Chapter 7: Ebony Changes
Ebony made her way through the West sector of the Island, running an inventory and a check on all the wall jacks and the extension numbers, as Dee Dee had suggested. This was something that hadn't been done in a long time, and the activity helped take Ebony's mind off her thoughts of Barocca.
It was the middle of the morning, and just about all the quarters were deserted, as the girls were off at their various duties or assignments. As head of security, Ebony had a master key, which let her go anywhere on the Island. So far, everything had been routine. Nobody had anything that they weren't supposed to have. Ebony jotted down the room number, who lived there, the phone extension, and the number of the wall jack on the sheet on her clipboard.
Finally, Ebony couldn't put it off any longer, and she found herself standing in front of the door to Barocca's quarters. The last time she'd been here, both girls' tempers had flared, and Ebony had done something that she wasn't terribly proud of. At the time, Barocca had pushed Ebony too far, and in the heat of the moment, Ebony had made her pay the price.
As a result, Ebony hadn't been back here in several days, as she let her emotions settle, and tried to sort out how she felt about Barocca.
Ebony knocked on the door, and received no answer. Waiting a moment to see if she heard anyone stirring inside, Ebony inserted her master key in the lock. "Might as well get this over with," thought Ebony.
Inside, Barocca's quarters looked just like they'd always looked. The door opened into a living room, or main room with a sofa and another chair, with a TV and stereo in the corner. To the right was a small kitchen. While most meals were served in the communal cafeteria, girls were allowed to keep a limited number of snacks on hand in their quarters. Branching off to the left from the main room was the bedroom and bathroom. Ebony knew that virtually every set of rooms on the Island was identical to this, the only difference being some designs were reversed in other areas of the Island.
Ebony entered Barocca's bedroom and strolled over to the corner of the wall where her phone was plugged in. "That's funny," thought Ebony. "I thought Barocca's phone line was white, or maybe a light tan color. This one's black. Oh, well. That shows how much attention I paid to the furnishings when I was in here. All we ever did was fuck when we were together here." Ebony bent down and jotted the extension number, and the port number to the page on her clipboard.
"Okay, that wraps things up here," thought Ebony. "I'll get this back to Dee Dee, and then there'll still be time for lunch, before I hold the conditioning class this afternoon. I'll just snag one of Barocca's diet sodas on the way out from the refrigerator."
Ebony left everything as she had found it in Barocca's quarters, and strolled out to the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator door, Ebony squatted down to survey the items.
"Diet soda, diet sodas," murmured Ebony. "You wouldn't think she'd need this much stuff in here. I mean, we do have a cafeteria here on the Island."
Ebony's gaze turned to the side of the door she'd just opened, and her mouth fell open. Neatly stacked on the side racks were a number of diet sodas; but it wasn't those that caused Ebony to gape in surprise. Next to the cans of soda was a small plastic container. It was unmistakably the same type that most d**gstores used when they gave a prescription to someone.
"What the fuck is this?" Ebony muttered aloud. Ebony could barely pronounce the name printed on the label, of whatever d**g was in the vial. "I'm not a doctor, but I know good and well you don't keep your pills in the refrigerator," said Ebony. "You keep 'em by your nightstand, or somewhere else where you'll be sure and remember to take them."
Suddenly, images from the past began to make sense to Ebony. Squatting in front of the door like this, she was completely blocked from view from the living room.
"Now I know why Barocca always insisted on getting sodas herself for the two of us," thought Ebony. "And why she always either opened it for me, or brought it to me poured in a glass already."
This discovery also combined with another minor revelation that Ebony had noticed. In the past few days, several girls had remarked to Ebony that she was much friendlier to them, and she hadn't disciplined or threatened anyone either. Ebony had found herself feeling brighter and cheerier without really knowing why.
"That little bitch!" Ebony thought to herself. "I'm gonna take these over to Dee Dee and find out exactly what they are. I can't be positive, but I'll bet anything that Barocca's been feeding me a steady diet of these things, for who knows how long."
Ebony returned to Dee Dee's office, as she was monitoring the network and doing some work on her PC.
