Ex Machina
Taken by the Machine

by Van © 2023

Chapter 6

Dramatis Personæ


Lydia cuddled and smooched and generally "made out" with her helpless, bound, and gagged girlfriend for about an hour.  Maybe it wasn't an actual hour, but to Alice it felt like forever—a wet, slobbery, poking, prodding, and above all unwanted eternity.

The kissing, smooching, licking, and poking of tongue, lips, and fingers was all one way, of course.  Alice was an entirely passive "participant."  This was for three reasons: (1) She was totally and completely uninterested in anything even suggesting a hint of a display of affection with Lydia Aelios; (2) She was stringently bound from her big toes to her head in an elaborate (but arguably stylistically sophisticated) web/sheath/cocoon of single-strand, interwoven, stretched, amber-colored rubber tubing, including a bit-gag and tight head-cage of more of the same tubular material; and finally (3) she was tired, having already put in many long, strenuous hours of enthusiastic but entirely futile struggling while bound, gagged, and being manhandled (robot-handled?) by Lydia's computer-controlled technology—and that included being robo-fucked and robo-tickled until she'd passed out!

All things considered, Alice would just as soon Lydia keep her groping hands, busy fingers, slobbering lips, and wet, slippery tongue to herself.  She was exhausted.  She needed to sleep... but Lydia wouldn't let her.

Finally—Thank God!—the amorous (insane) brunette stopped kissing, licking, and prodding her blond prisoner/girlfriend and lay on her side, resting the side her head up on her right palm.  Alice stared back at her captor/tormentor with tired, pale blue eyes.

"Isn't it wonderful, darling," Lydia sighed.  "You're mine at last, and nobody has the slightest idea what's happened to you.  My system is monitoring the news, police reports, and studio e-mails, and everyone is baffled.  You've simply... vanished... and now you're mine."  She reached out and gave Alice's left breast a gentle squeeze... for the umpteenth time since her arrival in the bedroom.  "You're all mine... forever."

Alice could have tried to roll away, but was too tired to bother.  She was not too tired to glower at her kidnapper and deluded "girlfriend," and she continued doing so.

"I don't want you to think you'll be sharing my bed every night," Lydia purred as she toyed with Alice's left nipple.  "I'm still angry with you for playing hard to get and running away all those years ago.  You need to be punished."  She rolled Alice's nipple between her fingers... then gave it a teasing pinch.  "And you will be.  ...  Punished, I mean, many, many times for many days and in many different ways."  She returned to squeezing the breast as a whole.  "Eventually, it will be only two or three times a week... but for now... almost every day and night, I'm afraid... in some manner."

Lydia's smile turned truly evil.  "Not only will your suffering make me feel better, but my psychological expert system that will be controlling your regular course of exercise, eating, enemas, and showers will also be gathering data to enhance your operant conditioning program.  Eventually, you'll be my obedient slave."  She returned to toying with the nipple.  "Not quickly, of course.  What would be the fun in that?  But eventually.  Inevitably.  And speaking of obedience..."Another collar!
Her heart pounding, Alice watched as Lydia rolled away and reached out  to the right bedside table, then returned with a jewelry box clad in shining red satin and topped with a decorative red bow.  The grinning psycho opened the box and Alice beheld a shining steel collar or choker nestled in red velvet padding.  The metal necklace/torque had a somewhat streamlined protrusion or bump-out on the front with a dully glowing ruby light and a block of scan-code somehow affixed or embedded.  As neck accessories went, it was more utilitarian than decorative, and while not being ugly, it was hardly an elegant fashion accessory.

Lydia lifted the collar from the padding, set the box aside, then opened the collar and positioned it around Alice's neck and under her tousled blond curls.  It closed with an authoritative and clearly audible click.

Alice shook her head as Lydia returned the now empty red box to the bedside table.  The collar was, indeed, a choker, in that it had a purposely tight fit, and it was heavy, but not too heavy.

Lydia rolled back and idly caressed the collar... then the side of Alice's rubber-tubing-bit-gagged and caged face.  "I won't activate it 'til morning," she purred.  "It looks very pretty."

Alice and Lydia locked eyes—captive and captor—slave and mistress?  I will never be a slave, Alice vowed, no matter what you or your robots do to me!  Also... what the hell did she mean by 'activate?'  The computer code on the front of the choker suggested some sort of tracking function.  Was that what she meant?  Once active it would start keeping track of her whereabouts?

