The Secrets of Shackleton Grange 24: A Shift in the Balance of Power

by Steve Spandex

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© Copyright 2018 - Steve Spandex - Used by permission

Storycodes: F/ff; gagged; catsuits; spandex; released; recovery; plan; FFF/fff; tank; water; drugged; controlled; sbf; rope; cuffs; bond; cons; X

(story continues from )

Chapter 24: A Shift in the Balance of Power

What do you think would happen if, after having been kept tied up by their host for days on end, humiliated and scared out of their wits, three spandex-clad young ladies suddenly found that they had the run of the rambling old house in which they’d been imprisoned, with all the dungeons and other places of incarceration now available to them, and with copious amounts of bondage equipment such as ropes and shackles just sitting there waiting to be experimented with?

After the ordeal and trauma each had suffered, most victims of the atrocities that they’d been put through would harbour a burning desire to leave this house with its horrific memories, never again to return to the scene of their worst nightmares. After which, the logical action to take would be to alert the authorities to what had occurred, and have the perpetrator arrested, with the hope that she would be jailed for the foreseeable future for kidnapping, false imprisonment and torture.

So the fact that the now freed threesome didn’t take this course of action might elicit the raising of an eyebrow with many people. Why, they would ask, did this disparate trio not simply let the police and courts deal with the matter? Well, to answer this question, you’ll need to get into the minds of all three young women, whose world’s had been turned upside down, and whose lives would never be the same again.

The catalyst for the drastic course that the three were about to embark on was, without doubt, the most recent arrival in the house; the journalist and amateur detective Saskia. Although without the consent and willingness of the other two to play along, none of her plans could ever have come to fruition.


The human mind is a very curious thing. It can be very susceptible to suggestion and the influence that others can bring to bear on it, especially when in a fragile condition or tense situation, such as a crisis or extreme state of emotional shock. And that was the state of play with the mental processes of both Cathy and Bethany as they sat in the corridor just outside the Training Room that Monday afternoon. Added to this delicate state of affairs was the fact that they were only just beginning the recovery process from some powerfully debilitating narcotic substances, which had temporarily left them with their psychological guards down and their capacity for rational thought severely depleted. So the message being delivered by this woman who stood over them - their saviour - was always going to hold sway over other, more logical considerations at that precise moment.

Too lethargic still for physical exertion of any description, the recently released duo sat slumped on the carpeted floor, looking up with bemused eyes at the woman who had removed the tight leather straps from their wrists, ankles and all points in between, before leading them away from the constant stream of bondage propaganda that had been infiltrating their malfunctioning brains for the past few hours. Both still remained gagged; pairs of rolled up tights filling their mouths, which were then held in place by several circuits of grey duct tape that had bonded like glue to their skin. These were the last remnants of their bonds, and Saskia had deliberately left them vocally impaired for the time being; her reasoning being that, as what she had to say was – she considered – quite important, she didn’t want to be interrupted whilst delivering her projected plans for what she had in mind for Dolores. Not that either of the pair possessed the mental capabilities to hold a sensible conversation at present.

Saskia began by explaining how she’d escaped from her bonds, before making her daring leap from one balcony to the next. Being accustomed to writing expressive prose, transferring this skill to the spoken word caused her little problem, and she was quickly into her stride; with the journalist in her soon making its presence felt in her long-winded, don’t-use-one-word-when-ten- would-be-more-illustrative style. And then she dropped her bombshell, as she explained how she’d found Dolores all tied up by her own hand, lying on the four-poster bed.

As she gave her account of what had transpired, Saskia watched the two members of her audience, trying to ascertain exactly how much of this they were taking in. Both seemed to be aware that Saskia was addressing them, as their eyes remained fixed on the speaker as she paced up and down in front of them. When she reached the part where she informed them of Dolores’ current incapacitated state, Saskia noticed Cathy’s eyebrows rise a fraction of an inch; a sign, she guessed, that the gist of her story was getting through. Bethany, too, showed that her brain had in some way grasped the relevance of what this could mean for all of them, as her eyes - until now heavily lidded and drowsy - suddenly widened. In fine detail, Saskia continued with her tale, explaining how she’d bundled the helpless and now completely harmless Mistress into her own wardrobe, before securing it.

