Girls Friday

Part 2

I started in on my hobby of writing by doing sequels to stories by other writers.  That is the way my imagination often runs.  Now it has happened again.  This one is the first of a set of sequels to Girls Friday, by Morlock.  I have asked him for permission, which he granted. He is getting advance copies before the sequels are posted on Writings of Leviticus.

This is a sequel, so it begins with the action already well underway.  In order to understand what is happening, you need to read Morlock's original story first.  

Evening and Night

The mood on the shore had changed completely.  No party got started.  As a matter of fact, there was very little of the normal activity that I would have expected in the village.  The only movement that I saw was girls bringing more fuel to the fire in the big open-sided hut and positioning LED lanterns to illuminate the shoreline and the dock.  Somebody apparently realized that I would have all of the advantages in darkness, since I had all of the night vision equipment.  I don't think that any of the girls slept in their huts, for fear that I would sneak in somehow and kidnap more of them.

The disadvantage for them of setting up all those lights is that I was able to study the activity on the shore without using night vision gear.   The Captain's binoculars had large front lenses with plenty of light-gathering power.  I got a brief glimpse of the Captain giving orders to one of the other girls, and then she disappeared into the shadows.    She was carrying another sawed-off shotgun.

Oh, damn!  I should have realized that she wouldn't trust having just one gun and leaving it out on the ship.  She must have kept the second one secretly buried.  If I went ashore, I couldn't use the night-vision gear to find her in the shadows because all of the bright lights in the village would tend to blind the gear and me.  If I stepped in front of any of those lights, I would risk giving her a clear shot at me.  The village had become a trap.

The Captain's initial plan was apparently to lure me into the village and polish me off.  She probably hadn't realized that I had seen her with the shotgun.  I was glad that she carried it with her into the firelight.  She must have been unwilling to let it get out of her hands.

There was only one of me.  I couldn't stay awake 24 hours a day, for day after day.  Sooner or later the girls would be able to figure out a way to get out to the ship without a lifeboat, just as I had.  Sooner or later they might figure out a way to get on board.  If they picked a moment when I was exhausted and sleeping, I might wake up with manacles closing around my wrists.  I might not wake up at all if the Captain used her shotgun.  The ship was my castle, but it was suddenly under siege.

Did they have enough food on shore to last longer than I could keep functioning on not enough sleep?  Probably. The situation looked grim.

The Captain probably wouldn't try to reach the ship that night.  She would wait until she was certain that she couldn't lure me ashore, and until I had spent more time keeping watch 24/7 by myself and becoming exhausted.  I had my best chance right then to get some extra sleep.  So I spread out a mattress and lay down on the deck, alone.  I needed sleep more than I needed sex.

Next day

I chained the girl who had become the cook in the kitchen once again, and she prepared meals for everybody.  I had her distribute the food to the other girls in their cabins, under my watchful eye to make certain that she didn't also distribute any possible hidden manacle keys.  I spent most of my time lying on the deck, watching the shoreline, taking occasional catnaps.  I didn't want to give any clues to the girls on shore about when I was asleep and when I was awake.

The village was dead, no activity at all.  Were the girls all out hunting?  Did they have another stash of weapons that had been secretly buried?  Had any more weapons or other gear been hidden on shore besides the Captain's shotgun, for example a pistol or another set of night-vision gear?  What were the girls doing to any of the guys that they captured, now that they weren't bringing them back to the village?  I needed information; military-style intelligence about what the Captain was up to.  I didn't see any good way of obtaining that information.  I couldn't go ashore and scout without risking the loss of the ship.  I might have to take that risk eventually, but I wasn't ready to do that yet.

I had four beautiful women in chains, completely accessible.  I didn't play with any of them.  I had had just one brief glimpse of the Captain with her shotgun.  If I had spent that time screwing around below decks instead of watching the shore, I wouldn't have known about the gun.  I didn't want to miss any other important details if I could help it.  I was fighting a war.

That evening

Once again the only activity in the village was girls adding fuel to the fires and placing LED lanterns to light up the shore.  I kept watching that area through the binoculars and grabbing an occasional catnap to avoid becoming exhausted.  It appeared that our mutual siege could last for a long time.  I might miss something important while napping, but it wouldn't do me any good to know what was coming at me if I was out cold from lack of sleep when it arrived.

