, felt confident that they knew now what was going on.
"The bushes are carnivorous," Greg Sharp, the new leader of his section, reported to Alan Kent and the Council the next day. "The high level poison is what they use to paralyze and kill their prey so they can suck them dry. In that respect they are very much like the carnivorous plants we have on Earth. The low level poison is how they stop other things from eating them when they are in their dormant state!"
"But," said Kent, a little puzzled, "I'm not sure I understand how we didn't find any highly dangerous bushes when we got here."
Greg sighed. He was one of those people that didn't suffer fools gladly, and a fool to him was anyone his intellectual inferior. Even his wife/slave, had needed extra schooling to come up to his exacting demands for the perfect woman, and if he ever decided to let her, which wasn't likely, she could probably join the team very easily.
"Mr. Kent, I believe that when we landed it was during a period of quiet when all the local community bushes had already eaten and were in some sort of docile state. We aren't sure how long this state lasts, but we know they all...sleep...at the same time, for a tenuous root system connects the groups together, keeping them all on the same cycle. Most of the groups around us now have eaten and are going docile, and I have people out looking for small animals to feed to the ones that are still...hungry. We should have them all under control very soon."
"So you can get rid of them then?" asked Dick Janis, bruises on his face turning several different colors at the same time. He was seated in the public area of the auditorium where the meeting was being held. The meeting was supposed to be a closed one and Bob had objected to Janis being there, but Kent had voted him down.
Greg Sharp blinked. "Why should we? Now that we know how to control them, they are no longer a problem!"
"Until someone falls into one," said Janis standing up. "They are a public safety hazard and should be removed!"
"We can control them; they merely need feeding when the time is right!" He turned to Kent, a little angry. "Surely you don't mean to have us kill them all. There is so much we can learn about this planet from this one species alone!"
Kent shrugged; glad the scientists had found something. "Maybe you should pick something less dangerous to study, Greg," he said.
Bob waved his hand. "Can I ask a question, Greg? Tell me...if Priss had fallen into the bush, instead of away from it. If...she hadn't been discovered. Would the bush have...eaten her?"
Everyone was silent a moment.
"Well," Greg Sharp said eventually, "it's likely that it would have tried. But I think it wouldn't have been able to do much. Our chemistry is as alien to it as it is to ours. Right now, neither of us can eat the other, just…poison each other."
Bob nodded, images of Priss lying near the bush that had poisoned her running through his head.
"I assume then, that we are no longer to blame for the tragedy of a week ago?" Greg asked, looking from member to member.
Kent glanced around. "I believe we can concur on that. This also means that Lynn Laslo can be released back into the custody of her owner. You'll see to that won’t you Dick?"
Janis shrugged, unconcerned that his accusations hadn’t borne fruit. But then, he had already gotten what he wanted out of this. "Not a problem. I'll have someone call Laslo and he can come pick her up."
"Unhurt I hope," Bob said, stirring himself.
Janis smiled. "She's no worse off now than when I got her," he said.
"Just a lot more tired," added Bob.
“Well, I don’t think a slave should be sitting on her butt all day, do you?”
Bob didn’t answer because he actually agreed with the man on this one point, and didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. But Bob also knew that there were degrees and degrees, and he had done his best to make sure that Janis hadn’t gone too overboard with Lynn Laslo.
The so-called hut that Janis had said he had built had turned out to be a small, box-like structure not much bigger than a portable toilet. There wasn’t quite room enough inside it for Lynn to lie down stretched out, so she was forced to sleep somewhat curled up when she was allowed to sleep. The hut sat near the corral where Janis kept his pony girls and had no cover whatsoever from the sun, so it was blinding hot inside for most of the day. This wasn’t a big problem though because Lynn didn’t spend many of the daylight hours in there.
Janis’ solution to prisoner boredom was very simple. Lynn moved rocks.
Using an earth mover, Janis had dumped about a ton of loose rock near the hut, with pieces ranging from about a pound to twenty pounds in weight. Then, after her so-called breakfast, Lynn would be chained and told to move the pile from one spot to another. One of Janis’ maintenance men, who were more and more frequently doubling as Janis’ deputies, watched over her with a gauss rifle in his hands. He was supposedly keeping an eye on the nearby forest, just in case any more animals decided to leap out at Lynn, but it was obvious he was also there to make sure that Lynn didn’t slack off.
Lynn found the weapon intimidating, and didn’t dare slow down even though the scientist wasn’t that used to manual labor. Her service as a submissive to her husband was based on domestic servitude and sexual punishment, not hard labor and bondage. Still, she was a submissive, so she obeyed.
