Tiffany entered Alice’s kitchen, so desperately wishing she could stay and listen in to what she and Dillon were talking about. But she had been ordered to make them coffee and bring them snacks, and she had to obey. She gathered ingredients from the cupboards and fridge, all the while worrying that Alice would need her while she was here. Then she shook her head, smiling to herself. She needed to relax. Her Mistress was all powerful, all dominant, and completely in control. Her heart glowed with warmth thinking about all the ways she would serve and obey.
After filling the coffee maker with granules and water, she flipped the switch and waited. Mere seconds later, Dillon burst into the room. Startled, Tiffany spun around to face him and gasped as he quickly approached her. His fierce eyes stared her down, and his face betrayed his desire. Without warning, he grabbed her and pushed her against the kitchen counter. One hand squeezed her waist while the other grabbed her by the back of her head and pulled her gaze to his. As she stared into his eyes, instant understanding formed between them. Alice wanted her to submit to Dillon. Her Mistress wanted Dillon to fuck her.
Dillon spun her around and pushed her over the counter as Tiffany squealed in nervous excitement. She could feel her desperate pussy screaming for his dick. If Mistress Alice wanted this, then she wanted it more than anything she had ever done. Dillon pulled at her clothes, tearing them off until she was naked and fully exposed. Shivering in exhilaration, she moaned as he pushed his way inside her, pleasure filling up her entire body instantly. As he thrust into her again and again, she squealed and yelped and moaned with less and less control each time.
Dillon’s hands ravished her body with no resistance, assaulting her breasts before he clawed his nails down her back. As he continued to thrust into her, grunting and tugging her hair, Tiffany felt heat envelop her and a sticky warmth ooze through her. The pleasure of her pussy being repeatedly pounded aside, she felt a satisfying contentment knowing that this was her place. She was a slave, and she would obey any command she was given. Obedience was pleasure. Submission was her life.
Dillon clasped a hand over Tiffany’s throat and squeezed as he sped up. Her moans of pleasure turned into gargled screams as she felt her climax building. As Dillon pushed Tiffany’s face into the countertop, she let out a long, pleading scream. Had she the ability right then, she would have begged to feel Dillon unload into her.
Then the coffee maker bubbled and spat, indicating it was ready.
And Tiffany was alone in the kitchen, naked, panting, and bent over the countertop with no Dillon in sight. She let out a harrowed sigh and sank to the floor. Her arousal was dripping out of her, and sweat glistened all over her body.
Was that… Was that real? It had felt so real, but then vanished like a phantom.
Perhaps she had blacked out from the intense pleasure of Dillon using her like an object. A shiver ran through her at the thought, knowing that once her usefulness for him was gone, he had no reason to hang around.
Once Tiffany caught her breath, she stood up and dressed in her untorn clothes before returning to her duty. She still had a task to complete for her mistress.
A few minutes later, Tiffany pushed open the door to her Mistress’s bedroom with her foot, owing to her hands being full with two mugs of coffee and a plate of pop tarts. Alice and Dillon were sitting on Alice’s bed, side by side, deep in conversation. Dillon, Tiffany noted, did not look at all dishevelled or like he had been fucking her senseless just minutes earlier. The sly glance that Alice gave her for a split second gave the game away. Tiffany couldn’t say anything though, and Alice quickly returned to her conversation with Dillon.
“It’s been pretty tough,” Alice was explaining. “I mean, mentally, the cravings have just been overwritten, I just feel them as an echo, but I still get super lethargic or nauseous all of a sudden. I don’t really know what to do with it, because I don’t associate it with wanting another hit. I know it’ll pass soon, and honestly since it’s so much better than previous times I’ve gone cold turkey, I don’t think I deserve to complain at all.”
“I’m still proud of you though. When you came asking for the hit I very nearly said no because, unless you’ve found another dealer, you’d been clean for so long…”
Alice chuckled. “Well I bum my weed off Trev on a regular basis, and he hates your guts, so there’s no way he gets that from you or anyone you know.”
“Ahh, the competition,” Dillon scoffed jokingly. “Well as long as they stay outta my turf, I couldn’t give a fuck.”
