Background: I couldn't find a way to fit this scene into the timing of the story, and reluctantly decided to leave it out. But I like it a lot, so I'm including it as an outtake. It involves a fourth real-life player of the VRealWorld game who has taken control of Colin's suit. Colin has agreed to allow the leatherman to cause him "discomfort". His hands are cuffed in front of him in the standard pose of submission, but he is as yet otherwise unrestrained.
The leatherman looked Colin up and down. Then he gestured, an arm waving movement that Colin couldn't decipher. Go slow? Flap like a bird? Colin shook his head in response, intending to convey that he didn't understand what the leatherman wanted him to do but realizing as soon as he did that the leatherman might interpret his response as a refusal. The leatherman repeated the gesture more vigorously, this time pointing at the sidewalk next to a nearby building, but Colin still didn't catch on.
The impasse was broken when the leatherman took out his phone, tapped the screen a few times, then spoke into it. A few seconds later, words appeared in Colin's vision.
The leatherman wishes you to sit down.
Ah. OK. Colin stepped over to the wall and sat, awkwardly, unable to make much use of his cuffed hands. When he was seated, leaning back against the wall, the leatherman bent down and tapped Colin's ankles, murmuring "cuffs" as he did. A second set of cuffs appeared, similar to the ones trapping his wrists but scaled up to the size of his ankles. Like the wrist cuffs, they were hinged directly together with no length of chain between them. One more tap at his knees conjured a still-larger pair of metal rings there, effectively joining Colin's legs together along their entire length. He could bend them and straighten them, but he could not separate them.
Satisfied that Colin would not be going anywhere, the leatherman disappeared through a door into the building. Colin sat, waiting. A few people walked by, one by one. Only one had a thought balloon; Colin was at the point where he didn't even bother to read them any more. None of the walkers paid any attention to the rubber-suited figure plunked down against the wall, leaving Colin alone with his thoughts. Are the cuffs visible to them? They can't be. Can they? And yet they were real enough to the leatherman, it seemed. It was getting harder and harder to tell the difference between real-real and not-real-real.
The leatherman returned, emerging from the building carrying a small stepladder. He beckoned to Colin to get up and follow him, which was of course impossible, so Colin just sat where he was. The leatherman looked like he was starting to get annoyed, then a look of comprehension came over his face. He did an odd thing, then, from Colin's perspective, pulling out his phone and pointing it at Colin, walking closer as he did. He kept switching views, looking at Colin directly, then through the phone, and something clicked in Colin's mind. He can only see the cuffs through the phone screen. He forgot they were on because he couldn't see them without the phone. Tapping both leg irons in turn and then the wristlocks, the leatherman said "remove cuffs" and Colin found himself free to move his legs again. He rose carefully to his feet, his body still not quite trusting that it was unrestrained.
The leatherman led Colin around into an alley between two buildings and up next to a mid-sized delivery van almost as wide as the alley. He set the ladder down next to the side of the truck and beckoned Colin to climb. Once Colin was on top of the ladder, the leatherman carefully turned him around so his back was to the passenger side wall of the truck. Then he pointed to Colin's chest and said "cuff". Colin felt the metal band as it materialized around his chest, though he couldn't easily bend his head down low enough to see it. The band held him pinned to the wall of the truck, preventing him from leaning forward.
Methodically, the leatherman attached more and more parts of Colin's body to the truck: waist, upper arms, forearms, thighs, knees, ankles. Colin couldn't see much of what he was doing, but he could feel every restraint as it appeared, fixing his body into a T shape, arms stretched out to his sides, legs together down the center. The last attachment encircled Colin's forehead and secured his head in place. He couldn't move it a bit - side to side, forward, nothing. He experimented a bit, but the only parts of his body that were capable of movement were his fingers and toes. Everything else was fastened down as if welded to the side of the delivery van.
The leatherman stepped back and pulled away the stepladder, leaving Colin suspended from the side of the truck. He tossed the ladder into the back, stood staring up at Colin for a moment, then pulled out his phone. The view in the screen must have pleased him immensely because a big smile crept over his face. Colin heard the tiny <snick> of a photo being snapped, then the leatherman disappeared from Colin's view.
Less than a minute later, he heard a rumbling sound and felt a vibration through his whole body - the van's engine had turned on. This made Colin's heart leap into his throat. It was one thing to be suspended four feet off the sidewalk while stationary; it was something else entirely to be attached by invisible, impossible restraints to the side of a moving vehicle. Before panic could set in, he started to blink his way through the suit's menus, searching for the "bail out" option. If he was going to use it, best to do so now before he had accumulated too many points to throw away... and before the truck started moving too fast. He did not know for sure what would happen when he triggered the bail-out command, but one very real possibility was that the invisible restraints would all disappear at once, and the magical force that held his body suspended against the side of the van would instantly cease to operate, dumping him straight to the ground. He did not want that to happen while the van was doing 30 MPH.
