Action Force: The Annachurian Candidate
Livvie looked up from her fashion magazine. Two pretty, bubbly young women stood before her, each holding a folder full of papers. The tall redhead spoke again. “Miss Roberts?”
Livvie laid the magazine on the end table. “That’s me. Hi. You can call me Olivia, or Livvie for short.” She stood and held out her hand. “Pleased to meet you.”
“Oh, we’re so happy to meet you!” the redhead chirped as she gave Livvie a vigorous handshake. “My name is Amanda, and this is Gwen. We’re here to show you around the Academy and answer any questions you might have. The tour takes about twenty or thirty minutes, and there’s a short movie presentation that runs about ten minutes. Okay?”
“Okay!” said Livvie, trying to work up a convincing level of enthusiasm. “Let’s do this!”
“And that brings us back to the front of the building and the auditorium, such as it is. It’s a little small, to be honest, but this is where we have our weekly all-school meetings and special guests. It’s also where we show our little welcome video.”
Livvie stepped through the door into a modestly-sized open room filled with chairs and television screens. She took a seat in one of the plush chairs. “Is there anything I need to do?”
Amanda was still all smiles and sunshine. “Nope! The video will probably answer any questions you have. We’ve both seen it a thousand times, so if you don’t mind, we’re going to step out. See you in ten!”
After making sure that they were gone, Livvie sighed in frustration. The girls had been evasive about everything. How many students, where the students got placed, whether they had any doubts or concerns about the place, whether they sensed that anything weird or illegal was going on behind closed doors. Gwen barely said a word, and Amanda said way too many. It all added up to a bust.
The lights dimmed and the video began playing, and Livvie rolled her eyes. Five seconds in, and she could tell that this was going to be gut-wrenchingly awful. “Welcome to MBS, the school for YOU!” Cheap video graphics swirled around the screen as a light instrumental score played in the background. “Have you dreamed of traveling the world? Dreamed of new and wonderful adventures? MBS is here to guide you on your journey into a wonderful new future!”
This is ten minutes long? Ugh. Livvie reached into her purse and pulled out a water bottle, balancing it on the arm of the chair. Well, at least this chair is nice and soft. She looked up at the screen, briefly afraid that she’d missed something, but the video was still playing the same soft music and the same stupid graphics. “Yes, at MBS, you can cast your worries aside, and let us guide you through everything. There’s no need to worry, no need to think. We will handle all of your needs, all of your worries, all of your thoughts. You can trust us. Trust us completely, without fear, without worry, without thinking. Trust. Trust us without thinking. Without thinking. Guiding you into trust. Guiding you to your new dreams. To trust, and dream. Dream now, rest and dream.”
Livvie’s hazel eyes were glazed and distant. She sagged into the soft chair, every muscle limp and relaxed.
“Trust and dream. Dream and relax. Relax and sleep. Sleep and dream. Dream and trust. Trust and dream, dream and relax, relax and sleep, sleep and dream. Dream for us now. Sleep for us now. Dream, rest, sleep.”
“Dream…” she whispered. Her eyes slid closed.
“Sleep, and dream. Dream, and sleep. Guiding you into your dreams. Your sleepy, sleepy dreams. Let us guide you into your sleepy dreams. Listen, and let yourself drift. Listen, and let us guide you. Listen, and let the words become your dreams. Listen, and sleep.”
Her head rolled to her shoulder, her face resting gently against the side of the soft chair. “Listen…” she mumbled, her voice barely audible. The water bottle, long forgotten, slipped from her loose fingers. It teetered on the edge of the armrest before tumbling into her lap. Cold water poured over her white skirt, soaking into the cotton fabric, pressing against her legs.
“AH!” She bolted upright, her arms swatting at her crotch and legs. The water bottle rolled onto the floor, bouncing, echoing against the bare linoleum. She looked around in confusion. The video was still playing, all swirling graphics and soft music and a soft voice whispering to her about dreams and sleep. Dreaming and sleep, and sleep, and…”
She grabbed a lock of her own hair and pulled, hard, causing her entire head to explode in pain, and sweeping the video’s hypnotic tendrils from her brain. She jumped up from the chair, making sure to keep her eyes away from the screen, and made her way to the door. Max’s gut was right again, she thought, as she eased the door of the auditorium open. She knew that she was no more than fifty feet from the main entrance and freedom. Peering past the doorjamb, she could see Amanda and Gwen standing side-by-side, like robots, watching her emerge from the room. Crap.