Lydia leaned close and kissed Alice squarely on her rubber-bit-gagged mouth.  "Goodnight, darling.  Sleep tight."  And with that abhorrent pun, she rolled away and (Alice assumed) closed her eyes.

Alice rolled onto her back, heaved a gagged sigh, and returned to staring up at the ceiling... but the light was fading.  Not only were the various already subdued light sources scattered around the bedroom growing even dimmer, but the window-walls were slowly becoming opaque.  Apparently, Lydia's automated housekeeping system was experienced enough to shift into nighttime mode without an explicit order... assuming "Goodnight, darling," wasn't Lydia's usual instruction to turn out the lights.

Alice's heart was still pounding as she lay on the soft-but-not-too-soft bed in the growing darkness, next to her kidnapper.  She was naked, encased in a web of tight rubber tubing, gagged, an allegedly "very pretty" steel collar locked around her neck, and totally helpless.

I am so very screwed, Alice thought.  Her no longer tingling pussy agreed.

Eventually, despite everything that had happened and that Lydia had promised would happen... Alice drifted off to a troubled, exhausted sleep.


Morning came... or at least Edwina opened her eyes and decided several hours had passed.  In her windowless, subterranean cell she had no opportunity to estimate the position of the sun above the horizon or gather other relevant celestial data.  In any case, she'd been roused from her leather-constrained slumber by the deployment of about a dozen of her old friends, Lydia's technologically impressive but ill-mannered robot arms.

Edwina just managed not to scream through her leather gag (with silicon-rubber stuffing) when numerous robo-arms lifted her into the air and began releasing her from her leather leg-sheath (including its narrow big-toe and foot straps and wider ancillary ankle and knee straps).  Next they released the narrow Y-shaped labia-framing and butt-cleaving-strap that joined the leg sheath to the corset-strap... followed by both the wide corset-strap and the equally wide bra-strap formerly framing her breasts and pinning her upper arms against her sides... followed by the single-sleeve arm-binder itself (including its ancillary wrist and elbow straps).  Finally, they removed the head-harness-gag and its rubber mouth-plug.  And as she was processing these events, the tight, overlapping layers of the underlying arm-sheath of black tape were unwound and removed as well.

Then, the formerly bound and gagged captive was lowered to the padded floor and the robot arms withdrew back into their alcoves, taking every scrap of her former bonds with them.

Edwina shakily climbed to her bare feet and took stock of her situation.  She was naked, except for the shock-collar still locked around her neck, not gagged, and her hair was still plaited in a long, tight, single-braid secured by a peculiar (and tamper-proof) rubber end-sleeve (or retaining-tube or... whatever).  Anyway, she was still incarcerated in the same off-white-fake-leather-padded "bedroom"/prison cell where she'd spent the night (meaning the last several hours)—but was otherwise free!

That said (meaning thought), Edwina was hungry, thirsty, and her skin flushed and creased by already fading red marks (here and there), as well as sweaty and in need of a good wash.  Also, her muscles and joints were achy and sore.  She realized the latter complaint was a logical consequence of all the recent bondage she'd endured.

Suddenly, the "bedroom" door whisked open and Edwina's irritating little friend, the mini-robot with the red gumball light on top, rolled across the threshold.  It skidded to a halt halfway to Edwina's bare toes, spun 180°, the gumball flashed three time... shone a steady ruby-red... then the bot slowly accelerated towards the open door.

Edwina heaved a silent, disgusted sigh (wary of being shocked by her collar) and padded in her robotic guide's wake.  At least the system has decided I'm quick on the uptake and the irritating synthetic voice isn't issuing any more unnecessary orders.

They exited the padded bedroom and Edwina continued following the mini-bot down the corridor.  It felt really good to be able to walk, swing her arms, swivel her hips, point her feet, roll her shoulders, and toss her head (causing her braid to sway)—and she did all these things as she stretched and padded after her guide.  However, she was still hungry and thirsty.

Their destination was a chamber with the now familiar vertical steel panels.  Also, it was clad in hexagonal ceramic tiles and there was a large drain in the center of the floor.

