After the FACT
Even in a world filled with gaudily clad heroes and heroines fighting for truth, justice and whatever way they personally embrace, and where mad geniuses try to take over the world (or at least the Tri-State area) at regular intervals, the real power and drivers of society lie in the hands of the men and women in suits. On this particular evening, five of them were sitting in a darkened board room, talking amongst themselves about recent events.
“It is getting ridiculous,” one man in a well cut Italian suit said as he held his drink. “No sooner had Doctor Insomnia announced his plans to hold the city of Freeport to ransom then that blasted Sirena flew in and whisked him away. Hoe the hell did she find his lair so easily?”
“I know what you mean,” a woman in a classic pinstripe jacket and skirt replied, her hair done up in a tight white bun. “No sooner had my husband left the National Vault than Pathfinder swooped in and took him off. We were fortunate the Swiss account was in good stock – we’ll need it for the next few years.”
“And as for that Black Cougar woman – my henchmen are still in hospital from their last attack.”
“Gentlemen, Ladies,” the elder man sat at the head of the table said, “I, Count Morris, share your disquiet and upset over the efforts against us by these heroines, especially those who are part of the Felon Assault and Capture Taskforce. They have been a thorn in our side for far too long.”
On the screen behind them appeared a montage of five faces, dressed in costumes and masked, and one blacked out.
“Yeah, we know who they are, countie”, the other woman present said, stroking her Persian cat as she sat in her white dress. “The question is, what can we do about them?”
“Quite simple really, my dear Persian,” the Count said as a smile played on his lips. “Take them out of the picture. Forever.”
“Excellent idea,” the final person in the room said, as he stood up and looked at the elderly host. “And just how do you intend to track down and capture five of the most feared and strongest women in this world, never mind their head, the one known as Pythia?”
“Am I not Count Morris? Do I not possess one of the finest intelligence networks in our line of work?” He stood up as he said this. “And, most importantly of all, I have a pair of operatives who have all they need to undertake this task within 24 hours?”
The other four people present stared at him. “Prove it,” Persia said with a smile. Count Morris smiled in return, pressed a button on the intercom unit, and said “Julian, show our two guests in will you?”
The large double doors at the end of the room opened, and a smartly dressed man walked in, followed by two men pushing something covered in large black cloths, something that seemed to be wriggling. The group watched, transfixed, and then gasped as the cloths were removed.
“Gentlemen, Ladies, May I introduce you to Yin and Yang, members of FACT and now our guests.”
Sat on the chars were two women of Chinese descent, both dressed in an outfit consisting of a black leather sleeveless jerkin that laced up the front, short brief pants and over the knee leather boots, which creaked as they moved. Both also had elbow length black latex gloves on their arms, and stared at the assembled group through their red-brown shoulder length hair.
“We picked these two up earlier today – as you know, they are the master fighters of FACT, skilled in the Ninja arts and self defence. We therefore took steps to ensure the twins could not disturb our discussions.”
One was sat cross legged on the chair, her arms pinioned behind her back and circles of rope holding her arms tightly to her side as they crossed her chest above and below her breasts. Her crossed ankles had been lashed together with several turns of rope, while the calf and thigh of each leg were also roped together. To silence her, a large black ball gag has been fastened into her mouth using a harness that went over her head, the leather straps crossing her face as she looked at the group.
“Yin, here, was the first to try to defend herself, her sister a few seconds behind.”
Yang also looked at the people in the room, her eyes narrowing as she saw Persia sitting there. Unlike her sister, her legs were not bound at this point, but her bare midriff and waist were secured to the chair back. As with her sister, her hands had been bound behind her back, while the rope below her breasts was cinched under her armpits with two short turns. A large red ball gag had been strapped into her mouth.
“As I said, ladies and gentlemen, I now have two of the FACT in my presence. For one million dollars each, I guarantee the presence of all six here by this time tomorrow. Do I have your agreement?”
The four people looked at each other, and nodded in silence.
“Very well then – until tomorrow. Julian – some refreshments?”
Dawn was appearing over the morning sky as Sirena flew towards the apartment building she used as her home and headquarters. She had been expecting to meet her colleagues that night, but their absence was not a concern to her – the two Chinese girls often had their own problems to deal with.
