The Desert Nexus
by Morlock
Book 2

The Sheik's Compound

I was sitting in the lounge waiting for my host to hand me a drink. The mood was grim, to say the least. Well, mine wasn't. I was still just pissed. I accepted the glass, and waited for him to sit down in his favorite lounger. "From the top, Roger." he said. "What went wrong?"

"In a nutshell, Marko is an idiot!" I shook my head. My Arabic by now was pretty good, but I had to stop translating American idioms into another language. They usually came out as nonsense. "To put it a better way, he isn't a professional. At least his methods aren't." In my mood, I didn't think of the possibility that Marco might have been hand picked by the Sheik.

"Give me a timeline of what happened."

I recounted the action from the start, though the capture, and then to the time that the balloon went up. Balloon, shit. It was like a fire in an ammo dump. I concluded with, "Marko is like an alcoholic trying to run a liquor store, or a little kid in charge of a candy stand. He won't take his mind off the merchandise." I looked my boss - he was waiting for amplification. "At least twice he interrupted a critical planning meeting because a girl caught his eye and he wanted to screw her. And on the day of the operation, he had two of his cunts in the control car with him!" I gulped some good sipping liquor in disgust.

Hassan sat back in thought. Musing, he said, "That situation will have to be mended." More thought. Then, "And the Princess Lenova? She will be guarded beyond any hope of repeating the operation from now on."

I realized that, in my fury in reporting the actions of the klutz in command, my report had left out some critical need-to-know info. "No. When the Polietzi blocked the bridge, I had the driver run through a courtyard and into a garage. I had along a little gadget I was working on, just in case - I set it on top of the car and turned it on and we ran out the other side. There was a driver just getting in his car, we pulled him out and put the Princess in the back seat. By now she was pretty well out of it with the drug, so she was no problem."

"Gadget?" he queried.

I nodded and asked, "With your permission?" He nodded also. To the waiting flunky at the door, I said, "Bring the blue box from my room. It's on the window shelf." He disappeared.

The Sheik's eyes were wide as he leaned forward waiting for the rest of the tale. "How did you drive a car out of the city with the authorities checking everything?"

I shook my head. "We didn't. We went back downtown and parked the car in an underground lot, swiped some registration plates and switched them. We put the Princess in the trunk and my man went to find a safe house. That night we moved her to a fleabag apartment across from the main police station. I figured that nobody would do a search around there. At least not right away. My man dumped the car that night."

Son of a bitch! The man was actually impressed. I continued. "As an American I stood out like a sore thumb..." Dammit, knock of the slang! " I left him with her with orders to keep her sedated continually. In a few days we should be able to move her out." He nodded. "Oh, and by the way, I promised the man a good bonus if he saw us through."

The Sheik smiled and nodded. "Yes. He will be a rich man if he continues to the end." He stood up. "You have done well. Very well."

The flunky reappeared with my box. I opened it and took out a smaller black plastic box - not much to it but a single switch sticking out on the end. The Sheik looked at it with intense interest, then at me. I walked to a desk along one wall, set the box down with the long end pointing at us, and flipped the switch. In about two seconds, the Sheik jumped out of his chair as a loud rifle shot went off, accompanied by a yellow flash from the end of the box. Then a whole fusillade of shots and flashes as the "shooter" got down to business. I hastily reached down and flipped it off.

"My apologies. I had forgotten how loud it was inside a room." He was looking at the box, wide eyed, then back at me. "Hopefully, it can make a pursuer pause and take cover long enough for a person to disappear. It apparently worked for us. Something did, anyway."

He made some exclamation in Arabic that I didn't understand, then waved at the door. "Go down and sleep - rest and we will talk tomorrow."

That is what I wanted - sleep that is. In fact, I popped the girl who was waiting on my bed on the butt and told her to beat it. I had no energy to spare, tonight.

The next day

"I want you to go back, keep your distance of course, and clean up things as much as you can. And arrange for the Princess to be moved if possible. Oh, and tell Marko to come to a meeting at our usual place in Prague - on the seventeenth." From the Sheik's expression I had a feeling that Marko might shortly be unemployed - and probably feeding the buzzards to boot.

I spent two more weeks back in the operation city. While I was there, a major fire broke out in a warehouse in the rundown part of the city, and across town a gas leak blew an office building apart, and burned what was left to ashes. Fortunately, it was on a weekend, so there were no casualties. Eventually, a small plane departed a deserted runway some where in the country with a pilot and a passenger. There wasn't much room for anybody else since the passenger was prone and unconscious.

Weeks later

Back at the Sheik's compound, I was told to take a month's rest. I spent part of it learning more about the business, and the rest laying between sets of legs.

The first night, I had just relaxed in my gigantic hot tub with two bath girls ready to bathe me. God, it was nice, laying back in hot soapy water, looking at and playing with four bobbing tits moving around...

The curtain opened and yet another bath girl entered - naked as Eve, but much deadlier. Katja! She stepped into the water, pointed at the two girls and jerked her thumb toward the curtain door. Fear in their faces, they jumped out of the tub and flew out of the room. The assassin's reputation even extended to the lower staff.

Smiling, Katja picked up a sponge and began to take the place of my missing servants. Shortly, I was sponging her, and then not long after that the water was splashing out left and right as we thrashed together in the soap suds. Whatever her training, she was all woman at the appropriate times and her body could hold its own against any on the Parisian runways.

Later, as we relaxed in the bed, munching on fruit, and each other, she said, "You really have made an impression on the Sheik." I just kept my expression noncommittal. She continued, "Yes. Less than a year with him, your first operation a total success, and now you rescue a blown engagement from the jaws of failure." She smiled and nodded. "You will go far." I just smiled, lifted a bobbling tittie, and began to rise to begin another engagement. She put a hand on my chest and pushed me back down. "Go to sleep. You need it."

Time passes

The Princess was strung up with her arms together over her head and her legs widely separated and held by hooks from rings in the floor to her ankle bracelets - a standard whipping position that didn't allow the girl to turn her body away from the side getting striped. Her back was smooth and clear so it hadn't started yet. I walked around to the front to get my first real look at the young woman. Beautiful of course, but that was a given in this place - the only plain looking females did cleaning or cooking in their specific work areas.

She just looked at me - coldly - without speaking. Interesting. No cursing, begging, threats or offers of bribes. Balkan women had a different personality than western females. More fatalistic, I guess. I walked up to her and felt her body - tits first, of course. The typical American in me - boobs above all else. Unlike most girls today, this one still had her pubic hair - a bikini trim, and temporary of course - but the rest of her body was western style hairless. She had long black hair, all tussled now of course and in need of a shampoo. And a bath, I could tell. Apparently she hadn't had one since that wild day of her capture. I just contented myself with moving my hands up and down, squeezing her here and there, and once, spreading her rear cheeks to look at the little ass star. Her cold stare never changed. I wondered if it would once the leather started its work.

Topo came in the room - a tall lean and brown Arab, wearing only his usual loin cloth. He was the head of discipline for all women here, and usually handled the training chastisement - or the real punishment, if needed. He was unimpressed with her previous status - to him, it was just another female to break to the realization of her new position. He felt her back, and legs - totally ignoring her tits - pushing, and poking, getting a feeling for the underlying muscle and fat. Finally, he picked up a strange looking - to me - lash. It had a three foot stiff handle and a five foot round, tapering, soft leather braided thong. Handing it to me, he said, "You may begin, Mister Sergeant." My usual moniker among the staff here.

I took the whip by the handle, hesitantly, then firmly. Appearing squeamish in this place would get me assigned to being beneath contempt by the staff. He pointed to where I should stand, then backed up against the wall. I held the whip up, just to get a measure of distance, brought it back over my shoulder, then swung it at the woman. Not my full strength by far, but a good stroke nonetheless.

It caught her by surprise as it hit. She jumped and let out a little squeal. It also surprised me. It made a loud crack as it hit her skin. I looked and saw a thin red welt appearing on her back, but no blood or blood blisters. I looked over at Topo, who just nodded at her again. Crack! This time she didn't yelp, but still jumped. Again and again I swung, for about a dozen strokes, none of which got a verbal response out of her. She didn't have as good a control over her muscles - at each contact, they contracted and she jumped. It was finally getting to her. The last two strokes made her lift a leg off the floor involuntarily. Finally, Topo held his hand up. I stopped as he walked over to her and examined the damage - a dozen bright red stripes across her back and butt. He walked in front, put his hand under her chin and pushed it up and looked into her face. Trying to gage her current mental state, I assumed. They stared at each other for a few seconds, then he let her chin drop. He looked at me and said, "More. Harder."

Now I was raising red welts across her back and butt. About five strokes later, her iron discipline broke and she began to cry at each stroke. Finally, she was begging for it to stop - I guess. I didn't speak her language, but I assumed that she wasn't commenting on the weather. After another dozen, it ended. We left her hanging by her wrists and sobbing quietly.

Time passes

During my stay at Hassan's compound, I spent an hour or so a day in training with Katja. This had nothing to do with the Sheik, just something I wanted to do. Of course, I had some hand to hand combat training in the Army, but that was strictly kindergarten compared to the Czech woman's knowledge of personal combat. I was considerably larger and stronger than her, and in a contest of mere strength, I would win hands down, but she had an intimate knowledge of killing and disabling with a single blow - even with just a single finger. But mainly, it was her reactions that made her deadly - she was faster than the cobra that Jean had described. I would aim a killing punch at her - pulled, of course, and before it hit, she would have returned two or three on me, any one of which would have felled a trained boxer. Because I was heavier, I would never have her speed and balance, but my strokes hit with twice or more than the force of hers. As time went on, I learned a thing or two about unarmed combat.

Hassan's operation only handled high class women - quality instead of quantity. He arranged for me to tour a very large operation in Turkey - one that handled the lower end of females. Most of them, he informed me, would go to petty chiefs, tribal leaders, and businessmen around Asia. They would be bedwarmers for a while then gradually become just bound female workers as they were replaced in turn by younger females.

Turkey, some moderately sized city

From the street, this Tarkan's place looked like some low-rent business on the wrong side of town back in the states. Inside, it was considerably different, and vastly larger than it looked from outside. It must have taken up the entire block, assuming that this city had blocks. Anyway, it was probably the size of a superstore back home.

Since I was sent there by the Sheik, the proprietor couldn't do enough for me. He was a fat Turk, over dressed, and must have been in his forties. We settled in his office and out came the obligatory drinks. Well, actually, I use the term office loosely. It was indeed the place where he did his paperwork, but it wouldn't have be recognized as an office by any businessman I ever met. It was sort of a hodgepodge of part furniture store, cheap bar, pornographic painting gallery, and particularly untidy bachelors pad. Well, there was a desk with paperwork in one corner.

Over drinks - it had alcohol in it, but what I was drinking was beyond me - he told me the story of his nephew in Chicago, and a friend in Detroit and so forth. I had long since learned that everybody in Europe and Asia had some relative somewhere in the US. He assured me that a friend of the Sheik's was a friend of his, and all I had to do was ask for anything I needed. First was a tour.

The front of the establishment was fairly plush, with several apartments - for guests like me, I presumed - and a couple of theaters that were used for auctions. In fact, the smaller one had a sale session going on as we entered. The girls on the stage were nothing spectacular, and in fact, some were just plain homely. The men in the audience were - well, just men in normal garb for this area. Ordinary business men, I assumed.

To my question - I didn't speak Turkish, but he spoke Arabic and by now I did also - he answered, "Ah, this is just a vending to clear out some of the lower quality females." He pointed to the one on the platform - a middle aged woman, thin, dark and from... India, maybe? Pakistan? "She is an illegal, like most of the others. They are boat people who come here in great numbers whenever situations get really bad in their home country."

"Do you give them any training?" I asked.

He shook his head. "No, they are not worth it. They will become female domestics, and in all probability, have a far better life than they left." Another one came to the platform, also skinny. "Most of them come in here half dead, or worse, from starvation. They have little to eat in their country and almost none at all on the boat. The... operators... of the smuggling crews do not waste money on victuals for their passengers. We feed them, slowly at first, then more to get them back to a semblance of health. A starving, skin and bone woman can't be given away. She surely can't be sold."

