The Long Way Down
Dedicated to those who like secure straitjackets and powerful women.
Derivative works and sequels are welcomed, but please acknowledge this work.
As soon as I dive through the door, I realize something is wrong.
Certainly, many things are right and familiar. There is the exhilarating feeling of weightlessness, the whipping of the jumpsuit, and the roar of the wind.
And then, there is the afternoon sun glistening off the distant desert lake. But this beautiful sight is part of the problem.
You see, there are no lakes within a hundred miles of the drop zone.
Then where am I? Though I try to match the features below with the geography I've encountered on the job, I am unable to place myself anywhere in the country.
In my confusion, I seize upon a chilling thought.
I realize now with fear what lies below me.
* * *
Her hair still damp from the shower, the pilot emerges from the locker room. Crossing the hall into the empty men's locker room, she unlocks #103 and empties the customer's wallet. Having inspected the identification with satisfaction, she transfers half of the small stack of bills to her own wallet, where they nicely complement the foreign bills she has recently received. The other half go to the receptionist.
"Hey Jessica, this is for you. And close our latest customer's account. He won't be needing it anymore."
* * *
After spending a couple thousand vertical feet hoping that I am wrong, I finally resolve to act. A low-altitude opening, I decide, will minimize my chances of detection and hopefully get me back home safely. In another scenario it might be feasible to open high in an attempt to steer back, but probably not at this distance; all the while I'd also be a sitting duck.
As soon as I land, I hide the chute and take off to the north. There are parts of the border where some have successfully made the crossing. I don't know exactly how I'll do it, but one thing is certain: I can't stay put and just let myself be caught. It worries me to think what will happen if they discover a foreign officer on the edge of their military base.
Keep in mind that this isn't just any other country. For many years our diplomatic position regarding our female neighbors to the south has been one of deferential tolerance. Though we are perennially appalled by the leaked stories of their human rights transgressions -- especially the psychological and sexual torture -- their military's superior funding and technological sophistication have left us no choice but to tolerate their methods. Frankly, we consider ourselves fortunate that so far, they've been uninterested in bringing their military to bear against us.
But instead, there's the kidnapping. Every once in a while, someone near the border will disappear and never be heard from again. Sometimes it's a civilian. Sometimes it's military personnel. Today it's me.
It is anybody's guess what happens to those they have taken. It is known, however, that they enjoy playing cat and mouse. I heard from the border guard that once, they saw a man running toward the fences from the other side. He came close enough for our patrolmen to see the hope in his face -- and then to hear his plaintive yelp as he was subdued and dragged off by black-suited female forms. Apparently they had lain in wait for hours just to savor that moment.
But that transpired fifty miles to the east of where I have now arrived. Only the faintest purple traces of sunset remain on the western horizon as I see the barrier in the distance. From my thigh pocket I retrieve a bundle of cord that I have saved from earlier.
I am tying the first knot when I feel a light prick in my thigh. I keep on working feverishly in hopes that I've only imagined it, but my fears are soon realized. My body grows heavy, and despite my best efforts to stay on my feet, I slump to the ground. As I gaze upwards at the sky, a woman strides, hands on her hips, into my rapidly dimming field of view.
"Come on. You didn't think we could afford a few motion detectors?"
She turns, motioning to others I can't see. "Bring him in. And put his rope to good use."
I find myself in a small, dark, windowless room. As my confusion clears, I discover I am strapped down to some sort of seat with my legs spread widely apart. Beneath the many strong bands holding me against the molded frame, a rubbery grey suit stretches tightly over my body.
Across from me sits a stunning woman; she wears a gleaming catsuit which, aside from the red collar, is as black as night. The glossy reflection of the dim ceiling light delineates her contours; I can even see her chest rising and falling lightly as she breathes. Where I come from, this is not something we see every day. She notices my wandering eyes.
"You like our uniforms, don't you? We like them too." She smiles. "But on to business."
With the slightest rustlings of her uniform, she gets up and begins to pace slowly. There is more than a hint of enjoyment in her voice as she continues.
