Ex Machina
Taken by the Machine

by Van © 2023

Chapter 2

Dramatis Personæ


Naked, gagged, strapped to the padded surface of some sort of robotic furniture or mechanism, in total darkness, and in a subterranean chamber an unknown number of stories beneath Lydia Aelios' luxurious, ultramodern, hilltop mansion... time passed with glacial slowness for Dr. Edwina Bliss.  All she could do was wiggle and squirm and fight her inescapable bonds... and think... and she had a lot to think about.

An autonomous pair of medium-weight general purpose robots had captured her (with ease and finesse) and transported her to her current location.  And once there, the multi-tools at the ends of an array of robotic arms had stripped her naked and secured her to her current... bed?  And all of this happened with a truly remarkable display of sophisticated coordination and programming—a veritable robotic ballet of graceful, economical movement and exquisitely synchronized effort.  If Edwina hadn't been so preoccupied with being a damsel-in-robotic-distress, she would have been quite impressed.  Formidable engineering was at play here, both in terms of hardware and software.  At the moment, however, Edwina was too wretched, frightened, and agitated to focus on the technological details.

Flat on her back with her head slightly raised and her body slanted a few degrees above the horizontal, every now and then Edwina tested her bonds, the strong, tightly-woven nylon straps or belts binding her wrists at her sides, her ankles about two feet apart, and pinning her arms, legs, and torso to the pads.  They imprisoned her upper-arms, passed above and below her knees, around her waist, and above and below her breasts.  The wrist and ankle bonds were wider than the others, similar to automobile lap-belts, but regardless of their width, all were tight enough to lightly dimple her flesh.  And yet, while unyielding, they weren't what she could call punishing.  She simply couldn't move... much.


As for her gag, a ball of medium density foam, probably silicon rubber, filled her oral cavity to capacity.  It was tasteless (thank goodness) with no residual chemical residue.  She'd only seen a flash of the actual silencing apparatus when the capture-bots applied it up in her suite, but her impression was that of a form-fitting panel of shining steel padded on its interior surface with black rubber, and with narrower, similarly padded steel bands attached.  The panel pressed against her mouth and lower face, a strap passed under her chin and a pair of straps hugged the sides of her face and met at the nape of her neck.  The rubber-padded steel bands were rigid, unlike the pliable nylon straps binding the rest of her body, and like the straps they were no-nonsense-tight without being all that uncomfortable.  The gag's presence was unpleasant, but not an actual torment.  It felt like a custom fit, as if the gag had been manufactured to her exact measurements.  It was more evidence of technological finesse.

Edwina knew herself to be totally helpless, as well as isolated from any potential rescue.  And obviously, Lydia Aelios had something (if not everything) to do with her predicament.  Who else could have programmed her autonomous captors?  And she was positive the robots had been completely autonomous.  No human or team of humans had been "driving" the arms and manipulators that had so effortlessly defeated her struggles and removed her clothing without causing physical injury.  The system's reaction time was far faster than her own, and her attempts to evade capture would have been too erratic and unpredictable for a human control loop to cope with the multiple moving targets that were Edwina's flailing limbs and twisting body.

Also, it was only logical that her capture had been triggered by her discovery of Lydia's extraneous data-feeds and secret servers—and now at least part of that clandestine activity was explained.  Lydia had gathered all the information required to develop an ergonomically sophisticated expert system specifically designed to capture human targets!  But that was insane!  And yet... here she was.  Edwina resolved to stop speculating until she had more data.  In the first place, waiting was her only option; and in the second place, the Scientific Method requires a steady diet of data, and she was in no position to conduct research and analysis.

Anyway, Edwina might no longer be panic stricken, but that didn't mean she was relaxed.  All she could do was continue to occasionally squirming for comfort... and hope for the best... which was... Lydia giving her a stern tongue-lashing for poking around in her files then sending her packing?  All she could do was wait.  Sleep was out of the question.

Nonetheless... at some point... Edwina did, in fact, drift off into a troubled sleep.


Suddenly, Edwina opened her eyes.  The overhead lights had begun to glow and were slowly brightening!  Also, the chamber door had opened, admitting bright light from the corridor.  She surmised her slumber had been disturbed by the whisk of the portal sliding into the wall... and speaking of sound...  Click, click, click, click...  Edwina turned her gagged head and found the figure of a fit, smartly dressed woman wearing high-heeled pumps silhouetted in the corridor.  Then, she crossed the threshold and came fully into the light.