That wasn’t the only job Janis had her do, but it was her main one. When resting and taking a break, she spent her time cuffed to a pole set in the ground, her bonds only just allowing her enough slack to relax if she didn’t move too much. Food was given to her in bowls which she had to eat off the ground, and she was forced to do her toilet behind a bush near the tree line, ironically one of those getting tested by her fellow biologists.
Now, Lynn wasn’t a normally shy person and had no problems going nude in front of people, but when one time she was caught squatting and peeing by one of the men she so recently commanded, she almost died with shame. She was humiliated, knowing that any chance of working again with these men with any kind of respect was now gone, and often wondered how much worse it could get if it did turn out to be her fault as Janis kept telling her. Janis would often talk to her, telling her that her former workmates were having no luck, and that it was almost certain that they would give up and blame her for what happened. He would tell her about how he would then press the Council for her imprisonment, how he would love to have her under his total control, serving him, fucking him. Janis played mind games with Lynn during her entire captivity and while she was intelligent she didn’t have the worldly experience to see through his bullshit. So she got depressed and tried to lose herself in her work, moving rocks like an automaton. But even that wasn’t all.
Her punishment, even though it wasn’t called that because she was still ‘Under Investigation’, attracted a lot of spectators. Her guard wasn’t normally the only one watching her. Other people came to see her throughout the day, mostly men who admired the nude scientist while she sweated and worked. Some of the men would bring their women to show them what could happen to them if they didn’t behave. Other couples looked at the piles of rock as a future means of play with each other.
Bob and Staci came by each day to make sure that Janis hadn’t done anything worse to the woman. Bob didn’t trust him, and made that fact very clear. Janis’ excuse for what he was doing to her was that he wasn’t treating her any worse than his own submissives, which was true enough. Still, Bob, as well as Kyle Laslo, kept an eye on him.
Earlier on the day of the meeting, during one of those visits, Bob bitched at Janis about Lynn’s living conditions, while Staci noticed Doctor Don Kelly standing by the corral. She normally saw him once a week when she and Bob went in to the hospital for their genetic treatments. Every person in the Colony was getting these treatments so their bodies would eventually adjust to the native chemistry of the planet, so these visits were often ways of meeting up with others just arriving, or just leaving after their own treatments. Processing three hundred people every week took up a lot of Doctor Kelly’s time. He could have passed it on to his staff of course, but for some reason he preferred handling the treatments himself, so Staci got to see him each time she came. She liked the man as he was never crude as many of the men here were slowly becoming. He had a professional attitude that Staci respected, and now that she knew his history, she could understand his reserve. She wished she could help him in some way, but from what she had heard gossiping with the other women, he was fairly unapproachable socially. Staci hoped that eventually the man would find some peace.
At the moment he was leaning against the fence, watching the two pony girls as they paced back and forth inside their enclosure. As usual, the women wore their helmets and their bonds, totally isolating them from the outside world, with only touch as their guide. Staci thought she would go mad being forced to live like that.
The doctor looked pensive as he watched the women, and didn’t even hear Staci approach.
“Hi, Sir,” she said, giving him a smile.
Kelly blinked and looked over at her. He saw that today she was dressed in light summer dress that flowed freely, the outline of her body under the dress slightly visible in the bright sunlight. A leather leash hung from the front of her collar and her feet were of course bare, her ankle cuffs plainly visible because the hem of her dress stopped just above her knees. Her arms, he assumed, were locked behind her for they were held unnaturally behind her back. Kelly also knew about Bob’s insistence that Staci not go anywhere without being bound in some way, so the suspicion about her being cuffed wasn’t a stretch.
“Hello, Staci. How are you feeling today?” he said, moving away from the corral.
“Not bad…physically, but I…well…it’s still an adjustment about Priss. You know?”
Kelly nodded. “Grief takes many forms and affects everyone differently,” he said.
“Yes,” agreed Staci. “I’m sure that you…oh. I’m sorry. I heard about your family. I can’t imagine losing someone that close to me.”
Kelly just stared at her for a moment, before slowly nodding again. “If you feel you need some help, go see Anna. She has had training in counseling. I need to go.”
Staci watched him leave, afraid that she had offended him somehow. She knew that some people just didn’t like to talk about their grief. He obviously was one of them.
Thinking about him she returned to Bob who looked angry while Janis simply smiled. Janis saw her coming and his smile got bigger, but not in a friendly way.
