Academic Dreams
by Van
© 2002
Chapter 3
To see the actresses the author would cast in ACADEMIC DREAMS: THE MOTION PICTURE, follow this LINK , and use your browser's "Back" feature to return.
Bibi stared in wide-eyed horror as Minerva lifted the right cuff of her heather gray sweater and eased the open blades of the bandage scissors towards the stretched cloth.  The blonde captive mewed through her gag, squirmed under the leather straps pinning her to the table, and pulled on the cable ties binding her wrists and ankles.  Her left ankle was cinched atop her right and her struggles dislodged the heel of her left shoe.  It dangled from her foot for a few seconds, then fell to the floor with a hollow clatter.

Minerva chuckled and stepped to the foot of the table.  "Okay, we'll start at the this end, if you insist."  The scissors still in her right hand, she stooped and retrieved Bibi's fallen shoe.  She examined the two inch pump with a critical eye.  Its black surface gleamed dully in the bright light.  "Inexpensive but tasteful," she remarked, then ran the blunt tip of the scissors up the sole of Bibi's left foot.  The captive squealed through her gag and curled her toes.  "They don't pay Assistant Professors very well, do they?  Otherwise you wouldn't have to shop at Payless.  Well... none of that matters now, does it?"  Minerva grabbed the heel of Bibi's right shoe, then locked eyes with her captive.  "Life is full of little milestones, Dr. Knudsen.  Sometimes by their very nature we don't recognize them until they are past, and sometimes we fail to recognize them because we are distracted, say... for example... by shock and fear?"  She pulled Bibi's right shoe from her foot then held both shoes aloft in one hand for Bibi's benefit.  "The last pair of shoes you will ever choose for yourself, buy for yourself, and wear of your own free will."  She tossed the heels into the plastic bag held open in its rolling stand beside the steel table.  
Minerva set her scissors down on the table and lifted Bibi's bound feet a few inches off the steel plane.  "So strong and tan.  So well shaped.  So very pretty.  I've never seen better feet on a slave."  Bibi squirmed and tried to kick, but Minerva's fingers were strong as a vise.  "I don't suppose they've ever been whipped, have they?"  Bibi's struggles stopped.  She stared at her captor, then shuddered and squirmed in her bonds as Minerva began massaging her feet.  "Such pretty pretty peds," Minerva cooed, "just made to fill a tight pair of ballet fetter shoes... just made for the bastinado. "  Bibi's eyes popped wide in alarm.  "Yes," Minerva continued, "el bastinado.  It starts with gentle little taps from a tiny little wand," she explained, "and slowly, slowly, over the course of hours, the taps become anything but gentle, and the wand becomes a rod, and finally the rod becomes a cane."  Bibi's eyes were glazed with fear.  Minerva's smile was cruel, and her eyes cold.  "Done properly there is no permanent damage, although the soles become the most delightful shade of purple, and you won't be able to walk on them for a week... for a month without pain."  The gentle massage continued.  "Oh, did I mention the pain?  How many devils can dance on the head of a raw nerve ending?  Imagine a searing, cleansing, white-hot star of pain, Bibi.  Imagine a universe of pain, all contained in these pretty, pretty peds.  Yesss... we'll have to try el bastinado.  Consider it added to your list."

The gloating Professor set her terrified colleague's feet back on the cold steel, retrieved her scissors, and strolled back to the midpoint of the table, slowly trailing her left hand up Bibi's left leg.  "So very strong, tan, and smooth," she observed.  "You shaved those pretty legs just this morning, didn't you?  It's almost as if you were preparing for me."  She paused to pull the hem of Bibi's skirt out from under the strap pinning the captive's thighs, then began slicing it up the side with slow, careful snips of the scissors.  "No pantyhose," Minerva observed as she worked.  "I imagine our local winters are nothing to someone who grew up in... Sundsvall, wasn't it?"  The waistband was severed and Minerva pulled the ruined skirt from under Bibi's squirming body.  "There," she said with a cheerful smile, then wadded the skirt and tossed it in the plastic bag.
The sweater came next.  Minerva sliced open the sleeves, then the shoulder seams, and lastly made a plunging cut down from the neck.  Bibi made token resistance, half-heartedly clutching the tattered ruin of her sweater with her bound hands, but Minerva pulled it free with little difficulty.  "Cashmere," the pale villainess sighed, rubbing the soft gray wool against her face. She smiled down at her nearly nude victim for several seconds.  Bibi's undergarments were smooth, black, silk-like microfiber, a seamless-style matching set of demi-bra and bikini panties.  "Very nice," Minerva murmured and tossed the bandage scissors onto the instrument tray on the side table.  The sweater still in her hand she spun on her heel and walked towards the alcove holding her other captives.

