Tiffany’s mind connected the dots just in time to realize that there was nothing she could do to stop it. Panic gripped her.
Thump thump thump…
She was the means by which Lucy planned to use the Algorithm on herself, if that was even her true goal, and she probably wasn’t going to stop with just her either. She would likely thump thump the thought was gone.
Tiffany knew she had to break free, even though her thoughts would be gone in a heartbeat. She had to try, had to focus.
The sounds thrummed into her head, a drumbeat of mindlessness she couldn’t ignore. But she had to resist! She had to!
She needed to close her eyes and remove the headphones. If she could do it quickly enough she thump thump thump the thought was gone.
The light poured into her eyes as they flickered slightly.
She knew she needed to close her… The thought evaporated before it could be completed.
Fear gripped her heart as she realized she didn’t know what she could do.
She quickly thought that she could try to remove… The idea blinked out of her mind.
No! She couldn’t let this happen! She had to thump thump thump… she didn’t know what she had to do.
She strained her mind to hold on to something. Anything!
Maybe she could… thump thump thump. No thoughts could form. No thoughts would form.
Her panic ebbed away. Calmness enveloped her. She breathed a deep breath.
She knew she needed to try… Nothing.
Her entire body relaxed, every muscle going to sleep.
Her pupils dilated wide as all expression drained from her face.
Thump thump thump…
Her mind was empty. Her body was limp.
Mere seconds had passed since the headphones had been placed on her head, but now she was an empty vessel, helplessly entranced.
“There, that’s better,” a voice said. “We probably don’t have much time, but I feel it’s only fair I ask, Tiffany. Do you like having your choice taken away?”
“Yes.” Tiffany’s reply was instant and simple.
“I thought so. You could have stopped me at any time, but you didn’t. Is that because you wanted me to take control of you?”
She hesitated this time. After a few seconds, a slow “yes” passed Tiffany’s lips once more.
“Why the pause, Tiffany?”
“I didn’t want you specifically to take control, I wanted it to be someone I trusted.”
“Erin. Alice. Hannah.”
“I see,” Lucy said. “Well then let me tell you a few things that you will consider complete truths when you wake up.”
“You trust me completely, Tiffany,” Lucy said plainly. “And you know that your weakness to me before this trance was due to you wanting me to take control of you. This deep desire to lose control to me led you to let me brainwash you with the Algorithm. You are glad it has happened this way, as you know that nobody else you know could have controlled you in the way that I now control you. Do you understand?”
The words burned across the depths of Tiffany’s mind like a wildfire through a forest, destroying the truth she knew and leaving Lucy’s tangled foliage of control in its place.
“You will obey me completely. Understand?”
“You will help me achieve my goals above all else, understand?”
“Your own personality and feelings will remain, but obeying me, helping me, and making choices that benefit me are infinitely more important than what your own choice would be in any given situation. Understand?”
“You will believe that obeying me is the morally, ethically, and logically correct thing to do. Understand?”
“You will accept that I control you completely, and it doesn’t feel strange or wrong to you that you have no free will of your own anymore. Since you know how the Algorithm works, you know that it is impossible to resist my control. Understand?”
“You know that my control is better than the absence of my control, and therefore you will both actively ensure I always control you and help me exert the same control over others for their own benefit. Understand?”
“Good.” Lucy slowly circled around Tiffany in the chair, a satisfied smile playing across her lips. “And oh yes, you will return to this trance state when I and only I tell you to drop into a trance for me, the words don’t matter so much as my intentions, understand?”
“And while we’re at it, do you have any programming in your mind from before this trance?”
“Oh, really?” Lucy squinted suspiciously. “Who put it there?”
“Well no matter. It’s all gone. Any programming that Erin did to you will no longer work. Understand?”
“Okay, Tiffany, tell me—“ the voice was suddenly interrupted by the sound of a rattling doorknob followed immediately by a sharp knock.
“We’re out of time, that will have to do.”
Abruptly. The lights went dark and the sound stopped.
“Come on, Tiffany, wake up now!” the voice said as a pair of hands removed the headphones from her ears.
“Tiff!“ a voice called through the door. “Open up!”
Tiffany gasped as awareness rushed back into her. There was Lucy, placing the wireless headphones on the desk and then looking back to her impatiently.
Lucy. Lucy had tranced her, hadn’t she? No, more than that. Lucy had brainwashed her. Shit. Lucy had put her through the full strength of the Algorithm, hadn’t she? Yes! She had. She felt new thoughts impose their reality on her. She trusted Lucy completely. She had wanted to lose control to Lucy from the start. Of course! It all made sense now, her inability to resist Lucy came from a deep desire to submit to her. All the back and fourth, all the gaining and losing power, it was all over the moment Lucy had gotten her alone. She was defeated. Controlled. Enslaved…
And, much to her surprise, she was glad it had happened. It was meant to happen.
“Tiffany! Are you here? I think that’s Erin at the door,” Lucy said sharply.
“Yes,” Tiffany replied instantly. There was no fear in her voice. No doubt, no uncertainty. She trusted Lucy, and Lucy controlled her completely.
“Do you have a trigger phrase for her?”
“No,” Tiffany replied. “I don’t.” She had so many questions, but those could wait. Lucy’s needs were more important. If Erin burst in on them, she’d likely freak out. Lucy must be thinking the same thing, which is why she wanted to know if Tiffany could drop her into trance. “You want me to put her under your control?” She figured that’s what Lucy would want. She briefly thought about mentioning the forehead tap trigger, but then thought better of it. She didn’t yet know if that would actually work, so it was too great a risk, as it would tip Erin off instantly.
“Yes. Her and everyone else in this apartment,” Lucy said, before scowling at another heavy knock on the door. “You need to answer that door soon, Tiffany.”
It was like a fire was lit in Tiffany’s mind. She set her mind to work with furious purpose. She needed to get Erin in the Algorithm and ensure she fell under Lucy’s control. Then taking over the rest of the party would be simple. A small part of her felt a sense of regret that Erin would see it as a betrayal, but Lucy’s desires were more important than anything, especially her own feelings. Lucy controlled her completely. It was normal and right. She was glad it had happened, but she’d have to reflect on all of that later. Right now she needed to obey Lucy’s instructions.
“Okay,” Tiffany said. She ran through the scenario in her head. When Erin entered and saw Lucy, would she actually be able to guess at what had happened? She would definitely get suspicious, maybe even enough to run out and warn Josh. It would take Josh moments to hit the emergency app on his phone, and then Lucy’s plans might be undone with what would come next.
No… she had to lure Erin in. Put her at ease. Lock the door and then coax her into the Algorithm.
“Can you hide?” she asked Lucy urgently.
“Where?” Lucy looked quickly around the room, shaking her head in annoyance.
The thump on the door was heavier now. “Tiff!”
