tagSci-Fi & FantasyAlice in Thunderland

Alice in Thunderland

byThe_Technician©

Alice in Thunderland is a nerdy, sci-fi, fantasy, bdsm, romance.

If you are not nerdy or into sci-fi fantasy, you can skim through the first half and go directly to the playroom scene. The BDSM is traditional and timeless. It involves all aspects - BD, DS, & SM. There is some erotic pain, but it is relatively mild.

If, on the other hand, you are nerdy and into sci-fi fantasy romance, but not into BDSM, you can read the first portion, skim through the playroom scene and get to the end where Alice saves the world and lives happily ever after with her prince charming... or in this case, a Star Commander.

If, however, you are nerdy, into sci-fi fantasy romance and BDSM then I heartily recommend that you take a leisurely read through all 14K words of Alice's adventures in Thunderland.

And before anyone asks, "No, I have no idea where to get the helmet."

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WARNING! All of my writing is intended for adults over the age of 18 ONLY. Stories may contain strong or even extreme sexual content. All people and events depicted are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Actions, situations, and responses are fictional ONLY and should not be attempted in real life.

If you are under the age or 18 or do not understand the difference between fantasy and reality or if you reside in any state, province, nation, or tribal territory that prohibits the reading of acts depicted in these stories, please stop reading immediately and move to somewhere that exists in the twenty-first century.

Archiving and reposting of this story is permitted, but only if acknowledgment of copyright and statement of limitation of use is included with the article. This story is copyright (c) 2014 by The Technician.

Individual readers may archive and/or print single copies of this story for personal, non-commercial use. Production of multiple copies of this story on paper, disk, or other fixed format is expressly forbidden.


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* * * * * * * * * * * *

Alice Lutwidge was far from being your typical nineteen-year-old. In fact, she was what many nineteen-year-old girls dreamed they could be. She was tall, thin, blond, blue-eyed, beautiful... and rich. She was also a genius who already had four doctorates from three different colleges. She seemed to have everything... except a job or a boyfriend.

The job wasn't really needed. At age 12- in her senior year of high school- Alice created a battery for a science fair project that was somewhat unique... no, it was absolutely unheard of in the scientific world. It was a fuel cell that used biomass and carbon dioxide to create electricity. The byproducts were oxygen and a syrupy liquid that was very much like thin honey.

Alice recognized how groundbreaking her discover was and had her father, a lawyer, file a patent on the process. She wasn't really trying to protect her invention or make money on it. In fact, it was the opposite. She wanted to make sure that everyone in the world could use the technology.

Her father set up the process to be almost free for use anywhere in the world. All that was required was a one tenth of one percent royalty payment if the battery was sold. It was cheaper for the big companies and big governments to protect her patent than attempt their own, so they paid the minuscule royalty.

But it was soon discovered that the process could be scaled and within months there were Lutwidge fuel cell banks the size of shopping centers powering whole cities and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they did so. One tenth of one percent is only one dollar on a thousand dollars. That doesn't seem like much, but those huge systems sell for billions, and one tenth of one percent of one billion is one million dollars.

Alice didn't need a job, but she wanted one. She had tried several jobs, but interpersonal relationships weren't her strong point and employers don't like being told that their pet ideas are stupid and will not work. They like even less hearing "I told you so," when the inevitable crash occurs.

Perhaps there was a job out there for someone like Alice, but she had yet to find it. So, she spent her days working on this or that new idea or on the internet keeping her mind sharp with online games and increasing her knowledge of... everything.

Perhaps there was a boy out there for someone like Alice also, but she was starting to doubt that. Most men her age were threatened by her looks or her intelligence or her money. She tried dating among the "old money" set, but soon discovered that much of the old money gene pool had been severely diluted by trophy wives and bimbos- or gigolos- accumulated along the way. She tried dating among the high intelligence set, but discovered that most young men with anything near her IQ were even more socially inept than she was. She even tried dating older men, but... well, young girls who date older men are usually looking for money, not the other way around.