But if the still partially disorientated and confused women thought that the story Saskia had been weaving was by now reaching its conclusion, they were soon to discover otherwise. For as soon as she’d finished her discourse on locking Dolores up, Saskia’s monologue segued seamlessly into a graphic description of the next phase of her quest, which involved her excursion into the cellar, where she’d had her encounter with the three bound servants in all their tank-encased aquatic glory.

Under ordinary circumstances, the thread that Saskia was spinning would have been a lot to take in all at once. So imagine what it must have been like for two girls coming around after what could only be described as a trip to oblivion and back. And although Saskia had some inkling that she might be going too fast for her audience, she decided to carry on regardless; figuring that, if the bondage videos and affiliated aural messages had sunk in during their time in mental limbo, then surely her own outpourings could also subconsciously take hold. And anyway, surely getting their minds off the subject matter of the videos and onto something else – albeit still bondage related – as soon as possible must have a good chance of diluting some of the visual and aural poison that had been pumped into their befuddled brains.

Having described her discovery of the fate of Dolores’ three servants, Saskia took a long, deep breath, as she prepared to drop her bombshell as to how she aimed to deal with Dolores and punish her for her sins. She’d been monitoring the response levels of her audience of two for the duration of her speech so far, and had noticed a few telltale signs that both were showing symptoms of emerging from their chemically induced stupors. With some trepidation she launched into the next phase of her narrative.


Saskia’s plans for how the situation that she had inherited could be used to her own advantage, had been running through her mind ever since she’d found Dolores in all her self-bound splendour. The notion of going to the police with her allegations of inhuman practices taking place in this ancient stately home, in order to have her arrested, were quickly jettisoned from her thinking. The reasoning that she used to build up a solid case for discarding this more obvious solution to the problem, was that any punishment that the courts handed out, even if they were ruthless with their sentencing, simply wouldn’t be severe enough for what Dolores had put herself and the two other captive females through. What Dolores deserved instead, she decided in her self-appointed role as both judge and jury, was a taste of her own medicine. And the way this evil bitch would truly be made to suffer for her crimes, was if Saskia, hopefully aided and abetted by Cathy and Bethany if she could convince them to play along, took the law into their own hands. So as it had become apparent that Dolores’ plans had been to keep her three detainees incarcerated indefinitely, then the only way forward was to reciprocate by holding their former captor for a similarly indeterminate period of time. Saskia found it easy to convince herself that this was the course to follow, although in reality, deep down, she must have known that this wasn’t the only reason - or even the primary one - for her verdict.

No, what Saskia was becoming aware of, yet still trying to suppress in a clear case of self-denial, was that the thought of keeping someone else bound, gagged, chained and helplessly trapped was a big turn on for her. She had never had thoughts like this before in her life, and the concept would probably have been abhorrent to her only a day or two ago. So why the change in her worldview all of a sudden? Okay, so she hated Dolores with a passion for what she had been put through since Saturday, but that didn’t really explain her determination to shackle, fetter and tether Dolores 24/7 for... how long exactly? Several weeks at least, if not months... or maybe even years if the urge was still strong. The real reason behind her diabolical decision to incarcerate and humiliate her former tormentor, was that the mere thought of this level of torture sent an extremely pleasant tingling sensation up her spine. It was all too thrilling for words!

So how was this ambitious custodial project going to be brought to fruition? There was only one way as far as Saskia was concerned, and that was to take over the running of Shackleton Grange, the BATH society, and all the activities that went with it, such as the bondage classes, parties and any other perverse events that Dolores may have in the pipeline. But to do this she would need accomplices, and who better than the two girls that, more than anyone else, should be champing at the bit for revenge, and want to see Dolores dealt with harshly for the way they’d been treated?

There were, of course, a million logical objections as to why the scheme that Saskia was hatching would never work... at least not in the long term. But for the time being, Saskia cast aside these annoying doubts, which occasionally seeped into her thinking, as undesirable intrusions and irrelevances. The only thing on her mind at present was revenge, and she was determined to obtain it at all costs. All she had to do, when moments of doubt crept into her thinking and threatened to rock the boat, was to visualise the way she was going to tie Dolores up ultra-tightly so that she couldn’t move a muscle. And with images such as these in her mind’s eye, the uncertainty would melt away, and her resolve would strengthen still further, until her zeal for what she was by now determined to undertake verged on the fanatical.


