Being the first to arrive, Megan had no idea when the others would show or who the others even were. Being first gave her the right to choose her own room, she assumed, but all three of the bedrooms were identical, absolutely identical, so she decided to hold off until the others arrived, in case they had a preference. Instead she explored the suite that would be her home for the next seven days.
It was bigger than she expected and well appointed. Nice bathroom, terrific kitchen, a workout area with a treadmill, nautilus and a stair climber, lots of books, DVDs and CDs in racks by a wall mounted HDTV. Everything, with the exception of the bathroom and the bedrooms, was grouped in a large common room. There were no windows, clocks or phones. Megan had been instructed to leave her watch and cell phone at home. Two computers were set in a corner, high end machines with a comprehensive package of software. There was no internet connection, and the time/date display in the lower right-hand corner had been disabled. She'd be completely isolated, just like they'd said.
Between the couch and the TV was a low coffee table, and on that lay three red folders marked "Lyn", "Megan" and "Olivia". She picked up the folder with her name and read the letter inside.
On behalf of the Dacess Corporation, thank you again for participating in this experiment. We realize giving up your Spring Break is a sacrifice on your part. Please know the research conducted this week will have profound implications for future scientific endeavors.
That, Megan recalled, was a point her interviewer had come back to again and again ... the importance of the research. All she really knew was they were examining co-operative behavior in sealed environments. The interviewers had been vague about the practical applications, speaking generally about manned space flight, trips to Mars, that sort of thing. Her eyes were drawn to a paragraph in bold print.
While all activities in the suite are being recorded, these recording will not be reviewed until after the experiment is over. For the duration of the experiment you will be isolated from the outside world. You will recall you have signed a waiver assuming all risk for anything that happens during the course of the experiment.
Megan certainly did remember. The waiver had been 13 pages of very dense, single spaced legal jargon. An unsmiling rep from Dacess Corp had sat in the room with her to make sure the document was read in its entirety before signing. That had been the final act of a grueling, fifteen hour day filled with physical, psychological and intelligence tests. On the bright side, the Dacess Corp doctors assured her that her mental and physical health were outstanding and that she'd graded very high on the intelligence tests. That was good to know.
The next page was labeled "House Rules". For the most part she was free to do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. She and the other participants could set up any rules they wished. The only requirements were the three had to wake up at the same time and take their dinners together. After wake up, before sleep and before their evening meal, the three had to watch a video presentation on the HD together. A chime would sound one minute before each video was to begin. The sheet made plain she would be paid for her service only if all of the participants watched all of the videos. If any one participant missed a video, none of them would get paid.
The final piece of paper was her payment, a check for $7,000 dated one day after the experiment was to end. Megan smiled at the cleverness of it. Giving the check now would be a powerful incentive to follow the rules ... and it wasn't as if she could rush right out and cash it.
Megan looked up. A blond was standing in the entrance, a pack slung over her shoulder. She crossed the room, hand extended, "I'm Olivia."
They shook, and Megan handed her a red folder, "Looks like this is for you."
Olivia was very pretty. Her straight, blond hair fell just past her shoulders, high cheekbones, with startling blue and an impish mouth. She was built like a woman who worked out regularly.
Lyn arrived as Olivia sifted through her folder. In her way, she was every bit as pretty as Olivia ... dark haired and olive skinned with a smoldering voluptuousness. Megan wondered if this was part of the experiment somehow, because she knew she was beautiful as well. Fair skinned like Olivia but with a curvy, busty frame like Lyn's, with thick, brownish red hair. Megan couldn't think of a way beauty would be relevant to the experiment. More likely, she decided, the guys at Dacess would find analyzing seven days worth of video easier if they were looking at pretty girls.
Olivia had finished reading. She was tucking the check into her pack, "Pretty much what they told us to expect, right?"
"Pretty much," Megan and Lyn agreed.
Lyn continued, "What's the deal with the bedrooms?"
"They're exactly alike," Megan informed.
"If they're alike, take anyone you want," Olivia said as she started for the kitchen area. Lyn scrutinized the rooms intently.
Olivia opened the refrigerator door, "Whoa. This is a little weird."
