From the Fred Pody.com site, printed here for review purposes only.
All copyrights honored and attributed to author.
At midday, we have lunch on the terrace if the weather permits. At least the maids serve us with the deference due to our rank; however, punishment is in store if we spill anything or if we don't use the correct cutlery and glasses. Being sentenced to wear a gag avoids this kind of risk unless it is removed by a supervisor before the meal. That still leaves the problem of the neck brace. After a meal, we each take three pills. These are supposedly to facilitate the action of the education machines, though I think they are actually anaesthetic drugs so we don’t go crazy.
The afternoon is a repetition of the morning. Classes finish at four o'clock, when the class meets with the senior teacher, who in this case is a blonde baroness, whereas the rest of the teaching staff consists of men or brown-haired women. She is wearing a beautiful dress and seems quite worthy of inclusion in the Imperial Court. The scale of punishments is determined with immediate effect. For once I have performed quite well and I say goodbye to the gag without regret. After that, girls who are not being punished can do whatever they want. However at least one student per room has to clean the room; as it is always me and I do it well, my popularity with my three room-mates can be explained.
At dinner, we have the right to chatter, so it is always very lively. My three companions are from the barbarian Kingdom; I try to learn more about it from them, without any success, as if they were suffering from complete amnesia regarding their life before the Institute. Being from Earth, I have no more desire to tell them of my dull previous life. It's horrible to say, but I don’t miss my parents or anything else. If Boris is unable to return us home, that is fine by me. So, we chat about our new interests: life in the Imperial Court, and the school gossip.
The Institute is a set of building in the imperial style; that is to say sober in its lines, but decorated with a thousand details like the classical buildings of 18th century Lyon: balconies, balustrades, statues of animals or mythological figures. The lines are more rounded than straight. The interior is vast and luxurious for the approximately one hundred students that are here. It is lined with carpets, drapes, mosaics depicting scenes of hunting or more often battles: ancient battles, fought with swords and spears. The furniture is dark wood, often edged with an encrustation of gold, all done in a turn of the century style with some surprising modern touches. If the household instruments are electrically powered, there are no wires; everything seems to be transmitted by radio, even the power.
With nightfall comes a rather glacial cold; we must hurry to return indoors. Unusually, a supervisor comes to pick me up for a final duty before I can be unlaced for the night. Each night a student is chosen at random to punish the girl with the worst record; for a good month, this has invariably been Sandra. And tonight, it's my turn. I promise to tell everything to Dorine, Laureen and Jade, and then I follow the supervisor, asking myself what is going to happen.
We find Sandra standing with her reins attached to the railing of a staircase, on the same floor as the office of the Director of the Institute, which makes me rather uncomfortable. I have only seen that blonde woman once since I arrived here, and the memory freezes me with terror.
“Lead her, Mademoiselle.”
Finally cowed, I seize the reins and give a small jerk, and instantly she starts walking in front of me; I pull a little on a rein to steer her in the right direction and follow in the footsteps of the supervisor.
I am enthralled. Sandra is walking with graceful steps, limited by the length of her ankle chain, her carriage stately and impeccable. Her buttocks, slightly reddened by the whip blows received during the day, wiggles pleasantly. Her waist size seems to defy nature. She responds to each of my pulls on the reins with a willingness and an amazing confidence. With a jerk, I bring her to a halt while the supervisor opens the door of the Director’s office for us. I think I'm even more terrified than Sandra.
“Our small Earth girl. Come in, Bettine.”
I curtsy; the Director is a Marchioness. She is standing outside her office, wearing a leather suit very similar to the one worn by Carine, Duchess of Septrion, the wife of Professor Calmette. What surprises me the most is her face piercings. On earth, in the 1980s, this practice, which has since become common, was completely unknown. On Boréa, it is normal, among women in high society, to enhance the beauty of the face with gold beauty spots, which are actually piercings, in the cheeks and around the lips. She wears a small diamond on the side of her nose and a small ring pierces her nasal septum, with a small mother-of-pearl bead hanging from it; even her tongue is decorated with a jewel, and diamonds are embedded in some of her teeth. The rest is more conventional: black court shoes with vertiginous silver heels, black gloves, a white blouse with a lace jabot, jewellery, and black seamed stockings. Her hair is styled in a complex up-do. My heart is pounding; I wonder what will happen to me.
“Well, do you like our planet?” she asked politely, with a big smile.
“Oh yes, Madam Marchioness.”
“You are charming. Come here, so I can I embrace you.”
Blushing slightly, I approach her. She seizes me, hugs me against her, against her chest; her scent surrounds me, her gloved fingers touch my face and my waist. Then, just like that, she puts her lips to mine; her fresh and perfumed breath enters my mouth, and as her tongue entwines with mine I distinctly feel the jewel which pierces it.
This is the first time anyone has kissed me. And I was expecting anything but this indescribable sweetness. I was already missing the presence of her lips on mine . . . A small slap on my bottom brings me back to reality.
“What do you think of Sandra?”
“She is magnificent, and very courageous.”
“Indeed. When she leaves here she will enter the training institute for Imperial servants. She will become a lady-in-waiting to the Empress and the royal princesses, with the rank of Archduchess. But right now we are going to punish her.”
She grabs the reins and leads her without regard for her fetters into the room adjoining her office, where a pillory is waiting: an assembly of precious wood, metal and straps to secure the neck and wrists of the penitent while exposing her buttocks. With the professionalism of experience, the Director unties Sandra’s arms from behind her back and secure them in the pillory, level with her neck. With her body pinned down, leaning forward, her back nevertheless still arched because of the corset, and her legs perfectly straight, her buttocks – already bruised during the day – are prominently displayed. The marchioness hands me an ivory-handled cat-o-nine-tails.
“Twelve lashes at least.”
I do not know how to do it; my first blows are hesitant and clumsy, and I do not know how to judge the force. With each blow, Sandra howls despite her gag, and she rears up in her straitjacket. Her buttocks clench as the thongs whistle through the air, and relax after the impact. Naturally, I gain confidence and in the end I find the situation quite enjoyable. It is only by an effort of will that I stop and contemplate the welts that now decorate her buttocks. A little ashamed, I look at the Director seeking approval or reproach.
She smiles at me.
“Well done, Bettine. You can return to your room.”
Of course, I don't tell my roommates about the kiss.
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