by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 10


The following day, wrought iron gates with palm-print locking were erected, isolating the women's floor from both the reception lounge and the men's gymnasium. Hylas explained to the women it was for added security. To his relief they were pleased and didn't press the matter.

Shortly before the evening session on the following day, a phone call informed Arnold that a helicopter would be landing on the roof in a few minutes, so it must remain empty of humans. The inspectors would meet Arnold in the office shortly after landing.

With Arnold occupied and the other six trainers away, the four remaining had their work cut out. After telling the women they would be inspected by officers from JECHIS, Hylas and Robert remained with them, calming fears and telling them to act normally. Upstairs, Fidel and Bart explained the situation to the men, convinced them to speak only when spoken to, always agree, and carry on as normal.

At that moment the helicopter landed on the roof, causing windows to rattle and hearts to beat faster. A few minutes later, three men in grey jumpsuits and canvass boat shoes without socks entered the office. A swarthy, athletic and aggressive male with dark eyes, hollow cheeks, neatly trimmed black beard, thin lips and an interestingly hooked nose, offered his right hand as if expecting to have it kissed.

Arnold shook it. 'Welcome, I'm Arnold.'

'I know who you are. I'm Tom. That's Dick.' He indicated a sallow, scrawny fellow with a broad nose, thick lips, hooded eyes and bushy black beard. 'And that's Harry.' Harry was blessed with sparse light brown hair and beard, porcine nose and fleshy lips. He wasn't fat, but didn't look as lean and hard as his companions. Neither Dick nor Harry offered to shake hands.

Arnold guessed they were nearer forty than thirty. 'How did you find your way here from the roof so quickly?' he asked in genuine surprise.

'You have an excellent wireless video security system that is connected to your computers, which are connected to the Internet. We know everything about this building and it's layout, you, your clients, your program and finances.'

'I'm impressed.'

'You should be worried,' he responded with a sneer, walking up to the video monitor consoles and shutting the entire system down. 'While we check to see if this place will be useful to JECHIS, and conforms to its standards of decency, you will return to your duties. We will meet you and your trainers here after the session.'

'Yes, sir.'

'We'll visit the females first,' Dick announced, pulling the zip of his jumpsuit down to expose a lean, hard, hairy ribcage that reinforced the cold hardness of his eyes and face. A face no sane person would consider crossing swords with.

Arnold unlocked the gate and watched them descend. In the gym, the women all stopped and looked up, but catching the predatory glint in the inspectors' eyes they returned nervously to their tasks, reminded that these men belonged to a group that wanted women covered and cowering, servile and dependent on their males.

God's emissaries looked into every room and cupboard, watched the exercises, and then silently entered the shower room where two women were soaping themselves.

' We'll join you,' Harry announced, kicking off his shoes and stepping out of his jumpsuit. The small blond woman he had chosen froze in horror as the aggressive, swarthy creature pressed himself against her back and began soaping her breasts and groin. Dick joined a taller brunette. Both women attempted to push their aggressors away, but were slapped into silence. In despair they pleaded to Tom, who had remained dressed, but he laughed unpleasantly, kicked the door shut and planted himself in front of it.

The blonde's scream never arrived. Harry slammed his fist into her mouth then gripped her neck painfully, forced her to bend over, then rammed his erection as deep as he could, preventing her escape from his brutal pounding by squeezing her breasts, eliciting anguished whimpers of agony. Foolishly, she tore herself from his slippery grasp and fell, slamming her head against a tap. Blood splashed onto the tiles.

Dick's young lady had been to rape school and knew to bow to the inevitable. 'You're going to get fucked anyway,' the tutor had reminded them, 'so you might as well make it as painless as possible by appearing unwilling while not actually resisting. Relax, arch your back if he's coming from behind, open your legs as wide as possible if it's from the front. You won't enjoy it and mustn't look as if you do—they want to see you suffer. It's an invasion, but it isn't the end of the world. Keep telling yourself it's just another fuck and the easier you make it for him the sooner it'll be over. Afterwards, don't complain to him. Don't appear angry. Never, ever say you're going to report him, just act as if you've stubbed your toe… regrettable, but not fatal. Later when you're safe you can have hysterics.'

