Tiffany stopped outside the door to Josh’s apartment. She couldn’t help but think back to that first day the previous week, walking in to find Alice and Trev marvelling at how blank and tranced out Erin was that very first time in the chair.
This is where it all began.
She could feel the nervous energy fluttering within her. What if Josh was home? What if Alice was already in there? Was she walking into certain doom? She looked back towards the elevator. Maybe it wasn’t too late to just blow this off? At the end of the day, she was free from all control, wasn’t she? Nobody could make her go in there. Not Erin, not Alice, not anyone.
She paused in her pondering. Could she just go to class instead? Then maybe confront Alice in a comfortingly public place and get her to back down, or at least agree to a truce or something? Wouldn’t that be simpler? Wouldn’t that be safer?
She drew out her phone and called Erin. As the phone rang she took a deep, centering breath. It would be harder to back out if Erin was able to hear her do it.
Erin’s voice over the phone was dull and direct, all business.
“Are you there?”
“Yeah. I’m standing outside.” Tiffany shifted awkwardly, looking up and down the corridor. “Erin, I don’t know if I can do this.”
“Then don’t do it.” Erin replied bluntly.
Tiffany frowned in confusion. “But…”
“Tiff, if I wanted you to go through with this without fail, I would have programmed you to. As it stands, I didn’t put any programming in you, so you don’t need to doubt if your thoughts are your own right now. It means do it or don’t, succeed or fail, it’s all you.”
Tiffany chewed over this information. It sounded like it was supposed to be a good thing, but she couldn’t help but wish she had an inescapable compulsion to do what she knew she needed to do.
“But hey, not to put pressure on you, but let me know if you’re going to bail. I’m only half packed here, and I’d really like to get outta town before Alice knows what’s up.”
Tiffany could feel the urge to panic swirl around her. This was really her choice? Confront Alice, and possibly end up back under her thumb, or abandon Erin’s plan, and never hear from Erin again. It was cruel. How was anyone supposed to make a choice like that?
“Erin, is this another test?” Tiffany murmured down the phone.
She heard Erin scoff in amusement. “Everything is a test, one way or another. For me, it’s self preservation, but I don’t have any problem with you calling it whatever the fuck suits you.”
Tiffany stared at the door handle before her, and then to the doorway leading back outside. Time to choose. Stay or go. Face up to her mistakes, or run from them.
She cursed under her breath. “Okay, okay, I’m going in.”
”Wow, Tiff, you really are crazy,” Erin joked.
Tiffany groaned as she unlocked the door. “Shut up! Okay, I’m inside.”
”Great, is anyone there?”
“I don’t think so…” Tiffany said nervously. She scanned the kitchen and lounge before poking her head into the bathroom and both bedrooms. “Yeah, it’s all clear.”
”Perfect,” Erin chirped over the phone. ”Get yourself the Algorithm then, before that changes.”
Tiffany nodded, before striding to Josh’s bedroom. “Right, right.”
She felt the hair on the back of her neck stand on end, and felt that she would hear the telltale sound of someone entering the apartment at any moment.
The stillness and silence of the place was suffocating. Tiffany could hear her own nervous breathing, and as she reached for the keyboard and mouse of Josh’s computer, she noticed the tremble in her hand. A couple of shaky clicks and the screensaver gave way to a password screen.
“Alright Erin, what’s the password?”
Password?” Erin echoed, before Tiffany heard her swear several times down the line. “Password!”
Tiffany felt an icy hand grip her heart. “Wait, you don’t know?!”
“No! How come you don’t know it?!”
Running a hand frantically over her face and through her hair, Tiffany squeaked, “Why would I know it? Last time I was here was to enslave you all for Alice, you were the one already in the chair at the time!”
“Yeah! In the chair against my will!” Erin replied in dismay. ”And I was already in trance by then, I didn’t see what he typed! What about the previous time, before we went to get Alice from Dillon’s?”
Tiffany shook her head. “No, it was already unlocked by then. I didn’t see him type it.” She sighed. “What do I do now? I’m just gonna guess something.”
”Tiff! No!” Erin snapped over the phone. “Don’t you remember? If a wrong password gets typed, it’ll send an alert to Josh’s phone and start recording through the webcam. We’ll be busted!”
“What then?” Tiffany croaked, feeling her heart hammering in her chest. “What now?”
”Fuck fuck fuck! I don’t know. One way or another, you gotta find the password to that thing.”
Tiffany looked around her. Would Josh have written the password down somewhere? He was a computer science genius and had more common sense than all of them put together. The only way she’d get the password is if she tricked it out of Josh, and Josh wouldn’t be easy to trick. “Erin,” Tiff said feebly, “Josh wouldn’t leave it lying around somewhere, and he won’t just tell me.”
There was a silence on the line. Tiffany felt each breath like it weighed a ton as she waited for Erin to speak. When she finally did reply, her voice sounded defeated.
”You’re right. He wouldn’t.”
Tiffany didn’t want to say what she was thinking, but the words slipped numbly out of her mouth anyway. “Does this mean you’re leaving?”
”I guess so.” There was another pause before Erin added. ”You should do the same, Tiff. Just get outta there.”
“No!” Tiffany protested, clutching her phone as tightly as she could. “We’re so close! There must be something else we can do!”
”Tiff, honestly, I admire your commitment to this half baked plan of mine, but I didn’t think far enough ahead. It’s over. Just… just go. That’s what I’m gonna do.”
Tiffany looked despondently around her. Was there really nothing else for it? When she saw Josh’s baseball bat leaning against his chest of drawers, a sudden plan started throwing itself together in her head. “Erin, wait!” she commanded determinedly. “New plan! I’m going to destroy the Algorithm! Smash the whole thing to pieces!”
”What?! Erin’s voice reanimated with surprise. “Tiff, are you nuts?! What would that achieve?”
“Don’t you see?!” Tiffany grabbed the baseball bat and waved it around, testing the weight. “If I destroy it she can’t use it! She can’t use it on me or anyone else. It’ll stop her expanding, then we just need to lure her to your apartment and zap! We’ll have her!”
”Tiff, there are so many holes in that plan, I don’t even know where to begin. But I’m gonna lay out the main one for you, the Algorithm can be recreated with Josh’s knowledge. You’d be buying a few days at most.”
“Exactly! A few days!” Tiffany was almost jumping with excitement. “That could be what we need to figure this out, y’know? Come at it from a different angle!” She felt pumped. Were it not for holding her phone in one hand, she might have started swinging without thinking too much about it. This could only hurt Alice, and that meant it could only help her. Sure, she didn’t have the whole thing planned out yet, but she was positive that the details could be ironed out as they went. This could work! It had to work.
”Tiff…” Erin said sadly.
Tiffany froze, and felt all the excitement drain out of her. “You’re… you’re still leaving?” The baseball bat hung limply by her side.
“Erin, you can’t… We can… We can figure something out. This’ll buy us more time. Enough to come up with a plan. Together.” Tiffany was met with silence. “Please. At least tell me…” But she stopped herself. Erin would never tell her where she planned to go. Alice would have the information out of her effortlessly, then Tiffany would only be too willing to bring Erin back for her mistress. “Don’t do this…”
“I have to, Tiff. I can’t risk it. I can’t risk losing myself like that again.”
