|by Van ©2017|
|OUR STORY BEGINS
An insistent noise broke the dawn silence of an apartment in the Mid Cambridge neighborhood of Cambridge Massachusetts. Granted, it was an arguably melodious noise, but it was also purposely designed to be difficult to ignore.
Another person might have reacted with a sigh and an exasperated groan, but Dr. Amanda Harnois awoke immediately, actually smiled, then reached over and dealt with the problem by turning off the alarm of the digital clock on her bedside table. And just to be clear, she didn't hit the "Snooze" bar, she turned off the alarm, then immediately bounded from bed and began her customary morning routine.
You see, Amanda enjoyed life. She was happy, yes, but happiness can be transitory. Joy is internal, and Amanda enjoyed life.
Born in Sheffield, England, Amanda had found her passion in life at an early age, and that passion was... books!
Amanda loved reading, and above all, she loved books. She loved their weight in her hand, their smell, the texture of the paper between her fingers, the crinkle as she carefully turned the pages, and the older the book the better! All through her childhood she haunted the libraries of Sheffield, scholastic and public, and when it came time to attend university and select a field of study, there was only one choice: Library Science!
Amanda worked hard and graduated summa cum laude from Newnham College, Cambridge, and went on to earn her PhD from Oxford. After publishing several well received articles and monographs on conservation techniques, the results of two post-doctoral opportunities, she was offered and accepted a position at the Harvard University Library as Assistant Conservator. As with the rest of her life, Amanda enjoyed her work immensely.
As suggested by her record of achievement, Amanda was a disciplined person. She watched her diet and exercised religiously. Her coworkers at the library teased her about it, but truth be told they admired the way Amanda took care of herself and sought her advice on issues of fitness and exercise. Amanda had no shortage of partners willing to accompany her on noontime runs or for swims at the Malkin Athletic Center.
Also, one of the few splurges Amanda allowed herself after the arrival of the first royalty check from her recently published Introduction to Biblio-Conservation Methodology (Harvard University Press) was the purchase of an excellent treadmill running machine for her apartment.
The book was an academic bestseller, by the way. It was an assigned text in Library Science at an increasing number of colleges and universities and was finding a prominent place in the staff reference collections of hundreds of public and private libraries, worldwide.
Amanda liked to begin her day with a short, brisk run on her machine, followed by a shower, followed by dressing for the day, followed by a brisk walk to work with the purchase of a morning tea and muffin, scone, or other breakfast treat along the way.
Today began no differently. After changing into her customary running shoes, leotard, and tank top, Amanda did her usual stretches and warmup exercises, then began what she liked to call her "morning mini-run." The programed routine started out slow... then built to an extended sprint... then slowed for a cool-down period. The idea was to get her heart pumping and elevate her general metabolism at the start of the day, not to provide a full aerobic workout.
That's what was supposed to happen, anyway. On this particular morning, just as Amanda was nearing the end of the sprint period the apartment's door buzzer sounded, signaling the presence of a visitor.
Amanda cancelled the running program, the treadmill took a few seconds to decelerate and grind to a halt, and she stepped off the machine. "Just a moment!" she called as she patted her shining face with a towel and walked towards the door. She peered through the peephole and found a pair of women waiting, a blonde and a brunette, both wearing jumpsuit uniforms of some sort. Amanda turned the deadbolt and opened the door.
"May I help you?" Amanda asked.
The visitors smiled and the brunette consulted a tablet computer in her right hand. Her left hand was on the extended handle of a large equipment case of molded gray plastic on wheels.
"Dr. Amanda Harnois?" the brunette asked.
"Yes," Amanda answered, "I'm Dr. Harnois." The women wore dark blue jumpsuits with "COMMONWEALTH INFOTRONICS" and a lightning bolt logo embroidered above their left breasts, as well as lanyards with photo-id badges bearing the same company name and logo.
The brunette's smile widened. "Of course," she purred, nodding towards the tablet in her hand. "You're not wearing your glasses, but that pretty face is unmistakable. And with that charming British accent, who else could you be?"
