Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Grand Opening - Chapter Five

‘Regarding what you said about Esha being another Hive Queen when we get there,’ Seetha said over

tea with Claire the next day.

‘You said when we get there, we’re making progress,’ Claire smiled.

‘She would never take the position, she couldn’t really,’ Seetha began and Claire finished.

‘Because she lost her strand and no Silkworm would respect her I assume and Seetha acknowledged.  ‘Then we’ll just have to get it back,’ Claire added as if it was as good as done.

‘Esha will have to get it back, it's her honour that was lost.  It just can’t be handed back to her.’

‘Ah, I see, kind of a Klingon thing.  Sorry for my poor attempt at levity.  Well what if we gave her a purpose and a partner, an unknowing partner or so she thinks and that idea comes from you,’ Claire said.

‘I’m listening,’ Seetha said as she stirred her tea.

‘You need to recruit women.  I have the person for the job, my recruiter Allison Janney.  She’s amazing, but she does not know Silkworms, but Esha does.  What if we put the two together and steer them in the right direction.  Allison will have to know of course, but she won’t tell, if anything the opposite, Esha will think she’s doing it all,’ Claire proposed.

‘Seems like lies built upon one another,’ Seetha said. 

‘That’s the business we're in,’ Clare casually replied to which Seetha had to agree.

‘I will make the announcement tomorrow in front of all The Hive.  

‘How did things go this morning regarding what we set in motion?’ Claire quirried.

‘No hidden listening devices?’ Seetha said then it was her turn to apologise for a poor attempt at humour.  ‘They seemed to welcome it.  They like it here. They were also thrilled about the chance to train in other places.  Many of them have formed friendships with some of your agents.  I’m happy it's good for them.  Esha however, seems to be withdrawn.  I hope Miss Janney can help in more ways than one.’

‘It's hard to dislike her and even if you do she’ll just keep on you until you give up and like her.  Plus she has some serious skills that even Esha will respect, that helps.

^^^

‘This is how you celebrate?’ Allison said, coming up to the bar beside Esha.  ‘The drink I get, kind of, but smoking?’

‘Relax, it's just menthol, my replacement for an old habit.  The drinking is a new one. Perhaps I started too late,’ she said motioning to the bartender for another before Allison cancelled it.

‘This is fine,’ she said, motioning to the glass, but in moderation.  That is off putting, but at least you’ll never be congested,’ Allison smiled, referring to the cigarette.

The comment made Esha smile for a second.  ‘I take it you’re Miss Allison Janney, my new partner.’

‘Hope to be more than that, but if that’s all, that’s fine, at least I will have done my bit.  

‘You sound like someone I knew,’ Esha smiled at the reminiscence.

‘Your Grandfather, the Colonel.  I read his book on India, A Political Discourse.  He was right, it only works if everyone is active and does what they can to make the country better, not them, the country, the other will follow,  Kennedy said the same thing only 10 years later.  Anyway, it's you not him I’m working with, horrible marriage, unjust divorce,’ Allison stated.

‘And a lot about me,’ Esha added.

‘That was twenty minutes of internet research including reading.  Do you want to know what I spent the next 40 minutes looking for?

This piqued the Silkworms curiosity and she put out her cigarette.  

‘Come with me and I’ll show you,’ Allison smiled, but to Esha's eyes morphed into a teasing look, but she was hooked so she followed.  

They walked out of the bar and into the din of the casino, voices, bells and computer generated winning and losing sounds reverberated around them until finally they left making their way into the hotel part of the complex and to the elevator.  Allison pushed six, the doors closed and up the two went the FORCE recruiter stealing glimpses as they went until the doors opened.  Allison led the way, Esha at her side then all of a sudden she stopped. 

‘You straighten yourself up right this instant or this goes no further and you can go back to feeling sorry for yourself. Here show this to the bartender and you can drink for free, as much as you want.  Here take it!’ Allison, her voice raised, thrust it into Esha’s hand.

Esha did not know what was going on, she looked at the card, then at Allison who continued.

‘You're a Silkworm, so act like one!’ she said in a softer voice than before.  Esha realized Allison’s hands were on her straightening her saree, adjusting her upper border, smoothing down and fixing the lower border then working on her shoulder and Pallu Pleats.  There, better, now straighten up and walk as only a Silkworm can, confident, sexy, commanding.  We’ll need that Esha to succeed,’ Allison said with care and concern now in her voice.

‘Esha dropped the card and instantly became a Silkworm again, Allison marveled at what she had just seen, but picked up the card.

‘Don’t be so careless, free drinks are always welcome,’ she smiled waving the card and Esha smiled back.

The rest of the way along the hall and into Allison’s suite Esha was mesmerizing, even her elegance at sitting down was something to behold.  Allison grabbed her laptop and brought up the data she had collected but started with something unexpected.

‘Ok, so just to be clear, we both know this me helping you get your mojo or whatever back without you suspecting anything is BS, right?  I just nodded and smiled when Seetha and Claire told me.  I have more, way more respect for you than that,’ Allison explained.

Esha looked at Allison for a while, of course she knew it was nonsense, but it didn’t matter what she and this young girl thought, it was what the others thought and Seetha had already set them straight on who she trusted and where the next Hive Queen was coming from.  Her work was more than enough to eliminate doubt or disrespect from them. She just nodded and let Allison continue, Esha was warming to her.  