"It seems, my darling, that you are in quite a bit of trouble. Apparently you were sneaking around without identification, trying to pass back north under cover of darkness, when the border guard took you down. They were almost done filling in the forms for the standard five-year jail sentence when they felt the canister sewn into the lining of your jumpsuit."
Canister? In all the years I'd used that jumpsuit, I'd never felt anything. And surely it would have been noticed when after that last jump, I was asked to leave the suit behind for repai--ohhh.
The officer pivots dramatically to face me. "And what did they find in that canister? Film copies of our military spec sheets and drawings."
"Naturally, that changed everything. The border documentation was immediately destroyed. You were promptly conducted under heavy guard here to the base, where tonight you are to stand trial before the high court on charges of espionage." She leans in and gleefully places her hands over my strapped wrists. "And, pardon my language, but it looks to me like you're royally screwed."
Glumly I agree. Someone has set me up for deep, deep trouble.
She resumes her pacing. "In the meantime, you will be held here. Perhaps you should use the time to figure out how you're going to explain yourself. You're also welcome to try to escape -- though I should point out that, as part of your preparation for the trial, I'm about to activate your control suit." Since realizing the severity of my predicament, I have not really been very concerned about the strange suit I am wearing.
"Embedded in its fabric, you see, are multiple processors, powered wirelessly, that transmit your location and the position of your major joints. Using fine wires sewn into the suit, the processors also verify that the suit is still intact and snugly fitted around you. In other words, this suit is a guard you can never escape, and it knows everything you're doing. Recently we've even been using the joint data to tell us where prisoners are moving too much and need their restraints tightened down." I realize that maybe the grey suit is not so benign after all.
She produces a small device like a key fob and begins playing with it lazily. "But the suit does more than mere monitoring. Through it we can administer any strength or quality of electric, eh, 'inducements' that may strike our fancy. And as a last resort, we can also trigger an embedded explosive charge that will most certainly stop you in your tracks. Basically, with this thing, we may not even need any other restraints, but we definitely enjoy using them all the same."
She picks up a clamp-like device and walks behind me. Now I feel her breath lightly against my ear. "So how 'bout it? Ready to be sealed in?"
I am not. Yet she pulls the suit's reinforced collar tight around my neck. As she clamps down on the collar at the nape of my neck, I hear the device power up and discharge with a sizzling sound. The clamp is removed, and now the collar remains tight. Now I feel the device against me a second time, this time further down my back. There is another hum and another sizzle.
My captress steps back around, watching the fob expectantly. After several seconds, she points out the numbers now flashing on its small screen.
"The sense wires are connected, the collar and zipper are fused, and the control suit is activated. Welcome, prisoner, to the first day of the rest of your life. I think I'll give you some time alone to reflect on that." She turns toward the door.
She is halfway through the door code when, glancing back at me, she decides to stay a little longer. Enjoying my helplessness, she stands in front of me possessively for a few moments before crouching down between my restrained legs. First a few fingers, then her palms, slowly move up and down my thighs, lingering slightly over my hardening bulge. The sensation sends a shudder up my spine. Grunting, I twist slightly in my bonds to meet her touch.
"You know, you're the first male visitor to drop by here since I got transferred to this post six weeks ago. I had heard that these were the best parts of the job, but I never understood what they were talking about until now. It turns me on to think about all the things they'll probably do to you."
Keeping one hand on me, she brings the other hand to her own suit. As my massage slows to a stop, increasingly she lets her fingers wander and play gently under herself. After a minute of moaning and shuddering, she reluctantly opens her eyes. "Okay, I think I may need some alone time of my own." Hurriedly she rises and turns toward the door.
As she turns off the dim lights and rushes out, I suddenly remember again the seriousness of my situation. Wrestling with my bonds, I break my silence. "Wait, you've got it wrong! I'm not a spy!" Silhouetted against the bright doorway, she silently manipulates something in her palm. "I was kidna--!" A sudden electric blow stops me in mid-sentence.
