Anna's Punishment

by Alina Aamu

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© Copyright 2020 - Alina Aamu - Used by permission

Storycodes: F+/f; bond; cuffs; cell; spank; punish; rope; head-harness; ballgag; ringgag; leash; dungeon; chair; nc; XX

Continues from

Anna's Punishment, Day 3

The night had passed in a blur. The sedative clearly still had an effect since the sleep I got didn't feel like normal sleep. It was more like a complete oblivion of unconsciousness. No dreams, no sensations, just the soothing nothingness.

I didn't truly wake up even when a couple of the handler goons had shown up in the middle of the night to unstrap me. I barely remembered that it had even happened, but foggy flashes of them unstrapping me and helping me to use the bathroom hadn't been dreams. They hadn't talked to me beyond simple barked instructions. If I had tried to talk to them, I had either forgotten or simply failed.

I had offered no resistance. I didn't want to, nor did I have the faculties to do so. I couldn't remember what had happened after the slightly embarrassing experience of having been helped to use the bathroom, but I hadn't been strapped back. In fact, there were no signs of the straps that had tied me so tightly to the bed the night before. Instead I found myself waking in the same leather cuffs locked in front of me with a padlock that I had spent the first night in.

Feeling myself properly waking up, I carefully started to wiggle my limbs, fingers, and toes. I wanted to make sure that I was truly awake before trying to get up. But the feeling had returned, and I was pretty sure that I could try to get up. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I cautiously sat up on the side of the bed first.

I was definitely still feeling slightly lightheaded, but the fogginess had indeed passed. Rising up to my feet, I swaggered to the toilet and relieved myself, glad to be able to do it without the supervision of unpleasant goons. I was still wearing the ridiculous leotard from the day before. It had just enough give to let me pull the crotch part aside to relieve myself without soaking it, but I would be glad when I got to get rid of it.

Having completed my bio management, I went back and sat on the side of the bed. I didn't know how much time had passed or if it was actually morning, but I sure hoped that it would since my stomach was growling pretty bad. I had probably skipped a meal and I was definitely feeling it. I just wished there was at least some kind of indication as to how long I was to wait before breakfast.

As horrible as the place was, the food so far hadn’t been all that bad. What I had had so far had been much better than what you get from your average industrial kitchen. Proves that even the darkest clouds have silver linings. Thinking about it only made me more anxious to finally get breakfast that would be brought by… Ginger!

Suddenly the memory of her furious face flashed back from the night before. My stomach wasn't empty enough to not sink at the thought. She had been so furious... so disappointed.

It was the latter that really stung me. Obviously, I knew that we didn't really have any kind of a relationship beyond one of Student and Counselor, but pretending that she was my ally had given me so much hope for the days to come. The possibility of maybe losing my tentative connection to her felt just too tough to bear.

Suddenly I wasn't in such a hurry for her to show after all. As long as I didn't know what she actually thought of me, I could pretend and hope that maybe things were ok after all.

But deep down I knew they wouldn't be. So I just waited for the inevitable. And waited. And waited.

After what felt like an age, the door finally swooshed open. I hadn't moved since I had sat on the bed, I just hadn't felt like it. But as soon as I heard the sound, I hopped to my feet. I didn't know if it was Ginger or more goons, but I had decided to face either possibility with grace.

It was Ginger. She was standing in the doorway with the exact same tray as the day before. I tried so hard to read her expression and her body language to gauge her feelings towards me. But the only thing got was the sense that at the sight of me, she seemed momentarily hesitant to enter.

"Good morning," she said as she stepped in and towards the table. I didn't answer, I just followed her with my gaze. Still trying to figure out how she was feeling. Unfortunately she did not carry a change of clothes, so I guessed the leotard was to stay on for a while still.

"Please sit down, you must be hungry," Ginger said without emotion as she placed the tray on the table and sat down.

I followed her instruction and sat down on my side of the table. The smell of the food was intoxicating, so I just started eating.

I ate like a pig, gorging myself with the porridge and bread. Soothing the hunger that had galvanized me for what had felt like hours. But after a moment I became aware of how intently Ginger was staring at me. I looked up at her.

"What?" I asked.

"Look, I apologise for my outburst yesterday. I was out of line," she said, and the way she spoke made my heart sink. Her words were emotionless to the point where it almost made me shiver. "I'll understand if you want to request another counselor to handle you for the rest of your stay."

"What?" I asked, truly taken aback. "No! I... I mean, no. I don't think that'll be necessary."

The thought of losing her as my only contact to humanity here was more terrifying than the thought of any 'lesson' they might throw at me. She was the only known quantity and I most certainly didn't want to see her gone, to be replaced by someone I didn't know anything about. Or worse of all, by one of the goons.

"Very well," she said, still expressionless, taking out a tablet to read from. "In that case I should brief you about..."

"Wait."

She looked up.

"I think we should," I started cautiously. "You know... talk about what happened."

Ginger shifted uncomfortably in her chair. I was glad to finally see some real display of humanity from her, but I concealed any reaction.

"I don't know what more there is to talk about. I think we covered it pretty well yesterday. You obviously broke the rules and now you are facing the consequences."

"No. Uh uh, I'm not going to accept that," I said. Ginger got flustered and looked up from the tablet in surprise. "Yeah, I fucked up. And I admitted that. But I need you to know that it wasn't on purpose."

"I have noted your protest in my report," she said, her emotions starting to return to her voice even though she tried her best to conceal them.

"That's not what I mean and you know it. I need you to really understand it."

"Why? It has no bearing on what's going to happen."

"Yes it does. Sure, maybe not the lessons, but it has an effect on how you see me. And I want you to understand that I'm not here to fight you. I want you to see me how you did before last night."

Ginger seemed more uncomfortable with every word. But I pressed on.

"It's crazy, I know, but I trust you," I said. "And I want you to trust me. Help me get through this."

Ginger shot up from her seat and took a step back.

"No," she said sharply. "That is not how this works. I'm here to guide you through this, but that's it. I'm not here to be an ally or an advocate for you."

"Come on, all I'm asking is to please give me the benefit of a doubt. This place is beyond fucked up, but we're still human. Aren’t we?"

I saw it in her eyes that she was conflicted, but she did her best to hide it.

"I just want you to be a human being for me. That's all," I said, my resolve weakening.

Ginger sighed deeply and then turned around towards the door.

"That is not how this place works," she said with a sad voice. Maybe I had gotten to her after all. But how she was going to respond to it was going to be a whole other thing. She walked to the door and didn't turn around as she continued. "Today has been assigned as punishment day for yesterday. I won't be your handler for it, because the protocol is to have punishments be administered by specialists."