‘Your possessions,’ Allison was careful with the word she picked.  `They're hard to sell.  The pearls for the quality reason and the other things for a value reason, much too high priced for fences.  Now from what you told us about your attackers, your location and your movements before our Analytics Department was able to come up with a likely overview.  Now we add to that, this data,’ she explained, calling up another window.  This is all the on the ground data we were able to gather from sources about possible inquiries into selling the items.’

‘How did you get so much information?’ Esha asked.

‘This is just the boiled down data, it was much larger than this.  As to how, we called in a lot of favours to fill in missing pieces we felt might be relevant.  Now all we have to do is let the algorithm I wrote and David’s department checked, run and we will have an answer as to where to start.’

‘We already know it was The Strippers Guild,’ Esha said.

‘Those bimbo’s wouldn’t know a real gemstone from a Dollar Store fake.  Besides, they work for someone else, TRIDENT and they do know the value.  Strippers like cash, they would have been paid for the job and told to bring everything else back to someone who did know the value of it, in more ways than one,’ Allison added, taking Esha’s hand.  ‘This could take a while to compile and run, would you like something in the meantime.’

‘Tea would be pleasant, but only if you’ll join me,’ Esha answered.

‘I should say, why are you coming apart!  But, instead, I will say I’m honoured.’

It was an old joke, but Esha had to laugh.  This girl was smart and silly, in a good way she liked her already, which was something extraordinary for a Silkworm, they were normally discouraged from outside friendships.  

Allison made the tea, Esha offered to help but Allison refused saying she was her guest.  She brought it over, poured and they enjoyed a few sips while the program worked away.  Finally Esha set her cup on its saucer and looked at Allison.

‘About the recruitment aspect of this arrangement,’ the Silkworm inquired.

‘Please tell me you have ideas, have done this before, because, sure I can do it for, lets just use the term, no offense intended here, “normal agents” and that includes Curve as well, but I’m up a blind alley on this one.  So if you have guidance to offer, please.  I’m more than happy to follow along providing what resource support I can.  Sometimes Claire gets carried away with what she thinks people can accomplish,’ Allison said, setting down her cup and looking hopeful.

Esha had expected as much and yet she wasn’t disappointed, she rather appreciated the honesty.

‘Its expected every Silkworm will recruit, how else can you be expected to grow the organisation and become a Hive Queen yourself.  I have to say we never really had a grand strategy, a master plan.  Speaking honestly, it was just chance or luck.  You come across just the right person in your travels, be they work or just daily routine.  I suspect, like your organization, some make it and some don’t.  We’ve always seemed to be more on the don’t side. Not a very promising report for the future I’m afraid,’ Esha said.

‘Well I like a challenge, I did it here, the Silkworms just require a different approach, similar but geared to your tradition.  True the pool of talent is much narrow, that just means our parameters need to be highly defined.  I've got some ideas turning around already in my head, but first things first and that’s Esha Gangu and we have some answers,’ Allison said looking at the computer.

^^^

‘Chennai.’

That’s what the data said and given some of the data we picked up from the satellite images, we know a vehicle left the scene before Elena could get them all.  Same car turned up at port the same day a boat left for Chennai.  I have some leads from people there.  It's a good place to pawn stolen gems, lots of international companies and contacts, easy way to get them out, if you know what palms to grease.  We have several leads on sales.  I think we can get those back and maybe a few of those will provide information on the more important item,’ Allison said.

“Of course,’ Claire said, looking at Susan. ‘Who do we want to send to help Esha.’

Before Claire could answer Allison chimed in. ‘I’m going, that’s the end of it.  Esha and I are partners,’ she said in a final tone.

Claire knew it was, FORCE, like the US Marines or the Navy had the same rule.  Just as every Marine is a rifleman and every sailor a firefighter, every FORCE employee is trained and has to complete a minimum of five missions. The intensity of those missions however did vary greatly.  Allison had done hers and in general had performed well.  She had liked it but knew where her strength lay, but she still trained on the side. 

‘You don’t have to always stick to the rule you know,’ Susan Janus said after Allison had left.

‘Then I would lose their respect, even if sometimes we know it's not a good idea.  Besides, having a Silkworm as your partner is a nice edge,’ Claire countered.  

The duo had run around Chennai for most of the morning.  Neither knew the city well, so they used the best transportation and the fastest, a Tuk-Tuk.  So far everything had come up dry.  Allison was a little frustrated and to be honest, a little embarrassed. She was starting to entertain the possibility that she had made a mistake in her data, but she didn’t let that show, she wanted Esha to have confidence in her partner.  

The Tuk-Tuk headed in a decidedly order and from Allison could a less, much less prosperous part of the city, she didn’t have much hope, but Esha seemed excited.  The three wheeled wonder machine swung round a corner and stopped.  The ladies stepped out and looked across.


‘You know words fail me at this moment so I’m going with, what a dump,’ Allison said as she looked at the

corner store that had a decided lean to the left, the grey/brown concrete cracked at places so big you

could put a fist in, the windows barred with rusting pieces of rebar draped in rusting razor wire.  What was

more worrisome was the four stories above the store were in worse shape.