Amanda glanced at the screen of the brunette's tablet. The viewing angle was far from optimal, but she could see that the screen was displaying her portrait, and from the background the photo had been taken at a local bistro that served an excellent and reasonably priced Crab Louie, and she was wearing her usual glasses.
"You're our next-to-the-last pickup," The blonde added. She was also smiling.
"I'm afraid I don't understand," Amanda said with a somewhat confused expression.
"Not important," the brunette chuckled.
And with that, the blonde surged forward, crossed the threshold, grabbed Amanda's elbows, and held them behind her back, pinning her arms.
"Hey!" Amanda protested. "What do you think you're—MRRRFH!" The blonde had clamped her right hand over Amanda's mouth as she dragged her backwards into the apartment! The brunette followed, wheeling the case, then closed the door behind her and turned the deadbolt. Amanda continued struggling, thrashing, kicking, and squirming, but to no avail.
Then—"Urk?"—Amanda felt a sharp sting in the side of her neck. She focused on the brunette, only to see the smiling, very attractive woman snap a plastic cap over the needle of a hypodermic syringe and slide the syringe into a sleeve-pocket of her jumpsuit. Now that Amanda thought about it... which was suddenly becoming an increasingly difficult task... the blonde was also attractive, and strong... and easily controlled her weakening efforts to squirm free.
Amanda heard a strange, high-pitched noise. Did I put on the kettle? she wondered. I'm sure I didn't. And then... everything went black.
|PERILS of the Dewey Decimal System
|| Chapter 1
Amanda had a headache. Not a severe headache, but her temples were throbbing. She opened her eyes... focused... and surveyed her surroundings... which were somewhat industrial, perhaps a warehouse of some sort, and not particularly clean. Light streamed from a bank of windows set high in the opposite wall, and Amanda was inside some sort of... cage? It was a secure holding area, one of a row of closet-size spaces defined by chain-link wire mesh set in a framework of steel pipes with gates secured by high-security padlocks.
It was only then—"Mrrrk!"—that Amanda realized she was bound and gagged! She tugged on her wrists and ankles, and tried screaming through her gag. "Mrrrpfh!" Something, possibly a rubber ball, was plugging her mouth with a strap of some sort keeping it there. Also, the strap had help. Her lower face was covered by a taut, wide strip of some sort of tape. That's what it felt like, anyway. She looked back over her right shoulder and found her wrists were locked in steel handcuffs, and the cuffs were pinned against the small of her back by a light steel chain of nested links tightly encircling her waist. Her ankles were locked in similar cuffs and her feet were bare. The rest of her body, however, was clothed in the same leotard and tank top she'd been wearing in her apartment... before she was... kidnapped!
"MRRRPFH!" Her loudest efforts to summon help were depressingly well-muffled. She shook her head in a vigorous effort to dislodge the gag, but all she succeeded in doing was causing her ponytail to thrash and sway. She was lying on her right side, and from the mild soreness of her shoulder, had been for some time. She rolled onto her back and managed to sit up.
Yes, she was inside a cage. The back wall was brick and mortar, but the other three walls and the ceiling were thick, taut, chain-link wire. There were gaps, but only small enough for a mouse to wiggle through. The gate in the front wall was, indeed, padlocked, and the lock in question was the size of her fist. The floor was smooth, hard concrete in need of a proper sweeping.
The temperature in the warehouse—if the place actually was a warehouse—was rather elevated. Amanda was sweating, and had been long enough for her crotch and the front of her tank top to have become slightly damp.
What in heaven's name is happening? Amanda wondered. Obviously, the blonde and brunette had abducted her and were holding her prisoner—but why me? They came for me, specifically. Why me?
No answer was forthcoming, of course. Amanda tugged on her wrists and tried to kick her feet. She was helpless! She was a helpless, bound and gagged prisoner!
Time passed, turning into minutes... and finally... an hour. Amanda squirmed and rolled on the floor for comfort—a futile exercise—and continued testing her steel bonds—another futile exercise.
