Cape City Chronicles
v1: Today the City, Tomorrow...
#2: A Bird in the Hand!
by Jennifer Kohl
Alicia Alvarez stood on her own balcony, gazing out over the city below. At night, the streets became rivers of light, glimmering yellow and red. She loved her city, loved its air and its food, its skyline and its people, its culture and its history. Loved it so much that she’d dedicated her days to defending it the best way she knew how, prosecuting those who would corrupt and destroy it. But even before that, before she’d even gone to law school, she’d dedicated her nights to defending it in a different way.
She knew that if Alex found out, she would never forgive her. That was another thing the sisters had in common, and another difference: both had watched in horror as their parents died in the violent final battle between Captain Shield and Boom Mike, but where Alex had blamed Specials, Alicia blamed the criminals.
Eventually, her dedication, devotion—all right, obsession—had gotten her the attention of Nightshade, one of the most mysterious and notorious of Cape City’s Special vigilantes.
Because, she’d learned, he wasn’t a Special at all. Just an ordinary man with the same obsession she had and a lot more money—money that had given him access to the training and equipment necessary to keep up with superpowered allies—and, more importantly, superpowers enemies.
She became his sidekick, then his partner, and finally his lover. On and off the battlefield, they moved like poetry together, and every supervillain there was trembled at the thought of Nightshade and the Cardinal coming for them.
He’d been one of the first to die, when Pheromona decided to play her twisted little game.
That evil woman was too dangerous to go free. She had to be stopped, and quickly. And with the Cardinal on the case, Alicia swore to herself, she would be.
Alicia would have done practically anything for Nightshade—but she drew the line at cutting her hair. So they incorporated it into the costume: black cape with dark red lining, black mask and cowl with her dark red hair tumbling out the back, dark red ultralightweight body armor and black calf boots. That had come first, the name after—one of the newspapers said she looked like a cardinal, and it had stuck.
She didn’t mind. The name wasn’t important; she didn’t do this for fame or glory. She did it to protect the city she loved and avenge her parents, one supervillain at a time.
In the end, it was the same rage as Alessandra, and it came from the same place. But Alicia’s anger wasn’t a bubbling pit of lava; it was a razor-sharp blade of ice.
The Cardinal crouched on a rooftop, looking down at the warehouse below. The police and hospital staff had already identified, questioned, and started treating five victims among the Miskatonic staff, meaning Pheromona had been using her powers before she escaped. But she was on a strict, closely monitored regimen of drugs that suppressed those powers, so one of two things had to be true: either the drugs stopped working or she stopped taking them.
Cardinal had broken into Miskatonic and gone through their records. She was satisfied that Pheromona had taken her medicine every day—security cam footage proved it. So that meant it wasn’t working—either she’d developed a tolerance or it had been tampered with.
Well, the latter was easy to check—the drug was kept in a highly secure storage vault in the Miskatonic basement, which had taken Cardinal almost a full minute to break into. A quick test of one pill, using the portable chemical analyzer she kept in her utility belt, had shown it wasn’t what the label on the bottle said at all—it was just sugar and dye.
That led to the next question: who was replacing Pheromona’s medication and why? The first step to figuring that out was to figure out where in the supply chain it was being replaced—and the warehouse below was where it was stored when it first arrived in the city, before being shipped off to Miskatonic or one of the three other places in town that used it (two fertility clinics and a biochemical research facility). It was the likeliest place for some ally of Pheromona—Olympia perhaps, she had both the motive and the skill set—to swap the real drug out for a fake.
Cardinal fired her grappling hook at the warehouse roof and swung down, landing lightly on the roof. The skylight was easy to jimmy open, and then she dropped down through it and landed in a crouch in the middle of the floor.
She moved from shadow to shadow, gliding silently across the room, expertly evading the slowly rotating gaze of the security camera, until she reached a crate with the drug manufacturer’s logo. A quick check of the shipping label confirmed it was the next shipment of drugs for Miskatonic. She carefully, quietly lifted the lid and peered inside. She soon spotted the box with the next 30 doses of Pheromona’s medication, and reached down to pull it out.
The moment she touched it, it popped open, spraying her with a faceful—and lungful—of gas. She dodged back, but too slow, too late. She was unconscious even before she hit the ground.