So the tall brunette demonstrated her remarkable lordosis, relaxed, realised she was unimpressed by the size and stamina of her rapist, and suddenly it was over. He pulled out, took a shower, dressed and was joined by his grinning friend who left the blonde sobbing on the pinkish tiles, unable to be consoled by the wise brunette.

Dick turned at the door. 'One word of complaint to anyone from either of you, and you are both dead.'

In the men's gym they were accepted without comment or apparent interest, wandering from room to room, inspecting everything, stopping to watch individuals exercise, or listen to a trainer offer advice and instruction. Occasionally they congratulated someone for his manliness, or asked a trainer the purpose of an exercise. As there was no hint of criticism in their manner the clients relaxed, enjoying the chance to show off to an apparently appreciative audience.

Afterwards in the office, the three inspectors perched side by side on the edge of the table while Arnold, Bart, Robert, Fidel and Hylas were instructed to stand in a line about a metre in front of them with their hands behind their backs.

After declaring themselves impressed by the cleanliness and order, the lack of ostentation in the office, and the clients' obvious respect for the trainers whose conduct and manly appearance were exemplary, the three men sat in silence, staring at their victims like predatory raptors, close enough to reach out and claw them if they moved.

After a very long minute, Harry spoke. 'The separation of men and women is good, however, JECHIS considers it unnecessary for women to train as if they were men, because they are not! Their roles are different. Therefore we will use the second floor for something else and tomorrow will be their last day. I leave it to you to refund whatever is owed. I want you to use my exact words to tell them why it is closing. The sooner females accept their new role, the easier it will be for them. JECHIS will also take over the first floor, which will also close its doors tomorrow. By monitoring your security cameras we have learned that the function rooms are frequently used for mixed male and female gatherings where the waitresses dress immodestly, alcohol is served, drunkenness is common, and both male and female strippers perform regularly. It will become a combination tea and coffee house and clubrooms for senior JECHIS executives, where they can relax and be entertained in the traditional manner by dancing boys.' He looked at each of his audience in turn as if expecting at least a raised eyebrow, but everyone nodded calmly in assent.

'The smaller rooms will be used for private activities and smaller groups.'

Five men nodded as one.

'The female gym will be converted into a school for boys between the ages of eight and fifteen, who will memorise religious texts in preparation for a life of service to JECHIS, paying for their education by dancing for the coffee shop patrons, and servicing the needs of executives in the private rooms.' He again gazed expressionlessly at his audience as if expecting a response.

Robert raised his hand.

The pale man nodded permission.

' When you say, servicing the needs, do you mean having sex with them?'

'Among other things. Does it concern you?'

'Of course not. I was just wondering if you were planning to make it less traumatic for your boys than it is at the moment for children forced to service the priests and ministers of religious organisations.'

' Through education we will ensure that the boys are willing, well-trained participants, proud of their role in servicing god.' He pointed to Bart. 'The rooms used for your 3Vs nonsense, will become the boys' home while they're with us.' He sat back and folded his arms, clearly satisfied with his performance.

Tom then leaned forward and pointed to Arnold and Hylas. 'Both of you are flexible and graceful in movement, so you will be in charge of teaching the boys to dance.'

They nodded acquiescence.

With a sly grin, Tom continued, 'And to satisfy the concerns of your friend, you will also instruct them in the art of sexually pleasing men. If they suffer physically or mentally after your tuition in the arts of fellatio, frottage, anal intercourse and so on, then you will be to blame.'

'That is a heavy responsibility.'

'But you will do it successfully.'

They nodded calm acceptance.

Tom then reached forward, grasped Hylas's penis and roughly pulled him closer till he was held firmly between his thighs.

'How old are you?'


'You are tall and strong, yet your body looks young and your face is beardless.' He stroked Hylas's cheeks and chin. After sliding his hand down his captive's chest and over his belly he grasped a handful of pubic hair and turned to his companions. 'I reckon we should shave this young man so he will look like a tall, well developed, pre-pubescent boy, and have him perform at the opening.'

'Fuck yes! That'll bring in the punters.'

'Does that mean the boys will dance naked?' Fidel asked politely.