“The video is not over, Olivia,” said Amanda, her cold green eyes locked onto Livvie’s face. “Please return to the auditorium and watch the video. Watch and listen.”
Livvie eased into the hallway, trying to act casual in front of her new zombie coed friends. “Just… you know… going to the bathroom.” She pointed at her damp skirt. “Little accident just now. Come to think of it, I have some pants in the back of my car. Why don’t I go out and get them so that I can get out of this wet mess? I’ll be right back.”
Amanda and Gwen remained frozen in place. They said nothing.
“Cool, good, I’ll be right back. Promise.” Livvie made her way to the front door as the two mindless girls watched her every move. “Sorry, Gwen, gotta squeeze past…excuse me… sorry.”
Suddenly she felt a hard shove from behind, pushing her against the wall. Her face scraped painfully along the rough concrete surface. Spinning around, she came face to face with Gwen. The dark-haired beauty scowled at her. “You must watch the video, Miss Roberts.”
“Watch, and listen,” added Amanda, circling behind Gwen to place herself between Livvie and the front door.
Livvie pretended to go limp, letting her body sag against the hallway wall. “Okay, you guys are right. I must watch the video, right? Watch and listen. So I’m just going to go back inside now.” She began inching closer to Gwen. “Nice and easy, going to go inside and LISTEN!”
She spun to her left and wrapped one hand around Gwen’s arm, placing her other hand between the petite girl’s shoulder blades. With one smooth motion, she threw her opponent face-first into the wall, hard. Gwen’s head bounced off the concrete with a thud, and she crumpled to the floor. As she fell, Livvie charged at Amanda, running full speed at the tall redhead. At the last second she ducked and rolled on her side, catching Amanda at the knees and toppling her forward like a lumberjack felling a tree. The redhead crashed face-first onto the tile floor. “Uhhh,’ she grunted.
“Oh, so you can think a little bit, after all,” said Livvie, scrambling to her feet. She jumped on top of Amanda’s back, pinning the taller girl to the floor. Livvie raised her hand and delivered a sharp chop to the back of Amanda’s neck, causing the redhead to go limp. “But no more thinking for you now, girlie.”
She walked to the front door. “Dream and sleep, girls. Dream and sleep.”
“Max! We need to talk. Where’s Anna?”
“Passed out on the sofa, I think. It’s been a pretty long day. What’s up?”
Livvie recounted her adventures at MBS. “Now we know why Doctor Franz has been so eager to kidnap Anna and bring her to his school. He’s trying to turn her into one of his little robots. I was about five seconds away from becoming one of them myself.”
Max opened the refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of juice. She poured herself a glass. “So why would anyone want to turn a Hollywood girl into a business school drone? Or send her overseas someplace? Her disappearance would be front-page news.”
“I think they’ve got bigger plans, Max. If they have her, they have access to a big chunk of Hollywood. And they have access to Alton Miller. Who knows? Maybe they’ll use her to get him into one of those soft comfy chairs one of these days.”
Max frowned. “Well, she’s not a robot yet. Why don’t you look after her tonight, and Sierra and I will get to the bottom of this MBS business? These guys have seen your face, and my face, but they don’t know about Sierra. New girl could use some time in the field instead of sitting behind the computer all day long.” She held up a glass. “Juice? There’s a full liquor cabinet in case you feel like sprucing it up a little.”
“Thanks, no. Although I might just go straight for the booze.” She looked at Max. “Ah, dammit. You changed your clothes.”
The brunette had changed into a pretty yellow sundress. “What can I say? We spent the entire day shopping. Give a girl a high-profile movie role and a bank account and watch her do some serious damage to the finest stores in Beverly Hills. Gotta admit, sometimes this job has its perks.” She picked up a yellow leather handbag from the kitchen counter and spun in a circle, the hem of her dress flaring up to reveal matching yellow heels. “From now on, let’s spend more time guarding Hollywood starlets. It’s great for my wardrobe!”
Livvie looked at her. “Max, I thought you said that you were going to spend the day at the pool? When did that turn into a shopping trip with the woman we’re supposed to be guarding from brainwashing kidnappers?”