By this time the LEDs in the ceiling were glowing at full brightness and Edwina's eyes had more-or-less adjusted, so (and not to her great surprise), she recognized the newcomer as Dr. Lydia Aelios.  As usual, her boss was dressed for business in a smart, expensive, custom made ensemble of heels, skirt, blouse, and jacket, with her ΛÇ ID badge clipped to the jacket's breast pocket.

Smiling with greater warmth than at any time Edwina could remember, Lydia gazed down at her prisoner—and Edwina was now 100% convinced that she was Lydia's prisoner, that her research associate was fully responsible for her robotic capture and subsequent handling.

Edwina flinched when Lydia reached out and casually rested her right hand atop her left naked breast... then gently squeezed.  "Mrrrm!"  Edwina also squirmed against her bonds in further protest.

"Do you know the attribute that I find most reprehensible in an employee?" Lydia purred.  "Disloyalty."  The gentle squeeze relaxed, but her hand remained in place, lightly cupping Edwina's breast.

Edwina panted through flaring nostrils, the nylon straps dimpling her flesh tightening and loosening as her strap-framed breasts rose and fell, taking Lydia's hand along for the ride.

"I'm very disappointed in you, Dr. Bliss," Lydia continued.  "I'm afraid our scientific collaboration will have to be placed on hold... until your attitude improves."  She lifted her hand from Edwina's left breast and placed it on her lower tummy, between the waist-strap and Edwina's neatly trimmed pubic bush.  "But don't worry.  I found a behavior modification program based on CIA experiments that I've developed into a fully functional expert system.  It will be managing your, shall we say, rehabilitation.  It should only take a few months.  We'll be working together again in no time."

Her eyes locked with her gloating captor, Edwina continued slowly squirming under the straps and tugging on her wrist-restraints.  Her heart was pounding in her chest.

"Actually," Lydia continued, "this is something of an opportunity.  I have several other newly developed expert systems, all of which have never been tested on an actual human specimen, and you'll do nicely as an experimental subject.  It will help me prepare for my primary target."

Edwina's worried brown eyes stared at her captor.  Primary target?  What does that mean?

Lydia's smile turned coy.  She could sense Edwina's curiosity.  "Don't concern yourself,'" she purred.  "As I said, you're a test subject, Dr. Bliss; and a test subject doesn't have a need to know."  She lifted her hand from Edwina's quivering lower tummy, then gently stroked the side of the prisoner's face.  "I know that gag is tiresome," she said, "but it think I'll let it remain in place for a while longer.  After all... you are being punished.  That said, a physical gag isn't the only method available for dealing with tiresome begging, irrelevant protests, pointless screams, and any other vocalizations you might wish to share while the tests and experiments play out.  And the solution I have in mind is more technology that needs testing, so it's another win-win... from my point of view."

Edwina watched with trepidation as Lydia took a step back, reached into her jacket pocket, produced a cell-phone or mini-tablet, then began tapping and swiping its small screen.  She paused to smile at Edwina... then made a final stab.

There was a very brief pause... then several things happened, either simultaneously or in rapid succession:Edwina's collar
  • The piece of "furniture" cradling Edwina's naked, bound, and gagged body rose under her head and lowered under her feet, leaving her still on her back and in the same pose, but inclined at about 45°.  Her bonds remained unchanged (and inescapable).
  • Directly in front of her, four of the vertical panels set in the chamber wall snicked open and four of the long, elegant robot arms that had sliced off her clothing hours earlier emerged and extended in her direction!
  • The two outer arms firmly but gently seized the sides of her gagged head and held it still.
  • The two inner arms extended at a slower pace, giving Edwina plenty of time to examine the object they held between them in their robotic grips.
And the object in question was unmistakably a collar of shining steel!  It had a semi-streamlined bulge on the front with a glowing red LED that would be directly under a hypothetical wearer's chin.  Also, a QR code was affixed to the front, directly under the red light.

"MRRRFH!" Edwina complained as the collar delicately closed around her neck with an audible click!  Then, the robot arms released Edwina's head, withdrew back into their openings, and the doors snicked closed.  She twisted and shook her head, causing her long, tousled brown hair to shimmy and shake.  She complained again, "MRRR-uk!"—and instantly her throat clinched, her eyes popped wide in distress, and she froze in her bonds!  The collar had shocked her directly across her larynx!  And it had been quite painful!