Suddenly, she heard the distant clang of a door opening and closing, followed by the sound of approaching feet. And then, the blonde and brunette came into view. They were wearing the same dark blue jumpsuit uniforms and the brunette was wheeling the same plastic equipment case.
"She's awake," the blonde noted as they came even with Amanda's cage.
"I didn't want to give her much," the brunette said, "only enough to knock her out for six hours. I might have underestimated the dose."
"Poor thing," the blonde purred. "Look how frightened she is."
The blonde and brunette exchanged an amused look that sent a chill down Amanda's spine.
The brunette eased the case off its wheels, folded its telescoping handle, then unlatched the lid. With the blonde's help she reached inside and together they extracted the limp, unconscious form of a young woman with flaming red hair. She was very attractive, in Amanda's opinion, and was dressed in a stylish but modest business suit in a shade of olive that complemented her fair, freckled complexion and long, straight ginger locks.
Amanda's eyes widened. I know her, she realized. The redhead was Dr. Ginger Rockwell. They'd met at the last midwinter meeting of the American Library Association. Ginger had delivered a paper on pesticide-free methods of booklice control at the Green Library Practices symposium.
They're kidnapping librarians? Amanda reasoned. Why? For what possible reason?
Actually, and much to her dismay, Amanda could think of a reason. Dr. Rockwell was very pretty, and Amanda knew that she, herself, was also considered pretty. Amanda had always had no shortage of boys (and later, men) buzzing around her like so many testosterone laden drone bees. (There had also been a few women.) Nothing that could be considered a serious romance had ever blossomed, but Amanda had always had her share of admirers; and still did.
So... there's a black market in librarians? Amanda wondered. Or perhaps her kidnappers—their kidnappers, now that Ginger had arrived—were collecting for themselves? To say the least, neither thought was reassuring.
The blonde gestured towards the limp form of Ginger sprawled on the floor. "What about this one?"
"I gave her the same dose." She glanced at her wristwatch. "She won't be waking up for at least two hours."
The blonde nodded, knelt behind Ginger, and pulled a pair of steel handcuffs from a jumpsuit pocket. As Amanda watched in wide-eyed horror, she followed the cuffs with a belly-chain, then a second pair of cuffs for Ginger's ankles. Next, the blonde thrust a red rubber ball into Ginger's mouth and secured its attached strap at the nape of her neck under her flaming red hair. Finally, she stretched and adhered a strip of some sort of medical tape over her already gagged mouth and lower face.
So, Amanda sighed, we're now sisters in profession and bondage.
The blonde hefted Ginger's unconscious, bound, and gagged form onto her shoulder and carried her to the cage next to Amanda's, waited for the brunette to unlock its padlock, then deposited her burden inside, gently lowering her to the dusty floor. They secured the door once again, then the pair moved to Amanda's cell.
The jump-suited kidnappers smiled at Amanda like a pair of cats gazing at a caged canary.
Amanda gazed back, her eyes wide with fear.
"I'll go get the van," the blonde announced, then strode away.
The brunette remained behind to unlock and enter Amanda's cage. Amanda watched in horror as she reached into her shoulder-pocket and produced another syringe. The smiling kidnapper obviously intended to administer another dose of the same sleep-inducing drug. The brunette knelt, rolled Amanda onto her back and bound arms, then straddled her helpless form.
Amanda's brown eyes locked on the syringe as the brunette pressed the plunger, tapped the needle to remove any air bubbles, and completed her final preparations.
"Time for a trip to the airport," the brunette purred, "followed by a flight to your new workplace." Her evil, dimpled smile widened as she focused on Amanda's horrified brown eyes. "It's for the best, Dr. Harnois. Air travel can be sooo tiresome."
"MRRRRK!" Amanda could do nothing to prevent the brunette from pinning her head to the ground and injecting her neck. What did she mean by 'new workplace?'