Cathy’s brain had taken in the gist of the day’s events as described to least to a certain extent. She was aware that Dolores was no longer a threat to any of them, and that the servants too were out of action just at the moment. But the latter part of this woman’s rant seemed to make very little sense, and she began to wonder if she’d heard correctly, or whether maybe she was lapsing back into her former dreamlike state once more. For surely the things she was asking herself and Bethany to be a part of were both impractical and irrational. If she’d understood correctly, Saskia – she now recalled that this was the name Dolores had introduced her as – had no plans to alert the police to what had transpired in the last ten days or so, in order to have her arrested and charged with abduction, false imprisonment and who knows what else, but instead proposed that the three of them – Saskia, Bethany and herself – should mete out their own form of justice, by keeping Dolores tied and helpless and therefore give her a taste of what they’d all gone through. And to make sure that the former Mistress of Shackleton Grange suffered in the most humiliating way possible, Saskia also suggested that they should take over the BATH Society bondage classes, and parade Dolores before the unsuspecting pupils like an exhibit in a museum. How weird was that?

But then again, the more she thought about it, maybe Saskia had a point. Not only did Dolores deserve everything that was coming to her, but there was also the possibility that, with the Mistress indisposed, Cathy might get the chance to do what she’d originally come here for, namely to get her hands on some of the valuables and collectables that a place like this invariably has lying around. She’d seen cabinets full of silverware, antique vases and ornaments, and a lot of other stuff that would probably fetch a good price. And it wasn’t as if she’d been in every room, or been allowed free run of the house, so she reasoned that this was just the tip of the iceberg, and that a lot more treasures must still be hidden away. The place was, she guessed, an absolute goldmine of riches, just waiting to be spirited away and converted into cash on the black-market. Going along with Saskia’s plan, therefore, would kill two birds with one stone; punish Dolores for keeping her tied up for over a week, as well as being financially very lucrative.

And besides all this, hadn’t she, on several occasions - such as when she’d been vacuum packed, or when she and Bethany had enjoyed conjoined crotch ropes - caught a glimpse of what fun bondage could be? Maybe it was worth hanging around for a while to explore this strange phenomenon in a bit more detail. Even though she was still feeling the after-effects of the drugs, she found herself coming to the conclusion that, all things considered, this was indeed a good, or perhaps brilliant idea, and one that she was willing to become whole-heartedly immersed in.

But the finer details of this scheme would have to wait for now. After having been overwhelmed with images of bondage for several hours, accompanied by the repeated messages that had wound themselves around her brain, only to then be bombarded with this strange yet oddly enticing proposition as to how the situation should be resolved, all Cathy wanted to do right now was rest.


Bethany, too, was struggling to comprehend the monologue that had reached her ears. What was that about keeping Dolores tied up to teach her a lesson? Surely she had misheard, or more likely given her state of mind at the moment, misunderstood. She had to admit though, that there seemed a sort of logic to what Saskia was intending, and the bondage lover in her was intrigued at the idea of getting involved in the whole process of running bondage classes and events. If that was really what Saskia was insinuating, then she would have to give it some serious thought. With Dolores out of the way, bondage suddenly took on a brighter glow again, and despite the fact that she’d just spent days on end in bound limbo with her future uncertain, the submissive flame in her still burnt strongly, and the thought that maybe she could even put herself forward as a guinea pig for the attendees of the bondage classes and other events to experiment on, sent a shudder of delight coursing through her.

But thought wasn’t something that came easily to her at the moment, and she found her mind drifting in and out of focus as the data she was being fed increased to a point where she was on the verge of information overload. Her limbs still failed to respond to the commands from her brain, and her mouth felt as if it was packed with something that she couldn’t easily remove. Her bleary eyes followed the image of the speaker as she paced before her, but she knew that at any moment her heavy lids would succumb to the overwhelming desire to close. And so they did.


Saskia finished outlining her ideas to her two less than animated listeners, then looked at each in turn.

“So what do you think, then?”