"Excellent," Lydia purred, then returned her phone/mini-pad to her jacket pocket.  "From now on, unless you are told otherwise, consider yourself mute.  No annoying questions or pitiful whining, just..."  Her smile twisted into a wide grin and her blue eyes took on a discernible twinkle.  "...Blissful silence."

Edwina was too focused on her horrific predicament to appreciate an abysmal pun on her family name.

"Anyway," Lydia continued.  "Your pretty new choker was fabricated from a virtually indestructible steel alloy, and the locking and control mechanisms are totally tamper-proof.  I know the fit is somewhat confining, but I'm confident you'll get used to it in no time; just as you'll soon find yourself out of the habits of superfluous conversation and making irritating exclamations."  She reached out and gently grasped Edwina's chin, then slowly turned her prisoner's head from side to side, smiling as she examined the collar.  "On full charge, the batteries provide approximately 40 hours of continuous operation," she purred, "and, of course, they will be automatically recharged nightly."

She released Edwina's chin and took a step back.  "Now, I have important work to do, so I'll leave you to enjoy your in-processing and settle into your new routine.  And don't worry.  If anything goes wrong, all of this is being archived, which means I'll be able to correct any bugs revealed in the code."  She then turned and strolled towards the chamber door, her heels once again sounding a staccato tap on the concrete floor.  "I believe at this point there's a one hour administrative hold programmed into your schedule, and after that... once again things will get interesting."

Lydia crossed the threshold and the door snicked closed behind her.

And then, Edwina's "lounger" slowly lowered to its former just-above-the-horizontal position.  The constellation of LED mini-lights continued shining overhead, so the only change from before Edwina had been wakened was the shiny new collar now clamped around her neck.  Edwina could feel it against her throat whenever she swallowed, but actually it was no more uncomfortable than the rest of her bonds, including her now redundant gag.

In any case, Edwina was a naked, bound, gagged, and shock-collared prisoner.  Dr. Bliss knew herself to be in a right pickle... a right pickle indeed!


Lydia maintained a long and ever growing roster of things-to-do, with separate categories for basic research, the management of her commercial enterprise, and her Special Project.  She returned to her expansive, ultramodern office in the mansion fully intending to get back to work; however... and to her mild irritation... she discovered herself preoccupied with the test program unfolding down below.  Edwina Bliss was beautiful, even desirable, but she was no Prime Target.  Then again, who was, other than the Prime Target herself?  Anyway, Lydia had things to do!

And yet... none of her pending research endeavors were critical to her other plans, and all the many simulations and data collection routines already running could proceed without her supervision.  Also, she had expert systems for enterprise management that could monitor and even direct ΛLIOS ÇYBRTRONICS without her input, except in extraordinary circumstances, which it was their primary function to detect.  Finally, what was happening and would continue to happen down below was directly relevant to the success of her critically important Special Project—and all of her projections suggested that the final development of the Special Project in question was nearing its culmination.

A smile curled Lydia's lips and as she made the impromptu decision to "play hooky" and waste the remainder of the day (or at least the next few hours).  That is, she decided to concentrate on monitoring Dr. Bliss' transition to her new routine.  Lydia settled into her throne-like office chair, then made a few adjustments to her work-space.  Specifically, she selected the single most photogenic input from the cameras down in Edwina's chamber and copied it to the gigantic wall-size projection-screen in front of her desk and relegated the other monitors before her to unobtrusive high-level monitoring of her business and research programs... meaning her other research programs, the ones that didn't require a human test subject.

A naked, bound, gagged, and collared Dr. Edwina Bliss was now on display in high-definition and her image dominated the office.  The treacherous (meaning understandably curious) Brit was naked and helpless, and as Lydia had already acknowledged, was undeniably beautiful.  Lydia leaned back in her throne and watched as every now and then Edwina squirmed for comfort.  She noted the captive was no longer mewling or even humming through her gag.  Apparently, the single lesson from her new collar had transformed her into a voluntarily mute.  Lydia's commitment to the Primary Target remained unchanged... but that didn't mean she couldn't appreciate what was happening and was about to happen to Edwina Bliss.  After all, it was all be in direct support of the Special Project and her plans for the Primary Target.

Lydia leaned forward and began tapping the keys of the virtual keyboard built into the surface of her desk.  Menus began flashing on a side-monitor... then stabilized into a list of the agenda items for Edwina's "in-processing," a list of the events that would occupy the test subject's immediate future.