She landed silently on the rooftop, looking round the dawning neighbourhood. She was wearing her “job uniform” as she put it – A red and white diagonally striped top that hung on one shoulder, leaving her left one exposed, tight white leggings, thigh length red leather boots with six inch stiletto heels and red opera gloves. A large blue mask covered the tip half of her face, with her long light brown hair falling around it.
“Guess I’d better check in with Pythia,” she said quietly to herself as she walked towards the door that led to her studio apartment. Her sonic powers were such that she barely talked normally above a whisper, for fear of causing damage elsewhere, but despite that she was still feared and respected heroine.
This made it all the more surprising for her when she opened the door to be met by a cloud of white powder, which enveloped and covered her. Instinctively, she held her breath, but to her surprise she found herself feeling drowsy as soon as the dust touched her. Realising her mistake, she tried to back off, but it was too late. As she slumped to the ground, she caught a glimpse of a pair of booted legs and a female voice saying “that was too easy...”
The sun was streaming through a window as Sirena slowly opened her eyes. She felt groggy, and stiff, as if she had been sitting in one place for too long – and as she fully opened her eyes, she could see that was most definitely the case.
She saw that she was actually in a closet in her bedroom, her legs up against one wall and her thighs pressing against her chest as she sat against the other. These were held in place by a leather strap that had been fastened around her chest and legs, while her thighs had been tightly strapped together. Around her ankles and wrists were two sets of leather cuffs, fastened in place with padlocks, and she could feel some sort of sponge filling her mouth. By the feel of cold leather around her jaw, she reasoned whatever was in there was been kept in place by a leather strap or
“A panel, actually, in case you were wondering.”
Sirena looked up at the blonde, masked woman that was standing over her. “I want to thank you for waking up before the transport arrives – it makes my job so much easier. Also, thank you for the lead on Pythia – I never realised, well, you’ll find out soon enough. For now, sit back and don’t relax – you’ll be on your way soon.
“Oh – and that sponge? It contains a very special chemical to silence your voice, so don’t try your powers on me.”
“The sound of a doorbell ringing made the stranger turn her head. “Ah – here they are. Have fun!”
The black tinted vehicle drove down the quiet black alley towards the dead end. As it approached, a section of wall slid back and allowed the car to move safely into the hidden garage. Coming to a stop, the door opened and woman stepped out, about five foot eight, wearing a blue short sleeved dress of blue and orange that came halfway down her thighs, and knee length black leather heeled boots. A pair of short black leather gloves was on her hands, while her eyes and hair were covered by a blue helmet with a shaded visor at the front.
This was Pathfinder, the best tracker and equipment specialist in the heroine community, and in a way the right hand woman to Pythia in FACT. Although she possessed no real powers of her own, her equipment and personal drive more than compensated her for that – and now something was bothering her.
She also had been looking for Yin and Yang, but unlike Sirena had gone to their home, only to find the place trashed and the girls nowhere in sight. After failing to get in touch with the vocal member, she had returned home to shower and consider her next steps. As she walked to the door that led to her living quarters, she wondered if it would be prudent to contact Pythia first – if something was happening to the group, she needed to know.
Closing the door behind her, she removed her helmet to reveal her auburn hair, which was held back by a rubber band so that it fell back from her face. She made a decision, and was about to press a button when a male voice said “Please, don’t do that – I’m mean to bring you alive, but dead will do just as well.”
She slowly turned to see a man standing there, holding a dart gun that he was pointing at her and smiling. He was casually dressed – a black shirt, jeans and sneakers, and a pair of dark glasses covered his eyes.
“I don’t know who you are,” Pathfinder said with a sneer, “But if you think I’m going to do what you say...”
“Yes, actually,” he said as he fired a dart that hit the heroine on the arm, “I think you are.” She stared back at him, before slowly falling to the floor. As her eyes closed, the man placed his gun on the table and picked up several coils of rope that were sitting on there.
