AK 24 - "The Fuentes Sisters"

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AK 24 - "The Fuentes Sisters"

Postby FSF Sail » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:07 pm

“We hold these truths to be self-evident
That all men are created equal,
And when I meet Thomas Jefferson
I’ma compel him to include women in the sequel...work!”

“What were you guys doing?”

“You say somethin’, love?” Nigel called down through the open doorway. From her place in the elevator shaft, a discovery that had completely dumbfounded the old Brit, Carla could only see his head and shoulders in silhouette.

“Just talking to myself,” she answered. But I’d love to be talking to whoever built this. The structure was intact. Though she suspected the old lift motor would need new bushings and contacts, the youngest Fuentes sister found herself awestruck by the condition and durability of her discoveries. Not to mention, she thought, the work someone had gone to in order to hide this.

She juggled her flashlight, eventually tucking it into her left armpit. “I’m headed down!” Carla shouted to her watchful companion. She repelled into the darkness, the flashlight’s beam dancing over a tidy array of conduits that ran her entire route. “Intact,” she muttered as her feet touched down on the lift car’s roof. “I’m down, Nigel!’ Carla shouted up toward the fifth floor. “Thanks for spotting me!”

“Right, then. I’ll be in the shop.”

After dropping through the roof hatch, Carla forced the elevator’s door open to a corridor Nigel had never before seen. Her flashlight played over stacks of packing crates, all of which appeared nailed shut. Curiously, each of the heavy boxes displayed burn marks, applied with uniform precision. Like someone was hiding info...they burned it off, she thought to herself. While her curiosity could have driven her to remain until each crate was opened, Carla knew that there were more urgent questions to answer. This mysterious corridor and its contents would have to wait.

Once through the hidden access to the main chamber, she affixed the geiger counter plugin to her phone, before sweeping the hardened concrete walls, the ceiling, the floor. “Normal,” the engineer shook her head. The last time she’d been here in the sub basement of Nigel’s building, the architecture alone had creeped her out. “All built in the early 1940’s,” the old Brit shrugged. “I know f#ck-all beyond that.”

In the weeks since, Carla’s own research, boosted by some serious help from that old guy Charlie Bradshaw, had started to tell stories that only made the modifications to the top floor and the sub basement all the stranger. It was public record that in 1942, an additional level had been added to the building, with one public elevator to support the manufacturing business that contracted the space. While Nigel knew the sub floor to the addition was steel…”to support heavy machinery,” he’d been told, what he wasn’t aware of was that the “bloody pain in the arse” was in fact two inch naval grade armor plate.

When she climbed the steps to what appeared some kind of control room, the geiger counter’s sputtering notched up. The room was hexagonal in shape. Two of the solid walls were masked by aged equipment racks. These were partially gutted; apparently, not everything was worth dismantling when the occupants moved out. “Or they were running out of time,” Carla muttered at the sight of cables, their ends crudely sliced, which hung from the open rack spaces like entrails ripped by a predator.

What remained was puzzling enough. Lifeless gauges in three duplicate sets appeared to measure voltage, amperage, along with wind speed, water and atmospheric pressure. The little geiger counter app clicked as she passed her phone before the darkened meters and dials. “Minor,” she whispered, “as if they’re receiving voltage….or a ground return.” Her eye caught the black painted metal of a wall panel. The door complained with a mild squeak as it opened to reveal four columns of glass backed fuses. At the bottom lay the master switch, it’s gate in the “open” position. Carla knelt before the heavy switch to clamp her meter to the input cable. “Unbelievable,” she whispered as the numbers glowed on her screen. The space had power..enough to feed an entire second building. “What were you guys doing down here?” she asked the silent control room, before two quick buzzes drew her eye toward the phone. She had a text from Lupe.

Drop what you’re doing. Get home now.

She responded quickly.