' The whore Salome usurped the role of boys in her plot to kill the prophet John,' Tom snarled. 'Our boys will reclaim that dance and others, but in the service of good, not evil.'

Fidel nodded and smiled slightly, as if pleased.

'Will Hylas also be required to service the executives?' Bart asked rather more sharply than intended.

' You are thinking of the holy Book of Leviticus, I suppose,' Tom sneered. 'Like all ignorant pagans you've completely misunderstood the man.'

' In what way, sir?' Bart replied in what he hoped was a respectful tone. 'I thought one of the laws in the Book of Leviticus said a man may not lie with man as with woman.'

With visibly increasing annoyance, Tom snarled, 'Pre-pubescent boys are not yet men, and certainly not women! So men may fuck them as and when they please! The men who are damned are those who dress, behave and act like women. It is an offence for a real man like you, to lie with one of those effeminate creatures, but it can never be an offence to god if a real man has sex with another real man. If you fucked him, for example,' he pointed at Fidel, 'you would find favour in god's eyes, because you are both obviously real men. His endorsement of the love between David and Jonathon proves this to be the case.'

'That is most interesting, sir. Thank you.'

Tom's lips drew back exposing strong, yellowing teeth and hissed, 'I don't like your tone of voice; it suggests you doubt my word.' He paused as if to consider his options, then continued in a voice low and venomous. 'Doubting the word of god's messenger is doubting god and invites death by stoning.' He sat back to observe the effect of his words.

Bart hung his head in apparent mortification.

' I warn you never to doubt that I, a messenger appointed by god, will glorify him by fucking any man or boy I please! Look at me!'

Bart's head jerked upright. Eyes betraying his alarm. What was the mad bastard intending?

With a sickening leer Tom unzipped his jumpsuit to extract a very dark, very erect, very ordinary penis. After forcing Hylas to bend over the table, he spat a wad of saliva onto his hand, smeared it over his erection, thrust a finger into the innocent anus, smelt it, then turned the boy slightly to ensure his audience had the best possible view. The smile was cruelty distilled as he slowly inserted his organ, not stopping until hips were pressed firmly against buttocks. Pulling Hylas vertical, he stared at each of his audience in turn.

Fidel looked down, sickened and worried.

' Look at me!' Tom shouted hysterically. 'I am teaching you a valuable lesson! Anyone who takes his eyes off what I am doing is in contempt of god and will suffer!' He pulled Hylas's head back roughly. 'Tell them you are happy to be glorifying god, boy!'

Hylas turned, smiled nervously at his friends and said softly, 'Sir is right. I'm enjoying glorifying god by servicing his messenger.' A declaration not evidenced by his shrunken manhood.

With a suspicious grunt, Tom began thrusting, grunting and panting until, on the point of orgasm he grabbed the boy's head, twisted it around and kissed him briefly on the lips before arching his back in a rigid quivering spasm that forced his load deep into his victim's bowels.

The grotesque performance over, he pulled out roughly, causing Hylas to wince, closed his zip, slapped Hylas on the bum and sent him back to stand between Fidel and Arnold.

His friends, who had been watching the performance with what looked like bored abstraction, appeared to be silently assessing the response of their five captives.

' May I ask what your plans are for the men's gymnasium?' Arnold asked quickly, to avoid discussion about the incident.

' Your aims are in accord with JECHIS,' Dick replied. 'Health, fitness and respect for natural, unadorned masculine bodies like yours created in the image of god—not the shaved, drug assisted monstrosities of muscle competitions. However, before granting permission for you to continue with this enterprise and take over the fitness training of JECHIS employees, we would like to hear a reason that will convince our superiors to allow you to continue unclothed.'

Bart cleared his throat and frowned slightly as if unprepared for the question. 'The Lord of Creation made Adam in his own image—naked—and declared him to be good. So to say nudity is evil, is to say the creator is evil. The sin of Adam was not eating the fruit of knowledge; it was his subsequent rejection of nudity and with it the childlike simplicity adored by god. It is noteworthy that god did not tell him to cover himself, but ordered him out of paradise.'

'An interesting interpretation. Any other reasons?'

