| by Van
To see the
actresses I would cast in a RAGE AGAINST
motion picture, follow the link below, and use your
feature to return.
Steele could take anyone in a fight. Assault rifle,
sword, knife, staff, unarmed... it didn't matter. Okay,
a seven-foot Kung-fu Master could clean her clock, but he'd know
been in a fight. And if she couldn't win playing by the
she'd cheat. And if her opponent was on his guard, she'd
Lillian was a looker, five feet and eight inches of toned,
female animal. With high cheek bones, full lips, eyes of
amber—long, silky, dark brown hair—firm, perfect
breasts—hard, trim, dimpled buttocks—washboard stomach and long,
defined muscles—she moved with the grace of a dancer.
This wasn't just her opinion, mind you. Everyone she
boys, and even half the women... undressed her with their eyes.
Those that tried with their hands, however, got
broken fingers, or worse. They were staring at her now,
they always did when she lounged by the pool. The
on the far side, the hunky restaurant manager five chairs over,
skinny blonde housewife near the diving board... They all
her. But no one got close to Lillian Steele... no one.
Lillian flowed to her feet, leaned back down to gather her
lotion, and shades (giving all present a perfect view of her
thong-divided derrière), then sauntered to
the elevator. Seven months ago, when she started working
Salamandras International, she'd been given the keys to a luxury
her contact had called, to Lillian's vast amusement, a "safe
All in all, this was the strangest gig Lillian had ever landed.
Salamandras was a bizarre mix of stunning competence and rank
mistakes. Using a luxury condo as a base of operations for
industrial spying was bad. On the other hand, their cyber
was the cleanest Lillian had ever seen. Her employers'
a female voice that called herself "Vox", communicated solely
telephone or e-mail.
The pay was spectacular, though, and was the only thing that
put up with all the nonsense. That and the seemingly
expense account and technological doodads Salamandras custom
to her specifications. She had alarm spoofers that had to
better than anything The Company was using, surveillance cams as
as vitamin capsules, climbing ropes as thin as parachute cord,
measurable stretch under weight.
Yes, the fringe benefits were sweet, but Lillian took full
She kept nothing incriminating in the condo, nothing save
hyper-encrypted files on a booby-trapped laptop. Nothing
her to Salamandras. She'd done a dozen jobs for Vox,
plans and prototypes from research labs and testing facilities.
All her "acquisitions" had been bleeding edge technology
robotics, nano-miniaturization and network engineering.
Ever the consummate professional, she'd left nothing behind for
police—not fingerprints, DNA, or even security cam images.
there had been a cute little secretary unfortunate enough to be
wrong place at the wrong time. She'd been left hog-tied
tape-gagged, chewing on her own panties and stuffed in a locked
closet... in the basement... behind a stack of shipping crates.
She'd been found, of course. (Lillian was not a
But all she could tell police was
she was attacked by a figure in black... who may have
Lillian would never be caught, would never be
betrayed, and would always do things her way.
That didn't mean she couldn't follow orders. In fact, she
job pending right now. She entered her apartment, locked
door, peeled off her bikini, and pattered to the desk. She
powered up her laptop (a 17-inch PowerBook G4), then began
a series of stretching exercises. Pausing to open her
trigger her decryption software, she found she had one message.
It was from Vox, and was one line: "Imperative you execute
assignment as soon as possible." Lillian frowned.
that was practically hysteria.
She typed a one-word reply: "Tonight", then finished her
sauntered to the closet. She returned to the bedroom and
silk panties and bra, a pair of spandex stretch pants, a
top with a zip front, leather kid gloves, and a silk stocking
pulled down to a hood with eye holes. All were midnight
Together with a body-hugging, custom made equipment
light jacket, and a pair of nylon boots, this would be her
Lillian still had two hours before she could even think about
for her assignment. All preparations were complete, but
Salamandras couldn't hurry the sun. She still had
time for a leisurely shower (to eliminate all perfumes, lotions,
other odors), and a light meal.
This was going to be a fun job, her first "personnel transfer".
Oh, she'd restrained her share of "collaterals" in the
other operations, like the secretary who had gotten in her way
but this would be her first retrieval mission in
which the primary target was a human being. This would be
AGAINST the MACHINE
Webbel was worried. In fact, she was seriously considering
becoming terrified. If her suspicions were correct, as
they might be, as irrefutable as the evidence seemed to
if her suspicions were correct... she could be
in danger. There were a few, a very few
the academic world with whom she could share her fears with any
their understanding. Those who would appreciate the full
implications were fewer still.