She pushed the switches on the opposite sides of the doors and they flung open. She took a step to leave.

"No, wait!" I implored. I needed more from her. But she just glanced quickly back at me.

"I'm sorry," she muttered so that it was barely audible.

And then she was gone. I just sat there for a second in stunned silence but then I could feel the now all too familiar tingling of tears swelling up.

I grabbed the plastic mug that had orange juice in it and concentrated on the sharp taste to stop the tears actually manifesting. I was determined not to cry as the next people coming in would probably be more goons. I resolved to not give them the satisfaction of seeing me cry. If this place wanted to play cold, I could rise up to the challenge.

And the first part of that challenge was to not make me miss another meal because my emotions had got the better of me. I couldn't be sure how long it would be before the goons would burst in, but I was pretty sure that I could kiss my breakfast goodbye at that point.

I wasn't looking forward to what was ahead of me. The fact that a separately assigned 'punishment day' existed in a place that was for punishment to begin with filled me with dread. But I decided that I would not panic or start to imagine what it might consist of. So far, this place had played a lot on the fear of the unknown. I was determined to not let it overwhelm me.

When the door swooshed back open, I half hoped that Ginger might've been back to continue where we left off. But realistically I knew that that wasn't going to happen. Instead, two goons entered my 'dorm'. But they weren't just any two goons. I recognised these two.

"Oh, look! It's the real feisty one we picked up a couple of days ago," the shorter of the two said, confirming that these were indeed the two Takers that had started this all. "How am I not surprised that you're in trouble already?"

The larger one swiftly grabbed me, lifting me from the chair and pinning my elbows behind me with one arm, pinching my cuffed hands tightly against my stomach.

"And how am I not surprised that you two are dealing with punishments in this place," I said, defiant.

"Oh, look. She's still a talker," Smaller Taker said mockingly. "I don't know how long you're assigned here for, but I'm pretty sure we have time to change that."

I tried to shake myself loose from the Taller Taker, knowing full well it was for naught. They were more than able to subdue me back when they first came to my apartment, so cuffed and held there was no chance I'd make even a slight difference. It was a matter of principle at this point. I didn't want to give them the satisfaction of thinking that they had broken my willpower.

"I'd like to see you try," I said just to piss her off. I knew that it might've been a step too far, but at that moment I needed to vent a little.

"Oh, honey," she said with a smug grin. "That's exactly what we're here to do."

I have to admit, that did take me aback. To the point where I couldn't hide my fearful expression, to her utter delight. She pulled a ballgag from her belt and held it up to near my mouth and I knew the game was over for the time being. There was absolutely no way that gag wasn't going to be in my mouth within the next ten seconds or so, having experienced their methods before. So I just opened my mouth and let Smaller push the ball behind my teeth.

"That's more like it," she said as she pulled my head down so that she could attach the strap behind my neck. She pulled it as tight as she could and I let out a whimper. It was supposed to be a defiant grunt, but under the circumstances a whimper was all I could muster.

When she released the pressure on the strap, I lifted my head, feeling the pinch of hairs that had been caught between the strap and my skin. I had no doubt that this little unpleasantness wasn't intentional, but I was determined to not let them see any reaction. At least the gag wasn't as large as some of the ones I had already experienced, so breathing around it was easy.

The same swift efficiency that I had experienced two days before was used again as Shorter unlocked the padlock on my cuffs and Taller squeezed my elbows together so that Shorter had a simple time of reattaching the cuffs together again behind my back. When the task was complete, Shorter made a show of pulling out zip tie handcuffs from her utility belt so that I would see it.

"All of this has been assigned to you by the Organiser. But this," she said, grinning. "This is just for mouthing off."

I let out a prolonged grunt in protest, but it wasn't like I was expecting any difference it could make. She moved beside me and Taller loosened the pressure on my arms just enough to give Shorter enough room to work with. Taller guided my elbows closer together while Shorter maneuvered the plastic strips around them. My chest protruded forwards as the clicking of the ties confirmed that my elbows would be stuck pretty damn close together for the time being.

Continuing in silence, Shorter took a leather collar with a brass ring from her belt and started putting it on my neck. This time I decided to keep the funny business at bay. I knew they weren't allowed to hurt me too bad, but I didn't want to give her any excuse to strap the collar a notch tighter than was actually needed.

She didn't. The collar was actually pleasantly loose, all things considered. Shorter seemed to be back to business in general, because there was no trace of the mischievous grin anymore. She simply attached a leash on the collar and Taller finally let go of my arms. I thought about "accidentally" hitting one of them with my feet now that I had at least some mobility back, but decided against it. It was rare, but sometimes my self-preservation instincts actually did work.

"Ok, honey. Let's go," Shorter said after checking that the leash was properly connected. With that, Taller used the switches to open the door. I was unceremoniously led out. Shorter took point, yanking me forwards with the leash while Taller stayed behind us as we walked.

We stepped into the vast cavern with the 'dorm rooms.’ The effect of the sight had lessened a little. It is amazing how quickly one's brain accepts something as the new normal. I made a mental note to not be desensitized to it too much. But it was nice not to have the same sense of looming dread I had been feeling the previous times.

The weird thing was, even though I knew this was going to probably be a lot rougher than my previous experiences, I wasn't as nervous as I had been the day before. I hadn't experienced much yet, but nothing that I had had been as bad as my worst fears. At this point I was more frustrated that I was being punished for what was an honest mistake. Not that I was exactly expecting this place to be a sanctuary of fairness, but it was really starting to piss me off that I had been returned into the hands of these two sadistic jokers for trying to do the right thing.

As we walked further, another Student was led from the lifts. She and who I assumed to be her Counselor started to walk towards us. The goons didn't pay any attention to them, but I couldn't help but look at the fellow Student. She was also led with a leash, but otherwise it seemed to be routine going for her.

She was wearing the standard latex uniform and she was ballgagged, but other than that her getup was almost casual. Her hands were technically tied behind her back as well, but the chain on her cuffs was long enough to let them almost come to her sides. When we were right next to each other, she glanced at me and nodded upwards slightly for a greeting.

I was so taken aback by the casualness of the gesture in this environment that I completely choked on a response. And by the time my synapses were aligned enough for a return of the greeting, it was too late. They had passed and I was pissed at myself for screwing such a simple thing.

I tried to turn back slightly to catch a last glimpse of her and maybe still get a chance, but Shorter yanked on my leash as soon as she sensed what I was about to do. Message received, I readjusted my eyes forward and matched Shorter's pace.

We took an empty lift and settled into the space that was just big enough for the three of us. The door closed and we started moving. I wondered if this close proximity with me being at the back wall with them facing me was too much of an opportunity for them to bully me a bit more. But at this point they seemed fairly uninterested in me, shuffling and looking around like this was a lift ride in any office.