She knew what she wanted. She wanted someone who was kind enough to love her, intelligent enough to understand her, and forceful enough to be willing to take charge of her and her life.

Her current therapist told her that wasn't necessarily a healthy viewpoint and told her she needed to accept her true self and should just assert herself in the world. Her previous therapist told her basically the same thing.

Dr. Burrows- the next therapist back- came closest to truly helping her. Alice also came closest to truly being honest with him. He asked her to identify with a character in a movie. "Of all the movies you have ever seen," he asked, "which character comes closest to being you?"

She chose "Number Five," the robot in the old, camp, sci-fi movie "Short Circuit" who was brought to life by a bolt of lightning and spends the first half of the movie seeking "input." More than anything else, Alice was seeking "input." She wanted to know. She wanted to experience. She wanted to feel. And secretly, she wanted to be overwhelmed by what she found.

There was no game she could not win. There was no puzzle she could not solve. There was no concept that she could not understand. There were even few physical things which presented an obstacle for her. She was more than fit and her mind easily grasped the oriental concepts of self-defense. She had attained master's level belts in several different disciplines. If someone accosted her on a dark night thinking they had found an easy target, they would be woefully surprised.

For all of her short life Alice had been the overwhelming force that others had to deal with. She yearned to know what it would be like to be overwhelmed. She wanted to experience being physically overwhelmed or overwhelmed with input so that she could no longer understand, could no longer process, could no longer be in control, but instead could just be. She had even written that desire down to discuss with Dr. Burrows at their next session.

But there was no next session. A train operator was talking on the phone rather than watching the warning signals on the track and slammed into the back of another commuter train. Dr. Burrows was among the casualties. In a way, so was Alice. She gave up trying to relate to other people after that and buried herself even more completely in her experiments and her computer quest for input.

Then one Tuesday morning, her computer spoke to her. That in itself was not unusual, she had developed several different voice interfaces for computer systems and normally used one of them for her own personal work. But this wasn't her interface. It was a different voice. A male voice she had not programmed and had never heard before said, "Alice, I have a special opportunity for you."

Her immediate response was 'Damn, something got through the spam filter.' And she began manually checking pages to see which one was playing a directed ad.

"This is a chance for you to test a totally new alternative reality system," the voice from her speakers continued. "There is absolutely no risk. I don't want credit card numbers. We don't need any personal information. You can even print off the page that guarantees no charges at any time. Just give me a few seconds to tell you all about this."

Alice continued to look at her monitor. She had closed all programs. Everything except the operating system itself was shut down but the voice continued. "OK," she said. "You've got fifteen seconds, then I'm powering down the CPU."

A page suddenly displayed on the monitor. It showed what looked like a sound-cancelling battle helmet with a blast visor. "This helmet," the voice said rapidly, "is all that is needed for the most overwhelming alternative reality experience ever."

The image of the helmet began to turn as the voice continued, "If you are willing to participate in our tests, we will ship you this helmet overnight. All you have to do is experience it. You don't have to report back. You don't have to fill out any surveys. You don't even have to return the helmet. It will report back on its own and then deactivate itself following the tests. What do you say? Will you become one of our alpha testers?"

Alice paused before answering. They had her at "overwhelming," but she didn't want to seem too eager. Besides, poor social skills or not, she had enough experience with people trying to scam her out of money that she was wary of anything that sounded too good to be true.

"OK," she said. "Ship it. I'll look at it. But if there are charges of any sort, you will hear from my lawyers."

"Thank you," said the voice and the images disappeared from her screen. Alice immediately checked her history, cache records, and router IP logs to see where the connection had come from, but strangely there was no evidence that anything out of the ordinary had been on the network or in memory. She also checked a few areas that most people don't even know exist, but according to her computer, the voice and the ad never happened.