She'd been led to her current state by her latest research
collaboration with a commercial entity named Salamandras
Not that there was anything unusual about
partnerships. Since coming to Lewis and Clark University,
had used such means to develop several important patents, making
herself financially very secure and generating a
money stream for her partners and the school. This had
resulted in scores of scholarly papers and five books, not to
But her current partnership was making her nervous, nervous
start doing what could only be called a private investigation.
The results had been disturbing, and made her wish she'd
a better job of covering her tracks.
It was too late for that now, but she could take other measures.
She'd prepared CD-ROM's with summaries of her current work
of her sleuthing to mail to a select list of colleagues.
been prepared on a laptop not linked to the internet, and the
cover letters that would accompany them were handwritten.
Salamandras could not be allowed to know that
what she knew, not until she got the word out to the others.
she could do that
before Salamandras stopped her, the secret would be out, she'd
be a threat, and Salamandras would have no reason to come after
so she hoped.
Cynthia was seated at her desk. As usual while on campus,
dressed in sensible heels, hose, a stylish skirt, and a silk
all of it tasteful and modestly expensive. Her chestnut
locks were cropped in a feathered, collar-length bob.
obsessed with her looks, Cynthia still liked to look good.
Also as usual, a white lab coat protected her clothes from the
grime of the daily grind.
Six packets with CD's and letters were ready to be mailed, and
preparing the seventh and last. The Department
office had been closed for hours, but she didn't plan on using
mail drop anyway. She'd drop the packets into a blue box
on the way home.
She glanced at the wall clock above the door. It was late,
later than she'd realized. Night had fallen, and Cynthia's
dark, save the glow of a half dozen computer displays and a
lamp. (Another of her habits, working in the dark.)
most of the Computer Sciences Building was dark, part of the
University's eternal quest to pinch pennies from the operating
There would be students puttering around in the basement
night, but the classrooms and teaching labs were being cleaned
locked up tight. The administrative and faculty offices on
upper floors would be cleaned last, in the predawn.
Cynthia prepared to insert the last CD and letter in its
cardboard mailer—then froze, the hair on the back of her neck
A shadow had crossed the frosted glass of the outer door.
that alone wouldn't be a problem, there was something about the
way the shadow had moved. It had been... creeping.
Her heart pounding, Cynthia reached for a blank CD and replaced
seventh data disc, sliding the blank into the mailer with the
letter. A stack of graded project papers from her Honors
class was to her right. Eyes on the door, Cynthia chose a
at random, and slid the data CD between the pages until she felt
wedge against the edge of the binder.
The door opened just as Cynthia's hands returned to the stack of
mailers, and a female silhouette was framed against the dimly
Cynthia gasped, a thrill of fear coursing up her spine— (I
it! I know I did!) —then she swallowed, clenched her
fists, and asserted her authority. "Who's there?" she
"Office hours are over."
The figure stepped into the office, and Cynthia gasped again.
(it was unmistakably a she) was clad completely in black, from
toe. The intruder peeled off a stocking cap, and shook out
long, straight, luxurious head of dark brown hair. She was
beautiful, with a friendly (but superior) smile on her lips.
"Doctor Cynthia Webbel," she said. Her voice was a
alto, her statement not a question, but an identification.
"What do you want?"
The visitor closed and locked the door behind her, then
forward, gracefully swinging her hips. "Why, I want
Doctor," she purred. She raised her right hand, and
eyes popped wide. The intruder was holding a handgun, and
pointing directly at her!
AGAINST the MACHINE
eyes darted to the telephone on her desk, then back to the
slowly shook her head. "I wouldn't, if I were you,
and continued forward. "Remain in your chair, and put your
the desk, where I can see them." Her eyes still on the
complied. "Spread your fingers." Cynthia followed
"What do you—?"
"Pay attention," the intruder interrupted, and stepped around
"I want you." She slowly raised, then lowered the
and Cynthia's head bobbed in perfect rhythm. "Oh...
you like my new toy?" the intruder whispered. "It's the
latest in gas-powered automatics. It fires a tiny
fléchette loaded with a powerful narcotic, and is quiet as a
mild cough. One touch of the needle... and you're out like
proverbial light in less
than two seconds." She waved the barrel from side to side,
again, Cynthia's head followed. "The only downside... it
leaves a nasty bruise." She centered the weapon's
between Cynthia's breasts. "You don't want me to have to
thing, do you?" Cynthia shook her head. "You're
do exactly what I tell you to do, aren't you?" Cynthia
behind the chair," she ordered.