That was definitely Erin’s voice. Shit. She would be getting worried soon. If she couldn’t hide Lucy, she’d have to trick Erin…
“Just a minute!” Tiffany called out as she ran to the desk and pulled out a glowstick wristband. Then in a hushed tone she said, “Here, put this on! Quickly!” She thrust the band into Lucy’s hand.
Lucy looked bemused but started putting the glowstick around her wrist without question.
“You need to act cheery, like we’ve made up. Be pleasant to Erin, maybe mention the screen being a pretty pattern if it feels right to say. She’ll think I’ve programmed you. And, um… mop up the chair with something please.”
“Are you sure this will work, Tiffany?” Lucy asked sternly as she used her discarded hoody to wipe the chair of the mess Tiffany had made before throwing it into a corner.
“Yes! I won’t let you down,” Tiffany assured her as she hurried to the door. “Just follow my lead!” she hissed back at Lucy before turning to unlock and open the door. In that moment, nothing was more important to her than ensuring she carried out Lucy’s will. She knew Lucy had used the Algorithm on her, she had to have done so to make her behave with such single minded devotion. But she trusted Lucy completely, so it had clearly been the right thing to do
Erin practically burst through the doorway. “What the fuck, Tiff! What took you so long?”
“I’m sorry!“ Tiffany replied, feigning an awkward smile. “We were in the middle of something…”
“We?” Erin then saw Lucy, who deliberately gave a slight wave, subtly drawing attention to the glow stick on her wrist in the process. Erin visibly tensed. “Lucy?!”
Tiffany felt the hair stand up on the back of her neck as Lucy and Erin stared at each other. To make matters worse, Mike and Izzy hovered just behind Erin in the doorway, peering over her shoulders, his blonde dreadlocks and her bright blue hair being rather unmistakable.
“Hi, Erin.” Lucy offered a subdued smile. Tiffany had to give Lucy credit there, that was more upbeat than normal for one of her greetings. Especially to Erin.
Erin looked urgently back to Tiffany. Tiffany just winked at her with a sly smile. Hopefully she would understand and subsequently buy this misdirection. If she believed that Tiffany had captured Lucy with the Algorithm and put her through the same programming as the rest of the party guests, Erin might just assume that the delay in Tiffany answering was down to ensuring Lucy was programmed properly. So obviously she couldn’t grill Tiffany on such a subject in front of Mike and Izzy.
In the hopes of throwing Erin off further, Tiffany added with a playfully stern glance, “What took you so long? Did you go and actually get them from the skate park or something?”
“What?” Erin scoffed, albeit in a similar playful manner to Tiffany’s tone. “So I introduced them to some people and we had a beer first… No one said you had to hide away in here.”
“Well sure.” Tiffany tilted her head to concede the point. “But you could have come and got me, I’ve been known to enjoy a beer…”
“Aww…” a sardonic voice said from the doorway. “Look Mike, Erin’s having a lovers’ spat.” Erin and Tiffany both turned to see Izzy pretending to gag. “Kill me now,” she added.
“Yeah. I’m going to need a lot more to drink if this is what this whole evening is going to be like…” Mike said in a deadpan.
“Oh fuck off!” Erin scoffed. “We’re fine.” As if to prove a point, she planted an aggressive kiss on Tiffany’s lips before pushing past her into the room. “See? Fine!”
Tiffany blinked in surprise at the swiftness and brevity of Erin’s point-proving affection, but felt reassured that Erin wasn’t focused enough on her to suspect that Tiffany was now completely obedient to Lucy’s will. The part of her feeling guilt at this paled in comparison to the part of her that was devoted to completing her objective for Lucy. Nothing was anywhere near as important as that. And a part of her even found the whole subterfuge aspect of it all exciting. She couldn’t fight Lucy’s control, so why not enjoy it?
“Mike, Izzy! Hi, welcome!“ she gestured them into the room with an awkward smile. “It’s nice to see you both again.”
“How’s your ankle?” Mike asked with genuine concern in his voice as he walked into the room.
“Oh it’s fine, thanks!” Tiffany said gratefully, closing the door behind Izzy. “It was just a sprain, and I’ve been taking it easy. No skateboarding for me this week…”
“Yeah, didn’t think we’d see you back there…” Izzy remarked snidely. “I mean, you got what you came for, didn’t you?”
Tiffany’s eyes darted to Erin, who had made a beeline for the Algorithm’s console. Turning back to Izzy, she looked her dead in the eyes. “I don’t care that you don’t like me right now. I promise you you’ll change your mind about me soon.”
“I doubt it, bitch,” Izzy snapped back. “Glad I can stop pretending, though.”
Tiffany just shook her head with a smirk and walked towards Erin. Mike started to chastise Izzy as the screen of the Algorithm burst into life. Tiffany was careful to avoid letting her eyes creep over to it until she was safely next to Erin.
“Your lady friend there is a ray of sunshine, isn’t she?” Tiffany motioned back to Izzy.
“Don’t take it too personally, Tiff.” Erin shrugged. “She pretty much hates everyone and everything.”
“Lovely,” Tiffany said sarcastically. “At least she seems to be calming down now…”
Sure enough, both Izzy and Mike, clearly not expecting it, had been captivated by the swirling patterns of the Algorithm. They both stared, bleary eyed at the screen, caught in its entrancing web.
To Tiffany’s horror, so too, had Lucy.
Of course! Lucy didn’t know about the new feature to entrance multiple people at once. She was waiting for Tiffany’s cues, and didn’t realize that she could be caught by the screen alone. A look of concern and confusion swept across her features as the patterns lulled her into an entranced state.
“There we are.” Erin grinned. “Three helpless flies caught in our web.”
“Well, we don’t need to worry about Lucy.” Tiffany smirked. “She’s been through the programming already.”
“When did she turn up, anyway?” Erin asked, a look of concern coming over her face.
“Not long after you left,” Tiffany replied casually. “She came in here all distraught over Trev, and I figured it was only fair to put her out of her misery.”
“Ha!” Erin grinned. “Always so selfless, Tiff. Or should I say, Mistress?”
“You should definitely say Mistress, slave.” Tiffany said commandingly. It was clear that taking control here would be how she ensured Erin’s submission to Lucy. But it had to be done carefully. It had to be done right. Tiffany gently stroked Erin’s face, running a single finger from her temple down to under her chin. “Tell me, how does it feel handing your friends over to me so I can make them into my personal slaves for the evening?”
Erin gave Tiffany a sly look. “Really, Ti- I mean Mistress? I thought you were all about showing restraint and not going overboard with your power.”
“Of course.” Tiffany nodded, wrapping her arms around Erin’s waist and holding her by her exposed skin. “The vast majority of people at this party will go home with some very happy memories and a buried trigger to let me trance them again whenever I want, but a select few, a lucky few, will become deeply obedient personal slaves to my desires. And yours, I might add, for those times my submissive side needs to come out or you want to have a turn of being in control.”
