The Reset Manifesto
CopyrightÂ© 2016 by Lazlo Zalezac
Rebecca said, “I think waiting three years to get married was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
“Why? You lived together for that long.”
“I was away at college for eight months of the year. Peter would visit, but it was hard.”
“Why didn’t he move close to the university?”
“He had his business to run.”
Patricia shook her head. “He was running an Internet mail order company. He could run that from anywhere.”
“He wasn’t staying at the office. He had to travel a lot during that time.”
“What was he doing? Hand delivering orders?”
“No. I’m not too sure what he was doing. I know it was dangerous.”
“I hate to tell you this, but there’s nothing dangerous about being in the Internet mail order business.”
“There was that time when Newton blew up his car.”
“I never heard anything about that.”
“There was the hit man the police arrested.”
Harvey Berry was relaxing on the bed in a room of a cheap motel wondering why his target was living in the middle of bumf•©k nowhere. He was in his underwear watching the television while smoking a cigarette. It was a non-smoking room, but his attitude was so what. They could open a window and air out the place.
A commercial came on. He got up and walked over to the window of his room. Holding the curtain open, he looked out at the scenery. “Why in the f•©k would anyone want to live out here? There isn’t a decent restaurant in the area.”
He went back to the bed, dropping his cigarette into a glass of water. The water was the dark brown color of a strong tea. There were a half dozen cigarette butts floating in the water. He lit another cigarette.
He was bored out of his mind. His target was on some business trip and there was nothing to do except wait around for him to return. He was stuck watching boring daytime television since this stupid motel didn’t carry a porno channel. His meals were horrible. He was forced to have breakfast at a truck stop near the highway, lunch at a fast food burger place, and dinner at a hick town family restaurant with plain American fare. He’d kill for a good steak.
There was a knock on the door. He went over to the window and looked out to see who was knocking. He swore at seeing two state troopers standing there. There was a third man wearing a suit and tie. “They take this no smoking shit way too seriously here.”
He shouted, “Hold on a moment!”
He put on a pair of pants and a shirt before opening the door. He was still buttoning his shirt when the smaller trooper said, “Harvey Berry, you’re under arrest.”
“What? For smoking in a hotel room? Are you out of your f•©king mind?”
One of the troopers put handcuffs on him while Mirandizing him. The other held up a sheaf of official looking papers and said, “We have a warrant to search your room.”
The guy in the suit made a production of putting on a pair of heavy latex gloves. “I’m Detective Moran.”
“What the f•©k is going on?”
A minute later, the guy in the suit said, “We’ve got a gun. Wait a second ... We’ve got a couple guns.”
“I want a lawyer.”
Four hours later, Harvey was seated in a plastic chair facing his attorney across a cheap table. His attorney was a public defender who would have to do until he could hire someone with a bit more pull than this local joker.
“What are the charges?”
“Murder for hire.”
Harvey sank into his chair feeling sick to his stomach. “How bad is it?”
“They’ve got you tied to eighteen murders.”
Candice hung up the phone looking pale. She sat there shaking for a moment. She sat there until she was alone at her desk. Her hand trembled as she picked up the phone to make a call to one of her masters.
“Exalted Master Stephen Augustus Stapleton, the Third. This is Slave Candice.”
“What is it?”
“Peter Moore called.”
“He what?” Stephen shouted.
“He called me here at my desk.”
“Five minutes ago.”
“Come up to my office, now!”
Candice picked up her handbag and headed towards the elevator. She stopped in the women’s room on the way there. Once in there, she checked the stalls to make sure she was alone and pulled a small vial out of her purse. She spread a line of cocaine on the marble counter and took a good long snort. She had a feeling that she was in for a rough time and the cocaine helped mute the pain. As per standing orders, she pulled off her panties and put them in her purse.
Stephen was waiting for her with his belt in hand. She turned, lifted her dress, and bent over the chair. She braced herself for the blow. The first always hurt the most. She jumped, but managed to keep from shouting out. “Thank you, Master.”
“Why didn’t you call me right away?”
“There were people in my office waiting to get into the training room. You ordered me to never say his name where others could hear.”
Stephen paused. He had given her those orders. You didn’t maintain a well-trained slave by giving it orders and then punishing it for following those orders. “What did he want?”
“He ordered me to meet him at the General Grant statue at Riverside Park at five fifteen, Master.”
“He’s not your Master.”
“I know, Master.”
Stephen asked, “What did you tell him?”
“I know you want him, Master, so I agreed and called you as soon as I could.”
“Thank you, Master.”
Maybe she would get out of there without too much pain.
“You’re to forget that he ever called you.”
She got up from her position bent over the back the chair and turned to face him. She kept her head down and stood in front of him without even glancing up at him. He unzipped his pants. “You know what to do.”
