"Think of it as a kind of theme park of the mind," Dr. Grace explained reassuringly. "We simulate your fantasies as realistically as possible, however extreme they may be. You experience them as if they were really occurring at the time. And afterwards, it's all over and nothing's changed. You get up and walk out the same person you came in."
Barbara certainly wanted to believe her. After all, she'd booked the appointment months in advance, taking time out from her own demanding schedule as a top corporate executive of the very mega-conglomerate that owned The Institute, just to come down and see for herself what all the buzz was about. She hoped she hadn't made the trip for nothing.
The facility seemed impressive enough, in a nondescript sort of way. Its imposing, mirrored facade was no less imposing than those of the other super-high-tech research and development operations that shared the rolling, park-like expanse of the industrial center. The offices were sleek and efficient-seeming, bustling with competent-looking young employees. And Dr. Grace herself was a pretty impressive piece of work. With her statuesque height, tightly-wound black hair and angularly attractive features, she exuded an air of confidence that was downright contagious.
"I've read your reports," Barbara replied coolly, "and they certainly seem encouraging. But I'm not sure I can feel comfortable marketing this technology without understanding it better, especially if it's as revolutionary as you claim."
There was something just a bit chilling about the fleeting smile that crossed the doctor's lips.
"It seems to me you need to experience the process for yourself. We do have a prototype system on-line down in the lab if you'd care to try it out."
Barbara swallowed hard. This was what she had come down here for, but the idea was still more than a little intimidating. Fortunately, she wasn't given much time to think about it. Dr. Grace was already on the intercom, giving instructions. Barbara couldn't help noticing the doctor's muscular physique, quite apparent under the severe black dress over which she'd casually tossed her white lab coat, as the two of them headed for the elevator.
Barbara's first look at the system did little to ease her growing anxiety. Located in a dimly-lit, round chamber, its most obvious component was a person-sized X-frame mounted on a steel pier in the middle of the room. The frame was padded in some kind of thick, rubbery material and unbuckled restraint straps dangled from it in profusion, along with an intimidating tangle of wires, tubes and hoses, snaking away toward banks of electronic instruments lining the walls.
On the way in, Dr. Grace stopped at a steel locker, opened it by punching up a code on an electronic keypad, and removed a perfectly gorgeous full-body suit in some kind of gleaming rubber.
"This is the heart of the system," she explained, holding the suit up for Barbara's inspection. "It's made of a revolutionary polymer developed right here in our labs. It's highly conductive, transmitting even the subtlest of micro-volt electrical impulses directly to the neuro-receptors in the skin. Every sensation you would feel if you were actually having the experience is generated in the main computer and programmed into the material of the suit. It creates a total sensory environment indistinguishable from reality. Of course, you'll need to undress in order to put it on."
The doctor wheeled over a steel cart for Barbara to put her conservative suit on as she discarded the jacket and skirt. Barbara found herself wondering why she had chosen to wear a daring ensemble of low-cut black bra, matching garter-belt and seamed stockings for the occasion. When she slipped off her black panties, Barbara wondered if Dr. Grace would appreciate knowing the truth about a matter of considerable speculation in Barbara's office, namely whether or not Barbara's spectacular mane of blonde hair was natural or dyed. The evidence was there in Barbara's neatly-shaved golden triangle. Tight, trim and tanned all over, Barbara had a body in which any woman would have taken pride, and she certainly did. Moreover, she was about equally disposed toward the affections of men and women and wouldn't have objected to the doctor's taking an other-than-scientific interest in her.
But if Dr. Grace noticed anything in particular about Barbara, she didn't mention it. Instead, she held out the suit as soon as Barbara was fully naked, pink nipples stiffening in the slight chill of the room, and helped zip her up in it. Barbara had never felt anything like it. An experienced erotic adventurer, despite her conservative appearance, Barbara was familiar with the textures of leather and latex against her bare flesh, but this was something quite different. The suit adhered to her skin on contact, conforming to every one of her many curves. It seemed to flow onto her like paint.