As before, when Amanda was drugged back at her apartment, time itself seemed to slow... and she found it increasingly difficult to focus. Her last sight was the brunette's evil, dimpled smile and laughing brown eyes... then the world was swallowed by darkness.
|PERILS of the Dewey Decimal System
|| Chapter 1
Amanda heard something.
What, she wasn't sure, but she'd heard something. It had been... plaintive.
And there it was again! She hadn't really been paying attention the first time. She realized she hadn't been paying attention to anything, actually, so she hadn't been ready to listen... if that made sense. Anyway, she was ready this time and decided the sound was... a cat? A caterwauling cat? Somewhere in the distance?
She heard the sound a third time, and decided it was a person, not a cat. She was probably female, definitely a soprano, and was screaming through some sort of gag... like the gag in Amanda's own mouth. Yes, Amanda decided, I'm still gagged with the same ball and strap as before; however, the tape formerly covering my mouth is gone.
Amanda tugged on her bonds. She was flat on her back and reclined full-length on a padded surface. Her wrists were at her sides and tightly restrained in wide, padded cuffs of some sort. Her ankles were similarly restrained about two feet apart.
A bright light was sending pinkish-yellow light through Amanda's closed eyelids... which was why they're closed, she reasoned... because of the bright lights.
Amanda tugged on her bonds, again, adding a shoulder-roll and a twist of her hips, but she wasn't going anywhere. She did, however, succeed in adding a pair of straps to her inventory of restraints, one passing over her thighs and pinning her legs and another passing under her breasts and pinning her arms and upper body.
In other bodily news, Amanda was sore. She was sore everywhere. She was also hungry and thirsty. In addition, unless she was mistaken, she was naked and wet. Amanda could feel moisture evaporating from her skin, but not the weight of wet clothes, not even the leotard and tank top that should be clothing her body. Also—she lifted her head and gave it a shake—her hair was a wet, tousled mess.
Amanda ventured a peek through her eyelids, then blinked repeatedly until she adjusted to the light. It was only then she realized she was wearing her glasses—or at least was wearing glasses with her prescription.
She was reclined on a padded table, probably a medical gurney, and her restraints were also of the medical variety: butternut-tan with white padding. The cuffs consisted of wide, well-padded inner-cuffs and much narrower outer-straps that passed through steel staples. The chest and thigh straps were butternut, like the cuffs, but without padding, and they were tight enough to dimple both her skin and the edge of the gurney's narrow, linen-covered mattress. The cuffs were tight and had been expertly applied, leaving no slack. Amanda's groping fingers couldn't even touch the wrist-cuffs' outer straps, much less release them.
Satisfied that she wouldn't be escaping from her restraints and rolling off the gurney in the immediate future, Amanda focused on her surroundings. Directly overhead, a bank of very bright lights with wide, stainless steel reflectors bathed her naked, bound, and gagged body. Whatever might be above the lights was lost in their dazzling glare. The walls were poured concrete, painted an unimaginative white that did little to attenuate the blaze of the spotlights. The room was square, about fifteen feet on a side, and completely unfurnished. The walls were featureless except for the fossilized remnants of the forms used during their constructions. A single open doorway on the wall closest to Amanda's bare feet and leather-cuffed ankles was the only exit... not that Amanda would be doing any exiting anytime soon.
What the hell is going on? Amanda silently demanded. Where am I? Why have I been kidnapped? Was the voice I heard Ginger Rockwell's? She tugged on her cuffs in frustration. What's happening?
Suddenly, Amanda lifted her head and looked down her naked and restrained body to the open door. Footsteps were approaching from the hallway beyond!
Amanda considered pretending to be unconscious, but decided against it. What was the point?
And then, not to her great surprise, her blond and brunette kidnappers appeared.
Previously, her captors had been wearing blue jumpsuits, but now they were in long-sleeved, scoop-collared, very skintight, very black catsuits—Amanda believed such garments were called "catsuits," anyway. The outfits included elbow and knee-pads, as well as constrictions in the abdominal region that suggested some sort of integrated corset. The catsuit fabric was obviously stretchy, like spandex, but had stiff, integrated panels that suggested light armor. Black knee-boots, gloves, and equipment belts with holstered weapons completed the ensembles.
