The Vassal Academy Ch. 36bySavannahMann©
The Vassal Academy Part 36: Slave Diane Begins Testing
It was an accident, one of a million minor accidents every day in the world. A forklift was carrying a pallet load of electrical switches from one station to the next, where they would be labeled with their voltage, amperage, and resistance factors before being boxed for shipment. The forklift operator was turning and brushed against another pallet of similar items, a half production run of much higher voltage and specialized items.
The load spilled, and when he'd picked up the fallen items, he failed to notice that two had accidentally dropped onto the pallet of the other production run. Two electrical switches would be labeled, and boxed incorrectly. They wouldn't be used for months, but there would be a disaster when they were used.
Those two switches would be boxed, transported, and shipped to an electrical supply warehouse in England. There, they would be shipped to an oil platform as part of a spare part order. On the oil platform, one of them would be installed in a relatively unimportant part of the structure. It failed immediately, and was written off as defective, with a request for a credit filed to the manufacturer. The only result was that the crew couldn't do their laundry for a few hours until another new electrical switch was installed. This switch, a properly labeled one, would work perfectly.
The second incorrectly labeled one was installed on the electrical line that supplied the pumps that transferred the oil from the drill line, to the storage tanks arrayed along the underside of the platform. When this one failed it was spectacular. The switch in essence welded itself closed, and provided the line out of it with almost twice the amount of amperage, and voltage, that was intended. The recipient of this extreme electrical current was a pump, which went into overdrive, creating almost twice the pressure of normal operations.
Alarms sounded, and engineers looked to their panels in confusion. One hit the kill switch to take the pump off line. It did nothing, since that button told the malfunctioning switch to stop sending electricity. A pipe that was stressed over it's rated load, took half again as much pressure, and then failed. It shattered at a joint and broke away from the connection. Oil sprayed across the area, and the pipe swung wildly. Workers raced for the valves to shut down the flow of oil manually. The pipe swung and hit a security light. Shattering the fixture, and giving the spark needed for the final act of the disaster. Oil ignited, and what was a bad oil spill, was now a worse oil fire.
More alarms sounded adding their shrill voices to the confusion, as men raced to get to stations and fight the emergency. One man managed to turn the valve, and cut the flow of oil, suffering second and third degree burns on much of his body. He wouldn't survive the night. Many of his friends would survive, because the fire was now manageable. It's fuel source limited by the heroic actions of the doomed man.
As industrial accidents go, this one was relatively minor. This relatively minor accident however, resulted in five men in critical condition with burns, two dead from the accident, and eight more with non-life threatening injuries.
Managers and Foremen shouted orders and got the fire fighting gear in action, spraying the oil off the rig with high-pressure seawater hoses, and dousing the fire with foam from other high-pressure hoses. Men donned respirators to breath in the hellish environment. The fire was brought under control, and the managers shifted to trying to save their men.
Sarah Miller was home, asleep, when the ringing phone jarred her awake. She listened to the description of the accident and then swore once. She jumped into action and immediately packed a bag for her new trip to Ireland, because this was her plan. Her recommendation had gotten her noticed, and gotten her this job, and it was now company policy. The Incident Investigation Response Team was her creation. She was going with the first ever Incident Response Team, and the Academy would have to wait. She did manage to call Devon, just before she boarded the Gulfstream 550 for Scotland.
The idea was simple. In the event of the Exxon Valdez grounding, there was no perceived coordinated response from the company. When all the players eventually showed up, it had in the eyes of the press, taken far too long, and Exxon had suffered the diminished public opinion since that time. This diminished public opinion had affected the entire industry, and made drilling permits and permits for other oil related operations much more difficult. The inevitable question was always the same. "Will this result in another Exxon Valdez?"
Sarah's idea was for a scaled response. An oil spill without loss of life required at a minimum an Executive Vice President. An oil spill or fire with loss of life required the President to depart within two hours. With the deploying executive would be a team based loosely on the Aircraft Investigation team from a manufacturer such as Boeing. There would be an engineer who was considered an expert in the equipment and field involved. A Risk Management investigator who would be considered a take no prisoners hard ass. There would be a Public Relations person to keep the press constantly informed of every step of the investigation. There would be no leaks of information from any other source, the Public Relations person would be the point of contact, and would forward all information to the press as soon as humanly possible.
