Harriet Caudell woke from her deep and always dreamless sleep ( she was thankful to be spared them, this waking nightmare was bad enough) with the sound of the 6am wake up call from the ceiling speakers ringing in her ears, immediately wide awake as always, she was instantly out of bed into the bathroom and starting to perform her usual morning ritual in silence, twenty minutes later after going to the bathroom always in exactly the same way and for exactly the same time then washing her face and hands brushing her teeth and having strapped on and inserted the battery operated remote controlled double vibrator in her vagina and urethra, she put on the black uplift sports bra and panties which also gave support during intense physical activity and was dressed and tightly lacing up her highly polished knee length square toed black leather boots with the large nine inch block heels and three inch platform soles, then making sure her uniform which had been brushed and cleaned last night before she was put to sleep and was a fitted black jacket with dark red piping, and a below the knee length black skirt with dark red piping down each side, a clean white shirt and a black tie with a thin dark red stripe down the middle was wrinkle free and that she looked perfectly immaculate as always, which she always did because nothing less than absolute perfection in her appearance was ever allowed, the scars and bruises were all hidden by the uniform and as she stood in front of the full length mirror and watched herself finish dressing, Harriet tried as she had been trying ever since she first woke up in this non-stop nightmare to do something, anything, of her own volition, blink, move an arm, leg, hand, foot, or finger, to scream or shout for help, to make any noise at all but to no avail, Harriet could not even shed a tear she was quite literally a prisoner in her own body. The only thing she could do was observe helplessly as she put on her long forearm length black leather gloves, then the black jacket making sure there were no wrinkles and the buttons still gleamed from the polishing she had given them last night, and then the black leather Sam Browne belt with a buckle in the shape of the letter S for slave she assumed, finally she picked up her black uniform cap with white brim and red piping on it from the dresser table and standing looking at herself in the mirror blank faced placed it on her bald head (another of the many indignities inflicted on her, she missed having a full head of auburn hair desperately) at the proper angle then after straightening her tie stood to attention, looked at her sapphire eyes reflected in the mirror and that was another thing, there was a saying about the eyes were a window to the soul but looking at her self in the mirror she could see nothing just blank expressionless eyes staring back at her out of a blank expressionless face and after giving herself a drill book perfect salute turned and marched smartly out of the room.
Outside in the corridor Harriet lined up at parade rest, feet shoulder width apart hands folded behind her back with the other nineteen men and women all prisoner/slaves like her wearing identical uniforms the women in skirts like her the men in trousers, and all carrying similar scars to her and also completely hairless except for their eyebrows they all looked the same except for the numbered patches attached with Velcro they all wore on the right breast and left arm of each jacket, when she had woken up that first morning Harriet had worn the number twenty, but as by ones and twos the people wearing lower numbers had simply disappeared and others had taken their place, the numbers that everyone wore had changed downward until yesterday morning when new numbers had appeared on their table at breakfast, hers was now number one and standing there in the parade rest position at the head of the line, Harriet knew that sooner rather than later she would discover where the others had gone and that it was very likely to be the last thing she would ever know, as she waited silently with the others in the corridor Harriet knew that if no orders to the contrary was given then they would all stand here until they dropped dead of thirst and starvation, any aching feet, blisters, cramps or muscle pains were ignored as if they didn’t exist though she had noticed that she could now stand at parade rest for several hours before it became really painful and as she stood there as still as a statue she wondered as she always did if the others were aware of what was going on but imprisoned like her, a feeling of companionship for her fellow slaves came over her as if they were all brothers and sisters in suffering, it was a strange feeling but she was glad of it as it made a pleasent change from the constant fear, it was only a couple of minutes later that the vibrator was activated at this time as it always was, it’s pulsing vibrations causing Harriet to arouse and she came almost to the point of orgasm which lasted for several minutes and then stopped as quickly as it started and that was yet another reason to hate whoever was responsible for whatever had been done to her, they had stolen from her the ability to control her own pleasure and put it into the hands of strangers, also it never caused her to have release which only added to her frustration then the flat computer generated voice issued from the speakers in the ceiling.
“ Atten-HUTT!!! Zombiebot Slaveunits one through twenty will report to the mess hall for breakfast!” The noise of twenty pairs of polished boots hitting the floor at precisely the same instant echoed in the corridor.
“ Left TURN... forward MARCH!!” In what looked like a much rehearsed and choreographed move they turned and moved off down the corridor in perfect time and single file. As she marched at the head of the column swinging her arms and legs at a metronome pace leading the others along the wide corridor towards the mess hall, Harriet thought back as she had so many times, to before it all started trying to remember if there were any warning signs that she had missed at the time that might have warned her.