Tiffany felt her throat dry up. She wanted to protest more, but a part of her understood, and she didn’t have the time to argue it right now. Faintly, she said, “Erin, I’m... I’m gonna miss you, you know?”
More deafening silence. A few empty, lonely moments passed before Tiffany wiped a tear from her cheek. She guessed she could still destroy the Algorithm at least. It would certainly-
”Tiff?” Erin’s voice came through again.
Tiffany tensed as her grip on both the phone and the baseball bat tightened once more. “Yeah? Erin, yeah, I’m here.”
Erin’s voice was hesitant and awkward. ”So yeah, I dunno Tiff, but do you think you might wanna co—“
Tiffany never heard the rest of Erin’s sentence, as she was too distracted by the sound of a key unlocking Josh’s front door. She snapped the phone away from her ear as she backed up against the desk, all the color draining from her face.
She heard the faint sound of Erin shouting on her phone, and frantically put it back to her ear.
”—going on?!? Tiff! C’mon!”
“Someone’s here! Someone’s coming in!” Tiffany hissed into the phone, hoping she wasn’t giving herself away.
”Shit! Who is it?”
“I don’t know, I think it’s more than one.”
Is it Alice?
“I don’t fucking know!”
”Tiff don’t panic!”
“You don’t panic!” Tiffany snarled as quietly as she could. “I’m freaking out! Erin, shit, what do I do?”
”Okay, okay, try this for a new plan. Put your phone on speaker, and one way or another find out the password for Josh’s computer. If you can let me hear it, I can sneak in later and finish the plan. I’ll come for you, you hear me?”
“But you’re… You’re leaving!” Tiff whispered in confusion.
“Not anymore. I’ll come for you, Tiff. If you can’t get out of there yourself, I’ll come for you. Now put your phone on speaker, I’m muting my mic!”
Tiffany’s head was spinning. The voices were getting closer; whoever had entered the apartment would find her any moment now. She hurried to put her phone in speaker mode and placed it face down next to the keyboard that would be used to enter the password. She scrambled to form a plan, but couldn’t decide on the best course of action before several people walked through the door.
She stiffened, her breath catching in her throat as she watched Josh enter, followed by Trev and Lucy. Trev and Josh were talking animatedly between themselves, though they abruptly froze when they saw Tiffany standing there. Lucy’s face was blank and expressionless. She halted robotically behind Trev, looking at him with vacant eyes and wordlessly waiting.
A silent moment passed where Tiffany looked at Trev and Josh, seeing that they were both unsure about how to react to her presence there. Before any of them could speak, however, Alice walked through the door and instantly, Tiffany’s heart sank into the pit of her stomach.
Alice registered the slightest moment of surprise before she broke into a wide smile, her eyes wide like those of a tiger who had just spotted wounded prey. She was looking much more energetic than the last time Tiffany had seen her.
“Tiffany,” Alice said slowly. “What a delightful surprise.” Josh and Trev remained silent, but instinctively moved to either side of Alice as they eyed the baseball bat in Tiffany’s grip.
So many thoughts flew at Tiffany in the same instant that she found it impossible to keep track. Should she try to convince them all she was still a slave? Should she try and destroy Josh’s computer before they take the bat from her? Should she openly attack them and try to escape? Should she focus on fulfilling Erin’s plan and ensuring she learned the password for the Algorithm? Which option was better? Which one’s were even viable? Was there something she hadn’t thought of yet? Was there something she was forgetting? It felt like she had just been handed an instant exam that she had not prepared for in any way, with the wrong answer meaning her life being destroyed. Not ended, not even ruined, but completely deconstructed and remade in a way that she would have no choice over.
She wished she knew what to do, and she wished she had the confidence to know what to say. Instead, instinct took over, and all she could manage to do was to narrow her eyes at Alice, grip tighter onto the bat, and firm up her footing so she was ready to fight or run.
“Oh?” Alice tilted her head quizzically. “Is something unexpected happening? You look awfully… hmmm, defiant, standing there armed and all. Tell me what I should think, slave.
Anger flooded through Tiffany like steam out of a geyser. She felt her cheeks turn scarlet and found her voice, a low snarl of aggression. “You should think that you’re in trouble! I’m not your slave anymore, bitch!”
Trev and Josh both looked shocked. Alice showed the slightest hint of amusement. Lucy had no reaction whatsoever, and stayed behind Trev, looking blankly at the back of his head like a robot in standby mode.
“Well well well.” Alice’s lip curled as she spoke. She took a few measured steps towards Tiffany, who promptly backed off and raised the baseball bat up in defence. “It seems you’ve broken free of your programming, Tiff. Congratulations. Tell me, how did you do it?”
Tiffany’s mind continued to race. ‘Answer her question, keep her talking’ one voice said, while another firmly insisted ‘wait for your opening and make a break for it!’. But she kept coming back to Erin’s plan. If Erin could get the password, she could sneak in later and hack Josh’s machine. If she didn’t get the password, she would skip town and Tiffany would never see her again. She had to get that password, she had to. But how?
“I didn’t,” she said tensely, before shaking her head in frustration. “I mean how I got deprogrammed doesn’t matter. I’m not telling you anything.”
“So what are you here to do, slave?” Alice asked. Tiffany’s blood boiled at being called that, but she knew there was nothing she could do.
“I’m here to save you from yourself,” Tiffany stated with spite. “To fix you. To fix everything.”
“Oh?” Alice pretended to look surprised for a moment, taking another few steps towards her, flanked by Trev and Josh. “And how do you plan to achieve that?” The look of amusement returned now as she looked Tiffany up and down. “You’ve gone and trapped yourself quite thoroughly here. If you were planning to destroy the Algorithm, you’re too late. If you try to take a single swing, my darling slaves Trev and Josh here will have that bat off you before you could hurt a fly, won’t you boys?”
“Yes, Mistress,” Trev and Josh replied in perfect unison, a sound that Tiffany found uniquely unnerving. She gripped the bat even tighter, and backed away even more. She felt her heel collide with something, and knew that she was out of space to retreat.
“Really, Tiffany dear…” Alice shook her head in pity. “Don’t you think the bat is a bit redundant? You’re not going to destroy the Algorithm, and you’re not going to attack us. After all, aside from a bit of programming, aren’t we your friends? What if you seriously hurt one of us? It would hardly be saving us if one or all of us were hospitalised in the process, would it?”
Tiffany clenched her jaw. Alice was right. She hated that Alice was right, but she couldn’t attack any of them. They were her friends, and Lucy. Hurting them in the name of trying to save them was senseless, not that she thought she had the slightest chance of overpowering them all to put them in the chair. She shook her head slowly, feeling her grip on the bat loosen.