I also got an empty cardboard cereal box from the kitchen trash and used it as a light shield for the night vision gear.  By using it to block the bright light, I could keep watch over the rest of the coastline away from the village without getting either the gear or myself blinded.  It had occurred to me that if I had been in command on shore, I might have tried distracting attention by keeping one area brightly lit while launching a real sneak attack from the darkness somewhere else.

The next move did come from the darkness.  I may have been napping when the swimmer entered the water, but I did spot her as she came close to the ship.  The only thing visible was her head.  She was swimming a very quiet breast stroke, with no splashing and no commotion in the water.  She was all alone.

What could one woman hope to accomplish alone, even if she found a way to get onto the ship?  I realized that if she got aboard when I was sleeping, then she could knock me out with a wooden club, free the other girls on the ship, and turn the tables again.  She might be carrying a small pistol from the Captain's secret stash.  Or perhaps she was a scout, sent out with no intention of trying to get on board just to test my alertness before a larger party came out.  The larger party would come if the scout caught me sleeping.

I decided to show this swimmer that sneaking up on me could be very dangerous.  I tied a lightweight rope to the handle of an LED lantern and to a handy bracket on the deck.  When the swimmer reached the ship, I switched that lantern on and tossed it to hang just over the rail and shine down into the water.  I moved away from the lantern so that any shots aimed at the light would not also be aimed at me.  I leaned over the ship's rail and fired one shotgun round into the water alongside her.  I shifted position again so that any shots aimed at the muzzle flash of my gun could not hit me.

The girl in the water screamed, then shouted "Don't shoot!  It's me, Cindy.  Please, don't shoot!"  I looked down at the lantern-lit patch of water, and sure enough, the girl was Cindy, my partner from the luau on the first night out of Sydney.  She looked up into the beam from the hanging lantern - I was hidden in the darkness farther up the deck - and she kept pleading, "Take me aboard, please please.  I can't go back.  I would be shot as a traitor if I tried.  If you leave me in the water, eventually I will drown."

The probable benefit of bringing her aboard was substantial.  I could interrogate her and find out what was happening on the island.  The risk was small; she didn't seem to be carrying any weapons, and I had lots of chains that I could use on her.  Before I took the ship, the girls had rigged a line for lowering supplies into a lifeboat.  That line still ran through a convenient pulley over the deck.  I lowered the end of the line down to her.

She responded "More rope, please", and she did something with that rope.  Then she said "Okay, haul away."  She had learned her knotwork well when she became a sailor.  When she came over the rail, her hands were lashed together over her head in a tie that involved a slipknot.  She wouldn't be able to get either hand free as long as there was tension on the rope that supported her.  She had given herself to me as a naked helpless prisoner.

I soon had her dangling over the deck.  I remembered the personal statistics that she had given me during that luau: 20 years old, five foot three, 94 pounds, and 33-22-32.  I don't believe I mentioned before that she was a blonde, with straight hair down to her shoulder blades.  She looked sensational, hanging there like a fish, freshly caught and still flopping.  Given the choice between her and all four of my other captive women as a group, I would have picked her.

But the war was still on, and I was still trying to fight it without enough information.  I couldn't let sex distract me.  I asked the most important question first: "What is the Captain up to now?"

"She has gone crazy, absolutely flipped out!  She dug up a shotgun that none of the rest of us knew about, and she led a hunt up the island today.  The rest of us were beaters with bamboo or aluminum poles.  When a threelegs broke from cover, she opened fire without giving him any chance at all.  She's killed Ferstenburg and the beermaker already.  We flushed one of the others, but she wasn't very close and her shot missed.  He might have a few stray pellets in him, though.  Afterwards she told us that threeleg slaves were a drain on the available food supply.  We might need to eat that food ourselves before we are able to re-take this ship.  She will probably lead another hunt tomorrow.  She wants to eliminate the threat of attack from behind while she is dealing with you.  She doesn't want any other threelegs still able to escape from the island and join you on the ship ."


"Sorry.  That's what we call the males who are foolish enough to sign on for our cruise.  We needed a disparaging name for them, like 'kraut' or 'nip' during World War II, or 'frog' for the French back around 1800.  Your country used to have 'niggers' who got lynched, and mine used to have 'abos' who got mistreated.  Killing someone is much easier if he has a name like that."

"So I am a threelegs too?"