"I took the liberty of having the home office send down your measurements when you made your appointment," Dr. Grace explained to Barbara's comment on how well the suit seemed to fit. Even the hood covering her hair and face was almost eerily comfortable.
Barbara couldn't help noticing that the suit, all-enclosing as it was, left certain strategic areas uncovered. There were windows for her eyes, nose and mouth, openings through which her generous tits protruded boldly, and a large area of uncovered terrain between her thighs. Barbara could only speculate about the purposes behind these engineering decisions. She had, in any case, already decided to surrender herself fully to the moment at hand. That was why, to be honest with herself, she had come all the way out to the lab.
Following the scientist's instructions, Barbara stretched out on the padded X-frame. The members were just wide enough to support her body comfortably, though spread out in a rather alarmingly vulnerable manner. The sensation of alarming vulnerability increased steadily as the doctor buckled down the restraining straps, working her way methodically down from the wrists.
"In order for the artificial sensorium to function, you must be totally immobilized so as not to generate kinesthetic sensation from your own movements," Dr. Grace said, cinching down the wide strap around Barbara's middle. With the straps placed no more than six inches apart up and down the entire length of her body, Barbara would have to rate the apparatus as pretty effective, restraint-wise.
She wondered if the growing wetness of her pussy was obvious, spread out as she was. No mention was made of the subject, in any case. Dr. Grace made herself busy then, plugging wires into tiny outlets studded up and down the suit. Barbara felt her head being strapped down into a padded headrest with speakers built in next to her ears and a visor with tiny projection screens hinged to swing down over her eyes. The screens were blank at that moment, and Barbara was probably better off not being able to see the parts that came next. It was bizarre enough, feeling the rubber tubes slide into her nostrils and the soft rubber pad being packed in between her lips. She was just as happy not to see the hoses leading away to the chemical generators that would produce the virtual smells and tastes that would accompany her simulated erotic fantasy.
Barbara felt a slight vacuum and then a strange tingling when the rubber suction cups were snapped down to her suit over her exposed tits. Her already-stiff nipples tightened a bit further as they were drawn up into the cups. Then came the most unsettling part, the insertion of some kind of apparatus through the opening between Barbara's legs. She couldn't see it, but from what she could feel, it had at least three major components, a rather large, well-lubricated plug that slid easily and deeply into her pussy, a somewhat smaller version of the same thing that went into her a little further back and some kind of padded clamp that took a light but firm hold directly on her clit. The whole device locked down to the frame with a solid click, so that even Barbara's most powerful internal contractions wouldn't be able to expel it.
The system wasn't even turned on yet, but Barbara certainly was. She was also impressed by how deftly the Doctor had managed to get all the gear in place. Though utterly unable to move so much as a millimeter and despite the fact that every orifice in her body was fully stuffed with some kind of rubber-coated gizmo, Barbara felt weirdly comfortable. Unable to do otherwise, she seemed to relax automatically, sinking into a kind of trance as her body adjusted to its implacable immobility. It was a strangely weightless feeling, despite the intrusive presence of the system's internal parts. Barbara heard faint mechanical noises through the padding over her ears, then Dr. Grace's soothing whisper through the speakers.
"You'll feet a slight stimulation throughout the suit as the system maps your body for areas of special sensitivity."
Sure enough, a wave of sensation swept up Barbara's body from the bottoms of her feet to scalp. If felt like the charge building up in the air before a lightning storm. Then, even more peculiarly, she felt her face warming up beneath the rubber hood, not from internal body heat, but from some kind of radiance, like a sun lamp.
"Now," Dr. Grace's disembodied voice reported, "the system is scanning your cortex for recurrent erotic themes to incorporate in the adaptive software." The radiant heat gradually faded. Barbara heard a beep in the headphones. At the centers of the black visor screens over her eyes, a tiny, red dot of light appeared.