“I have to hand it to you, Bob,” he said, obviously changing the subject of their conversation, “you’ve certainly done a great job of training that woman of yours! She isn’t near the bitch she was when we first met her!”
Bob blinked, a little thrown by the sudden shift. “What are you talking about?” he asked.
“Staci! Or do you have more than one bitch on your leash?” Janis chuckled. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you did, from what I hear about you it isn’t like you to stick with just one woman! You like to train them and then ship them out, right? Do you have someone in mind to take the cunt off your hands when you’re done with her, because I could use a new bedmate!”
“She’s not going anywhere, especially with you,” Bob answered with clenched teeth.
“You sure? I’ve seen that Indian fella looking at her and man, if looks could fuck! But then you probably know all about that since the guy is living with you now. He’s probably helping you with her extra training, fucking her when you’re not fucking her, teaching her to train, to gang bang, to take it in both ends at once! I bet the two of you have fucked her front and rear at the same time, banging dicks inside her cunt and ass, with her screaming in lust while you do it! Is she still a screamer? I sure got her screaming aboard the ship didn’t I? Don’t forget, I got that cunt before you did!”
Bob couldn’t hold it back anymore, he let loose with a punch that knocked Janis backward and followed it up with another one that laid the man out. Bob then dragged the man to his feet and let him have it a few more times, only stopping when Lynn’s guard ran over and yelled at them to quit.
Bob looked at the guard, who held his gauss rifle almost pointed at him, and let go of Janis who fell to the ground.
Everyone around was stunned, and there was silence while they watched Janis slowly get to his feet, blood streaming from his now-broken nose. He was huffing and puffing, and he looked like he was about to attack Bob himself, but he pulled himself together and smiled.
“You just made one fucking big mistake, Pal,” he said roughly, touching his now tender nose. “You don’t fuck with me like this and you certainly don’t pick fights with a man in my position.”
“What position is that?” Bob asked, his voice hard and still angry.
“Colony Sheriff. You’re messing with the Law now.”
“In your dreams, asshole,” Bob said in disgust.
Janis laughed. “Kent made it official this morning. When it comes to keeping the peace here, keeping things in order and running smoothly, then I’m the one in charge, and you just fucked up by attacking an officer of the Law!”
There was a murmur from all those present as this news was digested, and Bob stood still for a moment. Then he turned and looked at Staci before taking her leash. “Dick,” he said to the bleeding man, “I really don’t care anymore. If you want to make trouble over this, call my fucking lawyer. Come on, Staci, let’s go.”
As Bob began to walk away, taking Staci with him, Dick Janis yelled after him, “We’re not done yet, McKinly!”
Bob just ignored him and walked away.
Staci waited until they were alone before speaking. She’d watched the whole thing and while she was pleased that Bob had been able to lay out Janis so easily, she was still worried. What Janis had said about being given official status had disturbed her.
“Sir, should you have done that?” she asked.
Bob glanced at her. “What? Don’t you want me to defend your honor?”
“Oh, I appreciate that, no question. In fact, I wasn’t expecting it. I thought that…well…that it wouldn’t matter what was said about me.”
“You’re wrong, it always matters.” He stopped walking and pulled Staci to him. “Don’t you ever let anyone treat you as if you’re just an animal…unless of course that’s your kink,” he added with a slight chuckle. “Just because women here are submissive to men, doesn’t mean that they aren’t human anymore. I won’t stand for anyone insulting you, not even that asshole.”
“Good,” she said, wanting to hold him and frustrated about her bound arms. “That means a lot, really. But you heard what he said about being our new Sheriff. Won’t that mean trouble for you?”
Bob snorted, “He hasn’t got the guts. Come on let’s get back to the bar.”
Later that day of course was the meeting where Greg Sharp announced the group’s findings, and Kent gave the order to have Lynn released. As Greg and the other Council members left, Kent stopped Janis and gestured at his face. “What happened?” he asked. Kent already knew what had happened; hardly a person in the entire Colony had missed hearing the story. But he wanted to hear what Dick Janis had to say about it.
Janis turned red, and it was easy to see that he was holding back his temper. He glanced at Bob who was taking his time leaving, eager to hear what the man said himself.
“I’m sure you know all about it,” Janis said with a growl. “It’s hardly a secret.”
Kent looked from Janis to Bob and back again. “I don’t like the way you guys have been acting. This…animosity between the two of you has to stop. For God’s sake, you’re both influential members of the community and you’re acting like children. You both have an example to set, especially you Dick. If you expect to enforce the Law, you need to stay within it.”
