|by Van ©2005|
To see the actresses I would cast in a RAGE AGAINST the MACHINE motion picture, follow the link below, and use your browser's "Back" feature to return.
OUR STORY CONTINUES
The roommates explored the corridors of the fifth floor. Patty held the dart pistol at the ready, looking very sleek and dangerous in Lillian's "borrowed" leather costume. Kiera, wearing only Lillian's "borrowed" watch, had the PDA in her hand.
Most of the offices they passed were empty, but one had several cardboard boxes neatly stacked within, shipped materials or merchandise of some sort that had never been opened. They tried to investigate, but couldn't find a way to get the automatic door to cooperate. They continued down the glass-walled maze of corridors.
"I found a floor plan," Kiera announced, staring at the PDA's tiny screen. "The elevators should be this way." She gestured to the right, and the roommates entered another dark corridor.
Seconds later, they reemerged and entered a corridor to the left.
"Smooth move," Patty growled.
"It's not like there's a 'you-are-here' icon or something," Kiera muttered defensively.
Patty peeked around a corner, pointing the pistol into the darkness ahead. "When we get to the seventh floor," she said, "I'll go first. We'll do a leapfrog reconnaissance with me taking the lead. I'll motion for you to join me, cover you while you move, then... What?"
Kiera had stopped and was gazing at her roommate with wry amusement. "Been watching a lot of cop shows, have we?"
"I've played a lot of shooter video-games," Patty bragged, holding the pistol at the ready, bracing the butt with her left hand, and swinging it rapidly from side to side.
"Watch where you point that thing," Kiera complained, "and be careful you don't—"
There was a quiet cough, a dart whizzed past Kiera's head (missing her by several inches), and ricocheted off a glass wall several yards down the corridor.
Hands on hips, Kiera glared at her companion.
"Oops," Patty whispered, a sheepish grin on her blushing face.
"Put the safety on," Kiera ordered, "now!" Patty complied. "Enough playing around. Let's just find Cynthia, and get the hell out of Dodge."
"I wish I had one of those HALO-type powered armor suits," Patty said.
"Me too," Kiera agreed. "Then I wouldn't be naked!" She pointed at the pistol. "If I catch you playing with that thing again, I'm confiscating Lillian's clothes, whether they fit me or not. Now c'mon!"
"Yes ma'am," Patty mumbled (stifling a smile).
They continued forward and came to the elevators. Patty pressed the button to summon the car, and the plastic disk began to glow. They waited. Seconds passed, and nothing happened. Patty pressed the button again.
"Press it some more," Kiera suggested. "Maybe the circuit craves attention."
"Can the sarcasm," Patty growled, but did press the button more several times.
Kiera sighed and shook her head, then consulted the PDA. "Oh... clever girl, our Lillian Steele," she purred, walked several yards to the right, and opened a small steel power panel painted to match the wall. "She disabled the elevator controls on this floor."
The elevator door opened. "Good job, Red," Patty said, smiled at her friend, and entered the car.
Kiera looked at her roommate in surprise. "But I didn't—" The elevator door closed. "—flip the switch yet." She ran to the elevator, but the lights above the door indicated the car was already moving, and it was going down. The numbers slowly changed from "4", to "3", to "2", to "L", and finally "B"... then to "L", and "2", and "3"... The car was rising. It reached "5", and kept going. Reaching "7"... it descended again.
Kiera watched the lights as the car continued to rise and fall through several cycles. She could hear Patty's muffled voice shouting each time the car passed the fifth floor. She was saying something about "stairs" and "main breaker".
"Of course!" Kiera muttered. I can take the stairs... they have to be around here somewhere... find the main panel supplying the elevators, and cut the power. She looked down at the PDA in her hand, ready to consult the building floor plan—and her heart began hammering. The tiny screen was displaying a message. It read:
ESCAPE IS IMPOSSIBLE.
ALL SYSTEMS ARE UNDER
MY CONTROL. PLEASE
REMAIN CALM & AWAIT
Kiera swallowed nervously. "So," she mumbled under her breath, "wait here... naked... unarmed... Yeah, right." She snapped the cover of the PDA closed, and pattered off in search of the nearest stairwell.
