Chapter 1: Chuck vs the Intersect
Echo Park, Los Angeles
“Chuck.” The voice seeps into his consciousness, distorted and unrecognisable.
“Chuck.” His eyes flicker open to a myriad images alternating in his vision through which is Morgan bending over him.
“Chuck, dude, are you OK?” Morgan helps Chuck sit up, “What happened?”
“I was gonna ask you the same question,” Chuck responds while looking past Morgan to his computer monitor that is now blank. As Morgan helps him to his feet he asks, “Did you spike the punch?”
“If something goes wrong you blame me; after all these years where’s the trust; yes I did.”
While Chuck showers he listens to the radio in the background; …watch out for delays near Burbank Airport security is checking…
Chuck sees a flash of images; apple pie, circuit board, patrol car, the freeway, images of LA.
It doesn’t make sense to him. He finishes showering, dries himself and makes sure his collar is dry; running his finger over the black leather of his collar he smiles at the thought of his Master, and reminds himself that his Master is due back from Washington tonight. He dresses for work and heads out to a waiting Morgan.
Chuck and Morgan walk out towards the car; Morgan is yammering on about Xbox game he was playing that morning, “Morgan, as much as I would love to talk video games with you right now I have a splitting headache… and you know what would you do me a favour and drive.” Chuck tosses the car keys to Morgan.
“Whoa, whoa… are you being serious?”
“It’s a company car, it’s no big deal.”
“It’s not just a company car, a hooptie’s a hooptie homeboy; this baby is sitting on chrome, or plastic.”
“Just do me a favour and stay off the five, the police are in a phased,” Chuck falters as he speaks, as if he can’t comprehend what he’s talking about, “deployment.”
Both Chuck and Morgan look around confused at Chuck’s comment; all Morgan can reply is, “Okay, thanks for the tip.”
Buy More, Burbank, Los Angeles
Chuck is standing in the centre of the Nerd Herd station at the Buy More; Anna is sitting on the counter to his right, her legs crossed over the front of the counter showing off her knee-high black laced-up boots. Jeff and Lester are to his left in front of the counter. Chuck is trying to explain to them about the new computer virus, the ‘Irene Demova Virus’, but Lester and Jeff keep interrupting asking about his collar locked tight around his neck, clearly visible above the collar of his shirt; and pointing out that he didn’t have the collar when he was last in the store four days ago.
“Will you two low-life shut up,” Anna suddenly interjects, “Chuck is trying to tell you how to serve our customers when they call about this virus; he is not tell you how well he served at his collaring; all naked and sweaty and bound spread out while is tight ass was spanked and paddled and flogged until he was allowed to spill…”
“Anna collared you?” an incredulous Jeff bemoans interrupting her, looking at Chuck wide-eyed; while Lester is leering between Chuck and Anna.
“No,” Chuck cries, disbelieving how this conversation has gotten so derailed, “Anna did not collar me. She and Morgan were at my collaring.” He hopes, but knows that Lester is not going to let it go, that is the end of it and they will get back to ‘Irene Demova’.
“So, what Dom finally persuaded you to submit again? Is she hot, foxy and young?” Lester tries to sound all smooth, breathy and seductive; to Chuck he sounds louche.
“I was collared by Lieutenant Colonel Master Gianni Federico di Marco,” Chuck acquiesces knowing that until he gives some information they are not going to give up, “He’s thirty three years old, which is young for a Lt Col apparently; and I wouldn’t describe him as foxy, roguishly wolfish though that doesn’t seem right either, but definitely hot.”
“I thought Masters and Mistresses could only force profiled slaves to submit to them, you were profiled sub right? Aren’t you now automatically re-profiled as a slave being collared by a Master?” asks Lester clearly panicked.
“He didn’t force me to submit to him, and he asked me if I wanted to contract to him; and no I am not re-profiled I am still a sub, except as he is a Master I am his slave…”
“But I thought you were straight?” Jeff butts in, “you were always talking about Jill, and checking out the hot female customers.”
“Clearly I’m not as straight as I thought I was; I just hadn’t met the right man before. Now, can we get back to ‘Irene Demova’ and other work related topics and save any more questions about my Master until break time?”
“At break I want to ask you what it’s like kissing him with his freakish teeth,” Anna slips in before Chuck can restart the virus topic.
“He doesn’t have freakish teeth,” Chuck has the scrunched up questioning face as he replies, “he just has enlarged canines. Now, ‘Irene Demova’, and yes Lester it is named after the Serbian porn star.”
As Chuck demonstrates the results of the virus his attention is taken by the news report on the TV screens behind him, he turns to see a news report of General Stanfield landing in LA; he again has flashes of images and as the images end he quietly says, “He’s already here, he landed last night.”
Anna leans over towards him asking, “Who’s already here Chuckles?”
Chuck turns back facing her, a look of confusion crossing his face, “I don’t know.”
Directorate of National Intelligence, Washington D.C.
Director Langston Graham, Brigadier General Diane Beckman and Major John Casey were talking in the remains of the Intersect room as Lt Col Master Gianni di Marco entered.
“General Beckman, Director Graham, Major Casey, good to find you all in one place…”
“How did you get in here? What are you doing here?” Both Director Graham and General Beckman interrupt, while Major Casey draws and aims his weapon. Master Gianni doesn’t flinch, just keeps walking towards them.