‘Just the place,’ Esha said.  ‘Who would think money was housed inside, certainly not the police, the perfect operation. Besides, we’re running low on leads, after this only two are left.’

The inside was no better, but at least you couldn’t see the cracks and rebar on the inside, they were covered from the ceiling in everything and anything you could imagine made from plastic.  Boxes, dish racks, cake covers, drawer sets, deconstructed shelving units, ampersand every size, shape and colour of garbage cans.  The other wall was blankets, all piled together, mixed about the hanger kits for them and used and new blinds.  Dirty boxes of tools lined the far wall, all on shelves, there seemed to be no organization to them. Interspersed here and there were various pieces of electronics, most from names no one ever heard of.  The front of the establishment has the traditional glass cabinets with new things, mostly electronics, but a few watches and pieces of gold. Behind the proprietor on the wall hung phone cards and packs of cigarettes.  The owner was engaged in playing some sort of game on his laptop, while a woman was doing her best to organise some small sections of canned food.  

Esha looked about, the man did not acknowledge them, which told Esha a lot.  She went to the woman and greeted her.  Allison noticed she was giving her the once over as they spoke in soft tones she could not make out before a louder voice she could make out spoke.

‘That’s my mother in law, I keep her around because she has no place to go and to shut my wife up, pay her no attention, she knows nothing,’ he barked.  ‘If you need anything, deal with me.’ he added then looked over at Allison, her blonde hair something he didn’t see everyday and smiled.  ‘Please come to the front’

Esha smiled at the woman and came slowly back to Allison.  ‘What a nasty little man he is,’ the Silkworm whispered into Allison’s ear.  ‘Find out what you can, he clearly likes the import models over the domestics,’ she added with a liit in her voice.  

Allison gave him her best smile and made her way to the front, the saree Esha had selected for her doing its magic as she moved.  

‘That’s an interesting piece of jewelry, I’m kind of a collector of Indian craftsmanship of any kind.  I think it's some of the best in the world, especially the older pieces,’  she explained in a sweet voice.  

He pulled it out and she looked at it, it was gold, thin, but nice, but nothing she wanted.  “Do you have other, maybe more specific pieces, older in origin or perhaps you know someone who does.  Of course I’ll pay a generous finders fee,’  Allison said as money slid across the table, the amount clearly visible for tabulation.  

He reached for the money, but she pulled it back.  ‘Only if you have or know where I can find what I’m looking for.’


‘And that would be madam?’ he asked in a surprisingly pleasant tone.

‘A long string of Pearls,not good quality and Tanzanite pendant with a Platinum chain, encircled by diamonds, that one is exquisite quality,’ she said.

‘Madam seems to have an exact idea of what she wants,’ he answered this time in a more suspicious tone.  

‘Madam also has an exact idea of what she’ll do to you if you don’t help, she said, pulling a decorative hairpin from her head that could be unmistakably used for more nefarious means.  

Esha and his mother in law looked over for a second then went back to talking seemingly unconcerned.

‘I have heard about these two items.  I couldn’t afford the necklace and the pearls were too cheap looking.. even for me,’ he added as if to reassure Allison.  

‘Anything else?’ she asked.

‘His name is Rudra Surve, he was here several days ago.  Told him I couldn’t help him.  Actually no one will, that necklace has a small number on the eighth diamond, its registered, without a notarized letter from the owner, her will never be able to sell it for the value, but if he gets in touch with certain less savoury people, unlike myself, he will sell it, but for a slim fraction of its value.’

Esha had concluded her talk with the woman and came over joining the conversation.  ‘Do you know where he lives?’ she asked. Her hand also displayed money.

‘No, but it can’t be far.  He was not sweating when he got here and it was a hot day even by our standards.’

‘Maybe he was in good shape,’ Esha answered.

‘Maybe so madam, but I don’t think that extended to his head.  He was bald and it had no beads of sweat on it.’

Allison and Esha both released the money which he quickly took up.

‘He may come back again, please come back in a few days, maybe I can help further,’ he smiled greedily.

‘He won’t be back, he’s about to make the acquaintance of two less than savoury people,’ Allison offered as they left.  

‘Ok, he lives nearby, we hope,’ Allison offered in the street.

‘Nothing to do but search and ask.  We both go up four streets, over four, down eight and back up four, asking and looking for a bald man with the name Rudra Surve.  See you back here in a while,’ Esha said, giving Allison a kiss on the cheek that she returned.


It took a long time as the old part of the city had twisting streets and alleyways that seemed to go in every

direction.  Both women asked questions to people they passed and shop keepers, coming up empty. 

Allison had a harder time, her Tamil was limited, but her exotic looks helped bridge the gap.  Esha had an

easier time, but she was still coming up empty.  The Silkworm finished first and was waiting when Allison

came smiling.  

‘This way,’ Allison smiled and took her hand.

The duo disappeared into an alley, then another, the way becoming so narrow that you had to turn sideways to let a person pass.  

‘It's just around this corner,’ Allison said. ‘I followed him here after a person I asked pointed him out in a crowd.  

‘You’re sure this is the building?’ Esha asked. ‘Really sure.’