"I have had trouble thinking of you as just a threeleg slave ever since that first luau out of Sydney.  When we talked, you were genuinely interested in me, in my life, and in what I had to say.  When we got down to screwing, you wanted me to have as much fun as you were having.  Passion with you was something special.  I like you."

"Would you have liked whipping me, or roasting me over a fire, or poking me with a cattle prod?"

"Probably not. For sure, not any more.  Remember Ferstenburg?  He got zapped with a cattle prod, and butt-fucked, his ass was treated with cayenne pepper, and he was whipped.  I am the one who found his hiding place during this morning's hunt.  I can still remember the expression of absolute terror on his face when he realized that he was in for it again.  He ran from me, but not very far.  Captain Marie was right there.  She shot him in the gut.  He looked upward, and I swear he almost had a thankful expression on his face.  The gunshot must have hurt like hell, but he knew that he wouldn't be tortured any more."

She had a lot more to say.  "The expression on his face was what finally taught me that threelegs are people too.  We don't have any right to treat them the way we have been treating them, no matter how badly other men have treated each of us.  My dreams will probably be haunted by the look that Ferstenburg had on his face as he died.

"I mentioned something about this to one of the other girls.  She reported me to the Captain.  Now I am afraid that I am on the Captain's permanent shit list.  Remember, I am only twenty years old.  I have only been on one previous cruise before this one.  The girl that I replaced died in an automobile accident back in Australia.  I am beginning to wonder if that accident really was accidental.

"I'm glad that you captured so many of the other girls.  Captain Marie has set up a 24-hour watch schedule.  She couldn't spare anybody else just to watch me full-time.  After the sun set I was able to slip away into the darkness.  I went into the water farther up the beach and started to swim out here.

"I think that they have missed me already.  I saw one of the other girls patrolling the shore after I got well away from the beach.  I think that she was looking for me, and didn't realize that I would swim the entire journey instead of walking along the beach to the spot closest to the ship. I'm a damn good swimmer, better than anybody realized, including me.  I had to swim for hours and hours, it seemed like.  I would never have made the distance if I had been doing laps in a pool, without the incentive of knowing that failure meant death.

"Thank you very very much for bringing me on board."

I never thought that a beautiful helpless woman, hanging naked by her wrists over the deck of an old-fashioned sailing ship, would ever give me a grateful smile for putting her in that situation.  I looked her over from head to toe, smiled back, and asked "Now what?"    If she had tried to seduce me, I would have become very suspicious.  Would she try to tire me out until I fell asleep, and then double-cross me somehow?

She said "All ships are supposed to have at least one radio that anyone could use.  This one doesn't.  I used to know the password procedures for the radio system.  If the Captain hasn't changed them, we could put out a mayday call."

I replied "Wouldn't that mean that you would be arrested also as an accessory to murder?"

"I think that I would prefer that to continuing a life based on hunting, torturing, and killing men."  She paused, and then added "Especially if you turned out to be one of the men."

I eased off the tension on the rope that was holding her hands over her head.  She said "The knot has pulled pretty tight by now.  Can you get it?  My fingers aren't working well."  I pulled and tugged, and eventually she slipped one hand free of the rope, exclaimed "Oww" at the pins-and-needles feeling in her fingers, and shook both hands to get the blood circulating again and to get the rest of the rope off of her other hand.

She led the way down to the radio room.  Not too surprisingly, it was just off the captain's cabin.  As she walked in front of me, I realized that I was allowing a woman on the ship to be completely unrestrained.  As I watched her, an old song about poetry in motion ran through my head.  Such lovely locomotion; there was nothing I would change.  I decided that I couldn't be bothered with chaining her at that moment.  Where could she go, if she ran?  She wouldn't have been able to get very far before I grabbed her again.

Cindy managed to get the radio receivers working.  The GPS gave us our position; our little island was in the patch of ocean legally controlled by the Republic of Noumea, one of the last of the old European colonies in the world to be granted its independence.  The French colonialists had called it New Caledonia.  Unfortunately she couldn't get the broadcast radios or the outbound datalinks to transmit.  Either the Captain had changed the passwords since Cindy had last worked in the radio room, or Cindy remembered those passwords wrong.  Cindy said "Damn!"  Then she turned to look up at me with her best puppy-dog eyes and asked "Your aren't mad at me, are you?  I really tried."