The door whisked closed behind her—the mini-bot rolled across the chamber, disappeared down a mini-bot-size tunnel, and the tunnel door whisked closed.  Then, several vertical panels snapped open and the expected robot arms extended in her direction.

Edwina heaved another sigh but didn't bother trying to resist as her wrists, ankles, limbs, and torso were seized and she was lifted off her bare feet and held in midair.  Oh bother! she silently fumed.  Again?  Over the course of the next several minutes her body was positioned... repositioned... then repositioned again as several things happened one after the other; specifically:
1.  A clear plastic face-mask was clamped over and into her mouth.  It included a perforated mouth-plug generous enough to prop her jaws open and the mask formed a watertight seal over her lower face.  Then, one of two attached flexible hoses shook and cool water pulsed through the plug, flooding her mouth.  The system was quenching her thirst!  This was a good thing, of course, and Edwina cooperated by sucking on the plug and swallowing.  The flow was carefully regulated and there was never any question of her choking and/or aspirating water.  The hydration system was well designed... like everything else in Lydia's hi-tech lair.

2.  The water stopped, there was a brief pause, then the second hose pulsed and delivered globs of porridge-like, semi-solid food (at least Edwina assumed it was food) to her mouth.  Again, the system was well designed and Edwina didn't gag on her "breakfast."  Fortunately, the repast had a nutty, oatmeal-like flavor with a hint of fruit; peach, or maybe peach and apricot.  Motivated by hunger and a desire to not have her mouth and throat packed solid, Edwina regularly swallowed, which the rubber plug's functional design allowed.  It was another triumph of automated food service technology.  The gorp was followed by a few pulses of water, rinsing Edwina mouth... then the mask, hoses, and mouth-plug withdrew.

3.  Immediately another "mask" molded itself to her crotch!  (Or maybe it was best described as a vacuum-sealed "saddle.")  Edwina's eyes popped wide as a catheter snaked into her urethra, a pulsing suction began, and she was both encouraged and required to empty her bladder.  This checked off a third item on her list of hygienic-things-to-do.

4.  Unfortunately (or inevitably) the catheter withdrew and a second, slightly more generous probe slid into her anus and past her sphincter!  Warm water pulsed... and Edwina received an involuntary enema!  Fluid passed in and out of her gut a total of three times, with carefully regulated volumes and intervals between pulses and sucking evacuations.  More good design, and it was infuriating!  Edwina realized what was happening: the system was testing its ability to handle the physical needs of a totally uncooperative subject.  Would Edwina have been perfectly willing to see to her own hydration, nutrition, and elimination needs?  Of course, but Lydia had her prisoner-handling research program, needed data, and didn't care.  It was humiliating, infuriating, and... ill-mannered.

5.  The crotch-saddle withdrew as an additional pair of arms extended and clamped onto the hated shock-collar.  It clicked open and the arms withdrew, taking the collar with them!  But before Edwina could celebrate, a dozen arms approached her helpless, suspended body, and each terminated in a circular brush with an attached hose!  Inches from her body, the brushes began to spin and modest volumes of warm water began to spraying from within!  Then, the brushes made contact with her skin—all of her skin—including her toes and feet, legs, crotch, hips and rump, waist and abdomen, ribs, armpits, arms, fingers and hands, breasts, shoulders, neck, face, and ears!  And they were moving, dragging the spinning brushes and gurgling water across her anatomy—all of her anatomy—and while the bristles were gentle, they tickled!  Edwina squirmed, struggled, and did her best to evade the scrubbing titilation, but they were everywhere!  She had no choice but to giggle, whine, and squeal, and thankfully her vocalizations went unpunished as the shock-collar was now absent!

6.  The initial rinse and scrubbing complete, the brush-heads began emitting some sort of floral-scented bodywash and Edwina was quickly enveloped in a bubbling, dripping coating of white suds, from head to toe!  Fortunately, the soap didn't irritate her eyes, but it did have a rather bitter taste.  She kept her lips tightly pressed together as best she could as she squirmed and fought her robot handlers.  The cleansing-massage-tickling assault continued.