"What's for today?" Shorter asked.

"Meatloaf," Taller said, with disgust dripping from her voice.

"Ah."

I looked at them, incredulous. This was not the conversation I was expecting to be in the middle of this ride. Here I was; tied, gagged, and on my way to whatever torture this place deemed appropriate a punishment for my non-offense. And they were talking about lunch.

They paid me no mind. The rest of the ride was spent in silence, not that I had any choice in the matter.

When the elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open, I was surprised to note that I wasn't greeted by yet another corridor. Instead we entered a cavernous room that was by far the most menacing I had encountered yet.

The room was another one that was padded throughout except for the ceiling. But instead of the barren room I had spent time the night before, this one was full of equipment. Seats, X-shaped crosses, hanging hoops, and there were small brass rings bolted just about every surface in strategic positions. This was pretty much what a sex dungeon in a creepy movie would look like, but I had no doubt that this place had not seen any pleasant action in it.

The room was much more dimly lit than the ones I had been used to so far, which made the place look even more menacing. I had no doubt that it was just to psych the unfortunate Students out. I figured the whole Education Center was built as much for psychological conditioning as much as physical punishment, but the unpleasant thing about it was that it worked. And it worked pretty well.

My stomach churned as a clear sign that my previous nonchalance was pretty much gone. I started worrying about what I was going to be subjected to. I had been fine as long as I had semi-familiar surroundings, but this was something new again and I did not like it. Especially with these two goons being in charge.

I could feel my knees slightly wobble as we took steps deeper into the place, but I tried my best to hide it. I had no doubt that had either of the two looked me in the eye, they would've caught on to the falseness of my steady demeanour. But fortunately we had taken the same positions as before in the Dorms.

"What do you say, the table?" asked Shorter.

"Yeah, why not," came the reply. "Let's stick to the basics."

I had no idea what that might've meant, until we came to a padded table-like construction near a corner of the room. It was no ordinary table, though. In addition to the tabletop being padded, it too had an impressive number of those brass rings bolted all around its edges and legs.

We stopped in front of it. No words were needed between the two to start their activity around me again. Taller locked my arms with hers again while Shorter opened a small cabinet and started pulling out various lengths of rope. A sense of dread flooded over me all over again. Oh how I missed being extremely bored in my room.

When Shorter came back with the ropes, she looked me straight in the eyes and smirked. Yeah, she had totally caught on that I was starting to feel increasingly terrified. My previous bravado seemed idiotic in retrospect, because she clearly enjoyed my peril even more after all that.

Fortunately, she kept from making any comments and simply started to work on my restraints. The first things to come off were the cuffs. Her taking them off was a mild relief because the thick material, while pleasantly soft, didn't let the skin breathe much. It was good to feel the air again.

My wrists weren't left without restraints for long, though. Smaller wrapped longish lengths of rope to each of my wrists, but did not tie them together. Even though my wrists were technically still free, there wasn't much that Taller had to do to keep me pinned because of the zip cuffs around my elbows.

Shorter pulled out safety scissors.

"I'm so tempted to just keep your elbows like that," she said. "But alas, rules are rules."

As soon as she snapped the plastic strip, my elbows shot outwards like springs. The relief was enormous and I breathed in deep as my chest wasn't restricted anymore. This laxness from the restraint was counteracted by a tightening grip from Taller, though.

"Ok, on the table you go," said Shorter. I had no idea what she meant by that or what I was supposed to do, but it was made pretty clear to me.

Taller pushed me forwards and down so that my upper body bent over the table and came to rest on the padded surface. It was about exactly the right height for my feet to comfortably stay on the floor, so my legs didn't have to dangle or bend as I came to rest. My boobs squished against the padded surface uncomfortably. I tried to shift a little to ease the pressure but they weren’t cooperating.

When Shorter took my right wrist, Taller let go of it. Taller's grip had been significant this whole time, but Shorter wasn't a slouch either. Her grip was tight as she pulled my hand directly to my side and let go only after she pulled the rope tight.

I turned my head so I could see her attaching the other end of the rope to one of the numerous rings on the side of the table, making sure that the tension was kept. When she was done, she nodded and Taller started taking my left hand directly to the other side.

Turning my head, I could see her repeating the process on my left side, making sure that the tension was about equal. My arms were being pulled enough that I knew that I couldn't lift my torso for more than maybe an inch. I decided not to even try as I knew I'd just be wasting my energy.

While following Taller, I hadn't even noticed Shorter moving behind me and kneeling to work on my legs. I jumped slightly as I felt rope touching my ankles as she wrapped several coils around them. When they were tied together, I could feel a slight pull as she attached the end of that rope to yet another ring at the base of the table's legs. Returning, she attached another rope to the tie on my ankles and then attached that one to an identical ring on the other side.

I had been turning my head to follow what they were doing, but once they started to check on their knots and the tension of the ropes, I didn't bother anymore. Craning my neck and lifting my head was surprisingly exhausting and I didn't want to get a nasty shoulder ache on top of this all.

The unpleasant duo seemed to finally be done with the restraints anyway. Not that there was much more they could've done to pin me down anyway.

"She's all yours," I could hear Shorter saying. "Do you want her more exposed?"

"Hey, you know I like how it sounds on bare skin."

"My kinda girl."

This conversation alarmed me enough to turn my head to where they were standing. Being more exposed wasn't exactly what I had hoped would happen next. Just how much more exposed could I be anyway? I was already strapped essentially motionless with my ass hanging out for all to see.

The sight of Smaller coming closer, clipping the air with her safety scissors wasn't exactly what I had hoped to see. Her smirk, if even possible, had gotten wider. She was loving this and I hated her pleasure.

It came as a no surprise when she placed herself behind me and grabbed the leotard around my waist. The fabric was loose enough that she could make an incision in the cloth and then started to clip it across my back. I didn't know where she was going with this, but I had dark ideas.

Unfortunately my ideas were confirmed when she next grabbed the seam next to my buttock and clipped it upwards. She repeated the process on the other side, essentially creating a flap for the leotard, which she forcefully pulled down.

I let out an even stronger grunt than normal as my behind was now completely exposed. I had had to be naked in the facility before, but this was different. Previously I had had to take my own clothes off, which gave me a sense of control even if I truly didn't have any. This time someone else had exposed me and for the first time in the Education Center, I felt violated.

"Oh, the brat doesn't like it," said Shorter in a mocking tone. "Well tough shit, because this is what you've been assigned today."

I tried to pull my hand free, just out of impotent frustration. But the ropes didn't budge. I had no doubt that they wouldn't have, it simply was the only thing I could do. Well, aside from giving Shorter a murderous glare, but I decided not to do even that as I was sure she'd just get a kick out of it.