If she was expecting an answer of any description to this question, she was to be disappointed, although in reality she must have known that neither woman was in any way capable of agreeing or arguing at that moment. For not only were they only just beginning to emerge from mental hibernation, but on top of this neither Cathy nor Bethany had taken any steps to remove the gags they both wore; either due to the effort needed to raise their hands to their faces, or maybe because their brains hadn’t computed the fact that the tights and tape were still in place. Bethany now appeared to be asleep, while Cathy simply stared at Saskia as if she were mad. Had the message got through? She had no way of knowing, and she guessed that perhaps she’d foisted too much detail on the stunned twosome for comprehension to sink in. Perhaps it would be better to let them recuperate for an hour or two, before trying again.


As this thought was taking shape, Saskia suddenly noticed Cathy begin to move her limbs. Slowly, she tried to stand, using both the wall at her back and Saskia’s proffered arm as props. Cathy’s legs felt like jelly, and the effort of moving at all seemed to suck what little energy she had from her. But with Saskia’s assistance, she steadied herself.

“Come on, let’s find somewhere more comfortable for you to lie down for a while.”

Saskia’s knowledge of the layout of Shackleton Grange was sketchy, to say the least, but Cathy seemed to know where she was heading, and made a beeline for the parlour, where she knew there were armchairs into which she could sink whilst she regained her mental and physical faculties.

Unlike on previous visits to this high-ceilinged room, there was no log fire log blazing in the hearth on this occasion, although the charred remains of a recent conflagration were still evident. Helping Cathy onto the soft, plush furniture, it suddenly occurred to Saskia that maybe some sort of liquid refreshment might boost the revival process.

“Stay here and relax while I get you some water. Oh, and by the way, you might want to start unpeeling that tape from your face, if you think you’re up to it.”

Saskia walked away and exited the room, leaving Cathy alone with her thoughts for a few minutes. She hadn’t even realised that she was still gagged until now; probably because it had become an habitual state of affairs for more than a week now, and she’d grown accustomed to the sensation of cloth filling her mouth and tape bonding securely to her flesh. Tentatively, her arms still feeling like they were weighted with lead, she began to pick at the tape across her mouth. Locating the stuck down end proved problematic at first, but once her nails had succeeded in releasing enough of the grey adhesive strip for her to grasp between thumb and forefinger, the actual operation of detaching tape from face became a little easier. That was, until she came to the lowest, skin-bonded layer, at which point the process transmuted into a more painful, and therefore slower, undertaking, as stray strands of hair were yanked violently, and the tender flesh of her cheeks felt as if it too was being stripped away.

Finally, however, the tape surrendered its last, desperate grip on her lips. Cathy’s skin felt raw and tender in the area now revealed to the world for the first time in what seemed like an eternity, and she gingerly rubbed her fingers across her mouth and cheeks. It was only then that her still confused brain took on board the fact that there was something still stuffed inside her mouth; something which, although it seemed a familiar, almost customary impediment, was alien and foul tasting, and needed to be discarded with as much haste as she could muster. The removal of the cavity filling rolled up hosiery proved a great relief, although its extraction highlighted another area of anguish, insofar as it emphasized the stiffness in her jaw, which took several minutes and much gentle manoeuvring of the muscles to alleviate.

By the time the stinging had dulled and she could once again open and shut her mouth without a flash of excruciating pain slashing through the sides of her face, Saskia had returned with two glasses of water in her hands. Holding one out to Cathy, she left the second on the coffee table in front of the fireplace, explaining as she did so that this was for Bethany, who she was just about to fetch.

Once more, Saskia left the recovering Cathy to her own devices for a few minutes. The cool, refreshing water hitting her parched throat was an absolute godsend, and the glass was drained in seconds, leaving her craving more. But getting up and acquiring the second glass was still beyond her fragile means, and besides, she knew Bethany would be in need of this more than she was. Slumping back into the cushions, Cathy shut her eyes and tried hard to focus on Saskia’s recently outlined plan of campaign. But the effort of weighing up the pros and cons of the strategy proved too much for her at that precise moment, and within seconds she had drifted away into a deep, dreamless sleep.


