That night they planned over three huge pizzas and a seemingly endless fridge of beer. Tiffany, despite growing protests from the rest, refused to release Erin for hours, leaving her to wander around the apartment bobbing her head and clucking endlessly. They waited for her to snap out of the conditioning, absolutely certain that she wouldn’t remain in character for long, but she never wavered. Eventually she nested in the corner of the room, dragging some magazines over to it with her feet and settling down to sleep, though not having much luck in her crouched position. She got increasingly irate, then eventually lay down and slept for real.
“Ok! OK!” Tiffany snapped as Trev, Josh, and Alice simultaneously lambasted her for letting things get to that point. “If she wakes up and is still in chicken land, I promise I’ll release her. I want to see if she’ll wake up still being a chicken. If so, don’t you think it has amazing implications for our algorithm?” She grinned, hopeful that her friends would follow this positive spin.
“You’re lucky I’m so drunk, Tiff!” Josh remarked with a slight slur. “Otherwise I’d strap you into my desk chair and use the trancy shit on you to make you be nice to Erin and shit…”
“Oh god, no one should be put in the chair right now.” Alice replied with a giggle. “I am not feeling responsible with the commands I’d give you all…”
“Part of me wants to know what you’d do…” Trev stated with a grin. “While another part really, really doesn’t.”
“Only one way to find out…” Alice joked, though Tiffany noticed she was looking keenly at Josh fairly often.
“So we have a basic plan, then?” Tiffany said brightly, looking at the scrawled notes in front of her. “Alice, you’re working on the visual patterns.”
“That I am.” She replied in a bubbly fashion.
“Trev, you’re on the audio.” Tiffany said next, not looking up from the notes.
“Sounds good.” He said, then chuckled. “Gettit? I said ‘sounds’ good…”
“Stop talking dude, you’re drunk.” Josh smirked.
“Pot kettle black much?” Alice laughed as they both looked at her with inebriated faces.
“Alright, and Josh, you’re programming the algorithm so we can control the feed remotely, see what the frequencies are, and get a webcam image of the subject.” Tiffany explained, smiling at the tipsiness of her friends. She was feeling quite the buzz herself, which was the main reason she was writing this all down.
“Yay…!” Josh cheered sarcastically, “I get the easy job!”
“You’re a genius, you’ll do fine.” Tiffany replied dismissively. “I am on test candidate selection and monitoring them for signs of trance, and seeing how many distinct states of awareness we can identify.” And then she glanced in the corner. “And lastly, Erin is on administration and support.”
“Poor girl…” Trev sighed. “She was a chicken for the whole meeting and now we’re making her our secretary. Dibs on not telling her when she wakes up!”
“Dibs!” Alice and Josh yelled simultaneously.
Tiffany slapped her hand to her forehead. “Dammit! I wasn’t ready! Urgh, I hate you all!”
“That’ll pass. Here have another beer.” Josh passed a cold bottle to Tiffany and she took it gratefully.
It was another half hour of drinking beer and watching Firefly when Erin stirred. She slowly got to her feet, looked in turn at each of her friends, and then clucked loudly before approaching a pizza box and attempting to peck apart a piece of leftover pizza out of the box.
“Holy shit, she’s still totally a chicken!” Trev gaped.
“Will it ever wear off by itself?” Josh frowned as Erin made a larger and larger mess trying to devour a pizza slice with no hands.
“Tiff. Please. Let her go back to normal now…” Alice pleaded as Tiffany scrunched up her face in annoyance.
“Ok. Ok, fine!” Tiffany replied irately. “Erin! Remove Curse!”
Erin’s eyes regained their focus and she visibly deflated before them all. She looked exhausted, and her expression flashed with anger momentarily, before becoming nervous as she turned her gaze to Tiffany.
“That was mean, Tiff…” she muttered feebly. “Please don’t do it again.”
“Now we’re even for the shit you pulled earlier, ok?” Tiffany replied emotionlessly, taking a swig from her beer and trying to look dispassionate.