“Oh,” jumped in Bob with an innocent look on his face, “Dick was a paragon of restraint. He didn’t lay a hand on me!” He smiled at Janis who gave him a look that spoke volumes about how he would love to lay a hand on Bob that very moment.
Kent caught Bob’s meaning and suppressed a grin. His job was supposed to be mediator, not fuel for the flames. “Just so long as you are both clear on this: no more fighting, or I’ll have you both testing out the new jail when it gets built. Understood?”
Both men nodded and Kent sent them away. He wondered when things were going to come to a head between those two and what was going to happen when it did.
The funerals for Priss and Jill were a joint affair, occurring the very next day. Space had been set aside on the shoreward side of the town for a cemetery, but it had been hoped that it would be a long time before it would ever have to be used. The entire Colony showed up, most still surprised that women would be the first people buried there. Somehow, the collective mindset of the people had expected that a man would go first, taken in some sort of accident.
As the people gathered, many different emotions passed through them. There was disbelief as they wondered how such things could happen to them. Anger was directed at Kent and the Council for saying it was safe when it obviously wasn’t. Sympathy was expressed to Carson and Tommy, the two men standing alone near the empty graves. And, much to Bob’s disgust, there were expressions of relief.
He was disgusted because that relief was directed at Dick Janis because of his assurances that the peninsula they lived on was truly clear of dangerous animals. Unlike the assurances by the Council that had been based on what the scientists had told them, Janis’ assurances were backed up by the armed men who swept through the forest, driving anything that shouldn’t have been there out. There was faith in the men with the guns, and that faith translated to the man controlling the men, Dick Janis.
After the funeral, which had been officiated by Alan Kent because the Colony had no official spiritual leader, it was to Janis that most of the men went to ask what next, what they could do to help safeguard themselves and more importantly, the women. Bob thought Janis must have loved it, but the man gave no sign of his enjoyment. Instead he looked serious and listened carefully to each man who approached him, working them like a professional politician. Bob was of the opinion that Janis managed to recruit many more men that day, and he wondered about the future of the Colony.
As the days and weeks went by, he voiced these concerns often to Staci and a few other trusted individuals, but apart from Staci, Bob found no sympathetic ears. Even Tommy Windwalker wouldn’t hear a thing against Dick Janis, and in fact had become a valuable member of Janis’ armed deputy force. Janis was glad to have him, for Tommy was the only real military person among them. That history, and his construction knowledge had made him invaluable in setting up a security screen for the Colony. There had been talk about building a wall around the town so that nothing could get in and attack them, but saner heads had prevailed saying that they could do a better job with sensors out in the forest that would alert the town if anything big came onto the peninsula. Tommy designed and set up the sensor grids which freed Janis’ men from always having to keep watch. It worked well, and was tested frequently by Janis who picked a woman go into the forest and attempt to evade the men. They would track her, using the sensors instead of the tracker in her collar, and then surround and capture her. Such captures usually led to a ‘reward’ for the men involved, usually involving the woman as well. Few men protested this use of their women, and if they did so once they didn’t do so again.
When Staci heard about this, all she could think of was that now another wall had been put up between freedom and the women of the community. More and more, as the weeks went by, it was beginning to feel like a prison here, with restrictions mounting up.
The sensor grid was just one side of things, as far as Staci could figure out. Even though she was still new to the lifestyle she could tell that things were changing. Bob had ordered Staci to take over Priss’ aerobics class and during the times they weren’t exercising she got to spend time talking with the other women. At first their conversation centered on safety and the planet in general, then for a while it drifted back to the same domestic issues they had talked about before the accidents. But as time went on Staci detected a change as more and more the stories turned to how they were punished for this, or punished for that, or how they spent more time in bondage than they used to and that wasn’t just for sex. There were complaints, albeit subtle ones for no one seemed to want to complain too openly these days, of how the men seemed harder, easier to anger. Things that the women used to get away with in play now seemed to annoy rather than entice. Many women found that they didn’t have as much free time or freedom at all to pursue their own interests. Sure, they were submissives, as was frequently pointed out at these talks, but the partnerships between them and their Masters was slowly becoming more and more one-sided. Some women, Staci noticed, welcomed a stronger Master, but a lot of them were uneasy about the changes that were going on.
