Holodeck Hell (part 4)



Part one here

Hours, if not days past, Tzara prayed to non-existent gods for some kind of reprieve. She would never cheat the holo-suite again. She would even be nice to people in the crew. She would even apologise to the SI entity Galen and do whatever he wanted. To pass the time she tried to decide which hurt worse, standing or sitting. In truth she had no sooner sat down on the rail when she wanted to stand.

Then someone opened the door.

“Thank God,” she groaned.

“Having fun?” Galen asked her.

Tzara had no strength for defiance. She couldn’t even put up a show of polite bravado. Instead she burst into tears and began to beg. “I’m sorry, so sorry,” she wailed.

“Not having fun then?” Galen said without a hint of sarcasm. “I did wonder.”

Tzara felt the tears rolling down her face and realised she hadn’t cried like this since she had been a teenager. “No my lord, please let me down. I couldn’t spend another night up here,” she sniffed.

“Another night?” Galen seemed amused. “Just how long do you think you have been in here?”

“Isn’t it morning?” Tzara prayed that it was.

“I haven’t had dinner yet,” Galen laughed.

Tzara gaped at him. She almost howled in despair. Then it wasn’t over. “Please…” she began. Now it came to it she couldn’t quite surrender. Not yet. Damn her pride. You are a stubborn bitch and deserve everything you get, she berated herself.

“I promised you a night in the dungeon,” he chuckled. “But I reserve the whole night on the rail for witches and traitors,” he said.

Tzara didn’t know if to feel foolish or relieved.

Galen shook his head affectionately and moved forward to help his newest concubine down. “I trust you are beginning to learn your lesson?” he said.

Tzara glowered at him for a second and then cast her gaze downwards. “Yes my lord,” she said grudgingly.

“I wonder,” he murmured and gave her a steely gaze. “I have a cage for you. The question is… which one I wonder.” He glanced at the small ‘birdcage’ suspended from the ceiling. She didn’t seem tough enough, he thought.

The upright was nasty, not viciously so, but being constrained to stand all night… still it was better than being squashed up in foetal position. Then his gaze fell upon the kennel. It was five feet by three by three; not exactly comfort and quite humbling in its way.

“This one,” he said.

Tzara made a pout as she followed his gesture. This was too humiliating, she thought. She would have to crawl to get in and the floor looked hard.

“I promised you a night in here,” he warned. “Do you want another dose of paddle and a night in the pillory perhaps?”

She shot a look at the upright T-bar with holes. It was the paddle she feared more.

“No my lord,” she said sullenly.

Galen made a gesture with his hand. “Well?”

Tzara dropped to her knees and glowering at the floor in front of her, she crawled into the opening. It was smaller than she feared and she realised that she couldn’t quite sit up nor lie down flat.

“Missing supper will do you good,” Galen told her, “But eat this,” he added and handed her a small bread roll.

She took it and nibbled. It was good, very good and realising she was hungry she wolfed it down. It was only then that she realised how salty it was. So it was with initial gratitude that she watched Galen pour some water into a steel dish at the end of the cage, just where she could reach it.

“In the morning you will apologise on your knees for your behaviour and thank me for correcting you,” he told her.

Her eyes glared up at him and she neither acknowledged his words nor contested them.

“My father had a concubine like you once. She was a captive from the east. He tried to tame her for a whole month. I dare say she did not sit much during those weeks. But she was defiant like you and after this month I speak of… well my father gave up,” Galen shrugged. “Instead he consigned the girl to be a scullion for a year. She was so grateful to be reinstated as a courtesan after that, that she slept in a kennel like this one outside his room.”

Tzara remained sullen. If she were a scullion, whatever that may be, she might escape… or was that a foolish notion. On the rail she had resolved to be a good girl and play the game. Stubborn, she cursed.

“Think on it,” Galen said with a shrug and turned to go. Then he stopped and looked back. “I like you, it is not so bad being mine,” he said. “But I won’t take you by force. If it takes a month to tame you, then you can be a maid if you like… or go back to your father. I will sign the manumission papers myself.” Then he sighed and left.

Tzara realised that Galen was only doing what he had been made to do. This was all her fault, she supposed. It was her program modification. Then she worked her mouth and thought about the water. Damn the food had been salty. She tugged at the dish twice before she realised it was fixed to the side of the cage. The only way to drink was to get down on all fours like a dog.

“Galen, you bastard,” she yelled, remembering that he had given her the bread.

This time there was no reply.


When she awoke there was a narrow beam of light streaming through a small high window. The floor was hard and she had slept fitfully. She had rarely slept in a VR scenario before, but this one was like no other. She certainly felt more, she thought ruefully, and massaged her bottom. Then she tried to stretch and as if to remind her of the lack of pain filter she grazed her knuckles on the bars of the cage. Great, she thought, and then muttered aloud, “Another day in paradise.”

Tzara hadn’t been awake long when Maria arrived.

“You are to bathe mistress,” she said in a surly voice.

Tzara was only too aware that she was half naked and cramped down on her knees. Both her dignity and pride were in the toilet in front of this girl. She wished that she wasn’t ass-end to the cage door as Maria stooped to unlock it.

“Are you real?” Tzara asked the girl, wondering if there was any point being embarrassed in front of a tertiary NPC.

“Mistress?” Maria cocked an eyebrow.

“What is your favourite colour?” Tzara asked.

Maria gaped for a moment and then said, “Green, maybe,” she shrugged, “It reminds me of my grandmother.”

“What was her name?” Tzara said as she backed out of the cage on all fours.

“Heide Karlsen, she lived in Holtz,” the girl smiled. “She always wore a green dress and…”

“Have you always been a maid?” Tzara stood unsteadily and was finally able to stretch.