"I told you," The blonde chuckled, nodding towards Amanda as they entered the chamber. "She's already awake. Our Dr. Harnois has the metabolism of a gerbil and the toxin-processing liver of a hyena."
"So I've noticed," the brunette purred. She smiled down at Amanda, reached down, and gave her left breast a squeeze with her gloved right hand.
"Mrrrf!" Amanda complained. Actually, her gagged vocalization was half complaint and half pathetic plea to be left alone.
"I'll remember if, or more likely when, we have occasion to drug her again," the brunette continued. "No chances. I'll restrain her immediately."
"We'll take no chances with any of them," the blonde added with a sinister smile.
'Any of them,' Amanda noted, not 'either of them.' How many captives are they holding?
At that point Amanda noticed the logos sewn above the left breasts of her kidnappers uniforms, as well as the names embroidered above their right breasts. The logo was an open book with a red letter "V" superimposed. The blonde was named "MASON," and the brunette "BENNETT."
The brunette noticed Amanda gazing at her name-tag. "Oh, that's right," she said with a dimpled smile. "We have you at something of a disadvantage."
"That's one way of putting it," the blonde chuckled.
"Dr. Amanda Harnois..." the brunette indicated her blonde confederate with a graceful flip of the wrist. "Allow me to introduce Cassie Mason."
"Pleased to kidnap you, doctor," the blonde, "Cassie," purred, then reached out and gave Amanda's right breast a squeeze, apparently in lieu of shaking hands.
"And I'm Blythe Bennett," the brunette continued. "When not gagged, you may address us as Mistress Mason or Mistress Bennett."
"Oh, please," Mason laughed, "why so formal? Mistress Blythe or Mistress Cassie will do." Her smile faded as she captured Amanda's right nipple between her thumb and forefinger and gave it a firm squeeze.
"But always Mistress," Cassie continued. "Have I made myself clear?" She tightened her grip.
"MRRRF!" Amanda screamed through her gag.
"Now, now," Blythe chuckled, "no need to be a complete bitch." She smiled at Amanda's gagged face. "I'm sure Dr. Harnois gets your point. You do get her point, don't you, doctor?"
Amanda nodded, frantically... and Cassie released her nipple.
"You see?" Blythe purred. "Dr. Harnois is quite bright, which is why she's here."
Cassie nodded towards the door. "Enough chitchat. She Who Must Be Obeyed is on a tight schedule."
"Another good point," Blythe purred.
The catsuited kidnappers released the wheel-locks of the gurney and rolled Amanda through the door.
|PERILS of the Dewey Decimal System
|| Chapter 1
Amanda's rolling journey-by-gurney was a short one, only a matter of about a hundred feet. It was also unremarkable. She craned her neck and looked around but all that registered were more white-painted concrete walls and blazing fluorescent light fixtures overhead. And then, they passed through another open doorway... and what lay beyond was quite remarkable.
The space was twice the size of the room from which Amanda had just come, possibly larger. Stainless steel and glass-fronted cabinets lined one wall and bright spotlights blazed over the center area, and under those lights were three more gurneys, and they were occupied.
One gurney was horizontal, like Amanda's, and it held Ginger Rockwell. The redhead was naked, like Amanda, and identically restrained with leather medical restraints: cuffs around her wrists and ankles and straps across her upper body and thighs. Also like Amanda, she was wearing glasses; however, instead of a ball-gag, a strip of medical tape covered Ginger's mouth and lower face from ear-to-ear and nostrils to chin.
The other two gurneys had been adjusted to about forty-five degree angles and were occupied by a pair of blondes, also naked, identically restrained, and wearing tape-gags and glasses. Heads up and feet down, they gazed at Amanda with consternation and concern.
