The Fox Went Out ...
"Michael , we are going to visit some of my friends in the country." , Minx told me one evening during a business trip to England.
"I would be honored to meet any of your friends, Mistress.", I said honestly, looking up from the laptop where I had been working on the budget summary for the Bank.
"These friends are of Ay'esha , and you would be required to serve them as well as myself. You do understand that?", she cautioned.
"I swore an oath to serve as you direct. I have not changed my mind Mistress."
"Good. And so you shall."
The next morning Minx and I were at Paddington Station and boarding a train bound for Hereford.
After we settled in our First Class compartment for the ride, Minx told me a little more about the people I was going to meet.
"We are going to visit the Hawes Institute in Hereford. The Institute is partially funded by the Bank, and serves to teach young women their potential to achieve. And a select few become members of Ay'esha.
"It's break time at the school, so only the members of Ay'esha are there right now. You will be a subject for them to study. "
"Me?", I said surprised?
"Why not? You have proven your worth to me and Ay'esha. The Matriarchs felt that you would provide an excellent example for both new students and other slaves."
I felt myself blush . I have learned to accept any abuse a Mistress decrees, but I have never learned to accept praise with the same ability.
"I don't ever suppose you will learn to accept the fact you are special.", she said observing the color rising in my cheeks.
"I doubt it Mistress.", I said turning to look out at the passing countryside.
When we changed trains at Oxford, our compartment became less private as we were joined by an old friend.
I had left the compartment to fetch tea for the Mistress and returned to find that we had been joined by Doctor Ruth.
No, not that Dr. Ruth, but a doctor who had treated me in my early days with Minx, who I knew only as Ruth.
"Welcome to England, Michael", she greeted me.
"Doctor, I am pleased to see you again.", I said kneeling before the two women, offering the tea tray.
"And I, you. Have you recovered fully from your accident?", she asked.
"You heard about that? Yes, I suppose you would have. The doctor says I'm better than I was before. Except of course, now I have some scars I didn't have before."
"I asked Ruth to join us before we reached the Institute, Michael. I would like her to examine your leg. " , Minx said, taking a cup of tea from the tray.
I placed the tray on the floor and lowered the blinds of the passageway windows. I lowered my pants and submitted to Dr.Ruth prodding and poking my scar tissue.
She turned to Minx and nodded.
"I think he'll do. His doctor did an excellent job, considering the amount of damage.", she said to Minx, as she indicated I could get dressed.
I finished getting redressed and offered the tea tray to her, all the while wondering why the interest in my medical condition.
I had shattered my leg in a motorcycle accident while trying to protect Minx from an attempt on her life, that I discovered later was intended for me.
A woman named Lydia , a former of Ay'esha now a renegade, had sworn revenge on me, and for a short time, I had let that fact escape me. It cost me ten hours on an operating table, and six weeks in the hospital and a second attempt on my life.
I was jolted back to reality by the clatter of the tea things as we went over a road crossing.
I resumed my serving duties and finally sat across from the two women, taking a cup of tea for myself.
I continued my somewhat distracted viewing of the countryside as it scrolled by, while Minx and Dr. Ruth carried on a quiet conversation, when the train pulled into the station at Hereford and slowed to a stop.
By the time we exited to the platform a porter was placing our bags into the trunk of a car, as directed by an attractive young black woman, who must have been the driver.
She held the door open for Minx and Dr. Ruth, and glared at me as Minx indicated I should ride in front with her.
The ride was a silent one and lasted no more than twenty minutes and ended at a large manor house surrounded by wide fields. In the distance I could see a small pond and a grove of trees.
The driver stopped at the main entrance and opened the car door for Minx and Dr. Ruth, but made no move to remove the bags from the trunk.
I opened the trunk and gathered our bags thanking the Goddess that Minx knew how to travel light when she had to. I followed the driver as she led me to a bedroom on the second floor of the house.
"Put your Mistress's bags here.", were the first words the driver spoke to me.
I placed Minx's bags on the floor, and reshouldered mine.
The driver stared at me grimly before repeating the order.
"These two are mine."
"You have no possessions slave. Just what your Mistress allows you believe you own. Leave them here.", she snarled.
I considered my position and recanted, placing my bags with Minx's.
"Follow me.", she ordered.
I followed her down a flight of stairs and out a door towards a set of stables that had been hidden from view. She led me into a stall and told me to strip.
"Remove your clothing. You will sleep here.", I was told.
As horse stalls go, it was pretty nice. For me, it was just a bit too spartan.
I started to object, when I was struck across the face and knocked to the straw floor.
My temper flared and I knocked her off her feet with a sweeping kick, rolled over and crouched for the next attack.
She was fast, but I had the advantage of experience. This was somewhat nullified by her fist slamming into my leg, striking my scar tissue and causing my leg to collapse under me.
"You will be reported to your Mistress for this. And I hope that she tortures you slowly and painfully for your error." , she said, drawing a knife from inside her vest and cutting my clothing off.
Her final insult was to rip the medallion presented to me by the Mother of Many off and throw it into a corner. She slammed and locked the door behind her carrying the remnants of my clothes, leaving me in a naked heap on the floor, with my leg bleeding into the straw.
I was still sitting on the floor some time later when the door was unlocked and Minx entered.
"On your knees M-5 !", she snapped.
I rolled onto my knees and kept my head down. Anytime Mistress Minx uses my old lab rat title she is furious and I had a good idea why.
"I want your explanation as to what happened here, and I want it now."
"I was attacked without provocation and took steps to protect myself.", I said, keeping my voice level.
"You took steps to protect yourself.", she repeated sarcastically. "You were told that you were required to serve as ordered. Perhaps I did not make myself clear to you. Any woman here may give you orders, and you WILL obey them. Even the female slaves outrank you here. Does that clarify things for you?"
"yes, mistress.", I said meekly
"LOUDER!", she demanded.
"Yes, Mistress!", I affirmed.
Minx controlled herself with an effort and spoke again in less harsh tones.
"You have been treated with respect by me, and this has made you a bit lazy. That is partially my fault. You need some refresher training " , she decided.
"I understand Mistress. I will try to make you proud of me again", I said sadly.
"Oh Michael, I've never lost my pride in you. You need to redeem yourself in the eyes of my peers, not my eyes. I love you. Never forget that."
She looked down at me and I heard the gasp as she saw the blood pooling on the straw.
"She hurt your leg?", she said kneeling next to me.
"A little . She hit my scar and tore it open." , I said.
"Let me see it", she instructed.
I extended my leg and displayed the tear in the skin.
Minx brushed the dirt out of the wound and instructed me to lie down and wait. I did as I was told and Minx returned with Dr. Ruth and her medical kit.
"Young man, when will you ever learn to take it easy?", Ruth said, opening her bag.
"Could I deny you a chance to practice your healing art?", I sad grimicing as she poured disinfectant on the would.
"Yes actually you could. ", she said sharply. " And of all the people you had to choose from, you started with Majima."
"Well, I actually didn't get her name before she punched me out. Do she do that a lot?", I asked rubbing the side of my face.
"Only to slaves. Nasty temper that girl has.", Ruth commented.
"If I may be permitted an opinion ..." I started to say
"NO!", was the combined response.
This was going to be a long visit.
Ruth bandaged the wound and left , shaking her head. Minx looked into my eyes.