“I was indentured at 15, mistress, but they let me go home at Yule and Easter,” she said brightly.

“Do you like being a maid?” the star ship navigator was uneasy with this level of back story in what should be an insignificant character. How detailed were the SI routines in this modification?

“What else would I be?” Maria frowned. “It is better than most things and here I might meet a man who will buy me out of my contract.”

“How long is your contract?” Tzara rolled her neck and massaged the nascent sting in her bottom, very conscious now that from the waist down she was completely naked.

“Oh,” Maria shrugged as if it was of no importance and said casually, “I have a life bond.”

“You will be a maid for life?” Tzara gasped, forgetting that she did not consider Maria real.

“No,” Maria laughed, “I told you, I will meet someone, it is usual.”

As the two women walked back to the stairs and up to where Maria said a bath was waiting, they both chatted and by the time they reached the chamber doors, Tzara was convinced that Maria was as real as she was in this place.

“Your bath awaits mistress,” Maria said suddenly as she curtsied and reverted to her role.

Tzara nodded and mumbled her thanks. “Are these my quarters?” she asked as the door was swung open to reveal a four poster bed and a room that she had only seen in historical dramas or a museum.

“Of course mistress,” Maria smiled.

If you had played your role better you could have slept here last night you dolt, she berated herself. Again her hands massaged her naked behind and she winced.

“Is it sore mistress?” Maris asked in a concerned voice.

“Somewhat, yes,” Tzara rolled her eyes.

“I will get something to help when I fetch your… eh gown,” she offered, glancing significantly at Tzara’s nakedness.

“Yes, a gown,” Tzara cupped her naked sex and winced.

Maria giggled. “Good job none of the men saw you.”

“Yes,” Tzara agreed and wondered who else she would meet and how real they would be.


Tzara had never had a bath before. It was amazing and she couldn’t decide whether to douse herself with potions or lay back and soak. The only drawback had been the effects of hot water on her bottom. Lowering herself in slowly had initially reignited the burn in behind and several times she had had to leap up and gasp. But little by little she had adjusted and she even found that the heat helped.

For the first time she could relax and consider her situation. Unless there was a ship wide emergency, the program would not be interrupted for three months subjective time. Tzara let her mouth hang open as this sunk in. In any other circumstance she would revel in the situation. She took a deep breath and considered what she knew.

This was a medieval fantasy scenario, presumably intended to be fun for someone. Some sort of adventure where she had adopted the role of a high status sexual servant to a nobleman. Okay, it was a game, a mystery perhaps. All she had to do was play it and to do that she had to work out the rules.

The SI for this program was highly sophisticated and multi-faceted. It was running at least two fully formed individuals who, to all intents and purposes were real. That was why the program was illegal, no doubt. She took a deep breath. If she purged the program later then she would be destroying a world and everyone in it. If she didn’t then she risked some serious penal time on a punishment colony.

She let out a long slow breath. She had to ignore that for now. Once out of here she would figure that out. For the moment it wasn’t just her against the game, but her against various SI and AI characters and she neither knew the rules or the objectives. For the first time she realised that she might not be smarter than everyone here. Then how do I win?

She was still pondering the situation when Galen walked in.

How dare he interrupt her bath, she was naked. Then he saw his face. Better not to confront him, she reminded herself. Play the game.

“Did you sleep well?” he smiled.

“You know that I did not,” she replied and hoped she didn’t sound sullen. Then she remembered and quickly added, “My lord.”

“Have you learned a lesson?” Galen asked.

Tzara clamped her jaw shut and stared up at him darkly. Her next words were going to help determine the course of the rest of her day and maybe ultimately her time there.

“I hope so my lord,” she replied. It galled her to think that in a manner of speaking she had actually been taught a lesson.

“I am glad to hear it. Now let us put that to the test,” his voice rumbled and she had a sense that his patience was at an end. “Stand up,” he ordered.

She had already been wondering how much of her body he could see under the water. Now that was about to become an academic question. It was strangely challenging to do, but she grabbed at the sides of the bath and launched herself upright.

“Turn around,” he told her, indicating the motion with his finger.

Tzara felt the heat rise, but she obeyed.

Galen ran his eyes down her body, taking particular note of the red marking on her bare bottom. Once she had turned all the way around to face him. He smiled. “Alright, stand here.”

Tzara took a clear steady breath and stepped out of the bath.

Galen nodded in approval. “Now kneel,” he said.

Tzara wondered if she could attempt another drop kick. Her jaw tightened and she glowered up at him. If she obeyed then her previous defiance had been foolish. She reached back and rubbed her bottom. If she didn’t… she knelt down. Her face burned.

“You have something to say to me?” he said in a stern voice.

Tzara swallowed. Every fibre of her being cried out to her to be defiant. She was an officer in the navy for god’s sake. She averted her gaze and pursed her lips.

“Well?” he barked.

She jumped and thought back on what he had said. “I’m sorry,” she said. Her tone was unconvincing. Then with a deliberate delay she added, “My lord.”

“And?” he pressed her.

“Thank you my lord,” she all but grunted, “Thank you for… p-punishing me,” she added as she finally looked up to meet his eyes. Her heart raced then and she felt an emotion she could not name.

“Good girl,” he said and before she could react he pulled a band from his pocket and placed it like a collar around her neck. “Now you may get dressed.”

Tzara grabbed at her throat and wondered what the collar meant and if she could remove it. She might have asked, but Galen had gone as quickly as he had arrived.

Tzara sucked in air and sighed heavily. “Round one to my Lord Galen,” she said dejectedly.

To be continued

2 Responses to “Holodeck Hell (part 4)”

  1. Loving this series!!!

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