“And also, if you were to attack us, I’d have both Trev and Josh defend us, and they are bigger and stronger than you, Tiff.” Alice spoke softer now, taking another step towards Tiffany. She was in range of the bat, but stared deeply into Tiffany’s eyes. “You don’t have a chance, Tiff, and you’re more likely to get hurt too. I don’t want you to be hurt in this way, Tiff. Really.”
Tiffany felt confusion mix into her anger, diluting it into a mixture of uncertainty. She couldn’t help but believe Alice’s words. She genuinely didn’t believe that Alice wished her physical harm. Emotional and mental harm, sure, but not this.
“Put the bat down now, Tiff,” Alice said in a commanding voice.
Tiffany leaned the bat against the wall and let go. When Alice smiled and said “Good girl,” she felt a rush of euphoria envelope her mind. It was definitely the right decision to put the bat down, that much was obvious.
“Now relax,” Alice instructed gently, a calculating look in her eyes. “And let’s talk.”
“Okay,” Tiffany said, feeling her tension ebb away. “We can talk.”
This was good, Tiffany thought. Alice wanted to talk, and she could hopefully steer the conversation to getting that password. This was an unexpected turn, to be sure.
“Come on then.” Alice smiled warmly. Let’s have a seat next door and hash this out.” She motioned for everyone to go through, and Tiffany felt herself following along. She quickly turned back to grab her phone and stuff it into her back pocket before tentatively following Alice through to the lounge.
“Here, sit there and stay put.” Alice motioned to the sofa. Tiffany obliged and then looked nervously as Trev, Josh, and Lucy stood behind the sofa. Alice stood in front and cleared her throat gently. “Don’t mind them, Tiffany. I’m not going to make them do anything to you. Stop worrying.”
Tiffany turned her attention back to Alice and found her tensions sink away into the sofa. True enough, if Alice wanted Josh and Trev to force her into the chair against her will, there was really not much she could do to stop them. If that’s really what Alice wanted it would have happened already. It felt surreal to sit comfortably in front of Alice like this. But it also felt nice. “Okay,” she replied.
“Slaves, please change into your uniforms.” Alice glanced intently at Trev, Josh, and Lucy. Tiffany didn’t turn to see, but she heard the sound of undressing coming from right behind her.”
“Uniforms?” she asked curiously.
“Oh, just something to complete the slave experience, I felt.” Alice smiled politely. “I have some other ideas as well, such as a piercing to mark each of my slaves as my own. I feel like collars are too obvious in public, and the nice thing about a piercing is they can be removed on the rare occasion they need to be. Otherwise, I was toying with the idea of tattoos.”
Tiffany’s eyes widened. “Really?”
Alice looked amused by Tiffany’s expression. “Oh yes, Tiff. They would be small and discrete, one part of it would be the symbol I chose to mark them as my own, the other would be the number I assign them.”
Tiffany didn’t know what to think of this. Part of her was disturbed at the idea, another part of her was aroused, and a third part was quite decidedly disturbed by just how aroused she was. Marking slaves, numbering them? Her imagination was running wild with the idea, an army of blissful and obedient servants all numbered and organised in her service. What she could do, the fantasies she could explore…
“It’s a pity you’re no longer my slave, you know,” Alice mused after Tiffany had been silent for a few seconds. “You would have been number one, after all.”
This brought Tiffany crashing back to reality, and she stiffened in her chair. She hastily reminded herself that Trev, Josh, and Lucy were completely and unwillingly under Alice’s control, and until recently so was Erin and herself. There was more at stake here than her silly fantasies and out of control libido.
But then she couldn’t help but picture herself, blank and obedient, a silver piercing through her nipple, a tattoo painted above her pussy, her body exposed for all to see, as demanded by her Mistress. She tried to push the image out of her mind, it was insane to even think about after everything that happened. She closed her eyes and shuddered, then forced the fantasy down out of sight.
When she opened them again, Alice was looking at her intently, a sly smile on her ruby lips and a glint of satisfaction in her gaze. “Slaves,” she said, not taking her eyes from Tiffany, “bring us some refreshments. Ice water with lemon, and whatever snacks are here.”
Tiffany tried to think of her options at this point. Alice was being so civil, so… pleasant. If she wanted to leave, could she just walk out? No fuss, no muss, no forced enslavement? A part of her wanted to try out the idea, but she couldn’t. In all honesty, she wanted to stay put. If she could come to some kind of understanding with Alice, then great. If not, she at least had a much better chance of finding out Josh’s password if things stayed amicable. Either way, she was surprised at this turn of events, but also surprisingly calm. Alice stood before her patiently, seemingly content to let her lose herself in her thoughts. That didn’t seem right to Tiffany though. They were supposed to be talking, so she surely needed to say something.
“So…” Tiffany said, looking up at Alice with a nervous frown. “How are you feeling?”
Alice beamed. “Much better, thank you. I slept really well last night, and am feeling pretty good today for it. I’m still not back to my usual self, but the downtime of these last few days has really helped.”
“Good!” Tiffany perked up slightly, unsure of how much enthusiasm was truly appropriate given the situation. “That’s great to hear…”
In all honesty, a recovered, more energetic Alice was simply more terrifying to Tiffany at that moment, but she was determined not to let Alice enjoy her fear any more than she already was.
“And how are you, Tiff? You’ve had quite the eventful morning, I assume, based on where we left things in the small hours anyway.”
“I’m fine,” Tiffany replied curtly, looking away to avoid Alice’s piercing gaze.
“Oh, come now, Tiffany!” Alice insisted. She placed a hand on Tiffany’s shoulder and looked sternly down at her. “Be honest with me now. You can do that. You will do that.”
“I’m scared, I’m stressed, and I’m confused!” The words spilled out of Tiffany before she knew what she was doing. It felt good to be honest though. It felt freeing in a way. “It feels like my mind isn’t my own anymore, even though I’ve been deprogrammed I can’t help but feel like something was missed, like there are still commands in my head that I’m helpless against!”
Alice drew back from Tiffany and looked thoughtfully towards Josh’s bedroom. “That does seem like quite the conundrum, Tiff,” she said, turning back to Tiff with a sympathetic glance. “At least when you belonged to me you had absolute certainty about who you were and what to think, didn’t you?”
Tiffany found herself needing to look away. She found herself staring at the floor as she murmured, “Yeah… Yeah I did.”
Alice played with her flowing golden hair as she thoroughly enjoyed the turmoil simmering on the couch beneath her. With a calculating glare in her eyes, all the friendliness vanished from her face, only cold contempt remaining. She reached out a hand and gently stroked Tiffany’s hair. “It’s all right, Tiff… Free will can be such a burden. It’s okay to resent it sometimes.”
Tiffany couldn’t help but mull over Alice’s words. The amount of turmoil she felt seemed to be proportional to how much responsibility she had for her own choices and actions. Having free will was just causing her to suffer. It would be easier if she lost it all again.
“I have to go!” she said abruptly, jumping to her feet. Something strange was happening to her, and all she knew was she had to get out of there.
“Tiff, wait,” Alice said playfully. “It would be rude to leave now. Look! The refreshments are ready!”