Her parents died in a car crash when she was six years old and she was raised by an aged aunt who passed away shortly after her application to university had been accepted she had managed to get an A* in her exams and top grades in her degrees in computing and engineering
There had been several lucrative job offers from City financial firms and she had accepted the one from Three Circles Corporation one of the biggest in the City and on Wall Street. Working in the back office helping to keep the entire company computer network and database servers up and running had been hard work but she enjoyed it, being one of the so called ‘back room boffins’ not only paid extremely well but it was an enormous challenge and great fun that was what she remembered most about it, just how much she had enjoyed herself, not just at work but the Weekends in Paris with Paul Sandan a colleague and friend at the firm who she felt that had she been given the chance, then their affair might well have become much more than casual, or the trips to Monte Carlo & Venice with Paul and Samantha Prothero another friend from work whose Father was Chairman of the Board of the Three Circles Corporation. But one Friday night after having worked late Harriet had arrived home at her Chelsea flat and seconds after closing her front door a hand had been clamped over her mouth but before she could begin to struggle there was the feel of something pressed against her neck, she felt a stinging sensation where they (whoever they were) had obviously injected her with a fast acting anaesthetic and seconds later everything went black, when she woke up she was here.
During a silent breakfast which was simply an already prepared high protein meal taken from a slot in the wall and warmed up in a microwave oven and then sitting down at one of several large rectangular tables where plastic cutlery was laid out and jugs of water from which they all drank two glasses each and then had an high energy drink, Harriet caught sight of the face of one of the other poor unfortunates and recognised him as her friend Paul Sandan from work she also saw the number 20 on the patch on his jacket and realised he must have arrived yesterday. But before she could think about what it meant that Paul was here a prisoner like her they were all ordered to the gym where after changing into vests shorts and trainers they all spent three hours using the state of the art equipment, ( Harriet like the others could now run thirty miles on the treadmill, or swim one hundred laps of the Olympic sized swimming pool, and do three hundred sit ups, or one hundred push ups with each arm and also lift two hundred and fifty pound weights, She was now ironically enough in the best physical shape of her entire life and apart from the scars, burns and bruises on her body had the physique of an Olympic athlete) after they had showered and gotten dressed in their uniforms again, orders for Slaveunits one through six to report to room 101 came over the speakers, leading the group up and down one corridor after another in perfect time despite how tired she was feeling though as usual no sign of any of that was allowed to mar the perfect impassivity and lack of any emotion showing on her face, Harriet wondered what it would be this time, more BDSM sex games or would it be Martial arts practice again using computer controlled virtual and robotic opponents, (a mix of several ‘hard’ styles focusing on mostly attacking moves but with a large mix of defensive counters thrown in for good measure) or vehicle driving, they were all given instruction in how to drive everything from motorbikes to high performance cars, or vans, lorries, coaches, even forty ton trucks using very realistic computer simulators, they had also had much practice in learning to clean, strip and fire an extensive variety of weapons from all kinds of revolver and semi-automatic types of handgun to shotguns, rifles, machine pistols, and machine guns on firing ranges, as well as more practice in using explosives and how to set booby traps and bombs. Harriet led the six of them up one long corridor turned left along a second and then turned right down a third, upon reaching the door, on the wall to one side of it was a security biometric scanner which all six of them used in turn before the door opened which consisted of them simply standing in front of it while a laser scanned them one by one before opening the door, all doors had such scanners which had to be used before anyone was allowed access. Once inside they were ordered to stand up against one white painted wall when they did so and were lined up like mannequins in a clothing store Harriet could see against the opposite wall was a small table with a wooden case on it and mounted high on the wall over it a CCTV camera with a red light on the side to show it was working, she felt her vibrator activate and soon was in a state of arousal though as usual no sign of it appeared on her face.
“ Slaveunit one go to the table and open the case.” As she obeyed Harriet realized that it was a real voice she was hearing a woman’s and not the usual computer generated one also it sounded familiar somehow, reaching the table she opened the case and saw inside a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver and six bullets.
“ Load the weapon and ready it for firing.” Swinging the cylinder out she loaded the bullets into the revolver with rock steady hands closed it then stood at attention facing the wall holding the gun in her right hand.