"Don't interrupt a girl when she has urgent business." With the door closing, she dashes back into the room one last time to kiss me on the lips. I am still in pain from my shock. "You've been fun. But really, save your story for the judge."
Then she is gone. In the complete darkness, there is the distant sound of hurried footsteps, a brief electric hum, and finally the sound of several deadbolts firing to secure the door. My straps creak lightly but do not give at all.
I did save it for the judge, but it didn't seem to do me any good.
It was a quick trial in a mostly empty courtroom. When my military status was revealed, the judge -- a woman in her twenties wearing the standard black suit with a thin yellow collar -- merely leaned back and crossed her arms. I could see the corners of her lips turn ever so slightly upward. Though finally I was allowed to speak in my defense, my words fell on unsympathetic ears.
Now I was to receive my judgment. The room is silent as the judge begins. "Defendant, please rise to receive the judgment of the court." I do so. She pronounces the sentence looking directly at me.
"On the charge of espionage, this court finds you guilty. You are hereby sentenced to destructive punitive extraction." From a distant corner of the courtroom I hear a murmur.
"In accordance to law, you are from this moment forth divested of your rights as a foreign national. You are now the legal property of the State. Bailiff, please conduct the prisoner to the chief of police in preparation for the sentence. This court is adjourned."
As the courtroom empties, the bailiff collects my hands behind me and applies a pair of handcuffs. After we are alone, she gives my shoulder a few brief pats, as though from empathy, and ushers me gently through a side door into a mostly empty room.
At the far end of the room is an expensive-looking desk. Seated behind it, a lone woman is studying some papers. With her head down, all I can see of her is her suit, her hair, and the hand she is resting against her forehead.
"Well, well... look who we have here." She looks up, grinning.
"Why, imagine my surprise when I found out that the spy I'd been hearing about was none other than my ex-boyfriend!"
"You! You were the one who did this to me, weren't you!"
"Sorry, but I'm afraid the only thing you can blame for your situation is your own bad judgment. Thanks, Jenna; we won't need the cuffs anymore." The bailiff nods, frees my hands, and leaves the room. Serena points out the seat across the table; I sit down.
"What bad judgment, Serena? That I stopped seeing you?" Seeing her figure brings to mind delightful memories of her warm body next to mine; indeed she is just as physically attractive now as when we were dating. The sticking point, however, was her tendency to be possessive. That facet of her personality has evidently blossomed in the meantime.
Serena shrugs. "I bet you didn't realize back then that you weren't the only one with some military clout. After we parted ways, I returned here to resume my former position. When I remembered your fondness for skydiving, I realized it was the perfect way to deliver you into my grasp. It was just a matter of time until your dive appointments matched up with my pilot's schedule. Oh, it's too bad you couldn't have seen yourself when you were shipped back to base! You were all chained and tied up like a big gift..."
"Well, now you have me. What can I do for you?" I figure the best I can do at this stage is to please her.
She chuckles. "Oh, no. It's a bit too late for that. The wheels have already been set in motion, and even I can't stop them. You have a sentence to serve." She presses a button on her desk. I look around nervously, but nothing happens quite yet. She swivels her seat to the side to cross her lustrous legs.
"You know," she continues offhandedly, "I don't know why it is that so many of our punishments are sexual in nature. Perhaps that's only natural in a female-dominated culture where males are the worst offenders. But whatever the reason, we've found it to be highly effective in males and females alike -- and often, quite satisfying to watch as well."
The door opens, admitting a stream of agents who soundlessly begin to fall into formation. "Every once in a while, we get to carry out a destructive punition or, more rarely, an extraction like yours. The international community seems to disapprove of it, crudely terming it 'sexual torture.' But by utilizing certain tools and conditions designed to intensify the experience, we feel we've developed it into a punitive science."
With a tip of her hand she gestures at the assembled black sea of femininity, now standing ten wide and three deep. They salute sharply. "Our transport and restraint teams are specially trained to subdue and apply restraints to unwilling prisoners such as yourself. Though some have many years' experience, they've all undergone at least a year of intensive training with psychological screening to guarantee--well, how shall I put it--their job excites them. I guess you would say these would be the dominatrices of your world."
