by Van ©2019

Chapter 4

Dramatis Personæ


Enough is enough! Suki fumed silently.

She was sitting in her boring, modernistic, all-the-comforts-of-home, boring jail cell and staring at the back of the closed and locked steel door.  By her internal clock (which was generally reliable) it was morning... and time for breakfast.  She was naked, as she'd been for the last five days, and sitting on the microfleece-covered memory-foam slab that was her bed.  Granted, the "bed" in question was quite comfortable, as was the air temperature in her boring cell, but still...

Enough is enough!

Suddenly (and as expected), the rattle of a key turning the lock of the cell door sounded... and the thick steel portal swung open.

Three women entered the cell.  All were fit and athletic, with very feminine physiques revealed by their skintight, sleeveless catsuit uniforms of black spandex.  They were also wearing black knee-boots and "utility belts" with numerous small pouches and neatly coiled lengths of black paracord.
Summer Glau
Suki recognized the leader, "She Who Must Be Obeyed," in the center of the trio.  She was 30-something (probably a little older than Suki) and had long, straight, dark-brown hair (like Suki) pulled back in a tight ponytail.  Her features were symmetrical (she was beautiful), her doe eyes brown, and her smile... quirky and adorable (in a sinister sort of way).  She moved with the grace and poise of a dancer, but Suki wasn't fooled.  Whatever her name (which she'd never felt the need to share during the five days of Suki's captivity), she was dangerous.  She was a fighter.  All of Suki's handlers were fighters.  It was obvious.

And speaking of handlers, "She" was flanked on her left by a blonde, and an Indian on her right (meaning an Asian subcontinent Indian, not a Native American).  Suki had seen them before, but they were equally anonymous, as were the Chinese, Latina, and African American who had also served as "She's" escorts and/or backups on other occasions.

"Enough is enough," Suki growled, scowling at the trio-in-black.  She climbed to her feet and clenched her hands into fists at her sides.  "No more interrogation.  I want to see Beebe, and I want to see her now!"

"Isn't she adorable," the leader purred.

"Like a cranky little puppy," the blonde chuckled.

"Or a grumpy kitten," the Indian added.

"Beebe!" Suki repeated.  "Now!"

The leader returned Suki's angry stare with her beautiful, crooked little smile for a few seconds... then stooped and released the buckles of her knee-boots.  (The models worn by the handlers closed with straps just below their knees, rather than laces.)  She pulled off the boots... followed by her black socks... and tossed them through the open door and into the corridor.  She then removed the coil of black paracord from her belt and handed it to the blonde, removed the belt itself, and tossed it into the corridor.

"You're making a mess," the Indian scolded, stepped into the corridor, and gathered the boots, socks, and belt.

Meanwhile, the leader, her eyes on Suki, unzipped her catsuit from throat to navel.

As Suki watched (and did her best to maintain her scowl) the leader shrugged her right shoulder out of the now gaping garment... followed by the left shoulder... tugged the catsuit past her hips... peeled it down her legs... and stepped free.  Now totally nude, she tossed the suit into the corridor and the Indian's waiting arms without looking.

Commando, Suki thought, staring at the leader's smooth skin, firm breasts, sculpted stomach, nearly trimmed but luxuriant pubic bush, and toned physique.  She glanced at the blonde, then the Indian, then returned her scowl to their naked leader.  I wonder if they're all going commando?

The leader reached behind her head (which caused her firm breasts to rise), released her ponytail, and tossed the fabric-covered elastic that had been holding it in place to the Indian.  Her brown eyes remained locked with Suki and her smile unchanged.

The Indian had rolled the leader's boots and catsuit into a neat bundle, which was tucked under her arm.  The blonde returned the leader's coiled paracord, then removed her own paracord coil from her belt and dropped it to the floor, next to the leader's bare left foot.  The Indian smiled, released her paracord from her belt, and tossed it into the cell, where it landed next to the leader's right foot.

The blonde exited the cell and stood next to her Indian companion in the corridor.  They smiled and waved at Suki, then the blonde pulled the cell door closed.