It was 5:05 when Candice trudged out to the parking lot with snow falling around her. There was a light covering of snow that was slowly melting from the salt spread on the walkway. She didn’t notice any of that. She was on her way to where she was to spend the night. Mrs. Reese, the wife of another Vice President, was waiting for her at the Slavery. She was to spend the night in her kennel. She cursed Peter Moore for putting her in that position.
She shivered; not from the cold, but from her memories of her first month in the kennel. The things they had made her do. Even now, just the memories of those early days made her sick to her stomach.
She made her way to the door of her car. A man was standing there. Another man moved in behind her. She was trapped between them. She knew that she was going to die because of Peter Moore. She lowered her head submissively.
Her head snapped up. The name burst forth of its own volition, “Dave!”
“You’re coming with me.”
“Yes, you can.”
“You don’t want me!”
“I still love you, Candice.”
“You don’t know what they did to me.”
“I know exactly what they did. I watched videos of those bastards torturing women to break them.”
Candice burst out sobbing. If there was anything that she had feared, it was that Dave would see what they had made her do.
“You don’t want me. You can’t want me. Not after what I’ve done.”
“You’re coming with me.”
“You don’t know what you’re doing. They’ll kill you.”
“Your former masters will all be dead by tomorrow morning. Give me your keys and get in the car.”
Used to following direct commands like that, she handed over her keys. They drove off.
“Those folks must have really pissed off someone extremely powerful. He paid for my whole unit to be reunited. I mean, he paid for everything. We showed up at the hotel and there was a package for us. We went through everything in the package. I read the emails where they discussed your suitability as a slave. I read about the kidnapping. I read progress reports of your breaking.
“My friends and I were very upset.”
“Dave! I’m so sorry.”
“There’s no need to apologize. They’ve been raping you ever since they kidnapped you.”
Stephen Augustus Stapleton, the Third and the two goons bracketing him slowed to a nice leisurely pace when they spotted the figure standing next to Grant’s statue. Like a pack of wolves they approached the person, spreading out to keep him from escaping. In the dark of early night, it was difficult to make out the features of the person. It wasn’t until they were twenty feet away that the figure turned and they could see him clearly for the first time. It was a kid. The kid grabbed a rope and trudged in the direction of the exit of the park pulling his sled behind him.
“Shit! It wasn’t him.”
Peter stepped out of the woods and walked towards them. He stood there watching the trio until they noticed him. He smiled at them. He was standing under a park lamp a hundred feet away from them. It was a mere thirty three and a third yards. Cursing the snow which made their footing unsure as they moved down the slope towards him.
He didn’t flee as they expected. He just kept standing there looking at them with a strange sad expression on his face. He took a deep breath and exhaled. Even from the distance they could see his breath in the frigid air.
Mathematically, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. In the real world, a straight line is often the hardest path. Sometimes it is a particularly dangerous path. That was the case here.
It was when they were halfway to him that they realized their mistake. The first hint that something was wrong came when a loud cracking noise originated from beneath them. They looked around wildly for a second, but their fate was sealed. The next thing they knew, they were plunging into ice cold water.
Every year someone drowned in the river at this particular park. The thick ice along the shore masked the fact that the ice in the center of the river was paper thin, particularly this early in winter. The water, while not a raging current, was fast enough to sweep people under the ice during that brief time when they were recovering from the initial shock of the plunge into the frigid water.
The sudden shock caused them to shout. Involuntary, they swallowed water. They came to the surface sputtering and coughing. Their heavy coats sucked up the water, the increased weight drawing them downward. They struggled to stay at the surface.
Impassively, Peter stood there watching them thrashing around in panic.
Stephen Augustus Stapleton, the Third managed to turn to see Peter. He knew the man had set this up by waiting at river’s edge for them to approach him. The look he gave Peter was filled with pure hatred, but the glare didn’t last that long. He was hit in the head by one of the other men struggling to get out of the freezing water. One of the men was trying to climb on the other one in a classic move of drowning men through history.
Their struggles didn’t last long. One by one, the men disappeared under the ice.
Peter walked along the river bank at a slow pace. He couldn’t see beneath the snow that covered the ice. He reached the bridge and paused when he was halfway across. He looked down at the spillway knowing that the bodies would wash up to it by morning.
He headed to his car. It was time to visit Rebecca at the university.
The naked women were sitting with their arms around their shins, thighs pulled up against their abdomen, and their chins resting on knees. It was a pathetic attempt to conserve as much body heat as possible. They were all shivering from the cold air that breezed through the drafty room. They were held in little cells, nicknamed kennels that were just big enough for the women to curl into a fetal position to sleep or to sit upright. The concrete floor would have sucked the heat right out of them except it had been covered with a thin layer of straw. The straw irritated the skin causing little prickles of red to ruin what were flawless expanses of skin. It itched, but that was better than freezing to death.
