Holodeck Hell

14Mar19

holodeck2
The star cruiser was a long, long way from home. There were 237 souls traversing the void on the outer edge of space and they didn’t even have the satisfaction of knowing they could discover new life or territories. Their biggest enemy was boredom. They had been forbidden by High Command to even go within hailing distance of the neutral zone. Instead they had to navigate to preordained, usually secret, coordinates and complete a scan. After 18 months watching for breaches of Terran space, many of the crew had had enough. Lieutenant Tzara Tzang, for one, hated it. In her opinion there were far better uses her considerable talents could be put to.

At 36 Tzara was a capable, if sometimes overly officious officer. But with almost 12 years’ experience she had yet to reach the rank of sub-commander and had been reduced to playing second string to the navigation officer. Not that there was anything to navigate, an ensign could run the nav-station on factory settings.

Nor was Tzara particularly liked on board the Dunderhead, not least perhaps because her fiery temper matched her flame red hair. On duty she would chew out subordinates where others would resort to diplomacy and off duty she would don figure hugging jump suits to show just what she her crewmates could never have. Not that she was a tease as such; it was just that most of her crew did not measure up. As a result she spent most of her downtime in the holodeck, trading her spot on the duty roster during club-night and parties for extra holo-suite time.

The so-called holodeck was a VR facility that allowed various locations or scenarios to be played out for relaxation or physical interactions. Most used it to recreate a favourite restaurant or the beach, although no doubt the sexual protocols were popular too. That was the thing about the facility. It was strictly private and no one would or could interfere with another crew member’s usage.

This suited Tzara, not least because before her tour of duty she had purchased an illegal modification on the black market. One that allowed her to cheat the time limits on facilities usage. So far she had only used its standard settings, and its one key feature of temporal manipulation. But after 18 months she was ready to try something new.

Most of the crew were restricted to two hours in VR on days when they had duty, which in most cases was on most days. As Second Navigation Officer, Tzara was strictly forbidden exceptions to this regulation, which was a serious impediment to her VR time. For one thing, one of her hobbies was free climbing and most challenges needed hours, if not days to pursue. That was where her tricky little black market mod came in handy.

What most people did not realise was that time in VR was subjective. If one knew how, once locked in the suite the temporal settings could be adjusted to make two hours last two days or even two weeks subjective time. With her illegal mod it was time enough for Tzara to enjoy a long weekend every shift, climbing the Swiss Alps, a quick bit of skiing, an evening of apres ski and sometimes dangerously modified tryst with a VR ski instructor.

After a double shift, she should by rights hit her bunk, but there would be time enough to sleep later. She had just come off the graveyard shift and no one would swing by until she was well on her way to bed in… she checked her PT, 117 minutes. The cold blue light made the red panel lights purple, giving the corridor to the VR a surreal festival feel. Suckers, she thought, as she uploaded her latest mod.

The transition was as disorientating as ever and it took a moment.

Then she was in the room. The room was in a castle somewhere, Ancient Switzerland she guessed. The walls were of stone and the high window made it bright and cheerful with a breath-taking view of the mountains beyond. In time she would incorporate some climbs, but for now she still had to shake out the bugs.

“You came,” the smooth baritone voice greeted her.

Tzara turned to face Galen, a near two-meter tall hero of her scenario. It suddenly struck her that he had more than a passing resemblance to the captain, although Galen had jet black hair in contrast to her senior’s dirty blond. He was much taller too and the rendition of this man had firmer square-jawed features, although he did have the same authoritative piercing blue eyes. She wondered why, and indeed how, the program had incorporated this particular feature from her real life.

Then Galen frowned. “I was addressing you,” he said sharply. He even sounded like the captain.

“Sorry, yes, hello Galen,” Tzara said more pleasantly than she had ever spoken to this man’s counterpart.

“I don’t entirely understand,” Galen began, “But I gather we are to discuss the duration of your stay, your exact status here and which…” he frowned again and shook his head.

“Please go on,” Tzara told him. Normally a set-up routine would run smoothly no matter how anachronistically, but she knew that this VR mod had Tyson tech in it and had several layers of complexity beyond a normal such program. She knew it had something to do with advanced SI protocols and…

Galen shrugged and became amused. “Ah… as I understand it, we are to discuss which laws we are going to… pass? How is that possible? The law is the law, surely?”

“Please don’t let it trouble you, you will forget…” she coughed and decided on another tack, “Please just indulge me. Think of me as a stupid female and I just want to go over the laws and what is expected.”

While he pondered this Tzara took the time to notice her clothing. A ridiculous gown of heavy blue silk, she adjudged, with some kind of restrictive harness or stiff tight underwear closely cinching her between hips and breast with very little else. She was quite sure what the program was drawing on. She had selected a medieval pre-set and merely deleted the wars, social instability and most other negatives and replaced them with a random selection of pre-resolved add-ons from a list. It didn’t matter at the time, she would edit the core later and merely delete the options that didn’t work for her. She was still wondering whether the dress was authentic to the original historic period or a product of ‘fantasy world’ or ‘adult fun,’ two of the options she could remember randomly choosing.