“Fuck, Mistress…” Erin whispered.
“You don’t need to worry too much.” Tiffany said casually. “It won’t be permanent. We don’t have collars handy to use as the trigger that puts them into slave mode, but we’ll do the programming now and sort out the collars later.”
“When did you decide this though?” Erin ran a nervous hand through her hair. “I thought you’d want to just program them like everyone else…”
“I guess it’s pretty spur of the moment…” Tiffany said with a shrug. “Honestly, after Izzy came in here being a bitch, I’ve been feeling the need to make her grovel at my feet. And as for Mike… Well, I know you like him…” She smiled deviously. “So the idea of commanding him to tease you or fucking ravish you whenever I feel like it throughout the night… it’s too tempting to pass up…”
Erin couldn’t stop herself from blushing as those images played through her mind. “S- so… You want to brainwash them completely now, but link it to the collar later… you’re not changing them permanently?”
“That’s not my style,” Tiffany said. As tempted as she was to tell Erin she planned to enslave them completely, it was overly apparent that Erin had reservations about stripping her friends entirely of their free will. “I really like your idea with the collars, it means we can avoid accidental triggers, and everyone returns to their normal selves at the end. But for tonight… I want to have some fun with it.”
“So programmed now, collars later?” Erin said, an upturn in her expression, nerves seemingly subsiding.
“Exactly.” Tiffany leaned in to whisper into her ear. “In fact, it was almost your fate when you were entranced beside Hannah earlier tonight…” She felt Erin shudder under her touch and words. “But as you know, I want you to willingly give yourself to me. I want your surrender to be entirely of your own free will.”
She bit Erin’s neck, and Erin sighed with pleasure, tilting her head back and melting into Tiffany’s embrace. That was perfect, Tiffany thought. Seduce her, distract her, don’t give her a chance to suspect what was really happening. In a few moments, they would all have Lucy’s control and instructions deeply implanted in their minds, and they would all be better off for it.
“I don’t know, Tiff…” Erin said nervously. “Even knowing it’ll be linked to the collar, this trial we’re doing, knowing I can stop if I want to…”
“That’s okay,” Tiffany purred. “I expect you to feel differently later, I know you’re not quite ready yet. Not for that part at least… And you don’t need to be.” She gently brushed a strand of Erin’s hair aside so she could look unhindered into her eyes. “Put Izzy in the chair now. You’re going to enslave her for me.”
Erin visibly gulped. “I… Okay…” She moved slowly, guiding Izzy into the chair and putting the headphones on her. Tiffany glanced at Lucy to see how she was fairing. She seemed completely mesmerized by the lights of the Algorithm, and would remain so until she was guided out of sight of the screen or until the screen was shut down. Tiffany couldn’t do anything to help her right now. Except to complete her goal and brainwash Erin.
With Izzy in the chair wearing the headphones, Erin returned to Tiffany’s side.
“Good slave,” Tiffany praised. “now for your next task…”
Erin looked back at Izzy, then to Tiffany, a mixture of excitement and nerves dancing together in her eyes.
Tiffany motioned to the microphone. “You’re going to program Izzy to be my completely devoted, obedient, loving sex slave. To drop into trance for me, to do anything I command, and to otherwise serve and worship me. And I’ll be recording it all so we can use it again on Mike, on Lucy, on Hannah,” she paused briefly for effect, “and on you.”
That was a well placed lie, of course. There was no way Lucy wanted to be conditioned as a slave, but making Erin believe it was all that mattered.
Erin’s eyes widened as she blushed furiously. “On me…”
“Yes,” Tiffany smiled with devious intent. “Eventually.” She spent a few moments adjusting the frequency settings until Izzy looked deep in trance, mindless and ready to be programmed. “So make sure you turn them into the kind of slave you yourself will enjoy being when you wear your collar.”
“I… um…” Erin looked at the microphone, and then to Tiffany. “I want to obey, Mistress. It’s just… they’re my friends, y’know?”
“It’s funny you didn’t feel that way about Alice, back when all this started,” Tiffany remarked. “Or Josh, or me, for that matter…”
Erin clenched her jaw and looked down at the floor. Tiffany saw that her words had stung, so she placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it as a criticism, but I’m genuinely curious, how is this so different?” She placed her curled finger under Erin’s chin and guided Erin’s face up to face her own. Erin’s eyes were glossy, her expression full of guilt. “It’s okay,” Tiffany soothed. “You can tell me, I won’t judge. And honestly, I’m much worse than you ever were.”
“I didn’t think any of you really cared about me,” Erin said hoarsely, “so it felt like using the Algorithm on you wouldn’t have meant losing you all, but more a way to stop you from pushing me away. I was reckless and stupid though.” She then looked at how helpless Izzy and Mike were. “Fuck, I still am reckless and stupid! They trusted me, Tiff! They’re my friends!”
Tiffany gazed deep into Erin’s eyes. “They were your friends,” she said. “Now they’re my slaves.”
A look of shock came over Erin’s face. She shook her head slowly, not taking her gaze away from Tiffany’s.
“Really, they were my slaves the moment you decided to invite them here,” Tiffany explained with a voice of finality. “They were my slaves the moment you surrendered to me… again. You chose this path for them, and I promise they’ll thank you for it when we’re done.”
Tiffany watched as the reality of the situation hit home for Erin. A tear dropped down her face as she turned to look at her friends both immobile and entranced. Tiffany put her arms around Erin from behind, whispering softly into her ear.
“You don’t need to worry, slave. You will be closer to them than you ever have been. Under my control, they will never abandon you in your time of need, they will never put their own selfish desires before yours. In a sense, they’re about to become better friends to you than they ever were.” Tiffany slid her hand down over Erin’s chest and felt her heart beating faster than it ever had. She was flustered and scared. With her other hand, Tiffany stroked Erin’s cheek soothingly. “Now, finish the job for me. Program them to be my perfect slaves. Obey, like the good girl you are.”
“I… I…” Erin turned to face Tiffany, and took a deep breath. Tiffany could feel the struggle of morality raging deep in Erin’s mind. She was looking forward to freeing her of the tyranny of choice. They would all have certainty and purpose being completely obedient to Lucy. Tiffany would no longer be at war with herself either. The more she thought about it, the more it felt right. It was good that Lucy brainwashed her. And it was right for Erin and her friends to join Tiffany under Lucy’s control. But Erin seemed so hesitant to follow the commands being given to her. Tiffany might have to go about this differently. Maybe she should -
“Yes, Mistress,” Erin said with a nod and a smile. “I obey.”