Carla peeled out of her coveralls, grabbed her phone, and left everything else behind as she made a beeline for home. After running six blocks and climbing four flights of steps in her building, she paused in the hallway to catch her breath. From inside, Maria’s voice could be heard, that direct, accusatory tone Carla knew all too well. What surprised her was the response came from a man.

“Ms. Fuentes, I’m afraid there’s not much more to tell,” he said as Carla let herself in. Mama was on the sofa, her hands drawn up to her face, eyes registering shock and the first glistenings of tears. Her sisters wore their ‘bitch’ faces. Lupe had rolled to mama’s side, and now draped a supporting arm over her shoulders. Maria had taken a protective stance, hands on her hips, eyes ablaze as they targeted their male guest. Seated uncomfortably before them was an army officer. It only took a second to notice his rank and unit designations. The beret folded beneath an epaulet on his jacket, and the ranger patch told the rest.

“Oh dios mio,” Carla whispered as she moved to sit beside her mother. Had they found papi’s body? The sudden ache in the pit of her stomach dissipated as her eyes met Lupe’s. No, that’s not what’s going on, she realized. Apparently, this wasn’t a sympathy call. The US Government check on the coffee table only added to her confusion.

“Bullsh!t,” Maria was having none of whatever this was. “You waltz in here, drop a check on my mother and tell us that everything’s just hunky-dory with the army...after almost ten years? No-no,” the middle sister wagged a commanding finger at the captain. “You tell us about our father.”

The captain, DuPage by his name plate, cleared his throat. “Ms. Fuentes,” he said carefully, “I’ll say again that according to new evidence, the charge of desertion has been cleared from Cpl. Fuentes’ service record. As such is the case, Army Payroll Command has disbursed that check for the corporal’s withheld salary plus hazard pay. In light of the hardship this has brought upon your family, Payroll included additional funds from our Unit Command’s discretionary account. From here forward, you’ll see regular payroll disbursements until we determine…”

“Yeah, we got that part,” Maria glared. “But you’ve told us nothing about him. What do you know? What did you learn that changed all this?”

“Captain DuPage,” Carla intervened gently. “I’m Carla Fuentes.”

“Pleased to make your acquaintance, ma’am.”

“Likewise,” she nodded as slender fingertips pulled the check across the coffee table. “Six hundred seventy-five thousand dollars,” her eyes widened. “If my math is correct, your unit commander added a serious chunk to my dad’s salary.”

DuPage seemed to relax a bit. “Maybe not as much as you think, ma’am. All of Cpl. Fuentes’ customary payroll schedule increases were added as well.”

Carla smiled. “Still, we’re grateful for the army’s generosity. You’re in my dad’s unit,” she observed. “Did you know him?”

“No, ma’am. I rotated in after they returned stateside.”

“I see,” she nodded. “We’re a Ranger family,” the youngest Fuentes sister continued. “I was eleven when papi went MIA. Maria was 14. Lupe was 19. It was hard, sir. Really hard.” Maria had gone silent. A good thing, Carla thought, of an older sister whose “take no prisoners’ conversational tactic wasn’t often the best course. “Terrible,” Carla said, “not knowing if our father was alive or dead..but we were a Ranger family. We had the other families, the USO, and even the unit lliason officer to help us deal with it. That support was so helpful,” she paused, “until the desertion charge was filed. Then, gone. All of it. Money, friends, the unit. We were out...my mother and her three daughters..pariahs.”

Si, hermanita,” Lupe nodded.

“Carla,” Mama whispered as she touched her daughter’s hand. “No…”

Maria opened her mouth to speak, but it was DuPage who pressed on. “Please,” he gestured with an open hand. “I’m here to listen.”