Staci would have talked about this with Bob, but even he didn’t seem immune to the changes coming over the men of the Colony. Even though they had become lovers and Staci had by now verbally pledged herself to him, he still locked her up for any trip out of the building, usually collar-gagging her as well.
Staci had asked him about this lack of trust on his part, and had been strongly rebuked. He told her that he was the Master, and if he wanted her chained up all the time then that was the way it was to be.
While this didn’t frighten Staci, she was concerned. She knew it couldn’t just be the influence of Dick Janis, although with every other breath it seemed the man campaigned the stricter treatment of women to anyone who would listen. Bob didn’t listen to him, so influence didn’t come that way. For a time Stacy wondered if there was something in the air of the planet that was affecting the men, bringing out their aggressiveness. She’d actually talked about this with Lynn Laslo one afternoon at the bar, and together with Anna the three women found some time to check air samples and the Colony medical records, but they found nothing. Eventually Staci developed a theory about what was happening that she thought was a lot more likely to be true. She figured that all the time on Earth, even though these lifestyles had been taken very seriously by everyone concerned, there were always the bigger moral issues to worry about. Society’s constraints put a brake on the men going too far. But here, there were no moral constraints, no outside influence to provide a check against the desires of those involved. So the men grew more confident in their roles as Dominants, playing those roles to the hilt without fear of anyone saying they couldn’t. And even the women allowed themselves to sink into their roles more as they felt the freedom of never being judged for who they were or at least who they thought they were, for when it came down to it not all the women felt they were the submissives they thought they were when they signed up for the trip. So both sides fed on the other, and the Dom/sub roles deepened and expanded until everyone truly believed that it was right.
And so, when after a few weeks Janis began making his suggestions to the Council for laws that would make managing the Colony simpler, few saw when the power finally shifted to the man who controlled the men with the guns.
Backed by his new laws, Janis ruled with an iron thumb, the Council merely a rubber stamp for any changes he wanted to make. Alan Kent, strangely enough, backed up Janis on almost everything he wanted as if pushing the emergence of this new leader and the world he wanted to create. Bob McKinly usually found himself the one dissenting vote whenever Janis appeared with a request, and Bob often wondered if he was opposing the man simply because he didn’t like him. Certainly most of Janis’ requests made sense: a curfew for all women unless accompanied by a man; rules on public restraint of the women and when it was appropriate for them to go around without any physical restrictions whatsoever; rules governing what disciplinary measures a Master could administer to his slave, and what violations should be handled privately; common rules of conduct for both men and women, but especially the women who Janis thought needed to know how to properly behave around men. And many others.
These didn’t all come at once, their introduction was well-spaced and mixed in with other less controversial requests, and were backed up with influential arguments.
What really got to Bob was that the man was working toward setting up what many lifelstylers would consider to be the perfect society: a place where men ruled absolutely; the women secondary and only a few steps above being considered animals. To many it would be paradise, which is why Bob wondered why he fought it. So he stopped, and the final stumbling block in Dick Janis’ rise to power was taken away.
Janis wasn’t shy about using his powers either. In his role as Sheriff he often had to deal with situations where one of his new laws was broken. Public punishments of women became more and more frequent, and the new jail saw a lot of use with usually one resident living there at any one time. Public punishments ranged from confinement and hauling rocks, all the way up to severe whippings that stunned the crowds who came to watch. Yet no one protested, even when the punishment seemed far in excess of the crime. Instead most Masters would point at the unfortunate girl attached naked to the whipping post, her back and legs bloody after her whipping, and they would warn their own slaves that they could be up there if they didn’t behave and obey at all times. It was scare tactics taken to an extreme, and after three months there was little complaining going on in Staci’s aerobics class, the women being either too afraid or too conditioned.
Things seemed to be going very well for the absolute subjugation of the female population of Freedom, and even Staci was feeling the pinch as Bob McKinly slowly bought into Janis’ view of the world.
With final approval from the Colony scientists, a group of which Lynn Laslo no longer had a part, the go-ahead was given to remove from the peninsula all the thorny bushes that would otherwise pose a risk to the new human population of the planet.
Approval was given with great reluctance, for the biologists warned that such a drastic upheaval could do unthought-of harm to the local ecology. But at a memorable Council meeting, Janis gave a speech that pretty much spelled out that most everything growing on the peninsula would be removed eventually as the town got bigger, so starting now wouldn’t change things.
And so the big project started and it drew in a sizable portion of the population of the Colony. At the top were men from Tommy Windwalker’s construction company and their machines. They got the job of digging up the bushes themselves and carting them to a dump point where they were burned. The bushes could not be handled by human hands, for even docile their poison still stung enough to hurt, so the construction equipment was much appreciated.