7.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.
Finally, the bath routine having apparently reached the exit conditions of its loop, the system deposited Edwina's bare feet on the wet tile floor and released her.  She was now totally naked and dripping wet from head to toe, of course, including her still braided hair—but not for long.  The dozen or more robot arms were still dancing around her body, maintaining a uniform distance of about a foot as they weaved through the air, but their attached nozzles were blowing hot, dry air.  She had to admit the brush-nozzle-thingamabob-arm-attachments were really quire remarkable.  They were water-nozzle, scrub-brush, soap-dispenser, and blow-dryer, all in one.  A technological triumph.  Edwina slowly turned in place with her arms raised, letting the multi-source, ever-moving sirocco play across her body.  Why not?  The better the access to her glistening skin, the sooner she'd be dry.  And eventually... she was... meaning dry.

The arms withdrew into their alcoves and most of their steel panels snapped closed; however, a few remained open while machine noises emanated from within.  Edwina surmised the arms were changing attachments.

The arms that had captured and held her in midair remained poised all around her, their ominous prisoner-handling padded pincer-clamp attachments open and ready to capture and control her again—and then they did!  Servo-motors whined, the arms extended, and in a coordinated attack too fast to evade, the clamps/manipulators grabbed Edwina's wrists, ankles, and other strategic parts of her anatomy, and once again lifted her into the air!

"No!  Stop!  This is unnecessary!  Please!"

The capture-arms in particular and the system in general ignored Edwina's frustrated and angry demands.  Meanwhile, the half-dozen former scrubber/blow-dryer arms had reappeared and were extending in Edwina's wiggling, squirming direction.  "Ekk!  N-no!"  One of the arms clamped around Edwina's neck and held it steady, more-or-less like a steel posture collar.  Other arms began... doing something to her hair.

"I told you no!" Edwina objected.  "Enough is enough!  Gawk-Mrrrpfh!"

Apparently, the thick, wide collar-clamp immobilizing Edwina's had a provision for stifling criticism.  A pair of articulated steel attachments had deployed from somewhere on the collar-clamps, slid between Edwina's lips, and forced her jaws open wide enough to allow the entry of a stainless steel bit-gag with a silicon-rubber mouth-plug (with incorporated bite-protectors) attached.  The attachments withdrew, but a bit and plug remained.  "Mrrrf!"  Once again, Edwina was gagged.  "Nrrrm!"  And her head remained completely immobilized.

Meanwhile, what had turned into a robotic hairdressing appointment continued.  Edwina's brown curls were unraveled and gently brushed, combed, divided, and... rearranged.  When the last strand was dealt with, once again Edwina was sporting a single braid, but it was a far more complex braid that the tight, simple version she'd worn before.  A pair of thin, tight, narrow braids that would otherwise have dangled to either side and framed her face were pulled back and intertwined with a much looser French braid incorporating the bulk of her hair.  The entire coif was secured by another natural rubber retraining sleeve.

Edwina knew this because while the hairdressing arms and capture/handling arms had withdrawn (including the collar-clamp and its bit-gag-with-plug), they'd been replaced by a single robot arm terminating in a small flat-screen monitor that hovered in front of her frowning face.

Actually, the monitor was a "magic mirror" that was displaying the back of her head, rather than her face.  Obviously, somewhere behind her a camera was supplying the image... either that or the display itself was a photo-realistic computer-generated simulation.  It didn't really matter, other than it gave Edwina a chance to examine (and begrudgingly admire) her new coif.  Also begrudgingly, she felt her anger ratchet down a notch.  It would seem not even Dr. Lydia Aelios was sufficiently cruel to have her robots to do something elaborate to Edwina's hair without showing her the result.

So... Edwina was now completely nude from head to toes, not bound, not gagged, and without the hated shock-collar.  Also, she had an arguably pretty new hairdo that was attractive, insured her hair would remain out of her face, and (entirely by coincidence, of course) would minimize handling complications for her cybernetic jailers.  That said... she was still angry, humiliated, and more than ever resolved to correct the current situation.

The monitor/magic-mirror went blank and the robo-arm withdrew into its alcove.  Edwina focused on infinity, balled her hands into tight fists at her sides, and shouted into the otherwise empty chamber.

"Lydia!  Lydia Aelios!  Show your face, you barmy nutter!  I have a few choice words for you!"

Edwina was just winding up, but was interrupted by the hum of servo-motors and the return of the robo-capture-arms.

"No!  Stay away!  Let me go!  Let me go immediately!  MRRRF!"  Once again Edwina was lifted into the air, and once again, things were happening to her.  "NRRRM!"  Finally, she was returned to her bare feet, released, the robot arms returned to their alcoves, and the panels slammed shut.