"Curious thing about them. From our early experiences, we determined that after weeks to months of continuous destructive punition, the brain changes irrevocably, leaving prisoners in a permanent state of heightened sexual awareness. We've found that males, especially, become perfect sex slaves." She eagerly reveals her curious secret: "And certain female prisoners -- if we stop at just the right time -- become perfect transport and restraint officers."
That is intriguing, but I am concerned mainly about my fate. "So just because it didn't work out between us, Serena, you're going to fry my brain and make me a sex slave?"
"Yes," she says matter-of-factly. "But not just any sex slave. My sex slave. I've already called dibs on you." She sighs. "You know, back then, you and I we could have been happy together. But this way, we'll also be happy together -- just in a slightly different way."
At her beckoning, the team shifts formation. Roughly half move to line the periphery of the room, while the other half advances in two rows to a few feet behind my seat. My heart begins to beat with dread and anticipation. The moment has come.
"Through your control suit, I could easily coerce you to put on all your restraints yourself. But, for the team's practice and my enjoyment, I'm going to let them do the work tonight. Stand up, please."
Still looking upon my former girlfriend, I slowly push myself up from the chair. In the quiet of the room, I am acutely aware of my frenzied heartbeat and trembling breath. The chain of women has now come around me, hemming me in against the desk. Unseen hands whisk my chair away from behind me.
I glance to find two graceful women at my sides, both wearing a long ponytail and the slightest of smiles. On their mutual signal they move swiftly toward me. But just as their hands touch my arms, I twist to the right and dive behind me in the direction of the door. For a split second I sail toward a forest of gleaming calves before a sudden impact pins me against the padded floor. In the distance I can see the other group of agents, still impassively guarding the exit to the room.
As I fight to get up, I feel my ankles being grasped and separated. In spite of my kicking, I am pivoted and dragged backwards by my spread legs toward the center of the room. Clawing futilely at the retreating floor, I can see a smiling Serena seated behind the desk.
Reaching the center of the room, the women pause, still holding my ankles. My arms are firmly folded behind me; with several zips they are fixed securely in place. The operation has proceeded soundlessly to this point. Now Serena gets up from her chair and walks towards us, raising her voice only slightly in order to be heard across the distance. "A commendable effort to both the prisoner and the restraint team. What was that, number four in the playbook?"
A sweet voice rings out from above me. "Yes, ma'am, basically a number four."
"Again, well done." Serena bends down to pat me lightly on the head. "Don't feel bad. Remember, they've been doing this for a long time. Even to each other, when they're bored." She straightens up. "Now bring in the restraint."
Behind me I hear the swishing of steps. I follow the sound around to my left, where an agent now appears in my view. She presents Serena with a dark gray bundle. Though it has been folded neatly, I see a number of straps poking out from the thick square.
Serena takes one fold in her hand, and in one dramatic gesture she unfurls a fearsome looking suit covered in straps. "One straitjacket suit: male cut, high security."
She examines it before handing it to the agent I had previously seen at my side. "Very good. You are free to begin."
* * *
Still face down on the floor with my arms secured behind me, I can hardly fight as the restraint team begins to slip my legs into the thick rubber suit. But even without my fighting, it still takes some amount of work to stretch the tough material fully and evenly over my already suited legs. As the straitsuit settles into place up to my waist, I feel its firm compression throughout my lower body.
A pair of agents fastens thickly padded leather cuffs over the ankles of the suit. After locking my ankles together through their thick metal rings, they hoist me by my underarms back to my feet. Secured at the arms and legs, and tightly gripped by the suit, I can only stand unsteadily while the team continues its well-practiced choreography.
As the two agents hold me firmly at each side of my waist, a multitude of new black, gleaming hands take hold of my pinioned arms. Meanwhile, the front of the suit, previously hanging from my waist, is now drawn up into place against my chest.