Cynthia swallowed nervously, and placed her hands behind
her chair, then flinched as hard, smooth bands closed
her wrists and cinched tight with a series of metallic clicks.
Handcuffs! she realized. "Who are you?" she
The intruder produced a coil of thin, black cord from under her
crossed Cynthia's ankles, and bound them together. "Think
as a corporate headhunter," she purred, and looped the cord
the cuffs, pulling out the slack until the captive's heels were
carpet and she was in a sitting hog-tie. "You can call me
Lillian," the intruder added, cinching a knot.
"Please..." Cynthia whispered. "Don't hurt me."
Lillian added loops of cord, pinning Cynthia's waist and
torso against the chair back. "Relax, Doctor," she purred.
"My employers, soon to be your employers, expect
be delivered alive and unharmed. You're in no danger, as
you cooperate. Like I told you, I'm a headhunter... as in
recruiter of specialized talent... not as in
primitive native of Borneo; although your pretty little head would
make a very attractive trophy."
More cord tightened across Cynthia's lap and the chair's
seat, then around her knees. She gazed in wonder as her
were pressed together and the skin above her knees was dimpled
the thin black band. All of the cords binding her to the
were tight. The handcuffs held her wrists like a pair of
as if they were one piece and didn't have a connecting chain.
struggled and twisted her body, but there was very little slack.
It's too tight!" she complained as her captor added a last
just above her breasts, cinched it tight as well, and tied a
Lillian spun her prisoner's chair around until they were
face to face. "If you don't struggle, it won't hurt," she
a gloating smile on her angelic face. She reached under
jacket and produced a ball of pink foam. "Open wide," she
suggested with a coy smile.
"No!" Cynthia whined, and pursed her lips, then gasped
Lillian pinched her earlobe. As soon as her lips parted,
was crammed in her mouth. It expanded to fill her entire
Lillian made sure it stayed in place with a tight hand gag.
"We can do this hard," she cooed, "or easy." An
gloating smirk curled her full lips. "I know a dozen ways
you intense pain without leaving any noticeable marks. How
it? Easy?" Cynthia locked eyes with her captor, and
nodded. "Good girl," Lillian whispered, and lowered her
hand. The pressure of the ball gave her captive's cheeks a
more rounded appearance. Her lips were slightly parted,
of her front teeth visible, and a sliver of pink foam protruded.
"What a cute little chipmunk you make, Doctor," Lillian purred,
produced a wide rectangle of flesh-tone, paper-backed plastic
an inside pocket of her jacket. "Lips together and jaws
closed," she ordered.
Cynthia felt her cheeks flush with anger. She'd had just
enough of Lillian's smug, superior attitude.
"Bite down, Doctor," Lillian growled. Cynthia
glaring at her captor, but finally complied.
Lillian said as she peeled the backing from the film, carefully
positioned it over her prisoner's lips, and pressed it
home. She released her palm and began pressing the margins
her fingers. "Very nice," she whispered as she worked.
milky plastic adhered to Cynthia's lips and face like a second
Every detail of texture and contour was visible.
indeed," Lillian repeated,
then reached up and straightened her captive's slightly tousled
Cynthia mewed an angry complaint through her gag and tossed her
The tape and foam ball were surprisingly effective.
Lillian's smile broadened. "You don't do your photographs
justice, Doctor," she whispered. "Those pretty brown eyes,
cute button nose, those pouting lips with that sweet little
Cynthia shook her head angrily, then froze, her eyes wide
fear when Lillian's hand shot out and captured her earlobe in
tight pinch. "Stay still," Lillian whispered, maintained
(without causing pain),
and resumed combing Cynthia's bangs with her other hand.
such a petite little thing," she cooed. "What... five-two
stocking feet?" Cynthia continued staring at her captor,
effort to answer. "Such a winsome, tiny little
Cynthia's anger overcame her fear. She jerked her ear from
Lillian's hand and glared at her captor.