"For the rest of your visit here, you will not speak without being spoken to. You will follow all orders given you, unless they involve physical danger or great bodily harm. You will not speak to any other slave without permission.
"Slaves are identified here by a collar with a number tag. I will place your collar on you in the morning, and you will not remove it . I am the only one who has the right to collar you or uncollar you.
"You will not be permitted to run free at any time. You will be leashed when outside this room or a training area.
"You are going back to school again M-5."
My school day began at dawn the next day as the door was thrown open and a hose was turned on me. Warm water mind you, but still a hell of an alarm clock.
"Up slave!", a voice commanded.
I rolled over and got to my feet carefully.
I found myself face to face with the female equilivant of a Marine drill instructor, who was obviously pissed off about my lack of speed.
"Are you deaf? When I say up , I mean NOW!", she yelled.
She put a chain around my waist and led me out dripping to face the cold morning light.
She didn't say anything else to me until we reached the main building, and entered a mess hall.
A place was waiting for me with a bowl of oatmeal, and the DI looped my chain around the bench and ordered me to eat.
No spoons, but I'd been here before. At least I had the use of my hands this time, so I raised the bowl and poured the contents into my mouth a little at a time. I took my time and scanned the room over the edge of the bowl.
There were about ten of us in my area, and another table in the corner was occupied by a dozen well muscled young women and men. They were not collared as were the people in my area, but wore a body harness instead.
My observations were interrupted by the return of the DI, who unlooped the chain and led me upstairs to Minx's room.
I knelt while the DI knocked on the door. Minx's firm voice ordered us to enter.
I kept my head down and knelt at my Mistress's feet and waited.
All I could see of Minx was my reflection in a well polished pair of black boots.
The DI was excused, and I was ordered to look upon my Mistress.
I looked up to see my Mistress was dressed in a school mistresses uniform with her hair pulled back into a bun and wearing glasses.
"Good morning M-5. Are you ready for class today?', she asked.
I nodded without speaking to her.
"Good. I see that you have remembered your orders about speaking, but it doesn't apply here with me right now." , she smiled.
"I don't wish to make any avoidable errors Controller. By not speaking without a direct order , I can avoid speaking at the wrong time."
"I see that our discussion has made an impression on you. I'm pleased."
"I do understand the need to be a perfect as possible here, to show the rest that your methods are the best way to train slaves", I said.
"I am continually being amazed by you ", she laughed. "You do have a grasp of the politics of the situation. Lydia's methods are still used by many, the method of terror and pain. I believe as do many others, that love and gentleness are a far better method of training.
"You will help prove this to the instructors here, and perhaps change the future."
I bowed in respect to her.
"I will do the best I can Controller."
"I didn't expect anything less from you."
She turned away from me and turned back with my collar. Attached to it was a brass tag with my slave ID , M-5.
She placed it around my neck and fastened it, then noticed for the first time my medallion was missing.
"What happened to your medallion?", she asked sharply.
"Majima ripped it off me and threw in into a corner of the stall."
Minx was silent and I could see the fury building at the insult done to the Mother of Many and the Maitriarchy.
"I will speak to her about her lack of respect. And you will be wearing it again by this evening. It is something you earned by your service, not a mere decoration," was all she said.
She attached the leash and led me out of the room and down the stairs to the main part of the house. I kept my head down during our passage to a classroom where Minx ordered me to kneel next to the desk and face away from the door.
A school bell sounded and I heard the door open and a number of people come into the room.
"Ladies, take your seats please!", Minx commanded. The room grew quiet except for the squeaking of school chairs.
"I am Minx the Controller. Some of you know of me, and you will address me at all times as Mistress. I have brought my personal slave into this class to serve as a test subject. His identifier is M-5, and he will respond to that only.
"This class is on the proper method of using a whip. Each of you will have the chance to practice your technique on him during this session.
"Let us begin. M-5 , stand and brace against the blackboard."
I stood and leaned against the board as Minx continued her lecture.
"The average slave has points that should not be struck as they may suffer perminant damage. The area over the kidneys is very sensitive to impact and should never be struck."
I could see Minx out of the corner of my eye sketch an outline of a human body on the chalkboard and mark the location of the kidneys.
"The whip should be used on the upper back or the ass of the subject. Care should be taken when using the whip on the back not to strike the spine or the base of the skull.
"In this class we will cover the use of the flogger and the cat. As you advance in skill, you will learn the use of the single tail whip. The single tail is designed for exactly one purpose. To inflict severe pain on the slave. It should only be used as a last resort and never for correction, only for punishment," Minx concluded
"Mistress, I have a question.",said a young girl's voice from behind me.
"What is the difference between the two?"
"A good question. Correction is a level of pain that serves to remind the slave that he or she has made an error, usually minor. An example would be speaking without permission. A light dose of the lash will serve as a stimulant to the slave's memory.
"Punishment is reserved for more serious infractions such as rebellion or gross disrespect for a Mistress. M-5 have you ever been punished? Speak!"
"Yes Controller.", I said loudly.
"And why were you punished?"
"I showed disrespect to the Mother of Many and questioned her orders."
"And your punishment was?"
"I was whipped by you with a single tail whip in front of the group."
"And have you ever been corrected?", she continued.
"Yes, many times."
"How do you feel about being corrected?"
"I know you would not apply correction if I did not deserve it. I don't enjoy it, but I accept it as a sign of your love for me."
There was a soft murmur of voices at that point in the room.
"Do you believe your Mistress loves you M-5?"
"Yes. If she did not, she would not correct me and make me better."
I saw the faint edge of a smile as Minx turned back to face the class.
"Did that answer your question?, she asked.
There was no response from the girl who asked the question.
"Did that answer your question?", Minx repeated sharply.
"Yes Mistress!",was the startled reply.
"Good. If there are no more questions we will proceed to the practical part of the class."
I felt something being run across my back and smelled a paint like aroma.
"I have marked on his back where the blows should not land. If any of you hit those areas other than accidentally, you will suffer the same way. Questions? Good, starting with the back row, you will come up and use each type of whip five times."
There was a scuffling of feet as the unseen women lined up behind me to take their turns.
"M-5, are you prepared? I want you to count the number of women who whip you out loud"
I took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly.
"Yes Controller", I said steeling myself for the blows.
Looking back on it now, it is actually amusing. With very few exceptions the strokes were tenitive and unsure.
Only one girl made me gasp with the force of the blows, and her strikes were precise and measured.
When all of the ladies had taken a turn and returned to their seats, Minx asked for my opinion as to the performance.
"Number seven had the highest power and impact, Controller. The rest of the students were tenitive, but number seven was fully in control at all times", I said carefully.
"Number seven, you are excused at this time. The rest of you will try again until you get it right.", Minx ordered.
This was going to be a really long and painful day for me.
The exercise took most of the rest of the hour until Minx was satisfied with their progress, and I was as red as a boiled lobster. I was greatful to hear the bell sound for the end of the session.
Except of course, another group of students came in and we repeated the exercise.
By the third group I was having trouble standing I was so punchdrunk and sore. None of the other groups had anybody with the ability of number seven in that first class.
Minx took pity on me at that point and let me sit down at her feet and lay my head in her lap.
"Is it really that bad Michael?", she cooed.