When Cathy woke, the late afternoon sun was dipping towards the dense woodland that made up a substantial part of Shackleton Grange’s acres of rolling grounds. There was a slight chill in the air now, and Cathy shivered as her eyes adjusted to the lengthening shadows of the sun dappled room. A few feet away, lying asleep in a chair, was the limp form of Bethany, also now unhampered by a gag of any description. Slowly, as if not trusting her legs to support her weight, Cathy stood up and walked across to the window. There was a still, tranquil feel to the old house now; one which she hadn’t encountered before. In some respects eager to be away from this mansion that had been her place of captivity for well over a week, another part of her was intrigued to discover exactly how Saskia planned to bring her seemingly harebrained scheme to fruition.

Was she really intent on keeping Dolores tied up for a long period of time - days or perhaps even weeks - as she’d intimated earlier? Despite her will to be gone from this place with its distressing memories, Cathy vowed to herself that she would wait until she’d had a chance to question Saskia in a bit more detail about this proposal, before making her mind up one way or the other. After all, what had she got to lose? She was a burglar, so she could hardly go to the police and have Dolores arrested for kidnapping her, when she should never have actually been here in the first instance.

Maybe, she thought deviously, there really would be some fun to be had from tormenting and torturing the sadistic witch that had kept her in such tight restraints for all those fear-filled days and long, anguish-packed nights. And, of course, the lure of Dolores’ material possessions was also a major incentive to hang around for a while.

But all of a sudden, the peace of the Suffolk afternoon was broken by the sound of the parlour door opening. Still jumpy from recent events, Cathy spun around quickly to face whoever was entering the room; ready to fight or flee at a seconds notice should she find that Dolores or one of her mute attendants had somehow escaped and was on her trail. Seeing that the newcomer was Saskia, however, Cathy relaxed.

“Feeling any better now?”

Cathy admitted that she was much refreshed and revitalised after her sleep.

“Good, because I’m going to need your help. In about three hours time the pupils for Dolores’ Bondage for Beginners class are due to start arriving, and there’s a lot to do if we’re to pull this off.”

Cathy had a hundred questions whirling around in her head, but Saskia was in her element at the moment, and getting a word in edgeways was going to be difficult. Saskia informed her newly acquired confidante that she’d managed to locate a bunch of keys which she was convinced was Dolores’ master set (“I found these lying on the kitchen table” she’d announced triumphantly, holding up and jangling the enormous bunch for Cathy to see), and had gained access to a small office which not only contained paperwork that included a list of this evening’s attendees, but was also the room in which the intercom system that connected to the front gates was located.

As Saskia finished detailing these discoveries, however, a murmuring sound from the chair distracted the pair, as both she and Cathy realised that Bethany was on the verge of waking. Rubbing her eyes, the third member of the newly formed alliance looked down at her spandex clad body, as if trying to figure out where she was and why she was so attired. Then, as her memory cleared, she turned her attention to the two identically clothed women standing by the window.

“How long have I been asleep? What time is it?”

As if to answer the second question, the clock on the mantelpiece obligingly struck the hour just as the words had finished exiting her mouth, informing the trio that it was four o’clock. Saskia filled in the missing information.

“You’ve been out for about three hours or so. I was just telling Cathy about how we need to get to work if we’re to put my plan into operation.”

The mention of Saskia’s plan brought what she’d been told earlier flooding back to Bethany. But still she wasn’t exactly sure she understood.

“So what is it you’re proposing to do?”

Saskia briefly went over her plan once more, making it clear however, that time was of the essence.

“We’ll work out the long term strategy later. What matters now is getting ready for this class tonight and making sure that Dolores is well and truly humiliated. But first there’s a little experiment that we need to conduct down in the cellar.”

Both Bethany and Cathy had more questions than their brains could easily formulate swarming around in their still confused heads, but the one they both blurted out almost in unison, was what, exactly, did Saskia mean by her last cryptic remark? All she would answer, however, was that she had a hunch that the servants could be a useful asset to them. And as she was already halfway towards the door, the confused duo felt compelled to follow their self-appointed leader, albeit at a slower pace due to their still less than steady legs.


Once they had traversed the ground floor passageways of Shackleton Grange, then ventured forth into the twilight world that lurked beneath, Saskia made a beeline for the section of the cellar in which she’d made her discovery earlier that day. Unlocking the door, she ushered her now exhausted and flagging companions inside. The room was still exactly as it had been the last time Saskia had been here, with the droning of the machinery and the soft bubbling of the water a constant soundtrack.