"Hi Dee Dee. Here's the info on the phones that you wanted," said Ebony. She laid her clipboard on the desk next to Dee Dee.
"Thanks Ebony," replied Dee Dee. "This'll help me keep tabs on the phone system now. We hadn't updated those in a long time."
"That's good. I also wanted to know if you could do a favor for me, Dee Dee," said Ebony.
"Sure. What do you need?" answered Dee Dee.
"I need to find out what these are," said Ebony. She laid the vial of pills on Dee Dee's desktop.
"Where'd you get these?" asked Dee Dee, with a trace of astonishment in her voice.
"First, let's get the low down on these," said Ebony. "I want to know what they are, and then I'll tell you where I got them from."
"All right, Ebony," replied Dee Dee. "Let me pull up the AMA's web site."
"The what?" asked Ebony.
"American Medical Association," said Dee Dee. "If they don't have the information we need, I'll bet they have a link to another site that can tell us. It may take a little while until I can be sure I've got the data on this...."
"You just do whatever you need to do," said Ebony. "I'm not going anywhere until I get some answers on these things. And I want to see whatever you find for myself, so I know there's no questions." Ebony had a note of fierceness and determination in her voice that Dee Dee knew better than to question.
"Okay. But bear with me, because this may take a bit to find things out, and get it right," said Dee Dee.
Dee Dee wrote out the full name of the d**g from the prescription label on an index card, and stood it on its side in front of her monitor for easy reference. Dee Dee had to follow links to several different sites before she finally found what she needed to know.
"All right, Ebony. Assuming the pills are actually what the label says they are, here's my opinion on what we've got here," said Dee Dee. "Take a look at the page for yourself. The name and the medical ID number on the label both match up exactly with what I found."
Ebony scooted her chair next to Dee Dee, so she could get a close-up look at the screen.
"Am I reading this right?" Ebony exclaimed. "She's been feeding me fucking steroids?" Ebony slammed her fist down on the desktop hard enough to topple the vial of pills.
Dee Dee recoiled involuntarily from Ebony's actions, but Ebony quickly composed herself and took a few deep breaths.
"I'm sorry, Dee Dee," said Ebony. "I didn't mean to take this out on you. I got these from Barocca's quarters. After I got the information on her phone, on the way out, I went to get a soda from her refrigerator, and found them in there next to the cans." Ebony explained her suspicion on how Barocca might have been slipping the pills into her sodas. "So how do we know if I've actually got these in my bl**d or not?"
"Well, we'd have to have some tests run," said Dee Dee. "I don't have the equipment to do this kind of analysis here on the Island. I'd have to send it to a lab somewhere."
"All right. Let's do it," said Ebony. "I want you to take enough of my bl**d and send it to some lab that you trust.”
"Okay. Just let me go and get my medical bag, Ebony," said Dee Dee.
After Dee Dee had drawn the sample, Ebony turned to her and asked, "So what's the low down on what these things may be doing to me, Dee Dee?"
"Well, in addition to making you stronger and more powerful," said Dee Dee, "the most common side effects are depression, mood swings, and maybe even a deepening voice for a woman. That's just on the surface. They can lead to a lot of other problems inside your body if you take them long enough."
"This is also just my opinion," continued Dee Dee, "but these things may have made you slightly susceptible to Barocca's will or suggestions too. I'm not talking 'mind control'. But maybe just enough of an effect to where you'd subconsciously agree with or go along with whatever she said."
"In case you haven't heard, I haven't been with Barocca for several days," said Ebony bitterly. "I'm guessing that maybe these are starting to wear off just a bit, or possibly that I've started to build up a tolerance."
"Tiffany and Clyda had remarked to me about how some of the girls started to notice a change in your mood lately," said Dee Dee. "Um, you also mentioned that you haven't seen Barocca in a few days. Do you want to talk about it?"
Ebony let out a long sigh. "All right. But I'm going to give you the condensed version. A few days ago, the two of us were watching the end of the video with Jordan and Clyda together. Barocca got bent out of shape, because Jordan made it through a day with both me, and then with Clyda. I don't know what Barocca's got against her, but she hates Jordan's guts.