Olivia pulled out a small plastic bottle. The label was white, with black lettering. It said only "Water". The Dacess Corp logo was etched under the word. Olivia pulled out a second bottle, which was labeled "Lemonade". A third bottle was labeled "Cola".
"Great," Lyn griped, "a week of crappy generics."
"It's the same thing with the food," Megan reported. The shelves were stocked with every food stuff and ingredient she could think of, and they were labeled in the same, spartan way.
"As long as it isn't poisoned ...," Olivia said. She returned the lemonade and cola to the fridge and took a deep pull off of the water. Her face scrunched up, and she took a second, experimental sip. "Does this taste funny to you?"
She handed the bottle to Megan and the water did taste odd. Not bad, not exactly skunky, just a subtle, mediciny aftertaste. Megan gave the bottle to Lyn, who agreed it didn't taste quite right. Olivia tried a second bottle and found the same taste.
"It'll have to do," she shrugged.
There was a sharp report from the door as the lock snapped into place, followed by a soft hiss. The door was sealed.
"I guess it's on," Olivia said.
They sorted out the sleeping arrangements and set up their rooms. Megan finished first, and not wanting to bother the others, decided to take a shower. It was closer to dinnertime than breakfast, but she'd skipped bathing to grab a few extra moments of sleep. In the bathroom she stripped while the water heated up. Despite the weirdness with the food, it was so far so good. Lyn and Olivia seemed nice enough, and more importantly, committed to getting along. It was inevitable that there'd be clashes over the week. Everyone being nice now meant, hopefully, everyone would try to be reasonable when the conflicts started.
Soap, shampoo, conditioner and such were on a ledge in the shower wall, all packaged like the food. The next surprise of the day came as the water streamed over her body. She was used to the hard water back in the dorm. The water in the suite had been treated with something to soften it. It felt smooth and nice of her skin. Megan took her time.
Olivia was on the treadmill, immediately to the left as Megan exited the bathroom. The blond smiled.
"Perfect timing," she said as she stepped off the machine. "You didn't use all the hot water, did you?"
"Uhhhh ... I have no idea."
Olivia's eyes twinkled, "Don't worry, I'm just having a little fun with you. We probably should make a shower schedule, though ..."
Her thought was interrupted by a three toned "ding-DING-dong" chime. Megan looked over at the HD, which had switched itself on, the screen slowly beginning to glow. Lyn walked out of her room.
"Well, let's see what's so important we have to see it three times a day!"
The trio arranged themselves on the couch, Lyn in the middle. 60 seconds after the chime, the video began. They saw what looked like a doctor's office, with an examination table in the center of the screen. Two women entered the picture from the right, one older woman wearing a white lab coat over a professional looking blouse. A stethoscope was looped around her neck. The other woman was younger, Megan guessed her to be around her age, maybe a little younger, dressed in a hospital gown. Judging by their banter, it was the first time this girl had seen this doctor. The girl hopped up on the table, lay back and allowed the doctor to strap her ankles into the stirrups.
Megan was bored. She had no idea how long this video was supposed to go, but her time could be better spent than watching a GYN exam. The TV was a top of the line HD, but the picture was fuzzy, a little on the red side, and the sound was tinny. It struck her as off that Dacess would set up such an elaborate experiment, pay them so extravagantly, yet skimp on details like food and the production values of the all important video. But she watched it all the same.
The girl on the screen flinched and drew a sharp, startled breath, "What ... what are you doing?"
Because of the camera's angle, the girl's leg and hospital gown blocked whatever it was the doctor was doing. Slowly, the camera began to pan, moving to a spot behind the doctor, whose head bobbed up and down between the girl's legs. The camera continued to move to a three-quarters show. From this angle Megan could see the doctor's tongue lashing at the girl's pussy. The doctor's eyes were clenched shut in bliss as the patient screamed for it to stop.
The sight of it sickened Megan, it was so wrong on so many levels. What she was witnessing wasn't love making, or even sex. It was an assault, a violation. It portrayed a complete betrayal of a patient's trust. It sickened her to think anyone could find this arousing. And the portrayal of lesbian sex, so graphic and violent ... it was beyond offensive.
It went on and on, with the patient screaming until her voice cracked and the doctor ignoring her, making noises like an animal feasting on its kill. Then it got worse.