Lydia frowned.  It went without saying that all of her control and expert systems were artificially intelligent, including the high-level oversight routines managing the matrix of subsystems dedicated to single topics of research, but none of them were sentient AIs.  The only sentient intelligence in the mansion and its many subterranean levels was Dr. Lydia Aelios.  There was also Edwina, of course, but she had been demoted to subservient sentient intelligence and therefore didn't count.  In any case, Lydia found herself dissatisfied with the items on Edwina's list.

Everything scheduled to happen was a test of the software and hardware that would manage and satisfy Edwina's bodily needs.  And while many of the procedures would be undeniably intrusive, they were also deliberately harmless.  They should be able to happen over and over again without causing undesirable side-effects (like unsightly skin-irritation and chaffing).  Lydia continued frowning.  The truly entertaining tests had all been reserved for the future, after all the bugs had been worked out of the "housekeeping" subprograms.  But what was the fun in that?

Lydia gazed at Edwina's gagged visage.  The beautiful and brilliant scientist had snooped into her affairs, which was strictly forbidden by the non-disclosure agreement she'd signed before being allowed into the mansion.  Well... truth be told, there wasn't an actual a "no snooping" clause in the document, but it was certainly implied!  Edwina deserved to be punished.

Lydia's smile returned and once again she began tapping the virtual keyboard.  As she did so, on the side-monitor items began popping onto Edwina's in-processing agenda and existing items began shifting around.  Finally satisfied with the changes, Lydia stabbed a final virtual button and the menu locked.

Lydia reached out and double-tapped the teacup-shaped icon of a small virtual keypad to the right of the main virtual keyboard, then leaned back in her chair to watch the show.  In the upper right corner of the giant projected image of Edwina's naked captivity was a red digital timer.  It displayed the minutes and seconds until the commencement of the next phase of the captive's in-processing.  Lydia's smile broadened.  She knew the robot butler bearing her ordered tea would arrive well before the countdown reached zero.


... 05 ... 04 ... 03 ... 02 ... 01 ... 00.

Suddenly, motors and servos hummed to life underneath Edwina's naked, helplessly bound body and her "lounger/bed" began to change shape!  She nearly mewled through her gag in startled alarm, but caught herself in time.  She did not want another lesson from her "obedience collar."  Meanwhile, the pads under her body separated and/or reconfigured themselves into what amounted to an examination chair.  And, of course, they took Edwina with them! 

Just to be clear, when the mechanical humming noise ceased, Edwina found herself comfortably, involuntarily, and somewhat apprehensively in an upright sitting position with her back nearly vertical and fully supported—her arms horizontally outstretched to either side and pressed against what amounted to a horizontal padded bar—and her legs widely splayed, almost to their comfortable limit, and with her knees bent.  As a consequence, her lady-bits were now on full and obscene display!  And this was exacerbated by the fact then the pads formerly supporting her butt had folded back and were no longer performing that function.  Edwina's upper thighs and crotch were suspended in midair; however, she was in no danger of falling out of the "chair."  All of her restraints had remained in place and were still very much performing their functions.  The wide straps remained in place around her wrists and ankles and the narrower straps pressed her into the remaining pads above and below her breasts, around her waist, and above and below her knees.  All remained tight, slightly dimpling her skin.

Edwina squirmed and struggled, but whether she was flat on her back on the "bed" or sitting comfortably in the "chair," she remained a totally helpless prisoner.  Without a doubt, Lydia and/or her expert engineering programs had done a bang-up job designing and fabricating the restraint and manipulation system.

At that point, as Edwina tugged on her bonds and squirmed her naked body against the chair's pads, the chamber door whisked open, a novel robot design trundled across the threshold, and the door whisked closed behind it.  The robot in question was half the size of the capture-bots that had abducted her from her suite; however, it had similar all-terrain treads and wheels for locomotion as well as the same sort of articulated arms folded against its body.  The greatest design change was a pair of prominent squat, vertical cylinders integrated into its main body.

Edwina watched with growing alarm as the robot rolled to a halt directly in front of her splayed crotch, an articulated arm terminating in a curiously shaped cup-like attachment extended forward... and pressed itself against her private parts!