A wave of relief washed over Tiffany. “Good girl,” she purred, running her hands through Erin’s short hair. “I knew you’d make me proud.” She pulled Erin in for a kiss, intent on showing just how pleased she was with Erin’s choice. Their tongues danced and played with each other as their hands roamed and caressed with passion. When they finally split from their embrace, they were both panting slightly and smiling.
“Mistress…” Erin said, then shook her head and corrected herself to “Tiffany.” The trail of tears still fresh on her cheeks, she sighed heavily as Tiffany took ahold of both her hands. “You make me feel completely powerless and completely safe at the same time. It’s like… I want to give you full control because I feel like you’d make better decisions for me than I would for myself… And I know you want to take control, but I appreciate you not forcing me… For letting me figure this out at my own pace.”
“You are more than welcome.” Tiffany smiled warmly.
“I know you’ll take good care of Izzy and Mike, and I know you’ll take good care of me. So… umm… I guess part of my fantasy is… I… er…”
“Erin,” Tiffany said softly. “It’s okay. Anything you want is okay.”
“I want you to force me…” Erin said faintly. “Or trick me. I want to not see it coming, to be caught off guard and find myself being forced into the chair. I want to try my hardest to fight my way free and fail, to resist as hard as I can but end up being brainwashed into exactly what you want me to be.”
“I can do that,” Tiffany said in a neutral tone. In her mind, she was gleeful. It was too perfect. Erin just gave her blanket permission to be forced in front of the Algorithm. Lucy’s will would shortly be done.
“Not right now, though,” Erin quickly added. “Maybe not even tonight. I don’t want to see it coming. I want it to feel like I had no choice. I don’t want to choose to surrender to you, I want to be made to.”
Tiffany simply pulled her in for another passionate kiss. “Don’t worry,” she said after. “I’ll be sure to surprise you…”
“Thank you… Mistress.” Erin grinned before turning her attention back to Izzy in the chair. “Now, time to make Izzy behave a bit nicer for you, yeah?”
“Definitely,” Tiffany said as she guided Erin to the microphone. “And remember I’m recording this to use for the next, hmmm, victim, so avoid names or genders in your instructions, and you don’t need to ask if they understand or anything. They will.”
Erin nodded again, a demure look on her face as she leaned towards the microphone. She then focused on the mic, furrowing her brow in concentration. Tiffany pressed the button to record Erin’s voice as her words seeped deep into Izzy’s blank and defenseless mind.
“When you wake up from this trance”—Erin spoke in a calm and clear voice—“you will have no memory of being in trance or anything that was said in it, but the instructions and commands you receive while in this trance will be embedded deeply at the core of who you are.”
Erin gave one last glance up at Tiffany, who beamed down at her and nodded approvingly. “When you awaken from this trance, you’ll realize you’ve had an epiphany, that you want to submit yourself to Tiffany. Mind, body, and soul. She is now your favorite person in the whole world, and you would do anything for her. You will obey her, worship her, and exist to be of use to her. This will feel perfectly normal and right, though you will not be able to tell anyone about it who doesn’t already know that you serve her. You will still be yourself, with your own personality and goals in life, but you will find your priorities have shifted, that Tiffany’s needs come first, and her plans for you are more important than your own. You will feel such a deep love and obedience towards her that it will fill you with happiness and purpose knowing that she controls you and looks after you. You will find her more attractive than anyone else you’ve liked in your whole life, and her touch will arouse you more than anything ever has. Obeying her every command is your pleasure, and being useful to her in any way you can feels like your true purpose. If Tiffany and only Tiffany says your name followed by the words, go to your special place, you will instantly drop back into a trance every bit as deep and mindless as this one.”
Erin turned to Tiffany, biting her lip. Tiffany nodded once more in approval, a sly smile playing across her lips. It was some heavy enslavement, and would definitely serve the purpose that it needed to. The words had already brainwashed Izzy, and the recording was ready to do the same to Mike.
And then Erin.
Tiffany ended the recording and saved the file, ready to play into the Algorithm’s next subject. She ran her hands over Erin’s body, leaning in towards her. “Good girl. Now it’s Mike’s turn.”
Erin shivered under Tiffany’s touch. “And then Lucy’s, right?”
Absolutely not, Tiffany thought. But without a single change in her expression, she nodded. “Yes, of course. It’s just a pity we can’t let everyone feel such control taking over them, isn’t it?”
“I suppose it would be a bit too much to enslave everyone…” Erin admitted. “Although it would be pretty hot.”
“I think I like the idea of having a few deeply intimate slaves, rather than dozens that I wouldn’t get to bond with very much,” Tiffany said. “But my closest, most valuable slave is and always will be you, Erin. Especially once I’ve forced this brainwashing upon you.”
Erin closed her eyes and sighed happily. “Thank you, Mistress. Although, I don’t plan on making it easy for you. I’m on my guard now!” she joked.
“I relish the challenge,” Tiffany said enthusiastically. “Now take care of Mike for me, slave. I’m going to wake up Izzy.”
Tiffany gently instructed Izzy to follow her out of the chair and over to the console as Erin guided Mike into the chair.
Once Erin was back by her side, Tiffany turned her attention to the control console. “Let’s make sure Mike is nice and deep before we wake Izzy up fully.”
Izzy stood in a daze as Tiffany adjusted the controls to deepen Mike’s trance, having first saved Izzy’s frequencies for potential later use. Finding the right frequency was nearly an art form for Tiffany now, and in no time at all she had adjusted the visual and audio so that Mike sank further into the chair, his eyes glazing over more completely, and his mind becoming void of all thoughts.
“Let’s play the file for Mike…” Tiffany clicked the required buttons, then turned to Izzy. “And now we can play!”
Erin bit her lip. “What are you going to have her do, Mistress?”
“I’m not sure… I wasn’t really kidding about the groveling at my feet thing…” Tiffany said sternly. “Anyone who calls me a bitch gets to find out just how right they are. I’m just going to see how I feel.” She then stood right in front of Izzy.
“Izzy. Wake up fully now.”
Izzy’s eyes fluttered open, and after a moment of disorientation, they settled on Tiffany. She drew a quick breath that hitched in surprise, her mouth agape.
“So…” Tiffany said with a tilt of her head. “What were you saying to me just now?” Erin stood to the side, her gaze flicking rapidly between the Mistress and the slave.
“I’m… I’m so sorry!” Izzy was awash with confusion. “I can’t believe I said that to you!”
“I won’t lie to you, Izzy,” Tiffany said with a mild pout. “You kinda hurt my feelings.”
Izzy looked completely mortified. “I am so sorry, Tiff. I don’t know why I said that or even why I felt that way!”
“It’s okay.” Tiffany shook her head and smiled happily. “We’re all good now, aren’t we?”
“Ye- yeah!” Izzy seemed to fill with relief. “Absolutely! Just let me know what I can do for you, okay? I’ll do anything!”
“Anything?” Tiffany asked with a raised eyebrow and a sly smile.