Dragging the unconscious woman across the floor, he turned her over onto her front and crossed her wrists in the small of her back. It only took a few moments to secure her wrists together, after which he sat Pathfinder against the wall and started to double over a long length of white rope. She groaned slightly as he passed the rope over her head and arms, pulling it tightly under her breasts so that her arms were pinioned in place, and then passing the rope around above and below her breasts until he was satisfied she would be unable to move. Taking the last length over one shoulder, he passed it under the coils beneath her breasts and took the rope back over her other shoulder, securing the ends at her back so that her breasts were made to push out and up against the fabric of her dress.
A further length was passed around her ankles, the leather of her boots creaking as the rope pressed them together and was passed between them. Satisfied, the man stood up and retrieved a mobile phone from his pocket.
“I’ve got their tech person – how are you doing on the Amazon?”
“She’s busy elsewhere – I’m moving for the big prize first.”
“I’m going to make her come to us.”
The man nodded. “Yeah – that would work. I’ll meet you at HQ later.”
As he turned the phone off, he turned and looked at Pathfinder as she opened her eyes. She looked round, noticing the two cases that she was sitting next to, and then the ripping sound as the man came forward.
“You’re going to join your three friends,” he said as he tore a strip of grey tape off a roll in his hand, “and the other two will join you later. I wish we had time to talk, but...”
“I beg your pardon?”
“How did you get past all my defences and lie in wait for me?”
The man smiled. “Pythia provided your security, right?” Pathfinder nodded as the man came closer. “Well then,” he said, “We got past it because it’s our security. Pythia works for one of us – a mole in our organisation.
“But not for long,” were his final words as he smoothed the tap over Pathfinder’s mouth, quickly following with more lengths of tape. She stared back at him – that meant Pythia, and she knew who she was, was in trouble and she had no way of warning her – or her sister...
“Babs, you home yet?”
Olivia threw the car keys down on the phone table as she closed the apartment door behind her. It had been a long day at work, with little to show for it – and she had other worries. Some of her friends, whom she had expected to be in touch, had not done so – and that was worrying.
Actually, the fact that her sister had not answered was also worrying. “Babs?” Olivia said again as she walked into the apartment, only to find her younger sister on the long couch, her eyes closed and a scarf stuffed into her mouth. Her wrists and ankles were taped together, and standing behind the couch was a woman she recognised.
“Z – What are you doing here? Was it you who did this to Babs?”
“It was,” Z said as she stepped forward and pointed her gun at Olivia. “Don’t worry – she’ll be out for several hours yet – enough time for you to be prepared and for me to take you to meet your friends.”
“Yin, Yang, Sirena, and Pathfinder – you know who they are, don’t you – Pythia?”
Olivia looked at Z as she stood there, dressed in a black tight fitting waistcoat, jeans and red heels, with her ever present dark glasses over her eyes, and considered what she could do next. “No point in denying it, is there?” she finally said. “Do you mind if I sit down – I imagine you have something prepared for me anyway?”
“Please do,” Z said as she waved at the couch. Olivia sat down, her lilac skirt rising to reveal the tops of her white stockings, and looked at her colleague through her glasses. “How did you find out anyway?”
“Once we realised the possibility that the famed Pythia, leader of FACT, was in fact working for one of the lords of crime, it wasn’t too difficult. You covered your tracks well, but not well enough.”
“Now Count Morris wants a word with you. Stand up, turn round, and put your hands behind your back – I need to make you ... comfortable.”
Olivia stood up, smoothed her skirt down and turned round, placing her hands behind her back as she had been instructed. She knew what was coming – she had seen Z’s handiwork many times – and was not surprised to feel the coils of rope around her wrists, or see the black rope pass in front of her as her arms were bound to her sides. What really surprised her was when Z tied the rope around her waist, and then fed it between her legs and pulled tightly, forcing the hem of her skirt up as the rope settled against her crotch and was secured in the back.
“Walk,” Z said as she pushed Olivia towards the bedroom, and as she took steps Olivia was surprised by the feelings the rope against her panties was creating. It made her gasp slightly, which made Z smile as she said “I hope you like that – I think there may be a lot more of this sort of thing in your future.”