"She's all yours," Shorter said and started to go somewhere I couldn't see her.

"My pleasure," Taller said. At least she didn't sound as sadistic.

But any doubt of her being the more reasonable one vanished when I felt a mighty strike on my behind. I yelped in alarm and strained my neck to look back and see what was happening.

Unfortunately what was happening was that Taller was holding a mighty flogger that was incoming fast to make another strike.

WHAP!

I let out a grunt, but in all honesty it didn't hurt as much as I would've presumed. The flogger had so many strands that the pressure of the hits was spread over a larger area, so the sensation was more of a push than a sting.

I kept turning my head to see how Taller was repositioning herself and to know when to brace for another impact. When it came, I relaxed myself against it so that the impact didn't feel much of anything. If this was all the punishment I was up for, it wasn't too bad after all.

But just as I had started to relax into another hit, Smaller stopped the action.

"Hold on," she said. "I think our subject has a bit too much visibility."

"Huh?" asked Taller.

"What I'm saying is that I think our little princess here keeps turning her head to see what's going on a little too eagerly," Shorter said as she came closer. "Don't you think?"

"I don't really mind, to be honest," Taller said and Smaller threw a mean glance at her.

I had to suppress a giggle at this. Their menacing banter clearly needed a bit more work. Fortunately I managed to keep any kind of a reaction at bay, because I had no doubt it would've resulted in a significant increase in my discomfort.

"Never mind," Shorter said. "Just hold on for a sec as I work on it."

Taller didn't respond, but clearly didn't have any problem with this. She put the flogger away and readied herself to assist Shorter in what she was planning.

I wasn't exactly eager to find out what it was, but was resigned to its inevitability. As much as my instincts screamed at me to fight against them, my self-preservation was still winning this round. I didn't bother to follow Shorter as I heard her gathering up some more equipment before coming back.

"I'm going to replace your gag now," she said leaning right next to my ear. "I swear if you're going to scream, you're going to regret it."

As she reached for the strap of my gag, I wondered why she'd think I'd bother screaming in the first place. It's not that it mattered and I'd just be wasting my energy. Then again, maybe she considered any opposing sounds to be screaming.

As the buckle released behind my head, I spat out the ball and let my jaw loosen. I had just managed to close my mouth to swallow all the spit that had gathered in my mouth when she commanded me to open it up again.

"Oh, come on," I complained. "Can't I just."

SLAP!

This time the hit wasn't spread or mild. No, this time my right buttock had been the target of a very strong direct slap from a bare hand. The sharp pain shot through me like a bullet and I instinctively tried to turn away from any possible repeat. But I was strapped too tight to make it completely impossible. Fortunately for me, a sequel did not materialise.

"Okay, okay! Just hold your horses," I said and opened my mouth.

Taller grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled my head back so that I looked directly forwards. As expected, another gag was placed behind my teeth. It was a largish ring gag, but with leather straps going everywhere. I figured this was going to be another gag with one of those elaborate harnesses.

I wasn't wrong. The harness on the gag went all around, over the top of my head, under my chin, across my cheeks and behind the back of my head. When Shorter had buckled and tightened all the straps, the ring was suspended in the middle of my mouth and I just had to rest my mouth on it.

But she was not done yet. I could feel her pulling a rope through a ring on the top of the harness. She moved a couple of steps back and with her okay, Taller let go of my hair.

My head remained still, as the rope was now pulling my head in place. I guess Shorter had attached the other end of the rope to one of the numerous rings in the ceiling. The straps dug into my cheeks and my forehead as I relaxed into the harness.

I could just slightly swing my head from side to side, but not enough to see much more than directly in front of me. If me looking back at them was really annoying, Shorter, she had gotten her wish. There was no chance of turning my head enough to look back.

Having completed her handiwork, I could hear Shorter stepping back. And it wasn't hard to guess what was coming next.

As the flogger made contact with my bare behind again, I let out another grunt. But this time the sound was much more audible as there was nothing in my mouth to muffle it. Damn, I thought. This was probably exactly the reason why she had replaced it. The bugger was probably getting off on the sounds I was making.

Determined to not give her the satisfaction, I tried to keep my vocalisations to a minimum. But it was hard. The psychological effect of not being able to see when the hits were coming and from which direction was real. I couldn't brace as well as I had before and it made the hits more considerable.

I vaguely remembered reading that relaxing the muscles against something like this would dampen the pain, as counterintuitive as it felt. But as time went on and the hits piled on, the spread of the strands of the flogger didn't seem as effective and the pain didn't feel quite as dull.

I had tried to count the number of strikes, but had lost count somewhere fairly early on. But I knew that by the time Taller paused, we were definitely in the dozens. I wondered if this lull in the action was just to take me by surprise when the next hit was due, but I could hear one of them moving about behind me.

Instead of another strike, the next thing I felt on my buttock was the gentle touch of a hand. I yelped in surprise, partially because I wasn't exactly expecting them to touch me directly on my exposed skin, but mostly because her hand was quite cold.

I gathered it was Taller who ran her hand up and down both my buttocks, not so much to cop a feel, but to assess the situation.

"I think she's warmed up enough for the next one," Taller said.

"Oh yeah," said Shorter from somewhere further away.

I tried my hardest to turn my head as much as I could to get a hint as to what the next one might have meant. But I quickly gave up as there was no give. And not only that, my neck was starting to feel pretty strained in the unnatural position and I didn't want to make it worse.

SLAP!

I inhaled sharply and struggled against my restraints to relieve the sharp sting of pain. I tried to twist my waist away from any possible repeat, but my arms pinned wide stopped any significant motion even though my waist was free.

WHACK!

An identical hit on my other buttock made me shiver against my restraints again. I grimaced hard, using my every ounce of willpower to not scream. Whatever she was hitting me with was much nastier than the flogger I had been subjected to before. From the feeling I guessed it was some kind of a paddle thing. It sure did have a sting to it.

My attempts to relax my muscles completely failed as my body had none of it. Not knowing when the next strike would land, my muscles tightened as I braced for yet another one. At least the breaks in between were significantly longer this time around.

As the next hit landed, I so wished I had something to bite down on. Trying to clamp down on the ring just resulted in more pain where it made contact with the roof of my mouth. I never really thought I'd miss a ballgag in this place, but this was the time.

With the next strike, my determination to keep quiet buckled and I let out a long growl to let out some steam. I knew the bastards were probably reveling in delight from the sound, but at that moment I didn't care. I'd deal with the disappointment later.

