Continues from chapter eight
043 knew better than to attempt a completion of our dance. The surveillance of the prisoners is very circumspect when they aren't under direct supervision. She may have deemed the risk acceptable with our preoccupied Warden in the room; now though, whomever was reviewing the day's video would surely take more notice of two unbound inmates in near proximity. I looked at the presumably frustrated ballerina and was surprised to see an expression of serene acceptance with a hint of a smile. I realized that I had never seen her at peace before. She always seemed to be fighting or rebelling against her fate and that was probably the main reason that I had disliked and distrusted her. Perhaps we could be friends after all but I still needed to know more.
The Warden returned and announced a ninety minute siesta for her exhausted charges. Leading us back towards our cells she clairvoyantly declared, "I think it may be time for you two to get to know each other better. I like to have all my girls on good terms with one another." Immediately I had visions of being squeezed inside a rubber bodybag with 043, perhaps suspended hammock-style and swaying gently to and fro as our Matron rocked us to sleep. It was not to be. She stopped outside of my cell and unbolted the big door. I was about to move when my path was blocked and Warden ushered the other prisoner into my most favourite place. "Wait here 123 while I get 043 ready for her nap," the apparently distracted Jailor spoke. It wasn't like her to make mistakes, let alone such obvious ones but we dared not say anything. "I think you have to put yourself in another person's place to really understand them, so this is a good start," she said. I was relieved that she hadn't suddenly become scatter-brained but very upset that she was leading anyone, let alone the only person in the entire Institute that I had any misgivings about, into my most private and beloved of sanctuaries. I had to really struggle with myself not to physically resist the violation or at least vocalize my extreme objections. Worse still, I felt that my precious Matron was betraying me and perhaps even trying to hurt me intentionally. I tried to calm down but had to look away as 043 was helped onto 'my' bed and into 'my' sleepsack. I glanced timidly back up at the outrage to see the final straps being secured and a friendly pat on the head being issued. Well, at least stupid Warden wasn't whispering sweet nothings in her ears and kissing her ugly tits, I fumed in silent sarcasm. I couldn't believe how fast my mood had changed. In a matter of minutes I had gone from having a wonderful if trying day to feeling perhaps worse than I ever had since coming to ICRI. I turned away to hide a falling tear as Warden exited and I harboured a foolish hope that she wouldn't secure the deadbolt: somehow that would make me feel better I thought, as though a complete betrayal hadn't been consummated. She closed the door gently and the ensuing silence lifted my frail heart as I was led down the hall.
043's cell resembled my own in many ways. The arrangement of the bed and shower were identical, the heavy steel door with its little window, the black of the walls and ceiling and the grey of the floor all looked familiar but the similarities ended there. It was significantly smaller and, at least at the moment, very hot. The floor wasn't padded, being of smooth painted cement and the air was both stale and unpleasantly humid. "Well, you've done it again 043," Warden addressed me with a slight falsetto, "Why must you make it so hard on yourself? You could have had a perfectly fine sleep in your bed but that wouldn't do. Now I've no choice but to punish you yet again. Someday you've got to stop hating and start forgiving, both her and yourself." Warden's speech intrigued me as she pushed me down to the floor opposite the bed, where 043 had presumably spent the previous night. There was a wide steel collar attached by a short and very heavy chain to the wall and it was soon locked around my neck and secured with a large padlock. It was a little too tight and being unlined, uncomfortable at once. Before I knew it a thin transparent hood was covering my head, expanding and contracting with each breath as I attempted to access the already unsatisfying air through two small holes in its front. Warden used a small pair of thumbcuffs to secure my arms behind my back and departed without another word, slamming the door loudly just as she had the night before. I needed to think.
