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[This is the second part of the futuristic series that I have been long sitting on writing. Unfortunately, I have had a lot of trouble just getting off me arse and writing this. The first part is Harvesting Katrina [http://www.haircuttingstories.com/story/Cyber_Barber_and_Vicki/Harvesting_Katrina.aspx] that I had co-authored with Vicki. A lot of work for this story was done in background conversations with Becca. These two fine authors have really helped me get this storyline going. Hopefully, I will be able to put the third part out soon.]

Katrina watched Will tap away at his terminal. A few minutes passed where Susan came back with some disposable towels and wiped her lather and stubble covered shoulders dry. “Bring her over Susan,” said Will. Susan came over to her and undid the braid tying her wrists together. Helping her up, she took Katrina by the hand and led her to the terminal. On the screen was a large message box reading “Waiting for biometric…” Susan took Katrina’s right hand and placed her thumb on a scanner that was glowing blue. A beep and the glow turned red, finally green. Will walked over to a secure cabinet that opened to his thumbprint. Taking out a small vial of a rather dark looking liquid, he handed it to Susan. “Get her settled in Susan,” he said. Susan took Katrina’s hand, opening a door on the other side of the room, she led her out. They walked down a passage and stopped before a door that opened to Susan’s thumb.

Once they were in, Susan opened a small panel that exposed a thumb reader and a console. She tapped away into it for a few seconds and then there was a beep. “Put your thumb here, Katrina,” she said. Katrina did as she was instructed and the blue glow of the reader turned green. “Ok, now this room will open to your thumb. This is where you’re going to live. Your effects will be brought in here by tomorrow. Take a quick shower, and change into the outfit in the closet,” instructed Susan.

Still in a daze, Katrina wandered into the small shower booth and turned on the water. Pleasantly warm. She opened a small cabinet and found it stocked with her favourite body wash and shampoo. The latter of which gave her a wry grin. “Have they been planning this?” she wondered as she scrubbed down. In a couple of minutes she rinsed off, dried herself and stepped out. Opening the closet she found a pair of shorts and a button down top. Feeling self-conscious under Susan’s gaze, she dressed herself. When she turned around Susan was holding a small syringe with the contents of the vial apparently loaded in it.

“What the… What is that stuff?” asked Katrina. “Your nano-bots. These are a far gentler strain that the type you get at CSF,” replied Susan. “Will it hurt?” she asked apprehensively. “No. They will knock you out pretty soon though. They’ll settle in overnight,” Susan replied guiding Katrina to the small fold-down cot and seating her on it. She wiped Katrina’s shoulder with a small piece of sterilizing pad. Katrina winced as the needle went into her muscle and Susan carefully injected the contents into her. She pulled the needle out and the sting was gone in seconds. “Sweet dreams Katrina, and welcome home.” said Susan giving her a peck on the lips before leaving.

Katrina sat on her bunk, her mind in a whirl. Just that morning she was a free woman. Well, not exactly free, but still enjoying a good life. Now she was Will’s captive asset, most likely ranking under Susan. “Susan,” she thought. She had never paid much attention to her. She had treated her as an inferior for most part. She even had Will give Susan a haircut in her presence, while she played with her, or, having Susan stimulate her during a haircut. True, she had to get clipper shorn for any of those favours but she did relish them. Many were the times she left Susan frustrated by leaving her on the brink of orgasm. Apparently, that was something even Will held against her. Her comm. unit beeped.

She tapped the screen: Another flashing red envelope. Her heart in her mouth, she tapped to open it. Quite terse, it ran as follows:

Asset 49116/T2/2227 – Cat C2/L2 – Katrina

Following the update from your designated harvester, non-compliance charges are now being held in abeyance. You have been re-classified as a captive harvester asset, L0 grade. Charges will remain in abeyance as long as you remain compliant with your harvester. Charges will return in full force including any additional penalties if your conformance is not met or any adverse report from your assigned harvester. Charges may be lifted entirely, or, reinstated with retrospective effect at the end of a six month period at the discretion of compliance court with input from your harvester.