Josh got to his feet at this point, and had a rare look of stern determination on his face. “Ok, I think it’s fair to say that you’ve both fucked around with each other enough. Tiffany is calling it even, Erin, I highly recommend you do the same and we can get back to focusing on our kick ass project.”
“How long was I a fucking chicken this time though?” Erin asked, trying to mask the bitterness in her voice.
“It doesn’t matter.” Josh snapped. “Long enough to be payback for the crap you pulled on Alice and Tiff, not long enough that you can’t still have pizza and beers with us. So I’m calling a truce now. You’re both gonna fuckin’ shake hands and grow up, or you’re both off the project.”
“When did it become your project!?” Alice interjected heatedly. “Trev and I came up with the idea…”
“Word.” Trev muttered with a frown.
“Alice! Trev!” Josh turned his anger to them, before softening his tone diplomatically. “Just… Look, it’s our project, I know that, but it’s my flat, my computer and my software that’s letting it happen, and if I threaten to banish grumpy and grumpier here…” he motioned to Tiffany who was brooding with her beer on the couch, then to Erin who was leaning on the kitchen counter with daggers in her eyes. Undeterred, Josh continued. “If they can’t be here they can’t work on the project. So it’s really their call...”
“Alright, that’s fair.” Trev said, and Alice shrugged in agreement.
“So how about it, you two? Truce?” Josh asked, still in a stern manner implying he was only going to accept one answer.
Tiffany let out a huge sigh as she got up from the sofa, and Erin muttered something inaudibly under her breath before meeting Tiffany in the center of the room by Josh. They both extended reluctant hands, and Tiffany felt Erin trying to squeeze the life out of her as they shook.
“I’m sorry about before, Tiff.” Erin said with a horrifically false smile, “I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun working on the algorithm together.”
“Yeah.” Tiff replied with forced politeness. “I’m sure we will.”
“So, are you too gonna kiss and make up?” Alice asked, a devilish grin spreading across her face. The other girls glared at her so intensely that she quickly raised her hands up disarmingly. “Too early for jokes, then? Good to know, good to know…”
“Right!” Josh said, a little more friendly now. “Now that that’s sorted out, Erin, grab a beer, we left some pizza for you also. Trev, Alice, why don’t you fill her in on what we talked about so far?”
The rest of the evening consisted of a lot more beers, Erin being brought up to speed on the plan, and them all binging through several more episodes of Firefly. It wasn’t until the early hours of the morning that they all started to fall asleep in various places. Alice curled up on the massive faux leather bean bag, while Trev passed out on one of the armchairs. Josh disappeared to his bedroom around then, leaving Erin sitting on the other armchair and Tiffany on the couch. Their eyes met occasionally, each time it happened they immediately looked away from each other. Neither of them seemed able or willing to breach the awkward silence.
Tiffany felt a growing wave of tiredness wash over her. She had drank many more beers than she usually would have on a night before college classes, and she dreaded the idea of her early start tomorrow, or rather, in three hours’ time. She felt her eyes drifting more and more closed. She drowsily took out her phone and set an alarm to go off half an hour before her first class, she really couldn’t afford to miss anything this late in the semester. Erin was still awake, and that made Tiffany nervous, but she couldn’t keep her eyes open much longer and soon found herself lying down on the couch and drifting away into sleep.
When Tiffany woke up, she was alone in the lounge and her phone alarm was blaring beside her. Groggily, she turned off the alarm, and her first instinct was to lay her dizzy head back down so she could rest some more. Fighting this urge with as much willpower as she could muster, she rolled herself off of the couch and landed on the lounge rug with a dull thud. She shambled to the bathroom and splashed some cold water on her face, then visited the kitchen and drank a pint of water. Still there was no sign of any of her friends. Had they all woken up and disappeared off to class already?