We watched a few more as they were sold, then moved on down a hall. This area was nowhere near as nice, but was sort of like a budget hotel in the States. Doors on the hallways had grills that looked into various sized rooms. Some rooms were occupied, but unlike in the auction from which we had just come, these women were desirable. None were of the movie starlet caliber that the Sheik collected, but there were very few that I would have kicked out of bed. They all had the single trait of being stark naked. Of course - they were slaves.

Then, through one door, I heard American English being spoken. Looking in, I saw three women sitting on a mat, just talking. Nice looking. Really nice, and a trio of colors. Hair color, that is. Blond, Brunette, and Redhead. I wondered if the selection was deliberate. Tarken saw me looking intently, and asked behind a smile. "Mister Sergeant." My moniker given to me by the Sheik's staff had followed me here, somehow. "May I ask if your personal interests are with girls? Or boys?"

I didn't take my eyes off the Redhead - man, she was a carrot-topped barbie doll! "Girls, definitely," I answered. For a fact. If a guy wanted to be plugged by another man, that was his business, but I was totally convex. Any dude who hit on me and didn't immediately take my no for an answer would get his rod stuffed up his own bunghole.

He beamed a smile. "Excellent! May I take the liberty of sending one to your bed, tonight? Or two?"

"How about that one with the red hair?"

He immediately turned to his hanger-on - office assistant, I assumed - and gave him a set of instructions in Turkish.

"But, it is time for the noon meal. I have reserved a table at Abadan's. His cuisine is beyond heaven. And his liquor is distilled by the sea nymphs."

Later that afternoon.

We were in the training area, looking through a large grill at a... well, it was a class, of sorts. Six girls were practicing moves - kneeling, squatting, bowing and so forth. Tarkan said that it was just a rough set of lessons on how to behave before their betters.

I was looking at the instructor. She wasn't wearing calf length, high heeled boots, leather panties and bra with chains and studs, but nonetheless, I knew I was looking at a dominatrix. She stalked back and forth, swinging a riding crop as she talked in single or double words, at the most. Sometimes the crop swung into an attractive behind, if she needed to emphasize a point. Up and down her students went, at a word from the woman. I turned to Tarkan and asked, "Do they get sexual training, here?"

He shook his head. "No. As women they are expected to lay back or bend over and accept what they receive." He held up a finger. "But, there is an establishment in town that does provide erotic training and - how do you say in American? - In spades?" I just looked at him as he continued. "You will see it tomorrow." I just nodded.

Further on, we came to the low rent district. These were holding cells - no other word for it - for his boat people, as he called them, although the great majority didn't actually come here on a boat. But most were refugees, even so. One major thing that changed was the smell. This back part of the building had an overpowering odor of shit, piss, cunts, armpits and who knows what, despite the desperate work of several fans trying to pull the fetid air out of the area. The women here were in all stages of recovery, some almost normal like the ones I had seen being sold in the morning, and all the way down to unbelievable skeleton figures that looked to be straight out of a Nazi concentration camp.

"God almighty!" I exclaimed, forgetting that I was in a Muslim country. "Where did they come from?"

Tarkan looked at me with a sad smile. "My friend. You are an American. To you, the idea of hungry people is some skinny children in news pictures after an earthquake, or tidal wave, or some war in a faraway land." He waved his arm at the grill separating us from the... unfortunates. "This is what actual poverty and hunger looks like in this part of the world."

I just stood there and looked. His statement that the most of the women that came through his establishment would be better off, I had dismissed as a self-serving verbalization for what is really a despicable business. Yes, I know that I was a part of it, but it was still despicable.

But now I wondered. If you have no choice, is it better to starve as a free person, or live in bondage and be fed? Shit if I knew - the world had been arguing about that for millennia. In fact, my own country had killed about six hundred thousand men while discussing a similar situation.

As we walked, I asked about something I had noticed. "What determines if a woman is..." I didn't know the word for depilated. "...made bare on her privates."

He stopped and answered. "Most women coming from the west are already shorn. It is just a feature of women from your world. When we get one from the west that has her hair, we have it permanently removed. That is considered exotic by men over here, and apparently necessary by men in your country. The eastern women are left natural." He spread his hands. "For myself, I don't understand the reason for it - the removal, I mean. To me, a woman's slit is meant to be penetrated and it feels the same no matter how it is decorated."


What a day! I was getting an ear and eyeful of the world slave business, in spades. How many people back home would believe a tenth of what I had learned over the last few months? I had finished a bath - by myself, interestingly enough - and was relaxing on the bed. The room was nothing like the guest area of the Sheik's house - it was more like a normal bedroom in an American motel. Not that I cared, but I was wondering if... A light knock on the door. Ah...

"Enter," I said in Arabic. The door opened and revealed one of Tarkan's flunkies.

"Mister Sergeant," he started, in halting Arabic. "Tarkan Bey gives his greeting, and hopes this miserable slave will be good to your desire." He turned around and pulled, then pushed a woman into the room. I thanked him and he immediately left, closing the door and leaving the girl standing, buck naked, hands at her sides and looking at the floor.

The redhead looked even more beautiful than when I saw her that morning. As I walked around her in a close inspection, I could tell that she was as clean as a sterilized scalpel. She had obviously just been bathed and perfumed. In Arabic, I said, "What is your name?"

Still looking at the floor, she replied in a quiet Yankee accent - Boston area, maybe? - in English, of course, "This worthless slavegirl is sorry, Master. She does not speak your language." Interesting. How was I going to play this? Hmmmmm.

"Parlez-vous francais?" There was a good chance of an educated female from the northeast having learned the language.

"Oui, Monsieur. Un peu." Ok. With my definitely non-native French, she wouldn't be able to tell that I was a compatriot.

"Stand over here by the bed. You can look up." I looked down. And up. And all over. She was probably twenty five, twenty six or so, hourglass figure, large, but not massive tits, bare, of course, from her eyebrows down, and long red hair. Real red - not from a bottle. It was straight, with no trace of that perm stuff that women of my country used. Of course, it had to be quite a while since she had visited a salon. The Sheik hadn't been totally factual in his description of Tarkan's establishment being one that handled inferior products - this was a real baby doll.

I sat on the bed, directly in front of her. "Tell me about yourself. What is your name? Where are you from?"

She was very nervous, almost scared. Of course, being a naked slave in what was probably an unknown country and not knowing just what the dude in front of her was going to do probably had something to do with that condition. "Rita, Master," she replied quietly. "This girl is from America, Master. A little town outside of Springfield, called Marlbury." I guess she assumed that I would know that it was in the state of Massachusetts - unlikely if I had been who I was pretending to be.

I stood up and removed my robe, sat back down on the bed, then swiveled around to lay back. "I assume you know what you are here for?" She nodded. "Please me."

I was apparent very quickly that she had not been trained in any erotic arts - this was just a beautiful girl with an American woman's knowledge of sex. That is to say, almost nil. She assumed, as all her sisters did, that a man would first want his dick sucked, and immediately bent over mine with her long hair hiding her face and began what she assumed to be an erotic act. Of course, in my state, it did feel good, but only because of the situation - not from any expertise on her part. While she worked, I kept my hands busy on her dangling tits, then made her move around so I could also finger around on her slit.

Finally, I needed some relief, and pulled her away from my rod and on her back. In a few seconds, I was buried in her and pumping away. Again, her knowledge of sex was limited to bending her knees and spreading her legs to let the man do the work. Finally, once relieved of my gonadal pressures, I lay back down beside her. She was just waiting, hoping that she had been satisfactory. And she was, in the manner of water to a man in the desert, but as Champaign to a man celebrating, she wasn't.

"How did you get here?" I asked. Then added, "The whole story."

Somewhere USA, sometime ago.

Margarita Langston was no different than any other of the wives in her circle. Born to an upscale family, never in need of money - except for an economics class or two, she had no idea what a recession was - it was just assumed that she would go to a first class college and marry a future leader of the community. And so it happened. And also, like most of her friends, the marriage was great until the point where the husband was really moving up the ladder. And it happened quickly - only a couple of years out of college.

In defense of the men of this class of wedded families, it wasn't entirely their fault. To climb that corporate ladder, a total commitment to the company was required. Anyone who gave less fell off the rungs before they got very high. Suddenly, there was no time for trips to Europe, or the Caribbean, or to a mountain retreat. And not a whole lot of time at home, not in this day of Internet connections and smart phones - he never really left work. And even less energy at the end of the day to spend in erotic activities with the wife. Sex became a necessary duty that was only performed when the pressures of these still young men got too high to be ignored.

Some wives reacted by finding their sexual release elsewhere, but most just settled into a life of sameness, or actual boredom. A few rebelled and sought divorces while they were young enough to make a new and better match. Not many - divorce would definitely put you out of the pale in the exclusive circles of these families.

Rita fell into the first category. Bored, drinking too much and going out during the day to meaningless meetings with the other girls at the local coffee klatch or discrete bar. Until, that is, one day while switching out clothes for the new season, she found an overlooked hotel receipt for a Mr. and Mrs. Langston in an exclusive hotel in Manhattan. In disbelief, she checked back over the calendar to match the date on the receipt with their schedules, and found that the dates were during the week that he had gone to a legal symposium in that city - by himself.

Rita was no wallflower. She had a temper to match her red hair, but fortunately, by the time that evening rolled around and her husband had come home she had calmed down, and had the beginnings of a plan.

A month or so later.

Rita was sitting in the lobby of the hotel - in an alcove off the bar, but with the front desk in full view. She had left home yesterday "to attend a baby shower of a girl friend upstate" - a nonexistent girl friend expecting an equally fictional baby - and instead, checked in to the hotel that her husband had reservations to for his 'conference'. Given the drive time from home, he should show up anytime.

Sure enough, about six PM, he walked in the door and up to the desk. And not alone. Beside him was obviously the current "Mrs. Langston." Shit, Rita swore. He was cradle robbing. The girl was without doubt attractive, but Rita would have given good odds that she wasn't older than eighteen or nineteen. She held up her phone, and snapped several pictures.


"How was the conference, dear?" Rita walked up to her husband as he was getting changed from his traveling clothes. She handed him a cold glass - bourbon on the rocks, his favorite unwinding drink.

He smiled and replied. "Busy, too much to see and not enough time to see it all." I'll bet there was a lot to see, she thought, but kept quiet.

That evening, after dinner and after the cook had cleaned up and left, she walked into his study. "I saw quite a bit this week also, Honey. Let me show you." Like most men who didn't know what their wives did all day and who cared less, he knew that he had to at least look interested for five minutes or so.

"I took some pictures on my trip. What do you think?" She laid the sheaf of processed phone photos in front of him.

She watched the blood drain out of his face, then it go blank as he furiously tried to figure out a response. That was the beginning of a very loud weekend. The fight went on and on until she finally realized in a flash of insight that the marriage, for all intents and purposes, was over. He might promise not to stray again, and probably wouldn't in the near future, but eventually, some young thing in a tight sweater would catch his eye and his cojones would take control. At that point she brought up the D-word.

He instantly reacted. "We can't divorce - that's out. Do you hear?" She was surprised by the intensity that suddenly showed its head. "I will be an associate Vice President in eight months or so, and then a full partner in less than five years. If I get a divorce, that blows it. If old man Withers even finds out that we separated, I'll be stuck as a junior VP in charge of paperwork from now on - or in charge of the mailroom." He pointed his finger at her. "Don't even mention divorce to anyone, period."

Her fiery temper got loose again. She jumped up and said, "I'll publish our divorce on a billboard if I have a mind to, and neither you or that fat son of a bitch you work for will stop me."

That was a mistake.

A week later

They had calmed down, but were sleeping in different beds. She mentioned a possible divorce a couple of times, but he didn't seem to react. She wondered if he was feeling remorse at his betrayal. Or, resignation. Or...

She woke up choking. She frantically tried to reach over and turn on the lamp, but thrashed around and knocked the phone to the floor with a clatter, then her glass of water with a smash. Finally, she managed to get it flipped on and tried to figure out what was happening. Breathing was hard, and she was soaking wet and laying in wet sheets. Her voice wouldn't seem to work, so she managed to get out of the bed and stagger to the door, then around the corner to his current bedroom. She shoved the door open, and leaning against the frame, tried to shout at him...

A white room

She woke in confusion - nothing was familiar and that didn't help. She tried to touch her throbbing head with her hand but it didn't seem to work. Finally, she managed to move her head enough to look around. A hospital room! And hoses entering her arm and... she suddenly realized that something was stuck down her throat. She tried to yell, but all that came out was a low "uuuuuh." Then she realized that her arms were fastened to the sides of the bed. Apparently, all the activity caused something to appear on a monitor because a nurse suddenly appeared within her vision. She had a hypodermic that disappeared out of her vision, and then she became very sleepy...