Helpless and miserable in their near cocoons of thin cord and tight rope, Sally and Cassie watched Minerva approach, squirming on their aching toes, straining to take the pressure off the crotch ropes supporting most of their weights.  Their voices silenced by an herbal potion, their mouths stuffed to capacity, their lips sealed with multiple layers of tape, the only sound they could make were tiny whisper-soft pants from their flaring nostrils as they awaited their captor.

Minerva smiled and rubbed Sally's rope framed breasts with Bibi's ruined sweater.  To Sally's great humiliation her nipples grew hard and erect under the feather-soft caress of the smooth wool.  Minerva's gloating smile was infuriating, but inescapably bound from head to toes, her head bound with cable ties to the thin steel cable holding her erect, all Sally could do was weep bitter tears.

"Poor Sally," Minerva whispered, mocking her captive, continuing to rub the cashmere across the brunette's breasts.  "It feels good, doesn't it?"  She shifted her attention to Cassie, running the heather gray wool over the redhead's smaller, pale, lightly freckled breasts.  Cassie's green eyes glared at her tormentor, but like Sally, she could not prevent her coral nipples from responding to the cunning caress.
Still smiling, Minerva gathered the cashmere into a large wad, and held it tightly over Cassie's face, centering the loose mass over the captive's nose.  Sally could just see her friend and roommate's green eyes above the cloth and Minerva's clutching hand.  Bound as she was, Cassie's minuscule struggles gave little indication of her distress, but her eyes told the story.  "It's all in what you do with something, you see," Minerva lectured Sally.  "Rope can be a nice hammock on which you enjoy a lazy summer afternoon, or it can be an inescapable prison."  Cassie's eyes were increasingly desperate, and her face flushed.  "Cashmere can be a stylish, comfortable sweater..."  She shifted her attention to Cassie.  "...or it can be an instrument of torture."

Minerva released her smothering hold on Cassie's face and the redhead panted through her nostrils, straining to draw precious air into her burning lungs.  Minerva locked eyes with Cassie and her smile broadened.  "Not quite so defiant now, are we?  There's fear in those emerald eyes."  She reached out and gently twirled Cassie's left nipple between her strong pale fingers.  "You don't know the meaning of fear, Cassie my sweet... but you will."

