Bernadette’s next task was originally to make another (and final) appearance at all of the study groups, but, as she told the contact persons for each of the groups, that was taking a great deal of exhausting time. What would be better is if she and the group contacts could meet separately in a preliminary meeting.
At that meeting Bernadette would read a wonderful piece of Matriarchal literature from the late underground days that would be an excellent starting point of broader issues of what the Zone had abandoned from it’s roots and what it should revive and return to.
She would give them copies of this wonderful reading and they themselves could outline what they thought were the significant points suggested by this reading, talk it through themselves, and then each of them go back to their groups and hold a similar reading of the text and ask the same questions that came up in the preliminary meeting.
It was more difficult to find a time and place for a group of women in different social sets, but Bernadette was persistent through a couple of days of Dictapad calls and, finally, they found a glimpse of daylight in all their full schedules to meet at the apartment of the most prosperous woman of the group on a late Sunday afternoon. A large apartment, with even a well-trained maleservant to manage the hospitality. He was one of those in service to a fellow student since Citizenship school, and his Mistress and he had developed an almost 20 year relationship (he had serviced her orally since the second year of school) and a long standing affection for each other. And, as one would expect, the mere fact that she started with a maleservant with no greed for another, was instrumental in her life’s success.
She was very intelligent and understood this clearly, so she was one of Bernadette’s most devoted followers. She could see not only the poverty and lovelessness of her peers, she could also directly see the difference her maleservant had made for her. Bernadette had actually known both of them in Citizenship school, and though not close then, she and he were the first she ever saw wearing B jewellery at the school. So they had been in her corner from the first.
The day of the meeting came and Bernadette read the story at beginning of this narrative, “A Chat In Matriarch House”. It cut right to the heart of them all. Everything that was good about the Underground was in it, and nothing that was bad about the Zone was in it. It was matriarchy in a form where all decisions and discipline were on a human scale, without the need for a Hierarchy which had become little but a millstone to women who were young, poor, and underegarded in the mild sense of a 35 year old woman living paycheck to paycheck with only two options for erotic relief, a full blown lesbian relationship with all the personal trials and tribulations that entailed, or to pay for what few bi whores (largely in the brothel Elizabeth’s Secret) were among those on Scarlet Fever Lane.
Bernadette was in a quandary. She wanted to go back to Elizabeth’s Secret in the worst way, but not as Caitlin Jones. The cool silent appraisal of Sally the Madam was as unnerving as any of the very scary instructors in her deep cover training. Back there, when they looked up and down you like that, there would be a pause, then, “If you screw up this tradecraft in cover like you just did there, you’ll die.” Bernadette wasn’t sure, but she had a distinct feeling that Sally had detected her wig and that her glasses were fake. Bernadette should have trusted her instincts and shunned the house after.
While Caitlin was asking questions, she could feel Sally’s intense scrutiny of her make-up step by step by step, in the order she knew was vital to keep Caitlin’s face looking longer and more hollow than either Abigail in blond flattering dark pinks, creams, and light sand browns, or Bernadette. Bernadette herself, in character, was a “natural girl” with the make-up concentrating most on smoothing and coloring her very pale skin tone and longer lashes that better show off her cornflower blue eyes.
Bernadette and Caitlin were the extremes of a continuum, from business smart in a jacket and matching A-line skirt, with low heeled Mary Janes for shoes and dark hose; to delicately feminine Bernadette in long, empire waist, dresses and straight line caftans; with Abigail the languid vamp in harem pants in between. But all three of them never wore anything that might bind on the scar on her bottom.
The presence of a place like Elizabeth’s Secret, bisexual friendly and very, very good, far better than the backstreet romance she’d had with one of the other whores on the lane, was a constant temptation. It was relief and renewal without agendas and with courtesy and grace. Exactly why Henry Peterson hung out there over 20 years ago. You paid for the service and tipped the ladies, but, unlike some other houses, it didn’t feel like you were taking a number and waiting in line. The service was prompt, but never hurried.
When one of the Johns started abusing this, the Madam was always there to politely, but firmly, set him straight. The submissives had been used to beatings all their lives and it was easy for them to talk to the girls they were visiting and get a very clear picture that NO ONE wanted onto the punishment blocks of THIS house, whether under the new or the old management. The mere fact that the room had three of them was enough to tell any savvy submissive that, without further inquiry, and the girls uniformly confirmed it.