With a sudden release of pressure, my arms are cut free. But despite my new struggling, half of the hands keep my right arm securely wrenched behind my back. The other half deliver my left arm inexorably into the straitsuit's waiting sleeve. As the tight, thick mitt at the end of the sleeve finally tugs into place around my hand, a strap is fastened around my wrist. Now trapped within the sleeve, my left arm is firmly replaced behind my back. The thick unbuckled strap at the end of the sleeve is passed to the right as the agents there prepare for their turn.
Though I am able to resist a little more on the right side, soon that arm is also fed into its sleeve, imprisoned, and once more wrested behind me. From the small of my back, a sturdy zipper is slowly tugged upwards, closing the suit tightly over my whole body as it goes. The slider continues upward between my pinned arms, finally arriving at the narrow collar and locking in place with a small click. Soft hands smooth the tight material over my chest.
Across the locked zipper, the first of several buckles is now fastened. As the work continues, Serena produces a small key that is passed behind me. Each of the bands on my back and wrists is snugged down before I hear it being locked with a click.
Now behind me come four new agents standing abreast. The two immediately behind me take over responsibility for my arms; each grips a forearm firmly in one hand and a yet-unfastened hand strap in the other. With constant pressure they bring my arms to face forward against my sides; then, stepping around to the front, they begin to fold my arms across my body into the dreaded position of the straitjacketed prisoner.
As I struggle to delay the inevitable, the outer two agents steadily push my elbows toward each other. As each mittened hand is driven through the front loop of the jacket to nestle against the opposite elbow, the agents grasp the sleeve straps, feeding them loosely through the jacket's side loops. Just as the first pair of agents releases their hold, the second pair pulls mightily on the straps.
Unable to overcome their efforts, my arms slide into place. I now stand in the middle of the room, legs together and arms crossed tightly, controlled by the two agents keeping tension on my straps. The other agents stand at ease facing Serena.
"Flawlessly executed! Just like watching clockwork. I love every moment of a straitjacketing, but that last part is always my favorite." Receiving the key from her agents, Serena tightens down the front loop and twists the key in the buckle. Meanwhile, the two ends of the sleeve strap have been matched up behind me. The strap hums as it pulls quickly through the buckle and eliminates all the slack.
Then all the female hands and arms let go. For the first time since rising from my chair, no one is holding me. But now, testing the movement of my arms in all directions, I confirm with dread what I already know to be true: I am locked tightly in a full-body straitjacket, and I cannot get free. Serena reads the expression on my face.
"Yes, that's a precious moment, isn't it, when you realize you are well and truly stuck?" She steps back, allowing a large fabric rectangle to be laid down before me. Meanwhile, five or six agents take firm hold of the strap just buckled behind me.
All of a sudden someone tips me from behind. My arms, jerking out instinctually, are held fast within their prison; with my ankles still bound, I cannot avoid falling forward. But as I am about to hit the fabric, the agents yank on the strong strap, pulling my arms tighter with the weight of my body before setting me down gently. The new slack in the strap is promptly removed. One of the latest agents, planting her foot in my back, is about to pull the strap still tighter when Serena interrupts.
"That should be secure enough. We'll only cause problems for ourselves if we go too hard on his shoulders."
The redirected agent instead fastens one final strap to tension my upper arms back. Then, after two final insertions of the key, every last buckle and zipper of the suit has been done up and locked. Lying on the wrap with my face just a few inches away from her feet, I strain to meet Serena's gaze as she looks down upon me.
"As you have certainly noticed, the suit is made from a extremely durable material and can easily deal with whatever we demand of it. It simply has to. Over the weeks and months, you will be subjecting the suit to an enormous amount of stress." She looks back up. "Let's get the transport wrap on."
The fabric under me is rolled securely around my body to wrap my torso and thighs; patted down, it adheres to itself with the quiet crackle of velcro. To a multitude of rings along the wrap's outer surface are now clipped leashes of various lengths. Pulling on them, several agents restore me to my feet.
The rest of the team now joins them, attaching their leashes and stepping away from me as they form into a thick square block. I struggle and twist from within my tight wrap but am effortlessly held at the center of the escort formation.