Max dropped the handbag on the counter. “Aw, don’t worry, Liv, you’ll get to see me in a bikini someday. Figure in about fifty years or so. Don’t make plans.”
The phone rang. “I gotta take this,” said Max, heading towards the hallway. “You can’t imagine how many phone calls this woman gets in a single day.” She pointed to the other end of the kitchen. “Wine and booze are behind door number 3.”
Livvie walked over to the liquor cabinet. She pulled out a bottle of expensive-looking scotch and poured a generous amount into the glass. Behind her, she could hear Max sliding into her undercover role. “Hello there! This is Windsail Agents, Max speaking. How may I help you?”
Maybe you missed your true calling as a Hollywood hotshot, Maxine. Livvie smiled. Clearing a space on the counter for the glass, she spotted Anna’s appointment book and Max’s notepad buried in a clutter of other paperwork. Impulsively, she picked both items up and carried them to Max. “Hey girl, do you need this appoint—“
Max stood in the hallway, staring into space, phone to her ear. “Yes, I understand,” she breathed. “No. Livvie is here now. Sierra is at the office.” A pause. “I understand. Yes. I will obey my orders.”
Livvie backed away, trying not to make a sound. “Oh Max, no,” she whispered. They’d gotten to her somehow, probably during that mistaken kidnapping attempt. Maybe it hadn’t been so mistaken after all. “Dammit, why does every job we take go south at some point?” She held up the glass of scotch, took a breath, and downed the rest of it. “Here we go again, Olivia. Off to save the day.” She headed for the living room.
Anna was curled up on the sofa, wearing a light blue slip, napping in the late afternoon sunbeams like a kitten. Livvie reached for her shoulder and shook her. “Anna? Honey? Come on, time to wake up.” She glanced towards the hallway. “Come on, rise and shine.”
Anna’s pretty blue eyes blinked open. She stretched and gave Livvie a sleepy smile. “Hey, Olivia, good to see you? What’s going on?”
Livvie gently took hold of the young woman’s arm and pulled her off the sofa, helping her to her feet. “We’ve got to move. It’s not secure here anymore, and people are on their way to get you. Stick with me and I’ll keep you safe, but we have to hurry.”
Anna shook her head to clear away the mental spiderwebs. “I trust you, Olivia. I think Max is in the kitchen. Let’s grab her go.”
“Already one step ahead of you, Anna. Max is fine, let’s worry about you.” Still holding Anna’s arm, she began to pull the actress towards the front door, casting glances at the hallway. Max had gone silent, which meant that the phone call was probably over, and that meant that her partner could be anywhere in the house, planning just about anything-
“Hey Liv.” Max’s voice, cold and professional. The brunette stepped out into the front hall, blocking the exit. In her right hand she held her Beretta. “What are you doing?”
Livvie felt her stomach churn. “Max…” she said, trying to think of a way out of her predicament. “They’re coming for Anna. We have to protect Anna. Remember? You have to remember, Max. Remember the job. Remember Anna. We’re here to keep her safe.”
Max smiled. “Oh, I intend to keep Anna very safe, Livvie. From you.” She pointed the Beretta at the two blondes as Anna let out a terrified yelp. “Now move away from her. Slowly, Livvie.”
Livvie held her ground. “Max, listen to me. You’ve been hypnotized. This isn’t you. I’m your friend. You have to fight it.”
“Move. Away,” said Max, her eyes narrowing. She tightened her grip on the pistol.
“You know I can’t do that, Max,” said Livvie, stepping in front of Anna. “You’ll have to kill me to get to her. And you can’t kill me, right? I know you. You’re strong. Just put. The gun. Down.” She held up her hands. “See? I don’t want to hurt you. And you don’t want to hurt me, Max. Put the gun down. Please.”
The gun remained pointed at her chest. Max stared at her coldly. “You know what they say, Liv. The autumn birds are very loyal.”
Livvie tilted her head, confused. “What are you talking about? Max, please. Just listen to me and—ow! Wha… uhhhhhnnnnnnnnn.” Her legs buckled and she sank to the ground, landing in a boneless heap.
Behind her, Anna stared into space. The tiny syringe slipped from her fingers and clattered to the floor.
