Celeste has no idea who she is and, unfortunately, neither do the Agents sent to deal with her. Unfortunately for them, that is.
This story is for Jo. The heat is all hers, but the tale itself is mine.
I need to say thank you to thrall for letting me take up so much of her valuable time, for giving me the benefit of her opinion and for all the incredible inspiration her stories have given over the years. One last, grateful nod to Rebecca, welcome back and thank you.
Sleep tangled her thoughts, miring them in a torpid daze. The fading dreams clung so tightly, smothering Celeste in their ghostly shrouds.
Somewhere in the depths, she was waiting; fantasy given form in the sweat of imagination. Her mistress of gears. The clockwork goddess she’d created and who, in turn, she now served. At least while the world slept.
Her body was aflame, the flesh burning with savage desire. Thin lines of sticky arousal slithered against her skin, bleeding out in scattered, gleaming droplets. Lust scalded her brain, basting every thought with molten chrome and she couldn’t find the will to even scream.
The radio whined discordantly, feedback clawing at Celeste’s awareness and dragging her back to wakefulness. Away from gleaming perfection and back to tawdry reality. Choking back the disappointment, she dragged herself free of those last, drowsy strands and was suddenly alone.
Every night was the same; a second life, where the real and unreal blurred together. Chrome and steel, wrapping Celeste in their adamant conviction. While her thoughts drifted free, only to be lost in the pleasure of unbridled obedience.
She couldn’t remember when the dreams had started, or even when their eroticism had become so overwhelming. But they had become her one constant, and the axis around which her life revolved.
Sunlight pierced the curtains, spilling across the carpet in a soft, dappled tide. Somewhere in the distance, the city was starting to wake. A slumbering behemoth stirring fitfully from someone else's dream.
Celeste slid reluctantly from beneath the warm safety of her duvet. The morning chill was almost enough to make her gasp and only the radio's shrill notes kept her from retreating back beneath the covers.
Sleep whispered, finding a voice in the sheets' silken shivers. Soft static lulling her back, even though they both knew she couldn’t stay. Celeste sighed, wiping the sand from her eyes and blinking against the brightness.
Idly, she scratched her shoulder, luxuriating in the sharp pleasure. Nails ground into soft flesh, tearing at the worsening itch and twisting that sigh into a soft hiss of unexpected arousal.
For long, stolen moments, Celeste was content to simply sit there. But she had work to do and her boss wasn't likely to be sympathetic if she was tardy. That thought was enough to banish the dream's last lingering traces and she was happy to let it fade. For now.
By the time she had showered and dressed, there really wasn't time to eat, not if she was going to make it to the office. Celeste spared the refrigerator a last, longing glance and then all but jogged out of her apartment.
The night's erotic charge still hadn't quite dissipated and her mind constantly strayed back to those perverse imaginings. Even the memory of her nocturnal mistress was enough to make her tighten deliciously and it only got better when she allowed herself to dwell.
Celeste could feel herself becoming moist once more. Her thighs slapped together wetly with every step, stirring soft, heated moans. Technology throbbed around her, flickering through the still air and sparking against toned flesh.
She took a deep breath, enjoying the city’s tingling caress and losing herself in the eddying currents that intertwined between them. Her eyes drifted closed, while desire warred with decorum, as fingers drifted closer to the entrance of her now painfully needy sex.
There was no warning as the truck mounted the pavement. Celeste was already too lost, her mind too fogged with barely recollected pleasures to notice anything but the building pressure of carnal sensation. Even at the moment of impact, there was a frozen instant when ecstasy masked the pain completely and then, nothing.
Rough hands tugged at her, each movement punctuated by the hiss of tearing fabric. Celeste opened her eyes, surprised to have found an island of clarity amidst the churning chaos. The world was stained red, the once familiar touched with rippling crimson aura. She blinked, trying to clear her eyes, but the eerie distortion remained.
Two figures fussed over her and, belatedly, the young woman realised she was lying sprawled in the gutter. Her head rested heavily against the kerb, which felt as comfortable right now as the softest pillow. Something clung to her face and her arms flailed drunkenly in her haste to be rid of it.
A calm voice intruded from somewhere close at hand, drawing her attention back to the figures.
“Try to relax,” it suggested, while heatless flames cavorted around the figure’s silhouette.