“I showed the two guards my badge and ordered them not disturb you with any communication of my arrival. Lt Col Master Gianni di Marco, Office of Special Tactics and Reconnaissance; we are taking over this investigation and…”
“What investigation do you think you’re taking over Colonel?” General Beckman intervenes.
“That’s Colonel Master, with all due respect General; and I’m taking over the investigation of Bryce Larkin’s theft of your data, destruction of your ‘Intersect’ computer and to whom he sent the email,” Master Gianni evenly replied, letting no emotion cross his face. From the information gathered before he arrived here, and the conversation he heard as he entered the room, he concluded that his Chuck was in danger and currently he wasn’t in LA to protect him.
“My superiors were confused by reports of the destruction of this ‘Intersect’ and the theft of the related data as they were unaware of there being an ‘Intersect’ project; given that Spectre has oversight of all intelligence projects that seemed most illogical.”
As Director Graham’s expression clouds over and General Beckman’s mouth pinches tight as if sucking on a lemon he quickly continues before they can interrupt, “However, some rechecking of accounting discrepancies that have never been satisfactorily answered seemed to relate to equipment that could be useful in holding ‘every scrap of information’ and correlating that data.”
With neither Director Graham nor General Beckman denying the project was omitted or that the accounts were irregular Master Gianni continued, “The Director of Spectre is expecting a full account of the project and clarification of the omission of the project previously; I am to report the results of my investigation directly to her.” Glancing at Major Casey the brief outline in his right jacket pocket is where Master Gianni presumed he had placed Bryce Larkin’s handheld that they were discussing when he entered; the handheld that had sent the email to Chuck.
Master Gianni reached into Major Casey’s pocket and took Larkin’s device, “I’ll have our tech team go over this device; and follow up the trace to LA.” He then turned and headed towards the exit.
General Beckman was still sending Major Casey to LA with instructions to retrieve the data and find out the recipient of the emails’ involvement before Spectre; she obviously thought he was outwith hearing range. He had to update the Director and get back to LA; get back to his Chuck before either the CIA or NSA.
Echo Park, Los Angeles
Chuck and Morgan are entering the complex discussing the day at Buy More.
“There was a time my friend when that Vicky Vale would have so been what you were looking for,” Morgan sighs slapping his palm against Chuck’s shoulder.
“That maybe my friend, but those days are past; and why are you following me home anyway?”
“Hey, because we’re buddies and we’re gonna do friend things and…and I need to use your computer ‘cause mine is still acting up on me.”
“Irene Demova,” Chuck laughs.
“So beautiful and so deadly.”
“Yeah,” Morgan and Chuck sigh together.
Chuck unlocks the door to the apartment and as he and Morgan enter they see a black clad figure with Chuck’s computer.
Master Gianni pulls up outside the apartment complex where Chuck is staying with his sister and her sub; he still wasn’t sure why she hadn’t collared him yet; as he locked his car there was the sound so screeching tyres and the roar of an engine. He checked the surroundings warily, and then made his way to their apartment.
Finding the door ajar he edges himself in to the sight of Chucks’ computer in pieces on the floor by a broken self and Morgan lying on top of Chuck, their heads in each other’s groin; thankfully both fully clothed.
Looking down at them he arches an eyebrow, “I am sure there is a perfectly logical explanation for such intimacy.”
The sudden panicked look on Chuck fades to a smile when he sees the threat of a grin at the corners of his Masters mouth and the teasing glint in his eyes, “Master; some guy was trying to steal my computer!” Remembering that the shelf Morgan erected collapsed with his computer on it Chuck turns over dumping Morgan on the ground, “My computer!”
“There was only the one would-be burglar?” Master Gianni asks wrapping his arms possessively around his slave. Morgan and Chuck look around disconcerted by the sudden thought that there could be someone else in the apartment; seeing their expression Master Gianni continues, “Stay here; I’ll check the other rooms, it’s unlikely there will be someone else if the guy you caught with the computer has already taken-off.”
As he returns to the room a few minutes later he is giving the address over his cell-phone. Disconnecting the call he turns to Chuck, “an officer will be here to take a statement, it looks like the nothing was disturbed other than your computer, go check the rooms to be certain. After the police are finished here we’ll take your computer and go to my apartment, you can leave a note for Ellie telling her you’re staying with me. You’ll be moving in permanently this weekend anyway.”
Chuck moves to check the rooms with a cheerful, “Yes Master.” Morgan following with a sheepish, “I’ll help you.”
After giving their statements to the police Chuck and Morgan collected the scattered components of the computer and took them out to Master Gianni’s car. Master Gianni decides they should get new locks for Ellie’s apartment and drives them back to the retail park; Morgan returns to the Buy More while Chuck goes to the Large Mart to look for replacement locks, Master Gianni tells him he’ll meet him in there.
Master Gianni leans against his car as he takes out his cell phone and hits speed-dial.
“Director Lawson, the computer is in pieces; someone tried to steal it.”
“No, I don’t think it was NSA as no-one was killed, so the CIA must have someone in place here too.”
“I’ll deliver the components to our tech team; they can see what they can recover.”
He disconnects the call and heads into the Large Mart after Chuck.
Chuck wander around trying to find where the right aisle when he stops to ask someone; when they guy turns around at his question another series of images flash in Chuck’s mind; apple pie, passport for Vuc Andric, General Stanfield, explosions. Chuck falters, the question dying on his lips.
“What do you want?” they guy demands in a heavily accented voice.
“Um, no, sorry; nothing, nothing at all,” Chuck stammers turning to walk past the man.