"Good. Unlock his ankles, and then let's head down." Walking past me toward the door, Serena makes a small apology.
"Sorry, but you'll have to do a bit of walking now. Lucky for you, though, the federal prison is right below our feet. You'll be all stowed away before the night is up."
Following our descent into the underground prison, we find ourselves in the outermost of its five concentric rings. So immense is this structure that I can just barely see the curvature of its walls. Though we have come to a stop before a large steel door, the cavernous space still rings with the sounds of our footsteps.
A pair of agents steps forward to twin keypads to authorize our entry into the second level. Meanwhile, having taken for herself the empty transport position to my left, Serena is boasting about the virtues of the police state. With a unyielding grip on her leash she ensures I remain the captive audience to her reverberating speech.
"We believe that a strong penal system provides the foundation for an orderly society. In order to instill a respect for the system, we ensure that no one can evade justice; we ensure that once apprehended, no one can escape from it."
With some electrical humming, the thick door before us begins to open, revealing first the large lock cylinders set into its sides and then the short tunnel it has been guarding. Within the tunnel, dim lights flicker on. The team resumes its march forward.
"For over twenty years we have been able to maintain a spotless record because of our heavy security measures. Most guards work in only one ring, entering and leaving only once each day through airlock chambers such as this. Depending on the security level, they authenticate themselves with a combination of badge scans, code challenges, and biometrics. Entry requirements are a little less stringent, but all exiting personnel must authenticate and pass through the airlocks individually."
She chuckles. "In fact, every now and then a rookie guard follows others into the next level and then finds herself unable to get back out. Often I think they lead her in on purpose. If there are any empty cells, they usually lock her up for a few days as an informal punishment. Sometimes they leave her in isolation; sometimes they rig her up and zap her for practice. She doesn't forget after that. But I digress."
As the door behind us locks with a series of penetrating clanks, Serena points out a flat metal structure on the collar of the agent in front of her. "As far as other security measures go-- for their own protection, all prison personnel are required to wear an inner computerized tracking suit under their regulation uniform. Both the inner and outer suits are locked shut and tagged." She nods contentedly. "Yep, over the years, we've pretty much sealed off any avenues of escape several times over. If you're not supposed to leave this place, you will not leave it."
The airlock door ahead of us begins to open. As the next vast space is revealed, Serena describes its contents.
"Level Two is for misdemeanors; prisoners in this level are restrained at all times in their cells but generally can still move around. Nothing too exciting. At Level Three, heavy immobilization is applied, and at Level Four, we add active torment in up to two separate modalities." She pauses.
"And you, we're taking to Level Five."
* * *
At last our journey brings us into the dreaded innermost level, a single circular room several hundred feet across. Most of this dark room is marked at regular intervals by numbered squares about a foot and a half wide. We trek across this desolate twilight landscape toward the center of the room, where a large platform supports an array of stations and a few guards.
We mount the stairs with a clatter; the guards salute. As we cut through the area, Serena reads a note taped to the edge of one station. "Ah. Hold on a second, please. Bring him over just a bit; I want him to see this."
Spread before her are controls of all sorts. "This is the control console for a destructive punition cell. Where the actual cells are, you'll see soon enough. But this" -- tapping a monitor that I cannot see clearly -- "this is the prisoner in cell 35.
"Formerly, she was chief security officer for the base; I believe you met her successor earlier tonight. Her service came to an end two months ago, when she carted off for her habit of fraternizing and sharing a little too much private time with her male prisoners. I worry that her replacement is developing those tendencies too. When sexual stimulation is carefully meted out as punishment, spurious and unregulated use of that tool becomes a very serious issue."
She turns a dial clockwise, listening in with satisfaction to the anguished moans and gasps of a female subjected to relentless sexual stimulation. She depresses a small red button, which remains toggled down with a tiny click. A hissing sound now comes through the speaker; the pitch of the moaning slowly falls, and now there is the sound of someone trying to catch her breath. The prisoner speaks indistinctly, amid heavy panting.
