by Van ©2012
needed to feed. More precisely, she needed to feed her soul. Her hunger for
the aura of a normal human was building, once again. Her
"snack" session with the redhead—Dana Scully of the FBI,
Mistress had called her—had taken off a bit of the edge, but she
still needed to feed. She wasn't yet near the crisis
point. She could still make the change to her second
cycle, but only if she
was allowed to feed!
Unfortunately, an opportunity to nourish her soul didn't seem to
Rupandra was flat on her back on the soft padding of a
coffin-sized box. Her arms were at her sides and broad,
tight straps of braided nylon, similar to automobile seat belts,
bound her wrists and ankles and passed across her chest and
upper arms, waist and forearms, thighs, and shins, making sure
she stayed in the box. She was naked, of course.
Slaves or captives serving as distractions for bored Ice-Wolf
Elders were always
naked, no doubt. She was also gagged. Plugging her
mouth was a large wedge of semi-hard foam over a hard rubber
core. A tight panel of thin rubber hugged her lower face
from nose-to-chin and ear-to-ear, and was secured by straps
buckled at the nape of her neck and under her chin.
As best she could tell, Rupandra's box was constructed of
thick-walled aluminum. The rectangular base had low walls
on all four sides, each with a hinged and folded back
side-panel. Presumably, there was also a lid. When
the side-panels were raised and interlocking clamps engaged and
the lid closed and latched, the box would very much resemble a
metal coffin resting on a wheeled, folding framework very much
like a gurney.
Rupandra tugged on her bonds with all her strength. Other
than imparting a slight wobble to her breasts, there was no
change in her helpless condition.
The door to the chamber slid open and Irena entered. She
was wearing one of her tight leather dominatrix uniforms and the
usual gloating smile curled her Dominatrix-Red™ lips.
"Well, youngster," she purred, "it's time for us to say
goodbye—or until we meet again. I wish you luck with your
first change, and remember, as a Seventh-Cycle Elder not of your
Clan, I would have been entirely within my rights to put you to
death, in the manner of my choosing, for the crime of invading
my Lair uninvited and unannounced."
Rupandra watched as the Ice-Wolf Elder walked around the box and
raised the side-panels, one by one. Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk.
She then engaged the corner clamps, locking them together.
Click, click, click, click.
She knew Irena was right, of course. She would have been totally
justified if she'd decided to dispose of her. Granted, it
had probably enhanced Irena's status among the Clans to call for
a judgement, instead. That was a guess on Rupandra's part,
of course. What did a "youngster" at the cusp of her first
change know of the politics of the High Elders?
The box was now very much a coffin with an open lid. Irena
leaned close and smiled down at Rupandra's gagged face.
"Now, I've already explained how Helen Magnus has been given
permission to monitor your physiological signs and nurture you
through the process. However, on behalf of the Clan Elders
and myself, I have a message for the good doctor and
instructions for you."
Rupandra listened as Irena continued to speak. Slowly...
her anger drained away. Rupandra had to admit, despite her
resentment of the way she'd been treated and her gnawing soul hunger—Irena
of the Ice-Wolves had style.
|rizzoli & beckett
wasn't the newest or the tallest skyscraper in lower Manhattan,
but it was impressive, nonetheless. The vast lobby was
host to restaurants, shops, and even a multiplex movie theater,
but mostly the building was office space for corporations and very successful
professionals. A steady stream of yellow cabs, town cars,
and limousines stopped before the main entrance to disgorge or
take on passengers, and a conveniently located subway station
added to the foot traffic. Other access was via
side-streets leading to a multi-level parking garage and the
building's expansive loading docks.
And speaking of the loading docks, trucks of various size came
and went at a hectic pace on a daily basis, even during the
weekends, so no one looked twice when a white, unmarked,
two-and-a-half ton truck pulled up to the docks' security
booth. The driver was an attractive woman, notwithstanding
her lack of makeup. Her dark hair was pulled back in a
ponytail and she was wearing a baseball cap. She leaned
out of the cab and presented a clipboard with paperwork to the
guard on duty.
"Nice hat," the guard said as he flipped the papers. The
hat in question was slate-gray and featured the stylized head of
a snarling wolf embroidered in pale-blue thread. The
paperwork was for the delivery and unpacking of five crates of
"furnishings and equipment" to an office suite on the 47th
floor, "nosebleed territory" in the vernacular of the building
staff. Everything was in order.
"Fresenwulf Freight," she explained, pointing at the similarly
embroidered cloth patch on the shoulder of her gray coveralls.