"No, Controller. It's not that bad, it's just there are so many of them. It's like being nibbled to death by ducks."
She laughed at that.
"You only have two more classes to deal with, and then you can rest tonight. "
I would like to say the rest of the day flew by, but it was tedious, laborious, and slow. Other than a short break to lap up some soup from a bowl, I was in action as a target all day.
Finally Minx called for the DI to take me back to my stall to rest.
There was an addition to the stall when I returned. There was now a cot to sleep on. The note attached to it was actually a prescription blank signed by Dr. Ruth authorizing me to use it due to my wound.
"I will return for you at dinner .", the DI said as she locked the door.
I searched around the stall and found my medallion where it had been thrown. The clasp was broken, but I managed to crimp the ends together with my teeth and hung it on a nail.
I lay down on my belly to take the strain off my back and fell promptly asleep.
I woke up when I heard the bolt of the door being drawn back. I rolled over to see that I was being visited by someone new.
She wore a more elegant collar than mine without an ID tag, and a bit more clothing, but not much more. She was small , blonde and moved with a dancers grace towards me carrying a cloth bag.
"I was sent by your Mistress to treat your back", she said taking a bottle of oil out of the bag.
I laid back down as her fingers rubbed the soothing coat of oil into my back. She worked her way down my spine and then started working on my legs and feet. Her touch was firm enough where my tendency to be ticklish was suppressed.
It felt good, and then it felt too good. I started thinking about the rules. What was she doing out without an escort? And how did I know Minx had sent her? Maybe I was being a bit too paranoid, but ....
"What is your name?" , I asked in a lazy tone of voice.
"They call me Sheba.", she said digging her thumbs into the base of my spine
"And are you enjoying Mistress Minx's flogging class?", I said idly.
She stopped pressing and let out a snorting sound.
"Mistress Minx said you were quick. How long have you known?"
"I guess since you walked in. No tag on the collar, and you're unescorted.", I said rolling over and looking at her.
She smiled and sat down on the edge of the cot next to me.
"I wanted to do something for you after what you said this morning."
"Well thank you, but I was only telling the truth. You are very good. Mistress Minx is very exacting and if she excused you, then she felt you were proficient."
"Did you really stand up there all day?", she asked, putting the oil away.
"All five classes. And you were the best so far. Not that I'm hoping the rest get as good. At least not on my back."
She laughed softly at that.
"You mean you wouldn't do it if your Mistress ordered you to?", she teased.
"I wouldn't do it if I had a choice. I really don't like pain very much, but if it's required, I'll do it."
"What you said about love in the class. You really mean it don't you?", she probed.
"Yes I do. She loves me in her own way. A mother spanks her child to punish it, and correct misbehavior. That's an act of love, not hate," I said settling back on the cot. " There are those who control through fear and pain. Then there are those who control through love.
"I prefer the latter."
Further conversation was interrupted by the DI coming to fetch me for dinner.
Sheba waved the DI aside and took the leash from her.
"I'll take this one myself Mrs. Moriarty. Tend to your duties.", she commanded.
Well now at least I had a name for my drill instructor. Something printable instead of what I thought her name should be.
The DI actually bowed to her and backed off, leaving us alone.
Sheba snapped the leash onto my collar and led me out of the stall, but not towards the main house but out into the fields.
The sun was setting and the mist was just beginning to rise from the grass as she led me towards the pond. I was ordered to kneel at her feet as we looked out over the placid pool rippling in the evening breeze.
"Are you happy with your Mistress?", Sheba asked staring into the distant mists.
"Very happy. She gave my life back to me.", I said looking up at her profile in the dying light.
"How?" , she said turning to look down at me.
"I blamed myself for something that I had no real control over. My guilt destroyed the man I was. The Mistress showed me my error in judgment and forgave me, because I was unable to forgive myself.
"Despite my faults she accepted me as her slave. She saw the potential in me I no longer saw in myself ."
Sheba looked off into the distance again.
"I wish I had that ability that she does.",she sighed.
"What ability is that, Mistress?"
"To inspire a slave as much as she inspires you."
I didn't really know what to say to her. As a slave you become very careful about what you say, because it can become a literal pain in the ass.
"You will.", I said quietly.
She turned and looked at me.
"Oh and you know this?", she challenged.
"And how do you know?"
Her anger was becoming apparent now and she pulled tightly on the leash.
"Because you came to take care of my back. You were concerned about my well being," I said.
Her anger faded and the pull on the leash relaxed.
"I care about people, even slaves," she said.
With that she tugged the leash and raised me to my feet and walked me back to the main house for dinner.
Mrs. Moriarty escorted me to my stall after I had eaten the evening meal and I found Minx waiting for me.
She was holding my crudely repaired medallion in her hand as I was unleashed and knelt before her.
She looped it around my neck before speaking to me.
"I came to see you earlier, but you were not here.", she said looking me in the eyes.
"No Mistress. Mistress Sheba took me for a walk.", I said unable to break my gaze.
"Do you like Mistress Sheba, M-5?"
I hesitated for a moment and replied "She was kind to me Mistress"
Minx's gaze became more intense and I felt my control slipping away from me.
"I want the truth M-5. You can not resist", she said in a low hypnotic tone that I think of as the Voice.
"Yes", I whispered, dazed by the focus of her eyes.
"Good.", she crooned." And you would serve her willingly?"
I felt very drowsy now.
"Why?", she asked.
My response was slow in coming.
"She is much like you. She is kind and loving."
"Yes , M-5, she is. Now, sleep. Morning comes early for you."
My head dropped onto the cot and I remembered nothing more.
I awoke as the bolt slid back and rolled off the cot before Mrs. Moriarty got the door open so the bucket of water missed me.
I grinned at her and she just looked at me with a neutral expression and said nothing, just indicated I should stand so she could leash me.
The back creaked a bit, but I was still able to move easily thanks to Mistress Sheba's attentions.
This morning I saw the other group of slaves from the mess hall coming in from across the fields. They were harnessed in pairs and pulling carts, spurred on by women that I didn't know. As I they got closer I could see that Majima was one of the drivers, as was Sheba. They passed me and I saw Sheba raise her riding crop in acknowledgement of me. Majima's reaction was to slash her whip at me.
Why is it that I make new friends so quickly and new enemies even faster?
I felt like an old plow horse watching them prancing by. I'd never looked that good even when I was younger.
After they had passed, the Mrs. Moriarty tugged me along to the mess hall. Breakfast that morning was Cream of Wheat with a little jam to sweeten it. While I was eating the pony people came in and sat down at their table.
I wasn't quite as ignored as before. I could see out of the corner of my eye one of the pony girls examining me.
She wasn't quite a discreet as she should have been because Mrs. Moriarty swooped down on her and slapped her face.
"Eyes down!" , she commanded.
I would have been out of my seat except for the tightness of the leash around the bench. Striking a helpless girl for no good reason infuriated me. She was trained well enough to roam free, so the abuse was unnecessary.
Mrs. Moriarty sensed my movement and was on me in a moment. I refused to stare down and she started to swing at me then checked her motion.
"Eyes down!", I heard Sheba say from out of my vision.
I obeyed quickly.
"Is there a problem here?", I heard her ask as I stared at my food without moving.
Mrs. Moriarty responded in the negative, embarrassed by the incident or unsure of how much had been seen.