As Chuck walks away he turns to look as the man seems to be watching at him as he forebodingly handles a nail gun. Chuck runs. He turns at the end of the aisle and runs past the end of several aisles right into a Large Mart employee. He tries to explain there was a man; the man was looking to do something, she asks Chuck to describe him.
“Tall, kinda Terminator vibe, red hair, stubble…”
“Black leather jacket,” she interrupts.
“Like that guy?” she points to the guy laughing and joking with a cashier as he pays for tools he’s buying. The Large Mart employee walks off leaving Chuck looking at the man in confusion.
“What?” Chuck wanders out the store walking into his Master.
Master Gianni can clearly see something is concerning his slave, “What’s up Chuck? No locks?”
“No, it’s nothing…”
At his Masters ‘I do not believe a word you say’ raised eyebrow Chuck hesitates in his train of thought, “I think I’m going crazy.”
“In the car; call your boss and I’ll tell him you need the rest of the day off.”
Century Park Lane, Westwood - Century City, CA
They enter the top floor condo; stopping in the entrance hall; removing their shoes, placing them on the shoe rack. Master Gianni commands Chuck, “Strip,” before continuing across the oak flooring into the carpeted open plan space that has clearly delineated living, dining and kitchen areas. He reclines in one of the leather sofas.
Chuck strips, neatly placing his clothes in the closet by the shoe rack. He feels calmer now than he has all day; he need this, needed his Master to take control and guide him. He walks into the living area toward where his Master is seated on one of the sofas. His Master pats his lap indicating that Chuck is to sit there; as Chuck settles against his Master he feels his hands trail up and down his back and across his thigh.
“Let’s talk; tell me what’s worrying you Chuck; tell me why you think you’re going crazy.” Master Gianni wraps his arms around Chuck and pulls him close against him.
“It…” Chuck hesitates, not sure how to explain his day, “it started this morning, after Morgan woke me up, I was feeling disoriented and out of it.” Chuck tells his Master everything from the flashes of images in the shower listening to the radio, then at the Buy More when he saw the news report to the again at the Large Mart when he started to ask the guy if he knew which aisle the locks were in.
Master Gianni composes his expression; he feels he knows what these ‘flashes’ of images Chuck has seen are, “So this started this morning, and not last night?”
“Yes.” Chuck’s reply is barely a whisper.”
“What happened between last night and when Morgan woke you this morning?”
Chuck turns to face Master Gianni; his face showing the confusion and concentration as he tries to recall the details, “I was watching Morgan play on the XBOX in my room after the party; Morgan was asking inappropriate questions; then an email arrived, I was surprised because it was from Bryce Larkin; remember I told you about him, he and I were at Stanford together…”
“With Jill, I remember; and what else happened last night, did you read the email?”
“Yeah, it was a game that Bryce and I created at Standford, Zork, it started running, it was a text based adventure, I typed in the command to attack the troll with my nasty knife, then…” Chuck pauses, recalling that suddenly there were a myriad images flashing across his screen, “there was a lot pictures flashing on the screen; I must have blacked out because the next thing I recall is Morgan waking me.”
“Oh, oh no,” Chuck is panicking, “Bryce sent some sort of viral program and it’s frying my brain.”
“No Chuck,” Master Gianni pulls Chuck around so he is sitting on his lap facing him, Chuck’s knees either side of his legs, “Bryce sent you a classified program developed by the CIA and NSA.”
Chuck can’t decide if he really is crazy and making up this conversation in his head or if he’s entered the twilight zone. Chuck opens his mouth to say something, then half closes it in confusion, or disbelief; both expressions alternating as he tries to get his brain functioning, “What? Why? Why would he send me government secrets? How did he get government secrets, he’s an accountant? And how do you know all this?”
“We don’t know why he sent you the email. He wasn’t an accountant he was a CIA agent. I know all this because I work for the Office of Special Tactics and Reconnaissance; I am assigned to investigate and recover the information.”
“Bryce is a spy?” The incredulity obvious in Chuck’s voice, “You’re a spy; of spies? Why don’t you ask him?”
Master Gianni’s hands slide from Chuck’s hips up towards his chest, his fingers tightening around his nipples as he twists and pulls them towards him, “Firstly, that is ‘Why don’t you ask him…’”
“Master,” Chuck hisses as his eyes flutter, his hands flying to the back of the sofa to steady himself and his head falls forward; he can’t stop the moan escaping as he bites his bottom lip.
Master Gianni raises his head, placing his lips close to Chucks ear, “Good boy, I knew my loblu'taH toy'wI''a' wouldn’t forget whose collar he is wearing,” he purrs against him. He releases his nipples, slipping his arms around Chuck’s back, petting him; Bryce was a friend before he become Chuck’s ‘nemesis’, he’s not sure how Chuck will react.
“I can’t ask Bryce why he sent you the email Chuck, Bryce is dead.”
Chuck stills against him; the building arousal from his touch gone.
Master Gianni re-enters the condo, slips off his shoes and places them on the rack. He gave Chuck a mild sedative; then when he was asleep he slipped out to deliver the remains of Chuck’s computer; then he called the Director, he omitted some of the facts from his report. He didn’t reveal that Chuck had read the email, that he seems to have the intersect in his brain; he didn’t reveal that because he knows the NSA and CIA will then try to lock Chuck up in some secure location away from his family and friends, away from him. No one is taking his Chuck away from him; once he knows how to achieve that with them knowing then he’ll let them know; maybe.
