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Status Quo - Chapter 42

Written by: Paullell

 The cab arrives, and moves off smoothly as Lana sits down in the smooth seat. The trip takes the better part of an hour, and leads through a maze of tubes and auxiliary domes. She passes through fields of wheat, corn, and cattle as the vehicle zips along, finally coming to a stop at the end of a long driveway, in front of a large house that sits in the middle of a large, grassy range with hundreds of cattle wandering around lazily.

 

Lana is met at the door by two athletic men wearing dark suits and wrap-around glasses. They look for all the world like thugs from organized crime movies, except that their hands are obviously cybernetic, and the tell-tale signs of the simple rise and fall of their chests are completely absent, indicating that they are more than likely full-conversion cyborgs, and thus, very formidable adversaries.

 

“If you’ll come with us ma’am.” One of them says with a dead-pan delivery as she approaches. They  flank her as she enters the house, which has the sort of grand entryway that one only sees in films. The huge room is bright and cheery, with tiled floor and brightly colored walls. A huge chandelier fills the open space above her head and a divided staircase sweeps up from either side, coming together above a large, double door, and then continuing up to the open balcony as one from there.

 

“Miss Maxalis. I am so very glad to make your acquaintance.” A familiar tenor voice announces as she Lana takes in her surroundings. 

 

Tracking the sound of the voice, Lana’s eyes come to rest on a thin man, clad in an expensive black suit, entering the room from the large door beneath where the lower stairs join together. he has dark hair, and dark eyes and walks with a confidence that indicates he is very accustomed to getting things exactly the way he wants them. While it has obviously been a while since the picture was taken, this is clearly Turin Glastnost. His henchmen stand on either side of Lana as he approaches, stopping within a couple of feet of her, and smiling what looks like a truly affectionate smile.

 

When he speaks, she van feel his mind pressing in on hers, her meager psychic abilities allowing her to understand what is happening, and even putting up some resistance, but it is immediately apparent that this man’s powers are so far beyond hers, that there is little hope of her resisting for long. “I have been looking forward to meeting you face to face for quite some time now, Miss Maxalis. You have no idea.” As he speaks, Lana can feel a tidal wave of emotions crashing into her. Her mind is flooded with feelings of love and adoration, and they seem genuine, as if this man, as despicable as he is, actually feels real love for her. But the pushing doesn’t stop with emotions. She can still feel his mind pressing against hers, his conscious thoughts trying to meld with her own.

 

As this little battle plays itself out, two women move up beside Turin, his face calm and serene even as he pushes into her mind. Each of the women is wearing a pair of en pointe, ballet boots and a set of thick metal shackles around their ankles, wrists, and neck. Further, they are each pierced with seamless metal rings through their eyebrows, the sides of their noses, their septum, the corners of their lower lips, their erect nipples, and their outer labia, made visible by their open-legged stance as they stand next to Turin and await instructions. Their hair is pulled back into a tight pony tail, both of their locks falling well below the middle of their backs, and their eyes are glazed over as if they are in some sort of trance, or under the influence of drugs.

 

“My girls will take you to your quarters and get you ready. Breakfast will be served in an hour. They will help you find your way.” He smiles warmly, all the while, his emotions pressing in on her, and his thoughts pushing against her mind, obey, love, cherish, serve. She can make out his wishes clearly in her mind, but thus far she is still able to understand that they are not her own thoughts. Although, it is anybody’s guess as to how long it will take for the gentle droning, obey, love, cherish, serve, to become the constant white noise of her own subconscious mind. Combined with the press of loving and caring emotions, it may be more difficult to resist this sort of assault than a it would a violent mind-raping.

 

Turin smiles sweetly, and even bows slightly, an odd display of politeness under the circumstances, and turns to move away, obviously intending to leave Lana alone with the naked women and cybernetic thugs.

 

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Lana turns her stunner over to the guards at the door without even being asked; a willing jettison of her last line of physical defense.  She is strangely calm as she follows the men through the rooms and into the elegant entry way.  She turns to look at the man who is responsible for harming Daray.  He is somewhat attractive, especially cleaned up and in his fashionable attire. From what her critical eye can tell he is not the man who brutally raped Daray, although his voice was the one who was asking the questions on the video. 