Still, that left the root systems and people were told that if the roots were left in place the bushes would grow back. So while the larger sections could also be cleared by machine, the fiddly work had to be done by hand. People were drafted into the project, mostly by community spirit, and sometimes at the ‘strong’ urging of one of Janis’ men. Those who needed urging were all women, and women made up most of the volunteers because for the most part, the women of the Colony had little else to do. Except for specific cases where their skills were really irreplaceable, such as with Doctor Kelly’s medical staff, women had been pretty much eased out of the Colony workforce into more traditional duties for people of their station. If it was menial, messy, degrading, or just plain boring, then the job was given to a woman.
Even this wasn’t enough for some of the men, and jobs that were hard enough were made even harder with the addition of some bondage and/or sexual aspect to it. For this job in the forest digging up roots, it had been decided that the women all had to be chained in pairs, and only the fact that it was very rough work prevented them from being forced to work naked as well.
Staci, of course, was drafted and for several days she worked alongside many different women, connected collar to collar to them by a six foot chain. She dug in the dirt where directed and pulled up the thin roots the bushes had left behind, all under the watchful eyes of Janis’ guards who by now were half protectors and half jailors. She hated the work, she was an astronaut, a pilot, not a dog, and thoughts of grabbing Bob and leaving the Colony kept running through her head. She had to get him away from this place, it was not what he promised it would be anymore, and even he was changing. Everyone was, or so it seemed.
Feeling eyes on her Staci looked up, expecting to see one of the men leering at her. But no one was there and Staci was glad. Right now she was wearing a regular jumpsuit and had her ankles and wrists connected by foot long chains, but the day before she had made Bob angry somehow and he had sent her to work out here naked as a punishment. She’d gotten a lot of attention from the men that day, not to mention bruises from the awkward work.
Again she thought someone was watching her and she looked up into the trees, but nobody was there. Then she noticed that the rest of the women working this trench were also looking in the same direction, and one by one they glanced at each other nervously.
“Do you think something’s out there?” one of them asked.
“Did you hear anything? See anything?” Staci asked, feeling nervous herself.
They all shook their heads, but no one relaxed.
Stacy took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I doubt anything is there, nothing can get through the sensors without someone knowing about it,” she said.
“What if they fly?” asked one of the women.
“We scan for that too. Tommy told me all about it as they were putting it in.”
This seemed to restore a little confidence to the women who slowly got back to work crawling in the dirt, but for a moment Staci just stood, watching the forest.
“Hey!” said a voice behind her, accompanied by a hard blow to her back.
Staci stumbled but kept her balance, looking behind her to see who’d hit her. It turned out to be one of Janis’ goons, a man named Roy, the butt of his gauss rifle the source of her pain.
“What are you doing? I didn’t call for a break!” he said.
“Sir, I thought there was something in the trees. I was just taking a look,” Staci replied, trying to hold her temper.
“There ain’t nothing there,” said Roy. Then his expression softened a little. “Say, you’re the slut who was out here naked yesterday, right?”
“Yes…Sir,” replied Staci, wishing Bob was around to take care of this animal. Even though her Master was a little more firm than he had been in the past, he still didn’t care for people insulting her. Staci had no doubts about his affection for her, and knew he would defend her. But what Staci really wanted was to be out of her collar for just a few minutes so she could defend herself.
Roy nodded, and then glanced at who Staci was chained to. “Thought so. Come on, I need you to work in another spot. You and your buddy, let’s go!”
Staci, and the woman she was connected to that day, Laura, the youngest woman in the Colony at age 22, both stood up and stepped out of the trench. They glanced at the other women who continued to work, and followed Roy away from the job site. Staci wondered where they were going, but one didn’t ask such questions nowadays.
Roy walked the women up a path and into a section of the forest where they were out of sight of everyone else. It was a small hollow, evidently untouched by anyone because a couple of thorn bushes were nearby. It was a very private spot and both Laura and Staci had a feeling that they weren’t there to work.
“Sir,” Staci said, hoping to head off something unpleasant, “my Master doesn’t allow me to…socialize with anyone else.”
“Shut up,” he answered and he reached for the chain attachment on Laura’s collar. He released the six foot chain and locked the end around a tree, tethering Staci to that spot. “Kneel,” he said to her, and Staci obeyed, dropping to the damp earth.
