When the wake-up sounded at hour-6, I got right in line for the showers, but I was still behind half my roommates. Since it took us twenty or thirty minutes apiece, it was nearly hour-7 by the time I was clean. I combed out my hair and dried off quickly before getting dressed and heading to the fifth floor cafeteria. I finished my meal and returned to my room. It was past hour-7.5; I couldn’t put off checking my schedule any longer.
Monday - Wednesday - Friday
h-8 - HISTORY, REMEDIAL SOLAR - 308
h-9.5 - ETIQUETTE 1 - 411
h-10.6 - gym
h-12.5 - lunch
h-13.5 - ANATOMY 1 - 320
h-15 - SUBMISSION - 204
h-16.5 - study
h-17.5 - LANGUAGE, REMEDIAL - 317
h-19 - dinner
Tuesday - Thursday
h-8 - work - workshop
h-11 - CULTURES, REMEDIAL SOLAR - 415
h-13 - lunch
h-14 - STATION PROCEDURE - 422
h-15 - SERVICE 1 - 204
h-17 - PSYCHOLOGY 1 - 409
h-19 - dinner
I put my personal terminal in the pocket of my dress and picked up the small bag that held my gym uniform. I knew I should take the stairs, but I figured struggling down in high heels wouldn’t save that much time anyway. After waiting for a space in the lift for twenty minutes I changed my mind and headed for the stairs after all, so it was very nearly hour-7.9 by the time I reached the third floor. I was more or less used to the shoes on flat ground by then, but unfortunately room 308 wasn’t where I expected and I ended up struggling in the door a minute late. So I received my first weekend detention.
Remedial Solar History covered the development of human presence in the Solar system, which could maybe have been interesting if the instructor had an ounce of charisma or dramatic flair. He took a dislike to me because I was late that first day, and my inability to pay attention to his monologues didn’t help either. I struggled with the first few tests, too. I found my stride with independent study after a while, but I still ended up getting chosen by the instructor to get my comeuppance in the first monthly punishment assembly I ever attended.
After that first history class I found my etiquette classroom with no trouble. Everyone in the sexual labor and personal service tracks was required to take the course, which focused on social conventions in both intimate and formal settings. The instructor was a strict woman, quick to correct even minor slip-ups on the part of her pupils with immediate punishment, delivering efficient swats with her orange paddle. In the first class, she ran drills on proper responses to common niceties and handed down half a dozen quick spankings to girls just a half second too slow.
My gym block was next, and I sped downstairs to the lockers, anxious to avoid getting another detention for tardiness. I joined the dozens of other girls there in shucking off my school uniform and sticking it in one of the lockers. The gym uniform was in a bright white color, more simple and more comfortable than the standard one. First I pulled on the skin-tight shorts, which were really closer to a bikini bottom in length, although the upper hem reached nearly to my navel and was decorated with wide stripes of navy blue and high-vis yellow. The stripes were mirrored on the lower hem of the sports bra, which was restrictive enough to keep my boobs in place even during vigorous exercise while still exposing a bit of cleavage with its V-neck. It had my number, 4480, printed across the chest. The socks were navy blue like my other ones, but only ankle high and thick enough to provide a little padding; the shoes were white but with a supportive flat sole, a pleasant break from wearing heels.
It didn’t take me the full extra ten minutes allowed by my schedule to get changed, so I arrived in the yard early. About twenty other girls were there already, and another twenty or thirty would filter in over the next few minutes. I was busy enough talking to the others and figuring out where I would stand according to my student number that I didn’t notice Marcille Treiphong-Sun until she stood next to me. As it turned out, we had the same gym block.
“Jane,” Marcille nodded a greeting. She looked half-asleep. I nodded back, trying to hide the way my eyes were drawn to her belly and thighs. She didn’t seem to notice. Her neck was craned upward as she gazed, bored, at the distant city streets overhead. She always seemed half-there, absent from her own body.