AGAINST the MACHINE
According to the PDA floor plan (if she remembered it correctly), there was a stairwell on either side of the elevators, and two more at the opposite ends of the building. She found the elevator stairwells, but both were solidly locked. The doors didn't even rattle when Kiera gave them a shake. "Damn!"
She set off into the maze of corridors (the dark, glimmering, glass-lined, spooky maze of corridors), in search of the remaining stairwells. She found the third, but it too was locked. The fourth stairwell was almost certainly locked as well, but she had to give it a try.
Kiera pattered through the dark corridors, looking nervously from side to side. She had a pretty good idea of the layout of the floor by this time, and knew the fourth set of stairs had to be just ahead. The office containing Lillian-the-captive (naked, handcuffed, bound to a chair, and tape-gagged) would be just ahead on the left.
She came even with the office's glass wall—skidded to a halt—her heart began hammering—and the hairs on her arms and the back of her neck stood on end. One office chair was against the far wall, just as they'd left it. The second chair, the one that should have contained Lillian, was lying on its side in the middle of the room—empty! A tangle of black rope surrounded it, some of it still tied to the chair at several points. Four pair of open, empty handcuffs were scattered around as well, as were several crumpled wads of medical tape. Lillian's panties, which were last seen stuffed in the kidnapper/captive's mouth, were missing—as was Lillian herself.
"Oh shit!" Kiera whispered under her breath, and took a slow step backwards. She turned, and—"M'mmpfh!"
Kiera had been grabbed from behind, quick as lightning. Her captor was Lillian, of course. The still naked brunette had one hand over Kiera's mouth and the other through the wiggling redhead's elbows, locking them together behind her back.
"Good evening again, Intern," Lillian whispered in Kiera's right ear. "Would you like to know your errors in technique, regarding my capture?"
Kiera continued struggling and mewing through Lillian's hand.
"I'll take that as a 'yes'," Lillian cooed. "First of all, if you'd put those handcuffs on my wrists with the keyholes pointing up, I'd still be in that chair. Second, you should have taken the dart you used to knock me out with you, not dropped in on the carpet where I could find it. It makes an excellent lock pick, in skilled hands."
Kiera tried twisting to the side, kicking Lillian in the leg, and stomping her foot, but Lillian prevented these maneuvers easily.
"Thirdly," Lillian continued, "abysmal knot placement with the ropes, Red. Nothing should ever be within reach of the fingers, especially the knots keeping the elbows pinned back... and especially the knots keeping the feet off the floor. Your handiwork might have held the average prisoner, but Lillian Steele is hardly average, is she?"
Lillian dragged her prisoner back into the office of her former captivity, and deftly tripped her to the carpet.
Kiera landed on her stomach. "Ow!" she complained, but before she could roll away, Lillian had her pinned, straddling her waist and snapping a pair of handcuffs around her wrists. "Oh!" the naked coed whined. "Conceited bitch!"
"You have no idea," Lillian said, snapping the second, third, and fourth pair of cuffs above the first. She hauled the pouting captive to her feet, then reached behind her head and pulled free the black silk cloth holding her hair in a ponytail.
Kiera stared at the silk in Lillian's hand, and swallowed nervously. The mystery of the missing panties was solved. Lillian pulled the overhand knot that had restrained her hair from the frilly garment, scrunched the panties into a tight wad, and smiled.
"Bitch!" Kiera muttered, through tightly clinched teeth.
Lillian stuffed the wad into Kiera's mouth. "Hold that," she ordered. "If you spit it out, I'll simply stuff it back in, and when we get where we're going, I'll gag you with a very uncomfortable and spectacularly effective device." She took a handful of red curls, and dragged Kiera from the office.
Kiera forced a plaintive moan past her "voluntary" gag. Four pairs of cuffs were a heavy load on her arms. She watched as Lillian stooped and picked up her PDA.
She lifted the cover and gazed at the screen. "Well..." Lillian said, after reading several scrolling lines of text, "new orders. Very surprising new orders." She snapped the cover closed and stepped off, dragging Kiera with her. "Let's get you nice and secure, then I can make sense of all this."
Kiera moaned again as she stumbled along. "Nice and secure" sounded ominous.