Entering the lounge Chuck is pacing back and forth; he has a small white plastic card with a magnetic strip on one side and a blue insignia on the other. Master Gianni pales when Chuck holds the card up, “What’s ‘Project Transgenic’, and why is my father’s name connected to it?”
Chapter 2: Awakenings
Master Gianni and Chuck begin to discuss Stephen Bartowski's involvement with Project Transgenic
I have in my head how I want this story to develop, but I'm not getting that vision on the page exactly how I want.
Nobody has proofed this.
July 1985 – The Centre, Lancaster, Los Angeles, CA
His eyes flew open in panic; he thrashed at the structure encasing him. He couldn’t catch his breath; his body was fully immersed in a fluid. Something grabbed him, several things; his mind began to process what his luminous green eyes were seeing. Hands, arms, people. There were people grabbing him; trying to stop him getting out of the fluid. There was a sudden sharp pain in his neck; his sight blurred and he collapsed into darkness.
September 2007 - Century Park Lane, Westwood - Century City, CA
“That is my first clear memory; waking in a tank, submerged in some liquid; not knowing who I was, what I was, or what was happening to me.”
Chucks eyes are wide, horrified. Master Gianni takes a step towards, to hold him and comfort his slave. Chuck recoils from him; his Chuck flinched from him. Master Gianni knows his shock and pain at the rebuff is clear on his face. Chuck has never retreated from his touch. The ache he feels at rejection makes him start; it’s like Chuck ripped a part of him away leaving a gaping wound.
And he doesn’t know how to fix it; to fix them.
Chuck can’t believe how lost his Master looks; he’s always sure of himself and his actions. It was his own shocked reaction that caused the doubt, and fear, Chuck realises; he knows he has to do something; he has to reassure his Dom, his Master that this, whatever this is, is not a problem. Master Gianni starts to back away from Chuck as Chuck grabs is arm, “Please, explain this to me; are you telling me that you’re not human? You’re some sort of super-soldier that the government created in some experiment? And how was my father involved?” Chuck can’t stop as one question cascades after another from him; his brain firing off in every direction.
At Chucks touch and questioning look the self-assured commanding Gianni returned; and Chuck is relieved, he didn’t like the thought of his Master being unconfident and uncertain; and Chuck realises that he was still thinking of him as his Master.
“No, I’m not human; at least not entirely.” Master Gianni moved to the sofa to sit, indicating for Chuck to sit beside him. Chuck knew that that wasn’t what he, nor his Master needed; right now he needed to show he was still his Masters’ submissive, he still wore Master Gianni’s collar and was still his ‘Obedient Slave’; so he decided to do what he and his Master needed; he moved in front of his Master and fell to his knees, hands clasped behind his back as if bound together.
With Chuck’s show of submission, kneeling there before him, he let out a breath he hadn’t realised he was holding; the image took him back to less than forty-eight hours ago when Chuck last knelt before him, his eyes glassy and unfocused, his lips swollen and locked tight around his hardness. Master Gianni looked into Chuck’s eyes; he was sure Chuck still wanted to be his sub, but for once his certainty was not resolute; was he only seeing what he wanted to?
“So, how much is in there about the project?” Gianni asks tapping his index finger against Chucks’ head.
Chuck thought for a moment, remembering what had come to his mind when he found the key-card in the bedside table drawer when he was looking for aspirin.
“Project Transgenic, 1977-1987; joint services collaboration and personnel; research into improving field operative performance utilising technology and data recovered by ‘Area-52’,” Chuck looks thoughtful, then turns to face Master Gianni asking, “I’ve heard of Area-51, what’s ‘Area-52’?”
“Everybody has heard of Area-51.”
“Are you going to tell me anything about this project and how my dad was involved?” Master Gianni quirked his eyebrow in that manner that told Chuck he didn’t think Chuck was being as respectful as a good submissive should, “Master,” Chuck quickly added.
“Tell me what you know first and then I’ll answer your questions.”
Chuck focused his thoughts on the key-card, the information relating to the project flashed in his mind, “Project Transgenic initiated 1977 with the objective to create superior military personnel; the augmented humans were to possess enhanced strength, speed, agility, reflexes, durability, stamina, and coordination. After the activation of Area-52 and the inauguration of the Office of Special Tactics and Reconnaissance, other service branches became involved, including the CIA, NSA and OSTR or Spectre if you prefer. The augmented human abilities aimed for were expanded to include accelerated healing and metabolism, enhanced eyesight and hearing, enhanced immune system, eidetic memory, and genius level IQ.” Chuck looked at Master Gianni anxiously; waiting for him to explain what it meant to them, and how his father was involved.
Master Gianni paused before he started, his mouth opening and closing.
“Please Gianni,” Chuck begged; his brown sad puppy eyes pleading for answers.
“Are there any other names connected to the project that you know?” Master Gianni asks as he works through just how much he can tell Chuck, based on what the Intersect has already supplied.
Chuck lets out an impatient sigh as his eyes track up and to the right recalling details, “Director of the programme, Miranda Lawson; Oversight Advisory Observer Dr Sydney Green; the head Geneticist, Dr William Raines; and Lead Technician Dr Stephen Bartowski seconded to this project from the Directorate of Science and Technology.”
“See, you already know how …”
“I don’t know; I have the job title he had but I don’t know what he did; how he was involved or how it connects to you or the email Bryce sent,” Chuck explodes, breaking from his position and standing over Master Gianni shouting down at him. Master Gianni rises from the sofa to stand in front of Chuck.
