Part 2c: Beckett Automation
This is the rest of the dark conclusion to The Johnson Rope Factory that I hadstarted some time ago, you are forewarned as it might not be to everybody's liking. Constructive comments always welcome, especially with regard to the nature of the ending.
...I found myself (and my spool) on that truck deck and strapped down for shipping while pondering the irony of my fate, my lust for kinky games in combination with a desire for a new and dominate playmate perhaps my final undoing. I had a foreboding feeling that one day my precious machines could play a part in sealing my fate, but not like this...
I assumed I would end up somewhere south of where we were presently, the tax base and labor rate being lower, and it being closer to the source of the raw materials needed to produce organic rope. If I were to start this business from scratch that's the way I would do it, and while the woman I knew as Ms. Becket was young, her level of planning and the execution of that plan suggested intelligence. I might despise her for her treachery and deception, (at the expense of myself and Johnson Rope), but I knew it would be foolish to underestimate her abilities, most especially while trapped as I was by her own hand.
I suspected I might have to feint cooperation for a time, but out thinking this young and pretty little sadistic monster, (even while under her total dominant control), should at least be possible. I had formed the perfect advertising campaign once to propel Johnson Rope back into the black, and I suspected I would use those same creative juices again to form the perfect misinformation campaign for my captors. The dirty little secret was that I did some of my best work while bound and struggling, and here I could utilize my captors torments to my advantage.
The back up beeper stirred me from a torturous dream with Ms. Becket and her friends doing unspeakable things to my bound and helpless body as if I were under medieval interrogation, I for a moment thinking the sound was my alarm clock and my dream an erotic nightmare experienced instead in my bed.
As if to confirm this was real I felt the truck lurch backwards, (the driver likely exhausted from his all night drive), it backing into a gleaming new building, and a big electric forklift removing my spool from the truck deck smoothly and efficiently once he had removed the straps. When I finally was in a position to see the skilled operator to possibly beg him for help I instead saw that the forklift was robotic, and when the truck driver took his truck back outside I suspected I was the only human apparently present based on the dead silence of the building. Quiet and empty factories were always eerie to me, and this one bearing in mind both my utter helplessness and the method of delivery was even more so.
My mouth was impossibly dry and I felt half way toward death, my body aching and the eroticism of my situation the furthest thing from my now semi lucid mind. Still I was a machine enthusiast though, (to put it mildly), and even within my limited field of view I saw so much new and idle robotic production machinery that it looked like the floor of a trade show. The interest alone on all of these magnificent machines, not to mention the building itself, the running of utilities, the taxes, all of it must easily be five significant figures per month, maybe even six. All this cash going out the door to not produce a penny of revenue, (not to mention profit) explained Ms. Becket's desperation, and a small part of me felt sorry for my pretty captor.
Where did this kid get that kind of cash, or more likely credit, and what were her terms? Family money, it was the only explanation that made sense. She was a pretty thing to be sure, (and oh so confident), and likely used to getting whatever she wanted, but the scale of this indulgence would be hard to fathom if not seen with my own eyes.
As my spool was laid out horizontally by the robotic forklift for despooling I let that thought roll around in my still foggy mind, (a great deal of rolling obviously in my immediate future). I was in the possession of a desperate and sadistic near child with at best a Machiavellian moral code to guide her actions. Her kidnapping of myself, and her brash and ballsy grand theft from Johnson was proof of that alone. Genius level insanity with very little human empathy, and likely not one serious consequence in her short and pampered life was a terrifying concept to me, and she even had enablers to help her along that apparently shared her moral code, if one could call it that.
As I laid on that spool I zoned out, it wasn't sleep though as I suspected I had already done plenty of that while wrapped snugly in my blanket of rope on my all night truck ride. I was just watching in a kind of human stand by mode, but not really active mentally. That was something new for me, but I had been through a lot in a relatively short period of time. I then wondered philosophically if I would expire while wrapped to my spool while the machines themselves idly watched, I realizing that I had become just as dormant and useless as they were. In an odd kind of way we needed each other for our survival, although without some kind of human intervention I would likely expire long before they would...
"Welcome to my parlor..." a sharply dressed Ms. Becket said while startling me fully awake, she appearing as if by magic in my field of view. She held in her hands a Styrofoam restaurant take home container and a half drank bottle of water, both obviously her leftovers from some meal she had stopped off to get on her own return trip. Her fresh look suggested she had found some time to go home, nap, and shower, as well as eat, and I resented her stunning makeup perfect look as compared to my own stinky messed hair one. She untied the rope about my head and pulled my panties from my dry mouth, it feeling as if they pulled some of my skin out with them. My mouth remained agape however, those muscles refusing to work properly after being held open for so long.