Suki heard the key turn in the lock.  The leader's eyes remained fixed on Suki.  Several seconds passed... then the naked leader released the retaining hitch of the coil in her hands, doubled the ten foot length and found the center, formed a loop—and pounced!

Suki knew how to fight.  She wasn't a trained martial artist, but she could take care of herself... under most circumstances.  However, it became instantly clear that the leader was, in fact, a highly trained martial artist.  Suki tried for a punch to her naked adversary's jaw, intending to follow through with a kick between her legs—"Oof!"—but the punch never landed and she didn't even begin shifting her weight for the kick.  Suki had been slammed down face down on the memory-foam pad and her attacker was straddling her waist!

"No fair!" Suki complained as she struggled and fought.  Her opponent had used some sort of fancy kung-fu take-down!  And now—"Ow!"—she was using joint-bending hand-grips that numbed her wrists and hands and robbed her arms of their strength!  "I said, ow!  No fair!"

In a depressingly short time, Suki found herself in a "reverse-prayer kimono-tie."  Black paracord yoked her shoulders, encircled her upper chest, above her breasts and passing under her armpits, and her hands were palm-to-palm with her wrists lashed together and against her shoulder blades.  Her thumbs and hands were also lashed together.

The leader stepped off her body and Suki squirmed and tested her bonds with all her strength.  "Bitch!" she complained as she rolled on the soft pad, twisted at the waist, and flapped her folded arms.  Obviously, the leader was not only a martial artist, but also an expert rigger.  Suki knew she wasn't going to escape the tightly cinched paracord, nor was she going to be able to untie the unreachable key knot.  "I want to see Beebe!"

The leader had padded to the cell door and retrieved the other two coils of paracord.  "Bad girls don't always get what they want," she chuckled.

Suki rolled onto her back, continued scowling her most ferocious scowl, and prepared to defend herself with strategically placed kicks.

The leader smiled down at her half-bound prey.  "My name is Betty, by the way."

Suki blew an errant strand of her long, straight, tousled brown hair from her frowning face.  "Betty the bitch!" she huffed.

"I have been called that," Betty chuckled, then pounced again.

The struggle that followed wasn't exactly epic, but Suki did her best to resist.  That said, the result was the second coil of black paracord being used to frog-tie her left leg (including her ankle, upper thigh, foot, and big toe), and the third and final coil to frog-tie her right leg in identical fashion.

"Ow!" Suki complained.  "Why'd ya have to tie up my damn toes?"

Betty sat on the pad with her bare back against the concrete wall and hauled the reverse-prayer-kimono-tied and frog-tied Suki up against her body in a close embrace.  "Because they were too cute not to tie up?"  She planted a quick kiss on the left cheek of Suki's pouting face.  "Because they were there?"  She kissed Suki's cheek, again.  "Because you deserve it?"

"You have no right to do this to me," Suki muttered.

Betty laughed.  "That's rich, indeed, coming from the sidekick of the notorious Doctor Bondage."

"No right," Suki reiterated.  Her eyes welled with tears and her breasts bobbed as she panted.

"The right of conquest," Betty whispered in Suki's left ear.  "I have the right of conquest."

"Oooh!" Suki whined, delicately shivering in pathetic distress.

"That's not gonna work," Betty said quietly, "but bravo.  You're a much better actress than you are a fighter."

Suki heaved a disappointed sigh.  "It was worth a try."  She blinked in sudden distress.  "Hey, what are you doing?  Hey!"  What Betty was doing was playing with Suki's right nipple!  "Stop that!"

"To the victor go the spoils," Betty quoted, and continued toying with Suki's now erect nipple.

"I want to see Beebe," Suki whined.  She was still shivering and pouting, but now it wasn't an act.  Betty's fingers were magic.  Suki was finding if increasingly difficult not to get into the spirit of the exercise.

"I'm afraid the decision to reunite Suki with her nefarious mistress is above my pay grade," Betty purred.  She was now directing her expertise to Suki's right nipple and breast.

"Please," Suki whined.

Betty's smile widened, unseen by her wiggling conquest.  "Eventually, Suki," she said softly.  "Eventually the two of you will get back together.  I promise."