Eventually, the girl screamed herself out. For a few moments the only sound was a wet suckling as the doctor's mouth worked the girl's snatch. Then the girl jerked and moaned, low and soft. Megan's eyes widened in shock as the unbelievable played itself out.
The girl was squirming on the table, but she wasn't trying to get away. She rubbed her palms slowly along her raised thighs, her breath coming in slow, deep cycles, her breasts rising and falling, her nipples suddenly hard. Her head was thrown back, eyes glazed, lips parted and back arched. She was enjoying it.
The girl's hands gripped the edge of the gown; slowly she pulled it up her legs. She wiggled to pull the garment past her hips and ass, and then sat up to pull it off altogether. The shot pulled back and to the side again. The girl was propped up on an elbow, tits facing the camera. Her nipples were hard and crinkled. Megan knew there was no way she could fake that. The girl's other hand was on the doctor's head, pulling her in. The doctor hiked up her own skirt to play with her twat.
"Yes ... yes ... yes!" the girl was hissing now. "Lick my pussy ... lick it ... yes."
The girl was humping the doctor's face with abandon, and soon she was screaming again, this time with unfettered pleasure as her orgasm tore through her. As the girl flailed on the table, legs still in the stirrups, the doctor stood and stripped off her coat and dropped her skirt. She climbed onto the table atop her patient. It was and awkward, but she managed. They kissed deeply, jaws working, necks straining. The doctor raised herself slightly and the girl eagerly unbuttoned the older woman's blouse.
As the screen faded to black, Megan could hear the girl begging, "Give me your pussy ... please give me your pussy."
The click of the TV switching off was like the breaking of a spell. Lyn flew off the couch like her ass was on fire.
"What the FUCK was THAT!"
Megan couldn't answer; she stared dumbly at the screen. She felt like the breath had been kicked out of her lungs.
"I'm out of here," Lyn roared. She marched to the entrance and pulled savagely at the door, kicking and screaming when it would not budge.
"Would you please calm down," Olivia said.
"Calm down?" Lyn yelled. "Calm down? Didn't you just watch that?"
"You know that I did."
"Then how can you tell me to calm down?"
"Because I know what they're trying to do."
Megan turned to look at Olivia. Lyn said, "What does that mean?"
"This whole thing is supposed to be about how we cooperate, right? Well, there isn't going to be a lot to study if everything is all sunshine and happiness for seven days," Olivia began. "They're trying to stress us. They throw a lot of little things at us like food that doesn't look right and water that doesn't taste right, to throw us off stride, then throw something big at us, like lesbian porn, to see if we'll crack. All I can say is get used to it because you've got seven days of it to put up with."
"So you're okay with what you just saw?" Lyn asked incredulously.
"Of course not, it was disgusting. I'm just saying it might be easier to take if you keep in mind why they're doing what they're doing," Olivia stood. "I was going to take a shower, but why don't you go first ... it might help calm you down. I'm a pretty good cook, if I do say so myself, so while you're doing that I'll see if I can whip something up. We'll have a nice dinner, we'll relax and we'll see what happens at bedtime."
Lyn thought it over, nodded and started for the bathroom. Olivia rummaged through the cabinets and the fridge, then decided to make a chicken parm. As it turned out, Olivia was an excellent cook, even though the food had the same aftertaste as the water. Megan thought Olivia was on to something ... the videos might be easier to take if she focused on what Dacess was trying to do. After dinner she did the dishes while the other two watched a movie. The three sipped wine and watched a second movie.
Until the chime sounded again, signaling bedtime and another video.
The two videos weren't exactly alike. This one took place in a locker room and the two particulars were cheerleaders. But the plot, for all intents and purposes, was exactly the same with one of the girls desperately trying to fight off the advances of the other before completely surrendering to the debauchery. This video ended with the newly minted lesbian on her knees, ripping off her lover's panties before burying her face between the widespread legs.
As soon as it ended, Lyn stormed off to her room, slamming the door shut behind her. Megan was grateful. She'd noticed something in the second video and she didn't know what it meant. She did know she wanted to talk about it.
"Hey, Olivia, before you go to bed ..."
"About the video," Megan thought it over. "I was wondering if you noticed ..."
"That the girl who was attacked in the first video was the attacker in the second?" Olivia finished.
Megan nodded, "Yeah."