Yet another hit made my growl more aggressive and I hopped around as much as I could with my ankles pretty much anchored to place. Tears welled up, but I squeezed my eyes tight to keep them from coming. I didn't know how many hits I could bear.

Bear or no, another one landed yet again. I held my breath, trying to keep my body from betraying me. It was just pain. I could handle pain. It was just a feeling. I tried so hard to psych myself from crumbling under the punishment my behind was suffering.

But with the next strike, it was all over. I let out the breath I was holding with a guttural howl. The tears I had been keeping back rolled down my cheeks, only to be caught by the straps of my gag harness. My knees buckled and even though there was nowhere to drop, they now hung uselessly instead of helping me keep my stance.

My entire body gave into the pain and fell limp on the table. It was all I could do to not release my bladder, but at least I did manage not to disgrace myself that much. My neck was aching as I just let my head hang on the harness, not caring about how much the straps dug into my skin.

The next hit could've landed at any moment, but I didn't have the energy to prepare for it any longer. If it was to come, it would come. I would just have to deal with it.

But the next hit never materialised. Instead, I just laid there, letting the tears stream down freely. I managed not to cry audibly, but other than that, I had given the sadistic duo exactly what they had wanted. I hated myself for it, but there was nothing to be done.

"I think she's had enough," Shorter said.

My ears hummed as they started to unstrap me from the table. The ankles were released first, but quite honestly it didn't make any difference. My willingness to move had been wiped out with the rest of my energy.

As soon as the rope holding my head released tension, I let my head fall down almost hitting my nose against the surface. I managed to turn just in time to land on my right cheek instead. There was a quiet splat as I landed on a wet spot made by my tears.

Shorter took the rope from the ring of the harness and they then proceeded to release the ropes that were keeping my hands to the sides from the rings. As soon as they were released, they handed the ropes to the opposite side of the arm in question and pulled to reestablish the tension. My arms bent behind my back to a box shape and they held on so that I couldn't really move any more than when the ropes had been attached.

Taller gently worked her arm underneath my chest and then started lifting me up. When I was back on my feet, I had to concentrate on not letting my knees buckle again. I was exhausted, but managed to keep my balance. The two women probably would've caught me before I would've actually fallen anyway.

Still holding tight on the ropes so that my arms were firmly locked behind my back, they started to walk me. I didn't know where we were going, but I was just happy to get away from the table of torture.

As we slowly walked, I realised what a mess I was. Not only was my face wet from the tears, drool was everywhere on my chin and cheek. The ring in my mouth made it impossible to stop the drool from continuously dripping, so I could feel a puddle quickly forming on my chest as well. They had truly taken away any trace of dignity I had.

I was surprised that my current state didn't inspire any snarky comments from Shorter. But when I glanced at her, she was just concentrating on keeping me balanced and restrained as we took tentative steps towards an elaborate chair at the other side of the dungeon. Apparently there was a limit to her cruelty after all.

The chair we were heading towards was filled with all kinds of straps and restraints and I had no doubt that I would be firmly affixed to its frame within moments. The frame itself was left open on several sides for access to other kinds of restraints or torment even if the straps weren't all used. Even the backrest of the chair was open for its lower half.

As we slowly trundled to it, Shorter used her safety scissors to cut off the useless fabric that had once been the crotch section of the garment hanging in front of me. My privates were now fully out in the open, but once again there was a complete lack of mockery from either of them, which I was grateful for.

Shorter simply instructed me to be seated. I turned to sit as they followed my movements by rotating with me around the chair so that my arms stayed behind my back.

My buttocks were obviously sore, but sitting down was not as bad as I had feared. I gradually let my full body weight settle on the seat. It wasn't comfortable at all, with my buttocks aching in protest. But it was still a lot better to be seated as I didn't think I would've had the energy to be on my feet for much longer.

Shorter started working behind the chair. Taking both ends of the rope through the opening at the back, she tied my left wrist to some kind of an anchor. She then took off the rope from my right wrist. Keeping a firm hold of the loose wrist, she detached the rope attached to my left arm from whatever anchor it had been affixed to.

With the efficiency I had come to expect of them, she then used the rope to tie my wrists together simply but effectively. The remaining rope she attached to an anchor, once again. It was probably another one of those rings.

While Shorter had been working on my hands, Taller had strapped my legs to the chair. The two sets of straps were attached to both my ankles and just below the knee. This meant that my legs were spread apart, making my genitals even more exposed. But at this point I barely cared. I was way past of worrying about something like that.

When both of them had inspected their handiwork, Shorter came in front of me, looking all business.

"I think we've all deserved a bit of a rest, don't you think? We're going to have lunch, so you just stay there and wait for us, okay?"

I rolled my eyes lazily at her. I let out a vocalisation which I made even more unintelligible than usual. I did it on purpose, because the true meaning of my words were 'fuck you'. She wouldn't know it, but it still sure felt good to say it.

"That's a good girl," she said and condescendingly patted me on my cheek. I turned my head away, which just made her chuckle. "See you in a bit."

The chair was right next to the lift, so they quickly hopped on. And before I knew it, I was alone again.

I didn't know how long I'd be left alone, but this time I was hoping it would be rather long. The first part of the punishment had been quite enough for me and I wasn't really eager to get on with it.

But foremost of all, I needed rest. The padded chair-like contraption wasn't exactly the most comfortable seat I had even been in, but at that moment it was heaven. I could just slump on it and even my hands slotted pretty comfortably behind me.

If my bottom hadn't been so sore, I probably would've tried to fall asleep. But my battered buttocks were protesting having my body weight on them enough that there really was no chance I'd manage to dose off. I had to shift my weight from one buttock to another every now and then just to soothe them as they started to sting from the pressure.

As the drool dribbled down to my chest more and more, I couldn't help but feel the absurdity of the situation. What was this exactly supposed to teach me? How was all this supposed to repay society for accidentally screwing up on some back taxes? How could this have gone on for decades without even myself questioning it more?

I tried to muster up anger. To feel some kind of burning outrage about the unjustness of it all. But I simply couldn't. The only thing I could feel at that moment was the sense of overwhelming emotional fatigue.

And at that moment the numbness it resulted in was the greatest feeling in the world. Stinging buttocks be damned. Tied hands could just be ignored. I was too emotionally tired and physically exhausted to feel anything.

And so I just sat there, letting myself be lost in the moment. Time lost all meaning. The only thing that told me that quite a lot of time had passed was that my front was soaked with drool. The fabric was so wet that it clung to the skin of my breasts and stomach. But I didn't care. My hands were tied, there was nothing I could do about it.

I was only half snapped out of my daze by the opening of the elevator doors. I lazily turned my head to see that the duo of tormentors entered. I wasn't happy to see them, but I was really happy to see Shorter wheeling in a cart of food with her. And not only food, but water.