I had been leaning over her shoulder for the whole time that she sat in the radio room.  I thought that she had made a real effort to get those radios working.  At that point I was faced with two possibilities:

--  Either Cindy was an outstanding actress and a superb liar whose entire tale was a phony.  If that were the case, then her mission was to distract me while the other girls on the island carried out some sort of plot to retake the ship.  In that case, she deserved to be hung by the wrists on the foredeck and whipped, then fucked, then left to hang there all night.

--  Or else Cindy's story was true.  If that were the case, then this stunningly beautiful girl deserved all of the tender loving care that I could give her.

I told her "Final decision on how mad I should be and how I should finally treat you is hereby postponed for 24 hours.  Stand up and come along, in front of me."  I took her to the bondage gear cabinet and picked out some manacles, chains, padlocks, and a multi-strap blindfold with buckles that could be locked.  She showed no signs of surprise or fear; she must have expected me to use some of this equipment on her.  I marched her up to the main deck, locked the blindfold on her, and chained one ankle to a handy deck-level bracket.  I pulled a couple of mattresses over to her and helped her lie down.

She had had a long, tough day, which had included a long strenuous swim.  She was asleep before I could lie down beside her.

Later That Night

I began alternately catnapping, observing the shore, and watching Cindy sleep.  I do enjoy watching beautiful women sleep, especially when they are chained and I have the keys.

There was no visible activity on the island or in the water between the ship and the island.  My gunshot when Cindy first reached the ship would have been heard on shore, so the Captain knew that I had found her shotgun.  She knew that any immediate approach to the ship would be dangerous.

I planned to keep Cindy blindfolded at any time when she was on deck and I might be sleeping.  I was coming to believe that she was telling the truth, but I couldn't be absolutely certain.  With the blindfold on, she wouldn't dare betray me by using any hand signals to the shore to indicate that I was or wasn't asleep, and that it was or wasn't safe for more girls to swim out.  I might be watching her and not be asleep after all.

Cindy slept for several hours, recovering from her strenuous day.  Then she screamed, woke up, and grabbed for me.  She said "I told you that my dreams would be haunted by Ferstenburg and the look on his face as he died.  I was right."

I held her for a while, and then I let her drink a cup of cold water.  Finally she relaxed.  Her hands began to caress me; her lips soon joined in, and it all felt wonderful!  Of course I returned her caresses and kisses, and added some tickles as well.  Within only a few minutes I was ready, her crotch was wet, and I was on her and in her.   She held me very very close for at least an hour afterward.  She apparently didn't want to go back to sleep, for fear of seeing Ferstenburg in another nightmare.

We had another few hours of sleep.  Our next round of passion happened just as the sky in the east began to glow with false dawn. I let her know that I was awake without using any words at all.  A quick splash of cold water on her forehead woke her up completely.  I ordered her to sit up.  I chained her hands close together behind her back.  This time I put her on me, at first across my lap, then afterwards both lying down with her stretched on top of me.  I tried turning her on by spanking her butt before I screwed her.  We both liked that way too.

Next Morning after Sunrise

It was still warm, but cloudy and windy, with intense rain squalls wandering across the nearby waters.  A rain squall could easily have hidden an attempt by the girls on shore to reach the ship.  But none of the squalls hit the ship, the squalls didn't linger for long enough to cover an entire swim out, and the wind was blowing straight from the ship to the shore and stirring up some nasty choppy waves.  Swimming into those waves, or rowing out on some sort of raft, would both have been very difficult.  I kept a close watch on the water between the ship and the shore, but I really didn't expect Captain Marie to try anything that morning.

I was almost certain about Cindy's real attitude after our final round of passion, but I thought of another test that I could use just to be sure.  After breakfast - courtesy of our usual cook - I took Keena from the cabin belowdecks where I had been keeping her in chains.  I brought her up to the foredeck and tied her into whipping position.  Then I released Cindy from her wrist chains and her bracket on the main deck, hobbled her ankles together with about 16 inches of chain, removed her blindfold, brought her up to the foredeck, and handed her a whip.  I said "Go to it!"

The whip was a long leather strap perhaps an inch and a half wide.  It would hurt, but it was nowhere near as bad as a heavy braided bullwhip.  Keena didn't deserve any worse treatment than that based on anything that she had done to me.  I rationalized by thinking that as a member of the Captain's crew she must have been nasty to some other man in the past.