‘Yes, I saw the dust kick up from the door, besides its a dead end, he had other means of escape,’ Allison answered looking a little confused at the question.

Esha walked up to a certain point, she seemed to know exactly where to go and brushed the dusty rough concrete wall.

‘This just became much more interesting,’ she said.

^^^

‘Well I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised!  I mean a Male Silkworm, makes sense, after all where do baby

silkworms come from,’ Allison said her tone had an air of laughter to it.  

‘First of all, they're called Larva.  Second, Silkworms, meaning me, would never engage in reproduction with them,’ Esha said, the tone of disgust in her voice only matched by the look on her face.  

‘That pushed a button or six,’ Alison smiled, coming over to sit beside Esha.  ‘Wow, you’re tense,’ she added, feeling her shoulder then the other and finally her neck.  ‘All over.  You need to relax, then we can talk.  We have this great hotel suite and we’re not using it.  Go have a nice bath or shower or a steam shower, that will help you relax.  I’ll order some room service, we can talk about everything then, ok.’

‘Very well,’ Esha smiled and patted her hand.  ‘You are wise beyond your years.’

Esha had her shower and found something waiting for her.  She smiled as she dried, slipped 

on the garment and exited the bathroom.  

‘Surprise,’ Allison said softly, her crouching nude form aglow from the candles placed about.  ‘This hotel has fantastic room service!  Now,’ she added, the word throaty and promising as she fluidly came to her feet. ‘It’s time for some special inhouse service.’  She moved with a sexy flow to Esha, her body covered in a long see thru gauzy wrap.  I knew you’d be sumptuous,’ and took her hand and led her over to the futon.  ‘Since your so tense and nervous, I figure the best

Way to relieve all that is a nice massage.  Step one, removal of any clothes.  Oh, no, this is a full service

establishment, please allow me,’ Allison smiled in an arousing grin as two hands lightly pulled back the

gauzy from the hood of her head.  Esha closed her eyes in delight.  ‘Now the wonderful thing about this

covering is it has no sleeves, makes removal easy. Light and breezing yet cloying but with just a breath

of air it wisps away from the form.’  Esha felt the warm breath of her partner cascade across neck and

shoulders, like a warm desert night.  ‘There, off the shoulders,’ Allison cooed as she moved around to

Esha’s back,  whispering in her ear, her lips just touching, her breath seething in sexuality as she spoke. 

‘The rest of course should be simple, just a wave of the loose material, a butterfly's wing beat is all that’s

needed and I can remove it as if it was never there,’ she honeyed.  Allison made sure the fabric caressed

over Esha’s nipples as it came off.

The FORCE agent guided her partner into the centre of the futon, then slithered her arms around the Silkworm’s waist, Allison pressed them together.

‘Your very tense Esha,’ Allison said, her voice hot and hungry. ‘But I have just the technique to relax you, are you ready to give yourself to me?’ she added.

Esha nodded, this was a side of Allison she did not expect, nothing had suggested it.  She was beautiful and smart, but this was a different woman.  Part of it was also that she had not expected the body she saw, hard, alluring, supple and seductive and sexy in motion and words, she readily submitted and gave up control.

Allison in a slow and swaying motion lowered them to the futon. Esha, cupped in her body felt nothing, gravity disappeared as Allison held her, the Silkworm marvelling in the strength of the young agent as they moved downward until she was suspended just above the futon then delicately deposited into place.

‘I hope my Descending Vine was to your likely Esha,’ she said as she lay lightly on the woman.  ‘You have an insanely amazing body. I could run my hands over and over it, feeling the dangerous contours, flowing them to certain peril or pleasure or maybe both at once, how does someone prepare for such a choice?  But before I can do that I need to do a few more things.  As I said we are a full service operation, so please if I may,’ Allison said as she reached for a hairbrush and started in on Esha’s wonderful thick black hair.

The simple task aroused Esha to the boiling point.  She wanted to roll over and face Allison and had to resist with everything she had, the concentration a welcome demand, she knew without it she would have climaxed from the siren touch of the brush and Allison soft sweet humming.

‘Radiant and shining, but it does present another problem, it gets in the way, but not to worry, I have a solution, in more ways than one,’ she added.  

The FORCE agent opened a jar of rich cardamom scented hair gel working it in with her hands, the tender kneading and long pulls of her hair between Allison’s fingers igniting her again.  ‘Now to tuck it out of the way on top,’ she said, beginning the process of tying up the Silkworms hair in an intricate bun, slipping a hair pin through it as a finishing touch.  ‘I hope you don’t mind but I had this made for you before we left,’  Allison said as she showed Esha the hairpin she planned to use.

‘It has multiple deadly uses, but for now it's just a hairpin, Allison said, clipping it into place.  ‘Now we can begin.’

It was a good thing because Esha was close to being overcome with emotion.

‘Claire told me you wanted to see my dossier before we left, but it isn't the whole story of Allison Janney, there are things I keep just to myself and those I wish to share them with, those I trust,’ she said lowering herself back onto Esha and close to her ear.  

‘I would be remiss if I didn’t inform you that I don’t practice the traditional forms of massage, Swedish, Tantric, Deep Tissue, Sports, etc.  Those are standard fare, I prefer a more full bodied approach, in that way I can relax more of you at once.  Just a touch of oil to your back, Lavender and Mint and then me,’ Allison purred.