"I must admit I had my doubts, but this just proves that your the perfect little resilient tool for what we have in mind" she continued just as irrationally. She then took a swig of her water bottle as I watched, her human empathy just as lacking as it had been earlier.
"Oh, I'll bet your thirsty after your trip, aren't you?" she asked, she then holding her water bottle just out of reach of my dry mouth. "I have some leftovers from my plate as well, there's a new Chinese place in town, their food is to die for" she added in torment. I was more thirsty than hungry, but would still gladly have her saliva contaminated water, and then the leftover food from her plate after that if she would let me.
"Before I graciously share my things with you though I will need the details of your raw materials purchases. Specifically the grade requirements, contaminate count, pricing structures, and discount rates if you would. I already know one of the keys is in the allowable contaminants percentage, but I can't exactly just call up and ask for the Johnson Rope mix in bulk without arousing suspicion now can I?"
"...No" I croaked after a long moments reflection, "I guess you can't..."
...I wanted that water, even needed that water for my survival, but I also suspected (erroneously) that once my captor had all the information she sought my overall value to her would decrease exponentially. I was both an asset and a liability on her ledger sheet at that moment, but I knew that could change in an instant.
I was convinced that every bit of information I gave up would take my net worth to her toward zero, with my possession likely the most damming bit of surviving evidence of her crime should I ever be discovered. Would I be made to disappear long before that could happen, possibly in trade as she had so flippantly suggested to get a discount on her purchases like some kind of macabre sacrificial human store coupon? If that were to happen I would then be reduced to nothing more than the coin that further facilitated her success, and I couldn't have that...
I stared back at my captor with a blank expression, I practicing my own little insanity as I offered up the only resistance I could muster in not cooperating with her, all while helplessly bound to a spool of rope and dehydrated, possibly even to the point of delirium...
"...Oh, I do love a challenge" Ms. Becket offered cheerfully after we stared each other down for a few seconds. I might have been starving and thirsty beyond imagination, but she had tens of millions of dollars of debt within my sight and an idle factory not producing a penny, so time wasn't exactly on her side of this conflict either...
...I didn't exactly remember passing out, nor being put out, nor much of anything for that matter, so to say that I suddenly woke would be a misnomer, but I do remember gradually becoming more conscious one layer at a time. For several torturous moments somewhere in the middle of all that I thought I had expired, and then realizing with both dread and elation that I had not while feeling my heart's impossibly slow rhythmic beat in my oddly tight chest.
My world was dark and my limbs a million miles away, I feeling closed in inside my quiet container, the air working into and out of my lungs tasting chemical in nature and certainly not fresh.
What had caused my mind to refer to this dark and quiet place with that particular word, and why did my respiration feel controlled and unnatural?
Had that monster buried me alive intentionally after binding me up once again in my precious rope as a salute to my kink in the ultimate send off? I wondered with a fresh wave of horror, only for me to slowly suffocate or loose my mind in exchange for my refusal to cooperate with her. Or had she made one single fatal mistake in her remarkable plan and only thought I had expired, sealing me up in a shipping box and burying me deep in the silent ground where not a soul would ever look once I became unresponsive and was presumed by her to be on the other side of the dark veil?
I then moved my right arm experimentally only to discover it would now, but reluctantly move, where seconds before it wouldn't. With my new freedom I then slowly stretched out with my arm to explore my container by touch as I couldn't see nor hear a thing other than my heart's over slow beating, only to deduce that nothing was within my hands grasp, including my own body.
As the layers of my mind's fog cleared and my senses came further on line I realized there was no up or down in my new dark world, and no single pressure on any part of my body that could account for supporting my weight. I thrashed about to test this new theory, but my rapid motions met an equally firm and viscous resistance. There was no single point of contact binding me, but I still felt a desperation that should have caused my heart to pound in my chest.
Still my heart beat ever so slowly, it's unnatural rhythm belying the panic I was feeling.
I then tried to scream in exasperation, only to find that my screams produced no sound, although I was not gagged in any traditional way, my own hot breath felt reflected on my face from my efforts...
"Hello?" I asked almost silently, "Is anybody out there?" My voice this time reaching my ears and sounding painfully desperate.
"Help me!" I pleaded.
More silence... But then an ever so quiet response to my plea almost at the edge on my ability to hear, even in this ultra quiet new world of mind.
"Help yourself..." The soft female voice advised.
I recognized that voice as my own, but I gave into it's familiar requests, willing to do anything just to be allowed to interact with another human being, even if it was myself in some form of oxygen deprived delirium.