In the bedroom, Z made Olivia sit on her bed as she secured her legs together tightly above her knees with more rope, and then bound her booted ankles together with a rope hobble. “I want you to be able to walk when you meet Count Morris – with all that you have done, you deserve that respect.”
“What about Black Cougar?” Olivia said this as she watched Z rummaging for something. “You did not mention her.”
“No – I didn’t” Z replied as she came back to the bed with a roll of wide white medical tape in her hand. “She is going to be the piece de resistance of this day, but for now, O fabled Pythia, I need you to shut up.”
“Fair enough,” were the last words Olivia uttered before the form fitting tape was smoothed over her mouth and lower jaw. “Don’t worry,” Z said with a smile as Olivia looked at her, her hand pressed over her gag, “Babs is staying. After all, she doesn’t know about your double life, does she?”
The door opened and two armed masked men came in. “Take her,” Z said, and as she was made to hobble from the room Olivia wasn’t sure what was worse - the fact that the Count had some nasty fate planned for them all, or the growing feeling she had that she was loving the way the rope was rubbing against her...
Again, the five gathered in the room, and on the monitor they could see the five women staring at each other as they shared a secured cell, their bonds and gags still intact.
“You promised all six, Count,” Persia said with a smile, “Where is the last one?”
“You mean the Nubian strongwoman,” Count Morris said with a smile. “I’m expecting her to drop in any minute – in fact, I do believe...”
The sound of a commotion was coming from outside, and as the doors were flung open a number of armed men were thrown into the room, closely followed by the woman known to them all as the Black Cougar. Six foot four in height, with long dark brown hair and dark skinned, she stared at the assembled crowd as she stood with her hands on her hips.
“Where are they Morris?” she demanded as she stood there. Her outfit consisted of a black leather leotard, with thin straps over her shoulders and a zip fastening at the front, knee length patent black leather boots and a spiked collar around her neck. “Where are the rest of FACT – I know you have them here.”
“Why, my dear lady, of course I do,” Count Morris said as he pointed to the screen behind him. “They are safe and well – and waiting for you to join them so that we can send you all on a lovely holiday.”
“Don’t play games with me, Count,” Black Cougar said as she suddenly jerked her fist back to flatten the guard creeping up on her, “Release them before I kill you.”
“I have a better idea,” Count Morris said as he stood up. “Give yourself up before I kill them.”
“I beg your pardon.”
“Surrender now, or else I will release the Zyklon B in the receptacle in the roof of the room and kill them all instantly. Including your lover – young Pathfinder.”
Cougar looked at the screen, especially at the young girl trying desperately to stay brave, and let her shoulders drop. “All right, Count,” she said as she raised her hands, “You win this time. What do you want me to do?”
The group of five looked up as the door opened, and Black Cougar was pushed into the room. Her wrists had been secured behind her back with rope, and her mouth covered in silver tape. She glared at the two guards as they pushed her towards a red couch, past the others, and made her sit down. As one knelt down and quickly bound her ankles together, the other checked the bonds on the other five women to ensure they had not tried to escape. Satisfied, the two guards walked out, Black Cougar watching them all as they left.
The six looked at each other, unsure of what was coming next and unable to get free. Yin and Yang were unable to help each other as they usually did; Sirena was still paralyzed at her throat; Pathfinder and Pythia too well bound; and Black Cougar knew what would happen if she tried anything.
“You have done exceptionally well, Count Morris,” Persia said as she stood next to her colleague. The others had left, having deposited the promised fee, but she had a favour to ask.
“Indeed – but I suspect you wish to deliver the coup de grace – would that be correct?”
“It would be my honour, Count – especially when it comes to Black Cougar. She has been a thorn in my side for far too long.”
“Very well, my dear – you may have them as your playthings. I will arrange shipment in the next 24 hours.”
“So king, my dear count,” Persia said as she watched him walk out of the room. She turned back to the monitor, looking at the six captives. “Soon, my pretty,” she said as she out a white gloved hand to her mouth, kissed it and placed it on the image of Pythia, “soon you will all be at my headquarters.
“Safe and sound – it is a pity we must start again, but start we will. New identities, new costumes, and new ways of working – if we are to be the best, we must continue the work of FACT.”