"Well, Barocca ran her mouth off, and she said a few things about me that she shouldn't have said. I lost my temper, and I did a few things with Barocca that I'm not terribly proud of, now that I think back on it. Let's just say that after I got done with her, Barocca couldn't sit down for a while."
Dee Dee swallowed hard as the impact of Ebony's words hit home. She'd been around on the Island long enough to know exactly what that meant all too well.
"I haven't been back since then," said Ebony. "These pills may be starting to wear off some, which could also be why I've started to be a nicer person again."
Dee Dee and Ebony sat in their chairs on opposite sides of the desk in awkward silence for a moment.
Ebony sank back in her chair, and brought her hands to her face. She was trying very hard to compose herself and keep in control of her emotions. Ebony reached over to the corner of Dee Dee's desk, and grabbed some tissues to wipe her face with. Dee Dee tried to remain calm herself, and not do anything to exacerbate the situation. She'd never seen Ebony in a state like this before. Finally, Ebony tossed the tissue in the wastebasket, and leveled her gaze at Dee Dee.
"Dee Dee, what's going on around here?" she asked in a slow, quiet voice. "I never wanted to hurt anybody. I came to the Island because there were other girls here who felt the same way I did about sex and other things. We were all so happy when we first started out. What's going on?" Ebony's voice trailed off to a whisper as her emotions reeled again.
Dee Dee stood up, and walked around to the other side of the desk, and extended her arms towards Ebony. Ebony saw her, and stood up, and reached out her arms to embrace Dee Dee. The two girls just hugged for a moment.
Dee Dee gasped for a moment, as she felt the power that was in Ebony's arms and body. Dee Dee's head barely reached Ebony's boobs because of the size difference. But Ebony was only returning the affection.
"Let it out, Ebony," whispered Dee Dee. "Just let it all out, honey. You've got your emotions all bottled up inside you, and that's not good for you."
Ebony's body wracked with sobs for a few moments as she let her emotions pour out. Finally she composed herself, and sat back in the chair again, still holding Dee Dee's hands.
"I just can't believe it," said Ebony. "After all this time, I thought she was my friend."
"Believe me, Ebony," said Dee Dee, "I don't think Barocca cares for anybody but herself these days. And since the two of you aren't on good terms anymore, I think she's gone on to other means to try and get things done."
"From what you and I have figured out this afternoon," continued Dee Dee, "I think we have a really good idea of what's going on at the Island lately. A lot of it is still supposition, and it would still wind up being our word against Barocca's though.
"Let me and Clyda take everything we know and go to Tiffany with it. We'll come up with a plan for what to do next. Barocca doesn't care if anyone else gets hurt, so long as she gets what she wants. You've still got friends here on the Island, Ebony. We won't forget you if you stick with us, and help us if we need you."
Ebony left Dee Dee to go and hold her conditioning class that afternoon. Once she had left, Dee Dee called Clyda and Tiffany's numbers, and left a message for the three of them to meet that afternoon after their duties were finished. Shortly after five o'clock, the three girls all convened in Tiffany's quarters.
"Okay, Dee Dee," said Tiffany. "What's up? What have you found out?"
"Well, it's like I suspected," said Dee Dee. "After Ebony returned from taking inventory of all the telephones, I compared the findings, and my hunch was right. The owner of the new line in the West sector, that's been running up the phone bill is just who we thought: Barocca."
"All right. So we know the rotten apple here is Barocca," said Clyda. "That's not exactly a newsflash. What do we do now, play 'Perry Mason' and accuse her of formal charges?"
"Even though we've now got proof that Barocca is doing things," said Tiffany, "we still don't know exactly what she's up to."
"Besides that, I'm afraid that there’s another development too," said Dee Dee. "Ebony also confessed to me, that she thinks Barocca has been d**gging her in some form, for who knows how long." Dee Dee detailed how Ebony had shown her the bottle of pills that she'd found in Barocca's quarters.
