Chapter 17: Conflict
Dee Dee and Ebony strolled through the corridors of the Island on their way back to Dee
Dee's lab. "I figure since the company has a web-server, we can order the new door and the parts we need now, and we'll get those in a few days," said Dee Dee. She stopped at the door to the lab and keyed in the entry code. The door stayed locked. "What the heck? I know I haven't changed the codes recently. So much stuff has been happening, I've forgotten to do it
Dee Dee carefully punched in the five-digit code again, taking her time not to mistype a
key. The door stayed locked. "What the hell is going on here?"
"Looks like somebody's trying to make trouble here, and keep you out of your lab," said
Ebony. "But that won't keep us out for long. Luckily for us, I carry the keys to the kingdom
with me, wherever I go." Ebony produced her master key. "They can change the entry code as
many times as they want, but it won't make any difference to this little gem."
"I'm glad we had the foresight to have a backup like this, Ebony. I never thought we'd need it on the Island, but it's paying dividends now for us."
The door opened to Ebony's master key, and the two girls entered Dee Dee's lab. They walked into a scene of Barocca holding the laser pistol on Calista as she worked at the terminal.
Barocca turned around in shock. "Shit! What are the two of you doing back here?"
In her surprise, Barocca no longer held the laser pistol at Calista. She held it in her hand, at her side now.
"You took the words right out of my mouth, Barocca," retorted Dee Dee. "Just what do you think you're doing in my lab, damn it?"
"That's for me to know and you to find out...." Barocca had her hands on her hips now.
Behind her, Calista moved like a flash of lightning. Her hand clamped on Barocca's wrist,
and twisted hard, making her release the laser pistol.
"Ow!" exclaimed Barocca. "What the fuck..."
Calista now had her laser pistol back in her hand. She gave Barocca a vicious shove that sent her colliding into Jeanne.
"These two little traitors came in right after you left, Dee Dee," said Calista. "I'm
ashamed to admit it, but they caught me by surprise, and got the drop on me with my own
weapon.” She glared at Barocca, barely resisting the urge to inflict more v******e on her.
"For your information Barocca, the default setting on these is 'stun'. They can be set for lethal levels, but it's done manually, and that's more difficult than you think. But I wasn't going to take a chance and let you hit me in the head at point blank range, even on 'stun'. So I played along with you."
"All right, this explains a few things," muttered Dee Dee. "But what the hell were you and
Barocca trying to do with my computers?"
There was nothing but silence and a hateful glare from Barocca.
"Since she's not going to talk very much, I'll fill you in," said Calista. "She's got it in
her head that the software she originally stole could be used to transform herself and Jeanne so that they were the size of we Vectran girls. She's got all sorts of delusions of grandeur, but that was her plan in a nutshell."
Ebony and Dee Dee stared at Barocca in shock.
"Strictly on a theoretical basis, such a plan might work," continued Calista. "This older
software is capable of doing the job. But it's meant to work on Vectran physiology, not human. I really couldn't guarantee what would happen if she actually tried this out."
"You just referred to the older software," said Dee Dee. "I thought Rhiannon had it in her
possession, after we turned it over to her."
"That's right, Dee Dee. But Barocca somehow got it away from Rhiannon. She indicated she'd d**gged her wine, or done something to her, while they were alone. That's what she was
forcing me to use just now."
Calista strode over to the door. "I'm going to go find Rhiannon, and make sure that she's
all right. Dee Dee, Barocca f***ed me to start work on a program that would transform a per-son. It's on this computer now. My advice is to erase it, or format the hard drive, do whatever you want, but get rid of it. It's dangerous and untested.
"My other advice to you is to either carry out any discipline or punishment that you want on Barocca right away; or else get her off the Island some place. The rest of us will try and
calm Rhiannon down, once we find her. But if she gets her hands on Barocca, there may not be
anything left later on."
"All right, Calista," said Dee Dee. "Go find Rhiannon, and then we'll see if we can some-how straighten this mess out without bl**dshed. Since we're on an island, it's unlikely that
Barocca will be disappearing anywhere on us."