“Thank you,” Carla nodded gravely. “Captain, please understand that I’m not trying to make you feel uncomfortable. We’re all so grateful for the army’s change of heart. The money will definitely help, but...as I said, we’re a Ranger family. We know how tightly knit the unit is. We’ve seen how they treat their losses, and the families...we were once a part of that support network. We contributed to that support. Everybody knew everybody...really well.” The stage now set, Carla’s gaze was unwavering as she leaned toward the captain. “So, sir, unless you’re prepared to tell me that you spend all your days delivering half million dollar checks to MIA families without the slightest curiosity over the back stories, I’ll go with my sister’s assessment. Bullsh!t.” Mama’s hand quivered as it squeezed hers. Lupe was silent, her gaze directed toward the army officer. From across the room, Maria regarded her with a quiet satisfaction. “Please,” she said quietly, “tell us what’s changed.”

Captain DuPage studied his hands for a moment, flipping one quietly as if he were turning pages. After a lengthy breath, he lifted his eyes. “Most of this is classified, so I have to speak very carefully...to a Ranger family,” his eyebrows lifted. “One of the privates in your father’s platoon has recanted his testimony. After a fresh review, JAG reversed its ruling, reinstated Cpl. Fuentes as MIA, and cleared his service record.”

“Briggs,” Aurelia Fuentes nearly spat the name. “It was Briggs...wasn’t it?”

“I am not at liberty to say,” DuPage answered, while offering her a meaningful nod to the affirmative.

Lupe piped up. “Why reopen as an MIA, though? It’s been almost ten years. The army would’ve been within it’s rights to declare “presumed KIA” and write the whole thing off with a death benefit.”

“True, that,” Maria’s eyes widened briefly as the significance landed on her. “Are you telling us that he’s alive? What do you know?”

Captain DuPage opened his briefcase. In silence, he extracted a manila envelope. “I really can tell you no more,” he said, taking to his feet. “Naturally, as a Ranger family in good standing, you have all the customary PX and on-base privileges, medical insurance coverage, and the full support of the unit lliason officer. You’ll find the necessary documents and cards in this envelope. Thank you for your time. I’ll show myself out.”

The door closed with a rusty click. For a moment, no one seemed able to move, even breathe. Eventually, Maria’s voice cut the thickening tension. “That was some bullsh!t. Sorry, mama.”

“Lubricated with thirty pieces of silver,” Lupe agreed.

Mama shook her head. “No..no. This is a blessing. We can live a better life. Guadalupe, we can have the best doctors look at you…”

“Mama, no,” Lupe tried to interrupt. As the discussion built around her, Carla studied the check. After a moment spent idly staring at the number of zeroes, she turned her attention toward the envelope. She folded the metal tabs, upended the parcel, and poured it’s contents out onto the cracked surface of the coffee table. The cards, booklets, and printed pages all landed in an official looking heap. She’d need to give them all a good going over, to make certain that mama was taking advantage of all her restored benefits.

The corner of a photograph caught her eye. As her sisters argued with mama, Carla withdrew it from the pile. The image was an overhead view, alot like the ones she’d seen when using Google Earth. Except this was a little fuzzy, like it had been zoomed all the way in past the lens optics or display resolution of the recorder. A dingy block house sat along a hardscrabble pathway amid a rocky, arid landscape. Three men were jostling a fourth down the path toward a dirty white Land Rover. The three wore middle eastern style dress of peshawar caps, sleeveless vests, and blousy shirts over equally flowing trousers and boots. All had long, robust beards. As one led the way, the other two held the fourth by the arms. This man was barefoot, and without a hat. The simple robe he wore was streaked and filthy. His face was lifted skyward, matted hair and tangled beard all framing a face burned dark and cracked by the relentless sun. “Papi?” Carla gasped as she squinted at the photograph.

“I’m a spy in the house of love,
I know the dream, you’ve been dreamin’ of,
I know the word, that you long to hear,
I know your deepest secret fear.”

Lupe was vaguely aware of the pops and crackles in the music as she was helped from her motorized chair into a much older model. “Sounds like you need a new copy,” she observed with a huff as her body plopped into the seat.