Victoria would have been crying, but she knew better than to do that. Women who cried were punished and the punishments, particularly out here in the kennel, could be truly horrible. She had lost any spirit that would allow her to resist them. They could do anything they wanted to do to her and she’d just passively accept it. She’d scream in pain, just like they wanted, but she wouldn’t try to protect herself from their abuse.
The sound of the door opening and closing got her attention. She and the other women all got into their submissive kneeling position. Struggling to keep her facial features passive, Victoria stared at the rough combat boots that appeared in front of her cage. She was puzzled by the rough footwear. None of the Masters would ever consider wearing something like that.
She didn’t recognize the voice and didn’t know how to respond. Calling him Master could earn her a beating. Not calling him Master could earn her a beating. She could feel the panic rising within her.
The man knelt down. In a soft voice, he said, “Victoria. You’ve been given to me. I’m your new master.”
“Yes, Master,” she replied not knowing whether to be relieved or not.
The man unlocked the cage door and opened it. “Get out.”
She crawled out careful not to look at the man. She knelt in front of him waiting for the order she was sure would come.
Puzzled, she answered, “Yes, Master.”
He held out a bag for her.
“Here are your clothes.”
“Yes, Master. Thank you, Master.”
Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the other slaves, heads down and eyes averted, standing before strangers. The strangers were holding out bags to the other slaves. She couldn’t understand what was happening.
Following his order, she took the bag and pulled out the outfit inside. It was a coverall, thick and heavy with insulation. She put it on, finding that it was just a little big, but very warm. There were leather boots that were more like winter house slippers than outdoor shoes. They were a little big as well.
“Do they fit?”
“Well enough, Master.”
He reached out to her. With a finger under her chin he lifted her head so that she was looking at him. Her breath caught in his throat. He had the kindest, gentlest, and saddest eyes she had ever seen. She tried to look away, but his eyes commanded her attention.
“Stop with the Master bit all of the time. Just an occasional Master or Sir is fine with me.”
“Yes ... sir?”
He sighed and released her chin. She immediately looked back down at the floor. He stood there looking at her thinking that this was going to be more difficult than the psychologist had warned. She was conditioned for instant unquestioning obedience. It could take years before she could break that conditioning. He didn’t like what he was about to do, but the psychologist had insisted that it was absolutely imperative that he do it. He touched his crotch.
“You know what to do. Get to it.”
She sank to her knees. In a way, she was relieved that he was taking control. It was comforting. She was well trained and he didn’t last long.
“Get into the restroom and take care of your personal needs.”
She nearly ran to the bathroom. The other slaves were heading the same way.
The men moved together watching the women leave. They waited until the last one disappeared behind the door of the restroom.
“I’m sorry those miserable bastards died so easily.”
“What in the f•©k did they do to these women?”
“You know what they did. We watched the videos.”
“These women really need us.”
“Yes, they do.”
“It’ll be nice to have a purpose again.”
“Yes, it will.”
In the restroom, the women were lined up to use the single toilet. There was no pushing or shoving. Such behavior would result in a whipping or worse. The whispers, kept low not to carry, started.
“What’s going on?”
“The man said he was my new master.”
“So did the man who let me out of my kennel.”
“Why would the Masters give us away?”
“They must have sold us.”
“What’s going to happen to us?”
“Nothing new. We’re just going to be used by a different group of masters.”
“I don’t know about that.”
“I don’t care anymore. I wish someone would just put me out of my misery.”
“Hurry up in there. We don’t want to anger the new masters.”
Ten minutes later, the women came out of the restroom walking single file. They each went to the man who claimed to be their new master and knelt. The discussions in the bathroom did nothing to decrease their unease at the new situation.
“Victoria, we’re going to go have breakfast and then we’ll go to your apartment. You need to pack up to leave. We won’t be coming back.”
She followed him out to a large van. He opened the door for her and waited for her to get seated in the passenger seat. He went around and climbed in.
“Fasten your seat belt.”
“Can I walk you to your dorm?”
“That would be lovely. How long are you staying?”
“Your finals end next week, right?”
“I’ll stay here until then and give you a ride home.”
“Excuse me, you’re blocking the door.”
Peter turned and looked at the woman standing at the doorway. “Professor Giles. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
“I’d really like to leave, so if you wouldn’t mind...”
“Of course,” Peter said while helping Rebecca to get out of the way. “I was talking to Ann the other day. We found your review of her book ... humorous.”
“I know that you wrote it before all of those videos started showing up on the web.”