Laura hadn’t moved, she stood with her head bowed, her arms at her sides. Her only covering was a pair of denim shorts and a tube top, and when Roy ordered her to strip she did so without hesitation.
Laura was the youngest person in the Colony, and also the quietest, although Staci had heard this wasn’t always so. Apparently she and her young husband, Donny, had been great lovers, a wonderful couple that people said would go far. That is until they joined the Colony, sponsored by a rich uncle who wished he could have made the trip himself. Soon after arrival Laura’s Master had taken full advantage of the freedoms given to all men here, and his dominance of Laura became several powers of magnitude harder. He had pretty much revoked her status as a human being and her primary use now was as a sexual aide. That wouldn’t have made her much different from many of the women on the planet, except that Donny didn’t limit her sexual availability to just himself. As far as he was concerned, any man was welcome to use her at any time, and as word spread many men took him up on his kind offer. Now Laura, those few times she was allowed out of the house, couldn’t go anywhere without at least being felt up by someone. She was constantly touched and regularly fucked each and every day, and could do nothing to stop it because of the way Donny had programmed her collar. Fight, and the collar would punish her, so she had to take each coupling passively, complying with any orders given to her.
Many of the other women called her the Colony Slut, and Staci couldn’t figure out if this was based on disgust or jealousy, depending on who was doing the name calling. All Staci knew for sure, was that she was saddened by this quiet young woman, and wished there was some way she could improve the young girl’s life.
There was nothing she could do at this time though, and Staci tried not to watch as Roy dropped his pants and took Laura in the ass. Roy had a big grin on his face and kept his eyes on Staci as he buggered the younger woman, ordering Staci to watch them.
Disgusted, Staci did as she was ordered, wishing that Bob was around.
Finished, Roy pulled out of the girl and dragged her to the tree where Staci was chained. He unlocked the chain from Staci’s collar and connected it to the still naked woman.
“Okay, your turn. Strip!” he said to Staci, standing over her, his pants still off.
“Sir, I told you, I’m not supposed to…”
“I don’t give a fuck what you’re supposed to do! Your Master is a pansy-assed fuck who doesn’t appreciate what Dick Janis is trying to do for all of us!”
“What?” asked Staci, a little shocked.
“You heard me! Bob McKinly wants us to go along as if we were still on Earth, with women’s rights and shit like that! He doesn’t get it, that we’re not on Earth anymore, and that you cunts are finally going to serve us the way you were meant to. Now GET THOSE FUCKING CLOTHES OFF!” Roy said angrily.
“No…Sir!” Staci said, stepping back and wondering if she could run, but doubting it because of the chains she was still wearing.
Roy growled and picked up his rifle, pointing it right at her.
“You wouldn’t dare!” Staci said, horrified. “You wouldn’t get away with it!”
“You tried to attack me, I had to shoot you in self defense,” Roy replied.
“What, you going to shoot us both? Laura’s a witness!”
Roy chuckled, looking at Laura who was still on her hands and knees where Roy had left her. She wasn’t looking at anyone.
“Laura ain’t a problem,” Roy said, “she knows what will happen to her if she talks. Don’t you, Cunt?”
“Yes Master, please fuck me again,” Laura said, speaking the only phrase her collar allowed her to say.
Roy chuckled again. “In a bit, Cunt-face. First I have to have a piece of astronaut ass. Now get those clothes off before I’m forced to ruin a perfectly good jumpsuit, woman!” he said to Staci.
Staci could see he was serious, and she wondered if he was a little mad also. This was rape, and he had to know that she would tell Bob all about it when it was all over. That is, if she survived it. As she began undoing the fasteners of her jumpsuit she could feel her panic beginning to mount. Except for Janis and a few of his men, she had never been taken forcefully and it had been the one thing that had helped her accept this unusual society and learn to live within it. But now that sense of safety was gone and she began to cry. Gone was her courage, gone her anger and her sense of self. Being forced to strip at gun point, knowing what was going to happen next, struck her deep within herself and made her want to die.
Her jumpsuit had been designed with bondage in mind, so of course it had extra fasteners that allowed it to be removed despite her chains. So after several moments she stood naked in the hollow, trying not to scream, looking into the narrow barrel of the weapon pointed at her.
“Very nice,” said Roy, looking her up and down. “Every time I see you naked I think to myself, ‘Now there’s a piece of ass I’d like to take.’ Yet, when you’re serving drinks at the bar, you never talk to me. I don’t like that.”
He gestured for her to move away from Laura and Staci shuffled along over the lichen and damp earth to where just moments before Roy and Laura were at it.