"The system is now fully operational," the doctor announced. "We'll be monitoring your vital signs, so that if they exceed your previously established stress tolerances, the program will automatically shut down. No matter what you see or feel, you will be in no actual danger at any time. All you have to do is lay back and enjoy the ride." The good doctor had quite a gift for understatement. It was a ride and a half. The red dots winked out and suddenly the screens blazed with sunlight so bright it momentarily hurt Barbara's eyes.
When her vision cleared, she realized she was standing in some kind of an arena. From the architecture of the marble arches and rows of empty stone benches, she guessed it was of Late Roman Empire construction. The air felt hot and dry on her skin, which was barely covered in any case by some kind of flimsy little tunic that left one breast fully exposed and the other hardly covered. She could feel the hot sand through her thin, gold-strapped sandals. She could also feel, most distinctly, the tightly wrapped leather thongs holding her wrists and ankles to a pair of posts planted in the ground, uncomfortably far apart so as to stretch her arms and legs wide, like a snared game animal.
Barbara was not alone in the arena. Nearby stood a half-dozen powerful looking men in leather fighting harnesses. From their hardened, battle-scarred look, they could only be some of Rome's fabled gladiators. Their trainer, a tough, gnarled factotum with a mean squint, held a short, thick leather flagellum in one hand, swishing it casually in the air as he addressed the gladiators. "Got a treat for you boys today," he barked. "This arrogant little slave your Master purchased from the Greek trader yesterday evidently thinks she's too good to serve her owner's pleasure. Perhaps with a little persuasion, she'll serve yours instead."
Accompanied by rowdy cheers from the gladiators, he marched over to stand face to face with Barbara, who couldn't help a shudder of dread at this truly menacing experience. Without a word, he seized the front of her flimsy tunic in his mailed fist and shredded it right down the middle, laying her completely bare, the fabric slid to the sand at her feet. It was all uncannily real, right down to the sweat trickling from her armpits. She could feel the men's hungry gaze devouring her fair-skinned body. Even the trainer seemed impressed.
His evil look when he traced the outline of her tits with the flagellum was truly frightening. Going around behind Barbara, he took his aim and distance. She felt the rush of air from this practice swings over her shoulder. The sensation made her shiver. She'd had her share of playful whippings, but she had a feeling this was going to be different. Different was hardly the word. When he laid into her with the flagellum, slashing down across her shoulders with it full force, it felt like a buzzsaw. A startled shriek was torn from her lips.
Obviously, this whipping was not intended to amuse her. The next stroke, a little further down, was even harder, burning into her skin like a hot iron. Barbara thrashed and writhed in her bonds, which only tightened as a result. Tears welled out of her eyes and poured down her cheeks while the flagellum struck with savage accuracy, scorching each cheek of her ass in turn. Over her own piteous wailing, she heard the gladiators' cruel laughter. Clearly, they were enjoying her pain and humiliation. And, weirdly enough, so was she.
Barbara could not deny that she was growing wet between the legs, even as the merciless flagellum raised its thick, red-flecked weals up and down the back of her whole body. It was all so convincing, Barbara couldn't believe it was only happening in her mind. The next development seemed even more real. With a slice of his short sword, the trainer severed the thongs holding Barbara between the post. She collapsed in a sobbing, naked heap, only to be set upon by the gladiators and dragged over to some stakes pounded into the ground. There, she was tied out flat on her raw, throbbing back on the hard ground, spread-eagled between the pegs.
It wasn't hard to imagine what, and who, would be coming next. Sure enough, one by one the gladiators began stripping off their gear and lining up. It was astonishing how true to life the sensations were, the weight of their bodies on hers, the smell of their sweat in her nostrils, the throbbing of their cocks inside her, even the spurting of their juices into her well-lubricated depths. It was all so literal, she was hardly aware of the subsonic vibration working away at her through the clit pads, producing wave after wave of seismic orgasms, each neatly timed to coincide with that of the simulated gladiator riding her at that moment. When they were done, they all stood around her, laughing, taking aim with the cocks that had so recently been inside her. She felt the streams of hot, acrid liquid spattering her nakedness, making her splutter as she tried to keep it out of her mouth.