Never could I have dreamed of a more perfect moment. My life-long quest had finally culminated in utter perfection. The chinking of glasses had penetrated beyond my plugged ears and entered into the very heart of my soul. I cried and laughed simultaneously in glorious completion. At length, my beloved Warden appeared in my view, approaching me with a happy twinkle of satisfaction in her eye and what appeared to be a pair of industrial ear-muffs in her hand. I wondered why my already muted hearing needed to be reduced further at such a moment as she reached up and manipulated them into place on my head. As she vanished again so too did any hint of sound coming from the room. I basked in the quiet afterglow of my emotional climax. I had gone before the Jury and successfully presented my case. The verdict was a five year sentence of incarceration and restraint. A life of endless toil and punishment awaited me, as I was to be fully subject to the whims and caprices of my sadistic captors. I was free.
I was in an awkward position against the wall, neither lying nor sitting. Despite my need for rest I wanted to think about Warden's unexpected words and actions and I tried to right myself, only to discover that the chain attaching my collar to the wall wasn't long enough to allow me to sit upright. I can think just as well lying down I reasoned, but quickly discovered that the impressive width of the heavy chain belied a rather inadequate length. I was stuck, neither here nor there. When I tried to relax and let the collar support my weight it rapidly became too painful to endure and further impeded my laboured breathing. I was getting hotter by the moment and already perspiring rapidly. I hated it. I don't like thumbcuffs, the floor was hard, I could barely get enough of the stale dank air and my neck was getting sore just ten minutes into my ninety minute siesta. The heat was the worst: I despise being too hot more than anything, with the exception of being too hot and in direct sunlight at the same time. On top of it all the transparent rubber hood was tickling and irritating me with every breath. I thought enviously of 043 lying snugly in my bed, already dozing in delightful comfort, then finally something clicked in my mind.
This was how she had spent the previous night, and I had had the audacity to wish it upon her, not even knowing what infraction had led to it in the first place. I was in no position to judge 043, my negative feelings toward her were based more on instinct than facts. Warden had clearly stated that the girl had emotional issues that needed to be resolved involving herself and another unknown woman, presumably long-standing ones. What I couldn't understand was how she managed to find herself here in the Institute. The standards for even consideration, let alone admittance into ICRI are very high and that is just the sort of thing that would preclude it. Yet here she was, fighting against the very things I had always longed for. I remembered the rare look of acceptance I saw on her face after the aborted tryst in Warden's office. Perhaps our Matron had sensed something as well and 043 was being rewarded and shown the benefits of having a better attitude towards things. Simultaneously she was teaching me an important lesson as well. My already high opinion of our Keeper went through the roof and I smiled happily at her cleverness in spite of my uncomfortable predicament. What was an hour and a half of suffering compared with an entire sleep-deprived night? Plus I deserved it for my previous prejudgment of my fellow inmate. Perhaps she had made mistakes in her past but who among us has not?
As much as I hated being hot and perspiring, once I had come to terms with my predicament I was able overcome my discomfort and wallow in my just deserts with an odd contentment. The possessiveness I had felt towards my cell and its contents melted away with each bead of endless sweat. I wished 043 a good rest and looked forward to hopefully learning more about her and helping her if I could. My neck and back ached as I continually attempted to shift into a comfortable position which didn't exist but my resolve to appreciate the blessings that had been bestowed upon me and to stop taking them for granted more than compensated for the temporary pain. As I calmed myself and relaxed as best I could the transparent rubber hood settled for once into a place where its two small holes aligned directly with my nostrils and I was able to breathe quietly, in and out, without restriction. Stale humid air never tasted so good.
Despite the joy and completion I felt after my successful Initiation, my carnal needs inevitably began to return. Strapped immobile to the large stallion in the sexiest of gear, my neglected sex was raised high and inviting for all to see. The vibrations of the little intruder next door were unabated, my nipples were in permanent arousal and my yearning slowly returned to its previous level. I felt so delightfully helpless: my feet trapped in the pony-boots, my hands in their inflated mittens, the corset and neck corset squeezing and lifting, the big black gag filling my mouth, and all fastened tightly with innumerable rubber straps to my mount. I closed my eyes and floated in a void.