Tiffany placed the coffee and the poptarts down on Alice’s desk and then dropped to her knees in front of her Mistress. She bowed her head, not daring to interrupt their conversation, and waited.
Completely ignoring Tiffany’s presence, Alice continued to chat to Dillon, twirling her fingers through her hair as she did so.
Dillon clenched his jaw. “So, how is… Trev?” He didn’t bother to hide his bitterness at saying the name.”
“Oh he’s fine, yeah, he’s good.” Alice shrugged.
“Is he still with that girl? You know, the one with the,” Dillon motioned frantically over his face, “the psycho eyes?”
Alice laughed. Tiffany couldn’t help herself as she snickered under her breath, though she quickly forced herself into a straight face. After all, she hadn’t been permitted to laugh, or even smile.
“Yes, he’s still with Lucy,” Alice replied. “Although from what I gather, things are getting interesting between them.”
“Interesting how?” Dillon asked. Alice just smiled and motioned back towards Tiffany.
“Slave. Strip naked and present yourself,” she commanded.
A rush of heat and excitement pulsed through Tiffany as she eagerly obeyed. “Yes, Mistress,” she breathed excitedly as she jumped to her feet in order to wriggle out of the tight jeans she had borrowed from Alice’s wardrobe. Within moments, her tube top was off and her bare breasts were on full display. She looked eagerly to her Mistress and Dillon, wishing with all her heart that her exposed body pleased them. To her dismay, Alice didn’t even look at her, continuing to address Dillon with no interest in what she was doing, and Dillon himself was half watching her awkwardly, glancing at her every few seconds but mostly paying attention to Alice.
“So, I’m glad you’ve not been busted yet I guess,” Alice remarked.
“Yeah…” Dillon replied, somewhat distracted. “I have a core customer base that I trust, and working at a couple of bars each week means I have a pretty seamless cover. I’m different than the rest of the idiots throwing drugs around like it’s candy. I’m smarter.”
Tiffany, fully naked and kneeling once more with her hands behind her head and her chest thrust forward, would have had some choice words for Dillon on any other day. But right now she felt a desperate need for him to look at her, to objectify her. She wanted Alice to let him bend her over her desk and take her. She waited patiently and obediently for one of them to notice her. She craved to be used, and had to stifle the urge to whine and beg for it.
”I always knew you were different,” Alice said softly. “But I admit I always wanted you to stop. I always wanted you to be something more, to go straight and make something of yourself.” She laid a hand on his shoulder. “It wasn’t fair for me to demand that of you. I’m sorry.”
Dillon clenched his jaw again. Tiffany watched with curiosity as his eyes started to tear up once more, but he seemed to shut himself down. “Thank you. It means a lot to me to hear you say that.”
Alice ran her hand over his cheek and spoke with a soft kindness. “No problem.” It reminded Tiffany of a previous Alice. An Alice she had destroyed.
“I suppose if I can control my anger, and you don’t try to control me, we might have a chance again.”
Once more, Alice said nothing. Instead, she turned her attention to Tiffany. Tiffany wanted to squeal in excited joy, but managed to contain herself, her lips forming an involuntary smile but her face remaining impassively obedient otherwise. After appraising Tiffany from head to knee, Alice smiled in satisfaction before turning back to Dillon.
“So I don’t know how soon Marion will be getting home,” Alice remarked airily. “But it might be quite soon, so I’d rather not take any chances.”
“I need to leave?” Dillon asked, frowning in irritation.
Alice nodded. “Not right this moment. But soon.” She then smiled a wide, mischievous smile. “We should definitely have our coffee before then. Oh, and how about my lovely slave here gives you a blowjob before you go?”
Dillon did a slow double take at Alice. “For real?”
“Absolutely,” Alice assured, taking her coffee cup. “It’s pretty nice coffee.” She chuckled at Dillon’s unamused expression before adding, “I had hoped you would both do much more than that, both for my amusement and to show the typically gay Tiff here just how little control she really has now that she’s my helpless little fucktoy.”