The guard nodded. The same title and logo was on the top
page of the paperwork. He ran the sheet through his
time-stamp machine, then handed back the clipboard.
The driver pulled the truck forward to the far side side of the
docks, then backed into an empty slot. Accompanied by a
second, similarly coverall-clad, pony-tailed, and ball-capped
woman, she jumped from the cab and unlocked and opened the back
of the truck. A third women emerged, also in ball-cap,
ponytail, and a coverall. She was driving a small, powered
pallet-mover loaded with two four-by-four wooden crates secured
with shrink-wrapped plastic and cargo straps. Apparently,
the Fresenwulf Freight Company didn't skimp with the loading and
Over the course of the next two hours the women came and went,
shepherding four identical wooden crates and a cardboard
tri-wall container from the truck to the delivery address.
Packaged containers went up, there was a pause, the no longer
shrink-wrapped and presumably empty containers came down, and
the next load went up.
Guards manning the video monitors in the building's Security
Office watched the activity with dull interest. There was
nothing unusual about the appearance or behavior of the
Fresenwulf workers. A dozen or more similar deliveries of
supplies, foodstuffs, and/or merchandise were in progress.
An all-female crew was a little
unusual, but their frumpy coveralls and the caps blocking a
decent view of their faces whenever they passed a security
camera couldn't possibly compete with the steady stream of
smartly dressed female shoppers in the Galleria or the
businesswomen coming and going across the lobby, riding the
elevators, and striding up and down the corridors.
Finally, the three women returned to their truck for the last
time and pulled away, mission accomplished.
|rizzoli & beckett
A bell was ringing... and ringing... and ringing. It sounded
like an old fashioned, mechanical alarm clock.
Her eyes still closed, Kate Beckett reached towards the sound to
turn it off—but her hand was immediately checked.
What the HELL?
Kate opened her eyes. Her hair was in her face, so she
shook her head—her gagged
head! "Mrrpfh?" Something was in her mouth—a
ball—and a tight strap padded with rubber was keeping it
there! Also, she was naked, and part of a tangle of
multiple naked bodies—one of four
naked, wiggling bodies! "NRRRF!" Handcuffs were
locked around her wrists and ankles, multiple handcuffs, some with short connecting
chains and some with long. As she struggled, mewled
through her gag, and tried to make sense of her condition, her
fellow prisoners were doing the same.
All four were cuffed together, but not in a straightforward
manner. Each of their wrists and ankles were locked in one
half of two or even three pair of cuffs, but the other half was
always locked around someone else's wrist or ankle, never their
Kate succeeded in shaking the hair from her face and determined
the identity of one of her fellow captives. She was head
to head with Jane Rizzoli, and the Boston cop was gagged with a
ball and padded strap that was probably identical to Kate's own
gag. She looked towards her feet and recognized Olivia
Dunham, the FBI Agent, and an unknown redhead in her forties,
maybe. Olivia and the redhead were head to head with their
feet more-or-less in Kate and Jane's faces, and Kate and Jane's
feet were more-or-less in their faces—but again, not in a straightforward
manner. They were a tangle of akimbo limbs, squashed
boobs, bent knees, boney hips, and poking elbows, and if Kate
tugged on a wrist or ankle, someone else's wrist or ankle tugged
back and/or one of the longer chains slid against some part of
somebody's anatomy. If there was a regular pattern to the
arrangement, it would take a while to work it out. It was
eminently clear, however, that they were all bound, gagged, and
not going anywhere—not easily, anyway.
And speaking of going somewhere...
Kate raised her head and looked around. They were in a
large, totally bare space. The captives were lying on
thick, soft, wall-to-wall, beige carpeting. Half a dozen
concrete support pillars were spaced around the room.
Three of the walls were solid, their expanse broken only by the
occasional closed door. Eight or nine feet overhead was a
drop-ceiling of acoustic tiles. Its many fluorescent
fixtures were dark. Light was coming from the fourth wall,
an unbroken expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows. Beyond
the thick glass was an urban landscape. Kate recognized
some of the buildings, including part of the still under
construction Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center. They
were in an empty office suite in the Financial District.
The alarm clock was over by the window-wall. It was still
ringing and would continue
ringing until its main spring wound down. Eventually, and
Kate hoped it would be very soon,
it would cease its infernal racket.