Edwina was still naked; however, she'd been accessorized.  Her wrists were crossed behind her back and tightly bound using a generous length of the now familiar translucent amber synthetic rubber tubing, and the bindings were intricate and complex... like her pretty new braid.  She could roll her shoulders and tug on the interwoven elastic strands, but as always with Lydia's rubber tubing bondage, there were no visible knots or joined ends, nothing for her fluttering fingers to untie or release, even if they could reach her bonds.  Also—"Mrrrmpfh!"—a wide strip of off-white tape was now plastered over her lips and lower face from nose to chin and ear to ear.  A tape-gag.  Another of Lydia's greatest hits.  It was infuriating.

Edwina stamped her bare feet, continued mewling complaints—"Mrrmfff!"—and generally threw a naked, bound, and gagged tantrum.  (There was method to her madness.  Edwina was genuinely angry, but if Lydia wasn't watching her live, at some point her captor would probably view a replay, and Edwina wanted and needed to attract her captor's attention.)

Just then, the cover of the mini-robot tunnel popped open and her little friend with the red gumball-light reappeared.  It rolled to the chamber door and the door whisked open, revealing the corridor beyond.  Then, the mini-bot spun on its wheels and "faced" Edwina.

Edwina glowered at the mini-bot.

The mini-bot "stared" at Edwina.

The bot's red gumball flashed three times... then took on a steady ruby-red glow.  Simultaneously, the bot spun back towards the door, paused... then rolled into the corridor at a slow walking pace.

That was Edwina's cue to submissively follow her robo-guide to whatever atrocity was next on Lydia's list of Things-to-do-to-Poor-Edwina, of course.  However...

Hah!  The shock-collar was no longer around Edwina's neck!  She assumed the collar was plugged in somewhere and being recharged, but wherever it was, it wasn't poised to zap her larynx and compel her obedience!  (Later, Edwina realized she should have known better.)

Its red light still glowing, several tiny hatches or doors snapped open on the mini-bot's sides and disgorged a dozen or more... flying insects?  The things resembled a cross between a large hornet and a small dragonfly.  Their gossamer wings were a buzzing blur, and their bodies were covered in alternating stripes of gloss-black and warning-yellow.

Edwina watched with growing apprehension as the cloud of hornet-dragonflies buzzed around her gagged head—and they were now close enough for her to see that they were actually tiny robots and not some form of mutant insect.

Meanwhile, its gumball-light still glowing red, the mini-bot continued rolling away.  Defiant and determined, Edwina held her ground and refused to follow—"MRRRK!"—right up to the point when one of the insect-drones darted in and delivered an electrical sting to her left butt cheek!  The pain was more-or-less on par with the punishment delivered by the absent shock-collar!  And then—"MRRRF!"—a second drone delivered additional motivation to obey the system's "reasonable" requests by zapping her right nipple!  Edwina shivered, squirmed, and tugged on her bound wrists in reaction, but knew there was no way she could protect herself from the swarm, not even if she wasn't bound.

Okay, okay, I can take a hint!  Edwina scampered across the threshold and after the mini-bot, then slowed to a matching pace and obediently (but still defiantly) padded in its wake.  The drones continued buzzing around her in a weaving, coordinated cloud, easily matching her padding steps.

So, Edwina realized, the absence of the obedience collar isn't a program flaw after all.  This is another test.  The 'insects' are an alternative technology for compelling obedience and controlling my behavior—and the damnable things are working!  Edwina's spirit was unbroken, but that hardly mattered.  Pain was pain.  Not wanting to be zapped by Lydia's robo-hornets, Edwina was the very picture of naked, bound, and tape-gagged docility.


Lydia had decided to take a break, play hooky from her self-imposed research and business responsibilities, and bask in the fruition of her grand vision: the capture of her beloved Alice.

And speaking of basking...

After waking up and giving Alice a good morning kiss on her smooth, tan, (slightly sweaty) forehead, Lydia padded into the master bath and preformed her morning toilette, including a luxurious shower.  Then, as she'd already decided to take the day off, she donned a very skimpy white satin string bikini.  Thus suitably dressed (or almost dressed), she enjoyed her usual modest gourmet breakfast prepared by her kitchen robots.