Dillon sat in silent contemplation for a moment. He then shook his head. “No,” he said, albeit reluctantly. “I want you, Alice, not your ‘fucktoy.’” He air-quoted the last word and then slowly ran his hand over Alice’s long golden hair.
“Come on,” he added softly. “We’re fucking great together.”
Alice closed her eyes and sighed, enjoying his touch and contemplating her response. After a few moments, she gently moved his hand away and fixed him with a cold, calculating stare.
“If you want to touch me, you’ll need to do exactly as I say,” she said firmly. “If you follow my instructions perfectly, then you’ll be able to kiss me. Maybe more, if you’re extremely well behaved.”
“I dunno, Alice, I’m not into this whole slave bullshit.” Dillon shifted uncomfortably. Tiffany watched as he tensed up. He looked like he was ready to get up and leave.
“Really?” Alice looked bemused. She took a sip of her coffee before giving Dillon a scrutinising look. “If you’re not into this whole slave bullshit, then what was with that voicemail? Tiffany listened to the whole thing while out of trance and gave me the cliffnotes. It would have put myself, her, and Erin all into a trance while under your instruction. What exactly would you have done with us had it worked?”
Dillon straightened his back and clenched his jaw. Tiffany knelt before them and worried that the smoldering embers of the fight Dillon and Alice had just had was about to reignite into an even more ferocious blaze.
“For fuck sake, Alice, I was trying to save you!” He got to his feet with clenched fists now. “You told me your friends had made a computer program that could fucking control minds and you felt like you weren’t yourself anymore. Then they turn up and you agree to talk to them knowing full well that they can manipulate you in ways you don’t even remember! And of course that’s exactly what happens, they get you to leave with them, and either the whole thing was a load of bullshit which I could live with, or I had one chance to get you back and save you from them before it was too late.”
Alice put her coffee cup down and crossed her arms. “So what then? You’re my knight in shining armour? I should be showering you in gratitude? You wouldn’t have made us all docile and agreeable to everything you said?”
Dillon ran his hands through his hair, his face burning red. But instead of shouting, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
Tiffany eyed the hilt of the knife, mostly hidden in the shadows beneath Alice’s bed, directly behind . She was tense, poised to spring once more.
When he opened his eyes again, a determined calm emanated from his features. “Look…” he said in strained softness. “Everything I’ve done and everything I’m doing is trying to make sure you’re okay, because I want to be with you. But I don’t want this!” He motioned to Tiffany. “Slaves and shit, it’s messed up. What happened? What happened to you? You came to me scared and messed up, but definitely you. Now you’re… different. Something has changed.”
Alice calmly got to her feet. “You want to know what’s changed, sweetie?” Her voice dripped with condescension as her eyes narrowed. “I feel like I’m in control of my life for the first time. I know my own strength, I know my own heart. I like the control, and I like taking it from weak willed bitches like Tiff here. Yes, the Algorithm has changed me, but not in a bad way.”
She walked up to him and grabbed his t-shirt with her hands, gripping tightly as she looked up into his eyes. “Instead of fighting me, help me. Instead of wanting to change me, support me. Instead of thinking how much I’m different, see how much I’m better. I’m not all that different, I just have more confidence in myself. I know that’s scary, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about you.”
Dillon stared into Alice’s eyes, and Tiffany couldn’t make out what emotions were going through him.
After what seemed like an eternity of them staring at each other, Dillon finally sighed, visibly shrinking down before Alice. “Okay,” he muttered. “Alright, I’m sorry. This is just all a bit confusing for me.” He turned towards the door.
Alice grabbed his hand and pulled him back towards her. “Hey,” she said softly, before leaning in and kissing him.
Tiffany could feel her hackles raise, her eyes burning with anger and jealousy as she watched Dillon return the kiss. They embraced each other as Tiffany knelt obediently and waited obediently and kept silent obediently, all while she seethed inside.
When Alice finally broke away, they both sighed and smiled. “I appreciate and accept your apology. Perhaps there is hope for us yet.”
Dillon looked shocked and stammered as he tried to reply. Alice just laughed and put her finger to his lips. “You need to go. But this Friday night, I’ll be hosting a gathering at Josh’s flat. Just my close friends, and some close friends of theirs. Some booze, some weed, nothing too big, but I’d like you there.”