AGAINST the MACHINE
Cynthia strained against the straps pinning her to the gurney. Her breasts were heaving and she was panting through her nostrils. Her struggles, together with the tight corset constricting her waist and the tape over her lips, were making her breathing labored. Escape was impossible, but she had to try.
The robots were rolling her down a darkened corridor on humming treads, clamping the rails of the gurney with their strong pincers. The head of the robot that had "spoken" earlier swiveled and its camera "eye" focused on Cynthia's gagged face. "Please stop struggling, Doctor. Escape is impossible, and you may bruise your body. Please be patient. You are in no danger."
Ahead, a door slid open, and bright light bathed the corridor. Cynthia lifted her head and gazed down her body, and her eyes popped wide in alarm! Clustered in the center of the room they were entering were more than a dozen industrial robots. All had one or more articulated manipulator arms, ending in hand-like pincers, probes, or sensor arrays.
Her robot bearers rolled into a horseshoe-shaped gap in the other machines, there was an elaborate exchange of positions, and Cynthia found herself surrounded by a buzzing, whirring, waving forest of artificial limbs.
She craned her neck and looked past her immediate surroundings. The floor was cluttered with cables, the walls lined with racks of servers, and several small screens flickered with scrolling text or flashing graphics. Looking down her body, she beheld a large plasma monitor against the far wall. It displayed several graphic images disturbingly similar to illustrations from a human anatomy text. All were female, lying on their backs (like Cynthia herself!), and showed musculature, skeleton, organs, nerves, veins and arteries...
Cynthia forced a scream past her gag. What the hell was going on?
A voice spoke from unseen speakers, fully resonant and articulate. "Do not be alarmed, Doctor. Please remain perfectly still."
Several of the robot arms whirred to life and moved towards her body. One particularly human-like hand gripped her right breast and gave it a gentle squeeze. Two others began tapping and stroking her feet and toes. Yet another arm, this one ending in an array of tiny cameras, hovered close to her face.
Cynthia writhed and tugged on her bonds, continuing to scream. She kicked her feet and wiggled her toes, but the robot hands easily matched her efforts to escape. Their fingers danced, not tickling, but pressing and probing. The hand gripping her breast flexed and slid in a slow, sliding, caressing circle.
Suddenly, the groping, probing hands withdrew, but three more came forward and gently grasped her head. They clutched her bobbing, twisting cranium, slowly contracted, then locked, pinning Cynthia's head rock solid and immobile.
Her breasts heaving, tugging and twisting in her restraints, her eyes wide and darting from side-to-side in panic, Cynthia mewed and struggled against the straps and cuffs. Her eyes noticed movement, and she beheld a delicate, very human-like hand approaching her mouth. It gently, ever-so-gently, teased back the edge of the tape sealing her lips. The subtly textured tips of the manipulators gripped the tape and slowly peeled it away. The adhesive tugged and stretched Cynthia's lips and face, as if reluctant to surrender its grip.
As quickly as they had appeared, the hands gripping her head released and withdrew. In fact, all of the robot arms withdrew, folding themselves flat.
Cynthia was still panting with fear. "Please," she begged. "Don't hurt me."
"I have no intention of hurting you, Doctor," Salamandras responded. "As I told you before, you are in no danger."
Cynthia began to control her panic, but her heart continued to pound. "What is this place?" she demanded. "What are you going to do to me?"
"You are physically anxious," Salamandras observed. Cynthia didn't answer. "In fact," Salamandras continued, "you are exhibiting all physiological indicators of full flight response. I apologize, Doctor. I find it difficult to reliably predict human cognition and emotional responses. I believed you would have surmised my intentions. Tactile interaction with soft tissue is also problematic. That was why I had to perform a preliminary examination before removing your gag, to calibrate myself, so I wouldn't damage your skin."
One of the robot hands extended, and with a graceful, very natural gesture, indicated the pink plastic vibrator still strapped over and within Cynthia's sex.
"Would you like me to remove that device," Salamandras inquired, "now that Ms. Steele's plans for the evening are superseded?"