"Th--Thank you for stopping it. Thank you..."
"You are aware, Christina, that occasionally there is a opening in the transport and restraint team. In such circumstances we are able to recruit new agents from selected females undergoing destructive punition. Your response to the stimulus so far has been promising, and so for two weeks now we have kept you at submaximum stimulation so a spot could open up."
At the center of the console is a large lever, currently pushed about three-fourths of the way to the back. Serena inserts a key near its base and turns it.
"And a sp--a spot opened up?" There is relief and hope in the voice.
Serena places her hand on the handle, depressing the safety with her thumb. I wince with the terrible knowledge of what is about to happen.
"I'm sorry. And two weeks is all we are permitted to wait. Goodbye, Christina."
"NO! Please I beg you--!!" Over Christina's wild sobbing, Serena pushes the heavy lever all the way back, simultaneously releasing the red suspend button. Suddenly the prisoner's pleas are replaced by screaming so loud that the speakers ring with distortion. After a few moments, the speaker hums with the sound of inflation, and her desperate pleas become unintelligible. The room, however, still echoes faintly with her last scream.
With an air of finality, Serena removes her key and turns the volume knob down until it clicks. As her prisoner's cries fade away, she confirms that the safety on the lever will no longer budge.
I sense an involuntary tug to my right. Glancing over at the face of the agent on that side, I see her blinking to hold back a tear.
* * *
After descending on the far side of the platform, we come to a halt in front of one of the squares. Surrounded by yellow and black caution markings, this one bears the number 56. A pair of agents goes to enter some codes at a nearby keypad.
"Well, looks like this is the end of your journey." A series of loud clacks can be felt through the ground. With a deep mechanical rumble, the thick numbered square slides up on its hinges to reveal a deep black hole. "That is where your sentence is to be carried out."
A ladder slowly telescopes down into the darkness of the chamber, stopping at a floor about thirty feet below. All of my transport leashes are promptly disconnected, excepting one on my left. It is looped around the ladder and clipped again to me on the right, where an agent begins to cinch the leash tighter. Struggling, I am forced closer and closer to the gaping hole.
"I like my prisoners to walk under their own power until the end," Serena explains. "Now go on; take the first rung." With the leash holding me to the ladder, I take a terrifying first step on to the ladder and begin the climb down.
As I descend into the dark, each step I brings more of a sense of doom. I realize I will never again ascend past that step as the same person. I am filled with sadness for the home and the country that I will never see again. I regret leaving Serena. I am indignant for what she has done to me. And strangely, in the back of my mind, I think I find myself in awe of her power. Yet none of these thoughts can save me from the prison, the guard, my restraints, and my final descent.
Serena calls down after me. "Careful now; you wouldn't want to slip. It's a long way down."
Reaching the floor of my unlit cell, I discover that it, like the walls, is covered with thick spongy foam. As soon as I am unhooked from the ladder, I begin to wobble from the lack of solid footing; ultimately unable to balance, I fall backwards in my bundle and find myself staring up at the hole through which we have entered. A handful of agents, navigating the soft surface like comparative experts, rolls me over unceremoniously as they rip off my transport wrap, exposing once more my straitsuited body.
Frustrated, I try to get back on my feet. But though I am able to roll on to my stomach and back, the floor is far too soft for me to work my way back to standing. The sensation of being half buried in foam, rolling and writhing but unable to move, is like a nightmare.
Suppressing a laugh, Serena kneels by my side. "Oh, you poor thing. I'm tempted to stand you up just to watch you try to get back up the ladder. But it's getting late. I'm afraid you've already walked your last step."
She points a small device upwards. From the dark corners of the ceiling I see the glint of four metallic arms descending. As the agents guide them near the floor, I can see that each terminates in a long spring and a snap hook. I am flipped one more time on to my crossed arms as the hooks are attached to the ankles and shoulders of my straitsuit.
* * *
"One more inch for the shoulders should do it."
Again the arms retract. As they finally pull my crossed arms clear of the floor, my body starts ever so slowly to swing free. Pleased with the successful completion of their task, the agents return in formation to Serena's side.