There were a small number of Zone men, sometimes a pair, who weren’t savvy; had an attitude; got strongarmed by Sally onto a block; and had been the education of every girl in the house–except for the eldest whore as substitute hostess and the six on call. The unsavvy submissives’ plight was always the gossip of every girl on the Lane after; and always the terrifying story that spread through nearly all submissives in the Zone. Very early on Sally discovered that the more strappings the girls saw, the fewer she had to give, so she always brought them in while strapping the Johns.
The house girls usually got to see the augmented butt strapping Sally had told them about, but didn’t yet use on them much–thank Heaven for small favors–a Love Pat of crisscrossing welts over the entire butt, followed by a pause to let the welts swell fully as they burned ever hotter. Then the Mild Rebuke followed starting with the tawse lashing into an already swollen bottom and by the end, into about a 1/3 larger swelling of the butt than usual, with a full week’s longer recovery time. Particularly for relearning to walk straight.
Sally was a good sport and always asked the poor man at the end if he wanted an EMT. When they usually could do nothing but weep and groan she just called the EMT anyway. With one well walloped submissive, Sally got a thank you card two weeks later from the guy’s Mistress saying that his behavior had been about to get him sent to FEM/AUTH, but that Sally had done a far better job “reeducating” him “than those doofuses ever do”.
The girls didn’t hide from submissive Males the fact that they were totally terrified of the Madam’s strap, whether in the hands of either Sally or Elizabeth: the beatings were as bad as those of FEM/DOM, never crossing the line into the unacceptable but snuggling right up to it. Not only that, but the strict set of rules they had to follow to avoid a strapping were also enough to curl a submissive’s hair. They were almost as rigid as those of the Matriarchs’ themselves, though these two Madams didn’t have anything like Angie Albertson at their disposal to cane them into chopped liver for any of the Matriarchs at their smallest mistake.
But the new Madam here usually had only to tap them on the shoulder and smile when a submissive had gone far enough. Sally’s smile, in particular, could give any submissive the shivers. Some of that look of feral Lady Chief in Sally’s nightmare had somehow entered her heart. It also made her presence in the Punishment Room enough to curdle the blood. Sally was no sadist like Angie, but she always was so dammed cheerful while wearing that little smile, those narrowed eyes, and flaying your poor hide. It was such a shame you didn’t follow the rules, or you stubbornly outstayed your time. Nothing personal, it’s just nicer for everyone if they don’t give me a reason to strap them, but this is just an imperfect world, right? And her smile would get a little wider.
These days Lady Chief sometimes sees it in Sally and is totally terrified. So, for that matter, am I. Nothing bad ever happens, and Sally has stayed a relatively decent human being for having been a whore, a Madam, and a spy, while Lady Chief lost that opportunity decades ago, but only her own inner companionship with Micha Haaretz scares Lady Chief more. When I see it in Sally, I’m perfectly sure that she really would strap my senior ass off if she thought I needed it. Though she’s never threatened to, not even playfully.
And if the John was a non-citizen, Sally simply stepped up to him, looked him straight in the eye and talked straight, “If you want to keep the skin on your butt intact, get out of here and don’t come back.” And she wasn’t smiling when she said it. Only four non-citizens ever made it to Sally’s punishment room. When she laid out some straight talk, non-citizen men only had to hear it once to be convinced the first time.
Under her regimen, her girls got that extra touch happier, more skilled, and more sensitive to the Johns and Janes that even I, Elizabeth ever quite accomplished. Part of it was the greater closeness in age of the Madam to the whores, Sally was much younger than Elizabeth and did far more of the bedroom work, particularly with the younger Johns, the women, and the older clients, all of whom were there more frequently than on my watch. Another part of it was the sheer volume of trade. Sally had to put six on call and rearrange the household schedule to fit.
Bernadette, after her last appearance before women in the Zone, was only a stone’s throw from Scarlet Fever Lane, gave in to her impulses, held her flowing skirt as she walked up the four front steps, and knocked on the door of Elizabeth’s Secret. Sally welcomed her with the simplicity and openness that was her trademark–pleasant straight talk not swathed in the protective formality of most of the other Madams. As Berndette was paying the room rent, she looked up and said, “Ms. Sally, you may not know this. Besides your being the strictest Madam and a terror with your strap, your girls also tell me that you are the best choice for a woman in your house. Would you have time to be with me tonight?”
Sally didn’t know the girls said that about her, and concluded it was mere customer flattery, since she didn’t remember this woman in the house at all, but when she looked into Bernadette’s cornflower blue eyes, she got a shock. The eyes were the same ones she’d seen a few weeks back. Then they were topped by an expensive black wig and behind plain lenses in heavy black rimmed glasses and dramatic makeup. They also had looked straight into Sally’s eyes and not down at her from about 4-5 inches as they did now.