Tiffany spun around and immediately gulped. Approaching the sofa with trays of snacks and drinks were Josh, Trev, and Lucy, each of them completely naked and with neutral expressions as if this was nothing out of the ordinary. They set the trays down on the nearby coffee table and then turned to Alice, waiting patiently for further instructions.
Alice kept her gaze on Tiffany the whole time. “Come on, Tiff, sit and have a drink of water. It’ll clear your head and we can finish our discussion.”
Tiffany shifted awkwardly. Alice’s veil of friendliness was ragged at the edges. Tiffany found her incredibly difficult to read as her face almost betrayed nothing, but it was clear enough that the idea of letting her go made Alice angry. “Really, I think I should—“
“I don’t like rudeness, Tiffany!” Alice interrupted her, a hint of shrillness in her voice. “I don’t think you should be rude right now. You should sit, and drink, and talk this out. We’ll come to an understanding, I’m sure.”
Tiffany felt her heart beat nervously in her chest. Her throat seemed to have dried up, but she still tried to speak. “But, um…”
“No!” Alice interrupted again, this time the annoyance in her voice spilling out for all to hear. “No, Tiff, you are not leaving.” She moved over to Tiffany, fury in her eyes, and Tiffany couldn’t help but shrink back from her. “I could have had Trev and Josh grab you and force you into the chair and watched as the Algorithm wiped out every last miserable thought from your traitorous mind, but I didn’t, because it wouldn’t have been polite! You’ve somehow broken free from my control, with some crass trickery or underhanded cheating. The fact that you don’t seem able enough to simply accept your fate as my slave is beyond contemptible, but you’ve earned your freedom and that does deserve just the slightest bit of credit.”
Alice paced in front of Tiffany now, spotting Trev, Josh, and Lucy before quickly snapping her fingers. “Kneel, slaves!” They instantly dropped to their knees and looked up obediently to Alice. Tiffany watched them and her stomach churned. If things didn’t go well here, that would be her again. Would that be so bad? She wouldn’t need to feel the crushing uncertainty of what to do like she was feeling now. Wouldn’t it be hot to be so mindlessly obedient again? Wouldn’t it be simpler? She found herself staring at the naked slaves, her mouth agape, and quickly shook her head, trying to push all of her intrusive thoughts deep down.
“There, isn’t that better?” Alice declared, turning her attention back to Tiffany with manic eyes. “Obedience. Simple. Pure.” She strode up to Tiffany and stroked her cheek, whispering into her ear. “You like it better when you’re like that, admit it.”
Tiffany shuddered under Alice’s touch and bit her lip, trying not to let a compliant agreement tumble out of her. It did feel good to be the one kneeling on the floor. Incredible, even. She couldn’t deny that to herself, but she could try and deny it to Alice. It took everything she had in her to briskly shake her head and make a “Nuh uh” noise through tightly sealed lips.
Alice drew away with a knowing smirk. “Oh you sound so convincing, Tiff. I’m looking forward to the moment where you’re begging me to make you mine again.”
Tiffany quickly weighed up her options. If she tried to run now, she was pretty convinced Trev and Josh would be on her before she made it halfway to the apartment door.
They would overpower her. They would drag her to the chair. The Algorithm would ensnare her, she wouldn’t be able to resist as Alice’s commands became her thoughts, her dreams, her entire reality. She would emerge once more a slave, kneeling, helpless, and utterly obedient.
That wasn’t an option, as… distracting as it was. No… She had to think… She needed to think of something else.
“Sit, Tiff,” Alice instructed, centering herself with a deep, slow breath. “Have a drink. Relax… Take a breath and remember we’re just taking here. Nothing bad is happening. You feel safe, you feel calm.”
Tiffany felt the urge to sit, to grab a glass of water, to breathe and relax. When she didn’t do any of that, she wasn’t sure why. There was a reason she shouldn’t, it just wasn’t clear.
“Wait…” she shook her head, trying to shake the fog getting thicker in her mind. “No…”
“Come on, Tiff,” Alice pressed gently. “All I’m telling you to do is sit. Is that really so bad?”
Tiffany shook her head again. “No? I don’t know.” She felt increasingly confused. She couldn’t run, so what else could she do?
“Listen to me, Tiff,” Alive spoke slow and calm, fixing her gaze upon Tiffany.
Tiffany blinked, and looked into Alice’s eyes. She could listen, yes. That was something she could do. If she couldn’t think of any other options, maybe that was all she should do.
Tiffany sat, and felt a warm sleepy feeling come over her as she did so. It wasn’t that she was letting Alice simply boss her around. No, not at all, but in lieu of a better plan, there was no reason not to see where this led, surely.
“Have a drink, Tiff,” Alice instructed, handing her a glass of water. Tiffany drank slowly then put the glass down.
“We’re just talking, Tiff, aren’t we?” Alice said soothingly.
“Yeah,” Tiffany replied with a slow nod. “Talking.”
“And it’s important that we be honest with one another when we’re talking, isn’t it, Tiff?”
“Sure, I guess.” Tiff nodded again.
“I’ll go first, then.” Alice offered. “I think you should be my slave again.” She watched with her intense eyes as Tiffany stiffened on the sofa, then continued like she was pitching a sale. “You enjoyed it, you were good at it, and really, it’s what you want, and I’m going to convince you of that.”
Tiffany felt a cold chill tingle down her spine, though otherwise stayed surprisingly relaxed. Surprise surprise, Mistress Alice wanted her to be a slave again. Surely she couldn’t simply talk her into it though, right? It seemed ridiculous, while at the same time enticing, dangerous even. She should object! Scoff at the idea of it? At the very least she should declare that it seemed rather unlikely.
Instead, she said nothing as she met Alice’s zealous gaze. After all, there was something Alice didn’t know, and that was that Erin was listening in to this entire conversation. She only needed to keep Alice talking, perhaps go along with her demented suggestions, just long enough to get Josh’s password out of her. If she seemed compliant enough, maybe she could catch them all off guard and make a break for it at the right moment. True, her situation was perilous, but she wasn’t done yet… She just had to play along and play nice.
“Tell me honestly, Tiff, why did you remove all of my programming from your mind?”
“I didn’t, Erin did.” Tiffany said, before instantly clasping her hands over her mouth in horror.
Alice raised an eyebrow and smiled triumphantly. “Well now, that is interesting. Anything else you feel you should tell me about Erin?”
Tiffany shook her head with her hands still tightly pressed against her mouth. How could she be so stupid!? Erin has surely heard that over the phone and was now making a beeline for the bus station. That was it, she had fucked up one time too many, and once again Erin was going to pay the price.
“So Erin deprogrammed you?” Alice mused. She turned to her slaves. “Who deprogrammed her though? Who else knows about the Algorithm? Who else have you told, slaves?”
“Nobody, Mistress.” Trev insisted, shaking his head in confusion. Lucy and Josh repeated the sentiment, though Josh looked troubled.
“I guess, I told my classmate Jen I was working on something, but I didn’t give her specifics, nothing that could let her know.”
Anger flared up in Alice’s eyes. She looked ready to snap but Josh spoke again first.