Minerva turned her back on the helpless students and strolled back to the table.  Bibi watched her captor approach with hopeless dread.  Minerva tossed the ruined sweater into the plastic bag, smiled down at her prisoner with leering appreciation for several seconds, then stepped around the table and retrieved the scissors.  She regarded her bra and panty-clad prisoner.  Bibi was pulling on the cable ties joining her wrists and the thin leather straps holding them flat against her silk-covered loins.  Her  athletic body was tan and smooth, her toned muscles flexing and gliding as she twisted her shoulders and kicked with her bound feet.  Her struggles were to no avail.  The broad straps across her thighs and pinning her arms and torso remained taut and tight.  
Smiling sweetly, Minerva leaned forward and cupped Bibi's right breast.  "Why Doctor," she purred, "I do believe you and Victoria share a secret."  She snipped Bibi's bra straps at the shoulders, first on the left, then on the right.  Next, she positioned the scissors between Bibi's heaving breasts.  "Let's savor the moment, shall we?"  The scissors closed and the band of fabric between the bra cups was severed.  Bib's breasts quivered slightly when the mild compression of the bra was relieved, but the cups remained in place.  Her smile feral and gloating, Minerva snatched the bra free.  She examined the label sewn into the ruined garment.  "Yes, Victoria's Secret.  You wait 'til the end-of-year sale and see what you can find on the bargain table, no doubt."  She tossed the bra into the plastic bag, turned back to her captive, and caught her breath.  Her dark eyes leering, she stared down at Bibi's breasts.  "They're magnificent," she said after several seconds.  "Not the biggest I've seen, but perfect in proportion."  She reached out, cupped both globes, and gave them a gentle squeeze.  "Not as perfect as mine, of course," the gloating villainess continued, "but very nice."  Bibi squirmed and writhed in her bonds as her captor continued her inspection.  "Areolae wide and pleasing in color... but not too wide; texture firm but pliant... they're simply delightful, Bibi.  And no tan lines.   However do you manage that?  Do you sunbathe in your backyard? ...on your roof?  Do the neighbor boys sneak through the hedges and climb the trees to ogle these pretty things?  Do you get a secret thrill from knowing the horny little devils are there, drooling on themselves as you rub lotion on your body?"
Bibi struggled against her bonds and tried to twist her body away from her tormentor's grasp, but Minerva's smile turned even more evil and her pale hands tightened.  Finally Bibi lay limp in her bonds, her blue eyes glaring at her captor.  "So, we're past the 'Denial' phase and into 'Anger,'" Minerva muttered. Bibi continued to stare, her eyes hostile and fierce above her gag.  "No matter," Minerva continued, resuming her massage of Bibi's breasts.  "I want to thank you for taking such good care of them for me... for keeping all of yourself in such magnificent shape.  When we get to my estate you'll find I have a complete gym.  Exercise bike, stairmaster, treadmill, I have all the required equipment, and all modified for use with straps or chains, and with special motivating features built right in, so you'll be able to maintain this delicious figure and muscle tone."  She released Bibi's breasts and retrieved her scissors.  Her eyes still flashing, mewing a muffled tirade of protests and threats, Bibi could do nothing to prevent her panties from being snipped and removed.  "No tan lines at all," Minerva observed as she tossed the scissors onto the tray and the panties into the plastic bag.

Bibi continued struggling with her bonds and mewing through her gag, her eyes wet and angry.  Minerva watched her squirm and writhe for several long seconds.  "The unexpected gifts are always the best," she muttered.  The gloating villainess closed her eyes and raised her hands to the level of her shoulders, palms open and facing outwards.  "Thank you, goddess," she whispered, then opened her eyes and smiled down at her captive.  "Time to make you a little more secure, Bibi darling."
Making Bibi "a little more secure" required approximately half the contents of the rolling cabinet Tabitha had positioned near the table.  The nude prisoner struggled, but Minerva was clever and methodical in her actions, never giving Bibi the slightest chance of escape.  

Wide leather cuffs with three buckles each were strapped around Bibi's upper arms, then somehow secured under the lip of the table on either side.  Next came wrist cuffs, also wide, thick, and stiff.  One-by-one Bibi's wrists were enclosed in a cuff, their cable tie bindings severed and removed, and the cuff secured to the edge of the table even with the prisoner's hips.

Bibi's legs were next.  Leather cuffs were strapped around each ankle and above each knee and loosely strapped to the table edge.  The broad strap across her thighs was released, and despite energetic resistance, all the straps were tightened and Bibi soon found her legs splayed and tightly secured, knees slightly bent and ankles strapped to the sides of the table.  The thigh strap was repositioned to pin her hips and additional straps added, further frustrating her already futile efforts at escape.

Next, a leather posture collar was strapped around Bibi's neck.  It was some sort of antique medical appliance, designed to immobilize a patient's neck and head.  A sculpted plate cupped Bibi's chin and the thick, broad sections of the collar kept her neck stretched and head back.

Minerva leaned close and adjusted several small straps, smiling down at her victim as she worked.  "It has stainless steel stays, like a corset," she explained, then clipped narrow straps to rings on each side of the collar and secured them to the top edge of the table.  "Now... one last detail."  A narrow strap encircled Bibi's head and tightened across her forehead, and now even small head motions were impossible.

Helpless in their own stringently bound misery, Sally and Cassie watched Bibi's toes flex and point, her fingers flutter and her limbs and muscles twitch as the naked blonde struggled.   Someone please help us! Sally prayed.