While all of this was happening, a pair of mobile handling/capture-bots had trundled into the bedroom, lifted Alice's naked, elaborately rubber-tubing-bound, rubber-tubing-gagged, wiggling, squirming, and mewling form from the rumpled bed and carried her away.  The steel obedience-collar was locked around her throat but apparently still hadn't been activated, and as Lydia hadn't explained its function, Alice thought it was just a highly questionable fashion choice on Lydia's part.  She felt "free" to force rude comments through her gag—"Mrrrrrmpfh!"—and did so.

While Lydia was seeing to her own needs up in the master bedroom's attached bath (with minor robotic assistance), Alice's hydration, nutritional, and waste elimination needs were satisfied in a tiled chamber down below (with major robotic intervention).  That is, a hose pumped cool water into her mouth to satisfy her thirst—another hose pumped dollops of semi-solid nutritional gorp into the same orifice to fill her tummy—a robot-controlled catheter-tentacle emptied her bladder!—"MRRRF!"—then a somewhat larger tentacle gave her a thorough enema!  "MRRRRRM!"

Needless to say, none of this made Alice very happy and she did not cooperate, but her attitude was largely irrelevant.  The robo-arms easily controlled her struggles and their modular attachments performed their specialized tasks without significant difficulty.

The system also removed Alice's rubber-tubing-bonds and gave her a thorough external cleaning, similar to the watery, soapy, and scrub-a-dub ordeal Edwina had "enjoyed" in a different chamber.

Finally, her hair was clean, dry, and coiled into a tight bun enforced by a taut amber-rubber net.  Her body wasn't bound in any way (not counting her steel collar); however, her wrists and ankles were still firmly clamped in the capture-bots' padded manipulators and she was stretched in a semi-stringent spread-eagle across the rectangular top surfaces of the joined bodies of the two mobile capture-bots.  "Mrrrf!"  She was also tape-gagged.

Alice tugged and kicked (or tried to) as she was transported back up to Lydia's bedroom suite and out onto the generous deck overlooking the surrounding chaparral-clad hills and the distant Pacific.  It was a largely cloud-free morning and the sun was warm on her naked body as her handlers rolled to a double-wide lounge-chair (or chaise-lounge, or possibly day-bed) covered in white linen.  She complained—"Mrrr!"— when the manipulators holding her wrists and ankles lifted her into the air and placed her onto the slightly canted-above-the-horizontal rectangular slab.  Next, things happened at her wrists and ankles, the capture/handling robots' arms withdrew, then the robots themselves folded their arms flat against their sides, trundled away several feet, and went dormant.

Alice found herself spreadeagled on the padded white surface.  Her wrists and ankles were captured in interwoven cuffs of the now ubiquitous amber-rubber tubing and somehow affixed to the four corners.  She squirmed and twisted but found her new bonds to be just as struggle-proof and inescapable as the capture-bots' padded manipulator-clamps.  So... she was staked out under the morning sun... naked, collared, and tape-gagged, with her blond locks coiled and captured in a tight bun.

Oh-by-the-way, Alice's hostess/captor/insane-girlfriend was also present, comfortably reclined on a nearby lounge chair, wearing a white bikini (a very skimpy white bikini), a pair of designer sunglasses, and sipping on a no doubt refreshing mixed drink in a tall tumbler with ice and a fruit garnish.  Lydia's long brown curls were loose about her shoulders and framed her smiling face as she gazed at Alice through the dark shades.

Alice sullenly glowered back and continued testing her inescapable semi-elastic bonds... then watched as Lydia set her drink on a side-table, picked up a small plastic jar, stood, gracefully padded the half-dozen steps to Alice's comfy platform/slab... then sat on the edge, even with her prisoner's left hip and waist.

Alice continued watching as Lydia opened the jar, dipped her right fingers into the milky paste within, then began rubbing the stuff on her left breast—meaning Alice's left breast.  Her nostrils flared above her tape-gag.  Cocoa butter.  It's cocoa butter.  "Mrrrm!" she complained, staring daggers as the unwanted oily boob-massage continued.