“Hold. Get down on your hands and knees,” ordered Roy.
“Please…don’t do this, Sir” Staci pleaded.
“Don’t fuck with me, woman. Get on your fucking hands and knees!”
Breathing hard, Staci did as she was told, getting down like an animal on all fours. She heard, rather than saw Roy, putting down his weapon and come up behind her. She held her breath in anticipation of his painful entry and in a heartbeat she realized what she had to do. Waiting until just the right moment she suddenly rolled to her left, ending up on her back with Roy on his knees right beside her. Before he could react she kicked out with both legs, catching him right in the groin and pushing him back several feet.
He howled with pain as he fell back, and Staci admitted to feeling a great deal of satisfaction, but the second part of her instant plan wasn’t going to work. She had planned on grabbing the gauss rifle while Roy was grabbing his nuts, but the man was actually lying on the thing which put it out of her reach. Staci knew her only other chance was to make it back to town where someone could protect her. So she started off, shuffling along as best she could with only a foot of chain between her ankles. But it wasn’t enough, not nearly enough.
“FUCK YOU!” Roy was yelling behind her. “GET BACK HERE YOU SLUT! COLLAR, SHOCK!”
The collar did nothing, its punishment functions available to a select few only, of which Roy wasn’t a member. So Staci thought that if she could lose herself in the trees then she would be free to head back to town. But the sudden pain in her thigh told her she was wrong as Roy let off his first shot.
With a scream Staci collapsed, totally shocked at being shot, something she didn’t think he would be able to do. But evidently she hadn’t hurt him enough, and as she tried to get back on her feet she was hit in the head, hard, by the butt of the gauss rifle.
“You BITCH!” he yelled at her, knocking her down again as she tried to get up.
“Fuck…AGH!” Staci screamed, her collar shocking her for use of abusive language.
Roy laughed and kicked her, sending her down a short slope. Unfortunately at the bottom was a thorn bush, and as soon as Staci landed in it she could feel a searing pain throughout her body. She was immediately scared that this may be a lethal one, and she didn’t want to die like Priss. She held an arm out to Roy.
Roy just laughed as he strolled down the short slope, and with the butt of the rifle he shoved her hard, further into the bush. “You bitch, you cunt-faced whore! Why the fuck should I help you, huh? WHY THE…”
He never finished the sentence for a large furry object suddenly hit him, bowling him over and landing on top of him.
Through her pain, Staci was afraid that it was one of those cat creatures, and truly thought her death was near. But the animal was bigger, and had a different shape, almost like a man although at least a couple of feet taller.
Whatever it was it screamed and took a swipe at Roy, ripping out his throat and sending blood everywhere, then it turned to look at Staci and the last conscious thought she had before the poison took over was of its face, hidden in fur: two eyes, a mouth, but no nose. Then she blacked out, the poison beginning to kill her as the new creature began to advance.
The screams could be heard for miles, and brought men from the surrounding work sites right to the source. What they found was Laura, naked and chained to a tree, in obvious terror. She was staring over toward a grove of trees that concealed a drop in the level of the hollow, and the first man to go look had to turn back in disgust.
The slope of the depression was coated in blood, and it was evident that at least one person had been killed there. That it was a man was evident from the torso and the penis hanging from it. That it was Roy wasn’t discovered until a roll-call was made later.
Other things were found too that prompted a quick roll-call of all the submissives in the Colony. A chain attached to the remains of a pair of wrist cuffs, and the remains of a green collar. Both looked like they had been melted or corroded off, and a small pool of a viscous liquid lay underneath them.
Of the woman there was no sign, unless she had been ripped apart so completely that she was a part of the carnage around them. Few men wanted to check, they couldn’t stomach it.
When it was discovered that Staci was the one missing, Kent himself went to deliver the news to Bob. Staci was gone, and Bob McKinly was devastated. He demanded answers but no one could give him any. Sure she and Roy had been attacked by something, something big enough to literally wipe the floor with Roy. But no one had any idea what it could have been. It had gotten past the sensor net, which was the first mystery about it. It had somehow gotten a jump on an armed man, although when Laura was allowed to finally tell her tale that mystery was easily solved. But what mystified the engineers and scientists most though was that it had somehow caused to melt the tough materials of the collar and cuffs, something that any lab in the Colony would be hard pressed to do.
Whatever it was, it was large and dangerous, and a very angry Bob McKinly vowed to find it and kill it.
End of Section