"Ebony also confessed that she and Barocca aren't the best of friends lately," said Dee Dee. "In fact, when they saw the end of the tape of Jordan's afternoon with Clyda, Barocca pushed Ebony too far, and Ebony really had it out with her. As a result, Ebony hasn't seen her since, and the lack of the d**gs in her system may explain the changes in her personality."
Tiffany sat back and digested all of what she'd just heard. "Now things are beginning to become come into focus. Barocca's trying to set up her own private little army, or 'task f***e' on her side of the Island. She must've thought that she could operate in secrecy, or that no one would question her authority to be this bold."
"And I'm saving the strangest for last," said Dee Dee. "The change in Ebony's emotions and her personality has been dramatic. When we discovered what Barocca had been doing to her this afternoon, Ebony actually broke down and cried in my office. None of us have ever seen her like that before."
"If I found out that someone I thought I trusted had been screwing with my body," said Clyda, "I'd be shook up too."
As Dee Dee related her findings, Tiffany had again been sitting in her chair, her hands folded together, contemplating everything that was said, as they learned more and more.
"You're awfully quiet over there Tiffany," said Clyda. "What's on your mind?"
"Well, now that we know what Barocca's up to, I've been formulating a plan," said Tiffany. "It's got some risks in it. But hear me out as I explain things, and tell me what you think of it.
“We've got a good idea now that Barocca may be trying to bring someone to the Island in secret. Or so she thinks. For right now, we leave everything alone and let Barocca go through with her plot, and do whatever it is she’s doing."
"But isn't that playing into Barocca's hands, Tiffany?" asked Dee Dee.
"Yes. But if we kill this plot, Barocca will just come up with something else," said Tiffany. "Remember we agreed we wanted to get Barocca's plot out in the open, and then nail her in front of everyone, so there can't be any questions or excuses."
"All right, so we let Barocca think her plot is working, and wait for things to happen," said Clyda. "What do we do in the meantime?"
"We solidify our position, and continue to stack the odds in our favor, so that we're really in control of the outcome," said Tiffany. "And from what Dee Dee has told us, I think I know what we can do that'll give us the final trump card we'll need."
Clyda sat up in her chair, and almost dropped her drink. "Tiffany, you can't be thinking what I think you are," she exclaimed.
Dee Dee was also looking at Tiffany with a deadly serious look on her face. "Tiffany, if you're planning what Clyda and I both think you are, that's an incredible risk to take."
"Nobody said this was going to be simple and easy," said Tiffany. "We've already hashed this out before. From what Dee Dee's told me, and from what we've all noticed in the past few days, I think the time is right to go to Ebony, and see if she'll side with us."
"You do like to live dangerously, don't you?" retorted Clyda.
"Stop and think about things for a minute," said Tiffany. "We were all here on the Island before Ebony came here. Remember how sweet she was, when she got here? It wasn’t until her 'growth spurt', and she started hanging around with Barocca, before she started to change."
"That's right," said Dee Dee. "Ebony was here first, we all got along so well with her, and the sex was fantastic with her. Then Barocca arrived later, and then a few months later, Ebony was transformed. That's when Ebony began to act different."
"Now that Ebony's beginning to become free and clean from whatever Barocca's been feeding her," said Tiffany, "she's become the same sweet girl we remember from the beginning."
"I know it's risky," continued Tiffany. "But if we wait, Barocca may try and patch things up with Ebony, and eventually swing her loyalty back to her side. It's unlikely, but it just might happen."
"So what's the rest of your plan, Tiffany?" asked Dee Dee.
"I say the three of us should meet with Ebony," said Tiffany. "She's known all of us almost since the beginning here. If we really profess our love and friendship to Ebony, especially with the way she feels she's been betrayed by Barocca, I think that she'll be ready to see things our way, and side with us."
"I think you may just be right, Tiffany," said Dee Dee. "Being proactive with Ebony, rather than sitting back passively seems like the best course."
"All right then," said Tiffany. "I'll call Ebony, and set up a meeting for tonight after dinner."
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