View Full Version : Bloodhounds - Part 3

05-28-2003, 05:18 PM
Part 1 (http://www.ticklingforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29392) , Part 2 (http://www.ticklingforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29486)

Part 3

I was exhausted, strapped spreadeagled to a frame, staring at the ceiling. My breath came in painful gasps, muscles twitching randomly as I struggled to regain some composure. I started to blackout, only to be jolted back by an electric shock delivered through the metal that held me. A voice was speaking but I couldn't make out the words, everything was jumbled and faint. Through it all I could make out the intent of the unseen speaker, a demand, a promise of release if I only submitted to them. I shook my head slowly, lacking the strength to talk. There was a dull click from the rack and it started to swing downwards, pivoting around so I was facing the ground. As it did so a field of metal points slid into my view, an occasional spark flying between two of them as they discharged. The rack locked into place and started to lower me down. The first points touched my body and electricity coursed through my body, a blanket of pain settling over me as I screamed....

And woke up on the floor of my bedroom, the usually neat room looking like a tornado had ripped through it, the bed lying in pieces against the wall. I looked around franticly for whoever had done this, and it took a second or two to realize that in fact there was no-one else there. The only conclusion I could reach was that I'd torn the place apart, but I could remember none of it, only a dream that seemed more real than anything I'd ever experienced, the memory of it fresh in my mind. I decided that more sleep probably wasn't going to happen and I'd be better off back on the streets.

I headed for the shower, needing to do something, anything, to ease my mind. As I stood under the steaming water jets I closed my eyes, luxuriating in the feel of the liquid sliding over my body. Suddenly my eyes snapped open as a realization shot through me, the rack I'd seen in my dream, if that's what it was, was identical to that the two victims I'd rescued had been on, or as near as made no difference. I concentrated for a long moment, trying to recall the exact layout of those racks and match them with what my mind had presented me with. The designs were certainly close, maybe a few detail changes to the machine but nothing significant, with the obvious exception of the electric probes being replaced by feathers.

I tried to think, was this even possible, was my mind simply overlaying what I'd seen the previous night over some long forgotten memory? Of course it was possible, but it didn't feel like that, this seemed familiar in a way that I didn't think any fantasy could be. But what the hell was the connection between them, and why was I remembering this now when I never had before? It could be the machines themselves setting it off, but I didn't honestly think it was, it had to be something else. I wasn't getting any closer to an answer though and there was work to do. Outside the last light of day was slipping over the horizon as I stepped outside. I took a deep breath, clearing my mind for whatever the night held, whatever secrets the dream held would have to wait for now.

The rooftop run to the police station was one of my favorites, almost a perfect training course and I took the opportunity to stretch myself, working out the residual jitters from the events of the past twenty four hours. When I arrived I found Detective Williams sitting on the roof in one of two camping chairs, staring out over the city, obviously waiting for me. I looped round the building, approaching from behind him through a forest of air conditioners and radio masts, jumping up silently onto an exhaust vent before dropping down into the seat next to him.

“Jesus!” he yelled. “What have I told you about not doing that! I do not need to die of a heart attack at the tender age of 35, okay?”

“Then learn to keep your eyes and ears open. We got anything?”

“Yeah, a lot but most of it's a dead end or worse. Your pal the Dragon hasn't set foot outside his place since last night, but there's been a hell of a lot of people going in. Street gangs for the most part, look like the sort that'll carry a gun for peanuts and are only really any good as bullet catchers.”

“Well that rules out a return visit for a while then. What else?”

“Umm, let's see” Tim said, reaching down for a thick folder tucked under his seat. “Oh, we picked up that woman of yours, been a very popular assignment keeping tabs on her. Left the building about ten in the morning, dressed 'respectably' according to this, I think they mean business suit. Went down to Oxford Street, shopped in a couple of the more up-market places, grabbed a coffee, nothing special.”

“You sure about that?” I asked, something didn't sound right, I just couldn't quite put my finger on it. “Where'd she end up?”

“Back where she started if you believe that, hell if I didn't know better I'd say she was just the squeeze of the month and that's all she wrote. ”

“No, no way. She was the one running things there, at least as far as Rachel went and that's way beyond what Dragon would let one of his pets do. Any gaps in that coverage?”

“Yeah, one. We know where she went but not what she did there. Place up on Tottenham Court Road, one of the more, shall we say, kinky night spots. We've thought it might be one of Dragon's front's before now, but never been able to prove it. I've got a team running background on the building but I don't think they're holding anyone there, it's too public for that sort of thing and every entry point is covered by cameras that we've got access to. If they took anyone in there against their will, we'd have seen it by now.”