Then Galen began talking. “Apparently days will be years,” he ventured as if wondering if the message he was required to pass on was a riddle. Then seeing no reaction or surprise from Tzara he continued. “Are you a noblewoman, artisan, courtesan or peasant?”

“I understand so far, except the bit about courtesan. I may need to look that up,” she said thoughtfully.

“As for the laws… do you consider them: natural, socially adjusted, a fantasy variant or…” he looked aghast, “Child rated?” His dismay continued and he made gestures of exasperation with his arms. “What is this?”

“Eh, which status would let me go to the bar and get some climbing in? Oh and maybe pursue some male contact?” Tzara asked.

“You intend to become a courtesan? But why would a courtesan go climbing? Climbing what?”

“Never mind,” she dismissed him. “I don’t think I want natural, historical accuracy is not my thing. Socially adjusted sounds like political bullshit to me, we will skip the kiddie blocks, so what is a fantasy variant?”

“Sweet, light or dark,” Galen told her, an involuntary act on his part and he became angry at having to blurt out such strange words.

“Oh, I may have to rethink for next time… but here goes, eh… one week, courtesan and eh… ah… sweet, no,” she shook her head in disgust, “Light, dark?” The safety protocols were in place, she remembered. “Dark, maybe? Yes.” Tzara thought, what the hell, I’ll change it later if it doesn’t work.

“So you are my new courtesan,” Galen said as if all that had gone before had been forgotten.

“Yes, it seems so,” Tzara smiled. “Here for the week,” she added brightly, “Where is the nearest pub?”

Galen fixed her with a stern glare and folded his arms. “No girl of mine is going near a tavern, and your indentures say you will serve me for 20 years, what is this week you are blathering about? Are you trying to be insolent?

Tzara felt a surge of unease. She wished she had opened up an exact dialogue box for the settings. She had 117 minutes, she would get pulled automatically the week up or no, it should just about match. Then she wondered… she had said a week… was that objective time? Days will be years… oh god, three years to a day… six weeks to an hour was it…? Shit.

“Just a minute, I just want a week subjective time… maybe next visit… Galen pause the program, reset…” she said hurriedly.

“What are you talking about girl? It is too late to change your mind now. Your father signed the papers. For the next 20 years I will own you,” Galen sounded angry.

“Program reset,” Tzara said in an authoritative voice and clapped her hands together three times as some protocols required.

“Girl, you are testing my patience,” Galen scolded.

“You don’t understand, I don’t want to be here for… three months is it? I just need to reset…” Tzara went to the door as if it might trigger the exit.

“What is this nonsense?” Galen thundered, then taking three strides he caught up with Tzara and pulled her back into the room by the arm. “Enough.”

The man was strong and suddenly all her training and physical prowess seemed clumsy next to him. There was something else too, she suddenly felt like a kid caught with her hand in a cookie jar, almost as if his anger was completely justified.

“Look, when I said a week, I meant subjective time, not ship time,” she gushed as if explaining something to some stupid shop girl.

Galen sighed. “A week?” He shook his head.

“Yes,” Tzara agreed hopefully.

“You ungrateful girl,” he barked and without warning he sat on a nearby chair and upended her over his lap. In a trice he had turned up her skirts so that her legs and bottom were now completely bare. Tzara instantly regretted the lack of underwear. “You owe me 20 years’ service,” he told her firmly.

“Listen you stupid man, the program will end automatically in three months your time anyway, whatever I agree to here…” she began.

Her words were choked off as his hand came biting down to sting her bare bottom.

“You young lady are about to get a good sound spanking,” he told her and spanked her again to extract a sharp gasp.

Tzara’s eyes were wide with shock and she tried to fathom where in an alien modification this scenario had come from, but for the moment Galen was real and she was about to get the spanking of her life.

“Oh God no, cancel program, cancel program, ooh,” she wailed as the spanking proper began.

For the next 15 minutes she was left kicking and struggling while Galen spanked her bare bottom to an ever deeper shade of red. She had felt pain before, but this was different. The sting was intimate and in short order she boo-hooing like a comedy dame and then bawling like a kid.

“Please, I’m sorry, so sorry,” she wailed, the spanking hurt and she was actually crying.

“No, no my girl, sorry lies a long way in your future, we are far from done. Sorry is what you are going to be,” Galen told her, his powerful arm belabouring her at an unrelenting an unnatural pace.

I can’t be harmed, I can’t be harmed, she desperately repeated in her head and then aloud she wailed, “Oh it hurts,” and began another round of futile struggles.

To be continued.



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