' Yes, sir. We are inspired by the prophets Moses, Saul, Isaiah and Mohamed. When Moses went to a different part of the river to avoid bathing naked with others, they started a rumour that he was deformed. To quell the rumours, god caused Moses' clothes to move, so when he ran naked to retrieve them he was seen by his critics to be perfect, and was revered from that day.' Bart paused as if to think. 'If I remember correctly, Saul was required to be naked when prophesying before Samuel, because a naked man reflects his creator's desire for men to be simple and honest, concealing nothing. Only then will he be taken seriously. For the same reason, Isaiah was instructed by god to walk naked and barefoot for three years, as a prophetic warning to the Egyptians. He became one of the greatest prophets. Muhammad, may his name be praised, once used his loin wrap to protect his shoulder while carrying bricks, so he walked naked before the people—a perfect example of the man god intended. Everyone was so impressed he became the mouthpiece of Allah, who, if he really thought nudity to be wrong, would never have let his favourite prophet expose himself like that. Also, David danced naked before god; Saint Francis appeared naked in public and preached while naked in church; Peter worked naked as a fisherman; and in the gospel of Thomas, Jesus said he would be revealed to his disciples only when they could be naked without shame. Several renowned philosophers have stated that if you want to know a man's true character, then see him naked, for the body is the temple of the soul and reveals everything. '

Dick smiled darkly. 'Do you consider yourselves prophets?'

' Definitely not. We are naked without shame in an attempt to teach our clients that a healthy, fit, naked body is not sinful, and does not arouse sexual desire or curiosity because it is an open book. It is when genitals are concealed unnecessarily with provocative clothing that sexual curiosity and desire are aroused. Also, it is pleasurably liberating to be naked when active. The Greek word gymnasium means a place to be naked for exercise. You have spoken to our clients, do they consider us wrong?'

' On the contrary, they look on you as quasi saints.' The three messengers of god shared a soft laugh, then Tom cleared his throat and scratched his genitals, causing Hylas to wonder about lice, nodded at the others, and in an oddly conciliatory tone asked for a written copy of what Bart had just said.

'We three will be in charge of this place once the renovations are complete, and we want to make it profitable. I'm hoping your take on the traditional interpretation of nakedness has enough merit to convince the regulatory council to allow us not only to keep you guys running the gym in the same way, but allow something similar in the coffee house.'

' I'll have it ready for you next time you come.'

' And if we're successful, then you can also dance at the opening,' he said pointing at Arnold as if conferring a state honour.'

' Our accountants and lawyers will contact you to arrange the purchase and ownership transfer of this building, and the builders will start tomorrow,' Dick announced gracelessly as if to make up for Tom's almost pleasant manner. 'We have the plans ready and expect to be installed in exactly three week's time. The shed on the roof will be demolished, so have it cleared before they arrive. You and the other trainers will continue keeping the gym in excellent condition, but accept no new enrolments because eventually we intend to use it exclusively for JECHIS personnel.'

With no further acknowledgement of their hosts, they marched out and up the fire escape to the roof, climbed into their waiting helicopter and flew off into the darkness.'

'I hope they crash,' Hylas whispered.

The others gathered round with concerned faces.

Fidel's arm wrapped protectively around his lover. 'How are you?'

'Are you all right?'

'That must have been terrible.'

'He raped you, the bastard.'

Hylas frowned. 'Stop talking as if I'm an invalid. I'm fine. But I don't know about the girls. When they left they seemed strange, didn't they Robert?'

'Yeah. We asked what the trouble was, but they shook their heads as if too nervous to say.'

'Did those creeps somehow manage to abuse them?'

'They could have. We couldn't watch constantly.'

' I'll ask in the morning. The important thing now is to clear our stuff off the roof.'

'And then you're coming to live with me. Come on.'

'You're a true gentleman, Arnold.'


'Are you sure you've got nothing turned on they can use to spy on us?'

' Yep. TV's off, phones are all off, computer's off, Internet's off, security's off, curtains are pulled… Unless they've bugged the place we're probably safe.'

The five men were seated on comfortable chairs in Arnold's lounge, eating with their fingers from plates on their laps.

'I still can't believe we didn't realise they'd hack into everything and know everything about us.'