“No way, baby,” he smiled. “Old LP’s rock. Now, your phone.”

One reluctant iPhone surrender later, Lupe waited as the metal detector wand traversed both her handbag and her person. Satisfied, the host gave her a cheerful smile. ‘Welcome to ANNA LOG’s Allow me to push you to a table?”

“I got it. Thanks.”

“We’ve got some great albums on the turntable tonight,” he chatted as he led her to a table near the back. “Right now, it’s “Morrison Hotel” by The Doors. Next up is “It’s a Beautiful Day,” a real classic that we’re gonna follow with Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On.” Our drink specials…”

“Tanqueray and tonic,” Lupe cut him off as she maneuvered the unwieldy chair up to the table. “Thank you.” The place was doing a moderate business tonight. Despite the strict “no devices or digital electronics” policy, Lupe had come to like an occasional visit to ANNA LOG’s. The throwback bar did a ‘cash-only’ business, shunned security cameras, and even insisted that the LED displays on it’s refrigerators be replaced with mercury thermometers. Though what really drew the eldest Fuentes sister was the clientele. On previous nights she’d snickered behind her hand at couples who, denuded of their phones, were forced to actually talk to one another.

It seemed logical that ANNA LOG’s would thus become the chosen environment for paranoid hacker types who were forced out from behind their screens for a face-to-face. She’d met a couple here before to conduct a little business on behalf of Team Amber. The last time had been just before Easter, when ‘CatManDew’ agreed to help her pull the banking records she needed for the water project. Tonight, though, was rare, and unsettling. Tonight, for the first time, she’d be facing Nikolai. The alarming part was that it was Nikolai who’d called the meeting.

She checked her hair, frowned at the scars no amount of makeup could decently hide, and fidgeted over her drink. Nikolai had been a massive help with some of Amber’s exploits. She’d found his coding ingenuity to be on par with her own. The pair had collaborated on some amazing projects. Add the fact that he’d never failed to be completely charming during the process, and it all proved the perfect recipe for a case of “first date jitters.”

“Freshen your drink?” The waiter pointed toward her glass. All the ice had melted.

Lupe nodded. “Uh...sure.” He was late. She couldn’t check the time; her phone rested at the host’s podium. As It’s a Beautiful Day kicked into ‘Wasted Union Blues,’ Lupe made the guess that she’d been there a half hour. “This one and then done,” she muttered as the fresh glass rose to her lips.

A man slipped from his place at the bar, dropped a bill from his wallet, and made his way through the tables to her. When she finally took notice, he was just a few steps away. Medium height...his build was average. He was a ginger, but the freckles were partially obscured by two days’ growth and the thick rimmed glasses. He wore a crisp checked shirt over skinny jeans and dark tennies with white soles. “Typical thirty-something,” Lupe thought.

“Excuse me,” he smiled pleasantly, “I was wondering if you could help me with a trivia question.”

Lupe placed her drink on the table. “I can try. Have a seat.”

“In Return of the Jedi,” he said, “how many ewoks can you see in any one scene of the movie?”

She folded her arms. “Sorry. I’m a ‘Trek’ girl.”

“But you saw the movie,” he persisted. “Guess?”


He nodded. “Hmm. I’d have said ‘nineteen.”

Lupe smiled. “Score one for Nik.”

“Nikolai, please,” he grinned before delivering a gallant kiss to her hand. “Thanks for coming, Ewok Nineteen.”

She frowned. “Like I had a choice? You scared the hell out of me.”

“Good,” Nikolai’s expression turned serious. “You brought me lots of scary stuff. Like that sat photo? Wanna tell me how you got that?”

“Not on the first date,” Lupe tilted her head. “What’d you find out?”

The hacker Nikolai scooted his chair around the table to sit at Lupe’s side. “Only what I could learn without leaving my prints out there for the Mossad,” he whispered.

Her brows lifted. “Mossad?”