She must have left because people started eating again and Mrs. Moriarty resumed her patrol of the room with a poisonous look at me.
Before delivering me to class that day she tied my hands and inserted a gag before having two husky young slaves pick me up and carry me to a different classroom that the one from the day before. She knocked on the door, opened it , had the two lads put me on the floor and left. I kept my head down and waited for permission to move.
"Eyes UP!", was the command. The voice however was not Minx.
I looked up slowly and found myself staring at at Majima.
"Good morning class. I am Mistress Majima and I will be teaching this class on spanking. M-5 has volunteered to assist us in our work today."
Volunteered. If you call being bound ,gagged and carried to the classroom , yes you could say I'd volunteered. I'd say drafted.
I was strapped down on a spanking horse, my legs spread and strapped as well. I could turn my head slightly, enough to see Majima as she paced the front of the classroom.
"I will be demonstrating various types of spanking devices on our subject. I will be using my hand,wooden paddles, leather straps, and riding crops.
"You will all have a chance to practice what you learn here. I expect the target to be well marked by the end of this class.
The information she imparted to the students was nothing compared to the pain she impressed on me during that first class.
Slapper, strap,wooden paddle, crop, leather paddle, and finally her hand.
Each blow was like a lightning bolt in the ass.
"Now that you have seen me do it, you will all do it!", she instructed as I gasped around the gag for breath.
The students each took their turns with the paddles, the straps, and one at a time, the hands. The final strokes were done by the crops.
There was a pause while Majima critiqued the performance of each student. She was less than happy with their performance, and ordered them to start again.
Round and round they went and I felt as if my ass had a dent.
I was about to pass out when Majima declared a halt and ended the class.
The class filed out and she squatted down next to my head and looked at me with amusement.
"Ready for the next group, slave?", Majima said.
I shook my head NO as best as I could.
"Well I'm sorry you feel that way about it. But perhaps next time, you won't disobey me. Maybe the next class will reinforce the lesson."
I tried to beg for mercy through the gag, but she ignored me and I heard the next class come in.
"Good morning class. I am Mistress Majima and I will be teaching this class on spanking. M-5 has volunteered to assist us in our work today." , she said again.
Again the pain, even more intense after the break, as she demonstrated each of the implements again.
The next group of students had just started when the blows stopped .
"Is there a problem?", Majima demanded.
"Remove the gag please.", I heard a voice say through the veil of pain.
"He makes so much noise, keeping him gagged is a better idea.", Majima objected
I felt fingers on the back of my head and the gag popped from my mouth.
I gulped air in huge panting gasps and drooled.
"I am superior to you and I say he needs to be gagged.", she repeated.
"If your actions make you superior, then prove it. Put me in his place."
It was Sheba.
"No Mistress", I croaked.
"You were not being spoken to slave ! I was speaking to Mistress Majima. Well?", Sheba challenged, "Put me on the horse and let me finish the lesson in his place."
"I can't believe you're serious. You are a woman and his superior. He is a male and inferior. We control, they serve."
"And what about the ponies?", Sheba retorted." There are female ponies and they serve us. Prick them, do they not bleed? Justify your argument."
The situation might have gotten even uglier if the bell hadn't sounded then.
The class left except for Sheba who unstrapped me and helped me from the horse. My legs collapsed under me and I fell on my ass, adding yet another bruise.
"I think I proved my point," Majima said. " He had to be rescued by a girl. Big strong man."
I lay there on the floor wondering when I had suddenly become a big strong man. I hurt like a whipped puppy, and I probably had it coming after embarrassing Majima like that.
"I am going to report your conduct to the Headmistress, Sheba. You can explain your actions to her." , Majima continued.
The trip to the Headmistress's office was a bit slow and painful despite Sheba's attempt to lead me slowly.
I was attached to a loop in the floor to wait as Sheba and Majima went into the Headmistress's office.
After a few minutes the door opened and I was led in to face the Headmistress.
Ruth looked down at me and shook her head in annoyance.
"Even when you are being a good slave, you still cause problems for people. Mistress Sheba and Mistress Majima are having a dispute about you. I have some questions.
"Did you agree to be used in the spanking class today?"
"I was not asked.", I said neutrally.
"Did Mistress Minx order you to participate in the spanking class today?"
"I have not seen Mistress Minx today."
"How did you get to the class?"
"I was carried."
"And who carried you?"
"Two other slaves delivered me under the direction of Mrs. Moriarty to Mistress Majima's classroom."
"In short you are telling me that you were not ordered to participate, you were not asked to participate, and you were in effect, forced to participate in the class. Is that correct?"
Ruth turned to Majima.
"Well? What do you have to say?"
"He's lying, of course. They all do."
Ruth suppressed her reaction, but I could see her eyebrows raise a bit.
She pressed a button on her intercom.
"Mrs. Moriarty , please report to my office.", she said.
There was a short wait, and the door opened and Mrs. Moriarty stalked in.
"Mrs. Moriarty did you handle this slave this morning?", Ruth asked.
"And where did you deliver him after his feeding?"
"Mistress Minx's room."
"And did you deliver him to Mistress Minx?"
I started to protest and then retreated. There is no justice sometimes. I could only hope that Ruth knew me well enough to believe me.
Sheba had stayed silent up to that point.
"Excuse me Headmistress. I think there is something you should know.", she said.
"Yes?", Ruth prompted.
"I saw Mrs. Moriarty strike one of the ponies , Jen, in the mess hall this morning. M-5 reacted by attempting to stand up. She then started to strike him, until she saw me."
"What was the pony doing at the time?"
"She was looking at M-5."
"Had she been ordered to cast her eyes down?"
"She was struck first, then the order was given."
"Mrs. Moriarty, is this true?"
Mrs. Moriarty said nothing. Just stared at Ruth.
"Mrs. Moriarty", Ruth sighed. " If you don't speak up, I will have to assume you and Majima both lied to me."
The silence continued unbroken.
"You may go Mrs. Moriarty. I will discuss this with you later."
Mrs. Moriarty left the office and Ruth turned her attention back to Majima and Sheba.
"Majima, you are relieved of teaching duties until I say otherwise. Go.", Ruth ordered.
She left with an evil look at Sheba, who ignored it.
"Sheba. You disrupted the class with your actions. While I understand why you did it, you were wrong. You should have come to me and let me handle it. You do not have sufficant rank to override a resident instructor.
"You are suspended from classes until further notice. Go to your room."
Sheba curtsied and left.
I took a deep breath. I knew I was in deep shit this time.
"You will not be used for further training without specific permission from Mistress Minx or myself. You will remain in your quarters until such time as Mistress Minx releases you. "
Ruth herself led me back to my pen and sealed the door behind me.
The rest of the day passed with no Minx. It also passed with no dinner. The next morning came and went, and no Minx. The only time indication I had was the light changes through the cracks in the door .
It was nightfall on the second day of my confinement before the door opened.
The visitor wasn't Minx however, it was Jen, the pony girl that had been slapped.
She placed a basket of food on the floor near the door and left as quietly as she appeared.
I fell upon the food she had brought like a starving man, which is exactly how I felt about that time.
I fell asleep that night wondering what had happened to my Mistress.
When I was awakened it was by Minx this time.
She patted me lightly on the head and whispered of her love to me. I guess I smiled in my sleep, because the next thing I knew I felt her hand spanking my ass.