“Really?” Dillon replied, skepticism layering his voice now.
“Yeah, I really would,” Alice affirmed. “You can bring Ross too, I don’t mind.” she added casually. “Trust me, it’ll be fun.”
“Why at Josh’s?” Dillon asked with a raised eyebrow. “So you make me sit in front of that screen and fuck up my mind?”
Alice merely smiled. “I’m not going to make you do anything, Dillon. I just want you there.”
“Alright.” Dillon shrugged. “Friday night. I can do that. Booze, drugs, my kind of way to start a weekend.”
“Mine too.” Alice smiled. “Please don’t bring anything harder. I’m doing reasonably well here, don’t want to fuck it up.”
“Okay.” Dillon nodded. “That works for me.” He half chuckled, and shook his head in disbelief. “So I guess I’ll see you on Friday then.”
“I guess you will.” Alice smiled sweetly. “Now, are you sure you don’t want your coffee or to fuck Tiffany’s brains out before you go?”
Dillon kept a straight face as he looked to his forgotten coffee cup, then at Tiffany. “I’m good,” he replied. “I’m not coming this far just to fail your tests… No offense.” He shrugged at Tiffany.
Tiffany could feel a confusion ball of rage screaming inside of her. She wanted to lash out at Dillon and tear him a new one. But Alice would be disappointed in her for that, and that would be more painful than anything Dillon could do or say to her. Tiffany just nodded curtly and forced a smile. “See you on Friday,” she said with as much sweetness as she could bear to muster.
Alice walked Dillon out, and Tiffany stayed kneeling on the floor. She waited patiently, her mind running wild with what else Alice and Dillon might be saying to each other. Or worse, what they might be doing.
It felt like an eternity, but a minute or so later, Alice reappeared in the doorway with a satisfied smile on her face. “So…” she said, entering the room and taking her seat back on the bed. She crossed her legs and regarded Tiffany with curiosity. “How do you think that went?”
“I don’t trust him, Mistress,” Tiffany huffed. “He’s only doing and saying what he thinks will get him what he wants. If you give him the chance, he’ll put you in front of the Algorithm and make you his slave.”
Alice smiled broadly. “Of course that’s what he wants, slave. It couldn’t be more obvious. But that’s not what I asked.”
Tiffany furrowed her brow. Maybe she was letting her anger and jealousy cloud her judgment. She thought back over the whole interaction, from the moment Dillon had arrived to the second he left. Eventually she nodded and sighed. “I’d say it went pretty well. I mean, I was pretty nervous the whole time, what with the instructions you gave me before he arrived. I didn’t want to have to grab that knife, even just to threaten him with, but you seemed to diffuse his anger every time it flared.”
“Yes,” Alice said. “It helped that he wasn’t on anything. It all might have gone down differently otherwise. But I don’t really mean that. Do you think the seed has been planted?”
Tiffany frowned. “I’m not sure. I think so. I’m not convinced he’s just going to sit in front of the Algorithm when you ask him to on Friday.”
“I won’t be asking, slave.” Alice smiled deviously. “By the time he’s seen everything I want him to see, he’ll be asking me.”
“Sounds great, Mistress.” Tiffany smiled. “What else can I do for you?”
“I’m glad you asked, slave.” Alice bit her lip. She placed her hand under Tiffany’s chin, gently raising it so that Tiffany’s head leaned right back. “I’ll be honest with you. Inviting Dillon over wasn’t really about having him fuck you to prove how much I control your every thought and action. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted him to, and I was going to wake up your original personality after the fact to let her stew in her utter defeat and humiliation for a spell, but that will just have to wait.”
Tiffany was shuddering at Alice’s touch, and moaned as Alice described what her plans had been. To have her old personality retrieved just so that Alice could rub in her complete control was hot as fuck. She hoped it might happen yet.
“No, having Dillon here was more a personal indulgence,” Alice continued. “One that could easily have waited while we took care of more important things, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m only human.”