' Well, they did, but we're lucky they spilled the beans. Now we won't make fools of ourselves by thinking we can trick them.'

Bart turned to Hylas. 'I owe you an apology. I annoyed Tom so he got back at me through you.'

' I don't think so, Bart,' Arnold interrupted. 'It was a classic intimidation ploy. Conquerors always do it to weaken the will to resist. Make everyone terrified so they'll do as they're told. He was just looking for an excuse. If it wasn't you it'd have been something one of us said, so don't beat yourself up about it.'

'He's right, Bart. It wasn't you, it was my irresistible flesh.'

' Good one, Hylas. What amazes me is you ran up and down to the roof three times without even the slightest wince; have you a cast-iron rectum?'

Hylas smiled. 'He used so much spit I didn't even feel uncomfortable.' He snuggled against Fidel and kissed his cheek. 'Don't forget I've been inoculated on a regular basis by this magnificent instrument.' He waggled Fidel's penis affectionately. 'So Tom's little worm didn't cause any anguish. His creepy hands were worse, and his evil breath when he kissed me. It was all I could do not to spit.' He paused, frowned and added seriously, 'But if you guys hadn't been there I'd have been terrified. Honestly. It was only the knowledge that you'd not let anything really bad happen to me that stopped me chundering. Then at the end when one of them scratched his groin I wondered about lice, so I've shaved myself.' He stood and paraded. 'How do I look? Prepubescent?'

' So that's why you were so long in the bathroom. And here I thought you were disinfecting your ring. Actually, you do look younger… but an adult male audience would have to be soft in the head to imagine you were prepubescent.'

' Anyone who believes in that religious crap is soft in the head and an utter bastard!' Arnold growled. 'They're going to turn Natural Fitness into a brothel where religious big-wigs can watch boys dance naked, then fuck them with impunity. And they expect Hylas and me to teach those poor boys how to take a huge, probably diseased hard-on up their tight little arses. I feel sick! Physically sick just thinking about it! I keep imagining how I'd have felt if I'd been locked in a room alone being fucked by that evil Tom, as he calls himself, when I was ten years old. I'd have been terrified out of my wits—literally. I'd have gone mad. There's no way you can prepare boys or girls for that sort of thing. I know boys do sell themselves in some countries, but they're able to say no if someone as evil as those creeps comes along.' Arnold ran his hands through his hair in despair. 'Look at the continuing misery and suffering of adults here in Australia, who've been sexually abused by priests and ministers when they were kids. But what can we do? How can we stop it?'

'By not losing our heads, remaining true to ourselves, and putting obstacles in their way. We've got three weeks until they move in. We'll do as we're told, keep the gym going so they don't suspect anything, and make plans.'

'All very well, Bart. But my brain's stopped functioning.'

Robert smiled grimly. 'Do you mind losing the gym, Arnold?'

'I've already lost it, so no.'

'You'll still have multi millions.'

'Which they know about,' Fidel said sombrely.

'They know everything.' Bart added. 'A 3V client was telling me about a friend whose life savings disappeared from his superannuation account after he refused to allow his daughter to marry a middle-aged JECHIS agent.'

'Did she want to?'

'She was fourteen, for fuck's sake!'

'Actually,' Robert said diffidently, 'I've been thinking about this for a while now, and have been working on an idea.' He paused as if unsure whether to continue.

'Well? Get on with it.'

'We don't intend to stay here, do we?'

'No, Robert. We do not!'

'The problem is how to avoid getting caught if we do anything to upset their apple cart,' Bart said thoughtfully. 'I doubt if we can just disappear. Even going to the bank will be enough for them to trace us.'

'We're prisoners.'

'Stop being such a pack of losers,' Hylas growled. 'We'll find a way. What's your idea, Robert?'

' I've been assuming we'd want to leave sooner or later and find somewhere safer with no public profile, so I worked out a way to break up Arnold's money and send it in packages around the world a couple of times, ending up in new bank accounts we can access.'

'They'll notice it's gone.'