“Anything.” Izzy insisted.
“So, if I asked you to make out with Erin right now, you’d do it?”
Izzy looked to Erin then back to Tiff, clearly taken aback. “I mean…” She furrowed her brow in confusion. “I don’t… I mean I’m not… but…” her mind seemed to be figuring it all out. “Yes. Yes, of course I will.”
“Do it then,” Tiffany instructed softly. “Make her feel like the sexiest girl on the planet.”
“Tiff!” Erin mock protested. “Izzy’s straight, and we’ve never even ki-mupphhh!” She was cut off as Izzy drew her in and started kissing her. Erin tried to turn away at first, but Izzy was insistent, and after a few brief moments, Erin leaned in and started kissing her back with equal enthusiasm.
Tiffany felt a stirring warmth within her, almost like she was feeling the pleasure of the kiss herself. There was a deep satisfaction in controlling Izzy like a puppet, and a joy in watching Erin enjoy herself while falling deeper into the trap Tiffany was slowly laying for her. Of course, Erin trusted her, which made it almost too easy.
Leaving Erin and Izzy to their fun, Tiffany checked on the progress of Mike’s programming. The recording playback was complete. Mike was just as brainwashed as Izzy now. Tiffany turned off the Algorithm, the screen returning to darkness. Wandering over to Mike, she plucked the headphones off his head and leaned down so her eyes were level with his. “Wake up Mike. It’s time to have some fun.”
Mike shook his head briskly as he suddenly returned to a fully conscious state. “Tiff?” He furrowed his brow in confusion. “How did I get in the chair?”
Tiffany laughed. “That’s not important right now. Nor is it the question you really should be asking.”
She moved to allow Mike to see Izzy making out with Erin near the control console, prompting Mike to exclaim, “What the fuck?!”
“You two weren’t an item, were you?” Tiffany asked with a tilt of her head.
“Nah. We just messed around sometimes, Erin never wanted anything serious…”
“I meant you and Izzy.” Tiffany clarified.
“No.” Mike shook his head as he got to his feet. “But this is still… what’s happening here?”
“It’s hard to explain.” Tiffany said truthfully. “But honestly, right now I’d like you to give Izzy a hand in showing Erin a good time.
“Alright.” Mike agreed without further question, albeit with a furrowed brow. He walked up to Erin and Izzy, wrapped his hands around Erin and started kissing her neck. Erin moaned with pleasure as Mike and Izzy both ran their hands over her clothes and skin, kissing and playfully biting her.
Tiffany briskly looked around Josh’s room before spotting and grabbing a belt from his dresser. A quick glance at Lucy showed that she was still stuck in trance despite the screen now being off. Perhaps she needed to be told to wake up? Tiffany quickly decided that she needed to focus on one thing at a time, and Lucy being awake wasn’t necessary for the success of her plan. Subduing Erin was the priority. Tiffany tried to take advantage of Erin’s hedonistic distraction, pulling her wrists together behind her back to bind them with the belt.
But Erin wasn’t as far gone as Tiffany hoped. She pulled her hands free and darted away from Tiffany before Tiffany could secure her wrists. “Ah ha! You’ll have to do much better than that, Tiff!” Erin grinned broadly. Izzy and Mike chased after her, still intent on following their active instruction from Tiffany. “Uh, Tiff! Call them off!” Erin found herself trying to squirm away from Izzy’s attempts to keep making out with her. “Tiff!”
“Haha, okay, both of you stop trying to accost her,” Tiffany said. As they stopped, Erin breathed a sigh of relief, just before Tiffany added, “Restrain her instead.”
“What the fu- hey! Get off! Oh come on Tiff!” Erin struggled as Mike and Izzy each grabbed firmly onto an arm, pulling them behind Erin’s back and holding her firm despite her resistance.
“You did say you wanted to be forced into the Algorithm…” Tiffany said casually as she checked her nails. “And I’m betting you weren’t expecting me to move so soon…”
“Well, yeah!” Erin scoffed. “I thought we’d be playing with these two nitwits first and you’d get me later!”
“I’m glad I could surprise you,” Tiffany winked at Erin playfully before addressing Mike and Izzy. “Put her in the chair and hold her there please.”
“Sorry, Erin.” Mike muttered in confusion. “I honestly don’t understand what’s happening here.”
He and Izzy started shuffling Erin towards the chair, while Erin fought them with every step, slowing the whole process to a crawl. “You’ll have to do better than this, Tiff!” Erin declared boldly, “I can get away from these two idiots!”
“Then do it.” Tiffany smirked. “What are you waiting for?”
“I don’t want to hurt them!” Erin gloated with a toothy grin.
“Well then let them put you in the chair…” Tiffany said, letting some exasperation become evident in her voice. “C’mon, slave, you knew this was coming, and you want it to happen… Fighting it is kinda pointless, don’t you think?”
“I… said…” Erin strained against Izzy and Mike, gritting her teeth now, “that I wasn’t going to make it easy for you…”
“I dunno, Erin,” Tiffany said with a teasing lilt to her tone, “this is pretty easy for me, I’m not needing to do any of the work.”
“Yeah… Tiff… That’s a fair… point” Erin squinted at her, gradually losing ground. “but you’re forgetting one thing…”
“Oh?” Tiffany smirked triumphantly. “What’s that?”
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s!” Erin snapped defiantly. Expecting Tiffany to fall instantly into trance, she quickly followed up with “Tell them to stop!”
Tiffany gave Erin a deadpan stare, followed by a slow shake of her head. “No,” she replied simply.
Erin’s jaw dropped, a look of genuine shock spreading across her face.
“Oh come on, Erin!” Tiffany rolled her eyes. “You didn’t really expect me to leave you with that advantage over me forever, did you?”
Erin was speechless, and the shock made it easier for Izzy and Mike to drag her towards the chair.
“You know what,” Tiffany said to her two brainwashed slaves. “Hold up a minute. Just keep her still.” She walked up to Erin and stared her in the eye.
“I trusted you,” Erin said faintly. “That was one of the things that helped me trust you.”
“And I trusted you,” Tiffany shot back sharply. “I trusted you to have a trigger for me to use if you legitimately needed to. But you’ve been using it without my knowledge, and planting thoughts in my head. I honestly thought we were past you using me like that, Erin.”
Erin scrunched up her face. “What are you talking about Tiff? What thoughts?”
“All night long, everything you’ve suggested has automatically been a great idea to me, no matter what.” Tiffany said sternly. “Tell me that isn’t your doing…”
“No, it’s not!” Erin snapped back. But then a sudden look of realization came across Erin’s expression and instantly all of the color drained from her face. “No. Nooooo…” she said in a rising panic. “Shit shit shit, no!”