Calista glared at Barocca and Jeanne, and then left the lab.
"You know Barocca, I've got half a mind to just turn you two over to Rhiannon, and see what happens," said Dee Dee. "But Ebony's got a deeper and more personal claim to your ass, than anybody else. So we'll do what we can to save you for ourselves."
While Calista had been explaining things to Dee Dee and Ebony, Barocca had been whispering furtively to Jeanne, trying to form a last-ditch plan of escape.
"Well?" asked Ebony. "Don't you two little bastards have anything to say for yourselves?"
"Just this," Barocca growled. "Hit her high, and hit her low, Jeanne."
With that, Barocca and Jeanne did a repeat of their earlier actions, only this time they
were directed at Ebony. Without warning, they both lunged at Ebony.
"What the hell..." exclaimed Ebony as the two girls overwhelmed her, and they all went down on the floor.
"Barocca, have you flipped?" shrieked Dee Dee.
As before, Ebony's superior strength was quickly overcoming both Barocca and Jeanne. While she wasn't as strong as Calista, or the other Vectrans, the two girls were outmatched
against her. Ebony managed to raise herself to a semi-sitting position, while Jeanne held her legs. From here, she shoved Barocca bodily almost ten feet across the lab. Barocca collided with Dee Dee as she tried to regain her balance. Dee Dee grabbed Barocca's wrists and tried to restrain her.
"Barocca, you damned moron! Stop this at once!" screamed Dee Dee.
But Barocca's adrenaline was flowing strongly now, and she was able to take Dee Dee by surprise. "No fucking way, girl!" she yelled back.
Barocca yanked her wrists free from Dee Dee. "Get away from me!" She pushed Dee Dee hard against her shoulders.
Taken by surprise, Dee Dee stumbled backwards and lost her balance. Dee Dee fell heavily, and struck the back of her head against one of her machines.
Ebony briefly stopped her struggle with Jeanne, when she saw Dee Dee fall. "You bastard!" she shouted. "What did you do to her?"
Barocca felt a cold pit of fear in her stomach. Dee Dee had been one of Ebony's best friends on the Island, and now she may have seriously hurt her. The expression on Ebony's face told Barocca that she might not live to make it off the Island.
Suddenly, Jeanne cried out, "Barocca! Get out of here, and come back with the other girls to help! It's our only chance!" Jeanne knotted her arms and legs about Ebony's legs to prevent her from going after Barocca. When Ebony lunged out at Barocca, she was only able to reach a few feet, before she fell awkwardly on top of Jeanne.
The tangled plunge to the floor caused Ebony to land on top of Jeanne, briefly stunning her. Seizing the moment, Barocca grabbed the four CD's of the alien software, and dashed for the door. "I'll be back as soon as I can, Jeanne," she yelled as she left.
"Barocca, you fucking bitch, come back here!" shouted Ebony. "This isn't over yet!" But
Barocca was already out the door, and off running down the corridors.
Ebony pulled herself to her feet. The fall had stunned Jeanne, so that she was almost
u*********s, as Ebony fell upon her. Ebony could see her shaking her head, trying to regain
Ebony reached down with one hand, and grabbed Jeanne by the throat. Ebony hauled Jeanne up with one hand, so that she was looking directly into her eyes. Jeanne's legs flailed as she tried to find a footing. Her breath was cut off to a whimper as Ebony's hand clenched her
throat like a vise.
Ebony glared at Jeanne with pure hatred. "So help me, if the two of you have seriously hurt Dee Dee, I'm gonna break you in two, you fucking cunt!"
Ebony half-carried, half-shoved Jeanne to one of Dee Dee's machines. It was one of the
machines that had a padded backrest that was made so a girl could stand or lean back on it,
rather than lying down.