 

Lana feels the press of his mind against hers and even if she hadn’t already been told she would know immediately that he is a class far above her. She feels the seductive emotions that he is pressing on her and recognizes the clever choice of seduction instead of rape.  She listens to him and when he turns away she takes a step towards him.  “Please… Please call me Lana.  Sir?”

 

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Turin stops and offers a quirked grin. The kind that suggests he is playing along more for his own amusement than any real acquiescence. “Of course, Lana.”

 

He then turns and moves back out of the room with a meandering, confident gait, disappearing around the corner in the next room. The moment he is gone, the two guards move off and almost immediately disappear behind a couple of fixtures in the large entryway, leaving Lana alone with the two, basically naked women.

 

Both of them are quiet, not saying a word, and their en pointe boots making barely any noise as they step up to Lana and reach out to take her hands in their own. They are not forceful or abrupt, but their demeanor suggests that Lana should allow herself to be conveyed along. A spark of realization as they get closer pins a familiar image in Lana’s mind, that of the piercings that Alina had on her face. They were identical rings, in identical places, except for the septum piercing that these women have and Alina did not. The rings are small, but very visible still, and do indeed appear to be seamless as she is able to see them more closely, which sparks another mote of memory: the news article about Alina and Turin said something about piercings made from spacecraft hull material. A material which is commonly known to be stronger than tank armor, almost indestructible by common reckoning.

 

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Lana shakes her head when Turin turns away again.  She had intended to say more, but he wasn’t giving her an opportunity to speak now.  She sighs once he is gone and the pressure eases slightly.  Just the memory of his powerful mind sends a shiver of fear through her.  Briefly she considers taking some of the hidden injection.  Daray will need to be clearheaded for this escape more than she will, but perhaps if she has just a drop…. She considers her options as she follows the women.  She also examines the metal rings they wear and realizes there is a very real chance she is headed that way herself.  She winkles her nose.  “Ugh, I’m not a fan of body piercing.” She comments out loud to no one in particular.

 

As she follows the silent women and allows them to prepare her for ‘breakfast’ she tries to think of the best way to buffer her mind from Turin.  She doesn’t know exactly what type of psychic he is, he could just control emotions or he could be able to read minds.  She begins to relax her protective shields from her whole mind, choosing memories and portions of her personality she is willing to let him control and see and protecting others.  Her mind begins to develop a familiar headache but she picks out several memories that must remain safe.  The memory of Alina giving her the vial, and the memory of the message left in the sheets being the most important.  If she can keep even a portion of herself out of his control she will consider it a success.  She will meekly comply with any preparations except having her hair where the vial is hidden touched or any attempt to pierce her body. 

 

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The women lead Lana up the stairs and around the open balcony to a door at the front of the house. Through the door is an amazing room filled with every luxury imaginable. A huge, round bed sits on a dais in the center of the room, four posts hold a canopy with a mirrored ceiling above the bed, and allow stylish draperies to dangle down, making it appear much like a classic four-poster bed. The room is appointed with every luxury imaginable, comfortable chairs, throw-pillows, a couple of small couches, several dressers and an armoire. 

 

There are several other doors in the bedroom, two look like they most likely lead to large walk-in closets, and another lay open, revealing a hint of a massive, stone-clad bathroom beyond. The floor is carpeted in a plush, soft material and the entire space is done in dark cherry wood (real wood, not the fake wood most people use), and dark crimsons, reds, and pinks, with some white thrown in here and there.

 

The women, ‘help’ Lana remove all of her clothing and give her a delicate sponge bath, toweling her dry with a huge, fluffy towel, then help her dress again, this time in barely more than a few chiffon scarves wrapped around her body and barely covering her breasts and sex.  They then help her into a pair of ankle boots with amazingly high stiletto heels, but not quite the ballet boots they are wearing, zipping them up and closing a couple of buckles over the zips.

 

The entire process takes less than twenty minutes before they finally spritz her with some expensive-smelling perfume and then lead her back out of the room, down the stairs and around into the room beneath the split staircase where Turin had disappeared.

 

This new room is a huge dining room, with a real, wooden table that is easily thirty feet long and able to seat fifty or sixty people comfortably. Turin sits casually at the head of the table, looking at Lana as she enters and is led to the table by the mute women.