“I’m sorry; I don’t know why I... I’ve just been edgy all day, with the ‘flashes’, then the key-card and my father being involved…” the apology and stream of excuses flow from Chuck as he stands with his hands clasped behind him, his eyes downcast fixed to a point on the floor; resolutely not making eye contact with Master Gianni, not looking to see the disappointment that his outburst has caused.
“Quiet.” Master Gianni didn’t raise his voice, didn’t shout, he just stated; and Chuck obeyed. “First we need to settle you down; then we’ll talk about Transgenic Project and what I know of your fathers’ involvement, and then we’ll deal with the flashes that have gotten you riled up. Are we clear?”
“Gianni...” Master Gianni’s hand grasps the back of Chucks’ neck, just above his collar silencing him.
“Chuck, you need this.”
“Yes Master.” Chuck knows he needs this; needs his Master to guide him, calm him.
“Good; then let’s get you over my knee.”
As Chuck lays himself across Master Gianni he is already starting to harden; he knows a sound spanking normally settles him; the spanking isn’t a punishment it is something Master Gianni enjoys giving him as much as Chuck enjoys receiving from him, but he probably isn’t going to be allowed an orgasm, that will be the punishment.
Chuck is kneeling on the floor; his reddened and sore ass resting against his heels, his arousal hard and his head leaning back against Master Gianni’s knee. His eyes are a little unfocused as he floats on the edge of his subspace. He feels light, the weight of the days’ events lifted from him; his Master taking care of him. His Master was right, as he knew he was; he needed this.
Chuck is brought back to awareness by his Masters’ voice, “So, Project Transgenic and your father’s involvement.”
“Miranda Lawson, Programme Director; I can’t say I ever knew exactly what she did on the project, other than make sure that it was running to schedule and budget.”
“Dr Sydney Green, Oversight Advisory Observer; his title I think was a misnomer. He did more than observe. He would arrive with scenarios, mostly combat related but not always, and I was to devise the best option to secure the desired outcome; could be anything from removing a single target with no other casualties, quickest solution for a win at any cost, or win with the least casualties. Sometimes I would see on the news a report that looked a lot like one of the scenarios he had asked me about previously.”
“Dr William Raines, Lead Geneticist; using technology and data from Area-52 he devised the genetic experiments aimed at delivering the augmented humans the project was initiated for. The results based on the splicing of RNA from ‘Felidae’ and ‘Homo sapiens’ were the most promising. Especially the one based on the melanistic strain of Panthera Tigris, T57931, me. Dr Raines was also responsible for testing the physical results of his genetic experiments to ensure the aims of the project were being achieved; accelerated healing and enhanced immune system. I quickly grew to hate that man.”
Master Gianni is combing the fingers of one hand through Chuck’s hair; the other hand cups his chin while the thumb caresses his cheek, “And Dr Stephen Bartowski, Lead Technician,” Chucks’ eyes snap open at the mention of his father.
Master Gianni continued, “During my seventeen months at the Centre I spent more time with him than any other of the specialists testing me. We’d play Raumschach, I’d win, and eat cheese puffs or there would be other tests of an academic nature; things that being less than a year old, or more accurately out of the gestation tank for less than a year, I shouldn’t know; but I do know and I look more like an eleven or twelve year-old.”
His fingers are still combing through Chucks’ hair and caressing his cheek, “So we’d talk, play chess or more often Raumschach, the tests with him were all about my ability to analyse and problem solve; but they all seemed more like games, and I enjoyed them; and I enjoyed the cheese puffs. Though some of them were more obviously project tests; like stripping down an assault rifle, or a sidearm, and reassembling it.”
“What did you talk about?” Chuck suddenly asks.
“Books I’d read, shows I’d watched on TV; you already know I prefer Star Trek to Star Wars, and Master Spock and his sub Captain Kirk to Mistress Leia and her sub Hans Solo, but we would talk about why I preferred them, what it was that I liked or disliked.” Master Gianni stares ahead of him, recalling the conversations with Stephen Bartowski, “I think it was just a different form of test. All of you father’s work on the project was related to my mind; what I knew, how quickly I learned, how I solved problems, strategized. But I liked working with him, and not just because it meant I wasn’t ‘working’ with Raines.”
“You said that Dr Raines tested the physical results, the accelerated healing and immune system; how?” Chuck asks remembering Master Gianni’s earlier comment; the fingers stopped moving though his hair; stopped caressing his cheek. Master Gianni stilled, Chuck turned to face him, taking his hands in his.
“The faint white scars on your chest; they are three diagonal lines perfectly parallel to each other; they are a result of Dr Raines tests aren’t they?”
Chapter 3: Recollections
Maste Gianni recalls some of the 'tests' performed on him at the Centre.
September 2007 - Century Park Lane, Westwood - Century City, CA
Chuck finds himself looking into his Masters’ eyes and seeing that slightly lost and unsure man looking back at him. He wants to take the question back, to not have asked about something that clearly still unsettles his Master; but then his Master starts to answer, “I remember the first day he came into my room. I was out of the tank for less than ninety days, yet looked like an eleven or twelve year old…”
September 1985 – The Centre, Lancaster, Los Angeles, CA
Dr Raines walks into the small box room assigned to 59731; the guard closes the door from outside the room. 59731 is sitting on the metal frame single bed against the wall on the right side of the room; he looks up from the book he is reading 'Solution Three' by Naomi Mitchison, carefully watching Dr Raines as he walks to the table at the far end of the room from the door and places a black bag on it.