An unknown time passes

She came awake again, quietly this time. She had discovered that thrashing around just got her put to sleep again, so after opening her eyes just long enough to see that there were several people in the room, she closed them and just listened. As she became more aware, she looked over with lidded eyes at the group standing a few feet away. A white coated doctor, of course, and her husband, and... who was that? Ah, it was three of his college friends and members of the men's club that he belonged to. And, apparently a couple of wives. One of them was speaking...

"But what is it that she actually has, Doctor?" She turned around and looked at Rita laying there. She closed her eyes again but not before recognizing her - her sister in law. So, this had to be her clinic - she had a practice catering to wealthy clients - none of this medicare or insurance bullshit for her. She didn't know her very well, but had always assumed her to be an ordinary doctor. Whenever she came by the house to visit, she seemed, well, another woman on the way to riches and possessions.

"It has all the symptoms of a rare nervous system disorder. It doesn't really have a name, but it can be thought of as like a severe Parkinson's disease."

The other woman spoke up. "Can't you do anything for her, Doctor?"

She shook his head. "As I was explaining as you came in, there is a clinic in Switzerland that has made remarkable progress in this type of affliction. We can't do much for it here because the experimental drugs are proscribed in the US."

Her husband spoke up this time. "What did they say?"

"I've made arrangements to transfer her to them as soon as transportation is available."

"Transportation, hell. I'll have the company jet ready as soon as you want." She suddenly realized that this was the boss, Mr. Withers speaking.

A nurse came in and said, "Doctor, her signs are showing that she is regaining consciousness. Shall I sedate her?"

She must have nodded, and then said to the audience, "The pain is terrible and we have to keep her under for now."

She opened her eyes and tried to shout "Noooooo" but again, all that came out was a low moan. "Don't worry, honey" the nurse smiled. "I have your fix here." Slowly the room went black again.

Time passes

Christ, what a headache! She rubbed her forehead, and decided to get a pair of ibuprofen as soon... Suddenly, she came to full consciousness and looked around. She was laying on a mat in a... a... cellar, maybe? She struggled to a sitting position, then just sat there for a moment hoping her head would clear. The sudden realization that she was totally nude didn't help her state of shock at all.

Something was dragging on her throat. She reached up to feel... something hard... a ring of metal, then realized that a chain was leading from her neck across the floor to the wall. In growing disbelief, she pulled on it, but in her weakened state, she could barely even straighten it out, besides, it was obvious even in her confused state that no human being was ever going break it. She started to get to her feet, but her dizziness took over and she plopped back down on her butt.

She held her head in her hands and thought back as best she could. She had been in that hospital bed for an unknown time, until they sent her... somewhere - she couldn't remember - for a cure, or a...

She just lay back for a while, letting her swimming head slow down a bit. She could see a plastic jug beside her, apparently holding water - which would be wonderful since she suddenly realized that she had an overpowering thirst. Sure enough, it was water. She gulped down about a quart before her thirst was quenched. Much better. Looking around, she could see nothing but an overhead bare light bulb, the door to the little room and a big plastic bucket - empty. There was nothing besides the water in the room of any use and certainly nothing to tell her what the hell was going on.

The water helped. She began to remember, then tried to put a timeline together. She could remember the hospital bed, but had no idea how long she was in it. She had unpleasant memories of being in hospital cuffs and not being able to use her hands. And the fact that every time she woke up, she was immediately sedated again. The last thing she could remember was a discussion of sending her somewhere for a cure. A cure... For what?

Then the memories came flooding back. The infidelity, the divorce discussions, waking up sick that night with something... Suddenly, she was horror stricken as the pieces fell into place. She hadn't gotten sick - he must have put a drug in her drink that night. Almost certainly supplied by his sister, a doctor. That goddammed female would have known exactly what to give and how much. She had to have been in on it.

An emergency ambulance ride to her personal clinic. Lots of sedation to keep the patient quiet. A phony diagnosis by her, and a recommendation, also by her, to send her out of the country for some phony treatment. All with innocent bedside witnesses to testify as to how horribly sick the poor woman was. God, she had been stupid for threatening a divorce without getting her ducks in a row first. If she had given the matter any decent thought, she would have known that her husband wasn't going to stand by as she trashed his career. She should have taken the photos to a divorce attorney and had him do the talking. She was married to an attorney and was highly educated herself, and she well knew the old adage that, "The person who acts as her own lawyer, has a fool for a client." She dropped her head and said to herself, "Rita, you are one stupid bitch."

After a decent period of self-loathing, she got back to the present. Carefully, she stood up. It didn't help - nothing else was apparent that hadn't been sitting down. With no windows, a door with no apparent doorknob, and the obvious problem of the chain, there wasn't much she was going to do but sit and wait.

Wait for whom?

Time passes

Rita was about in the last stages of dying from boredom. She had been chained in the little stone room for weeks, or months, maybe, with nothing to see and nothing to do. Once a day a voice would tell her to put her bucket, jug of water and empty food bowl by the door, then lay face down on the mat away from the door. The light would go out, leaving her in pitch darkness, the door would open and in seconds all three items would be removed and replaced, and the light would come back on. That was the only event in her daily routine.

She had learned what the bucket was for on the first day, when her bladder suddenly signaled fullness, and she suddenly realized that the room didn't come with a commode. She hadn't squatted to pee, or anything else, since she was a little girl, but she had no choice here. Then came the realization that the bucket didn't come equipped with toilet paper - an absolute and vital necessity for any western woman. By now she was a disgusting and filthy mess, top to bottom, despite her using the residue of her water bottle everyday to try to bath somewhat.

The only consolation was that apparently she wasn't going to be killed and disposed of. That would have happened long ago. Instead, someone - her husband? - was going to a lot of trouble to keep her alive, but isolated. Rita couldn't figure out the scheme of things. They couldn't keep her in this little room for the rest of her life. They - whoever they were - could just dispose of her and save themselves the effort. But the instant they let her out, the whistle would be blown on the whole scheme. They wouldn't allow that, either. So just what was going to happen? Thoughts like these were her only entertainment. Over and over.

Time passes

"Stand up, facing away from the door! Do not turn around!" The new orders, after all this time, stunned her for a moment. Then, she jumped to her feet, chain rattling and waited. The door opened and a... bag... something was pulled over her head. She could feel her hair being pulled through a hole in the back, and her tongue could feel an opening at her mouth, but other than that, it covered her whole head. Then her hands were pulled behind her and fastened together, the she felt the collar being removed and heard it clank as it was dropped on the floor. Finally, a hand grabbed her upper arm and roughly pulled her along in a walk.

She felt grass beneath her feet, but no warmth on her bare skin, so it was apparently night. Shortly, she was pushed into a car, obviously the back seat, and felt it take off down some unpaved road. She had no sight, and little hearing, so her impression of time and distance were totally skewed. Her only calculation was that they had driven for at least four hours, but probably not more than eight. Twice, the car stopped, and the first time she was pulled out, two hands on her shoulders pushed her down in the squatting position with the single command. "Piss." The second time was apparently for gasoline.

Eventually, the car stopped and she was led somewhere - a building apparently - then the mask and the manacles were removed. She blinked in the light from another hanging bulb and saw a man leaving the room. A much larger room, apparently made to hold several people, but not in comfort. There were eight platforms along the walls that were each the size of a single small bed, but without mattresses or even blankets. Like the other, this one had a concrete floor and walls, and a single wooden door with a small grill. She walked over and looked out, but all she could see was another door that was across an apparent hallway. She sat down on one of the platforms and waited - not that she had a choice of options.

The wait wasn't long. The door opened and an exceedingly ugly man with a pitted face entered holding a thin chain. He walked up to her, and without speech, wrapped it around her neck and fastened it somehow. Then, taking the other end of the six foot leash, towed her out of the room and down a long dimly lit hallway. Stopping at a doorway, he removed the chain, opened the door and pushed her in.

A much smaller room - no place to sleep here or even sit. She hoped that... Oh my God! It was a shower room. A shower room! She pulled a short rope running up to one of the four apparent shower heads and a heavy rain of lukewarm water gushed out. On a small chiseled out hole in the wall was a blob of what might be soap. And it was - not name brand, perfumed and branded American type soap, but soap nonetheless. She luxuriated in the stream of water and the feel of cleanliness that she hadn't experienced for ages. After at least ten more minutes than she actually needed to get clean, she pulled on the shutoff rope and walked to the center of the room, waiting. For what, she didn't know, but she was Clean! There were no towels, but she wiped the remaining droplets from her body with her hands and started air drying.

Very shortly, the same ugly man entered, reattached the leash, and pulled her the other way up the hall. This time to a cluttered room with another large and fat man waiting. In a horrible accent, he said in English, "Stand still, hands to your side. Look down. Don't move." Then the two had a short burst of conversation that left Rita wondering what language it was. And where she was.

The fat man, apparently a boss of some kind, walked up and looked her over, then to her shock, reached up and took first one breast, then the other, weighing and squeezing them. In her previous life, as she was beginning to think of it, the idea of that happening wasn't even... well, she never considered that her body could be intimately touched without her permission. Fortunately, her sense of self-preservation made her suppress any outrage. She had a gut feeling that any resistance would be crushed immediately. Then her composure was really tested as his hands dropped and she felt her... her... private area poked and prodded by fingers - front and back.

She was still in mild shock as the man suddenly pulled on her leash and towed her back down a different hallway. Then the leash was removed again, and she was pushed through another door.

A room

Rita stood in front of the now locked door, looking around. This was another large room like the first, with the same arrangement of platforms around the walls. But these sleeping shelves had thin mats covering them. But she noticed nothing of this - her eyes were on the two women standing in the center of the room. She stared at them for a moment, and they stared back. Finally, the blond - the other was a brunette - asked, "Who are you."

Rita hesitated in her sudden realization that they - this girl, at least - was American. Or her accent was. Finally, she walked closer and simply said, "Rita." The girl nodded and said, "Carla. And this is Penny." Both of the other girls sat down on the mat that was in the middle of the room. Carla just waved at it in invitation for Rita to join them.

For Rita, it was the first conversation that she had had in months. In fact, the only interaction with another human being in all that time, if you didn't count the short sessions with the man bringing food and water, and the events of the last day or so. They began to get acquainted. Rita started by telling her story - she wanted to talk - to say something to a real person who was listening. Finally, she wound down and began to listen to the tales of the other two.

Carla had been a client of some kind of bondage school - it really didn't make sense to Rita, but apparently it was some kind of sexual spa. Anyway, she went to sleep one night in her hotel room and woke up here. She thought that "here" was some place in the Balkans, just from hints and indications that she had put together in the last few months. Maybe Czechoslovakia, or Bulgaria. Maybe Turkey.

Penny had been a bad girl. She had been the bait in some kind of stock scam ring that got busted. She and two others hotfooted to Canada to let the heat cool down, then left for Europe when it appeared that the Feds had traced them to their hideout city. In Berlin, she had made the major mistake of letting a strange man in a bar hand her a drink. Like Carla, she woke up here.

What this place was, neither knew. Other than a single inspection in an office like Rita just had, and trips to the shower, they hadn't left this room. Food was delivered, there was a squat toilet in one corner and a wash basin in another - all they needed to live. So, sitting and talking was the only entertainment they had. Well, not all, exactly.

Rita was horrified to learn that the girls in this room - and probably her, also - were considered freely available for sexual services by the staff. "You mean that a man just comes in and... and..."

"...fucks us in front of the others," Penny finished for her.

At the sight of Rita's wide eyed panic, Carla took her arm and said, "Easy, girl. It takes some getting used to, but it isn't a big deal. And there's nothing you can do about it but cooperate."

Rita wasn't soothed by the advice. "That's against the law. They can't just... just take a..."

Carla reached over and grabbed the panicked girl by the shoulders and shook her. "Stop it!" She pulled the girl close to her face. "If you want to survive, and you do, you have to realize that you're in a place where the rules you grew up with don't apply here." She waited for the words to sink in, then continued. "The world here, wherever the hell it is, is run by men and for men. Women, girls, cunts - us - don't count. We just obey."