“What, what is it?” Tiffany said, adding some fake concern in her voice. She knew at this point that Erin’s programming in her mind was gone, replaced by Lucy’s. “Did you plant the thought in my head or not?”
“I did,” Erin admitted, before cursing down to the floor. “Fuck fuck fuck!” When she looked back up to Tiffany, there was genuine fear in her eyes. “Tiff I put that thought into you days ago! It was the night you quit your job! But the suggestion was only supposed to be for that night! It was supposed to be gone the next day.”
“Ahhhh…” Tiffany said calmly. “Did you actually specify that when you gave me the suggestion though?”
Erin looked like she was frantically trying to remember, before she scrunched her eyes closed and hung her head.
“I didn’t think so…” Tiffany said. “So don’t talk to me about trust right now. We can talk about that after you’ve undergone your programming.”
“No!” Erin objected. “Tiff you can’t put me through the Algorithm now! Not yet! You need to let me make sure you’re not compromised in any way first! You have to make sure there’s no programming in your head that shouldn’t be there.”
Tiffany shook her head in amusement. “You don’t need to worry, Erin. I’ve already done that. There’s no programming in my head that I don’t want to be there.”
Erin looked confused and hurt. Tiffany leaned down close to her and smiled kindly, caressing her cheek. “It’ll be okay Erin. But it’s time you fell under my control fully now, and stop trying to control me in secret. It’s over.”
Their eyes locked, Tiffany’s full of determination, Erin’s glossy and insecure.
“Stop fighting,” Tiffany instructed softly.
Erin nodded meekly. “Okay,” she whispered hoarsely.
“Good girl.” Tiffany kissed her gently before pulling back and addressing Izzy and Mike once more. “Put her in the chair please.”
Tiffany couldn’t help but be proud of herself as Izzy and Mike carried a now compliant Erin towards the chair. She had taken the fight right out of Erin, and she had barely needed to lift a finger. The trap was closing now. Just a few more seconds…
But that’s exactly when Lucy stumbled into the middle of everything, rubbing her head. Izzy and Mike froze next to Tiffany, and Tiffany blocked their path to the chair to move closer to Lucy. “Hey, are you okay?”
“What happened?” Lucy said groggily. She then saw Izzy and Mike holding Erin by the arms and absentmindedly added, “Did you brainwash them all yet?”
Tiffany’s heart jolted as her breath caught in her throat. Lucy was still pulling herself out of trance and had no idea what she had said. Tiffany snapped around to make eye contact with Erin and she saw the unmistakable look of shocked understanding plain across Erin’s face.
“Shit,” she uttered. She needed to get Erin in the chair now!
But Erin reacted faster.
With unbelievable ferocity, Erin threw her head forward into Tiffany’s face. Tiffany shrieked with pain as she collapsed into the chair, clutching her nose as her eyes were blinded with the sudden pain and tears. She could barely see, but she heard the grunts and struggles as Erin wrenched a hand free, slugged Mike across the face, then elbowed Izzy in the gut.
It felt like metal clamps contracting around Tiffany’s mind as she realized urgently that she couldn’t allow Erin to get away. Not now! Not ever! Ignoring the pain all over her face, her tear splotched vision, and the blood dripping down from her nose, she launched herself out of the chair towards the door where she knew Erin would make a break for it. Tiffany got there moments after Erin and tackled her wildly to the ground before Erin could unlock the latch.
“Tiff! No! Let me help you!” Erin pleaded, before she realized it was pointless and her anger returned. “Fuck! Get off me!
“Don’t let her leave!” Tiffany barked at Izzy and Mike. “Get her in the chair!”
Her two slaves seemed beyond confused at what was happening but even as they voiced their complete perplexion, they moved to obey. Erin jabbed her elbow into Tiffany’s ribs and with the moment’s reprieve she stated to bellow ”JO—“
Anticipating this, and pushing through the pain from her nose and her abdomen, Tiffany clamped a hand over Erin’s mouth, muffling her cry. She doubted anyone heard it, as the sound of the party now raging in the lounge was almost making the door vibrate. Erin instantly tried to bite Tiffany’s hand, forcing Tiffany to let go, but before she could yell for help again, Mike and Izzy were on top of her.
Between the three of them, they grabbed and tugged at Erin who tried frantically to pull free. “No! Fuck off. I won’t! NO!” She cursed and spat as they dragged her to her feet. She swung her head at Izzy this time but Izzy moved her shoulder in the way. Kicking and screaming, Erin couldn’t break free as they dragged her towards the chair. Tiffany, Mike, and Izzy were all hit, kicked and scratched in their efforts to get Erin in front of the Algorithm. By the time they were next to the chair, Lucy had shaken off her daze and had moved herself to the control console.
The Algorithm burst back to life with its dazzling colors, and as much as Tiffany tried to ignore it as she wrestled against Erin’s furious struggle, the lights started to sooth her. Despite her efforts, her grip on Erin lessened. “No no no!”, she grunted. She could only hope that Erin was being hindered by the same problem. Even if Tiffany failed to retain her focus, if she could get Erin to also slip into trance, Lucy would take care of the rest.
But Erin used the slight reduction in effort being applied by her accosters to break free of their grip with one furious tug. With a guttural roar, she charged at Lucy too quickly for anyone to grab her again, escaping the lights of the screen and slamming into Lucy as the smaller girl gave out a surprised squeal.
“Get off me!” Lucy shrieked as she tried to push Erin away. Erin easily overpowered her though, and aggressively threw her onto the floor.
“I will fucking kill you you psychotic bitch!” Erin snarled in pure hatred as she grabbed each of Lucy’s wrists and pinned her down, one knee on her chest that she pushed down on. “Put her back! Put her back NOW!!”
Tiffany fought through the thickening fog in her mind. She needed to help Lucy! It was more important than anything! She took a sluggish step towards where Erin had Lucy pinned, but the lights from the screen drew her attention like a moth to a flame. What was she doing again? Helping Lucy? Yes that sounded right. Where was Lucy? There… Another half step closer, but now she was full staring at the screen. What was she doing again?
Lucy grunted and whined in effort as she tried to escape Erin’s grip. Erin responded by pushing down harder on Lucy’s body with her knee.
Lucy cried out in pain. “Stop it, please!”
“Only when you put Tiffany back to how she was!” Erin snarled. “Undo what you did!”
“She wants to be under my control!” Lucy squealed. “Ask her, just ask her!”
“Bullshit!” Erin applied more pressure again. “You could make her say anything, and I wouldn’t believe a fucking word!”
“Okay, okay!” Lucy pleaded, “I’ll fix her! Just get off my chest, I can barely breathe!”
“Fuck no!” Erin spat. “You don’t breathe until she’s free of your control.”
Lucy… Tiffany needed to help Lucy. But the lights filled her vision. It was getting harder to think. She struggled to figure out what it was Lucy needed help with, or how she could provide the help. Thinking was hard. Her thoughts were seeping away into the dancing lights before her.