She then heard dull voices coming from behind Josh’s closed door. She knocked gently and then opened the door a crack. Peering in cautiously, she saw Alice and Erin standing either side of Josh’s computer desk. Someone was in the chair, and the swirling image was radiating from the screen.
Erin spun around quickly, looking slightly flustered. “Tiffany! Rise and Shine!” she said loudly.
Alice turned next and smiled kindly. “Morning, Tiff. Sorry if we woke you.” She looked as sleepy as Tiffany felt, her eyes baggy but her face otherwise as beautiful as ever. Erin, too, had sleep face still on. It didn’t look like they’d been awake too long.
“Morning.” Tiffany replied, stifling a yawn. “Who’s in the chair?”
“Trev.” Alice said with a giddy smile. “He just went totally under a minute ago or so.”
Tiffany walked towards the desk and saw that sure enough, Trev was sitting in the chair, eyes vacant, headphones on, staring into space as a slight dribble ran down his chin.
“Wow. Yeah. Totally out.” Tiffany remarked, waving her hands in front of his eyes briefly. “You’re not doing anything like last night, are you?” she added nervously, staring at Erin.
“What? No…” Erin said, guilt laced in her tone. “I’ve learned my lesson, Tiff, honestly. I don’t want you or anyone else mad at me again, seriously.” She met Tiffany’s stare, a pleading expression in her own dark brown eyes. Tiffany felt pangs of guilt for accusing Erin again, but she also felt justified in doing so. It was confusing, she wasn’t sure how to response. There was a part of her telling her that this was a very good attempt at a pretense by Erin, that she was disarming Tiffany in order to catch her off guard later.
She settled with “Ok, fine. I don’t want to be mad at you again either, I guess.”
“Hey, look at that!” Alice said cheekily, “You two are almost getting along again!”
Tiffany didn’t acknowledge this. Instead, she just asked “So are you planning to do anything with Trev?”
“Yeah, actually.” Alice replied. “Watch this…” She leaned close to Trev, and started to speak in a commanding tone.
“Trev, today at some point you will invite Lucy to come and hang out with us all this evening. You will say that you know we don’t get on the best but you’d like her to get to know us all better. Or anything you can think of, you will say whatever it takes to get her here, that we’ll be having a study session, doing something you know she likes. Whatever. Just make sure she’ll come here this evening. Understand?”
“Yes.” Trev responded blearily.
“Great. You will also refer to myself, Erin, and Tiff as ‘m’lady’, or ‘miladies’ if you’re talking to more than one of us. But you’ll only do this while in this flat, and you won’t realize you’re saying it. Is that clear?
“Yes, m’lady” Trev replied dully. Alice giggled with laugher and Erin grinned, offering the blonde a high five.
“Kick ass.” Erin remarked. “Think we should add anything, Tiff?”
“I dunno” Tiffany replied, unsure, “That’s probably enough as it is…”
“Come on, Tiff.” Alice encouraged. “You haven’t given anyone instructions when they’re in trance yet! Think of something fun.”
“Oh, um… Ok.” Tiffany replied, racking her brain. The phrase that jumped to her mind was ‘obey me in all things’, and she tried to ignore it. Then the phrase ‘become my obedient slave and fuck toy’ took the place of the first though, and she bit her lip slightly. ‘Come on, something fun, not something evil or dirty. Fun… Fun… Not enslavement, not taking complete control…’ she tried and tried, but she wanted to have Trev kneel and obey her. And then she wanted to put Alice in the chair, and have her do the same. And then again with Erin. She wanted them all to kneel naked before her and do anything she commanded…
But she couldn’t go and give any kind of command to Trev like the ones she wanted to while Erin and Alice were right there, could she?. Maybe she’d get another chance later. But they were all supposed to work on this project together…
But then, suddenly and world-shatteringly, an idea popped into her head. It was one of those ideas that you knew was bad, and you knew it was something you shouldn’t do, like ‘What if I just swerved into oncoming traffic’ or ‘I could just shove that stranger over then leg it, couldn’t I?’. These thoughts were always flights of fancy, a product of a curious mind that having followed the accepted rules of life and society unfailingly for two decades, invented imaginary scenarios where all the normal protocols just ceased to exist. It was an insane thought, she knew; a manifestation of the depths of Tiffany’s lust, fantasies, and decadence. It was an insult to her sense of loyalty, her compassion, and her selflessness, but it was irresistible to her base urges, her primal needs. It was power, this idea. Intoxicating, irrepressible, seductive power.