“What about Dillon?” he suggested. “Doesn’t he know what it does?”
Alice shook her head and looked back to Tiffany. “No, he’s not clever enough. It’s okay, my slaves, Tiffany here will share. She’s good at being honest with me, aren’t you, Tiff.”
Tiff held her mouth tighter when she realised she actually wanted to say “yes”. This was worse than she thought.
“Tiff…” Alice purred with a predatory grin. “Take your hands away from you pretty little lips and talk to me.”
Tiffany shook her head. She couldn’t trust herself around Alice and she couldn’t get away. There had to be something else she hadn’t thought of…
“That’s okay, Tiff” Alice said airily before pulling out her phone. “I’ll just speak to Erin, see what she’s willing to say.”
“No!” Tiffany found herself objecting, bouncing up to her feet again and squaring up to Alice. She noticed that Trev and Josh both flinched as she did so, no doubt concerned she was going to attack their Mistress. She realised that she would never be able to physically overpower Alice with them here.
Alice smirked and lowered her phone from her ear. “Ah. Ready to talk now?”
“Yes!” Tiffany snapped back. “You win, you can have me, just leave Erin out of this.”
“I win?” Alice echoed, her smile staying the same and her eyes lighting up with sinister intent.
“Yes.” Tiffany sighed. “You have me trapped here. If I run, you’ll have the guys throw me in the chair, and you win. If I let you talk to me enough, you get inside my head. Throw me in the chair, take my mind away, just leave Erin alone. That’s the price of my surrender. I need you to swear you won’t do anything to Erin, okay?”
Alice turned away with her arms crossed. Tiffany watched her expectantly, as did her three slaves kneeling nearby. Almost a minute passed before Tiffany heard Alice speak again.
“You think you get to surrender on your terms, Tiff?” Alice’s voice was cold and distant as she faced away. Another moment passed before Alice suddenly snapped her fingers.
Tiffany wasn’t ready for how fast Trev and Josh moved. They were on her in seconds, leaping to their feet with such speed and zeal that by the time she tried to flail and escape they had already started restraining her. Strong hands soon had her arms pinned behind her back and within moments she was forced to her knees despite her vocal protests.
Alice turned around, her electric blue eyes sparkling with raw emotion. “You don’t surrender because you want to make a deal, slave. You surrender because it’s in your nature to submit, because you can’t resist the power I have over you. You crave submission to me. You need it. Admit it!”
Again, Tiffany felt an urge to agree, to nod, to believe everything Alice was saying was true. Hell, a part of her did believe it, and was ready to give in. But the rest of her wasn’t. She chewed the word in her mouth and eventually had the courage to look up into Alice’s glaring face and say “No.”
Alice seemed taken aback by this, recoiling in disgust. After a moment of silent seething, she addressed Trev and Josh. “Take her to the Algorithm.”
“No!” Tiffany screamed, and started to kick and flail against her captors as they started dragging.
“Hold her in the chair and turn the Algorithm on. Wipe her mind until she’s an empty shell.” Alice said as if she were bored. “I’ll put some programming in her later.” She added, before crinkling her brow. “Maybe.”
“No! Wait! Urgh! Stop! Let GO!” Tiffany tried to anchor her legs against the doorframe leading to Josh’s bedroom, but she was no match against the strength of the two guys. She let out an angry shout and threw everything she had into breaking free, but all she was doing was rapidly tiring herself out. This couldn’t be it! If this was Alice’s plan then why not do it from the start? Why all the talking? All the niceness? What good was that doing other than making her all groggy and ready to agree with anything Alice said?
And then it started making sense. As she was thrust into the chair, all the right thoughts were knocked into place within her mind. She fought the rising panic to try and structure the thoughts into useful sentences.
“Hold her there.” Josh instructed Trev with a tone of disinterest. Moments later his fingers flew like lightning over the keyboard, and Tiffany realised she had just missed her chance to see what the password was. So much for that idea…
She didn’t let it distract her though, instead rolling over the words she needed to say. When she realised Josh was about to activate the Algorithm she clamped her eyes shut. It was now or never.
“Alice!” She called out, projecting her voice to ensure it reached the next room. “It makes sense it would end this way! You’re such a crappy fake Mistress!”
Headphones were placed over her ears, already pulsing the thumping binaural beats that she knew would drain her mind in seconds. The hands holding her down released her, but before she could move the heavy sound flooded her mind.
Thump thump thump.
“It shouldn’t take long to daze her,” Josh said calmly. “Then I’m pretty sure she’ll open her eyes upon request.”
“Oh well…” Tiffany murmured under her voice. “It was worth… a….”
The remainder of the thought dissolved. What was happening? Where was she?
Thump thump th—.
Suddenly the headphones were removed.
“What do you mean by that?”
Tiffany opened her eyes blearily to see Alice scowling down at her impatiently. She blinked several times, feeling the cobwebs slowly shrink in her mind.
“Well?” Alice asked again, her eyes boring into Tiffany’s.
Tiffany tried to recover the thoughts that had just been pushed out of her mind. It was something to taunt Alice with, something to make her not just brainwash her on the spot.
“Sorry, gimme a minute here,” Tiffany replied. “Or better yet, remind me what I said just before those headphones blasted my brain.”
“You called me a fake Mistress, slave.” Alice barely hid her fury. “And before I wipe your mind into oblivion, I want you to try saying it to my face.”
Tiffany closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She thought of Erin and the night she talked her to her knees. She thought of all her friends, in trance and obedient before her. She pictured herself rising above them all, and knew exactly what to say.
When she opened her eyes, she stared at Alice with determined eyes, the hint of a smile at the side of her mouth. “That’s not true, Alice,” She said coyly. “I called you a crappy fake Mistress. It’s an important distinction.”
Alice bristled, and Tiffany decided to take full advantage.
“Honestly, don’t feel bad about it!” She insisted. “The truth of the matter is that you’re not good at it because this isn’t who you are!”
“This is everything I am!” Alice shot back, leaning in close and slamming her hands down on the chair arms. “You made me like this, this is who I am now!”
“Exactly!” Tiffany exclaimed, throwing her arms up and forcing Alice back. “I made you! You aren’t some flawless all powerful domme, you’re a figment of my imagination!”
Alice seemed taken aback, anger mixing with surprise and rendering her temporarily speechless. Even Trev and Josh seemed confused at what was going. Tiffany didn’t know why, but she felt like Erin was there with her, watching it all unfold. The idea filled her with resolve as she pushed herself out of the chair and puffed herself up to continue the attack on Alice.
“You think you’re this strong version of Alice? You’re a phantom fantasy created in a moment of weakness I had. You’re a caricature of a Mistress I wanted to scratch an itch I had for a day. Except I screwed up the setup because I wasn’t thinking clearly, and now it’s been scratched so much it’s bleeding! So it’s time to slap a band aid on it and it’s time for me to tell you the bottom line of everything that you are.”
Tiffany was close up to Alice’s face now. Alice looked like she was thinking fast, her face burning red with anger but her eyes betraying that she wasn’t sure how to react to this new energy from Tiffany. “At the end of the day, you are still my slave carrying out my instructions!”