Edwina flinched and once again almost screamed through her gag, but caught herself in time.  The thing between her legs had somehow adhered itself to her crotch, probably with suction!  Also (and ominously) things inside the cup were moving!  Specifically, a slender, blunt probe was pressing against her anus!  And finally, it slid past her sphincter... expanded in diameter... and some sort of cool fluid surged into her gut!  The robot was giving her an enema!  Edwina shivered and squirmed as what felt like a full liter of liquid flooded her large intestine!  And then, just when she felt she couldn't take any more... the flow reversed!

This was the first enema of Edwina's life... and it had been administered by a robot!  She squirmed against her bonds as the probe withdrew.  Then, warm water pulsed and churned inside the cup and against her nether region for several seconds... then was sucked away!

Next, another probe, this one much narrower, eased itself into her urethra!  More suction happened and Edwina emptied her bladder... not that that was a totally bad thing.  She'd needed to visit the loo, but would just as soon not have been required to relieve herself by an intrusive robot.

The catheter-probe withdrew, then once again water churned against her crotch.  Next, the apparatus released her crotch and retracted back into its housing on the robot, the robot rolled back a few feet, spun 180°, rolled towards the chamber door, the door whisked open, the "mobile-water-closet-bot" made its exit, and the door whisked closed behind it.

Edwina reflected that rather than visiting the loo, the loo had visited her.  It had all been very neat and tidy... as well as intimately humiliating.

Suddenly, several wall-panels opened and robot arms extended towards Edwina and her chair.  The manipulators of two of the arms grabbed the sides of her head and held it still while a second set delicately removed her steel and rubber panel-gag.  Instantly, a fifth manipulator plucked the slimy ball of medium-density foam from her mouth.

Edwina licked her lips, worked her jaws, and swallowed—the tight obedience collar fractionally tightening across her throat as she did so—then her eyes popped wide in alarm as the manipulator of yet another arm firmly pressed a cup-shaped, form-fitting panel against her gasping mouth!  A rubber probe forced her jaws apart, and now water was flooding her oral cavity!  Her choices were to swallow or cough, sputter, and possibly choke!  Edwina decided swallowing and thereby relieving her thirst was by far the best option.  A well-regulated stream of cool, refreshing water coursed down her throat...  Then, the "involuntary-hydration attachment" withdrew, the manipulators holding her head released their grips, all of the arms withdrew into their alcoves, and the covers snicked closed.

Edwina licked her lips once again, then heaved a blessedly gag-free sigh.  Granted, she was still silenced by the hateful obedience-collar locked around her neck, but at least nothing was stuffed in her mouth or pressing against her mouth and lips.  She took several deep breaths and waited for her heart rate to return to normal.  The enema had been decidedly unwelcome and humiliating, as had the involuntary voiding of her bladder, but at least the gag was gone and her thirst had been quenched.  Was it a net plus?  Edwina wasn't at all sure.  In any case, she was still naked, bound to the robo-chair, and silenced by the shock-collar... not that there was anybody she could complain to... other than the chamber control system itself.

Suddenly, as the saying goes, all hell broke loose!  Robot arms deployed from all four walls and the most impressive demonstration of technological coordination so far began!  When the dust settled, all the pads of the examination-chair had rearranged itself into the original horizontal bed/table configuration with the pads pressed together to form a rectangular mosaic.

Also, when the chair's straps had released themselves and slithered back into the mechanism, several arms had grabbed Edwina by her wrists, ankles, and body and held her in midair while other arms looped quarter-inch natural rubber tubing around her upper body and stretched the pliant bindings tight.  When the robot arms were "satisfied" with their work, Edwina's arms were folded behind her back with her forearms bound together from elbow to elbow.  Additional tubing pinned her upper arms to her sides, passing above and below her breasts and yoking her shoulders.  Like the black nylon straps of the robo-lounger/chair, the yellow-tan elastic tubing was tight enough to dimple her flesh.

Edwina had done her best to resist the binding process, but to no avail.  As far as she could tell, no knots had been tied.  Somehow the system had fused the rubber ends of her bondage together.  She remained completely helpless.

The arms planted her on her feet, withdrew into their alcoves, the covers closed once again, and Edwina was now nude, bound in natural rubber, and collared.  She twisted and squirmed, seeking a weakness in her new bonds... but found none.  Granted, her legs and feet were now free, but the chamber door was closed and she had nowhere to go.  Edwina shook her head in an only partially successful attempt to shake the tousled curls of her brown hair from her face, then heaved a carefully silent sigh.