Celeste let her arms drop, trying to ignore the choking sensation. Air hissed into the mask and she could taste the rubber in every breath. Something sweet and sickly lurked in the background, almost hidden beneath the dark chemical tang.
“This will help the pain,” the same voice explained, somehow anticipating her question.
That was certainly true, Celeste realised. Lying there, she felt better than she had in a long time. Her body was comfortably numb and, with the exception of her eyesight, she seemed to have survived her accident unscathed.
Images flashed through her mind, becoming more detailed from moment to moment. The memory took hold of her, dragging Celeste back to the moments before the impact. She stared into the eyes of the truck driver, feeling the electricity of that connection. The radiator grill bore down on her, while the vehicle corrected its aim.
She gasped, fogging the mask and filling her lungs with the tainted air. Somehow she knew. It wasn’t an accident at all. The driver had known exactly what he was doing and had swerved intentionally to hit her.
Craning her neck, she’d searched the crowd of onlookers. Maybe he was still here, waiting to finish the job. But the faceless gawpers hid whatever secrets they might have behind monochrome anonymity.
Her body felt charged with energy, almost humming with the need to flee. But, almost before she had time to think, the paramedics were loading her into the waiting ambulance.
Sirens wailed in the distance, while the outside world sped past as a series of melodious Dopplers. The cramped interior glowed, warm russet mingling with bright, mustard yellows. Her nurse was a shadow wreathed in fire and every fibre strained to escape the woman’s tender attention. But, instead, she remained frozen as if she might somehow avoid notice if she could only keep completely still.
“Target retrieved,” the nurse announced flatly. “ETA ten minutes.”
The woman listened for a moment, while heat haze seemed to pour from her raised hand. Celeste could just make out the small earpiece, which, even to her untrained eye, seemed somehow out of place. She strained to hear the other side of the conversation, but there was simply too much background noise.
“Acknowledged,” the woman replied in clipped tones.
She tapped the earpiece and turned, opening her hand to reveal an over-sized syringe. The needle burned crimson, forcing Celeste’s heart to accelerate still further. Her pulse became one long rolling drumbeat and the young woman only realised she was moving as she ripped free from the straps that had been holding her down.
Celeste’s hand caught hold of the nurse’s wrist, twisting with deceptive ease. She registered a slight increase in resistance, but that died as the needle bit home. Casually she pressed against the plunger, filling the other woman’s body with whatever toxin the syringe had held. The nurse didn’t even have enough time to whimper, before her body collapsed under its own weight.
Instantly the flames died, false colour bleeding away as she caught the unconscious woman and laid her carefully on the waiting gurney. The walls continued to pulse, but the rhythm seemed suddenly less urgent.
Once again she found herself moving without conscious volition, although this time with none of the alacrity she had possessed before. Celeste swept her finger across her eyes, sliding something gelatinous from their surface.
The thin membrane was slippery to the touch, but she held on with surprising deftness. Each lens slipped effortlessly beneath the nurse’s eyelids, and the bizarre operation was completed before Celeste had time to ponder what was happening.
Behind flickering eyelids, static seemed to dance over the lens’ surface, painting the pink liquid with brilliant sparks. The young woman watched, instinctively understanding that soon the nurse would be forced to see things from a different perspective. Her fingers tapped lightly against the torn straps and then, she found herself reaching for the medical tape.
The ambulance careered through traffic, jolting Celeste from her daze. She stared down at the almost mummified form of the other passenger, trying to understand what had happened. Celeste’s vision was once again clear, and the world had returned to its normal palette. But thin lines now crawled behind the unconscious woman’s eyes.
Suddenly the young woman recognised the strange taste in her mouth and she snatched off the surgical mask. The straps tangled in her hair, before finally pulling free. Celeste panted, trying to clear her lungs of whatever she had been breathing and that distraction was enough to muddle her thoughts still further.
There was something… something she was supposed…
Celeste shook her head weakly, then shivered. It started somewhere in the back of her head, and crawled slowly down into the cleft between her buttocks. It was the touch of corpse fingers, cold and clammy in their entirely unwelcome attention.