I rolled off the cot and onto the floor instantly.
"I see your reaction time has improved."
"Thank you Mistress.", I said from my kneeling position.
I wanted to ask where she had been, but I knew that she would tell me if she thought I had a need to know.
"I understand there has been a bit of a problem in my absence", she continued mildly,"an absence that someone planned I might add. I was called to London. When I got there nobody knew anything about it."
"Any idea who Mistress?", I asked. I had a suspicion who, but I wanted to hear her ideas.
"Michael, there's no need to play ignorant with me. You know who. The question is who here is working with Lydia or her people."
"The obvious answer would be Mistress Majima or Mrs. Moriarty. Too obvious really. I think that Lydia would be more subtle than that."
"Well if you consider her trying to have you run over by a car subtle, I guess so.", she replied sarcastically, referring to the incident that had caused my leg to be broken.
"Mistress Majima just wanted to get even with me. I suspect I'd be dead by now if she really wanted to kill me.", I objected.
"Cat and mouse. And you know how much I enjoy being the cat!", Minx said evilly.
That didn't add to my feeling of security. Being the mouse isn't any fun especially when you know the cat in this case is going to kill you.
"So where would you like me to be murdered this time?", I said echoing an old Gregory Peck movie.
"Do you want to leave?", she asked.
"What and miss all the excitement? We who are about to die salute you."
She hugged me and kissed my cheek.
"Don't die. I need you."
The next morning Minx herself came and escorted me to the mess hall. There was no sign of Mrs. Moriarty at all. The ponies were in their place as Minx chained me to mine, and left the room.
As I ate I wondered who my enemy was. It could be anyone, slave or staff alike. Jen, who had slipped me food was even less discreet about looking at me than before.
I nodded to her politely, knowing that speaking would attract the attention of the two Mistresses who were watching the room.
They didn't seem as inclined to interfere as Mrs. Moriarty was, so the atmosphere in the room seemed a bit more free.
It was a short time later that Minx came back into the room and led me to the Headmistress's office.
Ruth was sitting behind her desk as I knelt with my head down to listen to whatever she had to say.
"M-5, your Mistress has refused my advice to remove you from here. As a member of the Council I can order her to do it. Is it your wish to stay as well?"
"The chances are the same if I stay or go. If I stay, you might find out who here is helping Lydia. If I run away, you might never know. And finding out is important, because undetected, they will hurt Ay'esha."
Ruth said nothing and Minx escorted me out of the room and off to my next training session.
This class was a bit different then the rest I'd been through so far. Minx escorted me outside and chained me to a whipping post. I started to shake. The last time I'd been chained to a whipping post was when I had attempted to protect Minx and as a consequence had splintered Ay'esha into two groups. with my loyality to her.
"Mistress, what have I done wrong?", I asked fearfully.
"Nothing. You are going to be used as the demonstration subject for the use of the single tail whip. You are the best slave for this, because you have had it used on you before."
I started to whimper in fear. The last time had been different. I'd been trying to protect her.
She walked away before I could say anything more about it. I tried to remind myself that she would not had placed me in any danger I was not prepared to face.
I closed my eyes and focused on my fear , forcing it from my mind.
I could hear a crowd gathering behind me as I waited for the first touch of the lash."
"Students, we have a rare visitor to the school today," Ruth announced. "One of the finest experts in the art of the single tail whip has consented to demonstrate on Mistress Minx's slave for us today.
"Please give your attention to the Whipmaster."
Behind me I heard footsteps and the crunch of boots on gravel.
" A whip can cut, sting, thud, flog, and simply connect with the subject. A simple *crack* above the head will almost always get the attention of someone. A "whiff" by the ear is a *wonderful* exhibition of control, and lets the subject know where they "stand." It is a much more localized feeling, unlike most floggers and cats, which cover more territory on the body. It requires a more concentrated focus of the wielder's eye and hand, and certainly the receiver's mind. A flogger can feel like a massage, a single-tail like a good back-scratch.", said a voice behind me, loud and authoritive.
"In my own view, handling a whip is a high on the erotic and control aspects. I can kill someone with a whip, or do very serious damage, at the least. At the same time, the finesse required to handle one is like a "kata" , for those of you who have trained in the martial arts.
"A proper whip also requires a certain amount of obeiscence from the owner, too. It demands more care than many tools. Whips need to be kept moist and oiled and flexible ,either through use or practice. Mine gets oiled bi-monthly and used two to three times weekly.
"With the right slave, the whip can be sensual as well. It is a tool like any other, to be used to control or reward as you choose."
"Today, I'll show you the control aspects."
With that I heard the whip crack next to my ear like a shot. Instinctively, I tried to drop but was restrained by the bindings.
"You will all notice that although I was a full foot away from the subject, he attempted to protect himself.
"The cracking noise is actually caused by the tip of the whip breaking the sound barrier, which for those of you failing your science classes, is seven hundred and sixty miles per hour or better than twelve hundred kilometers per hour.
"M-5, do not move the next time or you will be struck."
The whip came closer the next time, but I had no choice but to obey. I knew what the whip could do to me if it hit me.
Then it did hit me. But instead of the burning pain I had felt before, I felt a scratching sensation like a fingernail being run across my back. It startled me greatly. My fear started to melt away. If the Whipmaster had this much control, then I would only be hurt if I made a mistake.
The sensation was repeated again. It felt warm rather than hot. The process continued and my mind started wandering .
I was jerked back to reality by a burst of laughter.
"And X takes the square.", I hear the Whipmaster say, as the laughter continued.
"Now, this has been a demonstration of how to use the whip as a training tool. I will now demonstrate the single tail as a punishment."
I held my breath in anticipation.
"Remember, to avoid doing perminant physical harm, DO NOT, and I will repeat myself DO NOT strike along the spine or the kidney areas. The whip MUST crack to lose velocity before the strike. If it does not, you will do the equilivant of firing a shot into the subject."
CRACK! And I felt the searing pain across my left shoulder blade and slumped.CRACK! Again, on the right side.
The finale was the blistering pain of the whip across my ass.
I screamed. I couldn't help it and I didn't care anymore. I'm not made of iron, and my ass was still hurting from the assault of the previous use.
"As you can see, there is no breaking of the skin, but if I were punishing this slave, breaking skin is more trouble than it's worth.
"A well trained slave is too valuable to damage physically. But as to their mental comfort, that is a different matter."
"That concludes the demonstration for today. Do not try this yourself without the supervision of a senior student or instructor."
I again heard the boots walking across the gravel and I was left to ponder the question of who the Whipmaster was and if we would meet again.
Minx unshackled me and I knelt at her feet humiliated by my failure to keep silent.
"You did well to stand still during the demonstration. I'm pleased."
I looked up at my Mistress and saw her smile and the pain was worth it.
"You will attend me at dinner this evening, M-5"
"At your command, Mistress."
That evening Minx arrived to lead me to dinner wearing her most formal attire.
She said nothing but attached a leash to my collar and led me out of the stall and towards the main house.
I was led into a candlelit dining room and led to the head of the table. I pulled the chair at Dr. Ruth's right hand out for Minx, and seated her, then stepped back from the table.
There were ten women at the table including my nemesis, Majima and my one friend, Sheba. Dinner was served by a mixed group of male and female slaves. I was not the only slave standing sideboy, three of the other women also had personal attendants, two male and one female.