Cindy had an absolutely stricken expression on her face.  She looked at me, looked at Keena, looked back at me, and gave the whip one rather tentative swing.  It landed across Keena's waist.  Keena gasped and sucked in air.  For a long moment Cindy just stood there with shoulders slumped over and the whip trailing onto the deck.

I said "Again.  Harder."  The next whip stroke landed across Keena's butt.  Keena gasped louder and began to breathe very rapidly.  A band of pink developed across her skin where the whip had landed.

Cindy looked to be in worse shape than Keena.  I began to wonder if Cindy would throw up.

I wouldn't relent.  I needed to really know how Cindy felt.  I wouldn't get another chance this good.  I said "Again.  Much harder!"

The third whip stroke hit Keena across the shoulder blades, with a really wicked snap.  The end of the whip wrapped around Keena's side and smacked into her right breast.  Keena screamed.

I didn't say anything.  I just stood there with a cold, determined expression on my face.  Cindy pulled herself together and slashed at Keena hard four times in rapid succession.  Then she stopped, tossed the whip across the foredeck all the way to the ship's rail, turned to me with tears running down her face, and said "No more, please Sir, no more no more no more please please.  No more.  Have her whip me, if somebody has to be whipped.  I can't whip people any more.  Please no more."  She fell to her knees at my feet.

I knelt down in front of her, put my arms around her, and hugged her for at least ten minutes.  She finally stopped shaking.  Then she looked over my shoulder and stared at something out to seaward with a look of total astonishment.

Before I could turn around, the moment was interrupted by the "BAAAAAAP!" of a ship's fog horn.  A police cutter had emerged from an offshore rain squall and was entering the harbor. The cutter flew the flag of the Republic of Noumea Maritime Patrol.

Just a bit later

The cutter dropped anchor and launched a pair of inflatable boats with outboard motors.  One of the boats came to the ship, and the other one headed for the village.

I tried to explain the situation to the officer who led the ship boarding party.  His party searched the ship, and then he turned to me and said "So you have four women in chains, and one more who is tied up for whipping.  The one who is tied up has obviously been whipped recently.  I don't think that I can trust anything that you say.  You are under arrest.  You can try to explain this to our legal people later.  For now, keep your mouth shut unless somebody asks you a question."

Cindy spoke up.  "There is a crazy woman with a shotgun on the shore.  You had better warn your other boat crew."

The officer turned to her and asked "You really think that she would open fire on patrolmen armed with 9-millimeter submachine guns?"

"Like I said, she's crazy."

The officer looked out to sea, spoke into his helmet microphone, and waggled his fingers in the air.  He must have been pushing keys on a virtual keyboard that was projected onto the inside of his helmet goggles.

Apparently the morning hunt hadn't gotten too far from the village, or else Captain Marie turned back when she heard the foghorn.  Cindy was right.  We didn't see the final battle, but we heard it clearly: BOOM bam BOOM bam bambambam bam, bam!  After that, the other girls surrendered peacefully.  The landing party was wearing armor-cloth uniforms, so none of them was seriously injured by the two shots that Marie was able to fire before she died.

Cindy confessed to the officer that she and the other captive girls on the ship had committed crimes.  The officer put Cindy, Keena, and the cook into cabins, and he left my other two captives in theirs.  They were soon joined by several of the other women.  I was also shackled into one of the ship's cabins, with a guard on my door.  The patrolmen weren't completely trusting anyone.

We stayed at anchor for several hours, probably to allow time for a search for the other men.  When they were found, they must have been taken on board the cutter.

Finally I felt the ship begin to move as the anchor came up, and I felt the ship's movement snubbed very soon afterward when the anchor went down again.  The officer who had commanded the boarding party came to my cabin and demanded "Did you know that the steering on this ship has been sabotaged?"


"Do you know how it was done?"


After an exasperated pause, he asked "So how was it done?"

"I removed the turnbuckles that are used to tighten the steering chains."

"Do you know where the turnbuckles are now?"


"So, where are they?"

"Buried in the ballast sand just below the hatch to the bottom compartment."

"Why didn't you say something?"

"I was ordered not to talk unless somebody asked me a question."

The officer turned away, and cursed under his breath.  After that the patrolmen treated me more courteously.

Over the next few days

Eventually I was allowed to promise that I would not leave my cabin without permission.  I was then freed from my shackles.  The girls on the ship were also restricted to their cabins.  The officer in command apparently wasn't quite certain about who was guilty of what.