And then it was all over. Total blackness again. To her amazement, Barbara could feel no residual effects whatever. By rights, her whipped back should be agonizingly sore but, in fact, she felt perfectly fine, if a little winded. Fortunately, her next destination was a bit more relaxing.
When the screens popped on again, Barbara was in a dimly lit seraglio, all furnished in Moorish damasks and Turkish carpets. She could smell incense and somewhere in the distance she heard the strange, nasal whine of a desert flute. But, more immediately, she was aware of girlish giggling all around her. Barbara was completely surrounded by a flock of the prettiest girls she had ever seen. Most of the them were olive-skinned with dark hair and dark eyes, marking them as daughters of the desert, but there was a fair scattering of blondes and redheads in the harem, testimony to the vast wealth and appetites of the sheik who owned them all, body and soul.
The girls' charms were much on display in their abbreviated costumes, which consisted of short, sleeveless jackets cut to just below the bosom, with a convenient absence of any buttons to hold them shut, and sheer, diaphanous pantaloons, slit up the legs and completely open in the center to reveal the fact that all were completely shaved between the legs. Barbara could truly appreciate this view from her position, which was flat on her back on a low bed, to the corners of which she had been tied down with silk scarves. She was already completely naked.
Glancing down at herself, she could see that she had been shaved like the other girls, one of whom, a voluptuous levantine beauty with a gold ring through the septum of her nose, sat on the bed next to her, pouring scented oil into her hand from a colored glass urn. Slowly, skillfully, the woman anointed Barbara's body with the oil, starting at the collarbones and working her way down in lazy, circular strokes. Her touch was perfect, firm but delicate, lingering over the regions where they met the warmest welcome. The other girls murmured with approval the ease with which Barbara's nipples were made to harden, and the small moans that soon escaped her parted lips.
Barbara felt well-oiled fingers sliding down alongside her clit, working their way up inside her. She became aware of the weight of additional bodies on the bed as the other girls joined in, touching, licking, kissing, sucking. There were lips pressed against her own, skilled little mouths at work on her tits, a naughty little finger gently exploring her backside from underneath. She opened her eyes long enough to see a pair of what looked like twin sisters with wide, sensual features and pale skin of the Southern Caucasus settling their faces in between her parted thighs. Barbara was impressed with the skill of their tongues and lips, though it occurred to her that they all probably got a lot of practice.
And then the thinking stopped as once again, Barbara gave way to pure sensation. She'd heard somewhere that there was no theoretical limit to the number of orgasms a woman could have in a day. It was all a matter of stimulation, and this was stimulation unlike any she had ever known. And this was only a warm-up. The girls suddenly scattered, failing to their knees in silence, heads bowed, as the sheik himself approached. A tall, handsome rogue in silk robes and a turban, his tanned, bearded face split in a wide grin at the sight of his new slavegirl, tied down, panting, on the bed.
"Well," he said merrily, "I see your sister-slaves have put you in the right mood to welcome your new Master properly." From what she could see when he shed his robes, he was in a pretty welcoming mood himself. He was as smooth as the gladiators had been rough. From Barbara's point of view, each approach had its advantages.
And then he was gone. They were all gone. She was back in the all-consuming blackness. The hardest part, so far, was the abrupt return to normality. Barbara still felt aroused and excited, but the sudden lack of any external sensory input was odd to say the least. Fortunately, she didn't have to wait in this state for long. The system was already starting its next cycle.
The first sensation of which Barbara became aware this time, however, was definitely not pleasant. It was a deep, throbbing agony in her limbs and joints, as if she were being stretched like a bowstring which, indeed, she was. The setting this time was a medieval dungeon, complete with walls and floor of rugged stone, ominous looking torture devices and glowing braziers bristling with hot irons. The only light came from flickering torches bolted into the stone.