Coach Allen was a buff young woman with dark hair almost as short as Marcille’s. She emerged from the main building holding her favored implement of punishment, a crop with a long blade of some stiff textile. We all fell silent instantly, standing straight. The coach took roll, confirming we were all in our proper places. I took a mental note of the mark I was standing on, since it wouldn’t change for the rest of the quarter.
For the first seventy minutes of class, Coach Allen led an extensive routine of stretches and calisthenics with a focus on practicing flexibility. Since she was performing the exercises too, she couldn’t watch us with too close an eye.
Still, six girls were spotted slacking off. The coach called each one out, announcing they’d forfeited their right to wear clothes for the rest of class (socks and shoes excepted). The exercises we were doing made the enforced nudity uncomfortable and embarrassing for them, with their fleshy bits bouncing and jiggling unconstrained. Still, it seemed like a light enough punishment that even after the first time, a good few of us didn’t put in much effort - including me and Marcille. I wasn’t called out on it by the coach, but Marcille was the last of the six. I couldn’t help but stare once or twice at her belly and thighs. When she caught me looking it didn’t seem to bother her, but I was still embarrassed enough to keep my eyes forward thereafter.
After the lengthy warm-up, the remaining hour-thirty of each gym block was devoted to one of four different exercises, alternating every week for a full rotation each month. This was a “track” week. At Coach Allen’s instruction, we split into six single-file lines, each with one of the naked girls at the front. I stuck with Marcille and ended up right behind her. We then filed by the double-wide doors of the equipment closet, where we each picked up a two-meter length of cord with thick plastic restraints on each end.
“The track leash is simple to use,” Coach Allen explained. “First, all of you wearing clothes will fasten the collar around your neck and buckle it closed. Then the second girl in line will cuff the wrists of the first in line behind her back, using the cuffs attached to her own collar. The third girl will do the same to the second, and so on. Make sure you fasten them tight, because if they come off mid-run that’s an automatic detention.” To punctuate the instructions, she tapped her wicked-looking riding crop in the palm of her hand.
I hurried to get the collar on and then turned to Marcille, whose typical bored and distant expression had given way to apprehension. Wordlessly, she turned around and held her hands behind her. I took the other end of my leash and fastened the cuffs around her wrists, leaving us attached. I held my wrists back in turn and in a minute had a linked chain of five more girls behind me. The coach came around to the hindmost girl in each line and bound her hands with cuffs that had no leash attached.
For the rest of gym, we walked and ran with our line around the rubberized track that wrapped around the perimeter of the yard. Coach Allen set the pace of each group, sometimes jogging to keep up with a group that dissatisfied her. When she wanted us to speed up, she would whip her crop across Marcille’s plump ass or thighs; to slow us down she whipped her tits. I winced with every stroke, although I also couldn’t help but appreciate the view from my position behind her. I was really glad to still have my own clothes, or someone might have noticed.
When lunchtime finally arrived, we unbuckled our restraints and returned to stand at attention near the door to the lockers, where Coach Allen dismissed us. I was hot and out of breath, unused to such intense exercise. Marcille, with bright red marks across her tits and ass, was one of the first inside. She’d forgotten to collect her gym uniform from the small heap by the doors, so I grabbed it for her and followed.
I approached her in front of the locker she’d stashed her school uniform in. She was pulling on her shirt, so I placed her gym clothes on the bench beside her. She glanced at me for a moment. Her face was flat but her eyes were wet. Startled at the first real display of emotion I’d seen from her, I backed off to change out of my own gym clothes.
Back up to the fifth floor for lunch. Exhausted from gym, I took the lift this time and didn’t even have to wait too long. I dropped off my gym uniform in my dorm and rinsed off in the shower before stopping in at the cafeteria to devour my lunch of rice, fish, and root vegetables. At least the food was nice here.
My anatomy class was required for everyone in the sexual labor and erotic performance tracks, although the EP girls only had to take levels 1 and 2; we SLs were stuck taking all six levels. The third-floor classroom was bigger than standard, with long tables between the desks. The instructor was a tall, heavy woman with a mane of black hair and a colorful dress. Before even introducing herself, she bade us split into groups of four and sat at her desk.