Suki bit her lower lip.  Now Betty was entertaining both of her nipples.  "When do we eat?" she demanded.

"I'm afraid that thanks to your defiance, the entire day's schedule has been thrown out of whack."  Betty continued teasing Suki's left nipple with her left hand, but now her right hand was sliding down Suki's flat tummy to her pubic bush.  "You're having nookie for breakfast."  Her fingers slid through Suki's pubic thatch and she nudged the quivering captive's clitoris.  "I already ate."

Suki went rigid in her bonds (and Betty's embrace) and her breath hissed through clenched teeth.  "Bitch!"

Betty kissed Suki's left ear.  "Oh darling," she whispered, "you have no idea."

 Chapter 4

Joan was not having a good time.

She was naked (of course), with her arms folded behind her back, forearm-to-forearm, her elbows resting in her palms, and bound by twenty or more tight, neat, doubled strands of conditioned hemp rope.  Additional doubled-strands pinned her upper arms to her torso and yoked her shoulders.  Her legs were bent with her ankles lashed to her upper thighs and her lower thighs lashed to her lower legs, just below her knees.

Joan was also suspended by multiple vertical ropes, as if she was kneeling in midair.  Her bent knees were widely splayed, placing her labia and neatly trimmed pubic bush on open display.  She could twist and squirm and buck her bound body, if she so chose, but when she relaxed, gravity and the expert placement of the suspending ropes conspired to return her to her former pose.

Being the subject of Jamie's current "bondage installation," Joan couldn't see all the details of her bondage, but from what she could see of her bonds, they were elaborate, intricate, even decorative, as well as being fully functional.

There was an additional important detail: Joan was gagged.  Jamie had tightly rolled a powder-blue hand towel of super-absorbent synthetic fabric around a short length of hemp rope, thrust the resulting bit in Joan's mouth, then tightly knotted the rope at the nape of her neck, under her long, straight, raven-black hair.

Once again, Jamie Moriarty had demonstrated her expertise as a world class rigger.

The setting was a large, plain, concrete space with a high ceiling.  It was somewhere above ground.  One entire wall was a bank of windows, ceiling to floor, but completely covered by a translucent curtain of white cotton that totally blocked Joan's view of whatever lay beyond.  From a geographical perspective, Joan still had no idea where she was being held, other than in an apparently deserted industrial building that was clean and in good repair.

The space served as Jamie's current studio, and she was a gifted painter.  Her "Irene Adler" persona had been a highly respected and successful art restorer.  She worked mostly in oils and used a variety of techniques.  She'd already painted a portrait of Joan in the style of Johannes Vermeer.  Joan had first seen it while visiting Jamie (with Sherlock) after Jamie's capture, and later, Sherlock had borrowed the canvas and briefly hung it in his brownstone residence.  Joan had to admit the painting was truly stunning, and she'd been somewhat flattered by her portrayal (as well as being creeped out).

Anyway, Jamie was now working on a second portrait of Joan Watson.

Joan heaved a gagged sigh.  The first painting had been done from memory and without Joan's knowledge, but now, apparently, Jamie found it necessary to have Joan pose as her life model... for the last three hours... and for who knew how many more hours to come.

Joan had to admit that she wasn't in actual pain.  Not yet, anyway.  The suspending ropes evenly distributed and supported her weight, but the forced immobility was getting tiresome, very tiresome.  Joan's bound body was beginning to ache, and she knew the sensation would only get worse.

Jamie was wearing a white men's dress shirt, perhaps a size too big, with its long sleeves rolled up and the front secured by only a single button, midway between her breasts and navel.  She was sitting on a wooden stool, her feet and legs bare, and Joan could see that she wasn't wearing panties (not that she gave a damn).  Jamie's concentration was divided between the large canvas on the easel before her and her model.  She was painting with her dominant, right hand, so, with her arm raised, her right nipple and the inner slope of her right breast peeked through the gaping shirt.

"This is turning out quite well," Jamie purred, breaking the silence of the last three hours.