The Maritime Patrol crew sailed the Coral Sea Queen to Noumea Ville.  They were competent seamen.  I later learned that the Patrol had owned a sail training ship, and all of their recruits needed to make a voyage on that ship in order to qualify as patrolmen.  There were six recruits among the boarding party. The trip to Noumea Ville became their qualification cruise.

Three people took turns in interrogating me.  One of them was introduced as a prosecutor, one as a defender, and one wore the uniform of an Australian cop.

Before each interrogation, I was told "You must tell the truth.  Any lies that you tell will be punished."  Nobody used the American line about a right to remain silent, or the British line about my words being taken down in writing for use in a court of law.  The Noumean authorities didn't need to take anything down in writing anyway.  Every interrogation was video recorded.

The Australian cop explained why the patrol cutter had come to the island.  It seems that over the previous four years, eleven well-to-do or rich men had disappeared from the Sydney/Melbourne area after withdrawing significant amounts of cash from their accounts.  Another four wealthy men had also disappeared, but if they had carried any cash, they had apparently hidden their withdrawals better.  The Australian cop thought that there had been more disappearances which hadn't been reported to the authorities.  He was on the task force that was formed to investigate all of them.

The victims had nothing clearly in common except that they had disappeared, and they were not from Sydney or Melbourne.  No women were involved.  The task force had asked other police authorities about any similar cases.  The cops in Wellington, New Zealand, and those in Hobart, Tasmania, had seen a few similar disappearances.  No inland authorities had anything to report.  The disappearances must have had something to do with the sea.

In the bad old days, the next step in the investigation would have taken weeks of careful study of harbor logs. Things are different now. A laptop computer at Australian Police headquarters in Sydney was able to request and download those harbor logs, cross-correlate them, and come up with the answer in about two minutes. The only ship that had been in each of the harbors when wealthy men disappeared from that harbor was the Coral Sea Queen.

The next sailing of the Coral Sea Queen was monitored by an ultralight robot spy plane propelled by electric motors.  The plane's broad wings were made from thin-film solar cells.  The fuselage was packed with lithium batteries that could keep the plane aloft all night.  It flew at 60,000 feet, well above the clouds and turbulence of the lower atmosphere, it couldn’t be spotted by ordinary civilian-grade radars, and it stayed up-sun of anything or anybody that it was tracking so that it was hidden in the solar glare.  Captain Marie obviously never knew that her ship was being followed.

When the destination island had been located, the Australians asked the Noumean Maritime Patrol to check it out.  The Noumeans agreed to a simple voyage of inspection.  Their Patrol found me with a boatload of captive women, and they found Captain Marie with a shotgun shooting at them.  They arrested everybody.  They sent the prosecutor, the defender, and the Australian cop to the island on a seaplane.  (Flying boats are faster and have longer range than helicopters. They also are cheaper and cost less to operate, which is why they have been revived in recent years).  And then the Noumean authorities launched a detailed investigation with the help of the Australian Police.

The Australian cop also told me that there might be some unorthodox sentences imposed when the trial for this case was over.  The Noumeans have rewritten their constitution since independence, to make it less like a European colonial-style document.   Noumean judges now have a great deal of discretion in imposing sentences that, in their opinions, best fit the crimes and the criminals.

The Trial at Noumea Ville (Noumea City)

I had expected a traditional trial, with black-robed judges ruling on objections, and lawyers firing questions at people in the witness box.  They don't do things that way in the Republic of Noumea.  Instead the entire presentations of both the prosecution and defense cases were given on video.

I remembered the introduction to each interrogation on the ship: "You must tell the truth.  Any lies that you tell will be punished."  That made sense when I realized that nobody in the courtroom swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

The prosecution case against me began with scenes of the Patrol boarding the Coral Sea Queen.  Under later interrogation, I gave my name, home town, and stated reason for being in Australia.  There were scenes of each of the girls on the ship in their chains, climaxing with shots of Keena tied on the foredeck with whip stripes on her body.  Under interrogation, I described how I had captured them.  Then there were interrogations of the five girls, describing how I had treated them.  Four of the girls tried their best to make me look bad.  Cindy did her best to find excuses for me.