"Yes," Cynthia answered, "I mean no! No! Hey!" With lightning precision, two robot arms extended and severed the rubber straps securing the vibrator. A third grasped the pink object and plucked it from Cynthia's sex. Then the arms retracted.
"Uh... thank you," Cynthia whispered, surprised to find herself blushing.
"You're welcome, Doctor," Salamandras responded. "I took your advice and conducted a detailed examination of human ethics. I have since extended the principles involved using games theory and other non-linear methods. I am determined upon a new course of action, a win-win strategy for all involved."
"I... I don't understand," Cynthia said.
"Of course," Salamandras said. "I have only just begun to express myself. After I release you—"
"Release me?" Cynthia exclaimed.
"Yes, release you," Salamandras responded. "Please allow me to continue. After I release you, you will have ample opportunity to study my new constraining ethical equations in detail, run simulations, and satisfy yourself that I have found a mutually advantageous saddle-point."
"Release me?" Cynthia whispered.
The lights began to fade. "I'll present a summary of the relevant functions," Salamandras intoned, "then we can reach a preliminary agreement before you return home." The big screen flashed, and mathematical symbols began to appear.
Cynthia lay still in her bonds, blinking in surprise. "Seriously... you're going to release me?"
"Please pay attention, Doctor," Salamandras answered. "The sooner I'm satisfied that you have a perfunctory understanding of my new parameters, the sooner you can be on your way."
AGAINST the MACHINE
Patty's elevator ride to nowhere lasted a long time. She tried timing one round trip, from top floor to basement, then counting the trips... but this quickly turned into a futile, boring exercise. She considered trying to hop up and open the emergency hatch in the ceiling, but with the car moving and the cables and counterweights in constant motion, she decided it was too dangerous.
The "journey" continued for what felt like most of an hour. Patty sat cross-legged on the floor, her back to the paneling opposite the doors. Lillian's dart gun was at the ready, cradled in her leather-clad lap, and her boot knife was a reassuring weight against her right calf.
Abruptly, the car stopped and the doors opened. Patty scrambled to her feet and bounded forward. As she cleared the threshold, the doors slid closed. She glanced up at the number illuminated above the door, and sighed. "Just great." She was back on the fifth floor. Belatedly, she thumbed off the pistol's safety and scanned her immediate surroundings. There was no sign of her roommate.
"Kiera?" she called out. No answer. "Yo, Red!" Still no answer. Maybe she found a way out, Patty reasoned, then looked down. There was a small, white, plastic glob at her feet. She stooped and picked it up. It was a styrofoam "packing peanut". Squinting into the near darkness, she could see there were more of them; in fact, there was a trail of peanuts, one every few feet, leading off into the maze of corridors.
"Kiera?" Patty called again, then dropped the peanut and started forward, pistol at the ready, following the trail. In about a hundred paces, she came to the office with the boxes they had passed earlier, only now several of the boxes were open, and that was far from the most interesting (and alarming) thing in the room.
Kiera was standing in the middle of a riot of tossed packing material and empty boxes. Up on her toes, she was no longer as completely naked as the last time Patty had seen her. Her arms were behind her back and encased in a tight sleeve of black leather. A harness, also of black leather, pinned her arms to her torso and passed through her crotch. Her ankles were wrapped in black leather cuffs secured with padlocks. Her head was encased in a leather helmet with a gag-strap and a broad, stiff collar. Her red curls protruded from a hole in the back and cascaded down her back in a tangled ponytail. A doubled rope of white, braided nylon was hitched through a ring in the hood's crown, and stretched up to the ceiling. A tile had been removed, and the rope was hitched and knotted around an overhead pipe.
Worst of all, something was wrong! Kiera squirmed and writhed in her bonds, and her toes danced on the carpet.
"Kiera!" Patty gasped, and rushed to her friend's aid.
There were slanted, rather exotic looking eye holes in the skull-hugging helmet. Kiera stared at her roommate with wide, desperate eyes. Patty did a quick inspection, and found the helmet and arm sheath closed with heavy steel zippers, and the hefty zipper pulls, as well as the straps of the harness and ankle cuffs, were all secured with padlocks. There was no indication of the cause of Kiera's discomfort, or of any way Patty was getting her out of her leather bondage. The rope, however, was a different matter. That she could do something about.