Minerva stepped way from the table and returned with a tall metal stand on a wheeled pedestal.  Swaying from a hook at the top was a clear glass bottle and a coiled length of transparent plastic tubing.  "And now we deal with those pesky vocal cords," Minerva explained.  She prepared a thick aqueous suspension of the herbs Tabitha had used to rob Sally and Cassie of their voices and used a funnel to pour it into the glass bottle.  A rubber fitting at one end of the tubing stoppered the bottle.  A short, blunt, steel needle with a curious flanged base was affixed to the tubing's other end.

Minerva selected a scalpel from her instrument tray and held it before Bibi's terrified eyes.  "I won't tell you to hold still," she gloated, "because you have no other option."  With infinite care she made a tiny incision in the tape sealing Bibi's lips, then selected a pair of curved forceps, inserted its tip into the cut, and spread and held the tape layers apart.  "There," she said.  "I can just see a peek of the gauze I packed in that pretty mouth of yours."  She slid the short needle at the end of the tubing into the cut and seated the spoon-like flange at its base over Bibi's tape-covered lips; then used additional tape to secure the flange and needle in place.  Next, she inverted the bottle and returned it to the hook atop the rolling stand.  Even from across the room Sally and Cassie could see the tube slowly filling with dark liquid; a slow, steady stream of bubbles rising in the bottle; and the end of the oily fluid approaching Bibi's stuffed and taped mouth.

The fluid reached the end of the tube, and the bubbles inside the bottle began appearing at a fraction of their former rate, the only outward indication of anything further happening.  "I'm afraid the taste of the undisguised mixture is horrid, " Minerva explained, gazing into Bibi's frightened eyes, "but in addition to paralyzing the vocal cords it suppresses the gag reflex while still allowing you to swallow... so you're in no danger... other than from me , of course."  Bibi squirmed and quivered in her bonds and mewed through her gag.  "Yes, yes," Minerva cooed, "by all means struggle and scream.  Your helpless terror gives me pleasure.  By morning you'll be quite mute."  Bibi's eyes popped wide in alarm and the volume of her muffled screaming doubled.  "Oh, don't worry," Minerva said, cupping Bibi's breasts and giving them a gentle squeeze.  "It's not permanent, silly slave.  If I robbed you of your voice forever... I wouldn't be able to hear you beg and plead and scream in pain once I get you safely inside my nice, cozy, soundproofed dungeons, now would I?  The herbs are only to keep you quiet while I transport you back to the estate."

Minerva lifted her gaze to Sally and Cassie.  "And speaking of transport..."  She released Bibi's breasts and sauntered towards the captive students.  "I might as well get you two ready for the road.  No need for Tabitha to do all the work... or more importantly... to have all the fun."
Sally watched Minerva walk away into the shadows of the huge, dark, cluttered laboratory; then shifted her gaze back to Bibi.  The helpless Swede could barely move, barely even twitch.  Pinned under the bright lights, her tan, athletic body quivered and squirmed, her flesh dimpled by the tight leather straps holding her down.  She mewed and moaned through her gag, but as time passed the volume of her futile moans seemed to be decreasing (or was it Sally's imagination?  Minerva had said the muting effect of the herbs would take time.)

Sally rolled her eyes to the side and focused on Cassie.  The freckled redhead was barely moving, but as Sally watched she noticed a slow, methodical squirming of her roommate's roped fingers.  Suppressing a wave of fear and despair, Sally followed her friend's example and began methodically exploring her bonds (if wiggling her fingers through the quarter inch range of motion allowed by the tight ropes could be dignified with the term "exploring.")

