“Up periscope!” The Captain of the submarine Titanius 3 ordered as he twirled his moustache. “Mr. Sinclair, what do you see?”
Barney Sinclair blinked, scratched his head, and blinked again before mumbling in response:
“This can’t be right!”
“What’s the matter? Speak up, man! What do you see?”
“A... hmmm... a barrel cactus, Sir.” He kept looking at the image being reflected by the prisms inside the rotating vertical tube. “Actually, scratch that. I see a ton of them.”
“But how can that be? A submarine can’t run under a desert! It’s... it’s preposterous!” The Captain exclaimed, doing his best to remain calm, yet failing miserably.
“It’s another stupid glitch in the system, that’s what it is!” Sinclair vociferated. “Computer, Abort Simulation, NOW!”
Immediately, the metallic bowels of the submarine and everything in it except for the two men, gave way to a series of chromatic grids that then exploded in a shower of pixels.
“I thought had everything figured out this time.” The “Captain”—whose real name was Thomas Mathison—said, visibly disturbed.
“So did I. I don’t know what caused this overlap in the programs. I really don’t.”
Thomas sat on the floor looking at the shiny, futuristic console he and his best friend had been working on for the last five years. Another bust, one made worse by the fact it was his birthday. The poisoned gift was not what he hoped to receive when he woke up that morning.
“We’re never going to create our own Star Trek Holodeck, are we?” He sighed.
“Of course, we will! We just have to go through the code once again, and we better get started! Come on, help me out here.”
“I’m tired, dude. Let’s just...”
A whirring sound was heard from underneath their feet.
“What was that?”
“Fits me! Now, get your butt over here and...”
The sound returned and one of the lights on the console started blinking non-stop. Two others followed as a new stream of data was being processed by the mainframe.
“Did you just activate the program, again?” Morton asked, standing up in a single heartbeat.
“No, I didn’t touch anything. It must be glitching out again, probably some sub-routine gone haywire or....”
The room darkened as a series of data replicated a semblance of matter that belonged to their teenage fantasies. There were velvet drapes emerging from the walls, candles burning next to them, a heavy wooden door being assembled out of thin air... And then, there were the toys: the ball gags, cuffs, chastity belts, ropes, whips, canes, floggers, a Bondage bed, two Saint Andrew’s Crosses, a queening stool and so many others; everything the wicked Mistress of the den needed to play with their human toys until they begged for more and more.
“I thought you deleted the Mistress Program last Summer!” Morton shrieked.
“And I did! I... I’m sure of it! This is...”
“This is where you bow down before me!” The woman of their darkest dreams said as she appeared in front of them and her stunning height made them feel like ants in her presence. The embodiment of so many visions of perfection throughout the ages, she was so dazzling that just looking at her was enough to turn consciousness into blind devotion.
Glitch in the system or not, they never stood a chance. Thomas’s last thoughts before being swept by virtual oblivion were:
“I guess I get to have an unforgettable birthday after all!”