He may have only been four inches taller than her, but he knew how to make her feel smaller than a microbe. It all started the day Manuel found out his wife was pregnant. He never wanted kids, and made her he couldn't have any, so he knew without a doubt, the baby wasn't his. She was perhaps the only thing he truly loved, and she betrayed him, damning the child before it was even born. The oldest videos where filmed at a different location, another mansion somewhere else, depicting Manuel as an unforgiving man. He locked his wife up, chains and all, to a bed for the majority of her pregnancy. Keeping her well updated on his search for the father, which came down to a DNA test of of his own men, as soon as a doctor was able to get a sample from the baby without harming it. No, the sadistic bastard didn't want to kill either of them, yet
When he found out it was his own "brother-from-another-mother", and right-hand-man, he had him taken to Mexico, where a black-market surgeon removed one of his eyes and connected a bionic eye, which was actually more like a mini video screen directly connected to his brain through the optic nerve. One video in particular showed Mendez explaining to his brother, Joshua, that the video feed in his eye, was going to be connected to the feed of Manuel's wife, so he could watch everything that would follow, while he lived in watchful exile, hands tied by the chords connected to the lives of the woman he loved and the child they made together. Manuel was a master at torture, particularly the psychological variety and he set out to break all three of them, and recorded every step of the way so he could enjoy it even after he killed them.
While his wife was given proper care to keep her and the baby physically healthy, she was constantly bound by chains and mentally tormented by Manuel and his twisted plans for her child, which he was all too happy to share with her every time he visited. All through the pregnancy, he tortured her with scenarios of selling her baby, and even chopping it up and feeding it to her without telling her. In all the cases, he swore she'd never even get the chance to hold her baby. When they found out for certain, the baby was going to be a girl, he shared plans of keeping her for himself, and turning her into his own personal sex-slave. A topic which carried on even during her delivery of the baby in the same room she'd been chained in for the previous seven months.
From there the videos jumped between the location of the mother, still kept in that room, and the child which seemed to have been moved to a steel cage in the middle of a warehouse where a portion was tented off for the processing of cocaine. The mother was given a TV screen the size of the smallest wall, where there was a 24-hour display of her caged baby, being tended to and fed by an array of half-naked women pulled aside for the task. Despite the grim situation, the baby girl who didn't yet seem to have a name, didn't much cry. Not even when Manuel visited the baby girl himself, to torment his wife by making
her watch (with the help of his loyal men) as he fondled her with the promise to make her his
. All of which the father and his former-right-hand was also forced to watch. Brief as it was, it was one of many dominoes that ultimately lead to his mauling death.
He also introduced pot to the baby, through second hand smoke, and a drop of various hallucinogenics through the first few months of her development. The torture didn't stop, and the tapes continued for years... less drugs and more sexual assault, this time extending to his own wife, who was a shell of the woman she had been. By the time the little girl got a name, (unclear in the videos how or by whom) little Mags was beginning to display evidence of a superior intelligence and understanding of the world around her. Barely old enough for kindergarten and she was picking pockets for anything she could take apart and put back together again. While it didn't stop Manuel from continuing the groping
threat of turning Mags into his sex-slave, her intelligence influenced him enough to start giving her things to take apart and put back together. Books to learn how to read. Puzzles to learn how to solve.
Unfortunately, her mother was already dead inside, and thus no longer able to rile, so Manuel killed her, making her lover watch. It was also so she would never get to see just how brilliant her daughter really was. Nor would her father, who Manuel had killed in a "car accident" during the 2004 Hurricane strings across Florida, when Mags was about 13 years old, but before that time, he was lead to believe his daughter was already dead, killed shortly after her mother, whom she'd never officially met outside the womb. Mags wasn't killed though, and the videos showed another change of scenery from the steel cage of a room in the middle of a cocaine factory, to a large concrete room which may have been part of a psychiatric ward once upon a time.
She was given a desk with books, artistic materials, a few tools and computer parts to build her own computer, if she could. Manuel's interest in defiling her personally didn't seem to change, as it made it apparent to her every time they met, but he did keep his distance more, and simply fed her exploring and inventive mind with a new intent to use that too. There where tapes of conversations with corrupt police, and Government officials who helped to give Manuel the ground work for how best to stimulate her intelligence and technological interests, and of course, how then to use those developed skills to the organizations benefit. By the time she was nine, there was the Y2K scare, and she'd learned enough to not only build her own computer, but to understand the inner framework of the binary programming it all ran on.
Her work was surprisingly elegant, but a bit small minded on her own, yet they still used the algorithms she'd come up with to scan the hacked bank records she'd been challenged to obtain to earn new hardware to upgrade her computer, algorithms which filtered through the client records and spending habits of everyone jumping on the online-banking and shopping bandwagon in those systems; narrowing down the pool of victims to those least likely to notice a siphoning of funds, or the sudden pop of unauthorized spending on credit cards they never signed up for. It was the beginning of a long running Identity Theft ring, and she had no idea-- at the time, what she'd actually been working on, what it's practical application would be. So while banks especially, where preparing for system wide failure of all the computer systems, they where buying programs said to "ensure the proper update of time into the twenty-first century" software which granted Mags the access to their records in the first place.