Whatever Government had jurisdiction would be given absolute free hand in the investigation, and no mistakes or errors would be covered up. The other job of the Public Relations person would be to put the best possible spin on the situation.
Do not deny the seriousness of the accident, and always state that it is the position of the company and the President to find out what happened, and take every conceivable step to make sure that it never happens again. Stress the safety record of the facilities, and the company. Explain that sometimes, unforeseen accidents do happen in industrial environments and no amount of effort or money can ever totally eliminate the risk of accidents.
For the wounded, make sure they are getting the best possible care, and for the dead, make sure their families are supported through the compassionate efforts of the company, and make any settlements as generous as possible, to avoid lawsuits and the resultant bad publicity.
Above all else, keep the families informed and keep someone available to them at all times to answer questions or concerns. A mine accident where the company didn't do this, lasted about a day before the families were screaming at the press people trying to learn what had happened to their loved ones. Keep the families involved in any rescue attempts, even giving them access to the rescue command post if possible.
Let them know we care, and are doing everything humanly possible to save their loved ones.
Above all else, do not admit fault generally, but say that the cause of the incident is under investigation from both the company, and the local government. In this incident, Sarah was on the phone with the Royal Navy, and the Royal Coast Guard before the plane reached cruising altitude and getting faxes of preliminary information while the plane raced northeast.
The next three weeks would be spent not at the Academy, but in the city of Galway Ireland showing the world how dedicated the company was to it's employees, and their safety. She would endure a storm tossed trip in a helicopter to the rig and be walked through by both the investigating engineer, and the on sight engineer who had a bandage on his neck and arm from burns he had received fighting the fire. She would escort four press camera crews to the platform and with the Engineers, walk them through the accident and explain what was believed to have happened.
The company stock would drop a bit, but only a bit. Due in great part to the brilliance of Sarah Miller in her handling of the situation, and her plans to address such a situation when it happened. Pictures of her hugging and comforting the families of the lost employees were minor news in the English Papers, but only because Sarah had managed to defuse the Press's suspicions of a cover up right away by allowing them unprecedented access to the information as it was developed and asking only that they refrain from publishing until the information could be given to the families first. Her reasonable request was explained like this. "Let us tell them what mistakes, if any, we made, before you go public. Let us tell them what we've learned before you go on the air with it please. They are part of our corporate family, and part of our responsibility to them is to get the truth to them as quickly as possible, and personally."
Sarah's plan worked brilliantly, and despite the claims of the environmentalists, especially the more militant groups, there was no real public interest in shutting down the drilling and production platforms. The rig would be quickly repaired and back online, re-named for the two dead workers, in four months. The two men's pictures would be in the Managers office, with a small plaque in the control room memorializing the men.
While Sarah was boarding an aircraft in Houston, Jeannette was fixing her bra which somehow never felt quite comfortable as Diane and Geneva entered the bathroom. They started on their showers after a morning greeting.
"Something wrong Jeannette?" Diane asked.
"This damn Bra, it just doesn't fit right." Jeannette said in a huff of breath.
Diane stepped out of the shower and said. "The straps look uneven, well at least they look wrong." She fixed one and then said. "How's that?"
"Better, barely." Jeannette allowed. "How was Master Carlos?"
Geneva giggled and said. "Seemed happy."
Jeannette turned from the mirror where she was doing her eye makeup. "Report."
"Two times, longer on the second, of course." Geneva said and then paused to rinse her hair. She emerged from under the shower and continued. "He was uncomfortable with two of us at first, then she got into the act and made him feel wonderful." Geneva said the last part with a slight accusatory tone belied by the knowing smile.
"Diane?" Jeannette asked.
"I just did what I thought Master told us to." Diane said giggling. "I got Geneva all hot and bothered, and then told Carlos to fuck the shit out of her."