“ Turn and shoot the others in the heart finishing with yourself.” (NOOOO... STOP! NO NOT THIS!! ) Harriet spun round and raising the gun assumed a two handed firing stance as she had been taught when practicing on the range aimed at the first person in line and squeezed the trigger. As she did so the Vibrator pulsed causing Harriet come to the verge of orgasm, the noise was deafening in the enclosed room, she controlled the recoil automatically as she tracked her next target, she saw the victim, a woman jerk backwards as the bullet struck precisely on target and she went down as if her strings had been cut. (PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS... PLEASE!! ) Harriet was helpless to do anything but watch as she repeated her actions three more times, and each time she pulled the trigger she aroused on command, after the last shot was fired and even as the man was collapsing to the floor Harriet keeping her arms extended turned the gun so it was pointing at herself. ( DO IT! I CAN’T LIVE WITH THIS, LET ME DIE! ) The impact knocked her backwards and she fell to the floor as limply as the others had.
Harriet lay on the floor with the others unable to move, her eyes were closed and she became aware of hearing voices and she started to wonder if she was actually dead, she could feel that the vibrator had been switched off and then she realised that the voices were coming from the speakers in the ceiling which meant she was still lying on the floor of the room. Then she heard one of the voices clearly and Harriet was suddenly convinced that she should recognize it, listening she heard them say that the level of control demonstrated over the subjects was very impressive and that their backers would be persuaded to stump up more money to continue the project especially considering how close they were to commencing operations. Harriet listened with growing horror as calmly and in a matter of fact manner they discussed their plans to take over the country, starting with assassinating the Prime Minister, after some discussion they decided the best way to kill him would be a bomb vest, someone laughed and said.
“ Fifty pounds of Semtex and another thirty pounds of nails, screws and assorted other shrapnel would be guaranteed to get the job done.” Harriet again felt she should recognize the voice as if she knew the person speaking, she also knew they were talking about using them as suicide bombers, concentrating on the voices she suddenly realized that the familiar one was a woman’s voice and then she knew who it was Samantha Prothero her best friend!
Harriet felt a rush of rage come over her as she realized that Sam must have been involved in kidnapping and bringing her here and that she must also be responsible for bringing Paul here as well as everything that had happened to her, there was a loud click from the speakers and the voices went silent in mid word as if someone had finally realized that the microphone had still been live and switched it off. Harriet barely noticed it, all she could think about was that her best friend had been involved in what was done to her and Paul in fact Sam had probably planned it in the first place, time passed but Harriet lying there eyes closed unable to move a muscle had no way to tell how long it was before she heard the door open and footsteps as someone entered the room, she listened as they stopped for a minute, then took a couple of steps and stopped again and she thought whoever it was must be checking the others and she began to wonder if they might be alive like she was, finally the footsteps approached Harriet and she heard them stop then they obviously crouched down because she felt a hand slide over the front of her jacket where the bullet had struck and then a touch at her neck, checking for a pulse she thought then whoever it was stood up and she heard a man’s voice.
“ Slaveunits one through six open your eyes and stand up.” Harriet’s eyes snapped open and she jumped to her feet, as she did so she saw the others doing the same and if she had been allowed to speak she would have screamed for joy as she watched them standing apparently unharmed. Harriet then noticed out of the corner of her eye that the red light on the CCTV camera was dark indicating the camera was switched off.
“ Slaveunit one pick up the gun unload it and put the gun and empty cartridges back in the case close the lid and then turn around.” After obeying, Harriet when she turned away from the table got her first clear look at who was speaking, he was tall about six foot with a head of long shoulder length white hair, his long face was unlined which made it difficult to estimate his age though he did have laugh lines around his eyes which were an intense blue, he was dressed casually in corduroy trousers and an open necked shirt underneath a white lab coat, Harriet realized she had seen him once before in the infirmary last week when they had all been sent there one after another, she had watched while he fussed around the monitors and other machines for at least half an hour.
“ Slaveunits one through six report to the infirmary.” As she led the others through the long corridors Harriet could only wait to see what would happen next, arriving at the infirmary they were all told to lie down on the examination tables that corresponded with their numbers, lying there unable to do anything except stare fixedly at the ceiling tiles and breathe quietly in through her nose and out through her mouth Harriet waited and watched with her peripheral vision as he examined the others, attaching electrodes to the heads of the other men and women and watching a readout on a bedside monitor until he walked over and did the same to her. After looking at the monitor for a while she heard him say.
“ That can’t be right, their’re all supposed to have no higher brain functions at all.” Harriet realised that he must be looking at an EEG display of her brainwaves and he could tell she was conscious and awake, scared because she still wasn’t sure who’s side he was on she was also screaming ‘YES I’M HERE, I CAN HEAR YOU PLEASE HELP ME!!!‘ on the inside. After he spent at least ten minutes checking that the equipment was working properly he suddenly stopped looked down at her and said.