Updated Classification: 49116/T2/C/22264/02 – Cat NL/L0

She didnít know whether to feel happy or sad. T2/C (Type 2-Captive) and category NL/L0 (non-local/De-centralized and discretionary hair regulation). 22264/02: She was now linked up with Will, and was his second asset. Her neck was out of the noose. As long as she stuck to Will, she wouldnít land up in CSF. On the other hand, if she played her cards right, there was the chance that she might be able to supplant Susan and move into her place as Will’s number one. Also, Will had total control over her hair. He alone could decide what length she was permitted and how much would be harvested. She could probably get away with waist length hair in a few weeks time once her quotas were met. “22264/01, soon,” she said to herself. She felt herself getting drowsy and lay down on the bunk slipping off into a dreamless sleep almost instantaneously.

She awoke. Her mind was a crazy jumble. What had happened? She wondered where she was. Then realization hit. Like a cold shower. She looked at the clock beside her bunk. 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday the 28th. “Damn. I have to be in at work by 9:00,” she thought. Then she realized that she was in Will’s place. “At least the commute is easier,” she thought. Remembering her head had been razor shaved the night before she ran her hand over her head. Surprised to feel hair under her fingers, she realized that her hair had grown out about nine inches overnight. She looked like she had a layered haircut with the shortest layers falling about 1/2 an inch past her chin. “That’s cool,” she thought. She felt a slight tingling sensation at her nape though.

The door slid open and Susan walked in. “Apparently she has door override as well, so much for privacy,” Katrina seethed on the inside. She took in Susan’s ponytail that indicated that her hair was about 3″ below her shoulder blades, blunt cut. “‘Morning sleepy head,” said Susan with a chipper smile. “I’ll soon have you smiling on the other side of your face.” thought Katrina as she flashed what she hoped would pass for a genuine smile. “I suppose you saw the message from Compliance? Will committed the changes before he left today morning.” said Susan.

“Yeah. Wait… what? Will left?” she asked incredulously. “Yep. Something urgent to take care of, I expect. Come on though breakfast is waiting.” The mention of breakfast made Katrina realize how hungry she was. Susan took her to the kitchen. “Help yourself, I need to prep the station,” she said. “But you said Will is out?” asked Katrina perplexed. “Yep. Doesnít mean the harvesting stops. I have authority for collections when he is not around. Remember to stop by before you leave for work. I need to verify the nano-bots.” smiled Susan walking out. Feeling ravenous, Katrina piled a plate with two helpings of everything and tucked in.

“What will I wear?” she thought as she slid the closet open. Another shock as she saw that all her clothes had been neatly arranged in there overnight. Another wave of anger. She controlled herself with a bit of difficulty. “I might have been extremely aroused last night when Will was working on me, but Susan would head for a fall pretty soon. I’ll see to it. And when she does, I’ll step over her and take her position.” Katrina promised herself. “For now, I’ll do as she says.” She changed into her work clothes and found her way to the station.

Susan smiled to see her coming in. She gestured to the stool and Katrina sat on it. Susan ran her fingers through her hair sometimes tugging gently. “Lovely. Looks like the regeneration is working well.” Katrina felt her head being tipped forward. She fought her instinct to resist and bent her head forward. Susan pushed her hair up and away from her nape and pressed something into the back of her neck. The console in the corner beeped and she went over to check it. “Okay everything looking good. Nice contact patch. Almost done.” Katrina sighed inwardly and tried to squint at the console trying to figure out what was on it. Before she realized what was going on, Susan had placed a collar on her neck and locked it in place.

“What the hell?” she burst out getting up from the stool. “What the heck is this? Take it off!” she demanded. “Katrina, listen. You need to wear a collar at all times or risk being picked up for non conformance. As a captive harvesterís asset, you need to wear it. Besides, only Will’s print can unlock it so even if I wanted to I canít take it off.” “Sorry, it’s just that things are so stressful to me.” said Katrina.

“I understand. Now sit on the stool, Will has left instructions for your hair.”
“What sort of instructions?” asked Katrina.
“According to your hair restrictions, your hair is to be in a short crop for the whole week. The regeneration will be on standby till Thursday night. On Thursday night you will be put in accelerated growth and at least 30 inches of hair will be harvested sometime during the weekend.”
“Now just you wait one minute Susan! I am not letting you touch my hair. I compromised a lot last night, but enough is enough. I may be Will’s captive asset, but certainly not yours. And now if you excuse me, some of us have to go to work.” lashed out Katrina heading for the door.
“Katrina, wait! If you donít…” Susan didnít even get to finish that sentence. Katrina had signalled the door and walked out. Susan sighed inwardly. What had to be done would be unpleasant, but there’s no getting around protocol. Susan went over to the terminal and logged on. Within seconds an alert was out to the perimeter patrol advising of Katrina’s non compliance.