I scanned my thirty-one classmates. A few vaguely familiar faces, but no one I’d talked to. On second glance, though, one caught my eye - Yasmin Kholl, the lanky redhead who’d been admitted to the school alongside me. Her eyes landed on me; she didn’t seem to know anyone else either. We found another pair and sat together around one of the long tables.
The instructor stood up and the last two groups hastened to sit down. She cast them a baleful glare. “Good. My name is M. Karakas and I will be leading your exploration of anatomy, with a focus on erogenous zones and giving pleasure. Each session of class will begin with a lecture. Then, on a rotating basis, one member of each group will be assigned the role of ‘demonstration’ in order for their three partners to get some hands-on experience with what you learned.”
She went straight into her lesson on nerve endings, leaving me to wonder just how hands-on she meant. With sixty minutes of class left, our group had to select our first “demonstration,” or as we quickly came to call it among ourselves, “doll.” We used a random drawing to choose Yasmin, who, blushing furiously, pulled off her clothes and laid face-up on the table between our desks. M. Karakas brought up images and videos on the big display, and my fellow examiners and I followed along, feeling, poking, and probing our doll.
It was a difficult role to be cast in. Two dolls got weekend detentions for noncooperation before they capitulated to take their place, and four more got paddlings for “overreaction.” Yasmin was one of them. M. Karakas was prowling by our table just as she let out an audible gasp at my stroking of her thigh. Karakas ordered Yasmin to turn over and gave her six hard thwacks across the buttocks and upper thighs with an orange paddle. I took a moment to admire the coloring of her slender ass before she rolled back over and let us continue with our “examination.” When class was over, she was hasty to pull on her clothes and flee.
From the third floor I headed to my worst class, Submission. Everyone had it on their schedule each quarter they attended the institute, everyone hated it, and we on the SL track got it worst. The conceit was that we would, through practice, grow accustomed to passivity and following orders even despite pain, humiliation, or anger. Each session, one to three students would be brought to the front of the class to participate in such an exercise. While the instructor, M. Tai, occupied himself with these subjects, a prefect was always present to keep an eye on the rest of the room. With her paddle, she castigated anyone who fidgeted in their seat, looked away from the front, flinched, or otherwise slipped up.
Although I had nineteen classmates, eight were on the personal service track, rarely selected as subjects. So once every week or two I had to endure the instructor’s personal attention, following his orders immediately and exactly, without so much as twitching of my own volition. Recalcitrance or displays of emotion were met with immediate consequences. In these sessions I always had to remove my dress, and sometimes other parts of my uniform. Sometimes the instructor would get in my face, telling me I was stupid, worthless, ugly, or whatever else until I reacted; when I winced or cried or, stupidly, retorted, he put me over his knee and whipped me with his belt. Sometimes he would even choke me, lying me down and kneeling over me as he held me down by the throat. The first time he did that I struggled, which earned me a detention, ensuring I never again resisted his efforts at punishment.
In other sessions I was joined at the front of the room by one or two classmates. They were usually in the SL track too, since the erotic performance students were subject to different exercises. Sometimes the instructor made us compete with each other, punishing the first to snap or the last to obey; alternately we had to work together and were punished as a group for failure.
In my first submission class, M. Tai verbally berated two EP students, forcing them to answer his degrading questions and pinching or slapping them at any reticence. One of them had pendulous tits and I was hypnotized at the way they quivered under her shirt. I tried to keep my eye off them since staring felt impolite, but the prefect caught me looking away. I had to pull my dress up over my ass and brace my hands on my desk as she gave me four swats with her orange paddle. I gave up and just enjoyed the sight as best I could, but I still got a second paddling before class was over for poor posture.