Joan hung in her bonds and stared at her kidnapper and artist.  The gag rendered any comment she might wish to share completely moot.  All Joan could see was the easel and the back of the stretched and framed canvas.  She had no idea whether the painting was, indeed, "turning out well," but had little doubt.  Jamie was very gifted.  Give the devil her due, as the saying goes.

"It's for Sherlock, of course," Jamie added, smiling her mocking, quirky smile and nodding at the canvas.  She continued painting.  "I only wish I could be there when he tears off the wrappings and first sees it.  I'm sure his reaction will be simply priceless."

Joan continued staring.

"Perfect," Jamie sighed.  "Your expression is equally priceless."

Joan tossed her head and turned her gagged face to the side.

"Too late," Jamie chuckled.  "You know I have an eidetic memory.  I've already visually captured the moment in full detail and have it mimeticly coded and stored.  Sherlock will find your brave defiance quite captivating... as well as your imperfectly masked humiliation and, of course, your stunning beauty.  Above all, your stunning beauty.  I rather imagine he'll regret his decision not to have already taken you to bed."

Joan blushed and squirmed in her bonds.  She couldn't help it.

"Perfect," Jamie purred as she painted... and she continued painting for several long minutes.

Joan turned her head and resumed sullenly staring at her kidnapper... and stoically ignored the complaints of her nude, bound, gagged, and aching body.

Suddenly, Jamie paused, smiling broadly.  She set down her palette on a side table, dipped her brush in an open jar of what Joan assumed were mineral spirits, then wrapped the tip in a small cloth.  She then stood, executed a full-body stretch (something Joan very much wished she could do), and strolled in Joan's direction.

Joan watched (nervously) as Jamie approached.

Stopping close to her helpless model, the smiling evil genius reached out and gently combed her fingers through Joan's hair.  "So beautiful," Jamie sighed, then cupped Joan's right breast and gave it a gentle squeeze.

"Mrrrpfh!" Joan complained and tried to squirm away.  Jamie's grip tightened and Joan stopped moving and stared furiously at her kidnapper.

"I think we'll do a whole series of painting on the Kinbaku theme," Jamie purred, then released Joan's breast, lowered her hand, and cupped Joan's labia.

"MRRRF!" Joan screamed through her gag and once again tried to squirm away.

Jamie simply smiled, continued cupping Joan's crotch, and slid her middle finger between Joan's labia and inside her vagina.

Joan shivered in humiliation and disgust.

"I think one canvas a month is a reasonable goal," Jamie said quietly.  "One a month.  Sherlock can convert one of the rooms of his brownstone to a gallery."

Joan closed her eyes but continued shivering.  She couldn't help it.  Jamie's finger was moving... slowly sliding back and forth across her clitoris.  And then it was gone, as was the rest of Jamie's hand.

Jamie was strolling towards a closed door, the door through which she'd dragged an already bound and gagged Joan into the studio before rigging the suspension.

"I think a spot of tea is in order," Jamie called back over her shoulder.  "Unfortunately, you still have a few hours of posing ahead of you, so your tea will have to wait."

And then, she was gone.  Joan stared at the now closed door... and heaved another sigh.  She then composed herself, striving to enter a meditative state to ameliorate the effects of her continuing bondage.  She knew she might not succeed... but she had to try.  Joan was in very good shape.  Her fitness regime including running and yoga; however, days of tight bondage was taking its toll.  Granted, Jamie wasn't keeping her tied up 24/7, and she was rarely gagged, but every day since her kidnapping had included hours of stringent bondage, punctuated by hours of less stringent bondage.  Jamie was playing with her... like a spoiled child abusing a long-suffering doll... and Joan was that doll.

Sherlock, Joan thought.  Please.  Find me.  She thought of Jordan Shaw, her fellow kidnap victim, who might be a prisoner in this very same building, which was quite obviously large and complex.  Of course, Jordan could be someplace else entirely.  Find us, Joan amended her prayer.

 Chapter 4

Betty made her way through the corridors of the "Golden Tower," responding to an electronic summons from her sister (who she delighted in teasingly characterizing as "The Legendary Bondarella").