To her, it was presented as a game, a simulation for which she could demonstrate he hadn't been wasting his money giving her the things he'd given her, and a chance to earn more. To a child, it was a no-brainier, and if kept him from making her feel uncomfortable, she was all the more willing to do it. A fact he didn't catch onto until she hit puberty a few years later. He let his sexual interests go, in favor of using her skills in inventing new things, to build him a series of drones and spy-bots. At first, purely to bolster his surveillance and the pulse he had on his organization, even when they didn't think he was watching. It was those videos which where found in the mansion when his death was called in by an Anonymous tip. Videos of those in his organization, doing his dirty work, as instructed. Too, there where still the videos with "Mags" in the label, showing that while he may have dropped his sexual interest in her, he got increasingly violent with her when ever he thought she wasn't working fast enough, or explaining what she was doing in terms he could understand.
He punched her, pretty much every where but her face, threw her around, slapped her, pulled her to him by her hair, and even kicked her legs out from under her to make her kneel to him. Over the course of her pre-teen years, he broke her right ankle twice, and even went so far as to starve her when she wasn't being cooperative
, or tried to negotiate the terms of her assistance to him. He kept her under constant guard and supervision, men who often taunted and cat-called her when-ever the Boss wasn't around. Sometimes getting physical enough to work her nerves but they never actually crossed the line for fear of the consequences. It seemed though the videos proved he knew about it, he didn't care enough to stop them because they didn't disobey his chastity-order on her.
In time for her fourteenth birthday, there was another change of scenery, this time to the much larger studio-space of the Sub-Basement. There weren't any walls but the four that boxed it in, but it had all the amenities on an individual, self-sustaining electric and air-filtration grid run separate of the main estate. There was a shower, with a clear shower curtain, an old claw-foot tub as the base, big enough for two. Sink, toilet, queen size bed, kitchenette, weight training and workout corner, living room/recreation with shelves of books and solitary games, puzzles... perhaps most impressive was the mini garden which looked like a crop of the outside world in the corner opposite the workout mats, complete with real grass and artificial sunlight from a dome aimed into the corner from the roof. It was boxed in, the patch of earth, like a garden deck accented with a little tree and koi pond with a mini waterfall from small rock formation. It was a stunning room, but still every bit a windowless cage it was meant to be.
Her menstrual cycles had always been the hardest, because her own mood-swings would provoke his, but when he moved her to the Sub-Basement, he also began giving her tri-monthly injections which stopped her menstrual cycle, just like he told her it would. Of course, Mags' mood still had a bit of swing to it, but either the shots dulled that too, or she got better at controlling herself and her reactions to him. It may have saved her some of the violence, but between her calmer demeanor and maturing body, he became increasingly less willing to keep his hands off of her when he came down to the sub-basement to visit her and check on her progress.
More drones to spy, but this time he wanted her to include weapons, like guns, in their design. She halfheartedly agreed and stalled as long as she could, but it only made him angry to find out she had no intention of weaponizing the machines she was building for him down there. Tables of computers and various parts taking up the entire center of the large space for which her living quarters surrounded. It was there that he stole her virginity and wrecked some of her work in the process, holding her accountable for repairing them in time, with the weapons included, or he'd bend her over the table again. A threat that obviously terrified her, but also didn't discourage her from taking a stand against participating in his violence. He not only came through with his threat to have her again, but he also made arrangements to make
her participate, and watch-- first hand, the mayhem he was known for.
It was on her sixteenth birthday, with a bomb-collar, he affirmed his ownership of her. He had a camera fitted into her glasses too, so he could film the whole thing from her perspective and make her watch it again later as a reminder that she did what she was told, or she'd do far worse with her own hands. He armed it and left her in the care of a group of men ready to die for their leader, knowing they just might if she
didn't do as she was told. Of course, at the time she had no idea, yet again, what she was in for. The videos covered the men dressing her in a slinky gold dress they made sure she knew they liked her in, all the way to the escorted arrival at what looked like a charity auction of some kind.
As they entered through the back, kitchen area, the men put on masks to hide their faces and practically dragged her between them onto the mainfloor. There was a mass of gun-fire which began the chaos that was as much a distraction for Mags as it was for the people. With other members of the organization in on it, the people where locked in with only one escape route, and no one but the Mendez Organization was getting through. Mags pleaded for them to stop terrorizing everyone, but they didn't, even while two of the six men who'd escorted her, took her away from the mayhem, up the stairs to watch from the balcony above.
People where huddled together, crouched down hiding behind and under tables as best they could. No one had been killed yet, even if it looked like a few people caught stray bullets or fragments in the ricochet. Mags wanted to keep everyone alive so much, she started pleading with the men to stop, this time with the insistence she would do whatever they wanted. Shortly there after one of the two who brought her for the better view, handed her a cell phone. She cautiously put it to her ear. From her side of the conversation, she was being asked to prove she was willing to comply. When she reluctantly confirmed, she was told to follow the two men out of the building, and use the phone to dial a specific number. She asked who the number belonged to, but never got an answer. From the view of her glasses she left the building through a balcony and a zip-line to the building adjacent, where she called the number as instructed.