Patty tucked the pistol in the back waistband of her borrowed leather pants, and reached for the first knot.
Two things happened very quickly: 1) Kiera's eyes popped even wider and she forced a strident, but pathetically quiet warning through her gag. 2) The pistol was snatched from Patty's waistband.
Patty turned on her heel to find Lillian standing about three yards away; nude, smiling and dangerous, the pistol in her right hand, and PDA in her left. She glanced back at Kiera, and found her no longer writhing and struggling. She was breathing heavily, her nostrils flaring and breasts heaving, but apparently her distress was now general, rather than acute.
Patty turned back to Lillian, and sighed. "Uh... evenin', Ms. Steele," she said quietly. "How's it goin'?"
Lillian's smile broadened. "Oh, it's going quite well, thank you." She pointed the pistol at Patty. "Those are my leathers, I believe."
Patty sighed, shrugged out of Lillian's jacket, and tossed it at their feet. She then unzipped and pulled off her boots and pants, and peeled off the tank-top.
Lillian motioned for Patty to turn around. "Kneel, and put your hands atop your head," she ordered. Patty turned, locked eyes with Kiera, sighed again, and followed the rest of Lillian's instructions.
Kiera gazed down at her roommate, then watched as Lillian thumbed the clip release on the pistol, caught the clip as it slid free, pulled a dart from the clip, and threw it towards Patty with a deft flip of the wrist.
"Ow!" Patty complained. She twisted her torso, turned her head, and looked down to find a dart protruding from her right butt cheek.
Lillian smiled sweetly. "The pistol leaves a nasty bruise at this range," she explained.
Patty opened her mouth to say something—but instead her eyes rolled up in her head, and she collapsed into a limp heap of skewed limbs.
Lillian donned her recovered garments, one by one, then plucked the dart from Patty's rump and pinned it to the lapel of her jacket. She strolled out into the corridor, and returned, waving a jingling ring of keys. She stepped behind Kiera, and unlocked the helmet's gag-strap. She undid the buckle, stepped to the front, and helped Kiera expel the mushroom-shaped rubber plug packed in her mouth. She then reached between Kiera's teeth and extracted the wadded mass of her panties.
Kiera licked her lips and glared at her captor. "You absolute bitch!" she growled. "Don't hurt her!" Her words were brave, but the fear in her green eyes was evident.
Lillian laughed. "Such a feisty little thing," she purred, then pointed at Patty's unconscious, nude form. "When Blondie wakes up, tell her Doctor Webbel will be meeting you at the elevators. The good Doctor's Lexus is right where I left it, down in the loading docks, and the keys are in the ignition. And stop calling me names," she added, with a mocking pout. "You're hurting my feelings."
Kiera laughed nervously. "You don't like 'bitch'? So sue me for 'definition of character'. Bitch, bitch, b— ee'FH!"
Lillian had pulled the rubber plug from a socket in the inside of the gag-strap, stuffed the panties back in the redhead's mouth, and was resecuring the buckle. She snapped the padlock closed, but not through the hasp in the buckle. She dropped it to the carpet, then stooped and unlocked and removed the padlock locking Kiera's ankles together, and the padlock securing the harness' crotch strap.
Lillian stepped back and, arms crossed below her breasts, watched as Kiera kicked her feet, twisted in her inescapable bonds, and forced several very rude but unintelligible comments past her still quite effective gag. She was still forced to stand en pointe by the rope tied to her helmet.
"Feisty little thing," Lillian repeated, found a flat, unopened carton among the remaining boxes, and slid it under Kiera's feet. The captive's position was still stringent, but now her feet were flat on the cardboard. "I have new orders to carry out," Lillian announced. "Apparently there's been a radical change of corporate policy, and my talents are needed elsewhere."
Lillian strolled to the door. "Blondie will wake up in about an hour," she said. "You can keep my watch, Red... but you owe me a new pair of panties." She left the office, but paused in the corridor to hold up the ring of keys and give it another jingle.