After M. Tai’s class I was glad for the respite of my short study period. I had a reading assignment for my solar history class, but I decided I would start on it after dinner. I retreated to my dorm for a moment of relative solitude. At first I thought I was alone, but I heard heavy breathing and realized Marcille was sitting in her bunk, knees to her chest.
“Are you -” I stopped at her answering glare. If she wanted some privacy I couldn’t blame her. I retreated to my own bunk, not sure where else to go, and sat in a position where Marcille and I couldn’t see each other. I tried to collect my thoughts, but only minutes later the door opened again.
I didn’t recognize the girl who came in at a glance, but I assumed it was one of my roommates until she stepped inside and I noticed she wore a prefect’s badge. I sat up, checking that my uniform was in order and remembered that Marcille had her dress unbuttoned and her shoes and bow tie removed.
“Hi, did I meet you last night? Oh, you’re a prefect. I’m Jane,” I blurted. “So it’s not that you slept here and I just forgot your face, I guess?” I wouldn’t normally have risked being the first to speak, but I wanted to buy time for Marcille to put her uniform in order.
“Prefects all live on the sixth floor,” the intruder said. “Just checking in.” She took a few more steps inside. I clenched my jaw as her gaze fell on Marcille. “You’re supposed to wear your tie at all times, fresh fish.”
“It - it came loose,” Marcille stammered. Standing up, I could see that she’d at least managed to button her dress and slip on her shoes.
“Oh, and just when I walked in here, right? What unlucky timing. Get it tied and get up.”
Marcille got up. I could see she was crying in earnest now. Heedless, the prefect ordered her to lift her skirt and bend over, hands on the desk in the center of the floor. “Count off three strokes,” she said as she gripped her orange paddle.
With the first stroke, Marcille’s heavy thighs tensed. She grit her teeth and said “one,” but the prefect paused.
“Louder than that,” she said. “Start over.” Marcille obliged, choking with some mixture of shame and fury as she called out, “one!” When it was done, the prefect admonished her once more and left.
Marcille sank to the floor. I sat next to her. “Don’t touch me,” she warned through clenched teeth.
“I won’t. Are - can I do anything?”
She put her fists to her forehead. “There’s nothing.”
“Marcille,” I started, worried.
For several long minutes, she didn’t say anything. Her breathing was quick and irregular, but she seemed to do an exercise that slowed it. A little calmer, she spat, “I can’t do what they want me to do. I would - I would be someone different, if I did.”
“Adaptation, right? Or maladaptation,” I said. I felt like it was a thought I’d had before, but the memory didn’t quite connect. “Your environment changes you, especially when it’s as harsh as this one.”
“I don’t want to change.”
I leaned on the desk behind us. “Is there a way not to?”
“Aren’t you angry?”
“I don’t even know who I was three weeks ago,” I said. “I don’t know where else I could be right now, or what I would be like.”
“Amnesia?” It seemed to distract her.
“I’m not even supposed to be here,” she said. “I was studying to be a pilot, if you can believe it.”
“I can. What happened?”
“Uh - I had trouble leaving my room for a while. I thought I would complete my training at some point but at the last minute they didn’t have room for me in the program, I couldn’t finish another program in time.” She leaned back, banging her head lightly against the desk. “I don’t like to be touched at the best of times so I was really trying not to be sent here.”
“Tanj,” I said, “truly shit luck. Listen, Marcille, I have a class soon but do you want to eat together tonight?”
She laughed joylessly. “I have a class too. What time is it?”
I checked my terminal. “17.3. I really do have to get going,” I said.
“I shouldn’t be late either,” she said, standing up. “I’ll see you at dinner.”
I couldn’t help smiling a little as I made my way downstairs again. Near room 317 I stopped at one of the odd restroom alcoves to take a piss. I made it to the classroom with time to spare before my remedial language class.
Talking to Marcille, I felt a human connection lacking from any other encounter I could remember. The strength of my desire for a simple conversation was almost frightening to me. And besides, I’d found myself interested in her the first time I’d laid eyes on her.