 

He stands up as she approaches, and motions to the empty chair on his left with an open hand and a bit of a flourish. “Well now. Doesn’t that feel better Lana? Please, sit. Join me for breakfast.”

 

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Lana can’t help but admire the beautiful rooms even as she is being stripped and dressed in an even more revealing outfit.  Luckily the ladies don’t even attempt to redo her hair and it still looks very good from the night before.  Lana glances wistfully at the bed as they lead her out of the room again, a nap would be a welcome thing as she’s not even certain how many hours she’s been awake now.  She can’t help but walk with a sway in her hips with the height of the boots, she doesn’t even try to resist it and she feels a rush of pleasure when she sees Turin.  She realizes it is his mental push again and increases her efforts to stymie him; she wants to have a conversation before she ends up yielding to his mental subversion.  In response to her resistance her headache grows a little stronger.

 

She walks over to him confidently, unembarrassed at the amount of her body that is visible to his gaze.  She lays her hand across where his is still resting on the back of the chair.  “Yes, of course.” She lies through her teeth before honestly answering.  “The room is beautiful and the women were very helpful.” She sits down in the offered chair and looks up at him, politely waiting for him to join her.

 

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He waits for her to sit down, then scoots her chair in for her and returns to his own chair. A subtle gesture to an unseen person creates a flurry of activity as a small army of women, all dressed identically to the ones Lana has seen, carry out a myriad of covered trays and dishes, laying them out on the table in front of Lana and Turin, and then removing the lids.

 

Revealed before Lana is a staggering array of options for food to eat, from simple eggs to souffles, and even a good deal of untraditional offerings. They then move in to surround Lana with a variety of different pitchers of drinks, offering coffee and tea in several flavors, a variety of juices, water, and more. 

 

Turin dishes  few things out onto his own plate, and the moment Lana chooses a drink, the women fill his cup with a particularly robust smelling coffee, then set down their pitchers and carafes and stand behind him, waiting silently for him to give them a command. 

 

Once Lana chooses some food and gets it served, he smiles and begins speaking as he eats, small bites that allow him to chew and swallow quickly, without interrupting the conversation. “Thank you for the compliment Lana, I have worked very hard to get where I am. I hope that you can come to appreciate the life we will have. I must say that I tried this once before and I was hurt terribly by a young woman. I sincerely hope that things with you will be different, but I am sure you will understand if I must take a few precautions until we are sure things have settled down.”

 

He motions again and another woman appears with another covered tray, which she sets down to the side of Lana’s plate and removes the cover from. On the tray stand five metal circles that look about the right diameter to encircle her ankles, wrists, and neck.

 

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Lana sways in her seat, dizzy for a combination of reasons.  She isn’t hungry so she only takes a few items, mostly fruit, and picks at her food while she listens to Turin talk.  Once before, that must have been Alina; Lucky, smart, clever girl…  She blinks as the cover is lifted off of the most recent tray and stares at the metal shackles and collars.  She has worn similar things before, but it was always playfully; a joke for a time and nothing more.  Seeing them in this light made the joke a nerve-wracking reality.  Still trying to win his good graces she reaches out and takes the ankle rings first.  The metal is cold against her fingers.  She bends down and slips them on just above the top of the boots.  She shakes her feet one at a time as she accustoms herself to their weight.  She then reaches for the wrist ones and slips them on, the metal shining against her pale white skin.  A wave of contentment slides over her, which she recognizes as another emotional push from him.  

 

Lana takes the neck ring in her hands and looks at it for a minute before looking at Turin again.  She brushes at the air in front of her head as though waving away cobwebs.  “You will win, we both know it.  I’m very good at this, I promise.  I don’t want to be a mindless drone.  If you tell me what will please you, I will do it.  I’m not an innocent, my mother was a companion for years.”  She holds her hands out with the ring on them.  “Would it give you pleasure to put this on yourself or shall I do the honors?”

 

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Along with the press of contentment, Lana can also pick up on a twinge of excitement, maybe even arousal, but it is quickly snapped off, as if he slipped and suddenly caught himself. He watches her shackle herself with no small measure of interest, and smiles faintly when she describes her thoughts to him, offering up the collar as a symbol of her acceptance of the situation.