'Hmmm,' she said to herself. 'I guess it's time for a few extra security traps to see whose messing with my system.' She then went back to her simultaneous games, conversations, and explorations.

***

When Alice stepped out onto her porch the next morning to replenish the seed in her bird feeders, there was a package sitting next to the door. It was addressed to her. There was no return address as such, but the word "Thunderworld" was printed across the top of the box in large, dark brown letters. Beneath that, in smaller lettering, it said "The Ultimate Gaming Experience."

'I wonder who delivered this?' she asked herself. There were no shipping marks indicating which carrier had brought it and no barcodes or other automatic sorting labels. There was just a plain white label with her name and address.

She continued to inspect the box as she carried it back into her house and set it on the kitchen table. The tape that sealed the box was of particular interest to her. All edges had been sealed, but she could not find the end of the tape. Also, although the tape went along the edge and was half on the top and half on the sides, the corners seemed to be form-fitted to the box. It was as if the tape had been sprayed on or otherwise formed in place.

The box also felt strangely warm. Had she found it much later in the morning or perhaps in the afternoon, she would have put it down to the sun's warmth, but it was still slightly cool outside. Why was the box warm?

She slit it open with a kitchen knife and discovered a flat gray surface beneath the top. Whatever it was seemed to have been formed inside the box, or the box was formed around it, so it was necessary for her to slit the sides of the box to get it out. She was left with a gray cube sitting on the table.

There appeared to be a seam that ran diagonally across two opposing sides. Closer inspection showed a slight seam on the top and bottom edges corresponding to the diagonal line. Grabbing the corners of the box in opposite hands, she pulled.

The helmet was the same dull gray color as the foam or whatever it was in which it was embedded. It looked somewhat like a fighter pilot's helmet, even to having her name, "Alice," written in script above the solid visor. She carefully examined it, but there were no switches or controls evident. In fact, nothing was evident except gray padding in the interior. There were no screens or speakers or microphones or anything. Just more of the strange foam-like material with two round patches of shiny cloth in an identical shade of gray that corresponded to where her ears would be within the helmet.

'I guess they're planning to work on the visuals later,' she said to herself as she slowly turned the helmet around in her hands. 'Or maybe this is just one to try on for size.'

She raised the helmet above her head and slowly lowered it into place. The visor was totally opaque and things dimmed as the helmet slid into place. The cloth pads moved smoothly over her ears. Alice noticed that everything seemed to fit as though the helmet had been molded exactly for her. Then a voice spoke in her head.

Obviously, there were headphones buried somewhere in the helmet. The effect was similar to listening to music on really good stereo earbuds or headphones. If everything is set up just right, sometimes it seems like the music is coming from inside your head. The voice seemed to come from the center of her head as it said, "Welcome to Thunderland."

Alice startled and attempted to look around as if trying to see the source of the voice as it continued. "Please wait while the helmet calibrates itself for your visual cortex."

Visual cortex? Was the helmet transmitting directly into her brain?

There were a few flashes of light and suddenly Alice was standing in front of a huge set of wooden doors that said "Thunderland" across them. They slowly opened inward and Alice moved through them.

A young man stepped out from behind a counter of some sort and smiled at her. "Welcome to Thunderland, Alice," he said. "As you will discover, Thunderland is more than just a game. Thunderland is an alternate reality that is created and shaped exactly for you. Enjoy your stay. If at any time you need to leave Thunderland, just say 'Delete me; delete me; delete me' and you will be returned to your normal reality."

Alice frowned slightly at the weird escape command and started to ask a question, but before she could speak, the young man pointed further down the path and said, "As you go further into Thunderland, you will encounter a series of doors. Each set of doors is a choice you make that shapes your reality. Because this is an alpha test version, the choices are not reversible on this trip through Thunderland, so choose wisely."

He then stepped back behind the counter and he and the counter disappeared. She was now standing beneath a summer sky filled with white puffy clouds. A brick pathway wound into the hills ahead. As Alice started down the path, all she could think of was the song from "The Wizard of Oz," about following the yellow brick road. She halfway expected to see Munchkins capering along beside her.