' Not if I set the program to trigger the minute we jump ship. On the day we take off, as soon as we're safe I can send a message that starts the process, and a few hours later all your current accounts will be empty, and new accounts in other institutions will have anonymous deposits in the names of people who are not us. Nothing large enough to attract attention though, so if you trust us we should divide what's left of your fortune into five, then if we each have four different accounts each balance will only be about a million, not an unusual amount. What do you say?'

'I've no idea what you're talking about, but I agree. If you remember, I wanted to share it all with you guys the day I got it. But are you sure it'll work?'

' No. It looks good on paper though. You have to remember that every time you change money from one currency to another you lose, sometimes quite a lot. Banks haven't gained control of the world by being generous or even fair. They sell you money for much more than they pay you for it, and charge enormous fees merely for letting it pass through their system, so we could lose up to half the original amount. You started with fifty-five million, spent fifteen on the gym, have gained a million in interest, so, after a dozen transfers, we could end up with between one and two million each.'

'If we can't live on that and our wits, then we don't deserve to live, although I do see one minor problem—how do we get new identities to use the new accounts.'

' As it happens,' Robert answered with a wry smile, there's a family friend, Jeff Skeldrake, who's a dab hand at benevolent forgery. He taught me a thing or two, which is how Lance got landed with a murder charge. I'll take Hylas along to amuse his wife while I twist his arm. Susie loves smooth, handsome young men, and if you're lucky, Hylas, she'll read your cards and tell your fortune.'

'That'll be brilliant—if it works.'

'Of course it doesn't, Fortune telling's a scam.'

'I know that. I mean getting proper forged documents.'

' Gotcha. Ok. Raise your hands if you agree.' Eight hands reached for the ceiling. 'Carried. I'll get to work tomorrow on details, ready to detonate in three weeks.'

' Detonate. That's a mighty fine word,' Fidel murmured. 'When we first started, I checked the previous occupations of our new trainers, and discovered that Miguel used to work as an explosives engineer for a mining company in Mount Isa.' He paused to arrange his thoughts.

'And…? Spit it out, Fidel?'

' Well… in three weeks they're going to have a grand opening, according to Tom, Dick and Harry, so I was wondering if we might set up a fireworks display in the basement car park that would literally bring down the house.'

Awed silence.

'Fidel, I love you!' Bart was grinning widely. 'If you and Miguel can set it up that would be brilliant.'

'Good, I'll sound him out. We get on well, so I'm sure he'll help us, especially when I tell him what those bastards are intending and he'll be losing his job anyway.'

' Which brings me back to rewarding those six wonderful guys,' Arnold said with a sigh. 'We don't need a couple of million each, Robert. I'd really like it if you could make sure they each get a few hundred thousand to tide them over once we're gone. Without them Natural Fitness would never have been so successful and I wouldn't have had the best time in my entire life.'

'No probs. We pay their salaries directly into their accounts so we can just add a bit extra on the last day. I hoped you'd suggest it.'

'What're you going to do with this place, Arnold?' Hylas asked.

'Donate it to charity?'

' Charities in this benighted country are all run as profitable arms of religious corporations, so it'd probably end up with JECHIS,' Bart said gloomily. 'There's no way I'd give a cent to official charities. How about ANTaR? They could rent it out, or use it for homeless people. I'd love to see the faces of your neighbours if Aborigines moved in.'

'Good idea.'

'Ok, we've sorted the money and our farewell gift, what have we forgotten?'

'How do we behave when they tell us to do something?'

'We know they want me to dance, and possibly Arnold, and that probably means getting fucked afterwards as well. Do we go along with that?'

'Shouldn't have to if we get our skates on in time for the official opening.'

' That's an added incentive. And what'll we do if they ask if we believe in god?'

'Just say yes, like Henry the Fourth of France who said Paris is worth a mass, when converting to Catholicism so he could be crowned.'

' What'll we do if they ask us to join?'


Everyone agreed that until their escape they'd always be obedient, polite and deferential. Hylas and Arnold shrugged acceptance of their probable fate; they weren't innocent young virgins, and could cope with doing it in the greater interest of the planet, so the others weren't to worry about that. If it helped in blowing the bastards up then it would be well worth it.

To make sure, they reconfirmed their vow never to disagree or offer an opinion unless specifically asked for one.