The tower in question was an eight story office building (with parking garage, helipad, helicopter hanger, basement, and four sub-basements), located in the general vicinity of Aspen, Colorado.  Viewed from the highway, it was an unremarkable building, supposedly home to an academic and scientific think-tank affiliated with several different colleges and universities.  The "Golden" label referenced both the gold-tone reflective finish of the tower's windows and the Cotswold Limestone shade of the sealer applied to its concrete elements.  At certain times of the day the rising or setting sun caused the tower to glow like a shining spear, but the rest of the time, it might be pleasing to the eye but was hardly an architectural icon.

Oh-by-the-way, the tower was also an important base of the Sisterhood.

The Sisterhood, of course, is an ancient, benign, and largely unknown organization dedicated to human progress.  As the name suggests, its membership is largely (but not exclusively) female.  Also, it is heterogeneous, an umbrella organization with many cooperating, semi-independent branches, most of which are undeniably conventional.  Others, however, are less conventional, with what some might call eccentric or bohemian interests.

Betty and Bondarella belonged to one such branch.  Specifically, their branch was dedicated to the ethical enjoyment of consensual bondage.  That is, while its members liked nothing more than restraining and boinking the brains out of willing women, young and old, the process had to be 100% voluntary—role-playing as a damsel-in-distress aside, of course.

The branch was more than a social club.  The Sisterhood (Betty's branch, anyway) actively interacted with law enforcement across the globe to combat non-consensual BDSM activities.  They did their best to help eradicate human trafficking and bring rapists to justice.  When a potentially high profile case of abuse was discovered, Bondarella and her colleagues sprang into action. 

Bondarella was one of the branch's leaders and Betty a mere foot soldier, but she worked closely with her sister.  At the moment, Betty was dressed in what she thought of as a Handler's Uniform:
The catsuit hugged Betty's toned, athletic, very feminine body like a second skin, and was comprised of panels stitched together in a manner that complemented her underlying musculature, giving her complete freedom of movement while making her look utterly hot at all times.  Her long, straight, dark-brown hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail.

Everyone in the Golden Tower was a member of some branch of the Sisterhood, but not all were operatives of Betty and Bondarella's particular branch.  That said, Betty's handler uniform elicited no response as she strode down the corridor, not so much as a raised eyebrow.  She passed administrators, technicians, and academics, all female, and all hot in their own way.  Betty smiled and exchanged greetings as she passed her fellow Sisters.

Betty passed a twenty-something cutie in business attire with short-cropped brown hair and girlish features.  Her name was Chloe, and for the last few weeks Betty had made a project of recruiting her to "The Dark Side," Betty's nickname for the consensual BDSM branch.  Thus far, Chloe had been resisting her charms, but Betty had received no clear "no" signals and had no intention of letting up.  Betty smiled her most seductive, quirky smile as they passed... and Chloe blushed, smiled, and dropped her gaze to the plush carpet underfoot.

Promising, Betty thought, then continued down the corridor to her big sister's office.

The outer door whisked open as she approached, she entered the front office (which at the moment was empty), and continued on towards the inner office door.  It whisked open as well, Betty crossed the threshold, and was in the presence of The Legendary Bondarella.

Bondarella's office was large and luxurious (in a spartan sort of way).  She had office suites in several other Sisterhood facilities, worldwide, as well as three large personal estates, all in a variety of styles, but this particular office was French Provençal.  The upholstery of its various furnishings were in shades of wheat, creme, sand, ecru, etc.

Bondarella was behind her desk, which was more-or-less a large table.  The window-wall behind her afforded a spectacular view of the mountains, and the wall in front was one gigantic HDTV screen.  At the moment it displayed several windows containing memos and e-mail messages, as well as clusters of file folder icons.

Oh-by-the-way, in one corner of the office stood a captive Beebe Bonde.  The prisoner was naked and standing up on her toes with her arms raised.  Her ankles were bound together in stainless steel cuffs, her waist and crotch locked in a stainless steel chastity belt, her entire head encased in a featureless steel helmet, and her wrists bound in wide, well-padded, stainless steel suspension cuffs.  A taut, vertical steel chain linked the wrist-cuffs to a steel-lined hole in the ceiling and enforced the stringent AOH pose.