Katrina stormed out in a huff, pushing her hair back over her head. She headed for the elevator bank at the end of the corridor and hit the down button with unnecessary violence. A few seconds and the doors opened. She stepped into the elevator and it dropped to the ground level. Coming out into the cool morning breeze, she briskly headed down towards the mass transit halt at the end of the avenue. She had barely gone a dozen meters when she felt a hand on her shoulders. “Susan!” she thought and turned around arm already moving to bitch-slap her. Instead her hand was grabbed in mid air by a rather strong arm.

The arm belonged to a woman in a pale green uniform. The uniform of a Central Compliance officer. “Katrina Swayse, I take it?” she asked. Dumbfounded, Katrina nodded.
“There’s a retrieval warrant out for you. Apparently you walked out on a haircut?”
Katrina nodded again.
“Well, I give you two choices. One, you walk back with me, without resistance, and I drop the charges. Two, I use neural override and I add resisting collection and non compliance to your dossier. Oh, and let’s not forget: attempted assault on an arresting CC officer. Which by the looks of it; is already enough to make a compliance circuit judge drool. Which is it gonna be?”
Katrina was in shock. She couldn’t think straight. “What the hell was this and how did it come about?” was the only thought in her head.
The woman lifted her hand. She was wearing the bionic glove that most officers wore. The tip of the index finger was glowing blue. Jolted into reacting, Katrina responded, “I am sorry… I’ll come. Please donít use the neural override…” she pleaded.
The glow slowly faded and turned off. “Come on then. Donít get any smart ideas, Katrina. There’s a couple of displacer bots following us,” said the woman.
“Shit!” was the only thought in Katrina’s head.
And quite correctly. Neural override is particularly nasty. It would let the applying officer take full motor control of her body and march her where he or she pleased. As if that wasn’t bad enough, displacer bots were worse. They could simply signal the nanobots in her blood stream to screw up her motor impulses. All of a sudden she would find her feet displaced by about a foot from where she wanted to go. Enough to sprain an ankle or worse break a leg. And she had her new collar and blood nannies to thank for putting her at the tender mercies of the perimeter patrol. Obediently she walked back with the officer’s hand on the back of her neck. Collared as she was, she felt the burning shame of every passerby’s glance and the few occasional smirks as she rode up the elevator. Almost before she realized it, the officer was signalling Will’s door.

Susan opened the door. “Does this belong to you?” the officer asked Susan.
“Hi Becca,” she greeted the officer. “I didnít expect you to be the responding officer.”
“Well, I was already on my way here when I saw the alert come in. So I decided to respond. Bring me up to speed here will ya? Is this his latest acquisition? Last I knew he only had you.”
“Yeah, sort of. She ran afoul of compliance and was supposed to be up at a hearing. Will took her in and got the charges in abeyance.”
“So why did she do a bunk? Not much of a harvest in this mop here though… What’s the deal?” Becca had taken off the bionic glove and ran her hands through Katrina’s shaggy bob.
“Will wanted her to stay with a short haircut through the week, with acceleration on Thursday and harvest in the weekend. Since he’s not here, I had to give her the haircut. She did a runner when I told her to get in the chair.”
“Well Katrina, either you get in the chair and follow Will’s orders, or, I can use the glove.” said Becca pulling on the bionic glove.

Katrina’s stomach churned as she saw the glove. It would play merry hell with her nerves. Meekly she sat on the stool. Susan flicked a cape over her and tucked it around her neck. Grabbing a sprayer, she started to wet her hair thoroughly, running her fingers through and massaging. “In different circumstances, it would be relaxing…” thought Katrina.
“Speaking of the devil, where the heck is Will?” asked Becca breaking into her thoughts.
“He’s out on some official business. He doesnít tell me half the stuff her does you know.” said Susan.
“Like that, eh?” said Becca. She slipped off her cap revealing a rather large and tight chestnut brown bun. “I really need to lose this today, and I so wanted a nice razor shave. Too bad Will is the only one around for a dozen clicks that can actually use the razor properly.” sighed Becca.