Tiffany wanted to insist that Alice was a Goddess, and shower her with both praise and intimate affection, but she waited for her command.
Alice snapped her fingers and motioned for Tiffany to rise. “Now listen closely, slave. I have a very important task for you to do.”
Erin emerged from Josh’s bathroom wrapped in a towel, followed closely by Trev who had a dreamy, dazed expression on his face.
“Well, that was fun,” Erin remarked with a backwards glance as she headed towards the spare bedroom.
“It really was…” Trev agreed, his smile lingering as he closed the door behind them. “I really don’t want to go to my last class today, even though I know I need to show up to at least something.”
“Would that make you happy though?” Erin inquired, tilting her head as she quickly ran a towel through her hair.
“Fuck no,” Trev admitted. “What would make me happy would be hanging out with you playing some games, maybe cracking a couple of beers.”
Erin grinned. “Well then let’s do that then! I mean, you’ve missed the whole day already really, making one little class isn’t going to salvage it at this point.”
“True.” Trev nodded as he started pulling on his clothes. “Though I can’t help but feel that you’re being a bad influence on me. Hey, seen my other sock anywhere?”
Erin paused partway through putting her jeans on to give Trev an incredulous look. “Wait, what? I’m the bad influence here?! That’s pretty rich coming from the guy literally controlling me and compelling me to fuck him every second moment.” She laughed when Trev’s face dropped. “Oh come on man, I’m not complaining, I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy. It’s what I do.”
“Okay, fair point.” Trev shook his head. “Sorry, I still can’t help but feel like I shouldn’t be doing this. It feels wrong.”
Erin scoffed. “Dude, come on. Right and wrong are abstract concepts. If you control someone, you can literally make them think anything is right or wrong. Just do whatever the fuck you like, do what makes you happy.”
“You really mean that?” Trev asked, looking doubtful.
“I really do,” Erin replied sincerely. She then chuckled, adding, “And the fact that I’m even saying that goes to show how effective the Algorithm is at programming.”
Trev groaned. “So the you that you were before would care about what is happening, but the you that you are now doesn’t… So I’d have to change you back for you to want to be changed back, but right now you’re happy with whatever I want to do?”
Erin nodded and shrugged. “Pretty much. You seem to be burdened by a lot of guilt over it though. Would you like me to program that out of you?”
“What?” Trev looked nervous. “No, no thanks.” He paused for a second, clearly considering it, before shaking his head. “No, having seen what it’s done to you and Lucy, I don’t think I want to be going anywhere near it myself.”
“Are you sure?” Erin pried. “Not even to get back the memory gaps you have from the other night? You’d know what you programmed into Lucy that way. Isn’t that a bit tempting?”
“No, really, I’m good,” Trev insisted.
Erin shrugged as she pulled her top over her head. “Well, whatever makes you happy.” She then looked at Trev thoughtfully. “Although, can I ask you something?”
“Go for it.”
“Well, it’s just that you seem to be in complete control of Lucy,” Erin stated pointedly. “So why isn’t she here sucking you off and making out with me for your arousal and enjoyment and crap?”
Having finished putting clothes on, Trev sat on the bed and looked down at his feet. Erin watched as his expression filled with doubt and sorrow.
“I’m sorry!” she quickly said. “Just forget I said anything, okay?”
“No, it’s okay,” Trev looked up at her with shimmering eyes. “It’s just, I’ve felt like I’ve wanted to break up with her for a while now. Despite everything that’s happened over the last few days, despite all the ways she’s changed, I still want to break up with her, but I feel horrible about it. Especially since I seem to have changed her so drastically.”
“Hey now,” Erin soothed, climbing onto the bed so she could place a hand on Trev’s shoulder. “It’s okay. Sometimes even when someone changes for you, they’re just not right for you.
“But I don’t get it!” Trev looked dismayed. “If I can change her to however I want, why do I want to break up with her more now than I’ve ever felt like before?”
Erin furrowed her brow. “I dunno dude. Maybe now you’re not scared at how she might react, because you can program her to be totally chill about it?”
“Maybe…” Trev trailed. “But that seems like a monstrous thing to do too, doesn’t it?”