It was not Cardinal’s first time being knocked out while investigating. She woke with trained, deliberate slowness, assessing the situation before she even opened her eyes. She was in a sitting position, her arms pulled behind her. The cold metal at her wrists and ankles suggested she was cuffed to a chair. Cool air on her skin meant she was naked; slight pressure and weight on her head suggested a pair of headphones had been placed over her ears and some kind of goggles over her eyes. If she listened intensely, she could barely make out a soft, staticky buzz, and no other sounds; noise-canceling headphones, then.
A voice sounded in the headphones. It was masculine, but polite, even friendly-sounding. “We’re monitoring your brainwaves, Allie. There’s no point in pretending to be asleep.”
Allie. A momentary panic surged through her thoughts: they knew her name, her secret identity, even her family nickname! How could they know so much? But she calmed herself quickly. She had been on the news before, when she prosecuted high-profile cases. With her mask off, they could easily recognize her, and Allie was a common diminutive for Alicia, no doubt an attempt to seem friendly while also subtly placing her in a weaker position. It was an interrogation tactic Alicia knew well—she’d used it herself, playing good cop to Nightshade’s bad cop while they sweated a perp.
“I won’t tell you a thing!” she said as she opened her eyes. Swirling colors danced and coiled, and for a moment Alicia thought the gas had disrupted her vision somehow.
“We aren’t interested in anything you might say,” said the voice, and Alicia shut her eyes.
“Hypnosis? Don’t be ridiculous, you think I don’t know how to counter hypnosis?”
There was no response from the voice, but Alicia could hear a deep, throbbing tone, just on the edge of audible, that swung slowly from ear to ear. Binaurals, she thought. They know their stuff, but it won’t work. Her thoughts were perfectly clear; the hypnosis wasn’t even affecting her. She understood everything they were trying to do, and none of it would work. Even if she opened her eyes, they couldn’t get her. She could do it. It would be perfectly safe to open her eyes. It was perfectly safe top open her eyes. There was no need to keep them closed...
She opened her eyes. The colors swirled inward and downward, dancing, distracting, beautiful, so easy to look at, so relaxing... Wait. Damn, they almost got me! She listened... Yes, there was a voice buried in the static and the binaurals, whispering of relaxation and safety, how easy it was to watch the spirals and listen to the voice, so easy to sink deeper and deeper...
She pulled herself out of it again. That was the trick to resistance: detachment. Watching herself and her own reactions, recognizing altered thoughts and states and pulling herself out of them. It was tiring, but she could do it, she could watch and catch herself before she fell, no matter how tiring it got, how tired she got, how much she wanted to just relax and...
No! They’d nearly gotten her with that one—but “nearly” didn’t matter. The point was, they didn’t. She was fighting them off, getting stronger. Pretty soon she’d be able to stop looking at the spirals, stop letting her attention be dragged down and around and—Ha! Nice try, but no cigar. She couldn’t be distracted. Even though she was starting to get turned on... But that was just another one of their tricks, subsonics in the headphones or subliminals in the spirals, so that watching and listening would turn her on, distract her, make it harder to think about anything other than how hot it was to be hypnotized, how sexy it was to submit... She cut off that train of thought, too.
It was turning her on, though, that was undeniable, which meant that train of thought kept coming back. She had to be even more vigilant, more focused. It was so important to focus as she watched the spirals and listened to the headphones, focus and not think about how horny she was getting, focus on the spirals and concentrate on not thinking as she got hornier and went deeper, the deeper she went the hornier she got the better she felt the deeper she went... She had to focus, concentrate, fight to keep watching the spirals as she relaxed and went deeper and her eyes grew heavier and heavier and...
And she couldn’t keep them open anymore. Her eyes closed, her face slackened, and delicious relaxation spread through her horny body and exhausted mind.
“Very good, Allie,” said the voice, and she smiled.
Good sleepy horny relaxed good...
“The Cardinal has trained very hard to resist hypnosis, hasn’t she, Allie?”
“Yeah,” Alicia mumbled.
“The Cardinal is a fighter, a detective, a vigilante, isn’t she?”
“Yeah,” Alicia agreed. So easy to agree so good agree good sleepy horny relaxed agree good...