Jeannette turned and looked at them both. "Master Devon will probably want details. Come with me in ten when I report for assignments."
Jeannette put the dress on, sliding it over her head, and shimmying it into position. She adjusted it for a moment until her cleavage was exposed and then stepped into her shoes. She checked herself in the mirror, and saw that the lightweight lemon colored dress was right. Her matching lemon colored underwear was a pale shadow under the dress, which seemed to be the idea that Mistress Ann had when she selected them last night.
Diane and Geneva followed Jeannette towards Master Devon's door and waited while she knocked and then followed her in. They knelt, while she waited standing to keep from wrinkling her dress so early.
Devon listened to the briefing and then nodded his head. "Perfect girls, absolutely perfect. Thank you Diane, you're right of course, his self esteem issue is similar to yours." Devon leaned back. "When I ask this, understand I'm not asking you to say anything negative about a Master, instead, I want your input to help me train a Dominant."
Diane and Geneva nodded and Devon waited a moment to be sure they understood. "How is his technique?"
Diane and Geneva exchanged glances and then Geneva began. "His angle is wrong, he misses the clit entirely, even with the rings."
"He's too low to really get the good spots Master." Diane agreed.
"What's he doing with his hands?"
Diane shrugged. "I was in the way when he was fucking Geneva, but he was rubbing my back while I licked her."
Devon nodded. "Thank you, we'll start to address that before long."
"Yes Master." They confirmed.
"Jeannette, Sarah was called away on an emergency, so she won't be here as we expected." Devon said. "She called about an hour and a half ago to tell me she couldn't make it right now, she had to go to Ireland for work."
"Master?" Jeannette said. She got a nod that she could continue. "Should I check that?"
Devon pursed his lips and then nodded. "It might be an excuse, you're right." He sighed deeply and then said. "I hadn't considered that. It might be that she is afraid, again."
"I'll see what I can find Master." Jeannette said.
"Diane to central to begin testing. Geneva to the kitchen, and Crystal will have a class in Ballet after Diane tests in Ballet." Devon instructed to get the morning started.
"Yes Master." Jeannette said.
"That's it, let's get busy girls."
Diane and Geneva had already showered and instead picked up and smoothed out the dayroom. Diane was unusually quiet at breakfast, and everyone understood why. She was a little nervous about the tests that started this very morning. She knew she could pass Ballet, under penalty of having her skin flogged completely off of her by Mistress Rebecca, and figured she could pass all the others, but still, testing was scary.
Devon briefed the trainers at Breakfast. "So Sarah's been called away for work, and as such, that allows us to deal first with Diane, and then focus on Carlos."
"As well as the others." Rebecca added with a wicked smile.
"Ok, after breakfast, we'll start testing Diane. Perfection is not possible, but we can get pretty damned close." Devon again pointed out to the trainers.
Geneva collected the slave trays and set them down near the sink to wash them. Then she turned and headed towards the dining room, stopping to pick up a bar mop style towel to wipe the dining room down with.
Crystal hid in the training hallway, watching from the open door to Ballet, while Geneva peeked from around the corner of the dining room. Josh was standing and watching as well. Devon spoke to Diane, and his voice carried and was understandable, if a little low.
"Diane, your testing begins now, and upon completion of those tests, you'll be a fully qualified slave of the Academy. Our first fully qualified slave no less." Devon began. "Your first test is in Ballet." Devon stepped back and gestured to Mistress Rebecca.
"Diane, this is a final review, it is either pass, or fail. I for one know it will be a pass, because I trained you." Rebecca said as she stepped forward. "You are already in Slave kneel, so let's begin with the others."
Diane moved to each position as directed and the trainers watched her go through each position carefully. Devon didn't see any glaring problems, and then shifted to see how Carlos was reacting. He was absolutely focused on Diane. Devon returned his attention to Diane and watched as she finished all the position training. Then she gave a demonstration of the slave glide, and returned to Mistress Rebecca when bade, and knelt before her by floating gracefully to her knees.