Allison’s body twisted on top of the Silkworm’s like a snake, her hands keeping the contact light but ever present as she swept over the woman, from her shoulders to her ankles.  Esha was electric from the contact, the smooth, hard form of Allison slithering about hers tensed the Silkworm instantly, her clitoris beating faster and faster as the woman brushed against her more purposefully.

‘I need to work out these little knots and I have just the device to do it,’  Allison explained as one of her erect hard nipples pressed down on the point, the FORCE agent’s shoulders rotating slowly as she worked it in.  ‘One down, many more to go.’

The spy’s body arched up and down, her nipples working on the tiny knots while her hips surged and swayed, her legs slid up and down Esha’s, the toes kneading and relaxing the Silkworm’s calves and thighs.  The strain started to leave her body and as she relaxed more and more Allison’s labours increased, not in speed but in deepness.  She could not keep track of the techniques, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, they all blended together seamlessly into one fluid motion.

‘Just a few touches left Esha,’ Allison breathed then tested the arms and legs, they were limp as she suspected.  She repositioned Esha’s arms and legs and lovingly rolled her over onto her back fixing her limbs again before crawling up between them to suspend herself over top.  “This side is even more impressive.  You're a web of seduction Esha, impossible to resist, the Silkworm,’ Allison said, her lips less than an inch from Esha’s, the hot breath, scently with desire and mixed with her body spices made Esha wish she had use of her arms and legs.  

The frontal massage was even more intense, Esha could see everything, the skimming hands, feel everything, Allison rolling her hips like a crashing surf upon the beach of her muff.  Just the merest of touches between the two, as Allison’s pussy brushed lightly then disappeared only to land again, her hips creating an unpredictable pattern of fire that stangly relaxed her more.

‘Thai Brush, exceedingly hard to master, devilishly impossible to resist,’ Allison’s hot breath said as she worked while her hands and feet, stroked, pinched, caressed and soothed the rest of the Silkworm’s body.  

Esha wanted nothing more at this point than to pull Allison into her embrace where they could entangle each other and spend the night there, but her arms and legs were useless and for that she was grateful, her desire would have ruined the moment.  She knew Allison was showing her how much she respected and cared for her and how desirable she was and always had been even if she doubted it sometimes.  

‘One more step to total relaxation,’ Allison smiled as she positioned on top of her, the FORCE agents legs set on a Lotus, her arms around Esha’s back and up her shoulders for support as she rolled backward into a sitting Lotus, the Silkworm’s legs straddling either side of her hips.  Allison had entwined her arms in Esha’s above her head and they swayed gently side to side as the Silkworm became aware of her paradise supported between the flats of Allison’s feet in the Lotus.  

Almost immediately Esha’s eyes flickered then rolled back as she slowly rocked in the nest Allison had made.  The orgasm enveloped her as nothing ever had, it was intense but soft, like a slow floor of warm water washing through her body, every part of her was involved in the joy, the pleasure seeping from every pore of her nude wondrous body.  It seemed forever, not too intense as to become dangerous, but lingering and warming then she slowly started to fade, happy to let go.

Allison rocked forward caressing Esha as she went releasing the Silkworms body lovingly into the embrace of the soft Futon.  She gave her a soft brief kiss on the lips then rolled over beside her and went to sleep as well one hand lightly against the Silkworms hip.   




















Sunday, July 25, 2021

Trouble with Pictures

 Hello:

For whatever reason Blogger decided to delete pictures from some of the stories, but not others.  I would suggest in future if you like the strories with the pictures, download or copy/paste them to the cloud or your computer as they may, again, for whatever reason disappear.   


Sorry for this,  Steve

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Grand Opening-Chapter Four

‘I don’t think the situation is as we think it is,’ Tina explained.

‘What situation are you referring to, we always have numerous situations on the go,’ Fan Li, Head of Mekong LLP answered with a smile.

Our current Silkworm situation,’ Tina answered back.  ‘I don’t think this was about getting rid of them at all, that’s just what it was made to look like.  Sure that was part of the goal, but I think TRIDENT was looking for something or many other things and used that as the cover.’

This peaked Claire’s interest.  She admitted only to herself that she found some of these meetings tedious and well a ‘snooze fest’, but she knew they were necessary.  It also caught the other members interest as well, except David Jacob’s who Claire noticed seemed not surprised at all.

‘I can see you have one convert in the room already,’ Claire answered, smiling at David.

‘Everyone assumes it is about money, but we,’ Tina answered, glancing at David.  ‘Think it is about advantage or perceived advantage.  They want something to make their agents better, give them an edge on us, just as the Silkworms always had an edge on us, until they didn’t,’ Tina explained and the light went on around the room.

‘The ancient texts, the books, the scrolls, the manuscripts, the codes in those that we decoded gave us even more knowledge.  That is what turned the tide for us against them,’ Cindy said out loud what everyone was thinking.

‘Come on!’ Trident has to know that.  You two are overthinking this,’  Allison Janney, Head of Recruitment exclaimed.