There was a piercing moment of silence as Tiffany’s eyes bored right into Alice. She could smell the cherry lipgloss mingling with the lavender perfume, and it momentarily distracted her. God, Alice was so picture fucking perfect. The golden hair, the bright blue eyes, the elven face of natural beauty. Tiffany inhaled her completely, and faltered for a split second. Was she even doing the right thing here? Maybe the right move was to drop to her knees and let her submission wash over her. It was so tempting. So unbelievably tempting. Alice was perfection, she was nearly completely irresistible. Her body wanted to drop to her knees in such a presence, her mind wanted to abandon all free will and commit itself to eternal servitude. Even with all of her programming removed, it just felt like the right thing to do.
She forced her own desires for command back into her driving seat and reminded herself that this was her chance to have not just Alice, but everything that her dark and twisted imagination could conceive of. The pressure of what she needed to do threatened to flatten her, but as she exhaled she felt that pressure pass like a stormcloud overhead. She was… She could be…
Tiffany reassured herself that she was an evil, selfish, mind controlling Mistress. And she knew what to do.
“Of course, by extension, your slaves are really my slaves, your desires are my desires, and your thoughts are my thoughts, in so much as I managed to program them into you when I was horny and needy and willing to cut corners. If you take the Algorithm out of the question, you wouldn’t be able to dominate a doormat. You expect obedience and loyalty because you programmed it into people, but you don’t know how to harness it, or how to inspire it through sheer force of presence.” Tiffany felt her momentum build and her confidence grow. Alice was frozen in her gaze, hooked on her every word. When Tiffany placed her hand on Alice’s waist and pulled her even closer, Alice let out a surprised gasp. Tiffany’s other hand gently stroked her face as her voice lowered to a soft, gentle insistence. She felt a warmth of pleasure and power fill her as she spoke, the familiar and intoxicating drug of control dripping into her mind.
“You want to know why Erin deprogrammed me and didn’t put in any programming of her own? Because she knows I’m the real deal without needing a set of instructions for domination 101. Face it, Alice, If I had programmed you to be a ballet dancer, you would be spinning around the room looking like a drunken moron fully convinced you were the swan princess. You can’t see it, but from the outside you are an empty representation of who I really am. You’re obsessed with making me submit to you on your own terms, but you don’t know how to do it because deep down, really deep down, you’re still my slave looking for your next instruction.
“No…” Alice murmured, looking like she wanted to break free but couldn’t muster the will.
“Yes,” Tiffany insisted. “Deep down you know it, you know my words still have power over you. That’s why when I say what I’m about to say, you’re going to listen and obey.”
For the first time, Tiffany saw fear in Alice’s eyes, and she didn’t miss a beat before delivering her final command.
“Sleep. Alice. Sleep.”
Alice’s eyes widened in shock, and then a moment later, they fluttered closed.
A feeling of elation spread through Tiffany like nothing else she had ever felt. Almost instantly, her mind raced to decide her next move. The first thing she needed to do was ensure Alice only listened to her, and couldn’t be rescued by the compromised Trev or Josh. Secondly, once she had consolidated control over Alice, use her to either bring Trev and Josh in line or drop them into trance. If she played this right, everyone there would be completely under her control with minutes. She opened her mouth to quickly asset her control over the tranced out Alice.
Except her voice caught in her throat as Alice’s eyes shot back open and a devilish smile erupted on her face.
“Nice try, Tiff. Bet you thought you had me for a moment, there, right?”
Tiffany’s previous elation quickly imploded into despair, like a zeppelin falling out of the sky. Her heart sank as her expression dropped. She couldn’t do it… She couldn’t beat Alice this way! The realisation was causing panic to envelope her. She did her best to control her breathing as Alice pushed her back and grabbed a fistful of her hair.
“I’m impressed, Tiff.” Alive smirked. “Clearly there’s a thing or two I could learn from you once you’ve stopped your futile rebellion and embraced who, or rather what, you really are. What are you, Tiff?”
Words of submission flooded Tiffany’s mind as her knees felt wobbly and her head light. Sub. Slave. Pet. Thrall. The urge to pick one and say it was intense. The warmth between her legs couldn’t be ignored, and willed her to succumb. She started to feel clammy with sweat as she did her best to temper her breathing, lest she hyperventilate. She had to do something... anything! And she had to do it soon because more and more she wanted to drop to her knees and surrender her entire essence. She pressed her lips shut as she desperately fought her urge to give in.
Alice smiled widely, yanking Tiffany’s head back with one hand and running the other underneath Tiffany’s top. Tiffany gasped, feeling her resolve weaken by the second.
“You can’t resist this, Tiff. You can’t resist me. You made me to be your foil, to exploit your weakness to your own self destructive end. It was sporting to let you have your day, but I’m done now, and you’re starting to annoy me. So…” Alice said menacingly, her voice dripping with venom. “I’ll give you one last chance to surrender before I break you. Completely.”
Even as she was forced to look at the ceiling. Tiffany scoffed. “No, Alice.” She said through strained breath. “I… I won’t!”
“But you want to,” Alice whispered. “You want to so badly, don’t you?”
“Yes,” Tiffany whined. She felt like she was holding on by a thread. For her to muster all her will, direct it at Alice, and for it to accomplish exactly nothing had taken a greater toll out of her than she could imagine.
“You can’t lie to me, Tiff,” Alice hissed into Tiffany’s ear. “You can’t resist me. So why are you trying so hard.”
“Erin,” Tiffany gasped as Alice tugged harder on her hair. “If I can’t change you back… If I can’t save you, then I lose Erin.”
Alice let go of Tiffany’s hair and drew herself back, a look of barely contained glee on her face. Tiffany hung her head and sighed in despair, before looking up just enough to see Alice’s gloating face. Why did she spill all her secrets to her? Why couldn’t she get control of herself?
Alice crossed her arms and was on the verge of laughter. “All this gusto for Erin’s benefit, huh?” She nudged her eyebrows a couple of times. “So, what, you in love with her or something?”
“Wh- What?” Tiffany stammered. “I… I don’t know.” She clenched her fists, willing herself to regain control of the situation. For a moment there, it seemed like Alice was blindsided. There had to be a way to get back on top, there had to be!
Alice’s expression morphed into one of mock sorrow. “Oh, Tiff. You silly lovestruck fool… You think all this time Erin deprogrammed you and hatched a plan for you to save me, and then what? You two would live happily ever after, enslaving all your friends and surrounding yourself with thralls?”
Swallowing her emotions as best she could, Tiffany grimaced as she spoke. “How is that any different than what you’re doing?”
“Well that’s simple.” Alice’s lips curled once more. “I’ve been programmed this way. By you. Who’s the biggest monster, me or the one who made me? But you want to do what I’m doing without any thoughts planted in your head. You think it’s fine to use the Algorithm against people that called you friend, against people who trusted you. Either way you look at it, you’re the real monster here, Tiff.”