A voice that seemed to come from within my own mind startled me to attention. The pleasant and clear intonations couldn't possibly be coming from without and I realized that the ear-muffs were actually wireless headphones. "Welcome home, initiate, we've been waiting for you," a woman spoke gently. "A long time has passed, but your rebirth today was inevitable," she continued. Her soothing voice was so familiar and perfect, as though it had been playing in the background since I was in the womb and I'd only now begun to listen. "You are One Hundred and Twenty-Three and I welcome you to our world," she concluded succinctly. Is it possible to fall in love in just a few seconds, having only just heard the voice of your betrothed? Yes, yes it is, at least in the magical world that I had entered. I knew that I had met our Leader, and that my loyalty and devotion to Her were innate and eternal.
I was rightly stunned. I had imagined that the Wardens of ICRI were my ultimate superiors and that the affairs of the Institute were controlled by them in a collective manner, perhaps with a figurehead top Warden ostensibly in charge and operating under a system of checks and balances. That was actually largely the case, excepting the fact that above and alone beyond them all was our Ultimate Dictator. I knew that for a fact, as plain as the sky is blue though I'd simply heard Her utter a few sentences without formal introductions. I was giddy. Having the Wardens rule me would have been heavenly enough but this was something altogether transcendent. She existed.
Surprisingly, this paramount discovery hadn't tamed my libido whatsoever. In fact, if anything it had increased my desires, as though I was in just the proper position for such a revelation and behaving exactly as one of Her disciples should. I moaned into my gag and struggled joyfully against my restraints, wiggling my moistened target the few millimetres afforded me by my absolute bondage, sinking ever deeper into a wordless realm of pure lust and surrender. Take me now.
As far as siestas go, mine had not been the most restful. Physically I was worse off than I had been before it started. Emotionally however, I was feeling a thousand times better. When our Warden came to retrieve me I gushed in gratitude and was tempted to tell her how clever I found her lesson but refrained, fearing that it might come off sounding as though I didn't have a high opinion of her intelligence beforehand. I settled for giving her a big hug once I was back on my feet with my arms free. She smiled, happy that I had benefited and learned something. Then, throwing the sweat-filled mask into the shower she led us away.
"I've got a proposition for you 123," our Matron spoke quietly as we approached my cell. Had any of the other Wardens offered a 'proposition' I would have taken it with a grain of salt: what was really meant was that a command was about to be issued that if not obeyed instantly would result in immediate punishment. The Warden of Sublevel 2 marches in her big white waders a little differently from the rest though and I was about to be offered an honest choice, though I prefer being told what to do. "Since you've both already had a tiring day I was planning to give you just the minimum one hour's duty in the gym," she continued. "But, as you can imagine, I doubt 043 got any sleep at all last night and I'd prefer to leave her be for now," Warden raised her voice slightly towards the end of the statement, as though turning it into a question. I knew exactly where she was going and jumped at the opportunity to acquiesce. I volunteered to take the ballerina's hour and add it to my own.
ICRI's twelve-storey headquarters is a very efficient building and the more I learn about it the more impressed I become. The roof, I am told is not only covered in solar panels but designed in such a way as to capture all the precipitation that falls on it for reuse. Despite the temporary exception of the cell I had just come from, the entire building is under-heated to a fairly extreme extent, the dress code being such as it is. Our cooling system is water-based, taking advantage of a cold local source that supplies the area. Most remarkable perhaps, the entire southern facade of the structure is covered in living plants, no small endeavour to create but very good at absorbing sunlight before it can reach the building in the summer and, once the leaves are shed, to allow the radiation to penetrate in the winter. Then of course, there is Level 5, where no effort is in vain.