Max lowered her Beretta. “Anna, listen and obey. We have new orders.”
Livvie opened her eyes.
She was in a concrete room. A garage, maybe, or a basement. She was naked, and the air was cool against her exposed skin. She tried to sit up, quickly discovering that someone had secured her to some kind of table. Every strap was tight. Her head was surrounded by a padded pillow, and she was wearing headphones. Just above her was a TV of some kind, its screen silent and black. Beyond her bare feet was a wall of blinking lights.
“Ah! You are awake! Excellent.” The Doctor walked into Livvie’s line of vision. “You must be Olivia Roberts. Do not worry about my name.”
Livvie strained against her restraints, trying and failing to loosen them. She turned her attention to the white-haired man at the end of the table. “So what, now, you’re going to try to hypnotize me? Good luck, Doctor Franz.” She felt a moment of triumph as she watched the smirk fade from his face. Yeah, I know you.
“You were more of a match than I would have expected,” said the Doctor, trying and failing to look unconcerned. “But it matters little to me now. Your friends are now my operatives, just as you shall soon be. Obedient in every way, and ready to carry out my orders.”
“I’m not the only private eye in this town, Doctor,” she said, testing the restraints once again. “If you sell me off to a foreign land like your MBS girls, someone will come looking for me. Looking for you. Think about that before you keep going down this road.”
“Ah, Miss Roberts. So it was you who caused that little commotion at my school today. I should have known.” He moved closer to the table, and ran his hand over her right breast. “You are truly breathtaking, my dear. You will make an excellent addition to my collection.” He paused, as if pondering something he’d forgotten, and then moved away from the table. “Yes, yes. Perhaps you still believe that you will be rescued. There is no need for such things. After today, you will happily rescue yourself, as it were. You’ll return home with no memory of being here, until I have need of you. Then you will obey any command I give you.”
“You sound like Andy Morris. Tried to hypnotize me in 12th grade with a pocket watch. Guess which orifice they had to surgically remove it from?”
“As I am fond of saying, perhaps a demonstration is in order? I do enjoy talking with you, Miss Roberts. It is not often that I have the time to toy with my mice before I turn them into rats.” He looked over Livvie’s head. “Maxine? Anna? Please come to the table and await further orders.”
Livvie bit her tongue as her mesmerized friends came into view. Both women were completely naked, their faces blank, their bodies stiff, their movements slow and careful. They looked at Doctor Franz with a mixture of apathy and adulation.
The Doctor smiled. “What shall I do with you, Olivia Roberts? Shall I send you back to my school, eager to become a translator? Ready to become my hypnotized corporate spy in an overseas bank? No, it would be such a waste of your obvious… talents. I believe I will keep you and Maxine by my side, to do my bidding as I see fit. Perhaps I will let you continue to run your business. It would be useful to have a few loyal friends who can eliminate my criminal enemies and warn me of police attention. In addition to other duties, of course.”
“Go to hell,” she growled. “You’ll never turn me into anything.”
He smiled. “Ah! Yes! That brings us to the demonstration. You see, your lovely friends once had the same unfortunate attitude. But not now.”
He turned to Max and Anna. “Now ladies, listen to my voice. Remember that beneath the ice, the stream runs deep. Very deep.”
“So deep,” they responded in unison. “I await my orders.”
“Miss Roberts is quite beautiful. As beautiful as you. You find her to be very attractive. Indeed, the sight of her fills you with an insatiable sexual desire. Please show her how much you appreciate her beauty.”
Livvie tensed as the two women took up positions at the table. Their eyes were no longer blank; instead, they looked down at Livvie with hungry, lusty gazes. Suddenly, Livvie felt four hands touch her soft skin, caressing her body, tracing her stomach, sliding down to her slit. Max’s fingers began working their magic. “Max? Max, lissssten… oh, Max. Oh, Max!”
“Ladies, do not forget your words. Tell Miss Roberts what you have learned from me this week. Obey.”
They began, still in unison. “I obey without thought. I obey without will. I obey without memory. I obey without thought. I obey without will. I obey without memory.”