 

“I want you to collar yourself Lana. I need this to be a willing arrangement. I do not wish to have a mindless slave at my side, ruling over my empire without thought or emotion. I need someone who can think for themselves, but is subservient to me, who wants to be at my side.” His words are calm, and as he speaks them the echo over and over again through her head, at my side, subservient to me, willingly, ruling over my empire, wants to be at my side… The words are accompanied by a deluge of emotions, desire, lust, need, contentment, and happiness.

 

“You see, I have a large collection of singular women in my life, and I love each and every one of them Lana. They are all unique in some way, and exquisitely beautiful, but none of them had the wherewithal to actually sit at my side and run my households, truly share my bed, and fill my heart. I need a companion Lana, and I want that person to be you. I fell in love with you the very first time I saw you. I knew then that I would go to any lengths to have you, to make you want to be mine.”

 

He smiles at her then, a strange, loving smile that suggests that he has no concept that anything he has done is in any way wrong, or untoward. 

 

“Now please, demonstrate your willing commitment to me, collar yourself, tell me that you will willingly stay at my side, and be my wiling slave, mistress of my households, and of my other cherished girls.”

 

Behind him, the other women stare blankly across the room, their minds either wiped clean of thoughts, or having been so thoroughly suppressed that nothing of them seems to remain except the ability to instantly respond to commands.

 

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The deluge of words and emotions is nearly overwhelming.  Lana feels herself writhe in her seat, her body growing flushed with desire.  Her nipples tighten so much that even the scarves moving over them is nearly too much stimulation. Her loins tingle and then throb as though an hour of foreplay was suddenly compressed into a heartbeat of time.  She makes a low sound of need deep in her throat, somewhere between a whimper and a purr.  Almost without meaning to she rises out of her seat and takes a step towards his side.  She blinks and fists her hands around the collar, digging her nails into her palms and pressing the metal of the collar painfully into her fingers.

 

The pain brings her back just a little and she evaluates the emotions being projected into her.  She doesn’t fight the lust or desire and letting them slide is a release of pressure on her mind.  She uses that tiny release to fight harder against the contentment and happiness. Pinning those emotions down helps keep this more like business and the risk of love is less.  She has years of experience hardening herself against that same emotion which gives her some level of control she would not otherwise have had.

 

Lana licks her lips and walks the rest of the way to Turin.  She kneels down at his side as he wanted and looks up,  directly into his eyes; letting him see the lust and arousal that he has awakened in her.  She smiles up at him before speaking, her voice is soft and yet chiding.  “I don’t, understand.  You are confusing me.  You want me to come willingly yet you aren’t giving me a chance to.  It can’t be willing if my thoughts and feelings all originate from you.  To have your own feelings and willingly give them up to serve another without coercion; THAT is love.”  For a moment she thinks of Daray.  Of willingly giving herself over to spare her any more suffering, and she feels a surge of real love welling within her.  Looking at Turin she whispers.  “Please, please give me a chance to be what you want.  You are too strong; perhaps you aren’t even aware of what you are doing.  Or maybe I’m just too weak.”

 

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He smiles as Lana moves to kneel at his side, still holding the collar out as a sort of offering. He seems to appreciate the ceremony, or theatricality of the act, even if that is not what Lana intended by the action. The surge of emotions stops pressing so hard against her mind, but it does not stop.

“That is good Lana. I understand what you are saying, and I want to trust you. I want to believe that you will willingly give yourself to me. You will be loved Lana. I will care for you, and love you like no other could ever hope to.”

 

The surge of emotion that follows his words tells Lana that he is either speaking in complete ernest, or that he has such fine control over his abilities that he can exactly mimic the emotions. As strange, and sick as his methods may be, he seems to genuinely, and completely care for, and love all of the women in his world.

 

“Please Lana, finish it. I have something I want to give you. A gift to celebrate our partnership.”

 

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Lana closes her eyes in relief when the mental push recedes.  She recognizes that it doesn’t stop and she wonders for a moment how she has even lasted this long.   She bows her head submissively and slips the collar around her neck.  Her pulse speeds and she prays internally that it is merely metal and not somehow designed to augment his control over her.  After only a moments hesitation she snaps it closed.  As she hears the locking mechanism click into place a shiver of fear flows through her, she suppresses it and looks up at Turin again.  “Thank you.”  She whispers meekly.  Lana then leans in towards him, her lips tilted up as though begging for a kiss as though she expects it as a reward for her good behavior.

 

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