Although she’d been forewarned to the condition of the three servants, Cathy stepped towards the tank with some trepidation, as if not quite convinced that they couldn’t suddenly jump out and attack her. The ropes that bound their limbs, which were evident through the constantly churning water, put her mind at rest. So it came as a great shock when Saskia, having given her colleagues a minute or two to take in the scene, suddenly announced her next intended action.

“Right girls, help me get one of these mermaids out of the tank will you? I want to find out how they react.”

React? The mention of the mute triad that had been part of the reason for their lives being made such a misery all week, caused both Cathy and Bethany to baulk at the idea of letting any one of them out of their predicament, even if they were still bound. But Saskia was already ascending the stepladder, releasing the tether that kept the sunken sirens afloat, and pulling one of the three - the one with the blonde hair that Cathy knew of as Electra - from her watery tomb. With the woman’s upper body now above the waterline, Saskia looked around for the help she was hoping would have been willingly forthcoming. Her gaze fell upon two spandex-clad females frozen to the spot with fear.

“Come on. Grab hold as I pass her down to you. She’s bound up tightly, so she can’t do you any harm.”

Reluctantly, Cathy found herself stepping forward and reaching out as Saskia lowered her load - head first - towards her still unconvinced cohort. A shower of tepid liquid cascaded down onto Cathy at this point, as the residual water from the recently emerged woman flooded from her wetsuit and long, straggly hair. But within seconds Cathy was joined by Bethany, who helped her safely transport the woman downwards, until she was lying on the cellar’s stone floor. Saskia descended from her lofty perch.

“Right, now let’s find out if my theory is correct.”

Without warning, she pulled Electra up into a sitting position and began to release the ropes around her legs.

“What are you doing?”

The voice was that of a shocked and slightly fearful Bethany, which echoed Cathy’s mood entirely. The latter added,

“You can’t seriously be thinking of letting her loose! She’ll have Dolores released and us all tied up again in no time!”

It was clear, however, that Saskia had given this some serious thought.

“Don’t worry, it’s still three against one, even if we find that she is loyal to her Mistress... or former Mistress as we should now call her. But I don’t think she’ll try anything. In fact, I have a feeling she’ll be like putty in our hands once she’s free.”

Saskia had released the still motionless woman’s legs by this time, and was kneeling behind her, in the process of untying her hands. Electra showed no emotion in her dull eyes as she slowly regained her freedom, and simply gazed outwards, unblinking, as if unsure of exactly where she was or what was happening to her. With the rope removed from her wrists, for several seconds the freed slave remained with her hands behind her back, as if unsure of what to do with her newly acquired liberty. Then slowly, her eyes still glazed and unresponsive, she began to pick herself up off the floor. As she did so, both Bethany and Cathy automatically backed away a couple of yards, but they needn’t have worried. For once she’d regained her feet, Electra simply stood, legs slightly apart, and once more place her hands behind her back. There she stood, motionless, as if waiting for orders. Saskia smiled across at her two slightly concerned colleagues.

“You see, perfectly harmless. She’s been programmed to take orders, but now that Dolores isn’t around she doesn’t know what to do. Let’s try something else, shall we?”

Wherever you happened to be in Shackleton Grange, it seemed, you were never more than ten feet or so from some stash of ligatures and shackles just waiting to be utilised, and this area of the cellar was no exception. On the bench, beside the still softly humming machinery, Saskia had spied several lengths of rope, together with three pairs of handcuffs. Grabbing these, she threw them onto the floor in front of the zombie-like Electra, whose wet-suit still dripped large tears of water onto the flagstones; the plinking, splattering noise from which competed with the room’s other monotonous rumbling and gurgling sounds.

“Here, tie yourself up again. And be sure to make it tight and inescapable.”