My anticipation only made a dull class even more difficult to endure. I counted the minutes until it was over, earning myself a hard paddling as I leaned on the instructor’s desk at the front of the room. My stinging cheeks didn’t make it any easier to sit through the last forty minutes of class, but when it finally did come to an end I forgot all about it in my haste to get upstairs.
I sat with Marcille at dinner, picking at my fish as she told me about the Sol-Earth L5 station, where she’d lived before her father got a better contract and moved her here. I didn’t have much to contribute myself, of course, but she seemed to enjoy telling me about her past.
After dinner, we talked for a while more in our dorm and worked on some small assignments. At lights-out, I laid down exhausted and fell asleep quickly. So passed my first day of classes.
EARLY THE NEXT morning I reported to the workshop for my scheduled shift. The supervisor for my assigned work bill - a young woman employed by the company paying for the labor contract - showed me how to glue components into plastic chasses to create flimsy lamp fixtures. I didn’t mind the work at first; it was meditative in a way. Whenever I paused for a moment or slowed down, though, the client would signal to the prefect on duty. I was instructed to stand and, bracing against the workbench, received three or four swats from her paddle. By the end of the three-hour shift it hurt to sit down.
Next was my cultures class, where I was instructed on the customs, governance, and relations of the various solar polities. It was actually somewhat interesting. Could I have been from one of these stations or colonies, despite the lack of documentation? It was impossible to be sure. At least I had one class that wouldn’t be completely terrible or mind-numbingly dull.
I would have sat with Marcille at lunch, but her schedule was different from mine and she was just finishing her food by the time I arrived at the cafeteria. I polished off the simple fare while doing some of the assigned reading for my history class.
I sat through my brief station procedures class with no incident; it was mostly focused around the station’s emergency protocols. I finished my history reading in the brief study period I had afterward.
I arrived at my Service class just in time to avoid another detention. The instructor, a severe man with a severe mustache, glared at me but made no comment. Standing from his desk, he started off the class with a lengthy speech about knowing one’s place in the world and accepting it, about filling the position one was assigned with grace, efficiency, and pride.
Two quarters of this class were mandatory for students on my track. Better than having to take it all six quarters, like those on the personal service track. It was all about learning to serve one’s employer, client, or master in the most effective and efficient manner. Certainly the vague purpose of the class didn’t make it any more interesting than it was. Service was easily my most boring class, and it seemed to have been intended that way. If we weren’t listening to an impassioned lecture about being a good cog in a machine, we were doing some dull, repetitive and completely pointless task.
My last class of the day was Psychology 1. Like Anatomy, it was largely focused around sex and attraction. We did learn some basic principles of providing impromptu therapy. It wasn’t especially interesting, but I didn’t run into any problems there either.
I slept easier that night than I had the last.
MY TORRENT OF words trails off as you signal for me to stop. “Well, that should give you an idea about it, anyway,” I say.
“Oh, it does,” you tell me. “I admit to being intrigued and titillated.”
Though nonplussed, I smile. “It was eight hundred years ago - much longer really, eight hundred from my viewpoint - but it was still the first experience I can remember.”
“Oh, I know it was ages back. Still, I might ask you to tell me more about your gym block, or that Submission class. Or some of the other classes they put you in, I guess. Not to mention your crush.”
“I did have a crush on her, even then.”
“You met her again, didn’t you say? After your posting on the freighter?”
“If you can believe it.”
“After living so long you must have more stories than I have time for,” you say, melancholy. “And after having you for so long - I suppose I should have asked sooner.”
I don’t know how to respond to that. So much of my life has been so monotonous and humiliating, and promises to continue that way.
“Well, we can talk again tomorrow.” You gesture to your aide. The heavyset man, who has been standing by your sickbed, takes the handles of the modified wheelchair to which I’m bound. He wheels me out of your suite and performs the same bedtime routine I’ve been subjected to every day since you got too sick to use me as a bed slave.