"Hey," Betty said as she crossed the office and slouched into one of the two visitor chairs in front of her big sister's desk.

"Hey," Bondarella answered, absently.  Dressed in a dove-gray linen suit, her eyes were on the tablet computer in her left hand.  Apparently, she wasn't quite ready for the meeting to begin.

Betty turned her head and gazed at Beebe... the legendary Dr. Bondage.

Seconds passed as Bondarella continued to read.

Betty made a languid gesture towards Beebe.  "May I?" she inquired.

Bondarella looked up from the tablet.  "Huh?  Oh, certainly."  She went back to reading.  "I'll be with you shortly."

Betty flowed to her feet and sauntered in Beebe's direction.

Without a doubt, Beebe Bonde had a magnificent body—smooth, tan skin—toned muscles, with added definition thanks to her stretched pose—and superb breasts, despite the inevitable flattening imposed by her AOH predicament.  Betty recognized the model of chastity belt in use (from personal experience) and was fully acquainted with its features.  The belt had dual penetrators, with vibratory and electro-stimulatory functions, and both were under independent WiFi control.  The helmet was also familiar.  It incorporated a mouth-filling ball-gag and earbuds, and the tiny green LEDs glowing on the helmet's ear regions confirmed that its noise-cancelling function was active, broadcasting environmental noise shifted 180° out of phase.

Beebe was effectively mute, deaf, and blind, as well as completely helpless.

That meant it came as a complete surprise to the captive when Betty gently clutched Beebe's breasts in her two hands... and squeezed.

Beebe flinched and mewled through the helmet.  "Mrrrm!"

Betty's smile was decided wicked... and unseen by the object of her attention.

Bondarella continued reading as her little sister satisfied her curiosity regarding the tactile properties of Beebe's firm breasts, pert nipples, flat stomach, smooth thighs, and dimpled, steel-cleaved buttocks.

Finally, Bondarella set down the tablet, gazed across the office, and smiled.  "Ahem."

Betty gave Beebe's left nipple a final teasing flick with her right thumb and forefinger, then strolled back to the visitor chair.  "It's very rude to summon me into your august presence, then keep me waiting."

"Please accept my sincere apology," Bondarella said dryly.

"I assume you have news?"

Bondarella nodded.  "Sally," she said.  "Please join us."

Sim-SallyThe windows on the HDTV screen collapsed into icons, migrated to the margins or into the appropriate file folders, and were replaced by the image of "Sally," aka "Sally Salamandas," aka "Sim-Sally,"

Sally worked with many different branches of the Sisterhood, in some capacity, and was known throughout the organization as their most gifted hacker and/or computer scientist.

Some of Sally's Sisterly coworkers believed she was an artificially intelligent avatar designed to speak for the committee of human scientists and government operatives who performed the Sisterhood's most sensitive and sophisticated cyber-operations.

Others believed Sally was an artificially intelligent avatar serving as the mask of a single, spectacularly brilliant computer genius who, for her own reasons, chose to conceal her true identity.

Only a select few knew that Sally was, in fact, an artificially intelligent avatar, but was in no way human.  Sally was Sally, 100% software and distributed across the internet.  Sally was a mask for no human.

Also, for reasons known only to herself, when required to project a human avatar, Sally very much preferred to simulate the appearance and speak with the voice of Sigourney Weaver, the actress.  However, once she joined the Sisterhood (or the Sisterhood joined her) Sally had agreed to make her "Siggy-form" less than fully realistic.  On most occasions it was clear to any and all human participants that they were interacting with a computer-generated simulation of Sigourney Weaver, and not Sigourney Weaver herself.

Oh-by-the-way, the actual, fully human Sigourney Weaver was a member-in-good-standing of the Sisterhood (but not the same branch as Bondarella and Betty).  It was therefore a good thing she couldn't be easily mistaken for Sally.  It was less confusing for all concerned.