“Strip,” Raines commands, 57931 ignores him and returns his attention to the book.
“Bartowski may allow you leeway; you will however find that I expect obedience and immediate compliance with an order. Put down the book you are so engrossed in and strip.” Raines is barely concealing rage as his voice increases in volume.
“I am not engrossed in the book; the writing style is difficult and there are too many sentences with awkward syntax, there could be interesting ideas, but they are lost in the oblique prose,” 57931 curtly replies, continuing, “everyone else has explained what they are here for, and what they are testing for. None of them have required me to be naked, if you were to clarify the purpose of the tests you plan to perform and why I need to remove my clothing I may be more co-operative.”
57931 feels the sharp sting to his arm; and looking down sees the small dart, his head feels heavy and his eyes are hard to focus. He looks across to Raines and sees him holding a small gun.
“I don’t need you to be co-operative; it would merely have saved some preparation time. Now I’ll need to wait on you waking before I can begin.” Raines places the gun back in the black bag and starts to walk towards 57931 as he slips into the dark of unconsciousness.
57931 startled awake to the burning sensation on his right arm and the smell of vinegar.
“A pity to blemish such perfect skin, on something that almost looks human,” Raines smiled down on him. “After all,” Raines continues to himself, “with those elongated canines and slightly pointed ears, you do look quite alien.”
“Hydrofluoric Acid causes severe burns; so we will see how quickly your accelerated healing works on such acute dermal damage.” Raines turned from him and returned the vial he was holding to the black bag.
57931 attempted to raise his arm, but found he was cuffed, and chained, to the bed. Looking down across his body he saw Raines had removed all his clothing. Thick leather cuffs restrained his arms and legs to the bed; solid chains connected to the D-rings in the leather. Raines returned to his side, leering down at him; as Raines’ fingers brush across his skin 57931 can see a flicker in his eyes, a dark glimmer of what is about to happen to him.
“Such smooth, soft skin; such perfection, a pity to have to mark it; but it shouldn’t be until you heal,” Raines voices softly, almost to himself; 57931 can smell Raines’ arousal, and see the dilation of his eyes. 57931 pulls at the restraints trying to free himself to no avail.
“I wouldn’t do that; I may unintentionally cause unplanned damage, and that could skew the results of the test,” Raines reprimands him, licking his dry lips before continuing, “Besides, the sedative based on chloral hydrate will not be entirely out of even your system yet; so you will still be slightly groggy.”
Raines’ smiled lasciviously down at him and calmly asked, “Now, shall we see how well you heal deep tissue bruising,” as he slips is hands into the black leather gloves.
Sometime later 57931 winces in pain as he awakens and moves on the bed. Raines must have drugged him again; he’s alone in the room now and can move, the restraints removed from his wrists and ankles but he is still naked.
He moves over to the mirror by the dresser. His face is undamaged, but his chest and torso are a mass of yellowish-purple marks and long cuts; his right arm blistered and burned from the acid. All the marks are on areas that will be hidden by his clothing.
57931 knows that for his safety he needs to plan a way to remove Raines and his tests from the agenda; or escape.
September 2007 - Century Park Lane, Westwood - Century City, CA
“How could my father be part of that?” Chuck exclaimed, staring at his Master in disbelief.
Master Gianni looked down at Chuck kneeling before him, “Your father was not part of any of the ‘testing’ carried out by Raines; he helped me the day I finally escaped.”
Chucks’ brow crinkled with that quizzical look he normally saved for Jeff or Lester, “Can I ask what happened?”
“Shortly after Raines had started his ‘assessments’…”
Before Master Gianni finishes his sentence Chuck interrupts, “you mean abuse!” At the pointed look from his Master he finishes with a whisper, “I’m just saying.”
Master Gianni continues, “As I was saying; shortly after Raines started your father managed to stop the experiments that Raines was carrying out. However, that proved to be short lived as Raines was able to get permission to restart a year later.”
“By that time I had access to the computer systems, ostensibly to help me with the simulations for Sydney Green; with that I had managed to access the system partitions containing the notes and reports on the project. From those I worked out how to access the systems controlling the remaining eleven gestation chambers where the other feliniods where being grown.”
“When I knew that Raines was going to make another visit I arranged a distraction; I timed the other tanks to open and release the others so the guards would be called to the biotech labs leaving no-one outside the room when Raines visited…”
December 1986 – The Centre, Lancaster, Los Angeles, CA
57931 is sitting at the computer in his room going through the controls for the artificial gestation chambers, he has been planning for a week now; waking the others is the first step. He has known that it would not be long before Raines started ‘testing’ him again; he has just entered the control room. 57931 switches the TV to a regular channel; he quickly keys the sequence to the fluid controls to 57933-57942 that will allow them to awaken; T57932 contains the female black tiger feliniod like himself, he has not included that tank in the sequence.
As he keys the sequence it occurs to him that his ‘awakening’ could not have been accidental; and that Raines was the one in charge of the biological development. He logs off from the computer and sits on the bed as if he had been watching the TV screen as Raines and one of the guards enter his room.
“Time for us to get reacquainted,” Raines sneers as he smirks down at 57931, “I have some more challenging tests for you.”
The tone and infliction of the words are not lost on 57931. He rises from the bed and follows Raines, the guard taking point behind him. Once they are in the room Raines uses for ‘testing’ he lays out a series of blades on a table, and a small vial of liquid.