‘Think about it.  You have one leg of a Tripod that is very secretive, we know that.  Does all its own recruiting, training.  Never share any of those methods, thousands of years of knowledge with the other two legs.  No one is allowed inside a Silkworm Hive, unless they are a Silkworm, no exceptions ever.  You can train at a Poison Geisha Teahouse, just make the commitment, likewise for The Strippers Guild, but never for a Hive.  What organisation, especially one such as TRIDENT would tolerate such an imbalance?’ Alice said.

Especially one as paranoid as TRIDENT.  Silkworms have never been shy about boasting about their lineage, knowledge and special skills.  It always made me wonder about it when I fought them.  What could I do with that knowledge, how much better I’d be. I’d never have to worry about my opponent being better than me again.  Take that away or in this case the ability to protect it and well I’m just a woman and in some eyes an old and useless one, a third leg,’ Claire mused.

‘What if you meant to replace that leg with a new one.  We have seen TRIDENT developing and using more conventional agents and training them with what they think the Silkworms have or had?’  Jacob added and everyone looked at him.

He was usually the only male in the room, it didn’t escape him, but he never felt his opinion wasn’t valid, listened to or valuable.

‘What do you suspect?,’ Cindy asked.

‘Please don’t gender slam me for this as I mansplane this.  It would be perfectly normal to take things with you that you could easily pawn for quick money which they did, but look at all the jewelry they showed up with.  It was way more than they needed.  Now you could make the argument that they could sell that in the future to restart the organization, but I’ve seen enough of it to tell you it's not that valuable.’

‘And you would know that value how,’ Allison asked.

‘I have a girlfriend I love very much,’ he answered.

‘They said they sold stuff along the way, why did they not sell the easy cheaper stuff?  It could be their weapons, but there’s too many of the same thing to make that a viable option.  Silkworms we all know, especially agents who have experience with them, they like variety.  My final point, I mean to say our final point.’ Jacob said, looking at Tina. ‘If they jewelry they have no is so cheap why was TRIDENT taking everything off the Silkworms they killed. The stuff would never be used by The Strippers Guild, not tacky enough for them.  No, it has a value other than monetary.  TRIDENT knows that and so do our guests,’ David concluded.

Now he had Claire’s and everyone else's full attention.  There was a long silence in the room as everyone pondered what had just been said.

‘You seem to have all the answers so far David, for which I’m grateful, do you have one for this riddle. 

‘Nothing, so far, sorry.’

‘Scrimshaw!’  Cindy practically yelled and everyone jumped.  ‘Thank you honey,’ she added, referring to her husband.  ‘Quinn collects it.  Sailors used to carve intricate pictures into whale bone and sometimes ivory.  Presents for wives or girlfriends once they got back home and men with children would sometimes make puzzles.  A little part of a picture on one, then another part on another and so one.  Then they would cut the pieces into puzzle parts, really good ones were three dimensional.  When assembled they formed a complete picture or,’ and here her voice stopped for a few seconds, which seemed an eternity in the room before she continued. ‘Told a story in words and pictures.’

‘Training manuals or other secrets,’ Claire said in a muse.

‘But we have all that and more,’ Allison said.

‘Maybe we do, maybe we don’t, there’s one sure way to find out,’ Claire added already deep in thought.

^^^

‘How are our guests doing Chou?’ Claire asked as she entered the hotel.  

‘They occupy their time with exercise and training, but they do like the casino and some of the shows surprisingly.  I think they are growing a little restless, bored might be a better term.  Seetha has taken a real liking to Cara, they train almost daily, but she has asked, on several occasions when you were coming back.’

‘Well good news all round then.  When are the two training again?  Tomorrow morning, eight o’clock in Seetha’s suite.’

‘I’ll tell Cara she can have the day off.  I’ll join Seetha for yoga.’

^^^

Claire came late to the exercise room, she wanted her entrance to be a surprise and a shock.  If Seetha and the other Silkworms had an ulterior or sinister motive, who better to start with than the leader.  If she was honest with herself, Claire was secretly thrilled with the chance at an encounter with the Hive Queen, to match her skills and body against another.  She had arranged for the room next door and slipped in later in the day so no one saw her.  The next morning she prepared.  

She used Cara’s pass key to enter Seetha’s suite and made her way silently to the sunroom where she found the Silkworm already stretching. 

You’re late this morning child, that’s not like you?’

‘Then we better get going,’ Claire said in her best throaty voice.

She timed her next move to perfection.  As Seetha turned around Claire let the sheer robe slip from her form with just the merest of motions, the clingy fabric cascading down her body in a hugging embrace until falling silently at her feet.

‘Well, that’s me,’ she offered and stepped toward the Silkworm.  

‘These you need to remove Claire.  My yoga with Cara is not just about a workout, but a training session, for both of us.  She gets my years of experience and I get her size,’ Seetha purred.

‘And exactly what specific experiences are you teaching her?’

‘Today was going to be disarming a Silkworm in combat.  As you can see we planned a rather intensive series of sessions,’ Seetha explained, her seduction already started on the new student.  

‘Well let’s hope I don’t disappoint,’ Claire smiled as Seetha tried to snap a front kick at her.