There was another not so minor difference between Amanda and Ginger and the two blondes: the nipples of the otherwise bare breasts of the blondes and redhead were covered by circular patches of the same gleaming, off-white tape that covered their mouths, and something—Amanda couldn't tell what—was under the tape, in addition to their nipples, of course. In any case, there were three-dimensional bumps that were larger than what Amanda believed were referred to as "pokies."
Cassie wheeled Amanda and her gurney directly in front of the others and locked the wheels. Meanwhile, Blythe stepped to Ginger's gurney, released a lever on the side of the frame, heaved, and the bed canted from the horizontal to forty-five degrees, like the others, and locked in place. Ginger and the two blond strangers were now in a neat row, side-by-side, and had perfect views of Amanda.
Amanda gazed at her fellow prisoners, and they gazed back. It was only then that Amanda noticed the glistening tracks of fresh tears on Ginger's face. The blondes also showed possible signs of recent distress in the form of what might have been dried tears.
What did they do to them? Amanda wondered, then tugged on her wrist-cuffs. And what are they going to do to me?
Meanwhile, Cassie had strolled to the cabinets. She loaded various items onto a stainless steel cart, then rolled it forward.
"Mrrrk?" Neatly arrayed on a green cloth covering the cart Amanda beheld a box of latex gloves, various stainless steel forceps and clamps, a bottle of alcohol, a jar of cotton swabs, and—"Mrrrrk!"—needles in sterile wrappers of clear plastic and thin paper!
Amanda squirmed and fought her restraints with all her strength, but to no avail. The two kidnappers, meanwhile, snapped on latex gloves. Then, Cassie wet a swab and wiped Amanda's left nipple with alcohol. "Nrrrf!" The evaporating alcohol was cold and her nipple popped erect in response.
And then, working in practiced concert, Cassie used a pair of forceps to grip and stretch Amanda's nipple while Blythe snapped the cover from a distressingly large bore needle!
"This is going to sting a little," Blythe purred, then pierced Amanda's nipple!
"Nrrr!" Actually, and much to Amanda's surprise, while the needle had stung, as promised, the pain hadn't been that bad. The helpless humiliation accompanying the jab had been the worst part.
Cassie continued stretching the nipple with the forceps while Blythe readied something at the cart. Amanda couldn't see exactly what. Then, working quickly, Blythe slid a steel rod through the hollow needle, withdrew the needle, slid one end of a steel flange over the end of the rod, and screwed on a spherical cap. Only then did Cassie release Amanda's nipple.
Amanda stared down at her left breast. Her nipple was now pierced, of course, and sported a chrome-bright steel stirrup, a tiny "U"-shaped staple held in place by a rod secured by a spherical cap at either end. Another swipe of the swab cleaned away the drop or two of blood that had resulted from the procedure. Next, Cassie applied a generous dollop of some sort of paste, followed by a large, circular band-aid—and now Amanda's left nipple was the same as the six nipples of her fellow-prisoners. It was a safe bet the bulges under their circular breast-bandages were similar nipple-stirrups.
"That's one," Blythe purred.
Inevitably, Cassie swabbed Amanda's right nipple... and the process was repeated.
Amanda blinked back tears, but had managed not to make any more gagged outbursts.
"And that's two," Blythe said with a truly sinister, truly infuriating smile. "Only one more to go."
One more what? Amanda wondered. I only have two breasts.
The answer was immediate and distressing. Again working in concert, the two kidnappers removed Amanda's ball-gag and instantly replaced it with a steel clamping device that slid into her mouth, clicked open, forced her jaws apart, and locked, leaving her mouth wide open! "Mrrpfh—n-no—Glurk!" Next, a third leather strap was deployed across her forehead and tightened, pinning her head against the gurney. Then, Cassie used a pair of forceps to capture Amanda's tongue and stretch it taut!
At this point Amanda couldn't see much of anything, but she could tell Cassie was stretching her tongue with one hand and shining a bright flashlight through her tongue with the other.
"She has a lot of veins," Blythe purred, "but here's a very good spot."
"GLURRRK!" Something sharp had jabbed Amanda's tongue!