“Damn, I was so sure... Anything on the victims yet?”

“The one you pulled out of Parson's Street is basically nobody. Pretty enough and not dumb but little money and works as a 'fashion consultant' which pretty much works out as store assistant but up market. The other though is interesting. She's the sixth one to work for one of the big boys down in Docklands, they've all got more or less the same profile too. All of them are young for their roles, work at a pretty damn high level of access and know a lot about the security measures and computer systems that are used down there. The problem is according to her they never even tried to extract that information from her, just told her she was there to suffer and threw her on that machine.”

“That doesn't make any sense, this is way too well planned for this to be some weird sex game. Besides we know Dragon doesn't go in for the hands-off approach, so what's really going on?”

“Damned if I know, all we've got is two rescued girls, a vague pattern and a complete lack of interest from the bad guys in doing anything to conform to that pattern. If...” Tim was interrupted by the door to the roof opening and one of the analyst team stepping through with a folder clutched tightly in one arm. They passed it over without a word, gave me a quick glance and retreated back into the safety of the building. Tim immediately started flicking through the file.

“Let's see, case history on that club on TCR, couple of minor incidents due to drunken behavior, last one about three years ago. A handful of fines for anti-social conduct, well that's normal enough. Hey, hang on a minute, have a look at this” he said, passing the folder over to me as he editorialized what he'd just read.

“Looks like the drug teams have been working it, seemed to think it was a major distribution point. Damn, they kept that one quiet, should have come to me I could have told them it was a waste of time.” I was quickly skimming through the file as he spoke, flicking through to the end of the history portion.

“Tim, I think you'd better see this.” I said, passing the file back with a finger pointing to the relevant text.

“What the hell, 'Authorised Undercover Op' my ass. No-one cleared that through here. When was this, three days ago?”

“Gets worse I'm afraid, have a look at the details.”

“Two officers sent in plain clothes, no transmitters, well that's normal enough. One man one woman acting as a couple interested in the fetish scene, initial contact went fine. Oh shit. The woman hasn't been seen since, the man they found on the underground track. Follow-up on hold pending investigation into the incident. Look, this makes no sense, none.”

“Why?” I asked, well aware that Tim had the advantage over me in pretty much everything relating to the heartbeat of this city.

“Because there's no way, no way at all, that place is a drugs depot. It hasn't got the right connections and we've got surveillance all over that area. Besides which, since when did Dragon go into the drug trade on the sort of scale they're talking about here? Wait, who developed this intel in the first place? DOI09, what the hell is that?”

“Department of the Interior, customs division.” I replied “normally a damn reliable source of information but looks like they got it wrong on this one. Wonder why?”

“I'll put a request in for the original analysis but it'll take a while to come through. Looks like the club's our best bet though.”

“How do you want to play this?” I asked, well aware that this sort of op was something far more suited to Tim's area of expertise than mine.

“It's open every night and I believe it's just a general admittance ticket. You up for a quick trip cross town?”

“Of course, but you know I'm not trained for this right?”

“Hey, dressed like that you should fit right in. Now listen, stick to our problem first and foremost, get whatever you can out of that place and leave without causing a fuss. If you get a chance to find out what happened to that cop then fine, but that's gotta be secondary tonight, you got it?”

“Yeah, I got it. Do me a favor and have one of your guys pull her file for me would you? Never hurts to have all the info you can get your hands on.”

“Sure, it'll take five minutes or so, I'll meet you out front as soon as I've booked a car out. That okay with you?”

“Fine, I'm going to have to leave the hardware somewhere though, okay to drop in the car?”

“I'll get one with a lock box. Five minutes, out front, try not to freak out any of my officers on the way down would you?”

As we drove across town I skimmed the file on the missing cop, making sure to memorize the face just in case. Tim had also brought along the files on the rest of the kidnapped women and I double checked those as well. My memory is, for all practical purposes, photographic but I'd learned long ago never to rely on it if I had the chance to double check a fact, or in this case, a face. We pulled up in a small side street and I got out as quickly as I could without drawing too much attention. The unmarked car pulled away as Tim went to join the surveillance team a few hundred yards down the road and I walked around the corner to the front door of the club.

Getting inside was easy enough, Tim had been on the money when he said it was a general admittance ticket, £50 at the door and I was inside. The familiar tingle of a weapons sensor passed over me as I walked down the short hall way and I could see the slight join in the wall that gave away the position of a guard post behind a false panel. The doors at the end swung open and as I stepped inside the main room it was all I could do to carry on walking.