Claire turned slideways, avoided the upswinging leg, delivered a punch to the back of Seetha’s thigh then spun and swept the Silkworms leg out from under her.  Before Seetha could recover Claire had removed her shoes.  The Silkworm rolled over a few times then executed a reverse sommersault coming elegantly and silently to her feet.  

‘These are interesting, Silkworms are not known for their shoes, especially heels, so these must be a fascinating weapon of some kind.  Perhaps you could show me later,’ Claire mentioned, her voice a taunt.

Seetha came forward or rather swayed forward, her motion side to side and meant to be mesmerizing.  Although she moved with a slow grace and elegance, hitting her could be hard as her motion appeared to have no repeated pattern to it and her body, elegant, smooth and flowing changed direction without any hint of correction or strain to it.  

Seetha waited for opportunities and when Claire missed several times, she struck, sharp strikes stung Claire quickly.  Seetha swayed and slithered then undulated and scored again.  She followed up with a spinning back heel kick that Claire just stopped by catching the Silkworms foot in her hand.  The sexy spy twisted Seetha and forced her down to the floor on her torso, Claire holding her legs, but the Silkworm had a surprise!  The jeweled snake's head on her leg snapped forward and nearly bit Claire.  Seetha twisted her head to see Claire so she could strike again, her well toned leg muscles moving the snake's head in any direction she wanted with just the merest manipulation.  Claire dodged the strike while ensuring she held onto the slithering torso of Seetha as she tried to turn herself over.  

‘I have a bite of my own, Seetha,’ Claire said, as her nails flashed up and down Seetha’s sexy gam.  

Her strikes numbed the leg enough for Claire to seize the ornament and pull it off of Seetha’s leg.

“Fantastic device,’ she added, then tossed it away before she delivered a series of sharp punches to the Silkworms mound before her hand, formed into a clawed cup struck and held around Seetha’s paradise.  

‘My bite is more accurate and much more venomous,’ Claire smiled as she let go of the Silkworm’s legs which fell to the floor with a thud.  ‘See what I mean, your paralysed Hive Queen.  The Paradise Pentagon is only effective for a few minutes, but that’s more than sufficient to remove your remaining accoutrements, starting with this lovely but strangely worn gold chain. You’ll have to explain that one to me later.  Now this bangle I am familiar with, each little stone has its nasty surprise.  If I remember correctly you touch the stone here and well, this one’s a strangulation wire, this one’s a poison needle oh and this one, Cinching Silk.  I'm sure the otters are just as inventive.  This wristband, I do believe if I just touch it here in the centre, yes a knife,’ Claire smiled as she watched the previous bent object go silently straight in her hands.  ‘Excellent for when your arms are around an opponent in an intimate embrace or just as a weapon to escape some constricting confinement.  It's quite stylish as well.  And this, upper arm band in the style of a serpent, very pretty but its looks are deceiving,’ Claire said as fingers gripped the head and the tail and pulled, the device pulled apart along the pattern of the scales until it was quite lengthy.  ‘An Ouroboros, one wrapped about the victim, you insert the tail into the snake's mouth and it slowly begins to swallow itself, constricting the prey in the process.  Perhaps not as rewarding as personally doing it, but variety is the spice of life.  These earrings are wonderful, craftsmanship is incredible and very old.  I think this one is a gelatin ball made to look like a pearl.  Most inventive, it would dissolve without a trace in a drink.  The other unscrews along the equator, hollow, useful for just about anything from a poisonous lip balm to a spool of silky death.  Finally, this tiara, I’ll just remove it very carefully, no idea on this, but it is lovely.’

Seetha watched Claire very gently place it down on a table away from them and return.  Claire took up a

Lotus Position waiting for Seetha to regain the use of her body.  

‘You removed all my secondary devices but left the most deadly weapon intact, my body,’ Seetha smiled sexily. 

‘That makes us equal then,’ Claire smiled back.   

Seetha freed a leg and slithered it forward, slipping her toes underneath one of Claire’s legs where she let it stay while she brought the rest of her close.  Her foot caressed Claire’s calf then slid down and closed her toes about Claire’s then stretched both their legs up the sides of their bodies pulling her even closer as Seetha slipped her leg around Claire’s torso.  The Silkworm brushed Claire’s nipples with hers, thrilling the Force Head.  Seetha took Claire’s arms above her head then languidly bent her leg pulling it and her partner behind Claire’s head trapping her arms above her head. 

‘You left me my body, Claire,’ Seetha hissed softly as her fingers pushed into place around the sexy spies neck. 

The Silkworm kissed both of Claire’s hard nipples then gave her a soft kiss on the mouth.  

‘My Kundalini, Claire, both constricting and biting in nature, my fingers and nails are the biting element, they interrupt the nerve endings in the neck rendering the body weak although the touch is pleasant.  My body of course delivers the constricting part. I do hope you haven’t booked anything for the rest of the day,’ the Silkworm smiled.

Seetha looked at Claire, she was not tight yet so there was ample space between them. She liked it that way, it prolonged things.

‘The Kundalini is only ever used by a Hive Queen, she alone knows how to apply and use it.  We are still far apart, I prefer slow engagements, giving the body a workout, both of us, me attacking, you resisting.’

Claire knew the Silkworm had entwined her completely, Seetha’s body was a match for a woman half her age as was her beauty and allure.  

