Lilian gazed up at the wrought iron gates of the academy. An awe-inspiring sight of iron, plated in precious metal. Encrusted in bright and beautiful shining quartz of almost unbelievable size and scale. The academy was huge in size, encompassed by an ivy and flower wrapped fence that obscured the view of passers-by. Though according to Patricia, who had departed for her meeting soon after arrival, the gates had not been closed for nearly 60 years, and the campus was open to any who wished to learn. She looked up to the sky. The sun had once again been obscured by clouds, and snow had begun to fall. The world was once again succumbing to the march of the winter season, yet Lilian could not help but feel a warmth from the city she stood in. Even in the darkening hours, the academy was bright and inviting. It's emblem, crafted onto the gate, comprised of many different shades of polished and cut quartz, glimmered in the lights of the city all around her. With a deep breath, and a desire to escape the encroaching cold, Lilian stepped across the threshold, and into the academy grounds. Lilian walked upon the concourse of the expansive, almost bafflingly large campus. She noted that the academy on its own resembled more of a town in itself than a single place of learning. Each fence to the left and right of the gate seemed to stretch for a couple of miles and maybe more. People wandered the streets of this learning town, They were dressed in all sorts of clothing, from the classical to the fantastic. Each person wore on their arm a band of white fabric, upon which an emblem was embroidered. The academies emblem. Lilian stopped at a crossroads. At the centre sat a large water feature that glittered in the warm lighting of the streetlights surrounding it. She realized she had no clue upon where to turn, and felt just a little lost in that regard. To her relief, a map, alongside a notice-board, sat upon the pavement's corner by one of the many buildings. She began to scan the map and quickly located her position by the large “YOU ARE HERE” marker upon the drawing. The size once again baffled her. The campus was immense, square miles in size, without a doubt the largest establishment in the city. Even housing it's own tram line for transport within the enclosed walls. She looked across the map. The school was split into multiple areas, each dealing with one of many varying subjects, from the general to the obscure. Simple history to advanced theoretical physics. Even folk magic was given its own rather sizable place on the map. At the campuses centre sat the central hall, a building topped with an immense dome. it’s size almost rivalled the huge buildings of the cities core. Lilian's eyes drifted towards the notice board, upon which many posters for evening classes sat. Taster courses and special opportunities were also posted on the board. She squinted as the name Martha Tanver caught her eye upon one of the posters. She sidestepped to take a closer look at the document. Her mother was teaching martial arts, just like she had taught Lilian in her memories. Lilian smirked, her mother was a woman who loved to pass on all that she knew to any who would learn. Below the advertisement for her classes was a sign in block capitals with a clear arrow, “Naive’s convention: this way.” Lilian looked over in the direction the arrow pointed and sure enough, another sign directed her down another street. With a curious grin, she began to follow the directions. Lilian found herself standing before a large hall. A banner was strung across the entrance, welcoming all Naive's and newcomers to the city and academy. Light, and the chatter of many people echoed out from inside the hall before her. With a deep breath and eagerness to escape the quickly thickening snowfall, Lilian entered the building. Bright lights illuminated the many stalls before her. Stalls and stands that stretched out in an intricate grid across the floor of the hall to demonstrate the range of studies one could possibly wish to engage in. Each stall seemed to be managed by eager individuals. Lilian assumed them to be students, as each was adorned with the same armband she had seen before, upon their right upper arm. She began to wander and read the banners and signs that hung above the stalls and stands that soon surrounded her. Alvion classical literature. Synthetic agriculture. Electromagnetic Aeronautics degrees. Lunar geology. Pacifican urban history. Each stall held a class, and each one hosted at least one individual, eager to pitch their studies to her. Lilian's eye was caught by the bright shine of a purple rubber catsuit. She turned to see a rather large stand, at which several women, each dressed in various neon coloured suits of latex, stood and chatted. Above them, the banner read “Garden city Class one Licensing course.” Lilian was intrigued, and began to approach the stall to sate her curiosity. “Well hello there, aren't you delightful to look at.~” The woman in purple mused as Lilian sheepishly approached. Lilian smiled with a shyness to her that made the woman grin. The woman adjusted her belt and caused the crop upon her hip to clatter slightly in its holster. “I’m just teasing~ no need to be shy.” The woman reassured the girls behind her nodded in agreement. “Are you interested in getting your classification?” “W-well, I think I'd like to know well.. What is a classification?” Lilian asked in response. The woman's smile grew at Lilian's obvious inexperience. She quickly skipped over to a nearby table and opened the folder atop it. She beckoned Lilian over and pointed to the page she had opened to. Lilian glanced down at the folder curiously. Upon its pages, a tree of complex lines ran down across the paper. The lines hopped from point to point upon a complicated road-map. “The class system is a way of ranking dominants, submissives, and switches by skill and ability, see? It's linear, so you choose a path, and you follow it. Though you can always take up another from the start. Class one is the starting point, does that make sense?” The woman asked with a smile as her latex covered fingertips drifted across the paper. Lilian nodded in response, Patricia had told her the basics on the tram ride, though she still felt somewhat unsure. “What if I don't know where I fit?” Lilian asked, curious, though clearly also anxious. The woman smiled and stood to the side. She waved her hand to direct Lilian's attention further back into the stall. Lilian's eyes widened as her