Susan then picked up the large shears and tipped Katrina’s head down. As she bent her head, she saw Becca stroke Susan’s ponytail. “I hope I have better luck with Will’s latest acquisition.” said Becca as Susan pushed the comb up into her hair at the nape. About to cut into the thick wet hair Susan paused. “What do you mean?” Snip! Snip! Snip! Snip! Snip! Katrina felt the thick clump of hair getting cut and rolling off her neck. She pictured the hair falling at Susan’s feet. Losing long hair privileges was one thing, but letting Susan cut her hair? That just wasn’t right.

“Well, I donít suppose Will told you, but I had offered myself to him many times. All I wanted was to borrow you for a night; heck, at least share you with me. He never agreed.” said Becca.
“Well that’s news to me Becca.” said Susan, continuing to snip away at large sections of Katrina’s hair, removing the bulk from the back. The large shears slicing through her wet hair, dropping in clumps to the floor. The snipping never stopped and seemed to fill gaps in the conversation that was going on.

Katrina kept her head down, listening attentively, in case she heard something useful. The comb and scissors moved steadily higher and Katrina was dying to know what length she was getting her hair cut to. “Did Will really turn you down, Becca?” asked Susan. “Yeah. Can you imagine? A free woman and a CC officer, offering herself and her hair… gets turned down! I dunno whether to admire him or to loathe him.”
“Why donít you pick the second?” thought Katrina.
Susan’s cropping had reached the crown of her head, and from what it felt like, she was permitted two inches on the top. She felt the hair being brushed off her shoulders and Susan moving to her right. Her head was then tilted accordingly (front and to the left) and the cropping resumed. From behind her ear towards her temples. She was a lot more conscious about the hair falling into her lap in thick wet clumps.

“Say, isn’t Will trying to teach you to use the razor?” asked Becca.
“He is, but I donít feel comfortable yet. I only have done about couple of dozen on the simulator,” replied Susan.
“That’s plenty Susan. Why donít you give it a shot?”
Susan stopped her cutting. “Sorry Becca, the first time I do it I’d rather do it in front of Will. I donít want to nick you and draw blood.”
“How long before you get enough confidence?” asked Becca a tad impatiently.
“Well, the simulator says I do a good job, but it’s not like real live woman. Maybe soon,” answered Susan.
Katrina thought Susan shot her a quick glance while she said that. “What does that mean? Does she get to practice using that straight razor on me? I might let Will do it, but she’s got another think coming if she thinks I’m gonna let her do that,” Katrina thought to herself.
“I guess there’s that.” said Becca with a touch of disappointment. “Can you at least take care of my hair?”
Susan resumed her cropping. “What do you have in mind?” she asked.
“I guess I need to be happy with a clipper shave today.”
“You could wait till Friday. He’ll be back by then.”
“Nah. I’ll settle for the clippers today. I canít take this mop anymore.” said Becca with finality. “I can always revisit him on Friday for an out of turn shave.”

Susan adjusted Katrina’s head again as she moved to the left. Becca lapsed into a thoughtful silence as Susan concentrated on the job at hand.
“The dossier said she’s a T2 right? Do you think he’d share her with me?” asked Becca.
“Well, you can try…” said Susan.

As Katrina saw her haircut emerge, she had her first pleasant surprise of the day. Susan was an accomplished barberette, well trained by Will. It was looking fabulous. She even felt a wave of warm camadiere towards Susan. She reminded herself that Susan was taking her place. Her resentment returned as she saw the pile of hair growing in her lap. She had to put in significant effort to remain submissive as Susan finished her cut. The cape was carefully removed and she got up. Seeing a pile of her hair on the floor, she took a deep breath. “I guess I’ll see you in the evening then, Susan” said Katrina.