“Right there in the text block,” he whispered. “IDFSAT003? Israeli Defense Force?” C’mon, that’s one-oh-one classroom stuff. I’ll tell you this, my dear. If the IDF learns someone’s tossing their sat pics around in the streets, they’ll be seriously pissed. I don’t want any more of that action.”

“Okay, sorry,” she replied. “Did you learn anything else?”

Nikolai shrugged. “Four sets of GPS coordinates, DD, DMS, Geohash, and UTM. All of em’ pinpoint a location in the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan. Northwest of a town called Asadabad, on the Pakistani border. Got a time stamp on the sat pass as well.”

“It’s not polite to keep a girl waiting.”

He chuckled. “Who’s teasing who? August twenty-first of sixteen, mid day pass over the Kush at 1325 hours.”

“Thanks,” she said weakly. Goddammit, she thought as her insides seemed to recoil from the harsh information. The picture’s almost a year old.

Her companion noted the subtle shift behind her eyes. “You know someone in that picture?”


“Jesus,” Nikolai shook his head. “Look, I was just bitching. If you need my help, you know….”

Lupe offered a wan smile. “I know...but it’s nice to hear. How about the other scary stuff?”

He frowned as his gaze dropped. “That psycho carving up the girl? Yeah, I chewed on it pretty hard...hard enough to have serious nightmares.”

“Me too.”

“I get it,” Nikolai cast a sidelong glance. “You know it’s months old. Actual camera time stamp was September twenty-ninth of sixteen. Edit stamps a couple weeks later, and then again right before showtime. That’s when he tossed in the text edits. I... found something else, too,” he stammered.


“You need to move, Ewok.”

“What are you talking about?” Lupe demanded in a harsh whisper.

“Remember the locator worm I supplied you for the raid last December?” Nikolai’s expression was building to quiet alarm. “Guy’s got a sense of humor. He sent it right back at you...embedded into the stream.”

“Yeah...I found the track, Lupe whispered. “He has my IP address..”

“Your static IP address…”

“Right. He knows where I live.”


Lupe’s hand shook slightly as she took a deep swallow of her drink. She’d considered the possibility, actually assigned it ‘worst case’ status in her thinking. But now, to hear the same doubts coming from Nikolai’s mouth gave the worry a knife edge she could no longer ignore. “Okay,” she said before another swallow. “Okay. I’m operating like he knows where home base is. Alright. Alright.” Find the advantage, she thought. This Trainer guy thinks he’s a step ahead...that he holds all the cards. Maybe he does… “Hey,” she met her friend’s eyes once more. “I’ve been picking apart the stream code, looking for any other hooks i can use. Can you go deep on that video file? I mean really scrub it hard?”

Nikolai’s expression brightened. “Already doing it. I’ve got my personal stuff, and the Metro PD crime lab computers running deep analyses.”

“Oh yeah?” Lupe cocked an eyebrow. “How’d you swing that?”

Nikolai smiled, a sallow expression that failed to erase the concern in his eyes.. “I haff my vays.”


“When you run about without precautions,
You’ll get diseases, need abortion,
Up til now, no vaccination
Could give you back your reputation.

We want, we want your body”

“Who the f#ck are you?” The ape at the door weighed an easy three twenty-five, his gigantic gut and man boobs stretching the Ramones tee shirt so that she swore she could hear the band screaming for mercy. He clutched a Fosters can in one beefy paw as the other threatened to close on her shoulder.

The punkette was positively tiny in comparison. “Amber Kryptonite for Mistress Lucretia,” she said. “I’ve got an appointment.”

He reached for the phone, pressing the receiver to his greasy jowl. “Amber Something...for the Mistress.” As whoever was at the other end put him on hold, the bouncer looked Amber up and down. “You here for work? Mistress already got one-uh you. Find a new bit.”

“Thanks,” Amber quipped. “Maybe I’ll be a lady wrestler...like that new Netflix show?”