Just then there was movement in the shadows and Minerva returned pushing an elongated black object on a hand truck.  Sally recognized a rooftop cargo pod, a streamlined shell of hard plastic commonly lashed to the roof rack of an automobile or SUV.  Rounded on all edges, this particular carrier was roughly seven feet long, three feet wide, and two feet deep, with one end slightly tapered.  Minerva set the pod on the floor between Bibi's table and Sally and Cassie's alcove then propped the hand truck against the wall.  She smiled at Sally and Cassie.  "This is a more rugged model than you see on most vehicles. It's especially designed for field use, for transporting fragile supplies and specimens great distances across unimproved roads," Minerva explained, stooping to run her hand over the pod's smooth, glistening surface.  "Thick walls, internal steel lattice, heavy duty hinges and locking latches with reinforced housings...  You can drop this thing from an airplane and all it would do is bounce."  She clicked open three flush mounted flanges and lifted the pod's lid.  There was a whirring sound as the shell-like upper half glided open on its hinges.  "That sound is the self-tensioning roller buckles releasing," she explained.  The gloating Professor gestured towards the interior of the pod.  "Dense foam padding... waterproofed, of course... and this cleverly designed suspended cradle of more than two dozen lateral and transverse cargo straps, all of which can be repositioned at will."  The padding was dark gray, the nylon straps black, and the mounting hardware, clamps, and buckles anodized aluminum.  Minerva busied herself releasing each of the straps and laying them out so their free ends dangled out of the pod.  "As you can see," Minerva lectured, " this particular pod had been configured to transport a specific object."

Sally could see shallow, very human-shaped cavities sculpted into the upper and lower halves of the pod's padding.  The straps lay across the lower cavity, waiting to be buckled across shoulders, waist, thighs, knees...   Oh dear God, no!

Minerva pointed to something set into in the padding of the pod's lid.  Sally focused on the translucent plastic shape, and realized she was looking at the inside of a mask.  "This is my concession to keeping the transported object alive," Minerva said.  "The rigid mask keeps the padding away from the object's face, and is connected to the air channel system by several plastic tubes.  Don't worry, it's been tested.  Remember when Tabitha missed two days of classes with 'the flu' last month?  We were conducting a thirty six hour test of this particular pod.  It came through with flying colors... and Tabby was very anxious to please when I let her out."

Minerva walked to a shelf and returned with a small glass bottle and a wad of cotton.  She smiled at Sally, then stepped to the side and shifted her attention to Cassie.  Sally watched as her roommate squirmed in her bonds, helpless and frightened.  Minerva uncapped the bottle and poured a little of the clear liquid inside onto the cotton.  "You'll probably wake before I get you home," Minerva told the struggling Cassie.  "You'll find yourself in total darkness, bound with rope as you are now, suspended in a cradle of tight straps, and crushed on all sides by dense foam... unable to do more than twitch and squirm."  Minerva locked eyes with Cassie and her smile became even more evil.  "Try not to panic.  If you do, you'll hyperventilate and pass out... and then you won't be able to meditate upon your situation."  She then clamped the cotton wad over Cassie's nostrils.  "Breathe deeply," Minerva ordered.  Cassie quivered and squirmed, and her face became flushed and red.  Minerva continued smiling and holding the cotton in place.  Seconds passed... Cassie's bound fingers fluttered and her bound body twisted slightly... Then she went limp in her bonds.  There was little change in her position, bound as she was, but all movement stopped. Finally... after several seconds more... Minerva removed the cotton, smiled at Sally, and returned the bottle and wad to the shelf.

Sally watched as Minerva cranked the windlass set into Cassie's side of the alcove and the unconscious coed was slowly lowered to the floor.  The gloating villainess then snipped the cable ties securing Cassie's head to the steel cable, unclipped the cable itself, then picked the freckled redhead up in her arms, grinned at Sally, and carried her burden to the waiting pod.  The nude bundle was arranged in the form-fitting cavity of the padding, and Minerva began securing and tightening the straps.  Across her forehead, her tape-sealed lips, above her breasts, below her breasts, waist, hips, thighs, above and below her knees, across her shins, around her ankles; the straps alone would have made Cassie helpless.  Applied over the captive's stringent rope bonds, it could only be described as cruel overkill.

"I mentioned the self-tensioning feature," Minerva lectured as she went back over each of the straps, removing slack and locking each clip with a twist.  "Once the lid closes, each strap is placed under a load of a few pounds by springs in the lid's hinges.  If the load shifts... or shifts itself in this case... the strap housings reel in and remove the slack.  Tabby tells me the mechanism is quite... effective.  Every twist and squirm on your part results in the straps immediately affected tightening, just a little.  Soon... you quite literally can't move at all, other than tiny fidgeting motions that don't tug on the straps."