gaze landed upon another woman, dressed in beautiful pink rubber. The woman's wrists and ankles were tightly bound to the frame of a large wooden cross, that restrained her movement and kept her ever so vulnerable. “The best way to find out is experimentation, so..” She unclipped the crop from her belt and flipped it in her fingers with finesse and skill. “Why don't we experiment?” The woman offered the crop to Lilian, her expression spoke leagues of her experience as a domme. It was an expression that struck excitement and fear into the redheaded woman. With a lightness of breath, Lilian gripped the handle of the crop and approached the woman in pink. The two other women smiled and also approached. One dressed in a deep, crimson red, the other in a luscious shimmering green. “These two will guide you, so don’t worry and relax, we all know what we are doing.” The woman in purple reassured. Lilian nodded shyly and flicked the crop in her hand a few times to get a sense of the weight and balance. She was anxious, she wasn't sure about hurting the woman in pink. But it was okay, right? She would enjoy it, right? Lillian raised the crop in her hand and lightly brought it down upon the womans behind. The woman in pink squirmed against the head of the crop as it landed on her buttock. She purred gently and looked over her shoulder. “It's okay, you can hit harder.~” She mused eagerly. “Here, like this, with your wrist, see?” The woman in red guided Lilian's arm and hand through the motion. Lilian nodded and raised the crop once more. She brought it down with a flick upon the woman's behind with more force. The woman arched her back and presented her behind for further punishment as a moan escaped her lips in erotic pleasure. Lilian continued. Her strikes landed on the woman's latex-clad behind with increasing confidence and force behind the impacts. The woman upon the cross squirmed and moaned in pleasure. But Lilian still did not understand. Her arm fell still. She lowered the crop and passed the implement to the girl in green. “I-I don't think this is for me.” She murmured quietly. “That's okay.~” The girl in pink purred. Lilian looked up at the bound woman. “You don't need to like everything. But.. If dominating isn't for you, would you.. like a taste of submission?” She continued. The girl in red quickly undid the straps upon the woman in pink’s wrists and ankles. Lilian tilted her head and swallowed a little anxiously. “Y-you mean, I get tied up a-and hit?” Lilian asked, though she already knew the answer. Once again the feeling of appeal rose within her, her cheeks flushed red. She had singled out what appealed to her. "Yes." The woman in pink replied. "Would you like to?". Lilian nodded a gentle nod, tainted with hesitation. She nodded again, firmer, her conviction punching through her anxiety. With smiles upon their lips, the women surrounded her. The woman in red began to unfasten and remove Lilian's winter coat. She exposed her red button up shirt and black jeans beneath. The women in pink and green led Lilian to the cross. Lilian took a deep breath and leant against the wooden affair. Her nose was filled with the scent of latex, the smell was wonderful to her. The scent of polish with a hint of chlorine, and a sweetness from whatever was lubricating the suits inside. Lilian stood as the women in green and pink worked upon her wrists and ankles. Their latex fingers moved with dexterity. They were experienced in the straps that wound their way around her limbs and held her tightly to the wooden cross. “Are you ready?” The woman in purple asked. Her words pierced Lilian’s mind, dominant and intimidating, yet oh so alluring. Lilian exhaled lightly and nodded. She was ready, she thought. “Good, if you want me to stop, just say so. No safe words for this, just tell me to stop. And I will.” The woman explained in the same dominating voice that penetrated Lilian's mind delightfully. Lilian was left in silent anticipation. She could not hear any movement. Her mind was focused upon the woman she could not see. She felt as though the world had vanished bar for herself and the woman behind her. Silent… ‘Thwack!’ The crop found its mark and struck Lilian's left buttock with a firm crack. Even against the denim of her jeans the crop bit firmly. Lilian yelped and arched her back, she struggled against the restraints that held her wrists and ankles. She could not escape. Another strike, then another, upon her other cheek. Again and again, it hurt, it was humiliating. But still, she did not want to call out for the punishment to cease. Lilian's cries and whimpers slowly shifted. Her body became hotter and hotter. Pleasure began to well from the strikes, as her yelps became more charged with a submissive purr of desire. The woman in purple smiled and ceased her bombardment. She leant over Lilian's shoulder and wrapped her hand lightly around Lilian's chin. An act of gentle dominance. “You sound like you’re enjoying this.” She whispered into Lilian's ear. Lilian hesitated, not from uncertainty, but for her mind felt hazy. The puzzle pieces from the hours since she awoke had finally fallen into place. She finally understood. She liked it. She really liked it. “..yes.~” she whispered. a smile upon her lips. “I like it.” --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It was dark by the time Lilian was leaving the hall. She had spent more time than planned speaking to the women in rubber. Which preceded a mad dash around the hall to see all that she did not want to miss. The snow had slowed to a pretty sprinkling, that danced in the warm glow of the streetlights. Lilian fastened her winter coat and took a step out into the academy grounds, ready to head home. “Oof!” Lilian cried as a dark-skinned woman with swept back, dread-locked hair crashed into her side. Neither woman fell, though it was still a definite surprise. People sure did like bumping into one another in this city, Lilian thought as she helped the woman reorient herself. “Sorry! Late! Name's Mel! Nice to meet you! Bye!” The woman spoke hurriedly before she quickly made her way into the hall. Lilian smiled and could not help but snicker at the strange meeting that just occurred, as she watched the dark-skinned woman disappear into the hall. Lilian turned on her heels and began to walk back to the tram stop outside the gates. She was exhausted, and she knew that there was so much more to learn in the city she now called home. But she liked it. And at least now, she understood.