She let go of Rita's shoulders and took her hands. "Listen. You have to prepare yourself. You're the new girl here and men always go for new, so you're going to be used by the staff next, and probably by a lot of them. Just cooperate and let it roll off you."

Carla was right on. An hour later, the door opened, a man pointed to Rita then and barked a command. Carla quietly said, "Get down on the mat on your hands and knees and spread your legs." Rita began to backup to a corner, shaking her head and just staring at the man. Carla called to her much more emphatically, "Rita! Do what he wants!" The wide eyed girl violently shook her head. "You're going to get yourself beaten, girl! Do it now!"

The astonished man, with the ends of his rope-belt still in his hands, looked at the girl with astonishment, as though some simple tool had suddenly refused to work. Then he pulled his loose pants back up, and stalked out the door, leaving the crying girl on her knees in the corner.

Penny, walked over to her and yanked her to her feet. "Damn it, you stupid bitch! You're going to get us all striped!" She brought her hand back to slap the still crying girl across the face, but it was caught by Carla. She pushed Penny away and took the girl by the shoulders.

"Rita! Stop it! This isn't going to help." She shook her to try to get some attention. "You are going to have to play the game here. You don't have any choice, except to..."

The door flew open with a bang, and both Carla and Penny spun around to see who it was. That was followed immediately by them moving to the center mat and instantly dropping into a submissive stance, on their hand and knees. With their heads bowed, all they could see out of the corners of their eyes were the feet of the other two persons in the room, but they knew exactly what was happening as the punishment master dragged the redhead out of the room by her hair.

The punishment suite

The pain of being pulled along by her tresses, bent over and stumbling, finally stopped, but before she could react to the release, she saw her wrists being connected together with pair of leather cuffs. The man disappeared behind her and she began to notice her surroundings. Just an empty room with no furnishings and... There was a clicking sound behind her and she felt her wrists being raised. Looking up she could see the rope attached to the center of her cuffs leading into some kind of double pulley then across the ceiling of the room. Turning around, she saw it leading to a... mechanism of some kind on the wall, and the man who apparently had dragged her in here was turning a crank.

She suddenly realized that her arms were being drawn above her head, and tried futilely to pull them back down, while protesting, "No. No." Shortly she was held in a vertical stretch that almost had her on her tiptoes, then she realized in panic that he wasn't stopping. "Nooooo," she cried as her feet left the floor and she swung gently back and forth. The strain was terrific - she hadn't been suspended by her arms since using the playground bars as a little girl.

Then with horror, she saw him uncoil a long whip and shake it out on the floor. Her mind was rejecting what her eyes were seeing - nobody was struck with a whip these days. That was something done only in the long historic past. He was trying to scare her into...

Suddenly, her midriff exploded in an excruciating circle of pain as the whip contacted her back, curled around under one side of her ribcage, across her stomach, around the other side and then finally expended its final energy as the tip lashed a welt on her back. It totally knocked the breath out of her, leaving her gasping and unable to scream. Her legs doubled up in reaction as her nervous system tried to find some way to alleviate the unwanted impulses coming from the receptors of her skin. Finally, she got enough air to let out a shriek that only stopped when her lungs ran empty again. She had never experienced pain like that in her life - not even remotely close to it.

And it was only just starting.

After her ordeal under the lash was over, she was dumped back in the room with the other two girls, almost unconscious. She was a mass of raised red welts, but the punishment master was an expert - there was not a trace of blood or broken skin on her body. They, whomever they were, gave her a few days to recover before subjecting her to what got her punished by refusing in the first place.

A month later, the act of being used for sex was just something to be endured, and was neither erotic or interesting. Eventually the new wore off of her status, and the other two girls began to share the load, so to speak.

She got the usual lessons about how to behave in front of men, like always using the word Master, and never using the first person in referring to themselves.

A few months later, the girls were surprised when Rita was taken out of the room...

The bedroom.

It was quite a story. I had no reason to disbelieve any part of it, not that it mattered. By now, it was quite late - it had been a long story, interrupted by questions from me. I got up, pulled her with me into the bathroom and cleaned both of us up with a hot washcloth. I left her to pee and waited for her on the bed. We just went to sleep without any further sexual action.

I woke the next morning with her snuggled next to me and with her arms around my neck. Apparently I had triggered some kind of security response in her as the first man who didn't just use her and then push her to the mat with contempt. I got up, leaving her sleeping, made my morning ablutions, and headed in for breakfast. In answer to Tarkan's jovial questionings, I mentioned that I would like her as my bedwarmer while I was here. He laughed and shouted an order to a flunky. After my leisurely meal, I filled up a plate with another smaller meal, and a glass of milk and headed back to my room.

She was awake and was sporting a new item of apparel. While I had been eating, and obviously in response to my request, someone had entered and fitted her with a thin silver collar and a small chain that had enough length to reach the bathroom from the bed, where it was attached. I pointed to the thick rug at the side of the bed, and said, "Sit down." She immediately did, and I handed her the plate and the glass. As she devoured the meal, I said, "You will be my bedwarmer while I am visiting." She nodded, but showed no expression.

Enough of her. It was time for another tour.

Across town

Suliman's was a training establishment that went back through generations of his family. I understood it to be a training school for the erotic arts, sort of a good wife's academy on how to please a man. I wasn't even close.

Suliman greeted me in the local fashion, that is like a long lost favorite cousin. Of course, I suspected that the fact of my having Sheik Hassan as a sponsor went a long long way toward fashioning that greeting. After the obligatory round of drinks - tea - he gave me the tour.

The girls in the establishment were all sorted by category, indicated by wearing a scarf around their neck. Red, yellow and green, in ascending order of their level of "education." We looked through one way glass to see several sessions in progress. I had to admit, they covered everything, apparently. I knew first hand of the quality of the training here. My only experience with one of his graduates was with my friend and colleague's girl, Wall Flower, but it was awesome. The experience couldn't be explained, only experienced.

I asked about the entry requirements. A thin wisp of an idea was beginning to develop in my mind.

He smiled and replied, "Our prerequisites are very strict. We have few openings and many many requests for training. But, may I say that anyone recommended by Meester Hassan will, of course, be acted on with dispatch."

Later, over lunch at the local club, he said to me over a cup of tea, "Meester Rodger, with your permission, I have arranged a session with one of our green silk girls." I just smiled and nodded as he continued. "They always need practice, and a new face is stimulating to them."


That night I just lay beside my redhead. There was no chance of her servicing me tonight - not after a two hour session with a near-graduate of Suliman's. I just lay back in the dark and thought about the differences between the two girls. Rita was actually far better looking than the green silk girl, Pumita. In fact, in ordinary circumstances, the girl of Suliman could have been called plain. But the comparison stopped there. If Rita was considered to be a slingshot, then Pumita was a Squad Automatic Weapon.

Rita barely knew more of sex than to wet down a man's tool with her mouth, then roll over and let it be stuffed into her cunt. Pumita, on the other hand, could cause a massive erotic craving in a man just by manipulating his feet and legs. And once she got serious and began working up around his important equipment, she could turn him into a blindly rutting rapist, then just as suddenly, turn him off and begin the process again. And again.

I would like to possess such a girl, I thought. They were ungodly expensive, but I could afford one. My major fear was becoming like that fool Marko, and not being able to keep my mind on task with such a piece on tap. But that was a problem for the future.


For the next month or so, using Tarkan's as a headquarters, I visited two more agents of the Sheik - one in Germany and one in Britain. And of course, made time to visit my new friend, Jean, in France. He had just pulled off another snatch, but nothing like last time. This one was just taken in her apartment and immediately shipped out. Nothing much to talk about, he said. I tried to forget my disappointment by laying between the legs of some of his live-in girls. It worked.

Agents who were domiciled in a western country didn't have dungeons with actual slavegirls - at least, as far as anyone in the Sheik's network knew. There was too much chance of an escape over the years, however slight it might be, that would instantly hit all the newspapers and Internet sites in the world. That agent would instantly have to decamp to parts unknown. That being said, some agents did have harems of their own, but located in areas of the world where the chance of exposure was almost nonexistent, escape by a lone female was virtually impossible, and any revelations could be easily hushed up with a certain amount of payola. Actually, the Sheik did mention an actual slave dungeon, and in my country no less, but he obviously didn't give me any particulars. I got the impression that the owner wasn't an agent - he was more like an independent peer of some kind.

The man in Britain was in it for the money - to him, females were just a product to make money on. Like Jean in Paris, he kept several desirable cunts on the domestic staff for his own pleasure, rather than holding females in bondage somewhere. He just liked pussy - ropes and chains and whips had no attraction for him.

Herr Willi Schmidt, of Munich, was cut from entirely different cloth. I was invited to a holiday with him to his remote casbah, as he called it. He was into B&D big time and his mountain retreat somewhere that was apparently stocked with special stuff. I told him that I would be happy to get the tour whenever we both had time.


By the first of the next month, I was back at Tarkan's. I had asked about purchasing the redhead, and he agreed to put her up for sale in the next auction. He offered to just make a present of her, but I had no intention of using my connection with Sheik in that way. I just asked him to allow me to attend the auction and bid in the normal way.

That was an interesting day. Tarkan had two or three levels of auctions - actually, they were keyed to the quality of the girls that were for sale. There was no sense in letting a minor business man attend a sale for top level girls that he couldn't possibly afford, and rich buyers had no interest in plain domestics. Their staff would buy those if needed.

This day had about fifteen men in the chairs. Nine girls would be sold, all at top dollar and all western women. Tarkan had assigned a clerk to stay with me to make sure that I didn't get tripped up by the language or anything else that I couldn't follow. Four girls went by, and were sold, then Rita appeared, not really knowing what was happening at first. The bidding was spirited - this was a beautiful young woman displaying her wares on the platform.

Finally, I raised my hand, the auctioneer pointed and said his word of acceptance. More bidding, and I kept up. Then came a bid from a man in the back. Suddenly the bidding stopped. What the hell? I looked around for answers, but nothing had changed. I upped the bid. More jabber from the auctioneer. THe man upped me. Then I upped him. Something had changed in the room, and I didn't like the feeling I was getting.

Suddenly, a little weasel slinked up to my helper and they conversed for a few seconds. Then my man whispered to me, "Meester Sergeant, I have been asked to tell you to cease your bidding."

What the hell was this? "By who? That dude over there?"

"Yes, Meester Sergeant." He was nodding vigorously. "He is a very powerful. A bad man."

I looked over at the "bad" man, held his stare till he looked away, then raised my hand for my bid. When I looked back, he was gone. I looked around and he was heading for the door. The auctioneer did his 'if there are no more bids' routine, then pointed to me and said the word for sold.

My room

Back in my room, Rita was standing there in front of me, almost at attention. For myself, I was still adjusting to the idea that I had just bought a human being. I asked her, "Do you understand what just happened?" We were still conversing in French - she still didn't know I was an American, like her.

"Yes, Master," she replied, almost tearfully. "This girl has been sold and bought by the Master." I looked her up and down. With her looks and Suliman's school, she would be a nice bedwarmer for me. "May this girl ask a question?" I nodded. "Can people actually be made slaves here, Master?"

I lay back on the bed. I was clothed but she wasn't. I didn't even know if her old clothes even still existed. "I wouldn't have believed it myself, two years ago. But, yes, they can and are." I paused. "And you are, now." I patted the bed. "Sit down."

At the sight of her large bobbing titties next to me, I felt stirrings beginning in my groin, but ignored them. "Listen to me," I began. "For whatever reason, you have happened to end up in a primitive part of the world as a bound person. If you had been sold to another at that auction, it could have been to a man who gets his kicks by torturing women. Or hanging them." Her eyes got wider. "Most probably, though, you would have been the new sex toy for a rich businessman. He would have kept you until the new wore off or he procured a younger woman. Then you would most likely have been demoted to the kitchen, or cleaning crew, or maybe even work in the fields. And available to every other male in the place, day or night. Understand?" She nodded and said nothing, but I had her full attention.

"If you tried to escape, you would be a naked woman in a part of the world where single women have no rights. When you were caught, you would be sent back to your master for punishment. Or, maybe even kept by the finder as his new toy. You might find yourself owned by a butcher and cleaning up blood and guts in his shop for the rest of your life." I looked to see if she was getting bored, but her eyes were laser focused on me.