For a split second, the woman seemed to hesitate, as if uncertain of whether to obey this command from a stranger. But then, the automatic process that she was encoded to carry out seemed to kick in, and she bent down and picked up one of the lengths of rope. Without even looking, she began unfurling it, put the ends together and found the midpoint. Sitting back down on the now damp floor, she commenced winding the doubled cord around her legs, before cinching and securing the whole thing in place. The entire process, from retrieving the rope to completion of the strict knot, took no more than thirty seconds, such was her skill and expertise in such matters. Without further encouragement, she wound two more ropes in similar fashion around her calves and knees, so that, once secured, her legs were back in an almost identical situation to that which she’d been accustomed to only moments before.

“Now handcuff yourself.”

Saskia’s authoritative voice broke what had become a stunned silence, and echoed around the subterranean chamber for several seconds. Meekly, Electra obeyed the order given to her, by placing her left hand in one of the bracelets, closing it around her wrist, then dexterously reaching behind her back to complete the manacling process.

With a look of triumph etched on her smiling face, Saskia turned back to her two awestruck acquaintances.

“You see, she’s been so brainwashed and dehumanised that she simply takes commands from whoever gives them. She’s trained to tie people up, including herself, and she does it automatically.”

The smile suddenly disappeared from her face and she looked at Bethany and Cathy sternly.

“And that...”

She beckoned towards the unresponsive Electra,

“ the state that you would have ended up in if Dolores had had her way. Luckily, your training regime had only just commenced, so there’s no real damage done. For these three, however, I fear it’s too late. Their whole lives have been taken over by mind numbing indoctrination and brain addling drugs, and they’re probably stuck like this for life.”

Saskia walked back over to the tank and began once again ascending the steps.

“Just to show you that this was no fluke, we’ll give it another go.”

She reached the top and plunged her arms into the gently bubbling liquid. Within seconds she’d cast adrift and was lifting the second servant out – on this occasion, the raven haired Sapphire – leaving only Crystal to languish in her liquid prison cell. Soon, this second emancipated woman had also been deposited on the floor and released from her bonds. And as with her fellow wet-suited comrade, she showed no signs of violence or resistance, as she too simply waited patiently for whatever was asked of her. And what was asked of her was a repeat performance of that so recently acted out by Electra. As Sapphire began to obey, with no hint that she was in any way phased by this course of action, Saskia turned to Cathy and Bethany.

“So, do you have any idea what sort of format these bondage classes take? Did either of you get roped in – if you’ll pardon the pun - to taking part by any chance?”

Blushing profusely, Bethany looked away to ensure she made no eye contact with the questioner, as she had to admit that her presence here in the first place had all been down to her penchant for tight bondage. Saskia was pleased by this response, however.

“That’s great. So perhaps you could give us some insight into what happens. After all, if we’re going to run the class properly, we’d better give the punters what they pay for.”

Bethany gave a brief overview of what had taken place one week ago, when she had innocently turned up at Shackleton Grange in her quest for bondage fulfilment. She spoke nervously and self-consciously at first, but as she got into her stride, some of the initial excitement of that first evening was rekindled in her, and she found herself relishing this retelling of the events that had taken place. When she came to the end of the story, she mentioned the arrival of the bound and clearly unhappy Cathy in the wooden trunk. She was about to go on to describe what had happened later that night, when Saskia stopped her in mid flow. The pretext for this interruption was that Sapphire’s self-bondage exploits had reached their conclusion, although, from the obvious glint in her eye, it was clear that some sort of revelation had suddenly hit Saskia, although for the moment she was intent on keeping her cards close to her chest. Sapphire, however, now sat unmoving beside her equally helpless but no more animated companion.

“Right, two down, one to go. I’ll get this last one out of the tank. But this time, I think we’ll vary the routine a little bit.”

Removing the one remaining slave from her damp place of internment took no more than a few seconds, and as before, Saskia set about releasing the ropes that had held this similarly docile girl’s wrists and legs in check for the duration of her submerged sentence. With these discarded, Bethany had been expecting Crystal to receive a repeat of the instruction issued to her two saturated companions to now ring out around the hollow underground space. But in fact this call to self-bondage failed to materialise. It wasn’t that Saskia didn’t bark out a command, however. It was just that the essence of the message which echoed around the stone-clad chamber was not exactly what Bethany had anticipated. Handing several pieces of rope and the last unused set of handcuffs to the recently released red-head, Saskia’s directive sent a shiver running down Bethany’s spine.

“Tie Bethany up... and make sure that she can’t escape!”

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