She could feel the ambulance slowing and knew they were nearing the end of their journey. Celeste looked around her, searching for a way out. Her eyes seemed to trip over the taped nurse and her discarded clothing. Then they found the rear door. The woman stepped across the short distance and closed her hand around the handle.
Muttering a silent prayer, she gave a short tug and abruptly found herself tumbling from the moving vehicle and into the path of the following traffic. She took the brunt of the impact on her shoulder. The force was enough to numb her arm as she tumbled blindly. Cars hurtled by, their slipstreams close enough to tug at her clothing. But, miraculously, none of them struck her.
Finally, her battered body came to rest beside the road, and with a series of unladylike oaths, Celeste hauled herself onto the relative safety of the verge. In the distance she saw the ambulance continuing on its way, the driver apparently unaware of the swinging rear door.
A low groan escaped her cracked lips, while deft fingers probed at her throbbing shoulder. The blouse was shredded, and the flesh beneath felt rough and brittle. Celeste peered at the ruin of her arm and felt the world begin to spiral away from her once more.
Beads of light chased themselves around glimmering circuits, while solder melted and steamed. Tiny motors whirred and buzzed, tightening strands of synthetic muscle. In the depths, other more exotic devices carried out functions far beyond her understanding and, even as the young woman watched, she could see the wound beginning to knit itself back together.
Incomprehension gave way to confusion as her mind tried to process the impossible situation. She rose, drunkenly, to her feet, no longer fighting the urge to run. Nothing made sense and yet, the truth was irrefutable.
Celeste started running, happy for once to let her body take the lead. She needed to clear the datum, because it wouldn’t take her abductors long to realise she’d escaped. Beyond that, she didn’t have a clue. But someone was pulling her strings and she could only pray they knew what they were doing.
Holden’s attention was focussed on Agent May’s tightly wrapped form, while her partner muttered platitudes somewhere in the background. Frustration gnawed away at his self-control. They had spent the last three months trying to track down these terrorists and one moment’s sloppiness had lost them the best lead they’d had.
“How did this happen?” He wondered aloud.
The question was greeted with silence, but then he hadn’t really expected anything else. The target was supposed to have been rendered docile before she was extracted. Holden reached down and let the torn webbing run through his callused hands.
According to protocol, they weren’t supposed to set foot inside the cordon until the bomb-disposal team had checked everything over. Holden ground his teeth in frustration. Where the hell was the Army?
He jerked hard on the strap, testing its strength. The heavy-set man grunted with the effort, but still made no impression on the frayed restraint.
“Curiouser and curiouser,” he breathed, ignoring the growing sense of unease.
Anita could see the patterns, but their meaning was lost on her. She struggled for understanding, fixated on the seemingly random strings of characters as they floated back and forth. Sweet pressure enclosed her body, while the young Agent’s mind drifted free. Riding the surge of pharmaceutical bliss, she allowed the alien code into her mind. Welcoming those digital runes, eagerly, without ever knowing her danger.
Celeste’s lenses clung to the surface of her eyes, beaming their message onto her retina whether the lids were closed or open. Memetic codes bypassed her awareness, writing and rewriting themselves into the core of her personality. Displacing memories and ruthlessly attacking her pleasure and reward centres, adding saliency to every new idea they suggested.
Dopamine flooded her brain, lighting up Anita’s limbic circuit with pleasures so intense they quickly became all but unbearable. Knowledge warped and shifted in flashes of carnal corruption, as she unlearnt everything she held dear. New truths poured into the vacuum, each change consolidated in the afterglow of another entirely psychic orgasm.
Her body did nothing to betray the turmoil within as her brain was jolted by one mind-melting climax after another. Anita’s thoughts became no more than a constant scream of ecstatic acceptance. Her mind sang, crying out in hopeless adoration, as the clockwork goddess took hold of that lust and supplication, then used it to rebuild the Agent’s mind.
The city pressed in all around her, stirring Celeste’s skin with prickling caresses. She moved with a purpose, not quite a passenger in her own body, but a driver as yet unaware of her final destination. That disconnection was uncomfortable, despite the soothing proximity of that warm, technological glow.
Unconsciously, she continued to scratch at her damaged shoulder, picking at the crawling flesh. Sharp nails worried the healing wound, as if they could tear away the complexity that lay beneath. Celeste shivered again, each mute denial less fervent than the last.