Lillian chuckled quietly. "If looks could kill," she
whispered, then stood and began a search of the office.
squirmed and struggled, searching for a weakness in her bonds,
none. She watched in helpless frustration as her files
and several CD's and data cartridges piled atop the seven
sitting before her on the desk. Lillian produced and
black nylon shoulder bag and stuffed her booty inside, including
Suddenly, Lillian pulled a small PDA from her pocket. It
vibrating, but stopped as she flipped up the tiny screen's
cover. Lillian gazed at the display. "One of the
sensors I planted on the stairs has been triggered," she
her captive audience, then snapped the cover closed and returned
PDA to her pocket. She then turned off the desk lamp,
office further into darkness. Only the glowing computer
remained. She knelt beside Cynthia and whispered in her
may be about to have visitors, Doctor. Such a pity you've
left for the day." The dart gun appeared in her hand, and
and gagged prisoner stared at its barrel with frightened
a sound," Lillian continued, "not a whine, not a whimper, not
creak of the chair... understand?"
Cynthia nodded, then shifted her attention to the frosted glass
office door window. Two new silhouettes had appeared.
AGAINST the MACHINE
a pair of coeds, one of whom was Cynthia's student.
"Damn!" Kiera McFadden muttered, tapping the glass of the office
with the knuckles of her left hand and rattling the knob with
"I told ya so," Patty Scanlon said, "now let's
Both girls were dressed in exercise togs and jackets.
sneakers, tights, leotard, and spandex jacket were black.
long, red curls were pulled back in a tight ponytail and
a black elastic. While not a "Goth", the CS major tended
the dark side of the fashion spectrum.
Patty, on the other hand, was wearing pink sneakers, white
a salmon pink sports top that left her flat tummy exposed.
jacket was white cotton with pink and black accent stripes.
major's short, blonde locks were bobbing free in a semi-tousled
"She said they'd be in the basket outside her door," Kiera
The wire basket in question, the place Professor Webbel
left her classes' graded assignments, was depressingly empty.
frustrated redhead gave it a nudge with her right sneaker.
is your fault," she scolded her roommate.
Patty gasped in good-natured outrage. "How is it my
fault Webble-Wobble hasn't finished grading your precious
project?" she demanded.
"If you hadn't dragged me to your damn 'Dancercise' class,"
Kiera explained, "I could have caught her before she left.
don't call Cynthia 'Webble-Wobble'."
Patty favored her roommate with her most cloying, dimpled smile.
"Oh... isn't that cute. Kiera's sweet on her faculty
"Shuddup!" Kiera muttered, blushing and giving her friend a
good-natured tap on the arm. "Let's get some coffee."
"Killer!" Patty agreed, and the girls headed for the stairs.
AGAINST the MACHINE
office, Cynthia sighed and forced a sad whimper past her
Lillian holstered her weapon and leaned close to whisper in
Cynthia's ear. "Oh, don't be sad, Doctor. They
have rescued you anyway. If by some remarkable
come to even suspect you might need rescuing,
have been forced to dart them, drag them inside, and tie them up
too. We'd have had some company... but you'd still
Cynthia snorted in disgust, then jerked in her bonds and mewed
her gag in outrage when Lillian leaned forward and gripped her
with her gloved hands.
"Is this why the students call you 'Webble-Wobble'?" Lillian
and gave Cynthia's breasts a gentle shake. "Very nice,
she purred. "What are they... 34C? 35? It's
to judge through all that clothing. We can take precise
measurements later, after I get you away from here." She
her mauling grip and took a step back.
Cynthia glared again at her tormentor above her gag, obviously
"In any case, the actual numbers are unimportant," Lillian
"You have a very nice, very athletic
buxom, yet petite. Narrow waist, firm muscle tone, tight
bottom... Incredibly sexy for such a small package.
to be your kidnapper, Doctor Webble-Wobble."
Cynthia blushed, and turned her face away with a disdainful
Lillian laughed, and consulted her watch. "It's too early
sneak you out of here just yet," she said. "We'll let the
settle down a bit more. I suggest you take a nap, if you
We have about three hours to wait." Lillian
visitor chairs facing the desk, making sure she had an excellent
her bound and gagged prisoner, but could still cover the door
weapon. She sat in one chair, and propped her booted feet
Still angry (and very frightened), Cynthia squirmed in
chair, groped for a weakness in her inescapable bonds, and tried
ignore her captor's leering, infuriating smile.
AGAINST the MACHINE