I monitored the dinner conversation with half an ear, while I scanned the people at the table.
Majima spent as much time studying me as she did eating. The other women were less interested in me, but one of the slave girls winked at me as she served Minx her soup.
Dinner proceeded slowly through the courses ending with coffee and port. A selection of cigars was offered and Majima selected one, as well as two of the other women.
The conversation soon turned to training methods.
"I have found that keeping them off guard is very effective. Their little minds never know what is going to happen next", said one of the women, puffing on her cigar.
"Myself I have found that strict rules, so they know what is going to happen if they disobey is far more useful. They have their orders and I don't have to supervise them.", said another sipping her wine.
"Fear keeps them in line," Majima said, waving her cigar to punctuate her argument. "A strong hand over a weak mind."
Minx glanced back at me before saying anything.
"So I've noticed. I must say though,that you have a tendency to react first and think later.", Minx commented.
Majima's eyes narrowed into evil slits that glittered in the candlelight.
"Oh. And what makes you say that?' , she hissed.
Minx indicated my medallion
"You removed this by force from my slave."
"Yes, and what about it."
"Did you look at it, Majima? Even for a moment?"
"Certainly not. It's a piece of jewelry that he shouldn't even be wearing."
Minx indicated I should let Ruth examine it. I moved to her and she examined it and her mouth formed a firm line of disapproval. She indicated it to the woman on her left, who looked at it and shook her head sadly.
"Majima," Ruth said softly," you have made a serious error with this slave."
"What are you talking about?", she demanded.
I knelt before Majima who looked at it carelessly at first. Then the meaning of it sunk into her mind and she sat back in her chair.
"I didn't think to look. To me he was just another piece of slave meat", was all she said.
"He was presented with that medallion by Anna herself. He proved himself worthy of respect. Here, he has no such rights, and has been corrected accordingly." , Minx said."He responded to your attack as he was trained to. Were you aware he has a death sentence on him? Yet he does not hide. He serves me and those who I command him to serve. And why?"
The Mistress paused to sip her wine before answering her own question.
"Love. Nothing more or less than that. He has sworn his life to me, and I have accepted it. You can't beat loyality or trust into a good slave. You must show him or her the rewards of that loyality."
"M-5 , kneel before me," she ordered. I crossed back to Minx's side and knelt.
"He serves as I direct and does my bidding without chains or force. Just the binding of his love for me."
I could see mixed reactions in the group , some approving, some not.
A woman at the end of the table, Mistress Angela, spoke up.
"And is he also not the one who drove our sister Lydia from us? Isn't he the one responsible for the divisions that threaten to destroy us."
"Yes, he is,"Minx said simply."But if love is a threat then we are all in grave danger."
"He is proof that your methods don't work at all," was the response." A male simply needs to be trained to serve and love has nothing to do with that."
"Anna believes otherwise as does the rest of the council. Bind not the mouths of the kine that tread the grain. Even a horse is given a lump of sugar or an apple on occasion for their work. A well trained slave is no less deserving."
"Are you willing to bet on that?", said Mistress Simel
"What did you have in mind?", Minx asked sipping her wine again.
"You seem to feel he's pretty clever. We haven't had a fox hunt here in a long time. If your fox wins, I'll try changing my methods. If your fox loses, I get to have him for a day and a night to use as I will.", was the offer.
"Standard rules? ", Minx asked casually.
"Yes. Tranqualizer dart guns and pony slaves.", was the answer.
Minx turned to Ruth.
"This is your school. Do you approve?", she asked.
"On one condition. There will be two foxes. As punishment for her disrespect, Majima will be a fox as well. "
Majima threw her cigar at me and I batted it away.
"I would rather have my tits cut off !", she vowed.
"I'd be happy to.", Sheba said darkly.
Ruth interposed herself at that point.
"This hunt will not be allowed to turn into a personal vendetta for anybody. I will approve this as long as everyone understands that."
There was a murmer of agreement and a nodding of heads in assent.
Fine then", Ruth said."We will begin at sunrise.The hunt ends at sunset."
Minx stood, bowed to the group and removed me to my stall.
Back at the stall Minx explained the ground rules of the contest I was being thrust into.
"You will basically be playing hide and seek for twelve hours. If you can avoid being shot or captured, you win. If not, the results could be . . .unpleasant for you."
"If by that you mean torture, blood and pain, I'll try to avoid it.", I said sincerely
"Michael, listen to me very carefully. Losers have been castrated in the past. The hunt started out as a punishment, then evolved into a sport. In this case,considering some of the players, the old rules may be revived.", she said intently.
The thought truly frightened me, more that I had been frightened in a long time. I could see dying at the hands of one of Lydia's people, but it would be a clean quick death, not a mutilation.
"Then I guess I'd better win.", I said trying to keep the fear out of my voice. "Do I have the right to defend myself?"
"What do you mean?", she asked.
"A fox has some natural defensive abilities. Am I limited to running, or can I stand and fight?"
"If you can find a way to do it."
My briefing was interrupted by the arrival of Ruth and the slavegirl who had winked at me.
The girl had a box with her and set it down on the floor at Ruth's direction. Ruth opened it and removed a costume.
It was that of a fox.
"You're kidding!, I said in shock.
"You will be dressed as a fox. You will wear a fox tail, a fox nose and ears,and fox feet and claws.", Ruth said.
I resigned myself to the inevitable and allowed them to dress me in the costume.
The feet and paws were locked onto me so I had no real use of my hands, and the fox mask restricted my vision considerably.
The fox tail was strapped in place and locked down as well, so sitting was no longer an option open to me.
"In the morning you will be released and given a ten minute head start. If you can avoid being caught between then and sunset, you win. If you leave the grounds you will be considered dead and you lose."
"Doctor", I asked through the fur," How do I know that the hunters won't cheat?"
"You don't. But I will be umpiring and anybody you can disarm will be counted out.", she said.
"Thank you. I won't feel obliged to stick to the Marquis of Queensbury rules if the other side can use the Marquis De Sade rules.", I said, flexing my paws.
"Do not take this lightly . This game could become quite deadly if the wrong people are playing.", Ruth cautioned.
Like I didn't know already.
"And exactly how many hunters am I dealing with?", I asked.
"Ten will be selected by a lottery, five Mistresses and five students.", she said. She turned to Minx.
"See if you can impress him with how serious this is."
Ruth and the slave girl left, taking the costume box with them, and I knelt on all fours before Minx.
"Are you frightened Michael?", she asked scratching my back.
"Yes," I admitted, " and angry too."
"At me Michael?"
I looked up at her in shock.
"Of course not. At Lydia and whoever else won't leave us in peace. I'm angry at being a target for some unknown enemy. I'm tired of looking over my shoulder when you're not here to protect me.
"They task me and I shall have them. I will pursue them around the Maelstrom and through Perdition's flames before I give them up."
"Moby Dick.", she said in surprise.
"I do have to do something when I am not serving you, so I've been reading the books I never had a chance to before."
Minx kissed me on the fox nose, turned off the light,and left without looking back in the way a cat leaves a room.
I tried to get some sleep but with the costume on finding a comfortable position was almost impossible. I did doze for a short time but was awakened by the noise of the door bolt sliding back.