"Don't be ungrateful, darling," Lydia purred as she enlarged her efforts and applied a thorough coating of the fragrant, semi-fluid paste to Alice's right breast, chest, shoulders, and armpits, taking her time and working it in.  "This will moisturize your luscious skin and help keep you from burning... within limits."  Lydia was quite through, making sure every available square inch of Alice below the shock-collar and not pressed into the slab's linen padding was anointed and massaged.  This required the grinning brunette to regularly change her position, of course, but eventually Alice's toes, feet, legs, thighs, tummy, pussy, abdomen, ribs, arms, hands, and fluttering fingers had received attention.

"Hmm... I'm afraid your nails are a little long and require trimming, darling." Lydia purred.  "You might inadvertently scratch someone."  She glanced down at her shining "girlfriend's" feet.  "That includes your toenails, of course.  Not to worry.  I have specialized mani-pedi robots designed for that very purpose.  "Hold still, darling," she ordered, then began carefully applying cocoa butter to Alice's ears, neck, and all of her face not covered by the choker-collar or tape-gag.  She was careful to avoid Alices's pale-blue, clearly angry eyes.

Alice did, indeed, hold her head immobile for the sake of said eyes.  But she was not happy.  Glistening from head to toe?  Yes.  But not happy.

"Now, pay close attention, darling," Lydia said as she used a small towel to wipe her fingers and hands.  "You collar is more than a pretty ornament."  She lifted a small tablet-computer from the side-table, tapped and flicked her way through its menus, smiled, and gave the screen a final stab.  "There."  She locked eyes with her naked, glistening, spreadeagled girlfriend/prisoner.  "From now on, and unless I instruct the system otherwise, for every vocalization you try and make, voluntary or otherwise... you will suffer serious chastisement."  She reached out and teased back a corner of Alice's tape-gag, then slowly peeled it away.

Alice's lips and lower face were pulled and stretched as the tape surrendered its adhesive grip.  She continued glowering at Lydia's dark glasses as this happened... then the tape was gone.  Alice licked her lips and swallowed.

"Go ahead and give it a test," Lydia suggested (ordered).

Alice continued staring.

"Oh, very well," Lydia chuckled.  "If you insist."  She reached out, took Alice's left nipple between the thumb and forefinger of her right hand, and gave it a firm and inevitably painful pinch!

"Ahh-URRRK!"  Alice squeezed her blue eyes tightly closed and froze in her bonds.  The collar had delivered a painful shock to her larynx!  It had paralyzed her throat muscles and was at least twice as painful as Lydia's nipple-pinch!  She had no choice but to agree the collar very strong motivation to keep silent.

"There, you see?" Lydia grinned.  "Silence is golden... as well as mandatory, unless I tell you different."  She leaned close, delicately applied cocoa butter to the now exposed parts of Alice's frowning, pouting, and clearly angry lower face... then replaced the jar's lid and used the towel to once again clean her fingers.

Alice stared at the distant hills and tugged on her bonds in irritation.  She was naked, helpless, and still effectively gagged, not physically but by her desire to avoid pain.  It was humiliating and infuriating... and she could do nothing about it.

"Now," Lydia said as she turned and padded back to her lounge chair, "let's enjoy the morning while you do your all-over-tan maintenance.  Don't worry, the system won't let you burn.  My robots will flip you over when your front is done.  You'll get full coverage."  She pointed up.  "And a canvas sunscreen will automatically deploy when your total exposure time is up."

Alice tugged on her bonds, again, then closed her eyes.  Staring into the sun is never a good idea, even when you aren't naked, shining with cocoa butter, and staked out.

"And don't worry about our privacy," Lydia continued.  "I own this entire area, nearly to the horizon in every direction, and it's all monitored by ground sensors, strategically placed cameras, and above all, my security software.  There's even a active drone defense system with focused jamming to knock them out and, when all else fails, machine-shotguns to blow them out of the sky.  You see, I also have a paparazzi problem.  I may not be an actress like you, darling, but I am one of the richest people on the planet."  She retrieved her drink and took a sip.  "Anyway... not to worry."

The idea of being rescued by prying paparazzi hadn't even occurred to Alice, but now even that astronomically remote scenario was off the table.  I am well and truly screwed, she silently sighed, and continued baking in the increasingly hot morning sun. 

Minutes passed.  Lydia finished her drink.  Alice occasionally squirmed for comfort, weakly tugging on her bonds, and sweat began mingling with her uniform lustrous coating of cocoa butter.



Chapter 5
Chapter 7