At that moment, the chamber door opened and the smallest ΛÇ robot Edwina had yet seen rolled into the chamber... and stopped halfway between herself and the door.  Its means of locomotion was a scaled down version of the larger models treads and wheels, but it was only about the size of a squat toaster (without any slots on the top for inserting slices of bread).  It had no arms or manipulators, but on its top surface was a golf ball size dome-light.  The light blinked red several times... then began a steady ruby glow.

Suddenly, what was clearly a synthesized human voice echoed through the chamber.

"Follow the red light.  Failure to stay within five meters of the red light will result in punishment."

The voice was what Edwina recognized as primitive, obsolete technology.  Its tone was gender-neutral, flat, and it "spoke" with an uneven, unnatural tempo.  She knew dozens of much more realistic artificial speech systems were readily available.  Everything else in Lydia's lair was ultra-sophisticated.  So why was the voice so... retro?

Meanwhile, the mini-bot with the red light had spun 180° and was trundling out the door at a walking pace.  As the distance increased, Edwina felt a tickle across her throat... which began to build in intensity... then faded away to nothing when Edwina took a step and hurried to catch up with the mini-bot.  She'd been warned.  Edwina was to keep up with her guide or suffer the consequences.

At least she was moving.  After hours of being bound in one place, she was bound and in motion and finally able to stretch her muscles.  Edwina twisted and squirmed against the rubber tubing binding her upper body.  At least I can stretch some of them, she mentally sighed.

Edwina trudged down the hallway in the mini-bot's wake.  The shiny little automaton was now setting a rapid pace, a power walking pace, almost to the point where Edwina was almost compelled to break into a jog to keep up.  Despite her capture and subsequent treatment, Edwina was in good shape, of course, so she quickly adapted to the required effort.

The journey continued with t
he corridor's overhead lights shining above and before her and winking out behind her, reinforcing the mini-bot in indicating her mandatory path.  They passed many unlabelled and closed doors, a few ominously dark side passages, and made a series of left and right turns.  Always, the lights remained on in front of and over the strange little parade and turned themselves off as they passed.   Finally, they approached an elevator door.  It opened, the mini-bot entered the car, Edwina followed, the door slid closed, and the car began to rise.

It was a brief, uneventful ascent... then the elevator door opened and the mini-bot led Edwina out onto what she immediately recognized as the circular running track directly beneath the mansion.  The elevator door had disappeared behind one of the pearl-white padded wall panels and the power-walking journey continued, her guide rumbling along and her bare feet rapidly padding in its wake.  They were traveling around the track in a counter-clockwise direction. This continued for some time... at least five minutes... and during that time periodically Edwina periodically tested her rubber-tubing-bonds, more from frustration than an effort to escape or a need for comfort.

And then, once again, the synthesized voice spoke.

"Warmup interval complete.  Commence first phase of exercise run."

And then, the mini-bot began to pick up the pace and Edwina had no choice but to accelerate as well.  Soon, she was jogging... then running.

Thudding footfall followed thudding footfall as the run continued and the inside and outside walls whizzed past.  Only the vertical seams between the wall and ceiling pads gave her any real sense of motion, and the same went for the glow of the periodic lenses recessed into the padding where the walls and ceiling met.  And unfortunately, rather than projecting images of old-growth Japanese forest, the Pandoran jungle, or some other entertaining and/or aesthetically pleasing venue, the lenses acted as simple lamps and projected a bland white image of nothing.

Edwina continued to run.  Her heart was pounding and her breathing deep and rhythmic, but she wasn't in distress.  Not counting the nudity and bondage, this was a typical run for the captive scientist.  Eventually, inevitably, she began to sweat... and was soon shining with perspiration.  Suddenly, the voice spoke again.

"Begin first sprint interval," it announced, then the red dome-light on the mini-bot began flashing and it accelerated!

Edwina had no choice but to accelerate as well... and was soon in the mandated sprint, just barely keeping pace with her racing guide.  Now Edwina was really sweating and her hair fluttered behind her like a tangled, swaying mass of brown ribbons.  She knew she couldn't keep up this pace forever.  Eventually, she'd succumb to exhaustion, but for now her desire to avoid electric discipline kept her going.  She had no choice.

Dr. Edwina Bliss was at the complete mercy of the hardware and software controlling, managing, and regulating all aspects of Lydia's Lair.



Chapter 1 Chapter 3