“ The machines aren’t malfunctioning are they? You can hear me. you’re aware in there aren’t you, OH MY GOD THE OTHERS!” With that Harriet saw him turn and rush to the other tables and using her peripheral vision again saw him looking at the monitors and obviously rechecking what he had done before, after a while he came back and taking her hand in his shook his head and said.
“ None of the others exhibit any brainwave activity at all, and the rest didn’t when i checked them last week which is exactly the way you are all supposed to be, why you are not the same as well I honestly don’t know at the moment, now what are we going to do...” Trailing off he stared into space and said nothing, waiting Harriet knew that what he said next would probably decide her fate one way or another, and as usual she would have absolutely no say in it whatever happened, she was suddenly and overpoweringly swept by a sense of rage so overwhelming that it blocked her sight and hearing for a few seconds and if she had been able to she would have screamed until her throat bled. The feeling left Harriet as swiftly as it had arrived leaving her feeling weak and exhausted though no sign that anything had happened appeared on her face, only the EEG spiked and beeped which drew the mans attention, he looked at the monitor then at Harriet and squeezing her hand said.
“ Yes you’re trying to get my attention, I’m sorry I have not even bothered to introduce myself my name is Cal Meacham, Doctor Cal Meacham and I am truly sorry for what has been done to you, the reason you and the others are not dead is first of all i arranged to have all your jackets reinforced with bullet proof kevlar without anyone else knowing and two that i switched the bullets, you fired wax headed ones with a light charge of gunpowder in them to make it look realistic, i do not know any of your real names, that information is not kept in the computers here but I am leaving here tonight and you are coming with me because I think I have a way to free you from your prison.” Harriet felt such a conflicting storm of emotions at his words that it took her a little while to realize that what she was feeling was something she had not felt in months... hope.
“ All right my dear you deserve to know why, how, and what was done to you, have you ever heard of something called nanotechnology?” With that he launched into what would have been a fantastic and completely unbelievable tale had she heard it before being imprisoned, but not now definitely not now. In a calm and measured voice that somehow made it easier to believe Dr Meacham told her about how thirty years ago he was a molecular biologist working on an improved rabies vaccine, but he was a man in a hurry to get it finished, to get the award money and prizes that would follow success, mistakes were made, people died. Harriet could hear the pain in his voice as he spoke and felt his hand tighten on hers without him realising it. After pausing to regain his composure he continued his tale, he had lost everything his position the respect of his peers, everything that mattered to him so when he recieved an offer to work on an unspecified project he jumped at the chance.
“ I should have been more careful, checked the offer out more thoroughly but i was still in too much of a hurry.” He went on to explain that it had taken many years to develop the nanites that is machines so small they could enter and manipulate living cells from the inside, and when three months ago he had found out what the backers had really wanted to do with his work he had contacted the authorities though they only began to take him seriously about a month ago.
“ That is what happened to you, nanites were injected into your brainstem where it joins the spine which prevent any and all signals your brain generates from reaching the rest of your body, while simultaneously they generate their own signals making sure you obey instantly all orders you hear, and they interface with the RFID chips in the number patches on your uniform, so that you can only respond to orders given to the number programmed on the chip. They should have also shut down the active parts of your brain and your conscious mind leaving you without any higher brain functions at all effectively a vegetable, how or why you are still conscious and aware i honestly don’t know.” Harriet tried to take it all in but all she was interested in was a cure, she wanted to scream at him to get on with it but she could only lie there immobile and voiceless staring at the ceiling, but she was surprised when he suddenly looked down at her and said
“ What am i thinking you don’t care that i originally meant this to treat brain and spinal injuries to restore freedom of movement not take it away and enslave people, no you just want to know if i can restore your freedom, well the long and the short of it is... yes i can.“The sense of relief that swept through Harriet was so overwhelming that she didn’t hear Dr Meacham at first when he began speaking again.
“...But i can’t free you until after we escape because the nanites inside you are your electronic pass, if i deactivate them now the biometric scanners on the exits will not let you leave and will also sound the alarm.” Harriet felt a sinking sensation she couldn’t stay like this another moment how long...
“ It will only be until tonight because that will be when we both escape, but until then i know one sure way to pass the time, I’’m going to keep you here until it’s dinner time, until then.” He raised his voice. " Slaveunits one through six go to sleep!” Harriet didn’t even have time to think a protest before she was deeply asleep.