I'd been expecting a normal club, dark and dingy, low rent with a couple of bright, yet soft lights hung over a worn stage. What I saw however was almost the exact opposite. It was dark, but there was the impression that this was only to highlight the attractions rather than distract from a particularly suspect carpet. The room itself was cavernous, the celling a good twenty foot from the floor and more like a sports hall than a club in size. Music pounded through hidden speakers, a mix of metal and dance that sharpened the atmosphere to a razor's edge. Scattered throughout the club were pools of light, almost blinding in their brightness when contrasted to the blackness that surrounded them. Each light shone on a different exhibit and the patrons were moving between them like a living tide. I made my way over to the nearest light, trying to hang back and stay in the shadows as much as I could without attracting too much attention in the process.

The light shone down on a large circular tank, about eight feet in diameter and made of a transparent plastic. In the middle of the tank was a naked young women, stretched out spreadeagled and tied securely at the wrists, waist, thighs and ankles. A thin, transparent barrier seemed to flow around her body, leaving a consistent gap of about four inches between her skin and the barrier itself. Between the barrier and the edge of the tank a pack of cats sat and stared through the barrier at the helpless body, occasionally licking their mouths as if in anticipation.

The woman was shaking in her bonds, her eyes wide in horror as she struggled to watch the cats as they stared unblinkingly at her. A second light suddenly flicked on, illuminating an old-fashioned bullseye target above and beyond the tank, maybe fifteen feet from the front of the tank. As I watched a man stepped forward from the crowd and pushed a credit card into a slot next to the tank. A soft hiss was heard as a cover lifted on a small box perched on top of a pedestal by the slot and three aluminum balls shone in the reflection of the lights. The man picked the first one up, aimed and let fly. It flew about a foot over the target and a soft thud from the blackness suggested some sort of screen set up to catch wayward shots. The second shot missed high as well, but by the barest fraction of an inch and the third landed square in the centre of the target.

Immediately I felt a slight tingle pass through my body as a sound suppression field activated, just in time to allow those watching to hear the horrified “NO!” from the victim. The barrier sunk down into the floor of the tank and the cats walked quickly and eagerly forward to their new treat. As soon as they reached her they started to lick any bit of skin they could get their eager tongues to, obviously lapping up something that had been previously applied to the poor girl's body. She screamed with laughter as the cats licked what had to be almost all of her ticklish spots at once. There were two at each armpit, another four or five clustered around her ribs and hips, and at least eight fighting over the prime spots at her feet. She thrashed in her bonds, but there was just no way she was going to be able to move enough to make a difference, whoever had secured her had really known what they were doing.

I could feel myself start to shake with the desire, no the need to free this woman from her torture, and quickly turned away, heading over to another display. For all I knew she had volunteered to be on show, and the fact of the matter was she wasn't what I was here for.

The next display reminded me of one of those educational attractions certain theme parks installed, only twisted into something far darker and more menacing. Two women were dressed in workout clothes from feet to waist, though they were naked above that, and were strapped into what looked for all the world like exercise bikes, although most exercise bikes didn't come with a long metal pole rising from behind the seat with a set of wrist restraints dangling from them. The restraints were pulled tight enough to stretch the girls out slightly and pull their skin taut over their ribs and armpits. Alongside them were two large arms that moved slowly up and down, from ribs to wrists, each arm ending in a myriad of feathers that were slowly spinning.

As I arrived the girls were already laughing, their heads swinging from side to side as they each tried to pedal harder. After watching the display for a few seconds I realised that the arms must be connected to the other woman's bike, the faster they pedaled the faster the feathers turned against the other woman's flesh, the more they were tickled and the less likely they would be able to increase their own pedaling in revenge.

I'd obviously joined the show quite late in the proceedings as both women were a mess, tears running down their face as they struggled to catch their breath, each desperate to make the other stop pedaling. Suddenly one of them shrieked and jerked as the feathers managed to find a particularly sensitive spot on her right side just below her breast and her feet flew out of the pedals. Immediately an assistant moved in and secured her ankled to a fixed bar behind the pedals and untied her opponent who was handed a small black feather. Grinning evily at her vanquished opponent she walked forward, her intentions clear as she approached the exposed belly of the loser. Once again I found myself perched on the edge of control and forced myself to move away as behind me I heard a scream as feather touched flesh.