Seeing the water made me realise just how thirsty I was. It was no wonder with all the liquid I had lost with the drool.

"Lunchtime," Shorter said in a matter-of-fact way. The scorn was absent from her entire demeanour again as she carted the food beside the chair. "Now, I'm going to take the gag off so I can feed you. But if you make just one comment, it's going back. And that’s bye bye to lunch. Understand?"

I nodded meekly and she started unbuckling the straps around my head. When the ring was popped off, I gathered all the saliva still in my mouth and spread it around my mouth, trying to hold on to any last drop of moisture I still had in me.

"Water," I said quietly and Shorter nodded. The cart had a water bottle with a straw in it and I started to suck it in eagerly as it was brought to my lips. A little too eagerly in fact, because I almost got it in my windpipe and started coughing.

Shorter put the bottle back on the cart and opened a cardboard container of some kind. She then put a spoon in it and started stirring the contents.

"Soup," she said while bringing the container up to me. "It's probably not quite as hot as you'd like but it's easier to feed you if I don't have to blow it cooler for you."

Excuse me? Feed? I wanted to exclaim in protest, but fortunately thought better of it before I let out any sounds that I would've regretted dearly. I did not want to miss this lunch, even though the thought of being fed was demeaning. Then again, the scale of what did and what didn't count as demeaning had been upended anyway.

I accepted the spoon into my mouth when Shorter offered it to me. I was greeted with the taste of lukewarm soup. Fortunately the food was as tasty as everything I had gotten so far, lukewarm or not. The creamy texture was like an injection of humanity into my battered being and I hungrily took in the spoonfuls.

Much to my surprise, Shorter was really gentle in feeding me. She even brought the water bottle for me to drink whenever I requested it. She didn't try to force me to eat too quickly or do anything else to make it more unpleasant. She was careful in not making the soup dribble down. She in fact made eating very palatable all things considered. I started to wonder if this agent of degradation had some humanity after all.

While Shorter was feeding me, Taller was working around the room, cleaning up the equipment and utilities they had been using on me. I didn't really pay her much attention, but I was really happy to see the flogger and paddle disappearing into a drawer.

All too quickly the food had been eaten and the water drunk. I was full, but I knew that that would mark the end of any pleasantness for the foreseeable future. But as there was nothing I could do about it, I was just glad how well being fed and hydrated had bought my energy back.

"Ok, I'm going to untie you from the chair," Shorter said while putting away the container. "If you do anything funny, I have a Taser handy. So just behave, ok?"

I nodded and they both started working in reverse of before. Shorter knelt behind the chair to undo my hands while Taller unstrapped my legs. When they were done, Taller motioned me to get up on my feet and I complied.

"This way," Shorter said as they started to lead me towards one of the featureless walls.

The two of them had positioned themselves to both sides of me and held on to my shoulder on their respective sides. But other than that, this was the least restrained I had been in days. It was amazing, but I kept any reaction to myself. I just quietly walked between them, not letting on how wonderful it was to simply have normal mobility of my arms for a second. The things you start to miss are pretty simple if they're taken away.

When we came to a wall, I was surprised when Taller simply pushed a door-sized opening on the padded wall. I probably shouldn't have been surprised by pretty much anything this place had hidden or built in, but it was again one of those unexpected features.

Both of the women shoved me into the room that much to my delight had turned out to be a bathroom.

"You have seven minutes to do whatever business you need to do in there," Shorter said. "I don't care what that is, but when the time is up, we will open this door. And if I don't find you right on that spot, facing the door kneeling and your arms placed behind your back, you will regret it."

"You serious?" I asked, regretting it immediately. But fortunately Shorter didn't show any sign of immediately jumping on me.

"You probably don't want to risk it," she said while pulling the door closed.

Sitting down on the toilet was bliss. Not only because I really did have to relieve myself, but also because the ring made for the perfect seat for my sore buttocks. Because of that, I ended up sitting there for a few moments even after I had done my business.

After I had gotten up and washed my hands, I started to splash water on my face. The cool water made me finally feel like a human again. And washing off of the crusted remains of dried saliva from my chin and salty streaks of tears was like rinsing off a layer of degradation.

Not knowing exactly how much time had passed, I placed myself approximately where I had been standing when given the instructions. Agreeing to their demands still felt fundamentally wrong, but I would've only made my day worse had I not gone along with it.

So I knelt down on the spot, facing the door and placed my arms behind my back. The luxurious ten or so minutes I had been allowed the use of them had passed by pretty damn fast.

It wasn't long until the door swung open again, with the two women clearly ready to pounce on me if necessary. But a flash of that all too familiar grin on Shorter's lips told me that she was pretty happy with herself being able to make me this obedient.

"That's a good girl," she said. "Now git."

Taller came into the bathroom and grabbed my arms, folding them behind me to form a box and yanked me to my feet. I stumbled forward as she pushed me towards the center of the torment room. Shorter walked beside us, readying leather cuffs all too familiar.

"This next part is both your obedience training for the day as well as the next part of your punishment," she said as we came to a halt. There was a ring suspended on some ropes hanging right where we stood. This did not seem promising.

Shorter nodded to Taller and she suddenly yanked my hands straight behind my back and lifted my wrists towards the ceiling. I yelped as the pressure forced me to bend forwards. There was no way they'd make me stay like this for extended periods of time, was there?

Taller slid down her grip on my wrists just low enough on my arm that Shorter could wrap and lock the cuffs on them.

"You'll think that this will be the easy part for the day," Shorter said while working. "Believe me, it won't be."

When the cuffs were securely in place, Taller mercifully lowered my wrists again so that I could stand straight. I let out a long breath in relief. My mind was racing to say something just bratty enough to give me the satisfaction, but not bad enough to land me in hot water. But at this point of the day, my head was blank. I didn't have any banter within me anymore.

Shorter then took a long piece of chain and threw it through the hanging ring. It was a sturdy chain, with links large enough to at least put a pencil through.

"Give me your right hand," Shorter said. She put her hand forward while the other still gripped the chain. Much to my surprise, Taller let go of the arm in question.

For a moment I hesitated. I didn't know if I wanted to submit even to a simple demand like that. The gesture wasn't large, but the way it asserted their dominance meant much more to me than it probably was meant to.

I stood motionless for a second, looking Shorter directly in the eyes. I tried to weigh her emotional state, to find an opening to keep at least a part of my assertiveness. But once again, my brain wasn't cooperating.

"Well," Shorter asked, growing impatient.

With hesitation, I decided to give in. I moved my hand from behind me right so that she could grab the ring of the cuff. Shorter said nothing, didn't react in any way. Instead, she just took a padlock and lifted my wrist to the chain.