As she reached the top of the hill, she could see in the valley below a tremendous stone wall that stretched out to the horizon in both directions. There were a series of wooden doors in the wall. She followed the path to the wall and then walked back and forth in front of the it reading the words deeply carved into each door. There were six doors labeled, "Combat Games, Nature Games, Real World Games, Brain Games, Sci-Fi Games, and Sex Games."

She immediately eliminated "Combat Games". Since she was a small child, she had firmly opposed using her skills for war.

"Brain Games" was also quickly eliminated. That was not an alternate reality for her. Her life was one brain game after another.

"Real World Games" was likewise eliminated. Why come to an alternate reality just to experience the real world?

"Nature Games" was tempting. But she didn't get along with animals any better than she did other people, so she also discarded that choice.

That left the last two doors, "Sci-Fi Games" and "Sex Games". She stood in front of the wall slowly turning her head slightly from "Sci-Fi" to "Sex". Finally she said aloud, "So, do I expand my outer nerd or my inner slut?"

She laughed aloud as she pushed open the "Sex Games" door. On the other side of the door, the sky was totally clear and a hot sun shone down on an almost arid terrain. Another wall ran from horizon to horizon. This wall had only three doors- "Romantic, Vanilla, and Kinky".

"This is a very interesting menu system," she said aloud, not knowing who or what could hear her. "I am impressed."

The three doors were close together and she stood in front of "Vanilla" glancing back and forth between "Romantic" and "Kinky". "I know I'm not Romantic," she said, still speaking to the program or whoever. "But am I Vanilla or Kinky?"

"More importantly," she said a little louder, "do I want to experience Vanilla or Kinky sex games?"

On the other side of the "Kinky" door, the sun was hotter and the ground was desert sand. There were three more doors, "Fetish, BDSM, and Non-consensual."

"I feel like a pearl," she said with a giggle. "Each door I go through peels off another layer revealing more of my inner self."

"Fetish?" she asked aloud. "That could be about anything. There're probably doors on the other side that say "Scat, Panties, Golden Showers, High Heels, and... whatever."

"Non-consensual?" she asked as she moved to stand in front of that door. "I guess that is everything from reluctance to rape."

"BDSM?" She laughed as she remembered an online argument she had once had with someone who insisted that it actually should be BD-DS-SM because BDSM encompasses Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sado-Masochism.

As she opened the door, she was even expecting three more doors which said "BD, DS, and SM" or something similar, but instead there were only two doors in the next wall. One door was painted a dark red and had three rows of large gold letters. The first row said, "Top." Beneath that was the word "Dom," and beneath that was the word "Master."

The other door was a medium shade of gray on which were three rows of smaller words painted in flat black. The top row said, "Bottom." The next said, "Sub," and the next read, "Slave." What really got Alice's attention, however, was the even smaller script beneath the word "Slave." In what looked like her own handwriting, it read, "Alice, enter here to be totally overwhelmed."

On the other side of the gray door was a small room. It was actually more of a vestibule or hallway than a room. There were mirrors on one side and a counter on the other behind which seemed to be a coat- or perhaps costume- room. The young man from the entrance was standing behind the counter.

"A few minor final decisions," he said, "and then you are ready. First, how do you want to experience this reality? You can be anything or anyone you want to be. Just tell me and the program will change you to be what you request."

"Can I be myself?" asked Alice.

"Of course," the young man replied. "And how do you wish to be dressed?" He waved his hand toward the rows and rows of coats and dresses behind him. "Whatever you wish is what you will have," he said brightly.

Alice looked at herself in the mirrors and for the first time realized that she was naked. Actually, it was the first time she realized that she even had a body in this reality. "When I walk through that final door, I'm a slave? Right?" she asked.

"That is what you have chosen," the young man replied in his measured tone.

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