Tiffany tried her best to ignore Alice’s words, but each one stung more than the last. Fear choked her, and anger swelled up to breaking point. “Shut up! Just shut up!” Tiffany spat as tears rolled down her face.
“Sure, Tiff. I’ll shut up. But let me say one last thing.” Alice stepped up to Tiffany once more. “I just want to express how utterly delicious it is that you think Erin actually rescued you and wanted you to stop me, when actually, she sent you here to fail.”
Tiffany balked at Alice’s words. “Shut up! You’re lying!”
“Aren’t you curious as to why I arrived so soon after you did?” Alice smirked. “Aren’t you wondering why Erin was so insistent that you come alone?”
Tiffany shook her head, her voice now a hoarse whisper. “No no no no, I don’t believe you…”
Alice placed one hand on Tiffany’s cheek, and with her free hand pushed a finger gently against her lips. “Sssssshhhhh, Tiff. It’s okay. You don’t have to believe me…” She then cleared her throat and spoke loudly, as if announcing to the room. “Slave!”
Erin’s voice, though muffled by Tiffany’s pocket, still sounded clear out of Tiffany’s phone. “Yes, Mistress. I’m here.”
Tiffany’s world went numb. As she drew her phone out of her pocket to see the call to Erin still connected after all this time, she felt like nothing was real anymore.
Alice grinned, victory dancing in her eyes as she watched Tiffany’s growing despair. “Let’s put Tiffany out of her misery, shall we slave?”
“Gladly, Mistress,” Erin replied enthusiastically. ”I’ve been listening to the whole thing. I can’t believe she fell for it so easily!”
Tiffany kept shaking her head and muttering as she stared down at her phone in disbelief. “No… No…”
“What’s the matter Tiff?” Alice said. “Have you never been tricked by Erin before? Has she never pretended to be someone else?”
Tiffany couldn’t believe it, but at the same time she couldn’t not.
Erin’s voice radiated her mocking tone over the phone. ”It was really just too easy, Mistress. Tiffany is so… What’s the right word… Hmm, susceptible.”
The air was pummeled out of Tiffany’s lungs like she had been hit by a cannonball. Her heart was seizing up in panic, and the dizziness threatened to overwhelm her. She wanted to throw up, she wanted to pass out, but she knew none of that would save her. Nothing would save her.
Alice gently took the phone from Tiffany’s limp hand and held it aloft in triumph. “When I instructed all of my new slaves to come up with ways to break you, Tiff, I have to admit, this was my favorite. I loved seeing how hard you tried, thinking there was ever any chance of you walking out of here as anything other than my slave.”
Tiffany could barely see through the tears. All her plans, all her ambitions… It was like watching her life unravel inside her head. She wasn’t walking out of here as anything other than Alice’s slave. Erin had… Erin had… destroyed her.
”The thing I wanted you to enjoy the most, Mistress, was the look on her face when she realised that she’d been betrayed.”
“It was delicious, slave. In fact, it still is,” Alice declared.
Tiffany was frozen. Every scenario she ran ended up with her a mindless thrall before Alice’s feet. She could run, and they’d catch her. She could fight, and she’d lose. She could try and smash the Algorithm, but Josh and Trev were right there. Nothing would work. She felt like a hollow shell as she accepted that there was literally no hope for her. A stroke on her face snapped her out of her miserable reverie, and she saw Alice before her now, looking calm, confident, and oddly kind.
“Now you have a choice, dear slave,” she said. “You can strip yourself of your clothes, get on your knees, and beg my forgiveness, or you can continue to displease me. Either way, the Algorithm will wipe your mind away minutes later, but this choice will decide if I’m in a bad mood with you or not. Your future sanity and the severity of your eternal punishment depends on these next few seconds. Choose sensibly, dear slave.”
Tiffany’s hands were already taking off her top before she had even processed the choice. The mere idea of being defiant and ensuring extra punishment seemed insane to her now. Something had snapped in her mind. She was a slave, she had always been a slave. The moments where she had tried to fight that truth had brought her nothing but pain and suffering, and if that was what she was destined to feel, she would much rather feel it as desired by her Mistress than as a side effect of her pointless, selfish rebellion.
“I’m so sorry, Mistress,” she croaked, throwing her top to one side and starting to unfasten her bra. “I’m sorry I disobeyed. I’m sorry I tried to resist you. I’m so sorry. I… I… I thought I was helping you, but I was wrong. You’re my Mistress, I’m nothing but your slave. Your stupid, misguided slave.” Her trousers were coming off now, and she looked up to see Alice watching with intense amusement.
The rest of Tiffany’s words were drowned out by her frantic sobs and messy sniffs. Soon she was naked, on her knees in front of Alice, head bowed, heart sunk. Internally, she screamed at herself. She felt sheer terror at what Alice might do with her next, given her disrespectful conduct. How could she have been so stupid to trust Erin like that?!
“Good girl.” Alice purred, seeing the sobbing mess below her. “And you can’t say that I didn’t warn you. I told you I’d break you, didn’t I slave?”
When Tiffany wasn’t able to provide a coherent reply, Alice glared at her before once more grabbing a fist full of hair and yanking upwards. “I said didn’t I!”
“Yes!” Tiffany screamed through her tears and pain. “Yes Mistress! Sorry Mistress!”
Alice let go and Tiffany dropped back to the floor, whimpering and muttering endless apologies under her breath.
Alice held up Tiffany’s phone. “Shit, slave, you sure did a number on poor Tiff here. Don’t you feel bad for her fragile little mind?”
“Why would I, Mistress?” Erin scoffed over the phone. ”You asked me to come up with ways to break her, so I did. Next time try commanding me to run naked down the street head-butting anyone I see wearing glasses, see what happens.”
Alice chuckled. “Well, good girl for a job well done.” She then looked down scornfully at Tiffany. “Into the chair, slave. Now!”
Tiffany scrambled to obey, clumsily climbing into the chair and accepting the headphones as Trev handed them to her. She was a good slave, hopefully Mistress will see that. Erin tricked her into thinking she was free… Erin deserved to be punished, not her! She continued to mutter apologies and plead for Alice’s forgiveness, her heart racing at the horrible possibility that she wouldn’t.
“So broken, so compliant…” Alice smiled wistfully. “It truly is a pleasure taking her from openly defiant to a snivelling mess.”
”Like shooting fish in a barrel, Mistress,” Erin replied. ”It’s so satisfying watching her crumble. Wait til you hear about my other ideas. You’ll die.”
Alice motioned to Josh and immediately the screen flickered to life before Tiffany’s eyes. The audio signal drummed once more into her mind, and all her panicked thoughts began to feel dull and sluggish. The swirling, mixing, pulsing colours in the screen captivated her, and soon she was lost in the infinite complexity, her mind void of thought.
“I’m looking forward to that, my devious little slave.” Alice said into the phone. “But first, I want to know more about this second Algorithm you mentioned. Did you actually remove all of Tiffany’s programming with it?” Her voice took on the tone of a parent setting up to chastise a child.