Seetha stretched her body and Claire’s in the process as she pulled in closer, her sculpted body drawing about her younger foe.  

Claire, I can smell your powder, wonderful, it makes what I’m doing even more sensual and of course it reduces the friction in all the right places,’ her voice seductive and dangerous.  

Seetha contracted slowly, evenly, her body perfectly balanced as she worked, her form a sinuously devious serpent that was not without its pleasures to match its perils.  The Silkworm nimbly kissed her opponent, her touches designed to excite but never satiate, thus keeping Claire aroused and fighting desire. She also made small adjustments with her body, unseen by the human eye but sensed by her body.

‘So wonderful,’ Seetha hummed as she nuzzled Claire about the neck then cheeks before settling one of her own next to the spy and resting her chin, her body made a pull inward causing a vibration that engulfed the two but it was Seetha that fell away.

‘My Navel Shockwave, Seetha.  It activates with pressure.  I just had to wait for you to get close enough to trip it.  You’ll be fine in about 5 minutes, I set it for a mild discharge,’ Claire smiled as she got to her feet.  She had no intention of telling the Silkworm that she could have escaped The Kundalini at any time.  Seetha had not applied it properly, whether that was by design or an accident Claire left it for the Silkworm to answer, if she wished, she had played along because of the erotic nature of the encounter.  

Claire slipped on her robe and retrieved one from the closet for Seetha who was starting to stir.  Claire waited holding the robe open until the Silkworm was ready, then she slipped it on, tied it closed, the two looked at each, Claire was several inches taller than Seetha, which had made her Kundalini all the more impressive, before they embraced.

‘It was never about,’ the Silkworm began before Claire put a finger to her lips.

‘We don’t need to go there, I think we each enjoyed every second of it.  Something to build on,’ Claire added.  ‘I do need to know something, something that came up in a meeting with my executive team,’ Claire added then related the concerns to which Seetha smiled, took Claire by the hand and led her into her bedroom vanity.

‘These are more precious to a Silkworm than any jewel we could own or obtain, even though they don’t look like much,’ Seetha said as she opened one of the drawers, took out a velvet box, placed it on the vanity and pulled out her massive length of pearls.

‘There aren't supposed to look like much are they?’ Claire answered. 

‘No third rate pearls at best, of no real value, costume jewelry I suppose would fetch a better price,’ Seetha explained as she worked the strand from one end to the other back and forth adjusting them as a series of pictures began to form.

‘Cindy, was it,’ Seetha said as she worked.  ‘Was right, it is Scrimshaw, but not what I suspect any of your team thought it would be,’ she finished just as the last pearl was dropped in place.

Claire put both hands to her mouth in shock and just stared.  On the surface below was the lineage of the pearls, from the first owner all the way to the current one, their names spelled out by the by way of a tiny black dot on each pearl. That when aligned formed letters  No one would give it a second thought, just an imperfection, making the pearls not for personal use.  

‘My strand goes back 50 names, more than a 1000 thousand years.  These are passed from one Silkworm to another, usually that woman’s trainer or someone they have formed a close bond with.  Some strands are shorter because the Silkworm was killed and a new strand had to be started.  These are our most precious possessions, Claire, they remind us where we came from and where we are going, no Silkworm is ever forgotten, she is always close to us and we her,’ Seetha said her voice resigned to dismay.

‘There was one Silkworm, Kumara, then two when she added Migāvatī, then more until a Hive was formed and Migavati left with her five and they built another.  A Hive can be rebuilt, all it needs is a Queen.  You already have more than Kumara had when she started, you have a HIve and a second, Esha, the rest is up to you, well you and I if you’ll let me.  I ask nothing in return, just effort,’ Claire said.

‘Why?  We were not on the best of terms for the longest time,’ Seetha smiled trying to make the words sound right.

‘Very diplomatically put,’ Claire smiled back, settling Seetha with her look.  ‘I was an Art and History major in school.  I remember one day looking at a Van Gogh in the Louvre, Starry Night, getting lost in the swirls of colour, the intensity of the dark and light, wondering does dark destroy light or the other way around.  In that painting it is hard to know.  He was a tortured man, so much so he killed himself.  Nine hundred paintings in just 10 years, what more could he have done, what peace could he have found if someone had just been there for him when he needed them.  Anyway,’ Claire said, shaking herself from the malaise.  ‘When I got into this game I made myself a promise I would be there for people.  Yes, sometimes it was for my advantage, others it was a chance I took.  Cindy is a former DOOM agent, she’s my Head of Curve Operations.  Tina Samuels was mixed it up with some adventure, she’s my Head of Business Operations.  Mekong LLP was founded by a woman one of my agents saved from a brothel in Bangkok.  Aki Eto was a Poison Geisha who tried to kill me.  She’s now head of her own Teahouse in Sapporo.  The list goes on.’

‘You can’t save everyone Claire, you know that,’ Seetha said softly.

‘No, but you can try and in this case do more than try.  Look, it doesn’t matter how this turns out between us, friends, enemies or frenemies, you give me your word you’ll try.  We’ll do this together right to the end, whatever that is,’ Claire passionately explained.

‘You’re a Silkworm’s Silkworm Claire,’ Seetha said as they embraced.