Sally had plenty of practice handling her face, Elizabeth and Lady Chief had seen to that long ago, so she didn’t give Bernadette the searching once over that she had given Caitlin. She just thought for a minute and concluded that tonight’s desk work hadn’t come with a crucial deadline and she was in need of a little recreation anyway. Besides, she wanted to be up close and personal with this 2.0 version of the free lance writer, to compare without seeming to do so. “Certainly. It will be a pleasure.” That wasn’t exactly a lie. She didn’t say that much of her pleasure would be rather like that of working a jigsaw puzzle.
Though Sally and the girls always offered a lights out undressing, Bernadette preferred to see her partner undress at the start and light in the early part of the foreplay which she liked to be more extended than most Janes. This was just fine with Sally because she also had footage of Caitlin nude, who seemed to have the same tastes. Bernadette actually kept the lights on a little longer because she was curious about Sally’s business wear. Rumor had it that the day clothes of Sally and the girls were made to measure by a famous tailor in Chicago. One thing was sure, they were 100% wool, like the best men’s suits, even the off the rack ones. No off the rack woman’s business wear could show a fabric of as much solidity and niceness of hand. One other thing was true, they were uniformly flattering from neck to knees and you couldn’t say how much of that was tailor skills and how much was Sally’s body.
Bernadette wasn’t surprised that Sally proved to be much more svelte than her clothes and her whore hip swing promised, with shoulders a little narrower than her hips. And, surprisingly, her very open face betrayed real loneliness, need, and lust. She must keep the girls at arm’s length and only perform on request, Bernadette thought. A good, but heart starving, idea.
Sally’s lingerie was as provocative as it gets, flattering in color, and rich in texture where women like to touch and be touched. Sally kept them on until Bernadette was completely bare, then she stepped up, pushed the textures into the erotic spots they could reach, started to rub them, put her hands on Bernadette’s shoulders, brought her mouth almost all the way to a kiss, and whispered, “Would you like to finish undressing me?”
From that point forward everything developed from the client’s response to this, Sally’s usual starting gambit. As Bernadette took the option of the open mouthed kiss, Sally noticed that cornflower blue eyes now looked straight into rich green ones. And as their dual embrace pivoted back toward the bed, Sally briefly saw Bernadette’s four inch high heels on the floor. Four inch heels??? With a floor length dress??? She filed that away for later and focused completely on her work. As Bernadette squatted to relieve Sally of her elegant panties, she saw they were already wet in the crotch, Sally unhooked the front of her lacy bra and shed it. Having placed the panties with, but not, on Sally’s business ensemble and, leaving Sally’s lace gartered hose still on, Bernadette turned and walked to turn out the light, feeling her own wetness as she did so. Just before she reached the switch, Sally clearly saw the thick scar on Bernadette’s bottom.
Sally’s client had bought a long night of room time that divided itself into three separate and torrid interludes separated by 2-4 hours of caressing while dozing off the endorphins of 3-4 orgasms each for both of them. The whores of Elizabeth’s secret and, particularly Sally, the best of them as well as the Madam, didn’t just make the clients, male and female, go bang more times and louder. They could penetrate to the emotions behind a client’s needs, without requesting an explicit confession of them. Repeated interludes, such as Bernadette had purchased, allowed them to push ever deeper into those needs through a sensitivity of rhythm and precision of touch.
The more Bernadette climaxed, the surer became Sally’s touch where, when, and in what order; how soft, how firm, and how many times before the next doze. Once Sally got in the groove, her own orgasms became stronger and lasted longer as, emotionally, each filled the other’s emptiness. Bernadette had been sensitive enough to feel those voids in Sally, as well as vice versa. She hadn’t been trained professionally, like Sally, to reach that deeply into an ever more open heart and viscera, clearly and strongly, and with conscious intent. But like her natural talent for intrigue and secrecy, she resonated, without conscious thought, to what Sally was doing and her response became like the water poured into one glass pouring back into the glass from whence it first came.
Each of the three intervals was more magnificent than the previous one, and, so highly attuned to each other, that both knew when the last double orgasm had arrived. Bernadette looked Sally in the eye with both their bodies still tied together in a granny knot, “Ms. Sally, you are the best I’ve ever had. Ever. I was right to take the advice and choose you. I’ll take this away from here for the rest of my life and feel satisfied that I’ve drained this cup of lust to the dregs. It’s just a shame that I won’t bring much more to perfection.”