Minerva smiled down at Cassie's roped, gagged, and strapped body, then reached down and toyed with the unconscious prisoner's left nipple. Sally watched dully through misting eyes as her roommates nipple responded to their captor's gentle massage.  Minerva shifted her attention to Cassie's right nipple, and it grew rigid and flushed as well.  "Such a pretty slave," Minerva cooed.  "Tabitha and I are going to have such fun playing with her."  Minerva leaned close and licked each nipple, then sat back on her haunches and closed the pod's lid.  She then gave each of the pod's locking clamps a twist and snapped them flush into their housings, then inserted a key into each clamp's lock and gave it a turn.  Finally, her pale arms bulging with the effort, Minerva dragged the pod to the side, stood it on end, and leaned it back against the wall.  "Tabitha can do the loading," she explained.

Minerva then retrieved the hand truck and wheeled it away into the lab.  Sally squirmed and struggled, knowing it was pointless, but refusing to surrender to despair.  On the table, Bibi struggled as well, with equal results.  Both captives knew themselves to be completely helpless.

The grinning Professor returned with a second pod.  She wheeled it before Sally and set it on the floor.  "I only have two of these things configured for slave transport," she explained, smiling at Sally, "so I'm afraid poor Bibi is going to have to travel 'Tourist', strapped into a tight ball and locked inside one of the more conventional cargo containers.  But for you, Princess..."  Minerva unlocked the pod's lid and pulled it open.  "...only the best."

Sally watched miserably as Minerva arranged the straps of the second pod.  Oh God—Oh God—Oh God!

Minerva smiled, sauntered to the shelf, and returned with the chloroform and cotton wad.  "You heard my lecture about not panicking, so there's no need for me to repeat myself."  The gloating Professor stopped before her bound, gagged, and helpless captive.  "Oh... don't cry Sally," she cooed, then leaned forward and slowly licked the tears from her victim's face.  "Best save those tears, My Precious."  Eyes locked with Sally, Minerva wet the wad in her hand.  "Nightie-night, Princess."

The wad was over Sally's nose, the acrid fumes burning her lungs and sinuses.  She squirmed and tried to hold her breath, but her initial sniff of the cloying vapors made her gasp and cough—and the world began spinning—and her head felt like it would explode—and all was darkness.


Sally was warm and comfortable... and she could finally move.  She opened her eyes.  She was naked, and lying face down in soft sand.  She lifted her head and looked around.  It was night.  She was in the desert.  An endless plane of sand stretched in every direction.  She lifted her right hand to brush the hair from her face... and discovered she was in chains.  Gleaming steel manacles were locked around her wrists, no, sealed around her wrists.  There was no seam or lock or rivet or any other apparent means for the broad bands to be opened or closed.  The shackles around her ankles were similar.  All four bonds were attached to heavy chains.  Sally had sufficient slack to move.  In fact, she had sufficient slack to stand, and she did so.

The sand fell from her body as she stood tall.  Her chains ran in four directions, each ninety degrees from its neighbors... and they ran in straight lines all the way to the horizon!  They... they must weigh tons!  Sally examined herself.  She was unmarked and unhurt (albeit a little sore) and was a little hungry.  There was a surprising amount of light.  The windblown waste around her fairly glowed in the starlight.

Sally lifted her head—and gasped.  The night sky was spectacular!  Billions of stars; but not just that—There were huge clouds of gas, glowing red and gold and blue and every color of the spectrum.  Spiral galaxies hung in the void.  Vast clusters of stars dappled the sky from horizon to horizon.  This is good, Sally mused.   This is Hubble Telescope good!  This isn't REAL!

Suddenly—the stars began to move!  Sally shivered and every hair on her body stood on end.  The stars roiled and swirled and coalesced—into a human figure—a female human figure!  She was naked and beautiful and light-years across and she filled the sky!  As she stretched, the parts of her divine body moving towards Sally glowed blue, and the parts moving away glowed red.  Her face was exquisite—pretty and wise and young and ancient—all at once.  Her hair swirled and flowed around her celestial head, decorated with clusters of stars.  Her body was perfect in proportion, the ideal of athletic beauty.  Her breasts were firm and smooth, the nipples round and soft.  Her waist was narrow and her navel—large enough to swallow the earth—was tucked into a well sculpted abdomen.  Her pubic bush sparked with pulsing stars.  Her sex—Sally shivered in awe—her sex was a folded curtain of stars!