"If, somehow, you managed to make it all the way back to America, you would find that you don't exist. You have no passport, identity cards, or money. Margarita Langs... whatever your last name was, is dead. Somewhere there is a legal death certificate registered with that woman's name. Were you ever fingerprinted? Or had your DNA printed?" She shook her head. "I thought not. You have no way to prove who you are, especially with no money. And if the persons who were responsible for your pseudo death find out that you are back, they will not hesitate to make sure that you are dead for real. They would have no other choice."

Time to wrap this up. My johnson was telling me that I was spending way too much time in talk. "I'm a rich man, and fairly powerful - and my future looks to be a climb up from here. You are now my actual, if not legal to the world, slavegirl. If you obey me you will find me a kind master. I don't beat women against their will for kicks - that isn't my thing. You will sleep in a warm bed and eat good food. You might even have your own body servants someday. But, I want you to know that if you disobey me, or displeasure me, I will whip your bottom like a naughty little girl. Understand?" Another vigorous nod.

"I am going to give you something that most slaves don't get - a choice of which road you want. And you must choose right now. If you wish, I will put you in the next auction and let you be sold to the highest bidder and wave goodbye to you as you leave the platform. Or you can follow me along my road wherever it goes. Which do you want?" I wondered if that was the truth? Would I actually resell her if she wanted? It was obvious that I hadn't turned into a hardened slave owner yet. Not if I was giving a slave a choice. Of course, it would be a strange and adventurous woman to give up a somewhat hopeful destination to wander down a totally unknown path.

She took no time in deciding. She leaned against me and said, "Please, Master. This girl wishes to go with you."

That night I spent a considerable amount of time and skill making sure that she had an orgasm - possibly the first one that she had ever experienced that was induced by a male. Certainly, the first one in many years. Once again, when I woke up, she was snuggled up next to me.

Tarkan's office

I was looking at the paper that Tarkan had handed me moments before. "The next class starts on the fifteenth of next month. She will need to be back by then." He took a swig of his usual morning pick-me-up - some kind of local pilsner. Horse piss to me. "Why not just leave her here till then?"

"I thought about it," I replied. "But, I want to show her to a friend in France before she goes into training. Besides, she hasn't really imprinted to me yet. She needs to see me every day before her school starts. I won't see much of her then."

We left that morning. The Sheik's cargo plane would be landing in a few hours, so there was no rush. We would take the trolley across town, then a cab to the airport. I had Rita dressed in a simple garb as lower class women wore here - the first clothes she had been permitted to wear in months. To her, the walk to main street was an excursion. She kept having to choke back her verbal delight at seeing this and that. For an ex-high class, educated American, wearing cheap sandals and a used pullover dress, she was probably happier than she had been in years. About halfway to the trolley stop, I knew something wasn't right.

All men who have been in close combat have a sixth sense - those that don't develop it usually wind up as coffin stuffing. In the Air Force, it is called situational awareness - the idea that in combat a pilot has to have knowledge of everything that is happening around him. It is the unknown threat that kills you. For a ground pounder, the same sense is there. It has no formal name, but it is real, nonetheless.

Back in the 'world', between tours and after I was discharged, that sixth sense would come to the fore even in innocuous situations. Coming out of a big box store, walking across the parking lot, I would automatically look behind every car that I passed, every wall and divider that I went by, and every few seconds, my head would swivel one eighty degrees to check my six o'clock. I will probably do that for the rest of my life.

At my six were the same two guys, one wearing a red fez, the other a plaid shirt. Each time I glanced they were a little closer. Ahead, I scanned for the likely position of the ambush. If this was going to be a gun battle, I was in for trouble, but I doubted it. Gunplay in this country got you a little cell and bread and water for life. I decided that the best defense is a good offense, and, pulling Rita by the arm, turned around and started back the way we came. The pair suddenly got interested in looking in a shop window - they had stopped, probably confused by the wrench in the gears of their plan. As I got closer, I could see no bulges that might indicate a handgun, but, of course, somewhere on their persons would be a long knife - probably two.

They suddenly disappeared into the store - a little rug shop, it looked like. Holding her arm, I hurried her along, back in the direction we had come. At the corner of the block it happened. Apparently the other half of the ambush had a vehicle, and when they saw me reverse course, drove around the block to get in front of us. Three of them, all with drawn knives.

I pushed Rita out of the way - hard - this was man's work and I didn't need a woman in the way. I moved around to get a wall behind me, and so I could see up and down the street. All three spread out, so as to attack at the same time - something I didn't want to happen. I did a phony lunge at the nearest and he fell for it. His knife hand went under my side and was clamped by my left arm. Meanwhile, my right fist tried it best to punch its way to his backbone through his stomach. It didn't make it, but as he doubled over the edge of my hand met his adam's apple edge on coming up. I pushed his collapsing body at a second attacker an instant later. They collided and gave me a chance to work on the third bastard. I had more time now, and threw an overhead punch that he easily avoided. Unfortunately, while he was concentrating on it, he failed to entirely avoid my ankle meeting his balls in a football style drop kick. As he doubled over I gave his neck a treatment, known by the men of my old squad, as the Baghdad Twist. For good measure, I swooped up his knife.

Now I could see the first two SOB's running up the street carrying Rita between them. Ok, so the idea was to capture her - if the intention had been to kill, she would already be lying dead on the ground.

That left the third member of the cast of players, now untangled from his expiring buddy. He took another look at the situation and apparently decided to report back to headquarters. He made it about twenty meters before I kicked his heel and he tripped and rolled in the dirt. I didn't want to be caught carrying a knife around a foreign country, so I got rid of it by storing it in the neck of the thrashing thug.

Now I looked around to quickly get a situational picture. This had been self-defense, but I didn't want to test that theory in a third world country. This was mostly a warehouse area, and very few people were around, and none were even bothering to notice our little disagreement. No cops were in sight - neither were the two scumbags with Rita - so I headed back for Tarkan's place, taking a meandering path and always checking my six.

Tarkan's office again

"His name is Yilmaz. It means... ah... what is the word in English? Fearless, or brave or bold - something like that. It doesn't translate well."

"Screw the name," I said. "What is he?" I was holding my second drink. The reaction had finally set in and I needed to stop trembling.

Tarkan looked grim. "You would call him a mobster, but he is more like the head of a drug gang. He has no sense of mercy. If he orders a killing, it is not only the man, but his family, friends, and anyone else that can be connected to him. Your refusing to drop out of the auction on his orders was an offense to him." He was on his third drink. "The world would be a better place if he were not in it. But, my friend, he isn't someone you want to cross swords with. He is merciless. It is best that you leave the country for a while."

I was going to leave the country, for sure. In about an hour on the Sheik's cargo plane. But first, "Get me everything you know about him. Don't spy or take any risks. Just common knowledge like where he lives and so forth. Send it to me at the Sheik's compound."

He shook his head. "I will do it, my friend, but please don't start something that you will regret. He will not bother me. It is well known that I have the Sheik as a principal. But, I enjoy having you as a friend. I don't want to have to identify your body."

I stood up and shook hands. "Goodbye for now, my friend." I looked out in the hall for any lurkers, then quietly said, "Gather that information yourself and keep it quiet. The only people who knew if and when I was leaving with Rita were a few people in this building. You have a mole in your house, Tarkan."

Yilmaz might be the Fearless, but, if I could arrange it, he was going to learn the American custom of Payback.

The Desert Compound

The stop at Hassan's was short. Just long enough to brief him on what had happened. He was concerned.

"This is serious, my friend. I have never had an agent attacked by a local thug."

I was enjoying an ice cold soft drink, now. I didn't need any liquor. I was running on adrenaline. "I doubt that he knows who I am and anything about my connection with you. I think this was just a small time hood who got his ego stepped on and wanted revenge."

"It still needs handling," he came back.

I smiled over the ice cubes. "Believe me, Mr. Hassan. It will be handled. And the handle will have 'Made in USA' stamped on it."

Time passes

I stopped in Paris to consult with my friend, Jean, got some good advice from him, made some arrangements, then continued on to the Land of the Free. From New York, I took a red-eye to Atlanta, then rented a car and headed to the suburbs. By now I was dead on my feet, so I checked into a fleabag for some rack time until nightfall.

The club was an exclusive nightspot, for swells and pretty singles. Twenty-five year old ex-sergeants need not apply for admission. The bouncer at the door turned all away except for the exclusive few on his list and the occasional cunt sporting the right equipment. He was big and mean looking, but it was a front. I could see the slack muscles that used to pump iron, but that were now on a body that just drank and screwed. I could take him with two fingers on my left hand, but since that would probably cause a ruckus, I tried reasoning with him when he told me to beat it.

"My good sir," I said. "I have no desire to visit your club. I have an important message for your employer, Mr. Dodge. His uncle has passed away and left him a pile. I need to give him a number."

The bum didn't know whether to believe me or not, but said, "Wait here," then stuck his head in the door and shouted over the music, "Polla! Tell Dodge to come out here!" I just stood there an admired the applicants for admission. Some of them would bring a pretty penny in certain places in the world. Shortly, a man came out the door and up to the bouncer. "This guy says he has a message for you."

Mr. Dodge - Telly - looked at me for a second, did a double take, then stepped down to my level and grabbed my hand, slapping my shoulder with the other. "Sarge! Goddamn! It is you! Son of a bitch! Where you been, man?" I tried to get a word in edgewise, but it was hopeless. "Burt!" This to the bouncer. "He's with me. Come on in Bro." He led me though the door and across a dance floor, I guess. The place was packed - I mean, jammed like an Istanbul streetcar. Nobody was going to dance anywhere. They would kill each other if they tried. The ruckus was beyond painful - I've been in firefights where the total noise level was less. Nobody was going to hear anything anybody said, either.

Telly finally led me to a back room, closed the door and shut out most of the audible mayhem. After a few more exclamations, he pointed me to a sofa and asked me if I wanted a drink. I shook my head. Telly had been a top-notch soldier in my squad - my corporal. He lived for excitement and danger. In fact, he once mentioned to me, that to him, the only thing that made life worth living, was the possibility that they might get shot at sometime during the day. He was wounded during a firefight one night and, despite his vocal protests, was medically discharged and sent packing.

"How's the hole in the arm doing," I asked.

He held up the item in question. "It's fine, Bro. Those bastards didn't even give me a chance to heal before they cut me loose." After some more good ole boy talk, he suddenly turned serious. "Ok, Sarge. You didn't come here for old time sake's. Whassup?"

I looked around. "Is this place secure?"

He snorted. "Hell, who knows? It hasn't been swept for bugs, if that's what you mean. But I doubt that anybody that works here has enough ears left to listen to a megaphone, let alone a mic."

I waved him closer and in a low voice, began my spiel. "I have an operation starting up and I'm just now recruiting." His eyes lit up. "Obviously, I can't say much about it right now, but it isn't a criminal enterprise. Actually, we're the good guys and it's a hostage rescue and payback op." He just nodded - a professional who knew when to make small talk and when to listen. "I need about five people, all fighters. It will be dangerous, violent and well paid, win or lose."

"Just you and five others?"

I shook my head. "No, there will be others - I have massive support behind this. How massive you wouldn't believe." A pause. "You have a good job here. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want any part of it. But I was hoping you would know who..." He interrupted me with a slash of his hand.

"Screw that, Sarge. I'm in and that's that. Keerist! I would give anything to get back in the shit!" I knew it before I got on the plane. This was like offering a free rock to a crackhead.

"Ok, you will be squad leader. How about Bummer. Think he would be available?"

Telly nodded. "Hell, yes." He's like me - about to go crazy as a civvy. Tried to join a freelance outfit, but the limp gets him cut every time." Bummer had the same story as Telly. Wounded in combat, then released on medical, even though with a limp he was more deadly than an entire squad of low time soldiers.

"Who else, I asked. He thought a moment.

"Remember Chip?" I nodded. An electronic nut. He could make a TV out of a toaster - almost. "He might be available."

We talked some more, then I gave him a card with my phone number and left him to turn in his notice to the club.

France, outside of Paris

My team had come in two days before and was relaxing in the comforts of Jean's mansion. These five grunts assumed that they had died and somehow, some mistake had gotten them into heaven. They had five of Jean's beautiful "employees" assigned to keep them satisfied, and they mixed and matched all day and night for those two days until I was afraid that none of them would have any strength left for the mission.

The reason for the delay was that I was waiting for a courier to arrive with some needed info. Finally, a girl arrived on the patio to inform us that a woman had arrived.