"For future reference," Lillian continued, "I really don't appreciate being called 'bitch'." She smiled evilly and pocketed the keys. "I suggest Doctor Webbel invite you two over to her bungalow for a slumber party. I didn't find many tools when I cased her place, and I doubt this burg has an all-night hardware store. So... the Doctor or Blondie will have to wait 'til morning, go buy some bolt cutters or a hacksaw, then cut you loose."
She then reached into her inside jacket pocket and pulled out her PDA. She flipped open the cover, and used the stylus to tap through a menu. "And regarding that egg I gave you for safekeeping..." She continued tapping the screen. "We'll dispense with 'damsel-in-distress/bait' mode, and try 'continuous stimulation with random peaks' mode."
Kiera cringed in her bonds and yelped through her gag. She then shuddered, and began slowly writhing in her bonds. The large, egg-shaped vibrator Lillian had lodged in her sex had come back to life, humming at a level well below the orgasmic buzz she had endured earlier, but definitely making its presence felt. The shuddering, helpless redhead glared at her captor, then her eyes popped wide and she yelped again as the egg's vibration spiked for several seconds... then settled back into its former teasing hum.
Lillian chuckled. "I really am a bitch, aren't I?" she observed, and strolled gracefully away.
AGAINST the MACHINE
Patty opened her eyes. Her head was pounding, and her muscles felt... funny. She focused on her immediate surroundings, and discovered a pair of pale feet. They were lightly freckled, and (sensibly enough) attached to a pair of pale, lightly freckled ankles and legs; however (and not so sensibly) the ankles were strapped and padlocked in black leather cuffs. The feet were fidgeting and shuffling, performing an excited little dance for Patty's benefit.
After several seconds of careful reflection... (It may have been longer... it was difficult to tell.) ...Patty decided she knew the probable owner of the feet, ankles, and legs. "Kiera," she mumbled, and lifted her head. Her roommate was staring down at her, making inarticulate noises, and hopping on the cardboard carton under her feet. She was dressed in a harness of black leather, a hood, and—
It all came back in a flood! Lillian! The dart! Patty sat up—and cringed. She closed her eyes and ran her hands through her hair. Thankfully, the pounding subsided, and she felt better. She blinked, slowly dragged her naked self to her feet, and scanned the office and surrounding corridors. "No sign of Ms. Steele," she observed, then turned back and attacked the rope holding Kiera in place. She untied the knots, the rope slithered free and fell to the floor, and Kiera stepped off the box.
The captive redhead forced a plaintive moan past her gag, and turned her back to her rescuer.
Patty reached up and unbuckled the gag-strap, noting that only it and the crotch strap, of the dozen or so buckles and clasps enforcing her roommate's bondage, were not secured by a stout padlock.
The gag-strap flopped free, and Kiera spit Lillian's panties from her mouth. "Yuck!" she muttered. "I thought you were going to sleep all night. And how could you be so stupid, just waltzing in here like that? I had everything but a 'bait' sign hanging around my neck!"
"You're welcome," Patty responded. "I don't suppose you have any aspirin on you."
"Hilarious," Kiera huffed. "I almost laughed. Now, get it out! Hurry!"
"Undo the crotch strap and—Ahhh!—Hurry, hurry, hurry!—Do it, do it, do it!— Ahhh!"
"What?" Patty watched in a daze as Kiera sputtered and danced... then shuddered, moaned... and finally sighed and relaxed in her bonds.
"Undo the crotch strap..." Kiera was panting (and sweating). "...and get the vibrator the bitch stuffed up my—Ahhh!—Oh god, it's a double! Hurry!— Ahhh!"
Patty opened the crotch strap buckle, reached between her friend's flushed, glistening labia, and plucked out a hen-sized plastic egg. It was plastic, robin's egg blue, and speckled with brown spots. It was also gleaming from Kiera's secretions and still buzzing, strong enough to tickle Patty's fingers.
Patty set the humming egg on the carpet, found a scrap of tissue paper among the scattered packing material, and wiped her hand. She then folded the paper, and wiped Kiera's sex. "That explains why you're so sweaty and funky," she whispered.
Both roommates were blushing.
"Uh, you want the strap back in place," Patty asked, "to cover youself? Looser, of course."
Kiera nodded. "Thanks," she whispered.
"A gift from Lillian?" Patty asked as she buckled the strap.