She spoke.  "Hello, Sally."

Sally dropped to her knees.  "What... Who...?"

The colossal figure smiled, sending a thrill of joy through Sally's quaking body.  "I have many names."  The figure's smile became wistful.  "A name is like a suit of clothes... restrictive.  Hmm... Let's see...  In light of how all this began, you may call me 'Nuit.'"

Sally folded her arms and manacled hands across her breasts.  "Nuit," she whispered.  "The Egyptian goddess of—"

"Please!" the goddess interrupted with a laugh.  "Cultural roles are even more restrictive than clothing!"

"You... you're made of stars!"

Nuit smiled kindly.  "As are we all, Sally."

Sally shivered again.  "Is this a dream?"

Nuit smiled at the tiny, insignificant captive before her.  "You mean am I a dream, Sally?  Am I your dream?  That's pretty presumptuous, don't you think?"

Sally's eyes popped wide in alarm.  "I-I-I'm sorry!  I—"

Nuit dismissed Sally's concern with a smile and a galaxy-sized wave of the hand.  "I'm just jerking your chain.  Speaking of which..."

The chains attached to Sally's shackles and manacles snapped taut and Sally screamed in alarm.  She was lifted into the air—high into the air—into space itself!  The desert below dwindled into a smudge on the face of a continent, which dwindled to a blot on a shrinking globe, which dwindled to a blue dot... and was gone!  Sally stopped screaming, but her heart was pounding.  She was stretched in a stringent spread-eagle.  She followed the infinitely long chains pulling her limbs taut and found that they dwindled and disappeared, four straight lines of steel links, each towards the center of a different spiral galaxy.  Nuit loomed before her, a slightly feral smile on her achingly beautiful face.

Her breasts heaving, Sally tugged on her chains.  They were taut as steel rods, but surprisingly, Sally was reasonably comfortable.  Her hair floated around her head as she thrashed and struggled, and she realized she was weightless... weightless and helpless.  "Please... please don't hurt me."

Nuit's smile softened.  "Poor Sally.  I'm not a cruel god... but I can be a playful one."  One colossal finger slowly extended, flashing blue as the light years between the goddess and the insignificant speck that was Sally closed at impossible speed.  A star between Sally and the tip of the finger exploded in a silent flare of actinic white.  The first shock wave expanded in a rapidly dissipating globe of iridescent tendrils.  The shell of light washed over Sally, giving her a tingling thrill of pleasure as it passed.  Next came a rotating ring of plasma which spun away from the ruined star like a colossal smoke ring, perpendicular to Sally and the goddess.  Simultaneously, a shaft of light flashed directly from the star to Sally, bathing her in white brilliance.  Sally screamed and writhed in her ringing chains, lost in the throes of the most intense orgasm of her young life.

Several long minutes later (or possibly a few billion years) Sally hung limp in her bonds, panting and smiling.  "Thank you," she whispered.

Nuit was smiling as well... and also seemed to be breathing deeply.  "You're welcome, Sally.  I confess it wasn't entirely unselfish on my part.  Sometimes it is as good to give as to receive."

"You... you came also?"

Nuit laughed.  "Don't look so smug, young lady.  Goddesses get to have fun too."  The celestial smile faded.  "But all good things must come to an end.  I'm afraid this little interlude is almost over.  It's time for you to continue your little adventure."

Sally blinked and tugged on her chains.  "What?"

"I'm afraid the worst is yet to come, my Little One."

"Please..." Sally sobbed.

"It must be," Nuit explained, shaking her head sadly.

"No, no!" Sally objected.  "The others.  Cassie... Dr. Knudsen... help them!  They don't deserve what Minerva is doing.   Please!"

Nuit smiled.  "So very brave," she murmured.  "You don't deserve it either, Little One... but don't despair.  We'll meet again... later.

"Please," Sally begged—but Nuit was gone—the stars were gone—everything was gone... everything but the darkness.

Revisit Chapter 2
Chapter 4