In the study, the info was waiting - brought, naturally, by Katja. I had previously told Telly to warn his men to treat her with absolute respect and leave off the sexual Americanism lingo. Not only because she was my friend, but because I assumed that they would want to return home with their balls still swinging under them. She had collected the info from Tarkan, but had made some contacts and collected much more intel that would come in handy.

I summoned the team, and we relaxed in the study - the five grunts, Katja, Jean and I. I started with an overview of what had happened to me on that day, then followed with a generic outline of what we were going to do. There was no actual plan yet - this crew would come up with one. I then turned it over to Katja.

She stood up and pulled a thick stack of paperwork from a file. She handed a photo to Jean. He looked at it then passed it on. "This photo is a satellite view of the target. You can see that it is a compound with a large mansion and several outbuildings inside of a twelve foot concrete wall. The wall is topped with broken glass and razor wire." Another photo. "Here is a closeup, from the ground, of the top of the wall. You can barely see the thin wire that is probably a signal trip. If it breaks, it probably sets off an alarm inside. Fairly crude and easy to jumper around."

"Here is a detailed overhead from a plane." This one was really good. Even small rocks were apparent in the resolution. More photos followed - views of all sides of the wall, and the gate. "Note that the gate has a watchtower and is always manned. It appears that the gate is controlled from here."

She pulled out a piece of paper. "Do not treat this info as accurate. We will need to refine our data much more, but this is what is thought to be. Yilmaz isn't married in the normal sense of the word, but he keeps a harem of women. Most of his thugs live in town, but he keep his core of trusted associates in his compound. Some tipsters say fifteen - some say fifty. Who knows?"

Bummer raised his arm. I grinned behind my hand - seven of the eight people in this room had killed an unknown, but fairly large number of people, and one of them was raising his hand like a schoolboy. "Do you know if there are any guards walking the compound at night?"

Katja shook her head. "Unknown. One is always in the watchtower by the gate, but as to the grounds, who knows. Why?"

"Well," he answered. "If we see a sentry walking at night, then we know there are no motion sensors active inside the walls. Otherwise, they would go off all night."

She pointed to him. "Good point. We will need to find that out. And you have touched on a major problem. We need to see what happens inside on a given day - somehow."

Dolby - he and Jonesie were the final two members of our team - asked, "Is there a tall enough building around that looks down into the compound?"

"No. Nothing but shacks and a few warehouses in the area."

"Ok, here's a way." This was Chip - our resident electronic and math genius. He pulled the overhead picture of the compound out of the pile. "We can put wireless cameras on top of the wall looking in, here, here, here and... probably here. In the dark of the moon, or a storm at night, we can easily reach the top from the outside with a lightweight scaling ladder. It would take only seconds each. The receiver could be in a car parked anywhere in a... oh, say three hundred meter radius."

Telly. "Wouldn't you be taking the chance of them being seen in the daytime?"

Chip shook his head. "The actual camera is about this big..." He indicated the tip of is little finger. "...and the sender and battery pack is smaller than a deck of cards. It probably couldn't even be seen from the ground unless you stood back far enough to get a viewing angle - and then you would be so far away you couldn't see it anyway. Besides, we can disguise them as a blob of concrete or something."

I chimed in. "Good idea. Go online and order eight of them. Jean can get you on a computer." I looked over and Jean was already opening a laptop.

The briefing went on for hours and I finally wrapped it up.

"Ok. We will be leaving for our safe house tomorrow. You will travel individually and will not recognize each other if you happen to cross paths. I will have some detailed instructions for your travel before you leave. I will entertain any suggestions you come up with, and I am looking for some. Remember, this won't be a shoot-em up op. It will be down and dirty, close in. A firefight would wake the neighborhood and light up the local 911 lines - or whatever the hell goes for it over there."

"When you get in country, the gloves go on and never come off unless you are taking a shower. Remember that all of we ex-army guys have been fingerprinted. I don't want the locals asking Interpol and them asking the FBI if they can match the ones they found."

"Get some sleep. I'll see you in the morning."

A big house, somewhere in Turkey.

The cameras had been delivered by Jean, who had flown them in from Paris. They had been installed two nights before and the car with the receiver wasn't needed. Our safe house was about a half mile from the target and was big, rambling and in a neighborhood of mostly illegals, so nobody was going to stick their nose in our business. Chip had rigged up a directional antenna and we could receive real time feeds downstairs. Instead of four, we used six - two of them looking outside the walls just for good measure.

The first bit of good intel we got was the fact that a sentry did walk the grounds at night. So, no alarms in the compound. Shortly, we had the section spotted that housed the troops. The best count we could come up with was about twelve to fourteen - goons, that is. There would be servants - we could see some of them come and go. Another good part was that the gate was almost never opened at night, so it was unlikely that someone would drive up and demand to be let in while we were there.

All day we hashed out plans, then modified them, then hashed them again. Jean the careful pessimist was his usual self, always asking an answer to what would be done if this went wrong, or if that person did this. He also made us plan how to exit the operation if it went well, or if it had problems, or if it went completely south. All in all, a good man to have on a planning team, even if he wasn't a field operator.

In a few days, we had a pretty accurate count of the occupants of the compound. There were eleven goons that slept in the barracks. There were also fourteen servants that came in the morning and left in the evening. And an unknown number of women. Not many people for such a large facility.

I opened some boxes and pulled out several sets of night vision gear. "Practice with these tonight. These are category four, so they operate differently than the ones we had in Iraq."

"Cat four!" Telly exclaimed. "How the hell did you... I mean, the Army doesn't even have these yet." I just smiled - I had told them that I had a massive support organization behind me.

I passed out the .45 caliber automatics. These were modified to take a massive silencer and the bullets were low velocity subsonic. The bullets were so underpowered that the action had to be cycled by hand, as the recoil wasn't sufficient to autoload. As such, they were almost as quiet as a movie pistol. We had already familiarized ourselves with them in a forest outside of Paris.

The last thing was a long barrel, bolt action .22 rifle. It also had a silencer and used standard velocity shorts. It was almost dead quiet, but it also had a minimum of stopping power. Even a thick jacket might slow it down enough to protect the target. Jonesie was the user for it. He was the best shot of any of us. Many was the time we saw him drop a target, using an M-14 under iron sights at a range that we could barely even see what he was shooting at.

Night, late.

"Sarge!" I was immediately awake, reaching for my nonexistent .45 on my hip. I could see Telly in the dim light, standing over my cot.

No long stream of verbiage from him on an op, simply, "Problem. Downstairs."

I jumped up and followed him to the bank of laptops that were monitoring the cameras. Chip pointed to the one that looked out from the front wall. In the infrared view, I could see two cars and a van. Most disturbing was the apparent swat team that was in full assault mode, crouching and holding all sorts of weaponry.

I turned around to Telly. "Wake everyone up. Get ready for scatterplan alpha." Suddenly, there was just a hole in the air where he had been standing. The action was a half mile away, but if they moved to our side of the compound we were gone. "I thought the scumbag had everybody downtown paid off."

We watched as whatever was going down, prepared to take place. Katja had entered and spoke up. "I don't think it has anything to do with our target." I looked at her and waited. "There are only about a dozen armed cops, if that is what they are. Nowhere near enough to take down an area the size of the compound - at least not if they do it according to the rules of the rest of the world." She pointed to another camera. "Here's the kicker. The gate guard is just standing there in the tower, watching - he hasn't pushed the panic button."

Shortly, everybody in the building was standing behind us watching. If they were wondering what was going on, they were disciplined enough not to jabber out questions to the people on duty.

Suddenly, it went down. They stormed a house from all sides. Our cameras didn't have audio and the action was too far away to hear, but we could see flash-bangs going off - or hell, in this part of the world they could be grenades. It was obviously a police raid for something. I turned around to face everybody. "Back to bed. False alarm." I was still jumpy. We didn't need something like it to happen the night we went in.

Three days later.

Telly came to my room where I was napping. "Sarge, we may be in luck." I immediately sat up and waited. "Two cars left at fifteen hundred hours with about eight of the goons. Katja followed them and she just called in. They motored out of town. I don't think they're coming back today." I knew what he was thinking - that only left four to six men in the compound.

"Is there a chance he went with them."

He shook his head. "No. We've seen him in the compound, since."

"Ok, get everybody ready. Tonight's the night."

Later that evening

A couple of hours later, Katja called back in to report that the cars were still on the Interstate, or its equivalent, heading south. Everybody checked and rechecked his equipment, and we went over the plan, the alternate plan, and the alternate alternate. Fortunately, the moon would be down by midnight, which was good, since it was an absolutely clear night.

Katja made a call to Tarkan, the result of which would mean that a pair of trucks and a car would be delivered to an old warehouse just down the street from us. He still wasn't told what was going on, for his protection, although he could probably guess, since he was told to expect a delivery of merchandise shortly.

About dark, she came into report that she had seen the trucks and a car entering the building and the two drivers get into a following car and drive away.

01:00 hours

I stood below a black ladder, wearing a black set of utilities, and looking around for any movement. I could see everything as well as in daylight, although the picture in my goggles was green on black. Above me was another black blob, standing at the top of the ladder and looking over the wall - Jonesie. Five minutes went by, then ten, then fifteen, damn! Was this guy ever going to... then... a quiet pop. Down the ladder he came and gave a thumbs up. I raised my clinched fist. Four more black apparitions appeared, one carrying another ladder. Up the already set ladder he went, carrying the other section, and a few seconds later gave a single low whistle. He had dropped the other section over the wall and hooked it into the top of the one he was standing on. Now we could go up and over, not only the wall, but the razor wire and the tripwire.

Nothing was left in the house we had vacated. All of the equipment, spare clothes, water, and trash was in the back of Jean's car and was long gone. He would drive to Tarkan's and stay there to wait the outcome, making sure that nobody else in Tarkan's organization knew was was happening. There was still the problem of the mole that needed to be found.

In short order, all of us were over the wall and spreading out on our assignments. Jonesie was crouched behind a box of some kind, looking through his night vision rifle scope at the top of the watch tower, waiting. The result of his first bullet was still laying on the ground in the rear of the compound with what looked like a tiny third eye in his head. Telly and I moved up the steps to the front door. We had plans if it was locked, but it wasn't. Even in the current situation, I smiled, remembering Jean with his ever present questioning, "So... You get to here and the door is locked. Are you going to ring the doorbell?"

Slowly, I opened the door and peered around the frame. This was a mansion, and what I could see in the entry way showed it. Unfortunately, we had no idea of the inside layout. We just waited for our other team members, reactions and nerves on edge. We heard another almost inaudible pop, and then a not quite so inaudible thump, as the gate guard fell to the wooden floor. In seconds, all three had joined us. Chip gave a thumbs up, then three fingers, which indicated that there were - had been three goons in the barracks but no women. That counted up right, three there, one on the ground in the back and one in the tower. I pointed to Jonesie, Bummer and Dolby and made the signal to search the buildings in the compound. They disappeared.

I pointed, and in we went - the three of us. Like all houses, this one was much larger inside than it looked to be from without. We cleared the bottom floor in just a few minutes - nobody there. All the bedrooms were apparently upstairs. Up the carpeted stairs we went.

Unless there was an unlikely goon inside the house, we only had one other person to kill. But we also didn't want a second floor full of screaming women. But something was wrong. A game room, a theater, a huge bathroom with a sauna and hot tube were empty, as you would expect, but so were the bedrooms we came to. Where the hell were the women? We knew that there were many in residence here - they were seen on camera every day on the veranda and through the windows. At the end of the hallway was a set of double doors that had to be the master bedroom. I waited for the men to check the rest of the floor. Finally, Chip appeared and raised two fingers. Two girls? That's all? What the fuck? He gave an index finger and thumb gun sign, then a thumbs up, which meant that he had pumped sleepy juice into both with one of the two injection guns we were carrying. Then he touched his hair, and made a flat swipe with his hand. Neither was a redhead. Shit.

Then Telly appeared with the other injection gun and flashed one finger. And that she was no redhead.