There was more fiddling above and below her stretched tongue... then in one fluid motion the forceps released her tongue, the clamp released her mouth, and a wide strip of tape sealed her lips.
Amanda was now openly weeping, of course, and tears streamed from her eyes and flowed to either side. Also, her glasses were fogged. That always happened when she cried.
Cassie leaned close and smiled into Amanda's wet eyes. "That wasn't so bad, was it? We'll give you pain pills and an anti-inflammatory for the next few days. In two weeks you'll be all better."
Meanwhile, Blythe had rolled the cart back to the cabinets. "All better and ready to play," she said with another evil smile.
Cassie released the strap pinning Amanda's head, then produced a brush from a pocket of her catsuit and began gently brushing Amanda's now more-or-less dry hair. Once her long, gleaming brown locks were restored to some form of order, the kidnappers wheeled Amanda's gurney next to the others and adjusted it to forty-five degrees.
Amanda's nipples were numb. She surmised the paste Blythe had slathered on the nipple wounds had included a topical anesthetic. On the other hand, her tongue was sore and throbbing, and needless to say, the post and its spherical caps felt... strange. Amanda's tears had stopped, but she was still in distress. She turned her head and found her fellow captives gazing at her with tape-gagged sympathy and, considering their similar breast bandages and tape-gags, empathy.
At that point, Blythe pulled a cellphone from her pocket and placed a call. "We're ready for you, Mistress," she said, then pocketed the phone.
"And now," Cassie said with a sinister smile, "we wait."
"We wait," Blythe agreed.
|PERILS of the Dewey Decimal System
|| Chapter 1
It was a very brief wait, no more than three minutes. Amanda was still crying and coming to terms with her numb, pierced nipples and not-so-numb, pierced tongue when she heard the tap of heels on the concrete floor and a well dressed woman strolled through the door and into the chamber.
The woman was in her fifties, possibly her sixties. Her hair was off-the-shoulders and dark blond, although Amanda surmised it was certainly a dye job. Granted, it was an expensive dye job, but the woman wasn't showing a single strand of gray, which was unnatural. Also, by her attitude and the subtle shift in the demeanor of Cassie and Blythe, whoever she was, the newcomer was definitely in charge.
"Why is that one blubbering," she demanded, gesturing towards Amanda.
"We just now finished processing her, Mistress," Blythe responded. "We would have allowed time for her to compose herself, but you said you were in a hurry."
The woman's lips curled in a sly, sinister smile as she gazed at Amanda. "Oh, very well," she purred. "My helicopter is on final approach, by the way, so I'll simply introduce myself and let you handle the bulk of their initial orientation. No rest for the wicked."
"Yes, Mistress," Blythe and Cassie answered in unison.
Amanda was torn between fear and anger, and somewhat to her surprise, she found anger was gaining ground. She glared at the woman and tugged on her wrist cuffs, but she didn't try to speak. Not only would it be futile, as her lips were sealed by medical tape, but she didn't want to risk punishing her still throbbing tongue.
The woman gazed at all four of the captives, focusing on each of them in turn, then cleared her throat. "Dr. Katy Kellog, Dr. Phoebe Pratt, Dr. Ginger Rockwell, and Dr. Amanda Harnois, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Alexandra Votel, your new employer."
Amanda shifted her gaze from her supposed "employer," to her fellow prisoners. She recognized their names, and they were all colleagues. Apparently, the blond with bangs was Dr. Kellog, from Lewis & Clark University if Amanda wasn't mistaken; the blond without bangs was Dr. Pratt, from UCLA; and she already knew Ginger Rockwell from MIT.
"Welcome to the Votel Library," Alexandra continued, indicating their surroundings with a vague gesture. She turned to Cassie and Blythe before continuing. "You've already met your supervisors."
The catsuited kidnappers smiled truly evil smiles but remained silent.