The command is not unexpected; 57931 slowly moves to comply. He has only taken of his shirt when the acrid smell of the liquid from the now open vial assaults his sense of smell. Neither the guard nor Raines seem aware of it; Raines is applying the liquid to one of the blades. 57931 toes his sneakers off as alarms sound. 57931 feels the surge through his body preparing for attack; he tries to remain impassive, to look resigned.
“Go see why the alarms are sounding,” Raines orders the guard as he studies the display of the half-naked youth before him. The guard looks to question his directive until the scowl from Raines convinces him to obey; as the door closes behind him 57931 strikes.
As he leaps forward Raines seems to move in slow motion; 57931 brings one foot down on Raines chest knocking him back, as the other foot kicks the arm hold the blade causing Raines to drop it. As Raines crashes onto his back 57931 drops to the floor and picks up the blade, pouncing onto Raines prone body he slices the blade across his throat; severing the carotid artery on both sides. The metallic tang confronts his senses and he hears the low warning growl he realises he is emitting. His eyes locked on the details of the spray of blood, and shocked expression in Raines dimming eyes.
September 2007 - Century Park Lane, Westwood - Century City, CA
Chuck is still; kneeling in front of Master Gianni who has been silent since describing how he killed Raines. It seems to Chuck to have been a long silence, but is probably only minutes, and he needs to fill it, to find out what happened next, how his father was involved…
Master Gianni lifts his gaze to Chuck, “So…” he starts. “I wiped off what blood I could, I hadn’t realised there would be so much, searched Raines body for the key-card to activate the door and made my way into corridor.”
“Eventually made my way to the control room; your father was there, and Ms Lawson; together they got me out and arranged ‘death’. Your father arranged my adoption to the di Marco’s and Ms Lawson arranged the documentation that made it look as though I was in witness protection; having witnessed the death of my ‘parents’.”
“What happened to the others? The ones you let free from the tanks?” Chuck suddenly asks.
Master Gianni’s expression clouds as he answers, “I later learned that they were all ‘terminated’; I what was left of the centre was rocked by explosions killing everyone left inside.”
Master Gianni interrupts Chucks next question, “Enough for now; it’s getting late and we should head out for some food.” He smirks at Chuck continuing, “It should be fun watching you sitting on a hard restaurant chair on your well spanked arse.”
Chapter 4: Irene Demova saves the day
I'm not really happy with how this chapter turned out; and I may re-write it later. I kinda got taken over by the Teen Wolf story I was writing, and my head is still working through plots for that, but I thought I had left this for longer than I should. So, for what it's worth, this is the final chapter for this story.
The steam clings to the tiles of the bathroom wall; cooling, then running down to collect on the tiled floor. The whole bathroom is filled with the steam; even though they are enclosed in the large double shower cubicle. The hot water cascading over them as Chuck lathers the shower gel on to Master Gianni’s chest; lost in thought as his gaze constantly returns to scars hidden amongst the dark chest hair.
Master Gianni had intended to bring to an end their earlier conversation, at least for the day, but it is clearly still on his subs mind; and he wants to get out of the shower before their skin starts to resemble prunes, and get to the restaurant for some food.
“I think you’ve washed that same spot five or six times now Chuck,” he startles his sub from his thoughts, “what’s on your mind?”
“I want to call the submissive Dominant Testing Centre and ask for my sadomasochist assessment results, and I want to be re-assessed,” Chuck nearly runs the words one into the other without pause.
Master Gianni finishes rinsing the remains of the shower gel from them and turns off the water, “OK.”
“Just OK, you’re not going to ask why?” Chuck looks into his Masters’ eyes, sees the raise of his eyebrows in that what have you forgotten Chuck silent question before he adds, “Sir.”
“If you want to be re-assessed we can arrange that; the results will be sent to me as your registered Dominant,” Master Gianni replies opening the shower door and pointedly tilting his head in the direction of the towel.
“The new results will come with the previous results mentioned,” Master Gianni continues as Chuck dries the remaining moisture from him with the towel, “and if you want to tell me why you want retested you can.” Chuck finishes drying his Master before drying himself.
As they are getting dressed Master Gianni can see that the root of whatever has made Chuck decide he wants re-assessed is still playing on his mind; he has Chuck kneel before him as he sits on the edge of their bed.
“Okay Chuck, it clearly is bothering you; so tell me.”
“Before, with Jill, I was always wary about receiving any kind of pain; and then at the end I hated it and the thought of being flogged, or paddled, terrified me. You,” Chuck falters thinking back to the abuse that caused the light scars on his Dom’s body; scars that are only light because of the
genetically enhanced healing, he takes a breath and re-starts, “you burned, and beaten and cut; and you hated it then, and still now, you’re not a masochist…”
“No Chuck,” Master Gianni interrupts, “I was assessed a sadist.”
“Yes, and I, well since submitting to you I’ve gotten,” Chuck can feel the heat of the blush work its way up his body, “I’ve gotten to like when you spank me, or paddle me or flog me.” His voice is barely a whisper by the end.
“Chuck, are you concerned that I’ll go further than you want to, that I’ll hurt you like Jill did?” Master Gianni can’t keep the worried edge from his voice.
“No, no, nothing like that,” part of Chuck wishes that he hadn’t brought it up, that his Dom was not so observant and noticed something else was on his mind; other than the government secrets now in his head and the strange memories they have triggered throughout the day.
“I’m not worried that you’ll hurt me like Jill did, I’m worried that I might not be able to go far enough with that for you.”