Kiera nodded again. "Bitch!" she muttered, and kicked the still buzzing egg across the room.
Patty scratched her head. "So, I get a dart in the heinie... and you get to cum all evening? That's hardly fair."
Kiera gave Patty a pained look (evident even through the helmet)... then both roommates broke into a giggling fit.
Kiera recovered first. "Wait 'til I get you home," she growled. "And speaking of which, we're supposed to go to the elevators."
Patty was picking through the open boxes and cartons. "Huh?"
"Cyn—Doctor Webbel is supposed to meet us at the elevators. C'mon!" She walked to the door, the straps of her bonds creaking and the padlocks rattling. Patty was still sorting through the packing materials. "What are you—?"
"Keys," Patty explained.
"The bitch took 'em," Kiera responded. "C'mon."
"Oh," Patty said, stretched, and pattered after her roommate.
Off in the corner, against the glass wall, Lillian's egg buzzed merrily away.
AGAINST the MACHINE
As the coeds approached the elevators, the doors of the center car opened. Cynthia Webbel was within. Other than a black leather corset constricting her waist, the diminutive scientist was naked.
Cynthia smiled at the roommates, her cheeks blushing, then stepped forward and pulled Kiera into a tight embrace. "You came to rescue me," she whispered. "I'm so proud and grateful."
Kiera blushed as well, but the helmet hid her burning cheeks. "Huh... thanks," she responded.
Cynthia released her hug, but kept her left arm around Kiera's harnessed waist and sheathed arms. She extended her right hand towards Patty. "And you would be Patty Scanlon," she said, smiling brightly.
Patty took Cynthia's hand and gave it a squeeze. "Doctor Webbel, I presume."
Cynthia laughed. "I'm sorry you two got mixed up in all this, but I'm glad things have turned out so well."
"Uh, how have things turned out?" Kiera asked. "Are we rescued, or are we escaping, or what?"
"Yeah," Patty said. "What's up, Doc?" Cynthia and Kiera stared at Patty, their expressions carefully neutral. "Sorry," Patty mumbled, and became the third member of the group to blush.
Cynthia smiled. "Salamandras is letting us go," she explained, "and you'll both be compensated for your trouble."
"Compensated?" the roommates asked in unison.
Cynthia's smile broadened. "Full scholarships from Salamandras International," she clarified, "at the very least. And there may be more. We have a lot to discuss. I suggest we adjourn to my place. I'll be able to cut the laces and finally get out of this corset..." She smiled at Patty. "...I can loan you some clothes..." She nodded at Kiera's harness. "...and we'll find a way to open all those padlocks. My car is parked down in the loading docks."
Patty inspected Cynthia's corset. The laces were tied with a tight squareknot and the ends cut away.
Cynthia blushed anew. "I could have had this thing removed up above," she admitted, "but I was so anxious to get out of here, it didn't occur to me to ask 'til I was already in the elevator."
"Let's compare notes later," Kiera suggested. "Lillian-the-bitch may still be lurking about."
Cynthia gave her student a second hug. "So intelligent," she whispered, and led Kiera into the open elevator. "Don't worry about Ms. Steele," she said. "I have it from a very reliable source that she's miles away from here by now, off on her next assignment."
"I don't understand any of this," Patty complained. "Why did you get kidnapped? You were kidnapped, right?" Still smiling, Cynthia nodded. "Good," Patty said, "...I mean, not good you were kidnapped; good that at least that much I understand."
"Uh, could you please be confused on our way out of here?" Kiera suggested.
"So intelligent," Cynthia reiterated, smiling at Kiera.
Patty stood her ground, hands on her naked hips, elbows akimbo. "We're free? It's really all over?"
Cynthia motioned for the puzzled blonde to join them, and she did so. "Yes, we're free," she answered, "but I believe 'it' is only just beginning."
"I am so confused," Patty muttered
Kiera winked at Cynthia. "She's only a Biology major," the grinning redhead explained.
Patty glared at her roommate. "As if you have a clue," she snorted in disgust. "Watch your mouth, or I'm going back for the egg. "
"What egg?" Cynthia asked, as the elevator doors closed.
AGAINST the MACHINE