The bouncer shrugged. “Could be hot...and you get to kick the crap outta customers. Yeah, I like...hold on,” he muttered as the receiver went back to his ear. “Yeah, she’s still here. Should I send...okay.” He threw the latches on the heavy door, swinging it wide. “Head in. Any ‘o’ the girls can point you toward the Mistress. Good luck,” he said as the can sloshed it’s contents into his beard.

“F#ck me,” Amber whispered in awe of the surroundings into which she was ushered. “Are you seeing this?”

“Jesus,” Lupe swore in her ear buds. “It’s like Comic Con…”

“But for perverts,” Carla’s voice joined on the cell link. “Look at that one. I didn’t know you could make Harley Quinn even more twisted...is it getting hot in here?”

BDSM dungeons were nothing new...the city was crawling with ‘em. Find a crappy basement, dress the talent in something from the Fredericks catalog, and you can make a fortune off of guys who can’t get enough humiliation. Typically, they’re ratholes...the type of places you’d never want to sit on the furniture.

But not here. THE EROTIC WORLDS OF MISTRESS LUCRETIA placed a serious emphasis on the environment and it’s theatricality. With different lighting, sets, and props to set tones in each ’world,’ Lucretia’s girls played it to the hilt, in scenes to set the heart racing and the Amex cards spewing. Amber found herself in the stark confines of a nursing ward. Weak fluorescent lights cast a sickly greenish hue to the checkered linoleum tile and the 1950’s style hospital furniture.

The Nurse Quinn knockoff was on a metal framed bed, straddling a skinny fifty-something clad only in boxers and two sets of handcuffs. “Ya gonna do what I want?” she asked in that cartoonish New York warble, “or do I gotta stick yah?” A hypodermic needle that looked like something out of an equine veterinarian’s bag trailed it’s tip down the pasty skin of the guy’s chest, until she jabbed at his belly with just enough pressure to avoid breaking the skin.

“Anything,” the faux patient gasped for air.



“Excuse me,” Amber said casually. “I’m here to see Lucretia?”

Nurse Harley never broke character. “She’s workin’ a special in the back. That way,” a latex gloved index finger pointed toward the exit. “Go straight through ‘Wonder Women’, make a right at ‘Jabba’s Hut’, and cut across ‘Game of Bones.’ When yah find Jesus, you’ve found the Mistress.”

“Thanks,” the neopunk said as she began her journey.

“When you find Jesus,” Carla’s voice intoned. “Think that was philosophical?”

“Not gonna think about it,” Amber muttered as she worked her way through each themed space. The sights in the ‘Wonder Women’ room had to be putting Lupe’s comic book connoisseur teeth on edge. ‘Jabba’s Hut’ was pretty much what Amber expected. There was a metal bikini, but nobody was wearing it. Then there was the naked, morbidly fat guy who filled the title role. “Help me, Obi-wan,” Amber quipped as she hurried to the next space. “Holy crap,” she whispered at the castle.

“What is that?” Lupe exclaimed.

“Game of Bones,” Carla laughed as Amber made her way past a half dozen customers whose enthrallment with their treatment by the Dragon Queen and the Red Witch was rather obvious. “Maria..there’s your chance! Break the cold streak!”

“Or not.” Before her loomed a crucifix, complete with a life sized, painted Christ figure. She stepped through heavy drape, parting it to reveal a nightmare corruption of her own Catholic childhood. The walls and floor appeared to be rough hewn grey stone. Light filtered through stained glass replica windows, though the scenes depicted in those panes were definitely not to be found in any church. Organ music played quietly, punctuated by an occasional lash, or a cry of pain-delight.

“Nuns,” Lupe said of the dominatrices who worked their craft on a number of whimpering customers. “Of course it’s nuns.”

“Look for Sister Mary Margaret, from school,” Carla chuckled. “She’d probably supply her own whip.”

“Don’t think I’ll have time,” Amber whispered. “Looks like I’m about to meet the Mistress.”