' We mustn't seem too keen, too easy, too anything. If we play the perfect servants; respectful of our masters, accepting their higher status as their god given right, and agreeing that the world really does need to change, then we'll last the next three weeks.

'And after that? Where're we going?'

' Perhaps I'm naïve,' Arnold said nervously, 'but I've been assuming we would stick together—the fabulous five. But if you'd sooner… you know, start a normal life with your boyfriends…'

'Arnold, don't be a fuckwit! We love you like a brother, and in Fidel's case it was as a lover for two years. There's no way we're going anywhere without you.'

The others echoed Bart's words and soothed Arnold's fears of abandonment with hugs, kisses and the usual manly expressions of sincere emotion.

' We could stay for a day or so in the Sunshine Coast hinterland with the couple who own my apartment. They have no mobile phone, so all communication's been by landline. I pay rent to a bank, so I don't see how JECHIS could know about them. After that… hell, something'll turn up.'

'You're a natural planner, Bart.'


' Can we visit Noosa on the way in case Mum's gone back there so I can tell her what a murdering slut she is and get that amulet off her?'

' Sure, and then I want to go as far north as we can, just for the heck of it.'

' Yeah. An adventure. Too much planning takes the fun and chance out of travel. We'll just see what happens.'

And so to bed; hearts and minds busy with plans, hopes, and dreams. Robert and Bart in the guest room, Fidel in Arnold's king-sized bed, with Hylas, who was suddenly desperately in need of a cuddle, in the middle.


When Arnold and the others arrived the following morning, demolition gangs were already emptying the contents of the first and second floors, and removing all non-load-bearing partitions and walls. There was surprisingly little noise.

Instead of waiting for the female clients to arrive, Arnold telephoned or emailed each, explaining the takeover by JECHIS and promising to send their refunds by the end of the week. Most replied with commiserations and good wishes. One woman from the previous night's class came in person to tell him about the rapes and warn him to be on his guard. Like the rest, she was deeply disappointed but more concerned for the trainers than herself.

An hour later, Susie Skeldrake was falling in love with Hylas, holding his unresisting hand while reading the Tarot cards and prophesying an exciting future with lots of love and companionship.

Retirement had sharpened Jeff's appetite for activity, so after he'd dragged Robert to his inner sanctum and learned his reasons for requiring five new passports, driver and gun licences, he was impatient to start work. He couldn't manage a tax file number, but as the young men didn't intend to work legally, that didn't matter. Everything would be ready within a couple of weeks.

After consuming several gargantuan slices of a five-layered chocolate and cream cake guaranteed to give a week's indigestion to stomachs used to raw vegetables, lentils, tofu and yoghurt, the two young men returned to the gym.

Fidel's discussion with Miguel was even more productive than he'd hoped. Together they wandered around the basement pretending to pick up rubbish and sweep the corners, while working out the best place to plant explosives. The place was too bare—only smooth concrete floors and pillars. Nowhere to conceal enough explosives to do more than gently shake the place.

'You say there'll be a grand opening with all the bigwigs in three weeks' time.'

'Yes, in the first floor lounge/coffee room whatever they're going to call it.'

'And Arnold and Hylas are going to dance and strip for them?'

'It seems so. And also get fucked if they're unlucky.'

' Rather them than me! The best solution would be to pack Arnold's car with explosives and park it directly beneath the main function room. It'll blow a hole in the roof of the car park, which is the floor they'll all be sitting on, and take out at least five pillars. That will cause the building to collapse in the middle, sort of fold in on itself, doing the least damage to surrounding buildings. There's only one problem.'

'And that is?'

'When do the guys do their dance? Will they be able to get out of the place while everyone else is still partying on, or will they be getting fucked in a back room while everyone goes home? How will whoever is going to detonate the bomb, know if they're safe or not? If they're naked they can't conceal a telephone or do it themselves.'

'We'll discuss it with them. I'm sure there'll be a way.'

' I'm not. I subscribe to Murphy's Law—everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.' He thought for a minute then wandered to the door leading to the emergency stairs from which there were two ground level exits, one into the car park, the other onto the street. The stairs zigzagged up the narrow space between two load-bearing walls to the roof, with exits on each floor.