The Gymnasium imposes a required daily attendance upon all able-bodied inhabitants, inmates and Wardens alike. I was spared its inflexible regimen during my initial weeks whilst being treated in the Infirmary but as soon as I was named I became just another body to be used and abused by the relentless Warden 5. I first laid eyes upon her powerful form during the Initiation itself and have cowered in fear before her ever since. Standing a full head above most of us she would be a daunting figure without her work ethic, but years of training have created a body that simply oozes strength and vitality from every well-exercised pore. If ever there was a personal trainer who practised what she preached, it was she.
At first glance the machines on Level 5 look much like you would see in a typical fitness centre. Stationary bikes, treadmills, and stair-climbers are numerous, some with additional apparatus to work the arms simultaneously. The weight training equipment is a little unorthodox but not overtly so. No, viewed from afar it could be mistaken for just another gym, except perhaps for the fact that there is no area devoted to aerobics, which would be considered wasted effort here. On closer inspection of course, our machines have many accessories not provided by your local health club. Warden 5 likes to 'exercise' complete control over her clients and finds it convenient to have them fully committed to the particular device she's chosen for a given session. Not one hand or foot should be free to stray from its duties and appropriate restraints are provided. If a cyclist is to be seated, let that seat hold her firmly and intractably in place. If weights are to be lifted, why permit the distraction afforded by the ability to look in any direction other than directly at the task at hand? Bindings are provided to control any such senseless freedoms. Innumerable bindings, shackles and tethers. Countless cuffs and harnesses, fetters and fasteners: all to ensure that the workforce is secured in a position to maximize productivity.
The most significant difference between Level 5 and your local 'Y' however, upon which rests the very premise for the existence of the Gymnasium itself, is energy collection. Every machine harnesses the efforts of its subject and transfers that output via dynamos directly to the building’s grid or to its storage batteries. Not a single rotation of a single wheel is wasted, and Warden 5's contributions to the Institute can be calculated in precise megawattage. Therein lies the justification of her ruthlessness. It's all for a good cause.
At long, long last I felt something stir between my legs. I had no idea what was going on, it seemed like my stallion was perhaps suffering from a bit of indigestion as things were shifting and the reverberations were passing through my ultra-hyped loins. Our ever-efficient Nurse, Warden 6, suddenly appeared before me and, just as she had on my very first day in the back of the van, held up her phone for me to watch a live video feed. A panel in the hindquarters of the stud had been opened and the Dominatrix could be seen at the control panel. A black object about the size of a toaster slid out on an extending shelf from the interior of the beast and then levered upwards until it blocked the view of my raised derriere. I watched as she fine-tuned the position of the thing, peering closely until she was satisfied. My hopes for fruition had begun to grow but she turned and looked directly at the camera with that same coy grin and abruptly walked off stage.
The Nurse lowered the screen from my view and smiled as she withdrew. So I waited, alone. Surely the mysterious thing perched directly behind my need would somehow, eventually, take me where I wanted to go. All I had to do was wait. And wait. I didn't know it at the time but the Wardens had all dispersed, their roles in the ceremony having concluded. I waited in silence as the little vibrations coming from my intruder slowly faded as its battery ran low. I waited, and finally I began to wonder if perhaps the next move was mine. Physically, of course, there was nothing I could do save grunt and squirm, but maybe I still had a part to play in the final act of this bizarre drama. What could it be? My thoughts were muddled and not helping to solve the problem so I tried to ignore them. As they slowly drifted away into the background my mind began to clear. Then, in a split second of realization the answer came to me, not in words but silently from the depths of my heart. All I had to do was ask.
Never in my life have I asked someone for something. 'Pass the salt please' to be sure, but I mean a really, deep-down request. To do so would require putting myself in a position below them, or at least on a par with them, a position of need, where just 'I' isn't enough but the 'other' is required as well. I've never opened up that much to anyone, never had the unconditional love for another person that would allow me to trust them enough to Request without fearing the outcome. The sudden flash of insights into myself was startling but I didn't dwell on them for a millisecond. I asked to be taken, not just once and in the flesh, but ultimately and conclusively. At the same moment I was requesting I knew the answer. She had been waiting, and we were now one.
Continues in chapter eleven