Two rings later, and there was a mass explosion which fire-balled in the reflection of the windows just before they shattered, everyone inside the charity dead or dying, including four of his own men. The cell was ripped out of her hand and a bag tossed over her head for the return home
. "People will die, get used to it," Manuel said as his final goodnight, leaving the replay of the chaos and explosion looped on the main computer screen to drive that point into her soul. She was crushed, and fearfully obedient after that. If Manuel had been a better man, it would have made him ease up on her, but the further she crawled into herself, her uncertainty and despair, the more he tormented her, belittled her, and threatened her with the loss of innocent
lives for her mistakes. He rooted serrated hooks into her soul and reeled her into him. Raping her mind with his violent coercion and raped her body with his own, as if that was all the proof she needed of his superiority.
Five years of it.
Modernizing guns for DNA and fingerprint recognition and explosive denial. Putting small guns on equally small drones which where built to withstand electromagnetic interference, of which it produced to disable all other electronics within a 50 foot range, making it harder to spot, and easier to do use in "drive-by's" as a ghost executioner. A few incidents of which he made her ride-along to watch and sometimes control them; always under the threat of making her do worse things if she didn't. A variety of computer viruses and harvest codes, encrypted messages, cell phones and so on. Binding her while he had his way with her, and on occasion even inviting his highest ranking loyalists to watch and join in the degradation of his property, to keep her in her place
. Manuel was determined to break her so her intelligence wouldn't allow her to find a way out and by all appearances, he did just that. Or did he? He was dead and she was now living there quite comfortably by the looks of it.
The last video was recorded the day before his official death was reported and presumably was never seen by Mr. Mendez, or he might have known he was a dead-man walking. In that five years, Mags had built pieces of a bigger something, with the pieces of what she needed to build for him, often then cannibalizing the part she needed for his machines later in the build, to divert her watchers attention from what looked like scrap pieces no longer suitable for the given project. What she was building was a drone of her own, far more equipped than any of those she'd built for him. She waited for the day he went for his annual "check up" one she only knew about because he was vain about what good health he was in despite the drugs he did. Like he was touched by God. It was then that she used the drone to clear the house, killing every man there to protect it and cage her; starting with those who practically lived in the Sub-basement with her.
It wasn't much of a blood-bath, considering she'd worked up a poison cocktail from her garden which dropped the men like bags of concrete and killed them shortly there after. By the time one of them knew to be on alert, it was too late, and Mags made way topside, on her own, for the first time in her life. She didn't have any time to enjoy it though, she had bodies to move, and if the videos where any indication, she buried the men somewhere on those 58 acres. After which, she not only cleaned up after herself, but was smart enough to raid one of the vacuums in the house, to throw dust back down to hide what she'd done. Then she waited, with his own dobermans, dogs she didn't really know that well, but had heard enough about to know how to get them to listen to her. She had them following her around the house, like she assumed they did with him sometimes, and as she did, she laid out evidence she'd been collecting.
Flash-drives, mail-order prints, recorded conversations and so on. All over the mansion, in places that she hoped would speak to his pride and hubris. The last few hours she waited for his return, she spent cooing and loving on the dogs she was about to sentence to death-- though truth be told, he'd done that when he picked them out as puppies. Taking them upstairs to his bedroom to set the plan in motion while she tried to make the time as good and fun for them as possible. She played with them, with his clothes-- brand new work gloves keeping her DNA off them while she did. When she got a new item, she sprayed it with something, mixing the smell with his own, off his dirty clothes, which seemed to rile all the dogs into trying to tare his clothes apart. Her drone alerted her of his return and she shut the dobbies in there until she was ready for them.
Using a controller on her wrist that looked like an elaborately jeweled bracelet, she set the drone up to open the door when it was time. She changed clothes, into that damnable gold dress which surprisingly still fit her, maybe even a littler better
than it had the five years before. She wore high-heels too, and a few other items of jewelry she'd changed into down-stairs. Cautiously putting on the gold gloves that extended up past her elbows, so she could touch him and the walls without leaving traces of herself behind. Her hair was pulled up tightly and damp, to eliminate stray hairs. She surprised him, by being there in the Mansion foyer, and being dressed as she was. For all her meekness before, she held herself together well when she lied about wanting to explore his sexual desires with him. As if he'd finally won her over.
He did her the favor of sending his guards away, giving them the night off so it could be just the two of them. Of course those men had no idea that as soon as she heard their engines fade down the driveway, she let the dogs out. Worked into a frenzy which almost had them scratching at the door before she could lure him into the living room, where the dogs startled him, peaked his happiness before obliterating it in a hellacious display of what almost looked like a small pack of rabid dogs. They weren't rabid, but they tore at him without mercy, ripping his clothes apart and tearing gashes in his limbs like hot knives to butter-- because he had their teeth filed unnecessarily sharp. He screamed, but no one was there to hear him but her, and she was slowly taking her exit, with one final act to add something to the dog's water bowl which made them all sleep soon after the mauling. Sleep through the arrival of the police she'd alerted.