“But Allie works very hard to keep the Cardinal a secret, doesn’t she?” the voice continued.
“What does Allie do to keep her secret?” the voice asked.
“...don’ let people know how str’ng I am...” she slurred. “Don’ let’m know how m’ch I know...”
“Good girl,” the voice said, setting off another chain reaction of happy, horny agreement in Alicia’s brain. “It’s very important that people who know Allie don’t get hints that you’re the Cardinal, right?”
“But I know you, Allie. So you’re going to have to make sure I don’t realize how strong or smart you are. You’re going to hide all the Cardinal’s skills from me, and not use them where I can see, aren’t you?”
“Gonna hide my skills...”
“The things the Cardinal is good at, Alicia has to be bad at, right? To keep the secret.”
Allie hesitated, but it felt so good to agree, and it was important to keep the secret and hide her skills. “Yeah.“
“So if the Cardinal is good at resisting hypnosis, Allie needs to not resist at all.”
“That’s right. You won’t resist.”
“I won’t resist,” said Allie, and let go. It was a good decision. It meant she could feel the warm, relaxing pleasure of sinking even deeper into trance. Just thinking about it turned her on, and being turned on helped turn her thoughts off.
“Good girl,” said the voice. “You’re doing a great job, and it feels so incredibly good, doesn’t it? You want to keep feeling this good.”
“That’s why you’re going to find any naughty little thoughts or feelings about resisting me or not wanting to be controlled by me, and tell me about them. And as you do, I want you to see each of them inside your mind, curled up like a little marble.”
Slowly, Allie listed off the feelings and thoughts the voice talked about, watching the rows of marbles appear in her mind. With each, it grew easier to list more, until there was quite a pile of marbles in her head.
Then the voice explained that the Cardinal’s role as a protector wasn’t a reason to resist at all, that the Cardinal protected her by helping her submit and feel good, and she watched as the marble turned into a little pink bubble, floated up, and popped. All the techniques she knew for resisting hypnosis and mind control soon followed—the Cardinal could take care of those, as her protector, and make sure they didn’t bother her. Pop!
She wanted to be a hero, and that was fine, too—she would still be able to be one after she completely submitted. Pop! She wanted to be independent and free, but that was no reason to resist: she was free to submit if she wanted, and it felt so good, why wouldn’t she want to? Pop!
She didn’t want to betray her city, her friends, her sister, and she wouldn’t be. She would help them to feel as good as she did, once they submitted. Pop!
And she knew her friends would be coming to rescue her soon—but if she submitted as soon as possible, they would never notice she was gone, and then it would be much easier to help them submit. Pop!
Marble after marble dissolved away, until at last there were none left. There was no reason at all not to submit completely, to become a slave—and now she understood that that was what she was.
Someone removed the headphones from her ears, then uncuffed her. A moment later, they removed the goggles as well. “Hello, Allie,” said the man standing in front of her, and she immediately recognized the voice of her Master.
She slid off the chair to her knees, gazing up at him in awe. Her pussy was already wet from the intensely arousing experience of being enslaved, but at the sight of him, it was soaking.
She knew that he was a villain. She knew he had captured her, enslaved her, violated her... and there was only one thing to say in response. “Thank you, Master. How may I serve you?”
He unzipped his fly and pulled out his cock. Already erect, it bounced against her forehead. Eagerly, she wrapped her lips around it and began to suck.
As she did, her Master pulled out a tape recorder and spoke into it. “Subject 2 is a complete success. My hypothesis that—mm, yes, keep doing that—the dual nature of the costumed vigilante could be exploited against them proved true, and the new equipment is highly effective. What took weeks of effort over many sessions can now—fuck!—be accomplished in a matter of hours.”
He laid his free hand on top of Alicia’s head and began facefucking her harder. She hummed delightedly around his cock, reveling in the joy of giving her Master pleasure. “But I believe we can do better. We need to find more information vectors; in time, I believe we can achieve full programming in minutes or even seconds.”
Then he turned off the recorder, pulled out of Alicia’s mouth, and sprayed gouts of sticky cum across her cheeks, chin, and hair, while she trembled in worshipful ecstasy. “Yes,” he said, looking down at his new slave. “You are the key to so much more, my dear...”