“Fine!” Lucy cried out, on the verge of tears. “Tiffany!”
Tiffany’s entire attention snapped onto the source of her name. There was Lucy! Erin on top of her! Her entire mind attuned to the words Lucy spoke next.
“Go into a trance for me!” Lucy cried out.
Tiffany’s world plummeted into darkness. In an instant, all thoughts and awareness was gone. Her eyes glazed over, her shoulders slumped. Her mind floated in an infinite abyss, and it might have been seconds or it might have been years, but more words eventually arrived.
“In trance or awake, you won’t remember how to breathe until I tell you to. Now wake up, Tiffany.”
Tiffany snapped back into awareness. Her breath felt caught in her throat. She didn’t breathe. She couldn’t breathe… At a loss for what to do next, her attention was drawn by Erin’s furious screaming.
“What have you done?! What did you do?!”
“Sit in the chair, and I’ll let her breathe again.” Lucy said through clenched teeth.
Tiffany was fixated on where Lucy and Erin grappled. Erin was straddling Lucy, still pinning her to the floor. Tiffany started waking over to them, doing her best not to be drawn back in by the lights of the Algorithm.
“Fix her right now or I’ll fucking kill you!” Erin shrieked at Lucy, her composure crumbling by the second.
Lucy stared coldly at Erin. “Then I’ll be dead. And so will Tiffany. And you’ll be jailed forever.”
“I mean it! Put her back!”
“I’m willing to let her die to get what I want.” Lucy said, venom dripping from her voice. “Are you?”
Tiffany reached Erin and started pulling her off Lucy. She wanted to speak but she couldn’t. She felt a heaviness in her lungs.
“Tiff!” Erin turned her attention to Tiffany, clambering off of Lucy and gripping Tiffany’s shoulders. “Breathe, Tiff! Breathe!” She shook her frantically, a look of terror in her eyes.
Tiffany simply shook her head briskly and motioned to her throat. ‘I can’t’, she tried to emote. ‘I physically can’t!’
“Get in the chair then, quickly!” Erin ordered, pushing Tiffany towards it, breathing heavily herself. “The Algorithm can overwrite her programming, it can fix you!” Tiffany didn’t know what to do, so she didn’t fight Erin’s efforts. Standing either side of the chair, lost in trance once more, was Izzy and Mike. They couldn’t help her, she’d need her voice to command them. And even if she had her voice, she’d instruct them to obey Lucy’s wishes to put Erin in the chair. Because Lucy’s will was more important.
“Don’t get in the chair, Tiffany.” Lucy instructed as she slowly picked herself off the ground. “Don’t let Erin help you.”
Her unwavering conditioning kicking in, Tiffany instantly pushed back against Erin. She struggled to make sense of it. Erin wanted to help her, and Lucy wanted to let her suffocate, but still obeying Lucy was the right thing to do. She didn’t understand it, but she did obey even as the lack of breathing was causing a rising panic within her.
“No! Tiff!” Erin pressed urgently. “Fight it, you have to fight it!”
“You’re wasting valuable time, Erin.” Lucy taunted her from the control console. “You can’t get her to stay in the chair, and even if you could, you’d have to put in her frequency, wouldn’t you?”
Erin turned to face Lucy, unbridled hatred in her eyes. “Fuck you! If she dies, you die!”
Lucy simply shook her head. “If she dies, it’s on you. Just sit in the chair and I’ll let her breathe again.”
“No!” Erin snapped, resuming her effort to get Tiffany into the chair. She looked at the two brainwashed slaves just standing there. “Izzy! Mike! Help me!”
Neither of them moved.
“They don’t obey you. They obey Tiffany,” Lucy said calmly. “Honestly Erin, you’re out of options if you don’t want Tiffany to die.”
Tiffany would have voiced her agreement of Lucy’s assessment if she had any breath to speak with. As she continued to struggle against Erin’s efforts, her lungs started to feel like they were on fire,
“If I give in to you you’ll just let her die anyway!”
“I won’t,” Lucy stated emotionlessly. “Not that you have a choice, but for what it’s worth, I won’t kill her for no good reason.”
“Aaaaargh!” Erin screamed in frustration as she tried to get Tiffany into the chair.
“It’s not a terrible plan I guess…” Lucy mused as she watched Erin’s efforts. “Except after you get her in the chair and somehow get her to stay there, you don’t know Tiffany’s frequency, do you? How long will it take you to find it? How long does Tiffany have?”
Tiffany’s legs gave out under her. Pain was exploding from her lungs now, and her vision was getting blurry. Still she tried to get away from the chair. Still she obeyed Lucy’s instructions knowing it would kill her. She had never felt so scared in her life.
“Lucy! Please!” Erin wailed. “Enough! Please enough!” She was taking all of Tiffany’s weight now, and edged her closer to the chair.
Tiffany looked at Erin, knowing full well she couldn’t hide the fear on her face. They were mere feet from the chair now, and Tiffany hadn’t the strength to stand or push against Erin anymore.
“You know.” Lucy said in a cold voice. “If she passes out before I can help her, I don’t know if she’ll actually hear me anymore, so you really don’t have time for this.”
Tiffany became dead weight as everything started fading to black. Erin couldn’t hold her any longer and she dropped to the floor.
“Tiff!” Erin cried. “Just hold on! Hold on okay! I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, I’m going to do what Lucy says now, okay? Just hold on, just—“
As Lucy placed the headphone over Erin’s ears, Tiffany saw the look of sudden confusion followed by intense drowsiness overwhelm her.
“Tiff…” she trailed off weakly, tears dropping from her chin.
“It’s funny,” Lucy remarked, pivoting Erin around so that the light of the Algorithm danced into her eyes. “Tiffany’s frequency wasn’t in that folder of saved frequencies, but yours was.”
Tiffany felt a tight pain all over her body, like the life was being squeezed out of her. As darkness engulfed her, her last sight was of Erin staring blankly into space.
Everything was dark. The pain started to fade. Tiffany’s fear started to dissolve as a grim acceptance permeated through her. It felt like the end.
Then distant words slowly filtered through to her mind.
“Breathe, Tiffany. Remember how to breathe.”
It felt like she was being pulled out from the murky waters of a swamp. Suddenly she gasped for air, heaving huge lungfuls. She tried to sit up but her muscles felt so weak, and a nauseating dizziness engulfed her. Instead, she continued hyperventilating on the floor, still fighting off the overwhelming fear that gripped her heart. In the distance she heard a voice talking softly, but she couldn’t make out the words. Her vision was still blurry and her head spun. Each heaving breath was accompanied by a weak moan of distress. But she was alive. And she could breathe.
“Ah, good.” She heard Lucy’s voice from above her after a while had passed of her slow recovery. “You’re not dead. Pull yourself together please, Tiffany.”