Now she holds out her hand, and two black devices are placed in it. She takes one and inserts the inflatable bulb firmly past my resistant lips, strapping the gag into place firmly behind my head. Surveying their joint handiwork, her inescapably bound future slave, Serena turns to speak to the agents flanking her.
"Would any of you girls like a minute to touch him? You have permission from his future mistress. But I remind you, if he climaxes on your watch ... well, you saw what happened to Christina."
Perhaps against their best judgment, two daring agents, probably both in their twenties, step forward hesitatingly and set upon my body. With Serena's encouragement, one lavishes attention on my chest while the other, rather dangerously, hungrily strokes my rear; my tight restraints intensify their gentle touch. However, as much as I desperately want revenge -- to make these beautiful tormentresses share my fate -- as much as I try in vain to brush up in the right way against them or the floor, I cannot put myself over the top. Serena addresses me again, and the happy pair resumes their former statuesque position.
"You will recall that you have been sentenced to punitive extraction. Every third day, your punishment will be briefly suspended, much like you saw earlier, and you will be offered a chance to divulge relevant information at the prompting of my intelligence officers. If they feel you are misleading or stalling them, they are authorized to intensify your suffering, so personally, I would stick to the truth." She realizes with satisfaction, of course, that I have no relevant truth to offer.
"Periodically you may be sedated for medical maintenance; after all, we still want you to be in passable physical shape for your new life. During the next few weeks we may also need to clean or shave you to optimize the contacts in the control suit. But you will be awake for none of that. You will doze off and then awaken just as before: blinded, restrained, suspended, and tormented. You will be aware of nothing but your punishment."
She clasps one hand in the other. "That's all there is for us. I'll be seeing you on the other side." Watching me suspended face down in front of her, she thinks up one last facetious comment.
"Don't be scared," she says. "It's just like skydiving."
With that she works a black hood snugly over my head, cinching and locking the straps tight. I hear the muffled ascent of many female feet and the withdrawal of the ladder. I hear a profound mechanical rumble, and then finally massive metallic clacks.
Then I am rapidly lifted toward the ceiling.
* * *
At the control console for cell 56, a female hand eagerly pushes the lever to half the maximum setting and locks it in place.
Next to the lever she places a book detailing the interrogation protocol and how exactly to increase the stimulus when a prisoner refuses to answer. In the front cover she leaves a handwritten instruction.
"Increase to maximum stimulus over four weeks; continue at maximum until verifying psychological destruction at--" She thinks for a moment before completing the note.
* * *
Flying high above the floor, I wait in nervous anticipation.
Then from between my restrained legs stirs the slightest tingling.
At first it is just a fleeting warmth, and I am not even sure it is real. But slowly it builds, gaining the intensity of hundred gentle hands running up and down, tickling, lingering, caressing. After a long night restrained and teased by sensuous women, unable to use my hands or even to brush up against a soft body, I hope fervently for sexual release. My breath is becoming uneven with the stimulation.
Without warning a pulsing current envelops my body. Locked away securely behind the two layers of suits, my fingers and toes curl and twitch; my arms jerk but are held fast. I cry out in pain. As if on cue, the gag inside my mouth starts to fill with a mechanical bleating, finally leaving my mouth just slightly overfull. The room is again quiet, except for my soft inarticulate grunts and my noisy breathing. The current subsides somewhat, and the hands begin again.
As I grind my loins against my unseen lovers, writhing in vain to evade the electrical torment, the suspension arms suddenly give. My heart jumps with weightlessness and fear as I fall several feet into the blind blackness. Catching me, the springs throw me up and down over and over as the arms slowly draw back again in preparation for their next unpredictable move.
* * *
Rebounding and twisting dizzily in the darkness, convulsing with a mixture of pain and ecstasy, I hope silently that the interrogations will at least help me maintain a sense of time in the months to come.
And in my brain, the sensory overload starts to wear away at my synapses, beginning my inescapable descent into sexual madness.
It would be a very long way down.
- END -