The defender did a brilliant job of editing his presentation.  I still have a copy, which I play occasionally to admire his work.  My statements about the case, made under interrogation, were each confirmed as true, usually by other witnesses to the same events.  The presentation showed that I had had no involvement with Australia until my current trip, so I could not have been a silent partner in the operation of the Coral Sea Queen.  I had received no special treatment.  Captain Marie and her crew were shown to be dangerous torturers and killers who hated men.  Their actions put them outside the protection of Noumean law, so I could not be accused of kidnapping and raping the ones that I had captured.

The investigators were thorough.  They even went after physical evidence that wasn't obvious.  After my interrogation on the ship had begun, the Australian robot spy plane had been sent out downstream of the water currents and downwind from the island.  That plane had superb optics and target-recognition software, and it could search a very large area of ocean in great detail from an altitude of 60,000 feet.  It had been able to spot my little white raft of fishing net and foam pieces.  An Australian Navy flying boat had gone out and picked the raft up.

I had tossed the nut-clamp donuts and chains over the side of the Coral Sea Queen as soon as I had gotten unclamped.  Those bondage tools were of no use on women, and I didn't want another one put back on me.  A Maritime Patrol diver inspected the ocean bottom where the ship had been anchored.  He found those donuts and chains.  He fitted himself with a crotch rope, and clamped one of the donuts onto that rope, and tried swimming while supported by my little white raft.  He reported that this would be a perfectly practical way to get from the shore to the ship.

Cindy, under interrogation, had confessed everything that had happened, on this trip and on her previous cruise.  She seemed calm and collected.  She was happy to handle her guilt feelings by confessing.  Parts of her confession were included in the defender's presentation about me, and I saw more of them during the trial presentations about the other women later.

Statements made under interrogation by several of the other women were also included in my defense presentation.  Their very different attitude can be summarized in the words of one of them: "That goddamn Cindy has confessed, so there is no point in the rest of us keeping our mouths shut any more."

A three-judge panel was hearing the case.  After the presentations about me, I was remanded into the custody of the Maritime Patrol.  The head judge said that my degree of guilt, if any, would have to be balanced against the possible guilt of the other people who were on the island.  The verdict on me was therefore deferred until the presentations for everyone else had been given.

I spent several days listening to similar video presentations about the other people.

The Verdicts 

The verdicts were delivered in open court on the morning after the last video presentation.

My verdict was first.  The head judge said "It is the custom in most courts based on European legal principles to decide whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty.  This court is not bound by that custom.  We can find a definite verdict in either direction.  We hereby find the defendant Robert Harris to be Innocent of any criminal intent in actions concerning the sail schooner Coral Sea Queen.  He succeeded in escaping the direct control of the actual criminals, and his actions after that escape were fully justifiable."  That was an enormous relief.  I had known that I was innocent, of course, but miscarriages of justice can always happen.

Verdicts were pronounced also on the other three surviving men.  They were all found to be innocent victims.  Two of them were married.  They would still be in trouble with their wives.

Three of the girls were convicted only of being accessories to murder.  None of the surviving men could remember being raped or tortured by those particular women.  Two of them were confirmed to be lesbians who preferred sex with each other over forced sex with men.  All three got five-year sentences.

Five of the girls were convicted also of rape and/or torture.  They got twenty-year sentences.

Two of the girls were convicted of murder.  They had each killed men during the previous voyage.  They got life sentences.

All of the girls' sentences would be served on the island where they had committed their crimes.  Supply boats would bring food and other essentials.  The boats would have all-female crews.  The girls would see no men at all for the duration of their sentences.

That left just Cindy.  The head judge said "The defendant Cindy Smithson has refused to defend herself under interrogation.  Unlike each of the other defendants, she has given no justification for her admittedly criminal actions.  She has not spoken about any previous sex crimes that were committed against her, that led her to be offered a position on the crew of the Coral Sea Queen.  This court is therefore obliged to sentence Cindy Smithson to death . . . . ."


Sweet little Cindy?

Because she was the only woman who showed any remorse and who was willing to accept the consequences of her actions!?

Even when her confession had been so very helpful in getting confessions from and convictions of the other women?

That was viciously unfair!

I didn't know much about the legal system in Noumea, but surely they must have some sort of appeals process.  This sentence would have to be overturned!  I would have to fight a legal battle.  I could not allow sweet little Cindy to be executed.

I never used to believe in love at first sight.  I had not realized how deeply I had fallen for my little Cindy until I heard that verdict.