It took Tiffany a few moments to obey that instruction, but she tried really hard to center herself. Her vision started to return, her nausea began to subside, and the spinning in her head calmed down enough that she was slowly able to pull herself shakily to her feet. She took stock of what was happening. There was Erin, sitting in the chair, headphones on, staring mindlessly into the lights of the Algorithm. Her cheeks had fresh tear stains running down from her empty, dilated eyes. Her expressionless mouth hung open as the lights and sound obliterated all of her thoughts before she could have any.
Izzy and Mike stood captured in trance, their eyes fixated on the screen of the Algorithm. Tiffany turned around to see Lucy standing by the control console.
“Are you better?” she asked with a hint of impatience. “Can you function?”
“Yes,” Tiffany replied, still cradling her head. “I can.”
“Good. Get Erin out of the chair and put one of the other two in. I’ve programmed her and recorded it for use on the others.”
“Okay.” Tiffany moved sluggishly but obeyed Lucy’s instructions. Upon request, Erin robotically stood up from the chair and walked to where Lucy waited. Tiffany guided Mike into the empty seat and went about re-entering his frequency that she had saved earlier. Once done, Lucy took her place at the control console. Tiffany watched as Lucy selected a newly saved recording and played it through the headphones, reprogramming Mike as he sat helpless in the chair. Tiffany wondered how Lucy had figured out the recording feature, but then she realized that Erin in trance could have explained it all to her.
An eerie silence hung between them as they watched the progress bar of the recording creep across the screen. The noisy party next door spilled sound into the room, but in a muffled, distant way. The music and laughter next door seemed like an alien world to Tiffany as she stood in bondage to Lucy’s control.
“Were you really going to let me die?” Tiffany asked in a faint voice, almost afraid to.
“I didn’t want you to.” Lucy shrugged. “That would have been a hassle to clean up. You’re more useful this way.”
“Okay.” Tiffany hung her head. She almost suffocated to death, and Lucy didn’t care.
“You didn’t honestly think I was going to just brainwash myself and leave so easily, did you, Tiffany?” Lucy looked around this time, piercing Tiffany with furious eyes.
Tiffany nearly flinched at Lucy’s glare. When she really thought about it, the answer to her question was obvious. “No.”
“Then why let me do this to you? Why let me use the Algorithm on you? You could have stopped me, don’t pretend otherwise.”
“I didn’t think you would. I didn’t think you knew how to use it,” Tiffany murmured. “I thought I would be able to stop you if you tried.” The gravity of her failure was more and more apparent. With a shaky breath, she added, “I thought I was in control.”
“You underestimated me,” Lucy said matter of factly.
“Yes.” Tiffany stroked her sore head. “I did.”
“Good, Tiffany. It’s good to be honest,” Lucy replied with a brief smirk.
“Okay.” Tiffany nodded.
Lucy looked around at her once more. “Let me be honest with you… I was never here to let you brainwash me, Tiffany. If you believed that you are either incredibly gullible, or you just don’t understand me in the slightest. I’m here to ensure that Trevor and I patch things up. He needs me, and I need him. Nothing can come between us, Tiffany, and I’ll go to any length to ensure we stay together. The recording is finished. Put the other one in.” Lucy nodded towards Izzy.
Tiffany complied in silence, standing Mike up and guiding Izzy into the chair instead. Moments later, her frequency was set, and Lucy’s words were playing through the headphones.
“It was all a lie?” Tiffany asked faintly after the progress bar was a third of the way done.
“Not completely.” Lucy shrugged. “I did what I had to do to manipulate you. Succeeding like this was my intended goal, but if I failed, if you had actually done as I asked and wiped my memory of Trevor…” Lucy looked thoughtful for a moment. “I would be a different version of me and I wouldn’t care, would I?”
They stared at each other for a long moment. Tiffany shook her head slightly. “You were never interested in being my… my slave?”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Tiffany.” Lucy scoffed. “I’m not interested in you at all.” When she saw the confusion on Tiffany’s face, she rolled her eyes. “I regret that I needed to touch you to get you to behave the way I wanted, but I fully intend to wipe my memory of the experience once I’ve set everything right.”
“And once you’ve…” Tiffany felt a sense of dread when she said, ”set everything right…”.
“You don’t need to worry about that, Tiffany.”
Tiffany wished that Lucy’s words soothed her, but she couldn’t shake a feeling of doom from crawling over her. She was glad that Lucy controlled her now, but worried about where it would lead. She knew she was trapped, she knew she had no choice. And now she knew that she would give her life for Lucy if told to, and that Lucy cared very little about what her fate would be. Obeying Lucy was the right thing to do though, so Tiffany did her best to push down her discomfort. Lucy had played her, tricked her, and brainwashed her. The humiliation remained even as she accepted every facet of Lucy’s control over her. And she hated that it gave her a slight thrill, that despite how cold and callous Lucy was, a part of her still enjoyed being enslaved like this.
They were silent as the recording finished programming Izzy. Once it was complete, Lucy shut down the Algorithm. Tiffany brought Izzy out of the chair and lined her up with Mike and Erin.
“All of you, wake up,” Lucy instructed firmly. Three pairs of eyes flicked into alertness as they all emerged from trance.
“I trust you understand your purpose?” Lucy asked.
“Yeah,” Erin and Mike said, while Izzy nodded.
“Good.” Lucy said. “You will all work together to achieve my goals, understand?”
They all answered in the affirmative once more. Tiffany nodded as well. It was her duty to obey just as much as Lucy’s other thralls.
“Good,” Lucy said. “The goal is to take control of everyone at this party, but most importantly Trevor and Alice.” Lucy looked around at them all in turn. “How do we do it?”
Erin looked at Lucy, impassive obedience on her face. “Tiff has triggers for everyone wearing a glowstick wristband. The trigger won’t work on Josh, Alice, or Trev, but she has separate triggers for each of them anyway.”
“I see,” Lucy said, turning to Tiffany with a coy smile. “Just as well I didn’t let you die. Right, Tiffany?”
“Yeah.” Tiffany nodded. “Right.”
“So everyone is just ready to be put in trance. Let’s get a move on then. We might not have much time.”
“How come?” Tiffany asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Because I knew that coming here with just one plan was a risky idea,” Lucy said as she led the way towards the door. “But since this plan has worked so well, my backup plan is more of a liability now.”
Just then, the music cut off from the next room. There were raised voices and several cries of distress.
“Ahh…” Lucy shook her head. “What awful timing… Sounds like we’ll have to deal with that as well then.”
“Deal with what?!” Tiffany asked anxiously. But then she remembered who was still to arrive. She remembered what the whole point of the party was. Her heart skipped a beat before Lucy even spoke again.
“Dillon,” Lucy said calmly. “That must be him.”