“Oh, hey, I need to go shopping downtown. I can give you a ride to work as sector nine is on the way, if you can wait about fifteen minutes…” said Susan.
“You have your own transport?” asked Katrina, surprised.
“Nope. It’s Will’s. I use it when he’s out.” smiled Susan.
“One more incentive,” thought Katrina, “Thanks Susan, I appreciate it.” she said, sitting down on the bench to wait for Becca’s haircut. At least that would give her a small amount of satisfaction to see the woman who brought her in get shorn as well.

“Well, Becca, let’s get on with it then.” said Susan.
Becca slipped off her shoes and walked through the soft pile of Katrina’s hair on the floor. She stopped for a few seconds, wriggling her toes in the soft wet hair on the floor, giving Katrina a look of lust before sitting on the stool. Katrina felt a hot flush of anger, which she quickly fought down. There was enough aggravation from Susan without Becca shoving an oar in. Susan pulled out a couple of hairpins from Becca’s hair and pulled her thick tight bun loose. Thick chestnut brown hair fell a little past her waist. Grabbing the comb and gathering her hair, Susan started to comb it out. A couple of minutes of perfunctory combing later, she gathered her hair and started to braid it into a regulation harvest braid. Tying off the end with an elastic band, Susan squeezed the braid into shape.

Then, Susan picked up the cape that she had taken off of Katrina and covered Becca with it. She picked up the larger of the shears and picked up Becca’s chestnut brown braid. As if on cue, Becca bent her head forward. There was a smile on Susan’s face as she pulled the braid taut, put the shears to it and started to cut. Katrina had never seen this side of Susan before. She couldn’t believe that Will would allow Susan to do the collections in his absence. Whatever his reasons, that made the possibility of toppling Susan even more attractive. She took a slow deep breath as she took in the scene. Becca, the one who wanted a hand in Susan’s hair, was now meekly on the stool with her intended victim cutting away at her braid. It actually seemed as if Susan was really enjoying the cutting. Long drawn out cuts as the scissors slowly chewed through the braid. All good things come to an end, and so, Becca’s braid was soon in Susan’s hands; neatly chopped at the nape. The braid was consigned to the processing basket and Susan picked up the clippers.

The high pitched whine of the clippers chewing into hair sent a twinge to her nipples, hardening them, as she saw Becca sitting head bent, being shorn like a sheep. Susan was smiling like a Cheshire cat as she ploughed the clippers through Becca’s chin length hair. Katrina couldn’t help but admire her efficiency that was almost on par with Will. She never had to do a second pass like most harvesters would. Almost as soon as it started, the shearing was over. A large pile of shorn hair lay in Becca’s lap that landed on the floor as soon as the cape was taken off.

She ran a hand over her scalp and pulled a face. “This is why I love the razor. I hate the sandpaper feel.” she complained. “Well, stop by on Saturday then. Will should be back by then,” said Susan a tad placating. “Well, that is one option… but in a week’s time I wonít have anywhere close to enough hair. Any chance of a booster dose?” asked Becca. Katrina was surprised to see Susan’s fingerprint work for the secured cabinet as she extracted a small vial of golden yellow fluid. She handed it to Becca. “Second one this year Becca. You won’t be getting any till June. This is cutting it a little too close.”

“I know,” said Becca. “Donít worry, I need this now anyway. There might be a chance…” she said with a fleeting glance at Katrina. Slipping on her shoes, she put her peaked cap back on and walked out. Susan shook her head in amusement as she swept up the hair of both women off the floor, and dumped it down a chute. Becca opened the door and let herself out while Susan set the cleaning bot out to pick up any leftover strands on the floor.

“All set then?” Susan asked Katrina. Katrina got up and picked up her purse. Feeling quite self conscious in her new ultra-short haircut, and her new collar, she followed Susan. They walked down the corridor to the far end where the lights to a docking lock flashed. The airlock slid open and Susan climbed into the pilot’s seat. Katrina clambered into the back and settled down. The doors slid shut and there was a clacking sound as the docking clamps released. Katrina yelped at the sudden negative g as the transport free fell for about a hundred feet before gaining forward thrust and swinging into the northbound, tier one lane. Katrina looked at Susan with grudging admiration at her flying skills. The NT1 lanes were the fastest of the lot and it took quite some skill to fly in those. Pretty soon Susan flew up to the landing platform connected to the office building. The door swung open and Katrina stepped out.