At the moment, Sally presented the appearance of Ripley, arguably the real Sigourney's most famous character.  Sally had stated on numerous occasions that she liked being Ripley.  "Ripley is bad-ass," she'd explained.  At the moment, Sally was "wearing" a blue jumpsuit with a "Sally" name tag, her simulated hair was tousled and cropped short, the background suggested the interior of the starship Nostromo, and Sally was, indeed, bad-ass.

"Sally has news," Bondarella told her sister.

"I've located Watson and Shaw," Sally announced.  "As we speak, an Action Directorate strike team is moving into position.  They'll hold until you arrive on the scene."

Betty frowned.  "Is that wise?  Why wait?"

"The perpetrator of this debacle is none other than Jamie Moriarty," Bondarella intoned.

Betty was still frowning.  "Why is that name familiar?" she muttered to herself.

Sally rolled her simulated eyes.

Bondarella smiled and rolled her real eyes.  "How many times have I told you to keep current on all Sisterhood briefing summaries.  Jamie Moriarty runs a global criminal enterprise with ties to about thirty governments and perhaps a hundred drug cartels and crime families."

"Teasing apart one of her operations is always a daunting task," Sally explained.  "Simply crashing in and rescuing Dr. Watson and Special Agent Shaw will almost certainly lead to unwanted consequences, most of which will be exceedingly difficult to predict and troublesome to resolve.  We've determined that while Moriarty's prisoners are uncomfortable, they're not in immediate danger,  We've also found and blocked twelve potential escape routes from Moriarty's lair.  Due diligence continues."

"Oh," Betty sighed, "that Jamie Moriarty."  Her frown returned.  "Wait, I thought she'd already been captured."

"She was," Bondarella confirmed, "but it would seem Moriarty has completely suborned her jailers.  Moriarty 'answers' all questions put to her by various law enforcement agencies, but it's now clear that for the past year she's been totally gaming the system, sacrificing some parts of her network while protecting and even expanding others.  Recently—and I only just learned this—she's moved out of custody and is occupying one of her many secure bases.  Moriarty is more-or-less free, but everyone thinks she's still incarcerated.  Jamie Moriarty is a formidable opponent.  We must act carefully."

Betty shook her head.  "All of that's waaay above my paygrade.  I'm just a dumb grunt.  I'll let you guys mismanage the strategic blundering."

Bondarella smiled indulgently.  "And don't think we aren't appreciative."

Betty pointed to Beebe.  "What about that one?"

Bondarella sighed.  "It would seem Dr. Bondage is an unknowing cog in Moriarty's latest scheme, a one-time-only, fully expendable recruit."

Betty frowned.  "Hired by Moriarty to do the dirty work, then betrayed and abandoned?"

Bondarella nodded.  "And the same goes for her partner, Suki."

"That's just... rude," Betty groused.

"An example of the byzantine layering characteristic of Moriarty's operations," Sally lectured.  "Dr. Bondage was hired to abduct Watson and Shaw, mercenaries were hired to relieve Dr. Bondage of her prey, and a third organization was hired to deliver Watson and Shaw to Moriarty's lair and deal with the mercenaries... with extreme prejudice."

Betty stared at Beebe's nude, bound, gagged, stretched, and sensory-deprived form.  "I suppose they were lucky, meaning Dr. B. and her sidekick."  She focused on her sister.  "I don't think I like this Moriarty character very much."

Bondarella nodded.  "Nor do I.  Go pack and get ready."

Betty flowed to her feet and headed for the office door.  "I am ready," she huffed.  "Later, Sally," she said, waving at the screen as she made her exit.

"Later," Sally answered, then directed her simulated gaze to Bondarella.  "What about Beebe and her partner?"

"As you know," Bondarella answered as she rose from her chair, "the matter of their disposition is under council review.  A decision is still pending.  In the meantime, my staff will keep them comfortable... or a reasonable facsimile thereof."

"I see," Sally purred, then touched her forehead in a casual salute.  "Later."

"Later, Sally," Bondarella answered, smiling and returning the salute.

Sally departed (meaning the screen went dark), and Bondarella gracefully departed her office.

Beebe remained behind and continued being nude, bound, gagged, stretched, sensory-deprived, and beautiful.

 Chapter 4


Chapter 3
Chapter 5