Mistress Lucretia, the dominatrix queen, was statuesque, a fact further augmented by the stiletto heels she wore beneath a habit that hung scandalously open. As for the rest of her attire, Amber could only describe the look as “pure Rocky Horror.” Fishnet stockings rose to meet lace garters at mid thigh. The belt hung over a pair of silk panties that the much smaller Maria would even think too tiny. The look was completed by a laced corset whose plunging bodice appeared primed to unleash Lucretia’s more than ample breasts at any moment. Jet black hair curled and tumbled about her theatrically pale face to cascade over the shoulders of the faux nun’s habit. “Hello,” she said in a voice both relaxed and predatory. “I don’t believe either of us requires introduction.”

“Nope,” Amber smiled. “I heard that..”

“Oooh,” Lucretia’s fingers played over the shoulders of the leather jacket. “Spikey. I likey,” she purred. Brunhilda?”

“Yes, Mistress?” Another nun stopped in the act of trailing a cat ‘o’ nine tails over an exosed set of buttocks.

Lucretia’s eyes devoured Amber. Her hands seemed to do much the same as she spoke. “Find Patrice. Ask her to come to my office. I’ve someone she’ll just be dying to meet,” the Mistress grinned.

Amber raised an eyebrow. “With hands like that, you could work for TSA.”

“You can stop me at any time,” the dominatrix teased. “I love this fabric,” she breathed as her palm glided over the flat of Amber’s stomach. “And you’ve got the tone to wear it.”

“Oh, my,” Carla quipped over the link. “Ah’m gettin’ tha vapors.”

“And that’s why I’m here,” Amber replied in a voice made slightly unsteady. “I need to accessorize the outfit. Can you tailor a set of gloves for me? Some special ones?”

Lucretia’s exploration now focused on the spiked piercing atop Amber’s left ear. “You’d be surprised at what I would whip up for you,” her lips brushed the piercing as she whispered. “Follow me.”

As she collected her wits, Amber noticed that the room held at least twenty men, all in various states of undress and degradation at the hands of a half dozen malevolent nuns. “Wow,” she exclaimed,” you’re really busy. Are there that many frustrated Catholics out there?”

“Aren’t they all?” Lucretia mused as she strolled among the customers. “But these are Baptists. There’s a ministerial convention downtown this week. We’re running double shifts.”

“Excuse me. Miss? Excuse me?” A chubby guy in a v-necked tee shirt and tighty whiteys stood in his socks. His hands were tied at the wrists, and suspended above his head. Likewise, his ankles were bound together. “Can I ask you something?”

“What did I tell you ABOUT SPEAKING!!?” Lucretia was onto him, her whip handle jabbed ferociously beneath his double chin to lift his face.

Amber joined the pair. “It’s alright...I don’t mind,” she tugged the handle gently down. “What’s on your mind?”

The masochist gulped air. “Are you...are you...the Devil?”

The women traded glances. Amber grinned. “No. I’m just his Girl Friday. Now it’s my turn.” Her fingers twined gently through his hair as she asked, “What’s your safe word, hon?”


“YOU DON’T GET A SAFE WORD!!” Amber roared as she jerked his head back by the hair.

“Oh..oh,” he uttered between ecstatic gasps for air.

“Oops,” Lucretia observed. “Looks like his session ended just a tad bit...prematurely.”

“Eww!” Lupe gagged over the cell link. "Really, Amber? Really?” she complained as Carla howled in the background.

“When in Rome,” the punk grinned as her host led her to the office. “Bye, sweetie!”

“Alright, then,” Lucretia said as the door closed behind them. “Please remove your jacket. Roll up your...well, those are interesting.”

Amber demonstrated the wrist guards, and their telescoping rods that emerged from each. “Will this make the job harder?”

The dominatrix smiled. “More difficult? No. Less elegant? Perhaps. Obviously, you need a simple pair of gloves that end below the wrist. Those can be found anywhere. Why come to me?”