I rolled quickly off the cot and stood in the shadows where I could see the door before the person there could see me.
I was about to pounce when I realized the outline was that of Jen
"What are you doing here?", I hissed at her.
She jumped back startled.
"You need to escape before morning. Someone is planning on killing you.", she said.
"Tell me about it. But who?", I said intently.
"I don't know, I couldn't make out their voices. I only heard two of the Mistresses talking about it from inside my stall. You have to leave.", she insisted.
"I can't leave. Not until I find out who. Are you willing to help me?"
She glanced about fearfully.
"No, I've done too much already. I'll leave the door open for you, but run."
She slipped back out and left me with the option to flee.
And did I? Hell no. Boy am I stupid! But, if I left now, I could get killed without witnesses and frankly I wanted all the people around me I could get.
I lay back down and waited for the dawn.
The unlocked door stirred up a bit of commotion a few hours later, and I could hear someone ordering a group to start searching for me.
I just laid there and waited for the door to open. I heard Mistress Angela complain to Minx that I'd obviously fled.
It was worth it to see the look on their faces when they opened the door and found me laying there looking "foxy".
"Is there a problem Mistress?", I asked brightly.
"Your door was unlocked.", she said.
"It was? I was sure you'd locked it. I could have been hurt with that door open like that.", I said in a shocked tone of voice.
Mistress Angela looked away and I winked at Minx to show her I'd known all along.
"Is it time to play now Mistress?", I asked cheerfully.
"Yes M-5, it's time to play now.", she said smiling at my cheerfulness.
No sense in upsetting her. I was scared, but I had one advantage over a real fox.
In the words of Edmund Blackadder ,I had a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.
There was still a low fog over the fields and the sun was just starting to peep over the horizon, making the fog glow in shades of pink and red.
Mistress Minx led me to the edge of the fields near where Sheba and I had walked and ordered me to kneel. I could see the Mistresses and student Mistresses waiting a short distance away with their pony girls and boys. Majima stood near me, held on a leash by Ruth, in the same sort of costume as mine, but with a far angrier expression on her face.
Ruth ordered her to kneel and released the lead. Majima stayed put, knowing that she was vastly outnumbered.
Ruth walked over to where Minx and I were standing and spoke to us.
"Are you ready to start?" , she asked me, examining my costume.
"And your leg is well?", she pressed.
"Minx, this is your last chance to stop this, " Ruth insisted.
Minx looked at me and wordlessly asked if I was sure.
I nodded and she turned back to Ruth.
"Proceed," she said firmly.
Ruth turned and walked away ,shaking her head.
I knelt in a sprinters crouch and waited for the starting signal. I knew I didn't have the speed of a trained pony slave but I could maneuver better.
"We are gathered for the Hunt", Ruth announced. "There will be two foxes, the Black Fox and the Red Fox. The hunt will last until sunset or until both foxes are caught or killed.
"Each gun has six darts. When the gun is empty, that hunter is out. If the hunter is disarmed by a fox, the hunter is out.
"All of you are sworn to follow the rules and not let your personal beliefs interfere."
She turned to Majima and I.
And I ran through the briars and I ran through the brambles and I ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go. Or at least a pony slave. I hoped.
Majima actually had the lead as we hit the edge of the woods then veered left on one path I took the right path and after getting inside a few hundred feet, got off the path and hid myself in a bush.
My plan was simple. Make them waste ammo on shadows and then sleep the rest of the day in a hollow log or in a tree.
I figured that the person who really wanted my tail would lag behind the rest to get a clean shot at me.
My senses were alert and quivering,listening for the slightest sound of human approach.
From my bush I saw the first Mistress and pony slave enter the grove. They proceeded cautiously up the path I had taken until they reached the point I had departed the trail. They looked at the ground and then continued up the path. The next Mistress was a student who was a bit less cautious. She reached the same point, then dismounted her slave. She followed the path I had left in the grass, with her gun at the ready.
Not ready enough, as I jumped out of the bush and slapped the gun from her hand. Hooking a claw in the trigger guard I carried it away leaving her far behind me.
One down, nine to go.
I got rid of it in a hollow tree stump and climbed a tree to survey the area. I will say that having claws is useful for tree climbing, and they helped me stay put on the limb. But that damned tail was almost the end of me.
I heard a soft PHUTT sound and a dart clipped the end of the tail and embedded itself in the tree trunk behind me.
While the foliage had covered me from the one side, I was exposed on the other and Mistress Angela was getting set for the next shot.
I swung down from the branch and dashed for cover while keeping the tree between me and her.
My path took me right in front of another Mistress and her mount, but I passed them so quickly that I startled the pony boy and he dropped her. I dashed back, hooked the gun, and kept running.
I kept trying to figure out a way to pull the trigger wearing the fox paws, but it was impossible. And probably against the rules anyway.
I neared the edge of the woods and found myself on the bank of the stream that fed the lake on the grounds. I plunged into the water and damned near screamed from the shock. That water was cold and soaking the costume probably wasn't a good idea.
I stayed in the water and dog paddled or should that be fox paddled, upstream towards the boundaries of the school grounds.
I crawled out of the water and shook like a dog to remove as much water as I could, before following the fence line. I crept through the brambles, catching the tail on thornbushes as I went.
The sun was finally beginning to break up the morning fog when I spotted Majima crouching in a thicket.
I thought I'd been quiet enough but she spun around as saw me. She actually smiled when she saw me, and signaled I should approach. I thought about ignoring her, but if she had been as busy as I had, then the game might be half over.
I scrambled over to her keeping low.
"How many have you disarmed?", she asked keeping a constant watch on our location.
"Two. And you?"
"Three." She actually looked as if she was enjoying herself and I told her so.
"Slave, I grew up in South Central LA. When I joined Ay'esha, I never thought I'd be fighting in a gang war again. In some ways, I missed it."
"I guess you're not mad at me any more.", I ventured.
"It can wait until later. I think you're a spoiled little house pet that needs some real discipline and I want to do it to you.", she sneered.
"If we get out of this alive,I'll ask my Mistress if I can stay with you for a while and you can have your chance", I said looking back over my shoulder.
"Alive? What the hell are you talking about?", she hissed.
"You thought Minx was kidding? Lydia tried to have me killed once. I thought someone here is trying it again, maybe you."
"Shit, boy. I just wanted your ass in my hands. That's why I had Mrs. Moriarty deliver you to me."
"You didn't have my Mistress called back to London?"
"No. I just took advantage of it when I saw her leave."
There was a thrashing in the brush a short distance away. She rolled to the left and I rolled to the right and we both crouched ready to strike. Our alarm was for nothing, as a real fox scampered out of the bush and passed between us.
Someone here was after me. Even paranoids have enemies.
In the distance I could hear dogs barking. In fact, the barking was coming closer.
I crawled back over to Majima.
"Are dogs legal in this game?", I asked.
"We don't have any dogs here."
Any response I had was cut off by a shot. Not the PHFFT of the dart guns but the WHEET of a live round.
I rolled on top of Majima to protect her without thinking and got kneed in the balls for my trouble. I laid there moaning as another round went past.
Her old instincts were still in play and she lay flat on the ground with only her fox tail sticking up. Then it wasn't sticking up anymore as a shot removed it.
We both crawled back into the bushes, her quickly, and me in serious discomfort.