I waved for Chip to keep a lookout, then Telly and I slowly eased open a door each. Paydirt. There was the bastard, in a very large canopied bed, and with what looked like two companions. The room was huge, with erotic paintings on the wall, marble pillars with erotic statuary, and a bookshelf filled with sex toys - some I didn't even recognize. In front of the bed was a metal platform, about four feet square and six inches tall, made of polished stainless steel. There were rings and holes in it. I assumed that it was for bondage attachments, maybe. Whatever, not important. I waved at Telly. He moved around one side, and I the other. I looked at him and nodded and both of us jabbed the business end of an injector into the neck of the woman on either side of the bed. One twitched and made a little squeal, but didn't wake up. Neither did the snoring sob. On a sudden decision, I poked him in the neck and pulled the trigger. From the lack of contents of the liquor bottle on the nightstand, he probably wouldn't have woken up even without the bye-bye juice.

I opened my phone, hit speed dial, connected to Katja and said, "Now." Back downstairs, everybody was meeting in the front hallway. Bummer gave a fast and brief report. "Nothing, Sarge. Garage - lots of fancy cars. Barracks. Workshop. Storage. Wellhouse. A couple with just junk."

To Jonesie I said, "Go figure out how to open the gate. Katja is on her way." To the rest, I said, "Tear this place apart - find where his stash is. Look behind furniture, paintings, under rugs, everywhere. We have five hours to daylight."

They took off. I just stood and looked for a moment. Where the hell is my redhead? We had seen many more than five women. We saw none leave. That meant they were still here somewhere. I went up the stairs three at a time, looked in every room and mentally calculated the layout of the second floor. Every room had a window, except for a bathroom, an exercise room, and two bedrooms. There was no place for a secret room up here. Certainly not big enough for a bunch of women.

Downstairs, I did the same thing, mentally measuring and trying to determine if a room or rooms were too short, or too far apart. No. There was no way that an internal hidden room was here either. Unless it was one of the outbuildings, and that didn't jive with our visual intel over the past week, it had to be in a basement. I whistled. In seconds everybody appeared looking for orders. "There has to be a basement. Look for a hidden entrance." I went from room to room - it was obvious which ones that the men had been in. All the rugs were pulled back, the furniture was moved, paintings were askew. I remembered the fireplace in the lodge in France. If the one here had that sophistication, we would never find it in the time we had.

I sat back to think. The entrance would be at least semi-private. He wouldn't want to advertise it to one and all. The bedroom would have been the best place, but it was on the upper floor. A half hour later, all I had received from the searchers was a "Nothing yet, Sarge." Meanwhile, Katja had driven into the compound in a panel truck. I had her back it up to the front door, then both her and Jonesie immediately disappeared out the gate, jogging across the field back to our temporary warehouse and the other truck and car. Fifteen minutes later they were back with both. I told Jonesie where the girls were, and to load them into one truck, and the five stiffs into the car.

I gave Katja a quick rundown on what was happening. She just nodded and began to look around. Another half hour went by. Shit on a shingle. This wasn't turning out right. Once again, each man that came into my view, just shook his head.

"Rodger!" It was Katja. "Come up here!" Again, I took the steps at full gallop and followed her into the master bedroom. She pointed to the strange metal platform at the end of the bed. Kneeling down, she motioned to me. "Look here - beside it." Then she got up and turned out the lights. Holy shit, the platform was outlined in a very thin sliver of light. This was a trap door! It made sense. An entire room couldn't be hidden on the upper floor, but a four foot square shaft leading to a basement could. Lights on, I tried to move it, lift it, swivel it, but no luck. I walked to the door and gave a loud whistle.

Very shortly, the four men came galloping into the room. I pointed to the platform. "It's a trapdoor. Help me figure out how to get it open."

They began to pull and pry with no luck, then Chip said, "Stop." We looked at him. "It isn't a trap door. It's an elevator. Watch." He pushed on one side, over and over. We could hear the platform faintly clunk as it hit against the walls of the shaft. It would move very slightly in both dimensions.

I stood up. "Look for a button, or movable book or some kind of trigger." For several minutes we tore the room apart. I was about to tell Telly to break out the C-4 were were carrying for emergencies, when Katja found the controls. The head of a female statue was hinged, and when opened, exposed a toggle switch. I pointed to Bummer. "Go help Jonesie load up, then tell him to get up into the gate tower and stand watch. Dolby - stand by that switch." I motioned to Katja and Telly to get on the platform, then hopped on myself, and nodded to Doyle.

Smoothly the platform began to descend. Since it was a platform and not a cage, the mechanism had to be a hydraulic cylinder under it. Shortly, we came to a stop in a brightly lit basement - and just stared.


The basement was huge - the same layout as the first floor of the house. A high ceiling and the open expanse was only interrupted at intervals by supporting posts for the house above. But dimensions were not what we were looking at. On mats along a wall were sleeping women. Then we noticed that they were attached to the concrete wall with a chain and a manacle around one ankle. Shit, then over on the facing wall, several...

"Who are you?" My Turkish was still fairly poor, but I got the gist of the demand from the large woman who appeared in front of us - she was apparently the only one clothed down here, wearing a house coat or something. So... The dungeon has a dungeon mistress. No time to waste on her. I pointed and Telly and I quickly moved forward - faster than she could back up - and each grabbed an arm. Telly put the gun to her neck and fired. The prick of the injection got her to jabbering at full bore, but only for a minute or two until she collapsed. We picked her up and deposited her on the platform. There was another switch on a pole right next to the platform. It made sense - there had to be a way to control the elevator from down here. I pushed it and the woman disappeared from sight, overhead. Dolby would know what to do when she appeared.

There had to be another and larger secret entrance to this underground room. All this stuff didn't come down that four foot hole, but there wasn't time to look for it.

The noise had started to wake up the girls, who naturally started jabbering. "Katja, tell them all to shut up and keep quiet or... make something up." She walked to the center of the room and began to speak in several different languages. It worked - the noise level dropped immediately. I was examining the closest girl - her manacle was held on by a simple padlock. About this time, the elevator came back down with Chip, who looked around in surprise.

I pointed at him. "Tell them to send down the bolt cutters. Tell Dolby to come down - he doesn't need to stand by the switch." He nodded and went back to shout up the shaft.

By now I had counted. Twelve girls. Plus the five already in the truck made seventeen. Plus the boss bitch. I scanned around some more. YES. There was Rita, too far away to see her expression, but I hoped she was glad to see me. I waved to her, but otherwise paid no attention. Time for that later, and for the boss to jack around with a cunt in the middle of a dangerous operation would be unprofessional - like that fool Marko.

On the far wall was the area for the bad girls apparently. One was strung up in a strappado hang - something cruel enough for two lovers playing torture games, but hung that way all night, the pain might cause the girl to actually lose her mind. Another was sitting, contorted in a medieval rig that held her arms and legs parallel to each other and her body doubled up. She was definitely in pain. That cocksucker upstairs wasn't into B&D games - he was getting off on real Nazi style agony!

Shit, then I noticed, down low, a set of bars in the wall, over an opening only about two feet high and three feet long. Stooping down, I saw it was a very small niche in the wall and two girls were jammed into it, barely able to move, all tangled up with each other and laying in their own piss and shit. From what I could see, one was unconscious - hopefully asleep, although that was doubtful with all the commotion that had been going on.

I stood up and shouted, "Tell Dolby to start on this wall first! Telly! Go around the walls - look in anything and behind everything. I don't want to leave anybody behind in this goddamned place."

That made an even twenty girls, unless we got another surprise.

Dolby appeared with the bolt cutters. "Start cutting locks - over there first. There's two girls in a cell down low. Then take them to the truck, but don't juice anybody until you get there - we don't want to have to carry them." He nodded and headed over with the cutters. Bummer followed. In a half hour, the basement was almost empty of girls.

The far end of the basement

"Sarge, you need to look at this! Telly was waving me over to a door. Beyond it was a short hallway, and as I got to the end of that, I saw that the end wall wasn't a wall, it was a door. But it wasn't a normal door - it was metal and heavy, with a massive lock and hinges to match. "Chip!" I called. As he trotted over, I pointed. "Get this ready to open. And don't use so much that we wake up the neighborhood."

Finally, the last set of girls went up the elevator and I nodded to Chip. He lit the fuse and trotted over to us and we hunkered down and covered our ears. He wasn't trying to blow the whole door off, just the lock, so the amount of C-4 was only about the size of a golf ball.

Bamm! We ran over to the door and saw that the bail of the lock had been neatly sliced through and the body was gone. Chip, yanked the bail out of the lock holes, then pulled on the welded handle. The heavy door slowly squeaked open.

We just stared. Again. Finally, Bummer said a single word. "Jackpot."

Inside were stacks of currency - Euros mostly, but not an inconsiderable amount of dollars. And bags of something. Well, well. Another petty crook who didn't trust the banking system. It wasn't a Federal Reserve bank, but it wasn't a trivial stash, either. I spun around and started giving orders. Immediately, armloads of bills were being carried to the platform elevator. Then some heavy sacks - gold coins, I saw when I examined one. In five minutes we had the vault emptied and the last load going up. I quickly walked around the huge basement, looking for anything we might have missed. Like a semi-hidden door or room with another woman or women in it. I didn't want to leave any to die of thirst. Nothing. I turned out the lights, and rode the platform up for the last time. At the top, I nodded to Chip. He removed the statue with the elevator switch from its pedestal, then cut the wires, and replaced the statue. The elevator might not even be found until the property was sold to someone else. And maybe not even then.

I looked at my watch. Finished and still forty five minutes to daybreak. So far so good. The vehicles were running, stopped at the gate and with everyone inside except Chip. Katja was driving the truck with the loot and my team, Bummer was driving the car with the stiffs, and I was at the wheel of the truck with the girls. Chip was on the tower, and at a wave from me, pushed the button to open the gate. We drove out - the others onward, but I stopped just outside, waiting. The gate closed behind me and it took a minute or so for Chip to disable the drive motor, then he swung over the wall, and let himself drop to the dirt. In seconds he was in the cab with me and we were off.

Not very far - just back to the warehouse that we had temporarily stored our vehicles in. I didn't want to drive through town at this early hour. Some cop might be curious about what was being hauled at this time of night - or morning, actually. By daybreak, normal traffic would begin to hit the roads and we would blend in with it.

On the road

The truck with the loot and my team was gone - headed for the airport and the private hanger of the Sheik's cargo company, and followed by the car with the late employees of Yilmaz, the Fearless. It wasn't stolen - just anonymous, having been purchased by a straw buyer a few days before. It would be left at convenient parking spot somewhere along the route, all five stiffs sitting up in the seats. It might be hours before anyone noticed them.

The truck, with the girls stacked in the back like cordwood, headed for Tarkan's. I was driving and had Chip as the passenger. I still had a job for him to do before he met the others at Jean's eventually. It was uneventful, if not very fast in the horrible traffic of that city. A coded phone call ahead made sure that the garage entrance was open and waiting for us to drive in.

Tarkan's office

As we relaxed in Tarkan's office, he handed me a folder. Ahhh. It was from what passed for a private detective in those parts. There were twenty or thirty sheets of paper inside, but the first one told me what I wanted to know. Tarken was managing to hold on to his temper as I read excerpts from it. Chip was already setting up the machine, and we were getting ready for our next act. He nodded and I looked at my host and also nodded.

He opened the door and shouted down the hall for a flunky, gave a few orders, and then sat back and waited. Shortly, his man - the one that spoke very good English and that I sometimes took with me as a translator - came in, followed by another employee - short, nervous, and wondering what was going on.

As his clerk translated, I began my spiel. "Mister Barrack. We have discovered that someone is leaking information from Tarkan's business, to someone outside. We're testing all his employees with this lie detector to find out who. You're next." I didn't need the lie detector - I knew it was him. According to the info that I had just received, he was the only one to have an unexplained source of income. A newer car, a mistress with new clothes, a brother-in-law with a new truck for his carpet business and so forth. None of which he was going to purchase as a low-end flunky for Tarkan.

That definitely got his nervous level to rise. He began babbling something, probably his innocence on the life of his mother and so forth. I held up my hand. "Don't speak until you are asked a question. Take off your shirt and sit in that chair." He looked around, trying to decide his best course of action, and since I was between him and the door, and had a knife plainly visible in my waistband, he made the only real one he had.

Chip began to attach electrodes, making impressive gestures and examining each as he hooked it up. It was an old surplus machine I had picked up on the Net. I didn't even know if it worked, and didn't care since nobody in the room knew anything about interpreting one. But it had working ink pins that scribbled back and forth impressively, just like those you see in the movies.

Finally, he was made ready. Actually, if this had been a real session, it would probably have to have been called off because the suspect was sweating like a pig, and looking at the machine in real fear. If he had denied burning Rome on the orders of Nero, it would probably have indicated he was lying.