Barbara lay on a long, narrow rack, her whole body extended between the locked stocks holding her ankles at one end and the steel cuffs and chains locked onto her wrists and wound around a wheeled drum at the other. She wore only a plain, white chemise that would have been modest, had it not been for the many holes already ripped through it in the most strategic places and the way her anguished sweat glued it to her geography.
The nobleman who looked down into her suffering face was rather attractive, in a sinister sort of way. The glint in his eye bespoke the depraved pleasure he took in this kind of work.
"Are you ready to confess to the crime of treason yet, M'lady?," he asked with sarcastic politeness.
"Treason?," Barbara blurted out. "I don't know what you're talking about!"
With a weary sigh, the noble motioned to the hooded executioner, who leaned into the windlass to stretch Barbara just a bit further. The pain was electrifying, shooting through her body, which actually rose off the rack until only the back of her head and her buttocks were still touching the wood.
"I'm guilty!," she heard herself cry out. "I'll say anything you want! Please don't hurt me anymore!"
The nobleman smiled down at her evilly. "A much more sensible attitude. Alas, now I'll have to have you executed for plotting against the throne. Unless, of course, you'd care to marry into the royal family. As it happens, we do have one eligible duke at hand."
"Duke?," Barbara gasped through the haze of her misery. The nobleman doffed his feathered hat with an ironic bow.
"I know my proposal is a bit unconventional, but I'm sure you'll agree, it's preferable to the alternatives." He started to signal the executioner again.
"No! Wait! I'll marry you!," Barbara screamed.
"A sensible girl. I like that," the nobleman smirked, unlacing his codpiece. He ordered the executioner to depart, sending him lumbering out of the dungeon. When the two of them were alone, Barbara's husband-to-be went to the windlass and released the tension on the chains. With a moan of relief, Barbara's aching body fell back onto the wooden plank. She was still completely helpless, the iron shackles biting into her bare wrists and ankles, but at least she was no longer being pulled like a rubber band.
"I don't suppose you'd object to consummating our union here and now," she heard him say dryly.
She shook her head vigorously from side to side. This was no time to argue. With that, he drew a gleaming dagger from his belt and skillfully cut away the remains of Barbara's ragged garment, pausing to admire her loveliness, sweaty and smudged though she was. Then he tossed the dagger away and joined her on the rack. Barbara couldn't believe, after all she'd been through already, that she was still so turned on. She must have had a half-dozen more while the duke had his way with her.
Fade to black once more, only this time when the lights came up, they were the filtered lamps of the laboratory. Dr. Grace had removed the visor and was looking down into Barbara's face.
"Well, what do you think of our progress so far?," she asked in a tone of professional detachment.
"I'm going to recommend that we start production immediately," Barbara said instantly, her assessment ending in a sharp intake of breath as she felt the various probes being eased out of her insides. Obviously gratified, Dr. Grace went on to carefully unstrap Barbara from the X-frame.
Barbara stood up slowly, feeling a bit rubbery in the knees. With Dr. Grace's help, she slowly peeled off the polymer suit, which was soaking wet inside. The air on her skin gave Barbara goosebumps. She examined her naked body carefully. It was perfectly intact. Not a welt from the whips, not a scratch on a wrist or ankle from all the ropes and chains they had felt. In short, no trace of evidence of what she had been through.
"It must have been pretty scary, testing this system out for the first time," Barbara observed, tentatively gathering up her clothing. A strange smile came over the beautiful scientist's face.
"Actually, it was rather exhilarating," she said. Barbara stared at her in disbelief.
"You mean you tried it on yourself first?"
"Of course. Next time you come down, I'll play you the program I devised for myself. I think you'll particularly enjoy the business with the pirates. I know I did. Now, about that additional research funding..."
You can also leave feedback & comments for this story on the Plaza Forum