The relief is evident on Master Gianni’s face as a sly smile breaks, “That really isn’t an issue Chuck; you already go far enough for me.” He pulls Chuck up beside him and leaning in towards him caresses their lips together.
“Now, before we starve to death. We’ll take the Vantage.”
Parking the Aston Martin outside the restaurant Gianni notices the black van pull over on the other side just around the corner. Later when leaving the restaurant the van is still there, from the exhaust he can tell that its engine is running.
As he unlocks the V8 he turns to Chuck, “Chuck, quickly in the car.” The black van is speeding towards them as Gianni puts the V8 in reverse and speeds the wrong way down the street; attention directing between the van speeding towards them in front, and the other traffic they are driving towards coming from behind.
“Oh my God, oh my God,” Chuck is panicking beside him, “this is related to the email Bryce sent isn’t it?”
“Yes Chuck, they are either CIA or NSA, trying to cover up their project that they kept from SpecTRe. Now, look behind us and tell me when to turn.”
The black van was actually gaining on them, with Gianni not taking the sports car flat out, when Chuck shouts, “Left in five seconds.”
Gianni reverse the car left and they find themselves going backwards down a flight of steps; there isn’t room for the bulkier van to pass the concrete plant pots at the top.
“I meant my left actually.”
“Too late now.”
The car spins and skids to a halt in the middle of the street. Gianni opens the glove compartment and takes something out; Chuck can see that under his jacket he is wearing a holster. As they are about to move again the black van slams into the side of the car, spinning it.
Master Gianni and Chuck exit the remains of the car, and they begin to run down the street; the black van turning in pursuit. Chuck trips, the van ignores Chuck and keeps heading towards Gianni; Chuck cries out, “Gianni lookout!”
Gianni notices the row of concealed barriers set into the road, and the release mechanism at the station on his left. He throws one small steel ball, one of the objects that he retrieved from the glove compartment, at the windshield of the van causing it to fracture and obscure the view and another at the release mechanism; triggering the barrier to raise as the van speeds into it.
Chuck runs towards crashed van and where Gianni was standing, “Gianni, Gianni…”
Master Gianni is on his mobile, “Spectre di Marco for emergency air evac on my location.” He turns to Chuck, “someone is forgetting themselves, or looking for another spanking when we get home.”
“Sorry Sir, yes sir,” Chuck replies with a grin. Gianni can say the fear behind his eyes; this situation is way out of Chucks’ comfort zone.
Gianni grabs Chucks’ arms and steers them towards the flight of stairs for the parking garage; they run to roof. Casey arrives shortly after they do; Gianni has his gun drawn and places himself in front of Chuck, whose looking out across at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel.
“Stand down Major, you’re making a mistake,” Gianni says to Major Casey, he can see the CIA agent Walker move stealthily up the stairwell behind Casey.
“Sir,” Chuck intercedes, “there’s a bomb in that hotel, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, where the General is.” Walker and Casey both aim their guns in Chuck and Gianni’s direction.
“Explain Chuck,” Gianni instructs him.
“There was a Serbian demolitions expert at the Large Mart earlier, the NSA intercepted blueprints of a hotel, that hotel, and that the CIA intercepted schematics for a bomb in Prague and that the bomb is in the that hotel.”
“He wasn’t working with Bryce; he opened the email Bryce sent him. Now all your secrets are in his head.” Gianni continues, “So, either you come along and help us stop a bomb going off or I leave your bodies here to be collected.”
Gianni, Chuck, Casey and Walker race to the hotel; Chuck leads them through the corridors to the conference room where the General is at the podium; there is no sign of the Serbian demolition expert, but Chuck spots the bomb.
“This is a Prism Express laptop. We sell this at our store; it has a DOS override. I can disable this.”
Chuck bring up the DOS window and initiates an internet search for Irene Demova; clicking on the link the virus installs and brings the computer down; stopping the bomb.
“I did it, I stopped a…” the reality of the situation suddenly hits Chuck, “a real live bomb.”
“Yes Chuck you did,” his Dom ruffles his hair, smiling down at him. Gianni walks over to the side talking into his phone.
“What if I had been wrong,” Chuck is looking nauseous.
“Don’t puke on the C-4,” Casey says walking away, taking out his phone. Walker is already on her phone. Each agent fighting for control of him; Chuck hopes his Master wins.
Master Gianni indicates for Chuck to stay kneeling by the diffused bomb; Chuck really wishes someone would take it away.
Master Gianni walks over to a corner and is followed by Casey and Walker.
“Just so we are clear Major Casey, Agent Walker; your departments were involved in a project that was not cleared by the Oversight Committee; when your rogue agent stole the information your departments tried to keep that fact from the Oversight Committee; then when I was investigating the incident you were both involved in clandestine investigation in direct opposition to my own despite the knowledge that your departments were specifically told not to.” Master Gianni’s voice is even, calm and low.
“Chuck Bartowski is mine. He was before the email from Larkin and still is.” Master Gianni barely keeps the smirk from showing, “Your departments have now agreed that any access to Chuck is through me. When they have their proposals I, as Chucks registered Dominant, will have veto of any plan I don’t approve of. You can both return to Washington, or wherever your next assignment is. Dismissed.”
Master Gianni turns and walks away, “Come on Chuck, time to go home.” He turns to Casey and says, “Oh yes, you owe me an Aston Martin Vantage V8, in red.”
Chuck follows his Dom, smiling knowing that Master Gianni will keep him safe.