The chain was hanging just high enough that when she locked the cuff to the chain, my hand ended up just above my head. My elbow was left at about the height of my neck.

"The other one," Shorter demanded and Taller immediately released her grip on my left arm as well. This time I didn't hesitate. I moved my arm for Shorter to grab right away. A sly smile briefly appeared on the corner of her mouth and I hated myself for being such an easy prey for their twisted little games.

Shorter lifted my other wrist identically next to the other one and padlocked it to the chain. And just for extra restraint, she added another padlock, locking the two cuffs together as well.

All in all, the restraints weren't too bad this time around. I could just let my arms hang since the cuffs were soft enough to not pinch my wrists. Ultimately I was just glad they didn't place me in the position they had had me pinned in just moments before.

And as was inevitable, Shorter pulled a ballgag from her belt. I rolled my eyes. Was there no getting away from the damn things, ever?

"Open," she commanded.

"Oh come on," I pleaded. "Do we have to? I promise I won't saaAAAAYGH!"

The slap on my buttock had come like lightning from a clear sky. I hadn't even paid attention to Taller for a moment, but she had been ready. And even though the slap in itself wasn't that strong, the remnants of the beating my behind had taken before amplified it tremendously.

"Promise failed," Shorter said. "Now. Open!"

"Please, I..." I started, but it was for naught. Taller grabbed my chin from behind and pushed in on pressure points at the back of my jaw. I yelped as the sharp pain shot through the lower half of my face and I dropped my mouth open.

In a flash the ball had been shoved behind my teeth and Taller had released my jaw to work on the strap instead. She pulled it so tight that I was afraid the corners of my mouth were going to rip, but fortunately the pressure was slightly lessened when the strap buckled into place. Still, it was probably the tightest gag I had worn this entire time.

"Just for the attitude I think I'll adjust your clothes a bit," Shorter said as she pulled the safety scissors from her belt again.

With a wry smile, she grabbed the front of what remained of my outfit and started clipping it from the neckline down. She seemed to take extra pleasure in exposing my breasts as the fabric folded away. I looked away in disgust. I was into girls, but she didn't exactly fill my ideal of someone I'd like to see enjoying my boobs like that.

When the front of was clipped all the way down, she grabbed and clipped away the shoulder straps. The remains of what once was a leotard was no longer but a clump of cloth on the floor.

Shorter slapped my other buttock for good measure before they started heading away. I yelled through my gag a sound that would've been a resounding 'fuck', but which emerged as nothing but unintelligible garble. I leaped away from them as much as the chains allowed as I tried to turn myself so that they couldn't reach for a repeat.

But they didn't care anymore. The duo just laughed as they headed for the elevator.

Once they stepped in, Shorter looked back at me once more.

"Have fun," she said. "Be seeing you."

She then blew a kiss at me as the door slid closed. I shuddered in disgust and turned away.

And then I was on my own, once again.

I looked around, examining all the various equipment strewn around the room. Most of it I didn't know the exact purpose for, but from today's experience I gathered the imagination of the tormentor was really the only limit.

Standing there I was simply struck by how idiotic it all was. How futile it was for me to be standing here. And ultimately, how mad I was at myself for allowing it to get to me.

This was just my third day here. Second really, if you didn't count the day they had brought me in. And already I was allowing them to strip my dignity away by submitting to their games more and more. Why did I hand control to the pair of twisted women so easily?

Of course, it was easier to think of fighting against it now that the sting on my buttocks had mostly faded away. Standing up had made the sensation dull and slowly vanish somewhere into my core. Was my dignity really so fragile that it only took a few swats on my ass for me to give it up?

They were quite the swats, though. Thinking back at the haze I had been right after they had released me from the table did bring it into perspective a bit more. But still, I was not happy about being so easily manipulated. It was just some pain, after all. My ass wasn't going to break and I had experienced pain much worse than that before.

It really was only my third day, and I thought about what experiencing all this did to the women who had to spend weeks here. Not just weeks, months. Maybe even years for the more serious crimes. Was there any chance of retaining one's humanity within this kind of machinery?

I fully knew I was thinking in circles. My mind kept stumbling on the same questions again and again. Trying to find a reason for what I was going through. And repeatedly failing at finding any. And as my frustration grew, so did another emotion; rage.

I did not belong here. I didn't know if anybody could really belong to a place like this. And we were here mainly because we were women. Men had a completely separate, more transparent and humane justice system. It was only us who had to endure "justice" that involved being stripped of our humanity and bodily autonomy like this.

I had been fooled my entire life into thinking that this was ok. That this was somehow justifiable. It's so easy to accept things that you think will never apply to you. I never thought I’d do anything noteworthy enough to make me end up in a place like this. I didn't think I'd ever even have enough money to screw up taxes bad enough to have it cause such dire consequences. But the time for that was coming to an end.

This was not ok. I would fight. I vowed right then and there that I would fight for the rest of my life against the system that made it possible for something like this to happen. Not just to me, but anyone.

Oh how easy it was to lull myself into false conviction. It didn't change anything. I was still here, chained to the ceiling and gagged up to my thorax. The ropes the day before had given way accidentally, but these chains would not.

I didn't even know how long I had been just running circles in my head, building up to my holy rage. But suddenly it was all surpassed by another acute realisation.

My legs were really starting to hurt.

I had been so deep in thought that I hadn't even realised just how long I must've been there. But it must have been a considerable amount of time since my legs were starting to hurt. I was in decent enough shape and I had been shifting my position and weight around as much as possible, but it was starting to become a bit too much.

And not just my legs, my arms had started to feel very uncomfortable as well. Hanging like that in an unnatural position, they had started to lose feeling. They felt like they were weighing several times what they had before.

But it was really my legs that were starting to be acutely uncomfortable. I tried to crouch down, but my arms were just chained up too high for me to be able to settle down properly. Being in an awkward half-crouch was even more tiring, so I quickly gave up on the idea.

I desperately tried to find new ways of shifting my weight, but nothing gave me the relief I was looking for. I stretched my limbs around as much as I could, but it was to no avail. The legs were really starting to scream for relief. I must have been there for hours.

And as time stretched on, the pain on my legs was starting to get more and more acute. Finally I decided to give up and give them a rest. Grabbing on to the chains I let my legs relax and I lowered myself so that all of my weight was on my arms.

I bit hard into the gag and panted. Sure, my legs were relaxed but the weight on my arms was unbearable and I had to let my head lean forward awkwardly. Pretty soon, pain started to shoot through my wrists.

I tried to make it a bit easier by lifting myself up again and placing my head between my arms before lowering again.