Tiffany always followed the rules. She followed the rule of law, the unwritten expectations of social interaction, and the dogma that individual freedom is something to be cherished and protected. But the trance inducing setup that Trev was now deeply enthralled by was a new variable, one that allowed this new, dark thought to gain traction in Tiffany’s mind. She felt her cunt awaken with sudden arousal, and then the thought quickly evolved into a desperate, aching need.
There was a way she could create her fantasy... Yes, there was a way to do it… Her mind was racing, a part of her desperately trying to find a loophole in this plan, to convince her to do the right thing, the decent thing, and not do what she knew she was about to do.
‘I’m depraved.’ Tiffany thought. ‘I’m fucking horny, and fucking evil that I’m even trying to do this…’ But she knew she couldn’t resist the urge that was now a clamoring in her head. Her heart was racing and her libido had shot into overdrive. She knew if she didn’t try this here and now, then she wouldn’t be able to think of anything else all day, possibly all her life. She would be stuck with this ultimate fantasy in her head that she could have seized but didn’t. Her aching, dripping cunt would never forgive her.
She felt a shiver of aroused excitement vibrate through every nerve in her body, as she tried her best to casually say “Ok, I think I have one.” She took a slow, deep breath, trying to steel her nerves before continuing. “Say Erin, that thing you did to Alice last night, you just had to say ‘Strip for me now’, right?”
“No, it was ‘Put on a show for me’” Erin replied sleepily. Then her eyes snapped wide with shock, and she seemed instantly more awake. “Trev, wa—” she started to say in a panic, but Tiffany’s hand had clasped over her mouth.
“Free range, bitch!” Tiffany uttered quickly at Erin. She watched with thrilled pleasure as Erin’s horror stricken eyes slowly dissolved away, becoming dull and unfocused, before darting from side to side, no longer interested in Tiffany at all. The tomboy shrank into a hunched over pose and Tiffany took her hand away from her mouth in time for Erin to utter a confused squawk.
“How are you feeling, Alice?” Tiffany asked, turning to the blonde.
Alice was stretching high into the air, arching her back and pushing her generous chest out. She sighed heavily, finished the stretch, and gazed at Tiffany with seductive hazel eyes.
“I’m wonderful, gorgeous. I hope you’re all looking for a good show.” Alice said in her sultry stripper voice that Tiffany remembered oh so well from the night before.
“I can’t believe Erin fell for it.” Tiffany almost laughed, a wide involuntary smile spreading across her face as she looked Alice up and down.
“Fell for what, babe?” Alice asked, striding towards Tiffany and stroking her cheek softly.
“Mmm… It doesn’t matter…” Tiffany closed her eyes and shuddered at Alice’s touch, but fought to stay focused. “Say, Trev, where’s Josh and when will he be back?” she asked hurriedly.
“Josh… Went to Starbucks to get everyone coffee…” Trev mumbled in a drone voice. “He’ll be back… soon.”
“Ok then.” Tiffany let out an excited exhale. Alice was now dancing slowly and silently in the middle of Josh’s bedroom, her hips swaying hypnotically and her eyes closed, off in her stripper mind’s imagination. Erin was working her away around the edge of the bedroom, pecking at various items on Josh’s dresser and shelves. Trev was still sat in the chair, mind completely blanked by the video and audio signals repeatedly transmitting into his receptive senses.
“Better get started.” Tiffany announced to no one in particular. She leaned into to Trev’s ear, and starting feeding him her commands…