Kate glanced up, again... Kate squinted and tried to make
sense of what she was seeing. At twenty or more places
around the periphery of the room, she saw pairs of the kind of
clips used to suspend things from the metal tracks of suspended
ceilings. In each case, one end of a long length of
blue-green, heavy-duty fishing line was tied to the first clip,
then stretched about six feet to the second clip. The
distance was great, but Kate could tell that dangling from each
of the second clips was the other end of the fishing line, a
tiny metal key, and a fist-sized block of ice. The first
clip of each pair were the closest to the captives and the
second clips radiated outwards.
The ice will melt, Kate
surmised, and the keys will
drop, and they're handcuff keys. She examined the cuffs she could
most easily see. They were of different manufacture, and
only a couple looked like standard police brands that would all
take the same key. Most were foreign or antiquated designs
with non-standard keyholes. Kate squinted into the
distance. Sure enough, a couple of the keys she could see
were modern universal-style keys, but most were not. Some
were barrel keys.
After the ice melted and the keys dropped, however long that would take, they'd
have to wiggle, squirm, and roll to a key, keep trying until
they found a cuff it would unlock—wiggle, squirm, and roll to
the next key, keep
trying until they found a cuff it would unlock—etc., etc.
It was a challenging task. It would get progressively
easier as each pair of cuffs was removed, but coordination of
the effort would be difficult, to say the least.
Kate's right wrist was cuffed to one of the redhead's wrists and
one of Olivia's ankles and was more-or-less useless, so she
reached towards Jane's head with her left. The Boston cop
realized Kate was trying to reach her gag and turned her head
and craned towards Kate's groping fingers, trying to help.
Kate parted Jane's raven curls and felt for the gag's
buckle—then sighed in frustration. There was no buckle. The
strap was a rubber-padded cable-tie. Jane turned her head
back and met Kate's gaze. Kate shook her head and Jane
also heaved a sigh.
Assuming they could agree on a direction in which to wiggle,
squirm, and roll, the imprisoned quartet would have to be very careful. If all
or a good part of the weight of two or three bodies was to bear
down on a twisted elbow, awkwardly bent knee, or pinioned wrist
or ankle, the consequences for the owner could be disastrous.
Kate stopped squirming. It wasn't doing any good.
The clock's spring was finally
ding... ding... ding.
focused on one of the distant doors and noticed an additional
detail. A security boot was over the doorknob. It
was one of those steel clam shells that closed over the knob and
locked, blocking access to the keyhole and making it impossible
to turn the knob and open the door, even if it was unlocked or
didn't even have a lock. All the doors on the three solid
walls were similarly equipped, all but one. Obviously,
when they managed to get free of the cuffs, if they managed to get
free, that was where they were meant to go.
The dangling blocks of ice were beginning to drip, but it would
be an hour or two, maybe three, before the keys would begin to
Kate gazed at the pale, peach-pink leg, ankle, and foot closely
handcuffed to Jane's right wrist. Who the hell is the redhead?
she wondered. How did
she come to join the party? Suddenly, Kate's eyes
popped wide. What
party? Kate suddenly realized she could remember
almost nothing about how she came to be here. She'd been
so busy trying to make sense of their current circumstances
she'd ignored the big picture—and now she realized the big
picture was almost a blank canvas!
|rizzoli & beckett
from the inside the thick, airtight door of one of the
Sanctuary's special labs and engaged the cypher-lock. The
chamber's containment precautions were a mix of the bio-hazard
protocols developed by the Center for Disease Control, the
National Institute of Health, and similar international
agencies. The room was under negative pressure, ensuring
any atmospheric leaks would be into the lab and not out. An elaborate
filter system removed any and all contaminants from the
exhausted air. Periodic samples were automatically taken
and stored for later analysis. Physical access to the lab
was via an airlock and a shower room, both with ultraviolet
lighting to kill living pathogens and promote the breakdown of
complex molecules. The door, walls, floor, and ceiling
were as thick as the front armor of a main battle-tank, and the
lab was engineered in every way to prevent the escape of anyone
or anything within, no matter how clever or strong they might
Helen hadn't showered before entering the lab, not counting her
usual morning shower up in her apartment suite upon rising, but
she had changed into disposable paper scrubs. Her long
brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail enforced by a
fabric-covered elastic band. She would strip and shower
whenever she had to leave the lab, but had decided a containment
suit was unnecessary. Helen knew from experience she was
immune to an Incufumara's pheromones. If additional
Sanctuary personnel were required during Rupandra's change, they
would have to wear
biohazard suits with dedicated air supplies, but not
Helen. She hoped none of the others would be required, for the
sake of Rupandra's privacy; however, the lab was being monitored
at all times and a powerful sedative gas would be released if
her subject got out of control.