It did not make it better. Now in addition to my arms being in pain, my head was squeezed in the middle of my stretched arms. I lasted probably around 10 seconds, panting and grimacing through the pain before I gave up and got up on my feet again.

If time had passed slowly before, it was crawling now. Since my arms were still too high, the pain from hanging on them didn't really subside. Now all my limbs were almost equally as tired and in pain.

After what felt like an eternity it all got too much for me. I screamed and thrashed, trying to pull myself from the chains. It was for naught and I knew it, but it was at least something. A distraction if nothing else.

But my energy subsided quickly and then there was nothing but the pain. Tears started welling up and soon I was openly sobbing. And soon enough, the sobbing turned into hopeless crying.

It was at the same time the most desperate, and the most cleansing cry of my life. I let it all out like I had never before. And knowing I was there on my own, nothing was there to stop me. Nothing was there to make me feel any more embarrassed than I already was.

And so I cried. I cried even after the tears stopped flowing. The gag made the sounds muffled and guttural and I leaned hard on it. It was like crying to a pillow, just one that was in my mouth. And in the catharsis that the cry brought on, it even managed to bring me comfort.

As uninhibited as the cry had been, I stopped immediately when I heard the doors of the elevator sliding open again. The lack of self-awareness was immediately gone and I straightened up.

I had turned so that I was actually facing away from the elevator doors, so I had to turn to see who was coming in this time. I was so glad to see that it wasn't either of the two women who had been responsible for the day.

The slightly older woman in the elevator was of sturdier build, but had a softness in her look that I hadn't seen in anyone in this place except Ginger. As soon as she saw my miserable state, she jumped into action.

"Holy shit!" she exclaimed and practically ran to me.

She started to unlock the padlocks as quickly as she could and as soon as the cuffs were no longer attached to the chain, she supported me by placing her formidable arm behind my shoulders. I practically crumbled to the floor, having never been more grateful to be off of my feet.

She then undid the padlock locking my cuffs together and so I was practically free again. But I was way too exhausted to do anything with my relative freedom than to lay limp.

The woman started to unbuckle my gag. I grunted as the straps tightened momentarily before releasing. She pulled the gag from my mouth and I breathed in sharply, enjoying the unrestricted movement of air.

She then handed me a water bottle. It was so luxurious to be able to drink on my own. No straws or other gimmies. I could just take the bottle and drink.

And drink I did. I emptied almost the entire bottle in seconds.

"Where's Ginger?" I asked weakly.

"Who?"

"She's my... my..." I stammered, barely having enough energy to speak.

"Oh, is she your counselor?"

"Yeah."

"I'm afraid she had to leave," the woman said. "but she asked me to take extra good care of you. I'm Melissa, by the way."

Lying there on the floor, a miserable sack of flesh with her crouched over me, it was probably the most absurd introduction I had ever had.

"Hi," was all I managed to say.

"I'm going to take you back to your dorm to rest. You're done for the day. It looks like you've had a rough one. Should I get a wheelchair for you?"

"Oh, I'm done alright," I managed to say. "But I think I'd rather walk. Just as long as I won't have to stand still, I'll be fine."

"I promise you won't have to more than when we ride the lift," she said with a slight smile. It was nice to see a genuine smile after all the twisted evil ones today.

I took a moment to catch my breath properly and then carefully started rising up to my feet. Melissa got up with me, practically hovering over me to make sure she'd catch me if I were to collapse again. When she was sure I wasn't going to, she took a step back.

"I'm really sorry, but..." she said.

"You're going to have to restrain me for the trip," I finished for her. "I know. I might be new, but I get the idea."

"Yeah," she said. She almost seemed embarrassed, which I certainly didn't expect.

"Come on, then. Get to it. I just want to get this over with and get some rest."

"Ok. But don't worry, I'm going to use the smallest gag I have in my arsenal."

I shrugged. The corners of my mouth were pretty much stretched to their breaking point anyway, so it didn't make much of a difference. Still appreciated the thought, though.

She gently put my hands behind my back yet again and locked the cuffs together. She then brought the gag to my lips and I opened my mouth. I didn't even think of resisting, I just wanted to be back in my bunk as soon as possible. I didn’t even care that I was going to be walking in the cavern fully naked. I had seen some other girls being moved around like that enough to know it wasn’t such a big deal.

When the gag was strapped in place and after confirming with me that I was good to go, Melissa wrapped her muscular arm around my shoulder and started to walk me to the lift. Fortunately it hadn't been called off while she had been here, so we could just walk straight on.

While we were riding down, Melissa clearly took note of me shifting my weight. Standing still even this long took effort at this point. She tucked in even closer beside me to give me support. I was actually kind of nice to have such firm hands keeping me steady.

I almost considered resting my head on her shoulder from pure exhaustion, but thought better of it. She had seemed nice up to this point, but I wasn't going to trust anyone in this hellhole again any time soon.

The ride was mercifully short and we were soon walking in the cavern to my dorms. This time I didn't even look around as I was just concentrating on keeping myself on my feet.

When we finally got to my dorm and Melissa opened the door, I practically jumped in, not waiting for her to lead me. I just made a b-line directly to my bunk and collapsed on it, not caring how awkward it was with my hands still locked behind my back.

Melissa followed and while she closed the door, I noticed that a tray of food and several water bottles had been placed on the table. Proper food with potatoes and everything. The soup had been good, but I was glad that something more hardy was waiting for me for dinner.

I shifted a little and bent my legs to make room for Melissa as she sat on the foot of my bunk.

"I know you're exhausted," she said as she started unlocking my cuffs. "But try to eat something before you go to sleep. Your body must be screaming for energy even if you don't feel hunger."

As soon as my hands were freed, I took initiative and yanked the strap of the gag open. Melissa didn't seem to mind, she just took the gag as I handed it over.

"I will, thanks," I said.

"Promise?"

"I promise," I said, slightly confused by the concern shown by this complete stranger.

"Good," she said as she got up. "I'll leave you to it."

I sat up on the bed as she made her way to the door.

"Just," she said, slightly hesitating. "Give my regards to Ginger when you see her, ok?"

"O-ok," I stammered, not really knowing how to react to that. But had I had any questions it would've been too late. She opened the door and scurried off in a rush.

As the door slid shut again, this time I was just glad to be left alone. I was exhausted beyond belief, but I decided to follow Melissa’s advice. And once I had started eating the hunger really kicked in. I ate everything that had been provided.

I was too exhausted to really continue the train of thought I had started while standing at the torment room in solitude. So my mind was practically blank as I finished the dinner and used the bathroom before laying down on the bunk.

But before I fell asleep, I felt that a seed had been planted within me. Something that wouldn't go away once it had been set.

And as I fell asleep, there it was...

Rage.

14.07.2020

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