Ebony shoved Jeanne against the backrest. "Don't make a fucking move, or I swear I'll
rearrange your face right here and now girl!" Ebony waved her huge fist inches in front of
Fear and still not being completely recovered from the falls with Ebony made Jeanne as still as a statue. Ebony reached over to a control panel, and pressed a series of buttons. Small tabs opened on the edges of the backrest and in other places. Metal restraints hydraulically rose up through the padded surface of the table and encircling her legs at her ankles and her knees. Across her wrists, at her elbows and where her arm met her shoulder, another set of restraints had gripped her. A band of steel slowly came out from one side of her neck and settled into place across her neck.
"That's more like it," said Ebony. "I don't know everything about the machines in Dee Dee's lab, but she has shown me a few things. Now for the first time tonight, I'll know where you
Now Ebony turned her attention to Dee Dee. “I'm gonna take Dee Dee to the infirmary. While I'm gone, you'd better pray to God that she isn't seriously hurt.
"Once I get back, I'll decide just what I'm gonna do with you. You and Barocca are
definitely on my shit list, girl. I may wind up settling with you first, but Barocca's gonna feel my wrath soon too. Count on it."
Ebony went to a computer and sent an e-page to Tami, to meet her at the infirmary, as soon as possible. Because of the relatively small number of girls on the Island, it wasn't always
staffed around the clock, unless there was a need for it.
Ebony now moved over to Dee Dee, and picked her up in her arms. Dee Dee's breathing was shallow, but she was still u*********s. Ebony gently felt her head, and found a swelling
lump almost the size of a golf ball, beneath her hair, on the back of her head.
Then Ebony opened the door with one hand, and left with Dee Dee in her arms, as she hurried with her to the infirmary.
Ebony made her way quickly through the hallways, until she found the infirmary. Tami was there waiting for her.
"Ebony, my god, what happened?" asked Tami, as she saw her coming with Dee Dee in her arms.
"Dee Dee tripped and fell in her lab. She struck her head on the way down. Look, we'll get all the details sorted out later, Tami."
Ebony took Dee Dee to a bed, and laid her down on it. Tami began taking Dee Dee's pulse, and some other readings from her.
"Please tell me that she's gonna be all right, Tami."
"Her pulse and respiration are stable for her body condition right now, Ebony. She hasn't
suffered any bl**d loss, and I don't see any other signs of harm to her. She's lucky that she didn't hit her temple when she fell. A blow to the head is never trivial, but if there's a good place to get hit in the head, it's where it happened to Dee Dee."
"But isn't there anything else that we can do for her?"
"Well, I've got some smelling salts. Those might bring her around. If those don't work,
we'll have to consider evacuating her to a real hospital. Some of us have basic nursing skills, but Dee Dee was the real medical expert here on the Island."
Tami obtained some smelling salts from a supply cabinet on the other side of the room. She opened the packet, and waved them under Dee Dee's nostrils.
After a few moments, Dee Dee began to cough, and register dislike of the strong, acrid odor. She opened her eyes, and shook her head.
"Ebony, where am I?" She looked about the room. "What's Tami doing here?" Then the ache in her head made itself known to her, and Dee Dee grimaced. "What happened to me?"
Relief flooded over Ebony's features, as she saw Dee Dee still recognized other people. She clasped Dee Dee's hands in friendship.
"Barocca shoved you in your lab. You fell and struck your head."
"Oh, shit. Now I recall parts of what happened. Did Barocca get away?"
"I'm afraid so, Dee Dee. She took me by surprise when she shoved you, and Jeanne helped delay me, before I could stop her from escaping. Jeanne's tied up in your lab right now."
"I'm gonna have one heck of a headache for a while Ebony, but I think I'll be all right."
Dee Dee turned to Tami. "Get Clyda and Tiffany over here. We'll sound some type of alarm,
and post girls at all the exit doors. We'll make sure Barocca doesn't find a way to get off the Island."
"I'm glad you're gonna be okay, Dee Dee," said Ebony. "Call me on the cellular phone, when you know anything more, or when somebody corners Barocca. I'm gonna go back to your lab, and get some answers out of Jeanne."
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