"Do you think it was a coincidence?"
Megan shook her head, "I really don't."
"Me neither," Olivia sighed. "It's going to be an interesting week."
The three toned chime seemed especially loud in the morning, jolting Megan out of her slumber. She dreaded what was coming next, having to watch another of those awful videos. But there was nothing she could do. With a sigh she rolled out of bed and put on a night shirt.
Olivia was standing by the couch, rubbing the sleep from her eyes wearing a t-shirt and running shorts. Megan felt a twinge of jealousy; it took forever to make herself presentable and Olivia was pretty 1st thing in the morning. Sometimes life wasn't fair.
"Hey," she said.
" 'Morning," Olivia replied. The two stared at each other silently. Lyn was nowhere in sight. They looked to her bedroom door, which was closed, heard nothing and tiptoed to the door. Olivia opened it a crack. Megan could see Lyn on the bed, her back to the door.
"Hey Lyn," Olivia said gently. "The video is going to start."
"I'm not watching it."
"You have to."
"It's gross ... I don't have to do anything."
"If you don't, you won't get your money."
"I don't need the money."
"But I do, and I'm sure Megan does also," Olivia stepped lightly into the room. "I know you find the videos upsetting. I don't blame you. And I know this is a lot to ask, but I'm asking you to help me. That money will cover all of my summer expenses. I really need it. I'll do everything I can to make it up to you this week, but right now I need you to get out of bed, watch the video and keep watching them."
Lyn's head lifted off the pillow. She looked over her shoulder.
"Fine," Lyn said like someone who thought the situation anything but.
The three arranged themselves on the couch as before, Olivia and Megan on the ends with Lyn in the middle. The video this time took place in the dressing room of a lingerie shop, with a customer attacking the sales girl. The video followed the pattern established the day before, with the victim in the previous show starring as the attacker here. As the video ended, Lyn was trembling with rage.
And then Olivia did the last thing Megan would have expected. She started to laugh ...
... which only served to provoke Lyn, "This fucking isn't funny!"
"You're right, funny isn't the word," Olivia chuckled. "Ridiculous is more like it."
"What does that mean?"
"C'mon ... doctors doing their patients? Cheerleaders? Sex in the dressing room? Their running every play in the 'Lesbian Cliché' playbook," Olivia said. "What's next? Naughty nurses? Hot for teacher? The Mile High Club? It's all very ... graphic ... I grant you. But it's all so stupid!"
Lyn sprang to her feet and glared at Olivia, "I'm going to take a shower."
The brunette stormed off. Though it wasn't her turn for the shower, according to the schedule they'd set up, neither Olivia nor Megan stopped her.
"Did I go too far?" Olivia asked.
"Maybe a little," Megan said. "This is really bugging her."
Olivia thought it over, "I'll make her an omelet."
Megan went back to her room to collect her toiletries. She entered the bathroom as Lyn was heading out. Olivia handed the brunette a plate with a friendly smile. Lyn didn't look completely placated, but she didn't look quite as pissed either.
* * *
Olivia spent the morning teaching Megan how to play chess while Lyn did schoolwork. Megan spent the afternoon doing schoolwork of her own while Lyn watched the first two seasons of "The Simpsons" on DVD. Olivia worked out, did schoolwork and napped. The afternoon went smoothly. The chime for the evening made Megan flinch. She and Olivia looked over to Lyn, who's face was a visage of grim determination.
"Let's get this over with," she muttered.
The video featured the salesgirl from the lingerie shop, last seen that morning, attacking her brokenhearted friend, who'd boyfriend had unexpectedly dumped her. By the video's end, the friend had completely forgotten he ex's name. Olivia turned to Lyn.
"Before you say anything, think about it," Olivia said. "Your best friend's boyfriend just dumped her, so what do you do? Have sex with her? Does that make any sense at all?"
"No," Lyn said quietly.
"Of course not," Olivia confirmed. "All these videos have is shock value and I have to say, each time I watch one I find it a little less shocking. How about you, Megan? Was watching that one as bad as watching the first one?"
"I guess not."
"You see," Olivia turned back to Lyn. "All they can do is shock you ... and you decide whether that's going to happen or not. You're stuck here for another five and a half days. Don't give them the right to rattle your cage three times a day."