"The Votel Family Collections have been the work of many generations of my extended family," Alexandra lectured, "and there are well over a million items; however, I'm afraid not all of my ancestors took a scholarly or even a systematic approach to their activities. You'll find a hodgepodge of separate catalogs for the different sub-collections, and some haven't even been digitized." She smiled at the four naked, restrained, tape-gagged, and bespectacled librarians. "I'm sure you'll all agree such a situation simply won't do, and that's why you're here."
'Library?' 'Collections?' Amanda exchanged tape-gagged, confused looks with her fellow "employees."
"Anyway," Alexandra continued, "I decided to take the situation in hand and had this facility built, at great expense, I might add. The various collections have been consolidated and transported to the vaults, awaiting your examination and, shall we say, curatorial expertise?"
Is she insane? Amanda wondered. She's kidnapped us to curate her private library?
"Now," Alexandra said with a broad smile, "once you begin work you'll find that no expense has been spared. The library has state-of-the-art air filtration, temperature, and humidity regulation, and a fully automated stack management and security control system. Many of the volumes have already received radio-frequency identification tags, as have yourselves.
Amanda's eyes popped wide. What? We've been RFID tagged? How? Where? Then, the truth dawned. Our nipple and tongue posts are RFID tags! That had to be what she was talking about, but it was insane!
"There's also a fully-equipped conservation lab, of course," Alexandra added. "No doubt Blythe and Cassie will brief you more fully when they give you your initial tour."
"We have their orientation and training fully planned, Mistress," Blythe said with an oily smile.
"I'm sure you do," Alexandra chuckled, then stepped forward and placed the palm of her right hand on Katy Kellog's pale, flat tummy. "You may have noticed that I have a unique approach to employee recruitment. I'm sure that once you see some of the items in the vaults you'll understand. I dare not let so much as a single word leak about the priceless nature of the consolidated collection. Also..." She slid her hand up Katy's squirming body and gently squeezed the lower half of the blond librarian's left breast, being careful not to include her bandaged nipple and its newly implanted post and stirrup. "I confess I rather enjoy treating attractive, talented women as playthings."
Amanda tugged on her bonds and tried to ignore the icy lump that had suddenly coalesced in her stomach. She watched as Alexandra continued kneading Katy's breast. They all watched, the four librarians with horror and dread, and the two catsuited "supervisors" with sinister smiles.
"I've never allowed my 'hobby' to intrude on my business activities," Alexandra continued. "The employment conditions of the junior staff at my various, more isolated residences is another matter, of course, but I see no reason why I can't also indulge myself with my new library." She turned to Blythe. "What's next?"
"Injections for the pain and to make then sleep," Blythe answered. "Later, they'll be fed, watered, and shown their new accommodations. Orientation will begin in a week, by which time their tits and tongues will have healed enough for light duty." She smiled before continuing. "They'll also have healed enough to permit disciplinary action, should any be required."
"Very well," Alexandra chuckled, then released Katy's breast. "I'm off to New York." She turned and headed for the door. She paused in the threshold to gaze at the four naked, helpless, and tape-gagged librarians. "Again, ladies... welcome." She then turned and left.
"I'll carry your bags to the chopper, Mistress," Cassie said and hurried after her employer.
Blythe and the librarians watched the pair depart. Then, four pair of bespectacled eyes focused on Blythe and she smiled at her naked, bound, and gagged subordinates.
"I'm sure we'll all get along famously, doctors," Blythe purred, "as long as you do exactly as you're told at all times. And I promise, you will be impressed when you see Mistress Votel's pile of books." With that, she turned and strolled towards the stainless steel cabinets.
Madness! Amanda thought as she once again tugged on her inescapable restraints. Utter madness! Her fellow librarians were also quite obviously horrified and amazed.
Blythe returned pushing the steel cart, and this time the only things on its surface were a stack of cotton swabs, an alcohol dispenser, a small glass vial containing some sort of clear liquid, four hypodermic syringes, and four needles in sterile wrappers.
Madness! Amanda thought, again, as she fought her restraints and watched Blythe prepare an injection.
|PERILS of the
Dewey Decimal System
|| Chapter 1