Petunia woke up in bed, in a large, shared bedroom with about a dozen other naked, thin young women like her, as well as two naked men. Most of them were either black, southeast Asian, Latin American, or aboriginal. She still felt a little doped-up, as all the others felt, but the drugs used on all of them the night before, to help them sleep, were wearing off.
When they all got out of bed, they were made to stand beside their beds, bent over and with their legs wide apart. A green Creep was on the floor between the feet of each person, who then felt it race up his or her leg and into her vagina, or his anus. They all got a jolt from this intrusion, and continued shaking for about half a minute, then the drug inside the Creep had its effect, and they all calmed and became docile and passive. They felt a lulling, massaging effect throughout their bodies; what they saw before themselves seemed wavelike, the colours tending toward turquoise. It was like walking at the foot of the ocean. They seemed to breathe water.
A pretty, twenty-year-old blonde with hair just over her shoulders, Petunia had creamy, smooth skin, blue eyes, and small but firm breasts. She’d had her pubic hair removed just before being taken here, to Capitol. She was a sexy little pixie, but she’d never wanted to be sexy for the staff of this hell of a whorehouse.
Capitol was set up by the captors of all these naked women and men, about five women for each man. Petunia and the others left their bedroom and went into a large cafeteria for breakfast, eating with a few dozen other naked women and men. She sat at a table with three men and four other women. She didn’t know any of them; she had to sit at a seat with her name on it. No one ever sat in the same place with the same people; the Capitol staff didn’t want them to develop strong friendships with anybody.
The people at her table, nonetheless, were engaged in a conversation; they were fighting against the lulling effects of the drug they’d just been given. Still, as energetic as they tried to be, they had to keep their voices down, for microphones and cameras were picking up on everything they said and did; and if any of them said something the Capitol staff heard, one of those killer Creeps might crawl inside her or him…as with Frank.
“Did anyone…try to escape…last night?” a woman asked in a droning voice, her eyes half closed.
Petunia was too afraid to say anything. Also, she was peaking from the high of the Creep drug.
“I heard…a few screams,” a man sitting beside the woman said, in a similar monotone, and with similarly heavy eyes. “Maybe I was dreaming, but I also heard…some shuffling overhead, in the tunnels. Somebody…did try to get out. But, I think, only tried.”
Petunia shuddered at the memory his words evoked, but she still wouldn’t say a word; even if she hadn’t been high, she wouldn’t have said anything. She just pretended to ignore what he said.
“Have any of you…ever wondered…about the colours…of those things?” another woman asked, one sitting beside Petunia. “I’ll bet…the different colours…have a meaning.”
“Like, the blue ones…are a drug…to knock us out…and the yellow ones…kill you?” the man asked. “That’s what I think…The yellow ones…are the lethal ones. Watch out…for those.”
“Keep your voices down,” a woman sitting on the other side of Petunia said. “Remember, they’re listening…to everything…we say.”
Suddenly, an announcement was made over the intercom: “Well, one man got lucky last night. Frank Bender escaped.”
Frank? Petunia thought; the guy crawling in back of me, the one who got killed by the Creeps—wasn’t his name Frank? Was what happened last night a dream, were there two Franks escaping with me, or am I hearing lies?
“What makes you think…the colours…of the Creeps…have a…special meaning?” the first woman asked.
“I tried escaping…about a month ago,” the man whispered. “I looked…behind me…when I heard…the screeching sound…they make…I saw…blue and yellow ones…A woman…crawling in front of me…got a yellow one…up her asshole…I saw her shaking…as if she were…burning inside…She fell…I touched her chest…No heartbeat…I heard no breathing…she was dead…Then a blue one…got in my ear…I felt high, then lost consciousness…The next morning, I was eating breakfast…like right now, still as high…as we all are now.”
“Did anyone here…try to escape…last night?” the first woman asked.
“Yeah,” Petunia said. “But I’m not…trying that again.”
“Maybe not,” he said. “But we should…all organize…a union…of some kind, and plan…to break out of here.”
“Shut up!” whispered the woman who told him to be quiet before. “They’ll hear!…You’ll get…us all killed…They’ll sic…the yellow ones on us…one of these nights.”
“They’ll kill us all…sooner or later…anyway,” he whispered. “When we get too old, and we no longer…make a profit for them.”
“Keep quiet,” she warned again.
“Stop the chatter!” the voice over the intercom said.
Petunia remained quiet, as did the others, for the rest of mealtime. If only some people outside could organize a union of some kind, and plan to break us all out of here, she thought.