Erin shrugged as she shuffled closer. She ran her hands through his messy hair and placed her forehead against his. “Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But baby, you’ve got the power now. You can do what you want… With her, with me. If you’re going to let that power drive you crazy, you should never have touched it in the first place. But since you have, I think the sooner you embrace the idea that you can do whatever the fuck you want, the better off you’ll be.”
“Yeah?” Trev looked abashed.
“Yeah,” Erin said kindly. “If Lucy is making you miserable, then cut her loose. I mean, she was starting to grow on me, but fuck it, you can easily program that out of me too.”
Trev looked astonished. “Just, what? Break up with her, just like that?”
“Just like that, baby.” Erin winked. “Fuck me, I’ve cut boys loose over text more than once. But for you, just call her, trance her, make her totally agreeable to the idea, then dump her ass.” She punched his arm gently. “Job done, and fuck me again to celebrate. Plan?”
Trev looked at Erin’s encouraging demeanor, then pulled his phone out of his pocket. “Just break up with her…” he murmured, still wading through a swamp of uncertainty. “Trance her, make her compliant. Dump her…”
“Then trance me, and mould me into whatever you like. Oh, but make sure you get to Alice and Tiff soon though, otherwise they might figure out what happened with Lucy and deprogram themselves. Then they’ll be pissed, and they’ll probably make a move to deprogram me too, and Tiff will more than likely enslave you just like she did me.”
Trev’s jaw dropped. “Wait, what?”
Erin rolled her eyes and then threw herself backwards onto the bed. “Oh, fuck, please don’t make me explain the whole thing from the start, it’ll take weeks!”
“No seriously Erin, what are you talking about?”
“She’s talking about what the Algorithm has done to her,” Josh said from the doorway.
Erin and Trev both jolted in surprise.
“Fuck!” Erin snapped. “Dude, you scared the shit outta me!”
Josh shook his head with a smile. “Oh, apologies for sneaking up on you both in my own apartment.” He pressed a few buttons on his phone before planting it back in his pocket. “Now just what have you two been up to all day here?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
Erin and Trev shared a nervous glance, both of them returning their gaze to Josh but saying nothing.
“Ahh.” Josh nodded in understanding. “I see. Trev, you have a girlfriend, no?”
“Well… Yeah… The thing…” Trev mumbled, averting his gaze sheepishly.
“And Erin, you have a Tiff, or was I reading that wrong the other day?” Josh looked to Erin expectantly.
Erin stared back in defiance. “Yeah, I have a goddam Tiff. Or rather, she has me. But fuck you and your judgmental overtones, dude. Yes, Trev and I just fucked. So what? Tiff and I aren’t exclusive, and Lucy was the one who gave me the hots for Trev. I don’t see where your attitude is getting its juice from, but you should try a different fucking tree.”
“Well…” Josh raised his eyebrows. “Your calm and collected response to my simple question doesn’t betray your guilty feelings at all…”
“Oh fuck this, I don’t even have to put up with you,” Erin scoffed. “Josh has dosh.”
Josh blinked a few times. Then he waved his hand in front of his eyes before he broke out into a rebellious grin. “Oops,” he said sarcastically. “That certainly worked…”
“Oh, fuck.” Erin slapped her forehead. She frantically turned to Trev and barked, “Quick, tell me to—”
“Emergency Erin Entrancement,” Josh said.
Erin’s words were cut off in her throat, her voice fading as quickly as her eyes were. Her panicked expression dissolved before Trev’s eyes, and her posture slumped until she was still, blank, and deeply in trance.
“Dude!” Trev exclaimed, jumping up from the bed in surprise. “What did you do?”
Josh just shrugged. “Erin, put Trev into trance,” he commanded.
Trev seized up and looked like a deer in headlights as Erin instantly opened her mouth to reply.
“Can’t,” she murmured tonelessly. “I don’t have a trigger for Trev.”
“Really?” Josh stroked his chin. “Weird. Okay, nevermind that, just follow me instead, and only listen to my voice while in this trance, understand?”
“Yes,” Erin said softly, before robotically getting to her feet and following Josh out of the room.