She paused in her seemingly random journey, coming to a stop beside an antiquated phone booth. Celeste lifted the receiver automatically, lightning fingers already punching at the grime-encrusted keypad. Faint clicks echoed in the silence, leaving a hollow emptiness in their wake. The young woman blinked; suddenly aware that the voice she could hear speaking was her own.
“The sleeper has awakened,” she announced mechanically.
Celeste turned quickly, replacing the phone in its cradle. Then she was doubling back on herself, letting the hidden imperative guide her. She had to reach the safe house. Mistress was depending on her.
Only when the Army EOD team had pronounced it safe to do so, did the paramedics start to cut Anita loose. Holden watched, dispassionately, as the unconscious woman’s nudity was revealed, one strip at a time. She showed no signs of rousing from her unnatural slumber and, despite the all too obvious extent of her arousal, he found himself quickly losing interest.
He’d had to work quickly to stifle the news of this accident. Liberal use of DA notices was sufficient to silence the media. Enterprising bloggers proved a more difficult problem. GCHQ were hard at work, scouring the net to purge any reference to today’s events, but Holden knew they were fighting a losing battle. Sooner or later the story was going to break.
Publicity was, however, the very least of their troubles.
Despite being in perhaps the most heavily surveilled city in the world, they had lost the target within minutes of her near suicidal escape. The woman simply slipped between the cracks in the system and disappeared.
Agent May moaned gently, reminding Holden of his responsibilities. The cell was still active and far more dangerous than any of them had suspected.
The time for recriminations would come later, but for now he needed to concentrate on reacquiring the target before her trail cooled completely. He took a deep breath, accepting the unpalatable truth. It was time to go cap in hand to The Cousins and beg for their help.
Liquid shadow spilled through the basement door, pooling around Celeste’s feet as she stood on the threshold. It took only an instant for her eyes to adjust, pupils yawning to suck in what little light filtered down into the small chamber. Then the young woman caught sight of the altar and knew exactly what she had to do.
The opening of the lozenge-shaped device gaped, revealing a bizarre mishmash of technology. Parts of the device wouldn’t have looked out of place in a high-end sex-shop, while others seemed strictly functional. Celeste knew she would soon take her place in the midst of those probes and tangled wiring. But turning that knowledge in action meant confronting her fears.
Terror stirred restlessly in the distance, but never quite took hold. The thrill of what she was about to do was breathtaking. To literally reach out and touch the face of her Goddess. But still, she found herself unable, or perhaps unwilling to forget her horror at the machinery lying beneath her skin.
What did it mean, and how could she square it with her suddenly suspect memories?
Faced with the choice between confused ignorance and the machine’s mysterious innards, Celeste teetered. Balanced on the edge of a decision, pleasure lapped disconcertingly over the surface of her brain and she picked knowledge.
Slowly, almost reverently, she began to peel off her clothes. Pulling the torn blouse over her head, before stepping out of her soiled trousers. Celeste stepped towards the waiting booth, sliding free of her plain undergarments. Leaving the breadcrumb trail of discarded clothing in her wake.
Slick plastic drew her in, bare flesh sliding effortlessly into the cramped confines. For a moment she paused over the glistening power couplings, then she lowered herself onto their firm presence, delighting in the feel of that intimate connection.
Her head nestled against a moulded pillow, mating the hidden sockets with the booth’s interface cables. The lid closed over her, as the plugs melded seamlessly with her body and then, a dazzling crescendo lit up her mind, sending frenzied notes cascading through her nervous system, and the communion began.
The aftermath of the injection was unexpectedly gentle. A faint metallic taste lingered, clinging to her teeth and tainting her mouth with an unpleasant sweetness. But the haze had lifted, and Anita found she could focus without effort. Her limbs felt heavy, their responses sluggish and still she seemed to have gotten off lightly.
She gazed with distaste at the blank-faced man who guarded the door and he returned her attention dispassionately. Ostensibly he was here for her protection, but Anita had no illusions. For the moment at least she was an unknown quantity and therefore potentially compromised. This man, who had the look of the Regiment about him, was just as much her gaoler as he was her bodyguard.
For what must have been the thousandth time, she cursed her own naivety. How on earth had she let the target get the drop on her? The woman had moved so fast, tearing apart the restraints with consummate ease and all that despite being so drugged she should have been struggling to simply string two thoughts together.