Too late. The driver - presumably the leatherman - started up and had pulled out onto 3rd Avenue before Colin could navigate to the panic button. Off they went through the midday Manhattan traffic, the van bouncing along over the uneven pavement, Colin stuck helplessly to its side. To Colin's surprise, the magic restraints held. He was not jarred loose from his position, but stayed firmly affixed in place. Somewhat relieved, he blinked the menu away, but remained ready to bring it up again if circumstances changed.
With the sense of panic easing up, he began to take notice of his surroundings. The view was difficult to take in - with his head fixed in one position, he could only look straight ahead, or as far to the left or right as his eyes alone could move. He had expected that his presence on the side of the truck would draw attention, but he was surprised to see that hardly anyone noticed him. There was one woman who did a double-take on seeing him, her head visibly swinging from the van to the dog she was walking then back to the van. But she only looked at him for a moment, then turned away. Just another afternoon in New York.
The van moved on, stopping for red lights, making turns to avoid jammed-up intersections, changing lanes, all with Colin stuck to the side. There was nothing he could do, no action he needed to take. The leatherman apparently wanted to use him as a truck ornament, and so that's what he was.
There came a point where the truck stopped in front of a building whose surface was all blue-tinted reflective glass. There in front of him was the mirror-reversed word "Trevor's". It took his eye a moment to realize that he himself was the capital T. He peered harder, trying to make out details. It seemed that the original letter, the one he had been pasted on top of, was just about his size, five feet from bottom to top. His head stuck out above the crossbar formed by his outstretched arms. The other letters rolled off in lower case to his left. More words, smaller, were spelled out below, hard to read in mirror-writing. "Estate"? "Furniture"? He couldn't be sure. But one thing was clear: the lack of attention was due, at least in part, to him being camouflaged by his surroundings.
Then Colin noticed something else, or rather, the absence of something else. In the image he could see, there were no restraints. By rolling his eyes off to his right as far as he could, he could catch a glimpse of the silver metal that apparently held him in place. But in the reflected view, his body was flat black from head to toe. There was no glint of steel. The realization was startling... it occured to him that he was actually seeing a tiny view into the real world, unfiltered by the software that drove the VR unit. The image that was reaching his eyes was real... or as real as he was going to get. Just at that moment, though, the van began to move again and the sight was lost.
He clung to the insight as the truck carried him up onto a bridge and across a river. He had lost track of where they were... was this the Hudson? No, the sun was off to his right, this must be the East River. He was being taken to Long Island. Long Island? Hopefully the guy was gonna bring him back again, 'cause he'd have a heck of a time making the return trip on his own. But it hardly mattered... he had caught a glimpse of true reality. He still had no idea how he was being held to the truck's wall... magnets, maybe? But it hardly mattered. What mattered was: the people who had put him into this suit and were running him like a puppet were not invincible. They didn't know everything, and he was going to win his freedom from this suit and oh, after that it was gonna be payback time...
This is the point where I realized I couldn't fit this scene into the main narrative. I like that it lets Colin (and therefore the reader) figure out something about how the suit works, but as I thought about it, the story works better the less Colin knows. He's a straight guy in over his head (one of my favorite scenarios to work with), and it's better for me, the gay guy calling the shots, if he's kept off balance, in the dark, scared and confused. So go ahead and picture how the scene plays out if you want... the leatherman drives Colin off to the eastern suburbs of the city, where he parks the truck in a garage and meets up with a buddy of his. The two of them have a great time molesting Colin using the powers the suit grants them. But they can only see the results through the one guy's phone. And they get annoyed that they can't actually reach his locked-up dick, so they're limited to just bondage and some light torment, because these are novice players (and because it's too soon in the story to make Colin deliver a blow job or take a dick up his ass). So after they're done having fun with Colin, they stick him back up onto the side of the truck and have themselves a nice little fuck-n-suck session... er, 'scuse me, "take care of each other's needs"... while Colin, who has nothing else to do, watches. Then the leatherman drives Colin back to the city and turns him loose.
Again, I like the scene. I like having Colin bound and helpless. And plastered to the side of a moving vehicle, in public, in broad daylight? Heck, yeah! This scene would have added some straight-up bondage to the story, something there wasn't very much of, which is a shame because it's my favorite thing to do to (fantasy) straight men. Alas, here it just didn't fit. The scene would have had to come at a point before Colin had been broken down too much, yet after the real-world players got involved, which is a point that doesn't exist. So I modified the scene to use a game-generated character instead, which limited the real-world interaction that could take place, so a dumpster took the place of the moving vehicle, and the scene found its way into the story as Colin's first bondage experience with the Bulldog.
But I still like the truck version...