' Ideally, they'd just run down here and out to the street, but we have to assume high security, and guards everywhere down here. Let's check the roof.'

They ran up the four flights to the roof, where Fidel's cute little cottage was no more. The only thing left being the solar array on one side. They wandered around the periphery and stopped on the east side.

'Look down.'

Four metres below was the flat roof of the neighbouring ex-warehouse, now luxury apartments. Several skylights and a sort of sentry box protecting the entrance to the apartments below, were the only visible objects.

'If they can get up here, and jump down there, and escape down those stairs, they'll be safe.'

'And locked up for running around naked.'

'Not when the building next door is collapsing in a heap. No one will notice.'

Fidel shook his head. 'They'll break their ankles or their necks.'

' I noticed one other alternative.' He led Fidel to the south side and leaned over. Five metres below was the landing of the external iron staircase serving Bart's 3V clubrooms.

'That's an even longer drop than the other side, and exposed to the street.'

' Nothing's perfect.' Miguel pointed to several rusty iron bolts protruding from the bricks. 'I'd say the stairs originally continued to the roof. It shouldn't be too difficult to use the bolts to climb down.'

' You're right. It's a shame there's no access to the 3V rooms from the gym.'

'Probably a good thing, it means there'll be no one guarding those stairs.'

' Right. We'll leave it to Arnold and Hylas to decide. And this remains a secret between us, Miguel. The other guys mustn't know.'

'Of course. Our secret's safe with me. I certainly don't want anyone else to know I'm a part-time bomber.'

With only the one working gym, the clients received more attention than usual, which pleased them. They all wanted to remain until the JECHIS guys took over. The six junior trainers appreciated being kept on at their usual rates, but didn't want to stay after the takeover, especially when they learned what had happened during the inspection.

Bart bought an unremarkable, second-hand Toyota minivan from a private seller with his new identification papers, and had the engine and everything else apart from the exterior, refurbished and/or replaced.

Miguel took Arnold's car home and removed the airbags and seat stuffing, replacing them with enough explosive to convert a thousand tons of solid rock to fine rubble in a few seconds. The seats were very firm to sit on, but looked normal. From then on, Arnold drove his car to work every day and parked it in the exact spot Miguel had indicated, occasionally leaving it there overnight so it wouldn't attract suspicion later.

Robert set up the transfer of money to offshore accounts where it would be split into eleven bits and moved on several times until a quarter of a million landed in each of the six trainers' accounts, and equal portions of the remainder in five other offshore accounts, ready to be accessed and deposited in new accounts they would set up when convenient under their new names.

They practiced their new signatures and tried not to panic.

During their last visit to Monique and Sanjay they told them they were selling up and moving north because of difficulties with JECHIS. The parents were sorry to see them go, but understood and tearfully wished them well.

In the interests of security, ANTaR was not informed of the impending donation of an up-market apartment. They hoped it would be a pleasant surprise.

It was decided that everyone ought to learn to use the emergency exit from the roof, in case Tom demanded they all attend the opening. So after individual reconnaissance expeditions during the day, taking care not to be observed, for three nights in a row they assisted each other to practise climbing down to the stair-head in the dark, using the bolts as supports.

Tom, Dick and Harry's lawyers arrived and Arnold signed over his gymnasium without shedding a tear. In exchange he was given a promissory note post-dated to the day after the opening.

Four days later, Tom arrived in the office waving an edict from someone of influence in the planning department, which stated that the Café could now conscript men as well as boys to perform for the greater Glory of god. He could also have adult as well as child prostitutes. He was going to make a mint, especially now he'd managed to source half a dozen homeless boys who'd do very nicely, but they weren't stage-ready yet, so he wanted Hylas and Arnold to choreograph and perform a tasteful dance in which Arnold would seduce a youthful Hylas, perform a naked erotic dance, then fuck him on stage.

The two men feigned indifference, having been expecting something of the sort from the arrogant bastard who knew they didn't want to, but counted on their preferring to live rather than refuse. They spent the rest of the afternoon worrying they'd not be able to get erections, wondering how to fake it, and hoping they'd be able to blow the place up before they had to dance. But if they couldn't…

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead