Disclaimer: The characters are mine! They may share a passing resemblance with other people but I just blame their stylists. Sequel to 'The Binding Tie' you really need to read that first in order to understand what is going on here.
Violence/Sex: Slavery exists in this fic as does extreme violence. Sexual violence of a m/f variety in here. Also a loving consensual f/f relationship. If you're too young to vote, you should probably go elsewhere.
Feedback: Much appreciated email@example.com
"Now we go to Kim Sykes in the capital. Kim, what led to today's rioting?" The manikin perfect anchorman passed over to his colleague.
The camera cuts to a woman, dressed in a well tailored suit and coiffed to within an inch of her life. She stands in front of a scene of decimation. The street behind her is strewn with garbage and broken glass. Store windows are smashed, once carefully planted trees uprooted and benches thrown aside.
"Well Ken, as you can see we have another example of a peaceful demonstration being hijacked by extremists. Today, across the country, SOS members were participating in marches to show their report for Proposition 644."
Back in the studio, "For those viewers who may not be familiar with this, could you just give us some details on Prop. 644?"
Back to Kim, "644 contains legislation which would tighten slavery laws. It would make it illegal for private owners to set slaves free without first going to court for authorisation.
This has become a necessity due to the proliferation of slave markets selling off old warriors. These slaves are then taken on by private owners. This will not be affected; however often these owners begin to think of their slaves as well behaved pets. They then decide to set their slaves free. Clearly, this is a dangerous situation. These slaves are violent and unpredictable and must be carefully controlled.
Therefore Proposition 644 means that all slaves will have to be monitored for a period before they are even eligible for release by the courts. Some would say that this is overkill, especially for domestic slaves. The Slavery Organisation Supporters, or SOS, feel that this is a first step in the journey towards to the repeal of emancipation laws. They feel that all slaves are a danger as they will, quite naturally feel animosity towards those who once held them in servitude."
The camera moves quickly back to Ken who is in the process of scratching himself in a less than TV friendly place. Only the rapid gesturing of his producers alerted him to the camera, firmly directed at him. Red faced and trying to pull the shreds of his dignity together a few grunted vowel sounds escaped before he could pull his wits together.
"Ugh, thank you Kim. Now we know that the SOS were marching to show their support and as always they take part purely as an act of support. How did this peaceful act once again degenerate into running battles?" Relief was clearly written over his face as the camera moved back to the roving reporter.
"Once again the freedom campaigners were behind the violence. These groups, fixated on the principle that all humans should be equal, never pass up an opportunity to cause trouble at times like these. Proposition 644 has simply become a rallying cry for their beliefs.
It should be made clear that the peaceful branch of this fight, the EFA, do not publicly condone these actions. It is believed, however, that they do know the identities of the militant leaders. Only time will tell who will prevail in this campaign for slave rights."
Thwack! A large hand slammed down onto the surface of the conference table, drowning the final words of the news report. With all eyes focused on their leader, nobody noticed the monitor blink off into darkness. Sitting at the head of the table, he sized up his minions as he contemplated his next words. His fist had got their attention, now he needed to make his words plain.
"That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we are looking for! That is the type of publicity that 644 needs; that my campaign needs! We need to do everything that we can in order to ride the wave of this sort of publicity."
"Mr Dettore, are you completely sure about this stance? This could do your campaign more harm than good." Mousy and middle-aged, the woman wished she could take the words back as soon as they left her mouth.
"Ms…" Fingers were snapped in the direction of a reedy, slightly hunched young man.
"Thank you Cliff. Ms Schreiber, this is what my campaign is based on. I believe, whole heartedly, that slaves should remain that way until they die. They are no better than animals and if I get my way they will continue to live like them!"
"But, sir, you can't go public with this; it'll destroy you in the face of the voters."
"Do I look like a complete moron, Mr Mortimer? Have I never taken part in politics before? I am well aware of the boundaries. That is why I am supporting the SOS. I show my support but don't have to go public. If any of you are going to have an issue with our stance, I would suggest that you leave my employ now and keep the security agreement you signed very much to heart!" A cool green eye scanned over the faces in the room, noticing mousy-Ms Schreiber flinch and cast her gaze down to her lap. Detorre gestured towards his right hand man.