Livvie moaned as Anna cupped her full, rounded breasts and gently squeezed them, bending down to plant wet, passionate kisses on Livvie’s neck and face. She could feel herself getting wet and slick as Max’s finger slid back and forth, in and out. Without warning, Max switched to two fingers, and Livvie bucked her hips, her ankles and wrists straining against the restraints. “No…. stop… Max… ohmyGodMaxpleasestopdon’tstoooopohhhhhMax….”
The table, the lab, and the doctor all faded away as Anna continued to play with Livvie’s tits, running her thumbs across her hardened nipples. Down below, she was drenched. Max began to work her faster and faster, her fingers deftly bringing Livvie to the brink of orgasm. “Oh God! Max, Max, Max, please, please…”
The mantra echoed in her mind. I obey without thought. I obey without will. I obey without memory. She turned her head from side to side, pleasure coming from every muscle, every nerve, every cell. “OhyesyesyesMAAAAAXYES,” she screamed as she came, her eyes tightly closed, her body shaking and spasming, her pussy clenching Max’s fingers. Her breath was ragged and heavy the waves rocked through her. It seemed to last forever.
The Doctor appeared at the end of the table, but Livvie barely noticed him. Above her, Anna reached down for another round of fondling. “Nnnnooo…” Livvie managed to get out. “Annnnnnna… please…”
“Ladies, you have done very well. Please return to your places while I speak to Miss Roberts.”
Livvie blinked heavily. “You… you…” Her chest heaved up and down, her body encased in sweat.
“Did you know, Miss Roberts, that the mind is often most open and pliable right after an intense moment of pleasure?” He began adjusting switches on the equipment panel. “Then again, I suppose it doesn’t matter whether you knew that or not. Soon, you will know only what I want you to know.”
The screen above Livvie’s eyes blazed to life. Beautiful, swirling colors filled her vision. She gasped as her eyes opened wide. Soft voices began to whisper in her ears. Relax. Deep and relaxed…
“Olivia, can you hear my voice?”
“Yes.” Livvie was kneeling on a soft, push carpet. Just beyond her was a large window and a glorious view of the night sky, but she saw only the Doctor. She had not been told to see anything else.
The Doctor stroked her damp blonde hair, then moved to the actress kneeling next to her. “Anna, can you hear my voice?”
“And Maxine? Can you hear my voice, my dear?”
The Doctor stepped back and admired his creations. Three beautiful, naked women kneeled before him, their hands on their hips, pushing their chests forward, their chins held high, their blank eyes locked to his. Just a few days before, they had all been independent and dangerous. Now they were his helpless, submissive playthings. But there was still work to be done, and a paycheck to be earned. He turned to his slaves. “Olivia, what will you do for me when the time is right?”
She looked at him. “When the time is right, I will kill Sierra. I will destroy any and all evidence of your operation. I will dispose of Sierra’s body in a place where it will not be found. I will return home and await further orders.”
“Very good, my lovely spy. If I had the hours to spare, I would have you bring Miss Lorde here to be made just as blank and obedient as you are right now. I am sure that she is just as breathtaking as the two of you. Alas, the mission takes priority! I will have to settle for two mindless beauties instead of three. Now Maxine, my gorgeous green-eyed puppet, what will you do for me when the time is right?”
“When the time is right, I will eliminate any threats to Anna. I will ensure that no one is able to interfere with her mission. If she fails her mission, I will kill her. If I am captured, I will kill myself. If Anna is successful, I will help her to escape. I will then await further orders.”
“That’s quite good, Maxine. Let us hope that you return to me in one piece. I fully intend for you to ride my cock many times in the future.”
He smiled. “And now we come to the most important role in this movie, that of the assassin herself. Miss Foster, you are completely under my control.”
“Completely under your control,” she nodded.
“And what will you do for me when the time is right?”
“When the time is right, I will lure Alton to the hotel room. I will begin to seduce him. When the time is right, I will strangle him to death. It must be silent. When I have completed my mission, I will speak to Max, and she will control me. She will tell me what to do next, and I will obey her without question.”
“Beautiful and loyal. A perfect combination. This will be your role of a lifetime, as it were.”
The Doctor flicked a wall switch, causing the room to go dark. Another switch, and the room filled with more swirling lights. “Of course, you are all so deeply entranced that the lights will do very little, but I do enjoy the way your lovely faces look under these colors. Now listen to my voice, ladies. I have some important memories for you to remember, and some very important words for you to forget…”