Rebecca turned to Devon and waited. Devon pursed his lips for a moment. "I would call that a pass, are there any observations or objections from the rest of the trainers?"
There were a chorus of "No" from all the trainers and Rebecca turned to Diane. "Pass Diane."
Diane smiled proudly. Months of work had paid off, she knew she was far more graceful, more poised, more beautiful to watch. She bowed her head and said. "Thank you Mistress."
"Don't thank me Diane, you earned it." Rebecca said softly.
"Diane, please go with Master Andre, and Master Thomas for your final in Massage." Devon said next.
"Yes Master." Diane said as she stood and followed them down the hall.
Crystal had ducked back into the Ballet class as the test was nearing completion. She watched Diane enter the Massage room and then knelt to wait for Mistress Rebecca.
Rebecca was standing with Ann and Devon. "Well Devon, a big change in a few months."
"You're the best, I've never said otherwise Rebecca." Devon said with a supportive smile.
"Did anyone but me notice Crystal peeking around the corner?" Ann asked.
"Was she really?" Rebecca asked.
Ann nodded. Devon answered. "So was Geneva, but that's expected. They're curious. Ignore it for today, we'll notice it officially later, and we'll be properly outraged about it." Devon finished. "For now, go and teach her something."
"What do you want me to do Devon?" Carlos asked.
"I want you to come with me, we should talk about what you just saw, and what you'll see later." Devon said.
In his office, once they were served coffee and Ann had been invited to join them. "So Carlos, what did you think about nearly seven months of effort and practice?"
"She's so graceful, and not just at the test, whenever I see her, or any of them really." Carlos began.
Devon nodded. "Tell me what emotional response you saw in her."
Carlos leaned back a bit and considered. "Pride first off, and happiness of course."
"Why of course?" Ann asked.
"When she'd passed." Carlos clarified. "Of course she'd be happy and proud then."
"You mentioned pride. How did she demonstrate that?" Devon asked.
"Her attention to detail, the poise she had, it was a lot of things." Carlos said flummoxed by the question.
"Carlos, there is no wrong answer here." Devon began to calm him down. "Just relax, and tell us what you saw, and thought about it."
Carlos breathed in. "Incredible effort, to learn how to be that graceful, that balanced as she moved through the various positions." He hesitated. "That kind of attention to detail must come from pride. I can't imagine any other reason to put that kind of effort into it."
"Good enough." Devon allowed. "Right now, she's giving a massage to Master Andre. After lunch, she'll be performing Oral Arts testing. For now, why don't you go see Crystal, and remember she's a different person, with different strengths and abilities."
Carlos rose and walked out of the office towards Ballet. Ann waited for Devon to get to the real reason she was here, whatever it was. Devon waited a moment for Carlos to clear the office and said. "Oral Arts testing is live Ann."
"I wondered why you wanted me here." Ann admitted.
"Station eleven, and twelve." Devon said significantly. "That means it can be you, Rebecca, or Jeannette."
Ann nodded and her jaw clenched for a moment. "In other words, do I want to do it?"
Devon nodded. "Carlos will be there, as will the rest of us. Is that more than you can manage?"
Ann glanced at the door and took a deep breath before answering. "I don't think it should be me Devon. I'm not that comfortable."
"Rebecca said she would be happy to, if you weren't ready for it." Devon comforted.
Ann bit her lip. "Devon, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to relax, and that would affect her test."
Devon smiled easily. "I understand. I'm not upset, or disappointed. You've come an amazing distance Ann, and one day, you'll be ready for that part of the lifestyle too. Nothing to be ashamed of, or concerned about."
Ann visibly relaxed. Devon never said things like that unless he was genuinely serious. "Any word from Sarah?"
Devon shook his head. "Just that there was a fire, and she had to go and attend to the situation."
"I wonder if she's disappointed that she's not here, or if she's relieved that she's not here?" Ann asked.
Devon snorted a single bark of laughter at that image. "Probably a little of both. Any observations about Diane?"
Ann shook her head and Devon asked the next obvious question. "Carlos?"