"Right, people, we have a lot of other issues that we need to look at in order to get Mr Detorre into the public eye. What have we come up with so far?" A tall man in a small suit shuffled towards the monitor which had previously shown the news report.
Cliff moved to dim the lights as the presentation began. The young man sent a furtive and beady eyed glance towards his boss, receiving a nod in return. As the presentation began, he eased out of the conference room, unnoticed by all but Bradley Detorre.
Broad shoulders were squared as yet another question on the economy was fielded with aplomb. Confidence oozed from him, infusing the listeners and further expanding the ranks of his supporters. His suave good looks, confident manner and winning smile made him a hit with his target demographic, even before he opened his mouth. Luckily, he was as adept at political debate as any other politician and played the crowd well. Today he was on a nationwide talk show in order to drum up support.
As yet another inane question was directed his way by a member of the audience, Bradley internally rolled his eyes. People were so wrapped up in the mundane, the petty, that they barely gave a thought to the most important issues of national security, public safety and the degradation of society. Money, health and pleasure were all that these people seemed to have on their mind. Question after question had made this abundantly clear and further firmed his resolve to become a senator and start some changes. Changes that would make people more aware of the dangers that they faced externally and, more importantly, internally. Hell, he was headed to the Whitehouse, and then they would have to care.
He turned his full attention and 1000watt smile towards his current questioner. "That is a really excellent point and one which I am sure you've heard a hundred other politicians answer. Let me tell you that you will not hear any platitudes or old clichés here. I am totally committed…"
Cliff Walsh ran a thin, bony hand through his straw-like hair as he watched his leader from behind a monitor. He could almost mouth the words along with Dettore, as he answered each question; it was a well practiced script which had been written by both men. It wasn't that Cliff was the brain and Bradley the brawn, their relationship was much more complicated than that. They were both ambitious, intelligent men whose individual minds complimented each others well. Bradley was the elder, more charismatic and hungrier of the two; Cliff was more than willing to let him ride the wave to power. He would ride in the other mans wake and retain his position as his right hand.
Straightening his tie, the thin man turned towards the stage in time to see the politician tying up the interview. With a final flourish Dettore raised his arms wide in his signature farewell. It was supposed to make the audience feel that they are being embraced by the bog man and further strengthen his bond with them. The effect it had on a crowd was amazing and almost seemed to mesmerise the audience. One thing was for sure, Cliff could never hold an audience in his palm like this.
He continued to watch his friend approach until a large hand landed heavily on his shoulder in a gesture of camaraderie. It was performed as much for the benefit of the still watching studio audience as it was for his assistant. Having this close relationship made him seem like much more a man of the people and he cultivated that as much as possible. It helped that he honestly liked the man who was slowly guiding them out of the studio.
Neither man spoke as they quickly approached the waiting limo. They walked in perfect sync yet not quite shoulder-to-shoulder. For appearances sake the smaller man walked slightly behind and to the right of his friend. It should have irked him, would have made other men rankle that they did as much work and were treated like this but to Cliff; this was a small price to pay. Everything changed once the limo door slammed closed.
"Excellent stuff Brad, they were really lapping it up!" A hearty punch in the shoulder punctuated his statement.
"They should have Cliff, it was your ideas. I just wish people were a little more interested in my favourite issues. I mean, you'd have thought that after all the marches and rioting people would be taking an interest!" The frustration was evident his face.
"Look, don't worry about it now, you're ahead in all of the research! If we win, you can beat this with a big stick until the cows come home. Concentrate on the goal, not how we get there!" The bigger man slumped into the buttery leather of the seats.
"This is really getting to you, isn't it?" Even as the question was asked a long finger pushed the button for the privacy screen. Soon they were separated from the driver and able to talk freely. "There is one way we can make this the electorates priority."
Bradley sat up straight, his attention totally focused, eyes boring into his companion. "Tell me!"
"You might not like this but we could…"
"Raindrops keep fallings on my head... Hmmmm… Hmmm."