Amber touched her fingertips. “I’ve seen what’s out there. There are two things I need that they can’t provide. The fabric’s always too thick or bulky. I need my fingertips. You work in fabrics that allow for sensation.”

“That I do. So, as the good Doctor would say, Thing One is done. What is Thing Two?”

“I need them weaponized.”

“Do tell.”

Amber produced a drawing. As Lucretia examined the sketch, she said, “the best way to explain it is like you’re adding brass knuckles to each glove.”

“Brass knuckles,” the professional sadist repeated. “Brass knuckles with three quarter inch piercing spikes and electrodes. “Not necessarily lethal or life altering, unless, of course, you strike the eyes...or go between the ribs to the heart.”

‘Will you do it?” Amber asked.

Lucretia shrugged. “I’ve built worse. I’ll need to make casts of your hands and knuckles to fit the armament. Please, sit.”

She took her seat in a simple wing chair adjacent to the desk, as Lucretia busied herself with the plaster molds. Amber’s eyes traveled the office. If anything, it also seemed to serve as a storeroom for a variety of wildly colored “toys” that were either stacked or suspended from hooks on the walls. The tip of one such appliance, an impossibly large creation which hung from it’s strap-on harness, now rested upon the spikes of her right shoulder. With a cautious index finger, she gave it a gentle push.

“See something you like?” Lucretia looked up from her work. “Impulse buy, perhaps?”

“Not today.”

“Well, you are here shopping for weapons,” the dominatrix grinned.

“True that,” Amber laughed, “but if I wore that beast I could never ride the skateboard again.”

“Now I need your fists. Press in, and hold.” Amber was just about to press both hands into the casts when she was interrupted by a knock at the door. “That must be Patrice. Entre, mon enfant!”

“You wished to see me, Mist….oh….oh! It’s you!” Patrice exclaimed at Amber. “Wow...it’s you!”

Amber regarded the newcomer, her eyebrows arched in surprise. “It’s me!” she exclaimed, then turned her glance toward Lucretia. “It’s me?”

Patrice smiled broadly as she turned her body for Amber’s appraisal. “What do you think?” she asked. “Am I close?”

The anti hero nodded. “Pretty good,” she said. “You’ve got most of the details down, girl. The mohawk’s just a little off...but the guys probably aren’t looking at that to close, are they?”

“Amber Kryptonite,” Lucretia gestured elegantly, “Meet Amber Kryptonite.”

“She’s prettier than I am,” Amber nodded. “With alot more up top. Am I...are you...really making money with that look?”

“Uh-huh!” the faux Amber’s smile never faded. “Every time you do something cool, guys come out of the woodwork!”

“Maybe not my first choice of words,” Carla added wryly over the cell link.

Lucretia lifted an eyebrow. “Women, too. You’re all the rage, my dear. I’m thinking of adding two more Amber’s. Poor Patrice is simply exhausted by the demand.”

Amber folded her arms. “Why do I feel like I should call an attorney?”

“Don’t bother. We’ve got at least four on the premises right now. Please insert your fists.”

The two Amber’s exchanged greetings as Patrice let herself out. Amber’s fists pressed deeply into the plaster. Now, time to wait.

So,” Lucretia said, “in my trade, I take a personal interest over the special orders. Needless to say that I find yours to be very intriguing. Therefore, I must ask if this is a general upgrade, or do you have a specific recipient in mind for the use of these gloves?”

Amber could feel the plaster heating and growing hard around her fists. “Way specific.”

Music Credits:

“The Schuyler Sisters” by Lin-Manuel Miranda from the broadway cast recording of “Hamilton.”

“The Spy” by The Doors from their album “Morrison Hotel”

“Wasted Union Blues” by it’s a Beautiful Day from their self titled album.

“The Body” by Public Image, Limited from their album “Happy?”
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