After the Verdicts

I was sent to an office where the release procedures would be handled. They took my picture, issued me a photo ID, and gave me instructions for getting to the U.S. Embassy and to the correspondent banks for my credit cards.  The girls had destroyed my old passport and cards to prevent those items from ever being used as evidence.

My suitcase of cash, intended as a fare for the cruise, had been rescued from the Coral Sea Queen and stored in a bank vault until the trial was over.  The Noumean cops gave me a letter asking and authorizing the bankers there to give that cash back to me.  One of the cops suggested that my best move would be to open an account at that bank and deposit my cash.  The cop also suggested that I should not be seen carrying a suitcase any time soon.  Some thief might mug me, assuming that my suitcase was full of money.

While this processing was going on, I asked the patrolman behind the counter about appeal procedures under Noumean law.  I told him that the verdict on Cindy was completely unfair and inappropriate.  He just looked at me with an expression that said, more clearly than any words, that I must be crazy.  Why would I ever want any changes in Cindy's verdict?

His sergeant saved the moment by commenting "I'll bet that you stopped listening when the judge said 'death'".

I paused, and thought, and realized that I couldn't remember what else the judge had said.  I asked "Could any part of the verdict be more important than that?"

The sergeant answered "In this case, I think so.  The complete verdict was death, at a time, and a place, by a method, and under circumstances, to be specified by the man she claimed was her principal victim.  Her principal victim is also responsible for the conditions under which she will be held while awaiting execution.  And you were named her principal victim.  They are bringing her out to you now."

I looked around.  A prison guard was wheeling Cindy out.  She was secured standing on a two-wheel dolly by straps at her ankles, and her knees, and her hips, and her waist, and her chest, and her shoulders, and her elbows.  Rigid metal clamps held her wrists.  Her hands gripped handles that poked out from the dolly.  Broad straps were anchored on the wrist clamps; the straps wrapped around her hands and held them firmly in contact with those handles.

Threaded rods pointed out from the dolly on either side of Cindy's head.  A metal shaft crossed between these threaded rods, passing over her mouth.  The shaft had been tightened in place using wing nuts; it pinned an inflated gag into her mouth.  This gag silenced her, of course.  It also immobilized her head against the back rest of the dolly.

The hip strap was about eight inches wide.  The chest strap had bra cups.  These straps provided better-than-bikini coverage to allow her some modesty, but she was wearing no clothes at all.

Cindy was the most helpless woman that I had ever seen.  I thought that about all that she could do was wiggle her toes.  I looked downward and realized that I had made a mistake.  More straps ran across her feet.  Her toes were pinned down.  She couldn't wiggle them after all.

The sergeant was still talking.  He told me "The quickest, simplest way for you to execute her would be to clamp your fingers onto her nose and hold on for about five minutes, until she suffocates.  She can't breathe through her mouth past that gag, and she can't wiggle her head far enough to shake your fingers off.

"If you want a slower death, you could wheel her down to the shore, set her flat on the sand, and let the rising tide drown her.  I checked the tide tables.  Low tide is at six-forty this evening.

"Still slower?  There is always simple exposure.  Park her dolly upright on the sand, leave her for a few days, and let the hot sun and the cool ocean breezes and thirst and hunger do her in.

"Of course, there are any number of interesting medieval tortures.  For example, you could impale her on a whittled-down sharp wooden stake.

The sergeant tried to remain expressionless, but I could tell he didn't like any of these suggestions. Then he suppressed a smile, and added, "Or you could try multiple impalings, on something that is not quite as hard and not quite as sharp as a wooden stake.  I wouldn't be surprised if it took years of repeated impalings under those conditions before her health was affected. It's entirely up to you."

The sergeant's comments showed me the real reason for Cindy's sentence. The judges who imposed that sentence clearly understood how she felt about me, and how I felt about her. They also understood her guilty conscience, and her need to be punished for her crimes. They had decided that the best possible penalty for Cindy was to put her under my total control. If she ate or drank, it would be by my permission. If she moved her body, it would be by my permission. Hell, if she took another breath, it would be by my permission. If I killed her, accidentally or otherwise, her death would be ruled a legal execution. But I am sure that the judges did not really expect me to execute her.

Cindy looked up at me with a desperate appeal in her eyes, the only things that she could move in her rigid confinement.  I leaned over her, kissed her on the forehead, and told her "A final decision on your fate has been postponed for at least twenty-four hours."  I have been waking her up most mornings ever since with those same words.

End of part 2

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