Her fingertips brushed against the puncture wound and the contact was electric. Anita fought not to gasp, suddenly very aware of the coarse hospital gown and just how little protection it offered. Embarrassed at the strength of her response, she glanced away from the guard’s cold stare.
Nobody trusted her. She was damaged goods, at least in everyone else’s eyes. The truth was, even she was struggling. Anita didn’t know what would happen if she met the target again. But, she couldn’t shift the feeling she would fall just as easily and that in some ways that was the very thing she craved.
The Agent shuddered at the thought, unable to tell whether through fear or the last fading echoes of her arousal.
For some reason, Holden had never liked Grosvenor Square. The American Embassy stood out like a sore thumb amidst the City’s Georgian architecture. That wasn’t the main reason for his current reluctance, but it certainly wasn’t helping.
Holden have the very strong impression that he was about to sell the family silver and all he could hope was that he was smart enough to get something other than ‘magic beans’.
Security checks had continued to tighten as the world situation deteriorated. But the delay was more or less minimal. Once he had been cleared, one of the Marines ushered him into the lift. Even before he had pressed the button, the small car was descending.
When the doors finally opened, his opposite number was waiting to greet him.
Jarvis had been an attractive woman in her day, and she still managed to cling on to a fair measure of that allure. Holden nodded and smiled in as non-committal way as he could manage.
“Katherine,” he began. “Thank you for seeing me on such short notice.”
“Ben,” she grinned easily, taking him by the arm and leading him towards her office. “It’s been too long. How’s Kim?”
He held onto the smile, wondering just how much she already knew. Then he shook his head and gave an exaggerated sigh.
“She copes,” he answered with a shrug. “You know how it goes. I’m an absentee husband and we live a life based on lies and concealed truths. It’s tough, but we get by.”
The American nodded, her eyes unfocussed as she considered what he’d said. Honesty wasn’t exactly familiar territory for either of them, but they recognised it and what it presaged.
“Ben,” she breathed, the concern all too real.
Waving away any further comments, Holden braced himself for the pitch. Jarvis was one of his closest friends, she knew him better than almost anyone. But, this was business and if he wanted anything from Uncle Sam, he was going to have to make it worth their while.
“There’s an active cell here,” he explained. “And, this morning we lost the only member we’d identified.”
She listened attentively, but made no attempt to respond. Holden pressed on, unable to dispel the image of himself as Oliver, plaintively asking for more.
“I need access to whichever Misty satellite is currently over London.”
Jarvis opened her mouth, the denial already tripping towards her tongue. But Holden interrupted her before she could speak. They needed to cut through the usual bullshit, and if that meant he had to ride roughshod over protocol, then so be it.
“Yes, I know,” he continued relentlessly. “You can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any stealthy surveillance satellites and even if you did possess such a thing, they most certainly wouldn’t be used to spy on an ally.
“Now we’ve got that out of the way, shall I tell you what I am authorised to offer in return for the use of this non-existent asset?”
“Hypothetically,” Jarvis answered, her eyes narrowing. “You have my attention.”
They both kept their tone even, but the anticipation was palpable. Holden took another breath, wondering just how much he would regret what they were about to do. But in reality it made no difference. He needed their resources and only one thing would be sufficient to let them share.
“It’s her isn’t it?” Jarvis asked softly.
His smile was entirely unfeigned as Holden realised he had hooked her.
The doctor strode through the door and immediately took ownership of the private room. She hardly acknowledged the guard, dismissing him with a whispered word. Then, she turned the full force of her attention onto Anita.
“Hello,” she began, her voice warm and rich. “I’m Dr. Pyszora and I’ll be looking after you during your time here.”
There was something almost magnetic about the slender woman. Not attractive or even imposing in the traditional sense, she still had presence. Anita found herself responding to that confidence, accepting the doctor’s soft words and eager to show how cooperative she could be.
“Dr. Pyszora,” she smiled.
“Natalie,” the woman offered, returning the smile. “And may I call you Anita? Agent May seems so formal, doesn’t it?”
Anita nodded. If Natalie wasn’t standing on ceremony then she didn’t need to.