In one of the hive’s bathrooms, the aide releases me from the chair. I gratefully remove my feet from the stirrups (which can be repositioned to spread my legs) and stand in my two-inch pumps. They’re the same powder pink color as everything you allow me to wear.
The aide then undoes the crotch strap of my straitjacket, which holds my arms across my ribs just under my naked breasts. I squat over the drain and he taps the tiny console implanted at the base of my neck, on my back. It opens my catheter and lets my bladder drain. He removes my anal plug (a sizable one that can vibrate or administer shocks on command), does my evening enema and then finishes removing my straitjacket, as well as my pumps, so he can rinse me off with the shower. My thin rubber hood, covering most of my head except my face, and the rubber mittens that keep my hands clenched into fists, are waterproof and only removed once weekly for my full “spa treatment.”
Once the aide has me clean, dried, and moisturized, he replaces my pumps and plug and hands me my diaper. It used to be that my catheter would simply be closed all night. After a couple times when you were busy with other affairs and I was left in bed, fit to burst, until late afternoon, the doctor was concerned about kidney damage. So I pull on the diaper. As the aide sets my catheter to remain open, I can already feel a few drops of pee leak into the lining. Even after so many years of humiliations like this, I feel a blush creep across my face.
The aide then sticks my nighttime gag in my mouth and fastens it in place with the attached harness. It’s made of heavy leather. There’s one steel ring at each cheek, linked to the strap that goes over my mouth and holds the gag in place. Another strap connects the rings under my chin, and there’s another that goes around the back of my head. The back of this strap is attached to the one that goes over my head, down to the bridge of my nose, where it splits to connect to the rings at my cheeks. The gag itself is leather, with a rubber bladder behind my teeth. The aide gives it a couple pumps so that it fills my mouth and pokes down my throat.
Slaves aren’t permitted in public areas without restraints. I barely wince as the aide clips a thin chain to my nipples and holds the attached leash. I follow the aide through the hall, avoiding the gaze of a few citizens. A slave is a common sight in the hive, but I’m more than a foot taller than average here and the stares of the passers-by only remind me of how ridiculous I look.
We soon arrive at the chamber where the hive’s slaves are stored when not in use. Two rows of hatches, like the doors of ovens, are set into the wall - one at floor level, one just above those. The aide removes my nipple chain, opens my assigned hatch and slides out my bed. It’s a narrow, padded slab, with a rectangular frame over it which allows it to slide in and out and to which are attached the bed’s adjustable restraints. I climb on and lie on my back, making sure the pillow holds my neck at a comfortable angle. The aide slides the padded bar over my knees in place, keeping me from lifting my legs; then the bar at my ribcage, keeping me from sitting up; then clips my rubber mittens to one of the eyelets around the edges of the bed; and finally plugs the cable in to the back of my neck, which will recharge my driver’s batteries.
Satisfied with my helpless state, the aide bids me sleep well and slides me into the wall, closing the hatch behind me. It’s dark, but I can hear the breathing of the other slaves. My hip even brushes against one of my neighbors. It seems like she’s being punished - every few minutes she tenses, squirming as far as she can with her restraints. I remember when you would, during the night, remotely activate my anal plug or my gag to administer shocks or vibrations. These days it doesn’t seem like you even care enough about me to hurt me.
I lie in the dark. Even after so many years of monotony like this, no control, no stimulation, it’s still unbearable at times. But I have to bear it. Maybe forever. I’m one of the oldest human beings who has ever lived, and all I can do is either squirm like my neighbor or try to lie still. I want to meet people, experience art, look at plants. Instead I’ve spent centuries restrained in rope, leather, steel; beaten by paddles and whips and bare hands; gawked at in the most degrading outfits and positions my captors can think up; groped, fucked, and used like a doll.
Before long, I manage to quiet my thoughts and slip into a state akin to meditation. It’s a skill I’ve had to learn, because the only alternative is truly to lose my mind. Soon I fall asleep. Maybe we’ll talk again tomorrow.