Did it even matter that I asked myself the exact same things that the sadistic Ms. Becket wanted to know? Not from my point of view, nor was I anything less that completely honest, even when my own voice asked the most personal of things that it should already know. I laid my soul bare, confessing to being bound repeatedly to the machines I lusted for in private and by my own hand, fornicating with them in a way that most wouldn't understand.
"There is a final guilt" my own voice charged after a long period of silence, this not a question.
I knew what that voice was referring to, I had promised to cooperate with my captor no matter what, but that vow had been made under extreme duress.
My conscience was having none of that though, the conviction by my own voice firm in it's resolve.
"I will now honor my vow" I spoke out loud. Wondering if this was enough.
"And pay for your many transgressions." The voice advised.
"Yes, that too, anything."
...Several lab coated technicians, (and one well dressed notable exception), stood around what looked like a massive aquarium placed at the direct center of a gleamingly clean factory floor, a most unusual place for such an extravagant display, especially considering that the factory was robotic. Inside the display a well lit single female human form lay suspended midway from the bottom in a viscous transparent fluid, her entire body covered by a thin black neoprene sensor suit with wires and cables evident throughout.
Her head was obviously bald and encased in a complimentary tight black hood that most closely resembled a divers full face wetsuit hood, the accompanying full face mask blacked out though and strapped tightly in place, it's hoses and wire harness tied into the others of the suit and disturbingly called an umbilical cord by technicians with little human empathy. The female body tightly encased within was indistinguishable from any other in good overall physical condition, as was their intention. In another setting the neoprene covered body on display in that tank would have been desirable to the men present, and even the female technicians if that was their preference, but this was a clinical test subject, and their work too groundbreaking to have such silly sensibilities.
The test subject's bikini area had additional coverage as well, not for modesty, but to allow the hoses, sensors, and actuators inserted through it to be held in place and not accidentally expelled. These were for obvious long term waste removal, as well as to allow for other forms of behavioral modification both positive and negative should the need arise.
Once the technician's had started their preparations on the test subject supplied to them by their customer, Becket Automation, she became an it as far as they were concerned. No longer a human, but a piece of equipment to be used, tinkered with, and tweaked for maximized performance and nothing more. The fact that it had been supplied naked, shaved, and strapped to a table with respirator in place made that a little easier obviously, although this particular group had little ethical paradigms.
"Time: six hours fifty four minutes" one of the techs observed to the group in general, she observing to no one specifically that the high I.Q. ones always break quickly. Sensory deprivation was old school, but it still worked for gaining what's in ones mind without resorting to straight up torture, especially when the questions were asked in your own voice, which the computer could easily emulate. This wasn't necessarily about interrogation though, the questions were just a convenient way to ensure that the device suspended inside that tank was responsive to external stimuli and their plans could proceed.
"When can we bring it online?" the anxious Ms. Becket asked, she didn't have the raw materials in place yet, but that was just a detail now that they had a proper materials list.
"Auto mapping next" the senior technician informed their customer. "The master control unit will assign connection points from the FPU, or female processing unit if you prefer, to the various machines one at a time, each zone in your factory corresponding to a limb, for now, while we assess it's capabilities."
"Now that you have it plugged in and running, do you think it will be able to manage all the machines?" Mr. Becket asked. That was the whole point after all, machines all did pretty much the same kinds of jobs in heavy industry, the electronic processing units themselves only becoming obsolete and costly to replace, and then to interface with the older machines. This FPU device would be an answer to that, if it worked as planned, it easily running for forty plus years with proper care, and endlessly upgradeable.
...Reprogramming and re tasking with words alone, what a concept, and in the big scheme of things cheap, Ms. Becket thought to herself. In any other situation a forty year old processor was at best a doorstop, she had seen one of them in a museum once as a child, and it was with this inspiration that she had went looking for the perfect candidate to prove her little theory when able. The fact that they were making rope for this first test of application just some ironic icing on the cake to her.
As usual, Ms. Becket thought to herself, the really smart people did the heavy lifting, she only providing the resources, and the candidate presently suspended in the transparent goo before her. It was nearly perfect for the task at hand, intelligent, knowledgeable of machines in general, and specifically with what they were producing. And of course free for the taking, provided the authorities were misled as she had intended with their little bait and switch faux escape. If it had been a few years younger it might have been better, but the trade off for it's specific skill set was worth it, and others with different skills could always be found for the next automation project, and if need be the tank was even large enough for two on this one if the twenty four seven pace were too much...
"Easily" the senior technician offered with a confidence she may or may not have believed, she had a lot riding on this project as well, but neither of the ladies were as firmly committed as the FPU currently floating in the tank before them...
Story also has a 'Nice' Conclusion here: Part 2a: The Nice Conclusion
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