“That’s good,” Natalie agreed. “Now, I’m afraid I’ll need to see where you were injected. That’s okay, isn’t it?”
Again the young woman nodded, it only stood to reason that the doctor would need to check her over. She tried not to focus on the soft rasp as the gown slid over her sensitive skin. The doctor’s expression was warm and Anita could almost feel the caress of her gaze.
“Thank you, Anita,” the doctor continued. “And now I’ll have to examine you. Palpating and assessing the wound site in detail. I may even have to knead and massage your breasts for a time. That will be alright though, won’t it?”
She wasn’t sure, but all those doubts faded as Natalie swept her palms over Anita’s chest. There was something very professional about every movement, but also something very provocative and which it was impossible to ignore. Small, rough hands cupped and held the swollen flesh, rolling and trapping it beneath clever fingers.
Natalie murmured softly, lifting and massaging those heavy globes. It didn’t feel like any examination she had ever undergone. Instead, it felt really quite amazing.
“You’re doing very well,” the doctor encouraged. “But I’m going to need you to push your chest out a little more, if I’m going to examine you completely.”
Immediately, Anita pushed back her shoulders, forcing her breasts forward and drawing attention to the tightly puckered nipples. The doctor ran one hand slowly across the underside of that aching ripeness, swirling her palm back and forth as she gazed into the distance.
“I wonder,” she began. “Anita, I know this will sound strange. But to really make your breasts as prominent as possible, I’d like to tie your arms back. Will you let me do that?”
The doctor was right, the idea did sound strange. But, as her deft fingers swept slowly back and forth, Anita was finding it more and more difficult to disagree. Something about Natalie’s voice buzzed deep inside and, despite the concerns, Anita knew she could be trusted.
“Oh yes,” Natalie enthused, as the cord looped tightly around Anita’s arms. “That really is so much better.”
She slipped closer to the Agent, pressing her small breasts softly into the other woman’s tethered arms. Her hands cupped and held those suddenly helpless tits, crushing their sweet roundness and grinding the sensitive nipples between her callused fingers.
Anita could feel herself succumbing to the practiced touch, revelling in each lurid caress, while her slippery core grew more and more molten. She groaned, gasping and whining with unfulfilled need. Even to her own ears the sound was quite pitifully weak and that only seemed to make it worse.
“Anita,” the doctor breathed gently. “I know it’s hard, but you really do need to keep quiet or I won’t be able to do this. Would it help if I used something to muffle any noises you might make?”
She gave another whimper in reply, although the meaning was clear. Anita felt Natalie shift position slightly, and then something moist and musky was pressed tightly into her face. She gasped, filling her nostrils with the hot spice of arousal and the haze seemed to thicken.
“I’m sorry, Anita,” the doctor whispered. “But the only thing I could find with which to gag you were my panties. It’s embarrassing, because they are rather wet. You don’t mind, do you, Anita?”
Slowly, the sodden material was forced between her teeth, while the heavy perfume coiled restlessly around her thoughts. Every breath made her body clench and drove her down still further into the sweat of submission.
“There’s a good girl,” Natalie enthused. “Nice big breaths for me.”
Narrow cords cut into the corners of her mouth, trapping the packing in place and stifling her moans to a soundless mewl. Once again, Natalie’s hands consumed her. Taking her aching, tender tits and devouring them hungrily.
Her cunt was on fire, blazing with raw passion and unfulfilled need. She was so very close now, closer than she had ever been without tipping over the edge and yet, still she couldn’t cum. Natalie’s hands milked and tormented. Squeezing and pinching to a maddening rhythm. Each time she thought the sensations had peaked, Anita would find herself rising once more.
Then, with a painful inevitability, the doctor’s expert touch receded and Anita found herself being lain back down on the hospital bed.
“Thank you, little one,” Natalie whispered. “I’m going to leave you to think about this, but don’t worry, I’ll be back in a few hours to see how you are getting on.”
More cords slipped around her legs, and let every movement add to that delicious friction. By the time her elbows had been lashed to her ankles, forming quite the strictest hogtie imaginable, the sensual fog had thickened to the point where Anita could see nothing else.
The stricken woman could do nothing as she was rolled onto her side. She barely noticed as the covers were drawn up over her helplessly bound form and the soft thud, as the door closed was all but lost in the relentless throb of arousal.