"Is your name really Barrack?" He nodded vigorously. "Speak yes or no."

"Evet! Evet!" he blurted out, still nodding. Chip looked at the machine, then at me and gave a single affirmative nod. This was all an act, rehearsed by us before now, and Chip's findings were keyed by the position of my left hand - above my waist, true - below it, lie.

"Do you work for Tarkan?" And several more questions to set the stage, and the mood.

"Have you ever accepted money from someone for information?"

"Hayir! Hayir!" Now he was forcefully shaking his head, drops of sweat flying in all directions. Chip looked at me with a grim expression and slowly shook his head. By now the little man was almost in a panic.

I smiled at him. "Are you sure?" I asked calmly. He opened his mouth to answer and I leaned over in his face and shouted a question, "How much did Yilmaz pay you to spy?"

That did it. He pulled himself out of his chair and onto his knees, dragging the attach leads with him. "Mercy, please! I didn't tell him anything important. He said he was trying to find a girl that was stolen from him and that he would reward me if I helped. I didn't mean to harm..." and on and on. It was horseshit. From the report of his outside income, he had been an agent of the Fearless one far longer than I had known Tarken. I looked up at my host, him grimly watching with his hand on the knife in his belt.

The last I ever saw of him was as Tarkan's two personal guards escorted the babbling little man down the hall. And I never asked.

Tarkan's office

I sent Chip off to a room to relax and get a shower that all of us needed by now. Once Tarkan's mood got back to normal, he suddenly remembered something. Something that he didn't want to tell me, from his demeanor. Finally, he spoke. "My friend. I have some news for you that is not... gladsome." Uh-oh. What the hell was this? I waited. "Your slavegirl with the red hair..." What? I knew she was all right - I had seen her. Had she died from a reaction to the sleep injection or something like that? "While she was a captive, she was... altered."

My hair rose on end. "Altered? What..."

"Her vocal cords were removed." As my eyes got wider, he continued. "It is commonly done with foreign women." He went on, desperately unhappy to be the bearer of such news. "It is healing nicely and she is in no pain. But, alas, she will never speak again."

Stunned, I just sat there. Then a fury began to build that I had trouble keeping inside. That cock sucking bastard... When I got to the Sheik's, I would perform the same operation on that son of a bitch, only I would remove his talkbox through his asshole.

"There is more," he continued with a pained expression. "She was marked."

My room

When I got to my room, Rita was still asleep from the drug and probably wouldn't wake for hours. I looked at her face, cursing myself for sending that goddamned bastard on the plane, rather than bringing him here where I could carve my initials on his heart. On both cheeks, inflamed red, were the deep imprints of two brands - Yilmaz's initials, I was told.

I turned her head to look at her throat. Sure enough, there was a one inch scar on the side of her throat, red but not infected. At that moment, I was living for revenge and nothing else.

I took a badly need shower, then laid down for a few hours rest.

A movement woke me - Rita was nestled up next to me, her body soft and beautiful as ever. Suddenly, she noticed that I was awake, and sat up in the bed, just looking away from me. I couldn't quite determine her mood - afraid? No, apprehensive maybe. What happened to us last month wasn't her fault, but I guess the attitude of a slave is that she can be punished for anything bad th...

Then it hit me. She was afraid that she was now damaged goods and I would throw her away. Not a chance. She was my first girl and she would remain my first girl. I pulled her over to me and smiled, her boobs resting on my chest. "Nobody screws with my woman without my permission. If I didn't want you, I wouldn't have gone to all that trouble of getting you back. As soon as your face heals, I'll have a plastic surgeon fix those scars. You're my bedwarmer and you will stay my bedwarmer, understand?" She nodded, trying to keep from smiling, then suddenly broke down and cried into the pillow.

I relaxed while she was having her catharsis session, thinking about our operation. It had gone well - not perfect - but with no more glitches than a good mission, and far fewer than some I had been on. My only regret was that we didn't have enough time to loot the house properly. There was no telling how many valuables were left behind. My team worked together as a well oiled machine. Hopefully, they would do so again.

Rita had calmed herself, and was trying to snuggle closer to me than was physically possible to get. I thought about my plans for her - she couldn't enter Suliman's academy now, not looking like that. But for now, it was time to get to work. I had an operation to wind down. I rolled her over, popped her on the butt, and said, "I have to go. You just rest and get ready for tonight. Hungry?" She nodded. "I'll have some food sent in."

On the way to Tarkan's office, I stopped by the kitchen and placed an order.

A large room

We were in a large room somewhere in the back of Tarkan's rambling establishment. In a long row, chained by the neck to the wall, were the nineteen girls that we had taken from the compound. With Tarkan beside me, I walked down the row, inspecting each in turn. They were really lookers, but that was no surprise - Yilmaz wouldn't have collected ugly women. My only surprise was how many he had. Eighteen, plus the dungeon witch and Rita. Two of Tarkan's workers were with us, each holding a short crop. From the occasional red stripe on the stomach of a girl, apparently they had already had to use them to keep the peace.

"What do you think, my friend," I asked.

He was in a jovial mood after shucking off the problem of a traitor in his midst. "A good catch. I've never received so many high quality girls in one batch before. They will bring much money."

I nodded, and replied, while still examining the harem. "I'll leave it to you. Prepare them how you will - train them or fatten them up, and get them ready for the block." He nodded, still smiling.

"Except for her." I pointed to the fat mistress of the dungeon. "Keep her for me."

He nodded. "As you wish. She would bring little, anyway."

I turned away from the girls and said, "I need to get gone." He nodded again. "I'll be back in a few days - a week or two at the most. Let Rita use my room and care for her well."

"It will be exactly as you wish, my friend."

The Sheik's compound

I had put Chip on a plane for Paris. He would meet up with the others and wait till I got there. I assumed they would find sufficient entertainment at Jean's place to keep occupied.

I was seated in the top floor lounge with Katja and the Sheik. She had already told him of the operation, but he was anxious to hear it from me, also. The door was locked and the liquor was cold and good.

He leaned over and filled my glass again, all smiles and in a cordial mood. "My accountant will have a preliminary estimate of the value your take from the... basement... yes, basement in a day or so. I assume that you will want the currency converted and sent to your account? The gold you should just hang on to."

I nodded. "And of course, don't forget your share of the... profits. It wouldn't have come off without your support."

Katja spoke up. "What did Tarkan think about the women?" I had already had his accountant transfer a share to her bank account. I never knew when I might see her again and she was far too valuable a friend and asset to let slip away.

I got up and walked to the window before answering. I was still keyed up and was having trouble winding down. And I still had one unfinished task waiting for me that I was looking forward to. "He says they will bring about two million - thereabouts." Looking at the Sheik, I continued. "I inspected all of them myself before I left, but I didn't see any that I thought would pique your interest. They were all very desirable, but nothing spectacular." I thought for a moment. "I could have a video made of each and sent to you if you wish."

"No need." He set his glass down. Now, as to your request - he is your prisoner and it is your loss that he caused, so it is your choice. Do you still wish it? I nodded grimly.

In a large holding cell

Yilmaz rose as I entered his cell. He was only wearing shorts - the room he was in wasn't exactly air-conditioned. I walked up to him and he saw death in my eyes - but he was wrong. I pulled the K-Bar out of my waistband and held it up. In my broken Turkish, previously rehearsed, I said slowly, "See this? You can use it if you can get it." I tossed it into the opposite corner. "You have tried to kill me, you have stolen my property and returned it to me damaged. I killed your men who attacked me. We are even on that point. I have taken your property. We are also even on that. But, you have deliberately mutilated a defenseless woman who has done you no harm. That act pisses off any American man. That you will pay for, now. Unless you can protect yourself by killing me."

I stepped toward him and he struck out in desperation. I easily warded off the blow. Then he lunged for the corner of the room where the knife was laying. He made it about halfway before my foot thudded into his side. I heard an unknown number of ribs crack as he fell on his face, gasping. I waited for him to rise, then stepped toward him again. This time, I trapped his swing under my left armpit, and broke his arm just below the elbow with my right. He fell back against the wall, howling. He circled around me as I watched, then gasping at the pain, suddenly dove for the knife and came up with it in his good hand. Looking up back toward the door and up, I could see Hassan and Katja watching from an upper floor window.

Holding the knife straight in front of himself, and favoring his damaged ribs, he just stood and waited. I also just watched for a moment, then moved in. The clumsy knife lunge I easily avoided, batted it from his hand, then broke the other arm. He shouted in pain and doubled over. I just shoved him to the floor, then knocked on the door. A flunky immediately opened it, and handed me a heavy kettle. It radiated heat and had two rods sticking out. I set it beside the moaning scumbag, then straddled his body and sat down on his chest, pinning his arms under my legs.

Reaching over, I threw off the leather cover of the iron pot, looked in for a moment and pulled out an iron with a glowing R at the end. Grabbing his hair, I positioned the brand over his terrified face, then shoved it against his cheek. He howled like a banshee for a moment, then fainted dead away. After five seconds, I pulled the iron back and tossed it away. Getting up, I knocked on the door again. This time I was handed a pail of water which I dumped on the unconscious form. Sputtering, and yelling, he came back to life. I resumed my seat on his chest, picked up the other iron, this one with an H. Holding him by the hair again, I pressed it into his other cheek. He stayed awake this time, but he was almost beyond noticing.

I stood up and just looked at him for a moment, then said, "That is for what you did to her voice. This is for what you did to her face." I picked up my K-Bar, placed the blade in his waistband and slashed downward, twice, then threw the remnants of his shorts away. Next, I kicked his knees apart, reached down and pulled his balls as far down as possible...

The Sheik's lounge

"Rodger," the Sheik began. "I have taken the liberty to start building up your organization. It will take a few months, but it is time for you to go back to America and... how do you say it? ...set up shop." When you get back from Paris, I will have a series of briefings ready for you, and a temporary manager to get you started."

Wow. Things were moving along. I looked over at Katja. "How about you? Do you want to visit America as my advisor?" She just winked.

Outside of Paris

We were sitting around a table in Jean's study - Jean, my five team members and myself. I was doing the talking. "...and as you remember, I guaranteed each of you a sum of fifty thousand dollars for the job. Plus a share of any take. At the time, I was assuming that we would find a few girls and a lot of cash. Of course, you know we found a treasure trove and all of you get a share of it.

I handed out five thick manila envelopes, each with the name of a member on it. "Don't open these yet. I'm going to discuss what is in them. Telly, if you will let me use yours as an example." He pushed it back to me and I opened it. I pulled out a fat wad of cash and dropped it on the table.

"First is five thousand dollars in cash. This isn't part of your share, or wages. It's just for expenses to get you back home. Second, and most important is this little card." I held it up. "On it you will find a number and a very long password. Memorize both and don't forget them. This number is for your bank account in a Swiss bank - one that has been in business for hundreds of years and has no branches outside of the country. That means that it is immune to pressure from outside sources to reveal clients and accounts. On the back is a web site. It has instructions that you can download that will give you all kinds of financial advice, such as how to access your money in your account, how to invest it if you want. It also has what NOT to do with all that money, like suddenly buying a flashy new red sports car and a mink coat for your current live-in cunt. The last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourselves as being suddenly wealthy without a reason." I pointed to one of them. "Chip has agreed to help any of you who need assistance in downloading and printing out that document. The reason for not just giving it to you now, is, of course, the problem that you have to go through customs and to avoid any red flags being raised on your account.

I sat down and looked at each man. Finally, I said, "That concludes this operation and I want to thank all of you for your professional conduct, and your friendship. You can now sightsee in Europe for a while, or go back home."

As they began to smile and nod to each other, I said, 'But!" That brought them up short. They froze and waited. "I think you know by now that I am an agent for a very powerful organization..." Most nodded. "It has been decided that they will set up a... well, franchise in the US. I will be the agent in charge, and will need a set of, shall we say, employees. I doubt that the operations there will be quite as spectacular as the one we just concluded, but I will say that the work will be seldom, danger will be involved, and the pay will be very lucrative. If any of you are interested, please stay for a while. Anyone who isn't, can leave with my thanks and good wishes."

I waited for a few moments. Telly looked around, then said. "Nobody is leaving, Sarge. Keep talking."

End of Book 2

Copyright© 2012 by Morlock. All rights reserved.