There was a pause on the line, with Erin’s eventual reply coming out of the phone speaker in a more cautious voice. “Yes, Mistress. It deprogrammed me first. It was sort of a trap I set up and forced myself to forget about, so I didn’t know it would happen. After it deprogrammed me, I knew I still wanted to serve you, and that this would be an effective way to give Tiffany hope before completely devastating her.”
Alice looked at the phone suspiciously. “Tell me slave, have you reprogrammed your obedience to me using your Algorithm yet?”
”No, Mistress, but I—“
“Why not?” Alice asked pointedly.
”I… I don’t need the programming to know I want to serve you, Mistress…” Erin responded nervously. After another pause, she added. “I didn’t have to tell you that I was deprogrammed, or that I have another Algorithm here. I volunteered that info because I wouldn’t keep anything from you, Mistress. I hope you can see that and know that I’m your most loyal subject, by choice.”
“Well, slave, I do appreciate the candor,” Alice remarked, “but what about Tiff? Did you not serve her before me?”
Erin scoffed over the phone. “Look at Tiff now, Mistress! She’s pathetic! Sitting in your chair, her mind as empty as her potential to be a domme. I wanted to serve her when I thought she’d be a good Mistress, but that ship sank. The one good thing she did was show you who you could really be, someone as powerful and graceful as you are now. Someone who has the will to control me, and who deserves my obedience.”
“Well put,” Alive smiled thinly, looking briefly at Josh, Trev, then Tiffany, before adding, “Though you should know a truly obedient slave would have ensured her programming was reinstated after being wiped the way it was.”
“Yes, Mistress. Sorry, Mistress,” Erin replied. ”I just wanted you to see how effective I could be at serving you even without the constraints of your programming. It let me be creative in delivering Tiffany to you the way I did, and it can allow me to recruit more slaves for you with my setup here. I aim to serve and please, Mistress. Truly.”
Alice was silent for a moment, mulling over a thought in her head, before seemingly coming to a decision. “I understand, slave. You’ve done well this morning. I need to go now to reintroduce some commands into Tiff’s empty little mind. I will call for you when I have further instructions. Understood?”
“Goodbye, slave. Speak soon,” Alice said in a friendly voice. The moment she hung up from the call, her expression dropped and her voice turned cold.
“Slaves,” she addressed Trev and Josh. “Get yourselves dressed and go visit Erin right now. Persuade her however you need to, but make sure you use that second Algorithm to thoroughly program her obedience to me once again. Then we’ll find out just how she managed to do it… I will not suffer her paying me lip service all the while pretending that she is my equal!”
“Yes, Mistress,” Trev and Josh said in unison, though Trev added, “What about Lucy, Mistress?”
Alice’s face flashed with annoyance. “She’s still in the lounge?”
“Well then put her into trance and leave her there,” Alice snapped. “It’ll be her turn in front of the Algorithm once I’m done with Tiff here.” She poked Tiffany sharply in the rib. Aside from wobbling slightly with the force of the jab, Tiffany showed no reaction, and continued to stare at the screen, her mouth agape and a line of drool trailing down her chin.
“Yes, Mistress,” Trev acknowledged, before quickly following Josh out of the room.
Alice then turned back to Tiffany, a predatory grin growing on her face as she circled the chair. “So… just you and me now, huh, Tiff?”
A faint, slurred “Yes” escaped Tiffany’s lips.
“It’s as it should be.” Alice smiled while stroking Tiffany’s hair. “Just like when you first made me who I am. I enjoyed breaking you then. I enjoyed breaking you now. I hope to someday get to the point where broken is your permanent state of being when you have no programming in your mind. Because when we reach that point, dearest slave…” she pinched Tiffany’s cheeks with one hand, and pressed a finger to her mindless forehead with the other. “We can start building you from scratch into something useful.”
Tiffany heard the words being spoken, but immediately forgot about them. Nothing registered in her conscious mind, though her subconscious was assaulted without defence.
“Honestly…” Alice mused, running her fingernails freely up Tiffany’s bare skin, over her chest, her arms, her neck, her face. “I think I’m going to erase your memory, over and over again… So I can break you, over and over again. This is your life now, Tiffany. Soon you won’t know anything else.”
The noise of the door to Josh’s apartment opening and closing again spurred Alice to get up from the chair and stretch her arms out. “That’ll be the boys off to bring Erin back in line. I like her spirit, but just like you, Tiff, she has to be brought to heel.” Alice smirked as she looked off to the side, then returned her attention to the blank and mindless Tiffany, clapping her hands and rubbing them together excitedly. “Let’s get started then! After this I need to turn Lucy into someone whose life is devoted to emotionally torturing you. And after that there’s—“
“Look,” Tiffany said in a dull monotonous voice..
Alice stopped in her tracks and looked at Tiffany with surprise and confusion. “Did you just…?”
“Look,” Tiffany repeated.
Alice’s reaction was automatic. She followed Tiffany’s eyes to the screen of the Algorithm before she could stop herself. The colours, swirling into each other, each of them pulsing and mixing, was instantly mesmerising. “Shit,” Alice muttered, but she found that she couldn’t look away or close her eyes. It wasn’t that it was pretty, or alluring in a traditional sense, she just knew deep down that she couldn’t look away yet.
“Umm, okay…” Alice tried to voice her thoughts. “I don’t understand… it shouldn’t be set to my—“
Just then, writing appeared on the screen, bold and outlined to stand clearly against the multi-colored background.
Alice, relax. Don’t think, don’t worry. Relax
“What...” Alice squinted at the words, already feeling a wave of confusion wash over her. “No… Stop.”
She tried to think, but it was so difficult to stay focused on anything but the swirling lights that filled her vision. It was relaxing her, it was making her not want to think. She shouldn’t worry.
“No!” She whined, trying to will her eyes to close, her head to move. “Stop… stop… Make… it…”
Then an idea breached through the lethargy. Make Tiffany turn off the screen.
“Slave… Tiff…” she tried, but forming the complex instruction was taking too much effort. Before she could get the words out, the screen produced more words.
Tiffany. You will only accept instructions from these words. You will stay deep in this trance until these words allow you to wake up. If you understand this, say so.
“I understand,” Tiffany murmured blankly. Panic tried to erupt in Alice’s mind, but it was muted, because she didn’t want to worry, she didn’t want to think.
Alice, keep watching, keep relaxing. Don’t think, there’s nothing to be worried about.
Alice gasped as she felt the words invade her mind. It was so easy to keep watching, it was so relaxing to stand and stare. “No… Please…” she whimpered. She knew she needed to think, and to worry. Some part of her knew what was happening, but she felt like a passenger in her own body. Her thoughts dulled further, and as they did, she relaxed more.
There was nothing to be worried about.
Tiff. Take the headphones off and put them on Alice.
Robotically, Tiffany stood out of the chair. She took the headphones from her ears and carefully placed them over Alice’s. She then looked back at the screen, mindlessly awaiting her next instructions.
A few eventless moments passed. Tiffany and Alice stood side by side, their faces blank, their minds empty, their hands limp by their sides.
Then another set of words appeared on the screen.
Don’t worry Tiff, I’ve fuckin got this.