Susan closed the door, waved good bye and took off. “Thanks for the ride Susan, but it’s not gonna help you any,” Katrina silently swore under her breath as she waved Susan goodbye. Turning, she walked in the sliding doors and headed off towards the offices of NXGen systems, where she worked. As she walked along the corridors, the collar around her neck along with the short haircut raised drew more than a fair share of glances. She was early enough that most of the people had not yet arrived. She went to her work station and turned it on. She scanned her thumb to login when a terse message popped up: “Please consult your HR representative as your duties have been reassigned.”

“What the hell?” thought Susan. She was just promoted a couple of weeks ago, and she was supposed to go in for training to familiarize herself with section leader procedures. This did not sound right. Still, left with no choice she walked over to the far end of the floor where the HR rep for her section sat. She knocked on the door and pushed it open. And got a small shock. Her HR rep was Vicki. The same woman she saw getting shorn down to the scalp last night by Will. A faint flicker of recognition went in Vicki’s eyes as she nodded her in. “Close the door please, Katrina.” said Vicki.

Katrina closed the door behind her and sat down. “I’ll just be a minute,” said Vicki tapping away at the terminal. Seconds ticked by. Katrina noticed that Vicki’s hair had grown out into a sort of overgrown pixie. Not the length she found herself with before enjoying Susan’s tender mercies, but still longer than what she currently had. She let out a small inward sigh.

“Okay… now let’s see…” said Vicki turning her terminal so that Katrina could also look at the screen. “This arrived in the personnel inbox. Please take a moment to read it.”

—–
From: Asset control, E3 Power.
To: Personnel management, NXGen systems.
Sub: Notification of asset status change. ID: 49116

Sir/Madam,

We regret to inform you that due to certain unavoidable reasons, our asset, Katrina Swayse, is no longer controlled by us. She has been transferred as a captive asset and her new identification is: 49116/T2/C/22264/02. Given the circumstances, we feel it necessary and regret to notify you that her clearance for employment is no longer in the hands of asset control. You are advised that her employment clearance is now in private control, and may be withdrawn at a moments notice. This is purely an advisory notification.

Sincerely,
Asset Control – E3 Power
—–

Katrina’s head was spinning. “As you can see Katrina, your continued employment is a bit of a question given the circumstances. Looks like you are in pretty big trouble if E3 power had to reclassify you as a captive asset. And as they quite rightly point out, your continued availability to work would be in the hands of your controller. He could stop you coming without notice. Given this, the company has decided to reverse your promotion to section lead and reassign you. You are being assigned to backlog control.” She listened speechlessly. Vicki continued: “I know this is a major blow. A lot of us high profile women do run into compliance issues with our hair contracts. Heck, I am pretty sure you remember seeing me last night at Will’s place. I think it is pretty safe to presume that he is your new controller?” Kartina could only nod. “Well, as far as I know Will, he is a reasonable guy, and wont make trouble for you unnecessarily. However, the company is reluctant to take that view. Since you have been such a good team lead, I did not want to lose you. So I had you reassigned to backlog. It might be a lousy job, but if your status changes to either company owned, or free, you would be immediately reinstated as section lead. That I can promise you.”
“Is there anyway I can get some sort of guaruntee from Will that he will not pull my priviliges?”
“Well Katrina, those guaruntees dont stand up if he decides to pull controller’s privilege.”
“Can you please help me? I some way atleast?”
“Let me look into it Katrina. I’ll see if there is something… anything that will let me do something to help you. As of now, this is the only thing I can tell you.” said Vicki. “I remember something about subcontracting that just might work. It’s been ages since we had something like that, and I would need to run it by legal. Still, give me a couple of days Katrina. I will do what I can for you.”
“Thanks…” muttered Katrina getting up “…for nothing, bitch” she added in her thoughts walking to the door and back to her desk. Housekeeping was waiting at her desk to clear out her personal things. Her comm unit beeped letting her know her reassigned location. Two levels down in the backlog cube farm. Despondent she turned her feet in the direction of her pathetic new work location, and the equally pathetic work. She never was so humbled in life as much in the past twenty four hours. She lost her freedom and was now stuck in a crappy job.
“Fine time you picked to go on vacation, Jackie.” swore Katrina.

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