Sally smiled, her eyes twinkled, and this time she channeled Elizabeth and not Lady Chief, “You’re pretty good yourself, peaches. Come back and be with me any time. If this is a World Record, maybe we can beat it.” It wasn’t just Sally the Whore that was at her best, Sally Bayer the spy was riding the endorphin high making multiple Zip flies of conclusions to unzip later and privately. But the first reports suggested that this Caitlin, whether in black wig or chopped blonde cut, whether hiding her eyes by fake glasses or hiding her true height with high heels that she didn’t let you see, was someone of far more importance to both the Zone and GLCIS than she had yet run across, despite the uniformly positive response the evaluators were having to the quantity and quality of the secrets she had been stripping from the male submissives.
They rose and dressed, each now intimate with the other’s body with no personal distance to prevent either from helping to dress the other, Bernadette riding on bliss, Sally channeling it into one last hyperaware investigation of this woman. When both were dressed, Bernadette turned toward Sally, opened her purse and handed Sally two pieces of high value currency left over from the 2 kilo dope purchase. She handed it folded to Sally. As Sally opened it Bernadette placed her index finger on Sally’s lips, “Not a word, Ms. Sally! Not a word! You and your house are more precious than rubies!” Since neither knew the other was in GLCIS Deep Cover, neither could enjoy the irony of one spy extravagantly tipping the other out of a GLCIS expense account. But we can.
As Bernadette turned to leave and Sally walked behind to see her to the door, Sally looked sharply at the hem of the long dress. Bernadette betrayed no indication that she was walking on heels, and as she raised her skirt to use the front four steps, only a couple of brief glimpses of her shoes were possible. Sally already knew they were heels, but concluded that someone who didn’t would never be sure of what kind of shoes they were.
Just before dawn Bernadette slipped down to the river near the Lane. It never got patrolled, and particularly not this early in the morning, so she walked along it barefoot, holding her high heels in her right hand. Early on she passed, unknowingly, the spot where Henry Peterson had been killed so many years ago. Caitlin’s apartment was 1/2 mile downstream and, like the whorehouse, was close enough to the river to quickly get to the apartment door line. The cardboard was in place, and the sun had broken the horizon. After she closed and locked the door, she went to the bedroom and collapsed.
Sally went up for a shower and loungewear. She couldn’t make heads or tails of why this was important but she was certain it was. The house was sleeping, so she went into the kitchen and made a pot of strong dark roast coffee, poured herself a large mug and cut it one to one with heated milk.
Then she went to the office and pulled up the dates of Caitlin’s visit and the video of her. She scanned through it quickly and found a section where Caitlin was nude, with her back to the camera. She was bending over to step out of her panties, and there, plain as day was the scar on the right buttock just above the line of the thigh. She scanned the still off. Then she went to the beginning of her tape of last night’s tumble, where she and “Caitlin 2.0” were undressing. She picked one still of the high heeled shoes, and one still where this Jane was bending over showing the same scar.
Very early Monday morning, October 6, 2085, Sally wrote this message “in clear” for encoding in four alpha groups:
elizabeths secret incidents same woman stop both attempts disguise stop first caitlin jones writer interviews article stop good quality black wig stop black framed glasses plain glass lenses stop eyes uncommon very bright vivid blue stop bought time after interview house bi girl stop video from service shows heavy scar right buttock immediately above right thigh stop print one attached stop last nights woman identical vivid blue eyes caitlin jones stop short blonde hair stop four inches taller caitlin jones stop floor length dress stop shoes invisible stop asked evening with madam stop undressing four inch stiletto heels stop same height without heels both this agent caitlin jones stop identical scar right buttock above thigh stop service video confirms stop also confirms heels stop print two three attached stop suspect attempt penetrate agents cover stop please share info stop please advise agent course action stop sign agent semolina
A couple manipulations of the Datalink broke the message into encoded four alpha groups and embedded the message into the photograph marked 1. Then another action marked photographs 2 & 3. One more action and the message was sent to GLICIS headquarters with an encoded date and time stamp buried randomly into the message.
At 7:30 am Sally informed the eldest girl she needed to be the greeter until the 12 noon lunch, took a hot bath, set her alarm for 11:30 am, and fell into bed.
Matters were moving to culmination. The regular meetings of the Chief Matriarch and her cabinet occurred at the Matriachal Residence on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 1:00, following a light lunch served them by the housekeeper and the maleservants. Having assembled the tools for dealing silent death by gunfire, Bernadette made a fertilizer bomb.