"We have got to get out of here before one or both of us get shot.", I said through clenched teeth.
The dogs grew louder in volume as they approached. And then I heard the horses hooves approaching.
Horses. Dogs. Foxes.
We were at ground zero in a real fox hunt. And those guys would shoot anything at all that looked like a fox. Or for that matter, anything that moved. As Oscar Wilde put it "The unspeakable chasing the uneatable". Except this bunch wasn't going to ride the fox down and let the dogs maul it to death, they were shooting at it.
Probably to be kind in their way of thinking.
"OK. How?", she demanded.
"I'm just a slave. You think,I serve. Remember that discussion?", I growled.
"Some other time maybe. Start crawling back towards the house. Better we get put to sleep for a few hours, than forever."
"I'm gonna kick your ass when we get back."
"Let's just hope you get the chance and I don't get it shot off."
We scrambled through the woods keeping low to the ground, all the while hearing the dogs and horses getting closer. We were separated by a bunch of trees when I hit the trap.
It was an old fashioned capture trap and my hand was almost broken by the steel clamping shut.
Oh shit. I tried to pry it open, but the fox paws were not helping matters and my hand was going numb when I heard the footsteps.
I looked up to see Mistress Simel standing over me with a rifle.
"I see the fox is trapped. Pity. I was hoping to shoot it on the run.", she said sarcastically.
"You're Lydia's spy here?",I said trying to ignore the pain in my hand.
"Lydia's spy. Hardly that. We of Kali will destroy you and your kind. Ay'esha is ignorant of how the world really works. We will seize control directly, rather than through male and female puppets. Oh, your death will look like an accident. That's why I suggested a fox hunt. I knew that the local hunters were having one as well, and they're not too careful about what they shoot.
"The school will never be able to explain what a man in a fox costume was doing on school property. The bad publicity will cause the school to close and Ay'esha will be deprived of a training camp."
She laughed at her own genius as she pointed the gun at my head and pulled the trigger.
And fell to the ground in pain.
The shot grazed my head knocking me down and leaving me bleeding.
Two shapes silhouetted in the morning sun stood over me.
My vision cleared and I saw Sheba and Jen, Sheba still holding the dart pistol ready to shoot again.
"Rescuing you is becoming a habit", she said.
"Don't break it.", I sallied as I passed out.
This time when I woke up I was in a hospital with a tube in my nose and a bad taste in my mouth. And the nurse staring down at me was not exactly a vision of loveliness.
"Good evening Mr. Forbin. How are we feeling? ", the nurse said, checking my tubing.
"We are not amused.", I croaked.
Doctor Ruth walked into my field of vision at that point and cut off any further comment.
"You have a superficial head wound, but no real damage. In fact, it shouldn't even leave a scar when it heals.", she said clinically.
I started to say something crude but the oxygen had dried my throat out enough to save myself from my folly.
I turned my head enough to see that we were alone before asking for a drink of water.
I savored it before I asked the questions I needed answered.
"What happened to Mistress Simel?", I asked.
"She has been dealt with," Ruth said discreetly."You won't need to worry about her any longer."
There was still one nagging question, and despite my headache I had to ask it.
"Doctor, are the ponies allowed to roam free?"
"No, of course not. They may have a little more freedom, but they aren't allowed to roam free. Why?"
I don't think she was satisfied with that answer, but she let me get away with it.
When I returned to the school the next day with Minx, I found a welcoming committee consisting of Majima, Sheba, and Jen. Mistress Angela was also in attendance, looking somewhat contrite.
I got out of the car and knelt before them head down. I suppose the bandage around my head made me look like a war survivor, and frankly the headache made me feel like one.
At least I still had a head to ache.
Minx made quite a ceremony of replacing my collar and leash in front of the gathering. In some ways it was like getting a knighthood. Minus the sword touch of course.
"Is there anything you would like to say M-5?", Minx asked standing up.
I'm sure that I'd said and done quite enough to suit anyone.
"Then there is something that they would like to say to you.", Minx said. "Eyes UP!"
I looked up on the command,and made my headache worse.
"I'm still going to kick your ass, slave. But thank you.", Majima said.
"If my Mistress agrees, I'm at your service. A promise made is a promise kept", I said bowing towards her.
Sheba was next with her thanks.
"No, Mistress. Thank you for saving my life. I am in your debt.", I said bowing again.
"There is no debt. A Mistress protects her slaves from harm.", she said.
"You doubted your ability to be a good Mistress. Have you not just proven it?", I said respectfully.
" I normally wouldn't think of apologizing to a slave, but in this case I will." , Angela said.
I bowed to her and said nothing.
Jen started to speak and then stopped and looked down.
I knew why.
I looked at Minx and tried to convey the need to speak to Jen privately. As usual she caught it, and ordered Jen to approach.
She led the two of us a discreet distance away and looped our leads around a tree, then left.
"I wanted to thank you for your kindness. Now,why did you lie about hearing two Mistresses talking outside your pen?", I asked looking at her.
She started to deny it, then turned away from me
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't havelied to you.", she said with a downcast tone.
"You didn't trust me to keep your secret. I understand that. But it might have been fatal.", I said stroking her back.
"You know about the door?", she asked turning towards me again.
"I knew you could get in and out of your stall anytime you wanted. I checked with the Headmistress about the rules. You shouldn't have been able to feed me, or warn me. You were wandering about when you heard that discussion. Does Mistress Sheba know?", I asked
"I don't think so. She hasn't said anything about it."
"Don't underestimate your Mistress. She isn't a tough Mistress, but sneaking out is disrespectful to her. What if another Mistress caught you? You would be punished and she would be embarrassed by your actions.
Never do anything to make your Mistress lose respect. I know. And I've paid for it this week, with my blood." , I lectured.
"Are you going to tell her?"
"Tell her what?", I said looking innocently into the sky.
Jen looked at me and started to smile.
"You'd lie for me?"
"No. I will not lie to my Mistress. But I won't answer a question that has not been asked."
"What if she does?"
"That's the chances you take. But I meant what I said and I said what I meant, for I am faithful one hundred percent."
She looked at me strangely for a minute.
"I've heard that before somewhere."
Minx walked back up at that point.
"Are you finished M-5?", she asked looking at the two of us.
"Yes Mistress. Thank you."
She unleashed us and led Jen back to Sheba and handed her the lead.
"M-5, why did you want to speak to Jen privately?", Sheba asked.
"I wanted to thank her personally for helping me.", I said putting the accent on personally.
The reaction was swift and decisive.
"Head down, ass up ! Now!", she commanded.
I dropped and waited. Not for long, before the stinging slash of a riding crop across my ass, drove me forward.
"That was for your lecherous attitude," Sheba said.
Minx was next in line.
SWACK with her hand across my ass.
"That was for your lack of respect to another Mistresses property!"
She knelt next to me and whispered in my ear.
"And later I expect you to tell me what really happened.", she said.
She led me in one direction and Jen was led in another direction, but before she passed from sight, she blew me a kiss.
Minx stopped me and ordered me to kneel.
"You have done well Michael and should be rewarded. What reward would you like?
"Just one thing really Mistress."
"Could we go home now?"
"Go home? We're going to Scotland next. That way I can put you in a skirt and nobody will notice."
By the pricking of my thumbs, something kinky this way comes.