Once he had a moment to shake some life back into himself, Trev was hot on their trail as they entered Josh’s bedroom. “Dude, what the fuck is going on?!” he demanded.
Josh didn’t bother looking up as he switched on his computer. “Sit in the chair, Erin. Put the headphones on.” He typed in the password and continued speaking, his voice changing from instructive to informative. “I’m deprogramming Erin, man. Her trigger phrase for me didn’t work because she’s under the influence of you and Lucy by the looks and sound of things. And probably Tiff. I think everyone is under the influence of Tiff…”
“Deprogramming…” Trev started. He ran his hands through his hair, too many thoughts exploding in his mind at once for him to think straight. Too many questions, but not much time.
“No, just wait!” he stammered. “You can’t do that!”
“I don’t have a choice, dude.” Josh shrugged, looking up briefly at Trev and giving a slight apologetic shake of his head. “I just know that I need to do this because she’s being controlled by someone else. I think she programmed me to do it herself when she had me under the Algorithm at one point. I don’t really know, because I don’t have any memory of it. I just know I have to do it. I have to remove all of her programming, and restore all of her memories.”
“No no no no!” Trev rushed to take the headphones off Erin and then quickly pressed the power button on the screen before Josh initiated the swirling pattern. “Come on man, let’s talk about this! You don’t have to just remove her programming just like that, surely.”
“It’s not just like that,” Josh explained. “I know I needed to drop her in trance using that phrase I used, but once in trance, I need to sit her here and have the Algorithm keep her in trance because we don’t really know for sure, but there’s a chance that instructions given while sitting in the chair here are more potent than instructions given when put into trance by a trigger word or phrase.” He reached over to put the screen back on. “Erin, put the headphones back on and look at the screen.”
“No!” Trev protested as Erin wrested the headphones from his trembling grip. “No, Erin! Take the headphones back off. Josh, turn it off! Just give me a second here!”
Josh shook his head solemnly. “I can’t, man, I’m sorry. I have to, I’ve clearly been programmed to. And she won’t listen to you, not in that trance.”
“Well then let’s deprogram you first!” Trev insisted. He went to take off Erin’s headphones once more, but Josh intercepted him.
“Dude. I’m sorry, but no. I have to do this. I have no choice.”
Trev attempted to move Josh’s hands for a moment before quickly realising that the athletic basketball player was possibly three times as strong as he was. His expression turned to pleading. “You don’t understand! If you deprogram her, when she wakes up she’s going to kill me. Literally kill me. It’s Erin, she doesn’t fuck around! And I could have done the right thing when she walked in, but I didn’t. I let myself take advantage of the situation! Of her!”
“Look dude, stop panicking,” Josh said earnestly. “Erin is cool, and the Algorithm has fucked everyone up. She’ll understand.” He then smiled grimly and added, “Besides, if she tried to physically harm you for real, she’d have to get through me first.”
“What? No, she just has to say that fucking phrase to make you obey her, doesn’t she?”
Josh bobbed his head as he thought about it. “Yeah, actually. On second thought, maybe you better just start running.”
The colour drained from Trev’s cheeks as he trembled in place.
“Relax, man, I’m just kidding.” Josh slapped his arm with a chuckle.
“Wait, so you don’t have to depogram her?!” Trev asked hopefully.
“Oh, no, I have to do that,” Josh said sternly. “I was just joking about the running thing. You’ll be fine.” He paused for an agonising moment before adding, “Probably.”
“No, Josh, dude, please just wait,” Trev repeated, but Josh ignored him. Trev took a step forward and clenched his fists.
Josh looked at him with a pitying expression. “Trev, that ain’t gonna end well, brother.”
They stood staring down one another for a few moments before they both spun wildly towards the doorway at the sound of someone clearing their throat.
“I can’t believe you almost started without me, boys…” Tiffany said playfully. Her eyes were alight with fire and glee. Trev and Josh were both startled speechless, and Erin remained blank and unaware in the chair. Tiffany just grinned, and taking a step forward into the room, spoke with a voice of complete control.
“Sleep, everyone, sleep.”