Rupandra's transport capsule had been delivered by a bonded
freight company less than an hour ago. It was across the
lab, resting on its integrated, folding, wheeled framework, and
was still closed and locked. Helen wanted to open it with
deliberate speed, but first, with due diligence, she ran her
mental checklist one last time.
To the left of the transport capsule was a patient bed with an
open, bubble-like cover of clear plexiglass. It was a
hyperbaric chamber, and it was there Helen intended for Rupandra
to undergo her change. The bed had standard patient
restraints, but Helen hoped they wouldn't be necessary.
To the right was a gynecological examination table, it was
well-padded and had foot stirrups, leg supports, arm supports,
and a headrest, all of which could be locked into different
positions. It also had patient restraints—heavy-duty and
plentiful patient restraints, just in case.
As a final precaution, in Helen's pocket was an auto-injection
syringe loaded with a strong sedative. All she had to do
was make contact with any part of her patient's skin and trigger
the device and Rupandra would be unconscious in seconds.
Around the lab were stainless steel cabinets filled with drugs,
medical instruments and supplies and everything else Helen would
need to complete her research protocol and to respond to emergencies, as well as
monitors and computer stations. High definition video
cameras were mounted on the walls, up near the ceiling,
recording everything that happened in the lab from multiple
angles and across the electromagnetic spectrum. Hard
copies of the information Irena had provided rested on a small
desk in one corner and digital copies were already in the
Sanctuary network and accessible from any one of the lab's
All was in readiness.
Helen pulled from her pocket the key that had come with the
consignment, unlocked the lid of the capsule, and folded it
back. As expected, Rupandra was inside, naked, gagged, and
restrained with nylon straps and cuffs. Helen smiled a
dimpled, welcoming smile. "Hello Rupandra, my name is
Helen Magnus," she said. "I'm a doctor, and I'm going to
help you through your change." She released the
side-panels, one by one, and folded them down. "You're
perfectly safe. Welcome to the Sanctuary."
Helen unbuckled the chin strap of Rupandra's gag, gently turned
her head to the side, parted her tousled hair, and unbuckled the
gag's main strap. She then eased the plug from her
Rupandra swallowed and licked her lips. "Thank you," she
gasped. "Lady Irena explained the arrangement and I'm
grateful for your help. I already know you're immune to my
"Splendid," Helen smiled, then inserted the key in a keyhole in
the interior of the open capsule labeled "RESTRAINTS." She
turned the key, there was a quiet click followed by a whirrr, and all the straps holding Rupandra in
place first went slack and then released and reeled into their
"Let me get you some water," Helen offered, turned, and walked
to a sink. She pulled a paper cup from a dispenser and
filled it from the faucet. She turned back to find
Rupandra sitting up in the capsule, rubbing her wrists.
Rupandra accepted the cup with a smile, and drank. "Thank
you, again, Helen."
"I'd like to give you an examination and take a blood sample,"
Helen said, "but can I get you anything else before we start?"
"I am hungry,"
Rupandra answered, "and by the way, we can easily confirm your
immunity to scent-of-power. Kneel before me!" she ordered,
Helen smiled back. "I don't believe I shall."
"There," Rupandra chuckled. "I've been releasing my scent
since you opened Irena's box. Now, let's try my scent-of-terror."
Helen's smile faded. "Your what?"
"Don't be alarmed," Rupandra said. "The name denotes
terror on my part, not
yours. It's a primitive fight-or-flight adaptation, a
defense when attacked."
Helen's hand slipped into her pocket and her fingers curled
around the auto-syringe. "I don't know what you're
speaking of, but let's not—" She blinked uncertainly, then
her eyes rolled up in her head.
Rupandra leaped from the capsule and caught Helen before she
collapsed to the floor. "Excellent," she whispered in
Helen's ear, "you are
susceptible to the alarm perfume, just as Mistress said."
Helen's eyes fluttered. "Wha?" she muttered.
"Hush," Rupandra whispered. "Go to sleep, Helen."
She lifted Helen's limp body onto the gynecological table, then
turned and smiled at the nearest of the cameras. "Whoever
is out there watching," she said, "allow me to assure you that
Doctor Magnus is perfectly safe and will remain so—as safe as I
would be in her care—as I am in your care. I know I am still in your
power, but allow me to explain what I'd like to have happen
next, and why."
|rizzoli & beckett