The lithe blond hummed to herself as she performed her regular morning exercises. She seemed to flow into each movement and pose, every movement seeming to be more part of a ballet than a fight. Encased in tight black shorts and sports-bra, her slight body gleamed with sweat turning her into a glazed porcelain figure given life. Even when she stilled for brief moments, she seemed to be in motion. It was not a nervous energy that suffused her, more a sense of danger and anticipation.
Flowing through her drills she was more than aware that green eyes were firmly planted on her. She almost felt his gaze travel over her, something between a caress and a slap. She was never sure how her master felt about her presence or even why he had purchased her. She thought it may have something to do with the nervous, twitchy little man that seemed to constantly shadow him. Some sort of power play that she could not, as yet, understand. She would find out, her cunning mind would not be stopped before it sorted the pieces of the puzzle. Continuing to sing her melody she whirled into an even more acrobatic routine, knowing that she would keep his focus for at least a little longer.
Bradley was at once transfixed and repulsed by the woman prancing, flipping and kicking before him. He was reluctant even to step closer into the room, preferring to stand in the no-mans land of the door less archway. He could not help but be impressed by her athletic prowess. The fact that a woman who looked so fragile, almost dainty, could deliver a killing blow to men larger than himself had fascinated him for more than a year now.
When Cliff had suggested that he buy a slave he was appalled. As much as he believed that slaves should remain in servitude until their deaths he did not want to own one. The very idea of being close to one of these animals made his skin crawl, he almost felt physically sick. Despite this he had let himself be persuaded by his most trusted advisor. It would make his stance on slavery more compelling if he himself kept a slave as a slave and not a pet. The warrior training before was testament to the fact that he had done just that.
To an outsider, simply catching a glimpse of events in the penthouse, it would seem that he was reneging on his own views. The room that the slave trained in was spacious and well appointed, every type of workout equipment adorned the walls and floor. What that same observer would not have seen was the fact that she slept in a small, secured cell in the adjoining room. Not one possession was her own and she was more than subject to his personal whims. She was supposed to be his guard but he seldom took her out into public. That was about to change.
The ball of energy suddenly drew up short, feet from her owner, as she sensed another approach. She stood so close to Detorre that he could smell her, could see every bead of sweat trickle down her face and between the valley of her breasts. Most men would have found the sight unbearably sexy, it just made him feel sick. He could see that she wanted to move closer, to take up a protective stance beside him, but reigned it in knowing that her actions would not be welcomed. It fascinated him that even after some very neglectful and honestly hurtful incidents within the walls of his home, this creature was still willing to perform her duties. She was like a well trained dog and it simply confirmed his views.
Cliff reached the doorway in time to see his friend looking at his property with total contempt and a little bemusement. They were about to take the first step towards a place that he knew Bradley would loath but the ends justified the means. Ever since they had bought Lana Point, the acclaimed Thorn, from the Huhn auction he had been planning this for Dettore's campaign. He had purchased this particular slave for the other man because of her unpredictable and extreme nature. So far she had been quite restrained, only going berserk twice in the time that she had been theirs.
Looking at her now, standing poised for action, his mind recalled the violence that she could unleash. The first time that she had beaten a man in Cliff's presence, the youth had not walked away and he never would. She had shattered his spine just for looking at her the wrong way. The damage had been done with such speed and lack of emotion that it had taken minutes for them to register what was happening. She had been severely disciplined but after years of similar behaviour they were not expecting much. The second time she did it they thought that they were ready. They could never have been ready to see her literally shred a German Shepherd that had tried to attack her. The volume of blood and the relish on her face had lingered with both men until this day.
Shaking himself out of his revelry he cleared his throat. "Thorn, your master and I need to give you your new instructions. You have, so far, performed every task that we set you with skill and obedience. Now we need you to take a more active role. Change and come to the office!"
As the woman spun, catlike, and padded towards her small living area the two men exchanged a glance. The smaller man oozed palpable confidence which he hoped would suffuse his larger companion. He placed a guiding hand on a broad shoulder and nudged him towards the office to await the coming of his property.
"I hope that you're right about this Cliff." Uncertainty laced through his voice.
"It'll be fine Bradley, remember what we are going to achieve! Nothing can get in the way of our goals!"
To Be Continued...
Return to the Academy