tagMind ControlPrototype Ch. 09

Prototype Ch. 09


The next week flew by rather quickly. During the day I was kept pretty busy at work- orders had come down from on high that we were to begin preparing for the next auction. That meant a lot of things had to be moved around, organized, and re-cataloged. Thankfully that order didn't include anything of 'questionable status'- such as the prototype that was currently missing for obvious reasons. This meant I had a lot of relatively mindless time to think about the modifications I was making to the machine- both software and hardware.

Rachel helped me break up the monotony a bit with repeated lunch breaks. "All work and no play," She would whisper in my ear while her hand slipped into my jeans and wrapped around my cock. It seemed like all it took was the sound of her voice to get me hard lately. And she was always amped up and ready for anything I wanted. If only I had more time to take advantage of it.

"But I don't have to... I could always call and cancel- tell them no," She had complained Tuesday night. I had just recompiled all of the changes to the software and ran myself through a quick bit of training to make sure it was all working. It was time to celebrate! Only problem was, her agency had beaten me to the punch.

"No, no," I told her, trying to keep the disappointment out of my voice- and failing. "I can have you anytime I want. You still have to pay the bills just like I do."

"I could swing by after I'm done," She offered, her voice heavy with the promise of what else she would do once she arrived.

"No, it's alright. You have classes on Wednesday, and I have to work. We can't stay up all night every night or neither of us will be worth anything." I was just looking after both of us. It's not like I was trying to punish her for not being available twenty-four-seven at the drop of a hat. Or, if I was, at least I was punishing the both of us for it at the same time.

I couldn't even call Maggie and see if she wanted to hang out. She had made that abundantly clear when she had called me earlier the same day as I was getting off work.

"Please Benjamin," She had said almost immediately without giving me even an inch to work with edgewise. "Don't talk. Just listen, okay? I spoke with Rachel- and I think I understand what happened the other night. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a little mad, but Rachel helped me to see how it was all, well mostly, just a big misunderstanding. So much has changed so fast, I think we all just need to sit back and do some thinking about what we really want and how we want things to look like moving forward."

She finally took a breath long enough for me to get my foot in the door, so to speak. I tried to take advantage of it. "Look, Maggie. I think if you just-" And then my window closed again.

"Rachel already told me how you were worried for me. I appreciate all your help, Benjamin. I really do. With the play- with everything. But I think I have to do this on my own. I need to prove to myself I can do this. I already have all my lines from Act 3 memorized so you don't need to worry about that." Her tone shifted then, adding in just a pinch of reconciliation on top of her preventive justification. "I will give you an olive branch though. I get a few comp tickets to the dress rehearsal Thursday night. There's one at the door with your name on it. You'll come won't you?"

"Maggie, of course I'll-"

"Good. I'll talk to you after the show. Hopefully we'll all have done some thinking and calming down by then. I-"

There was a break there. A pause. So pregnant that I didn't have the courage to break it. "I- what? I love you? I've changed my mind and want you to come fuck me right now? I don't think we can be friends anymore? I feel like some tofu? What, woman, what?!" If she had called just a few hours later, after I had finished my self-training, maybe things would have been different.

But she hadn't waited- she had called when I was still wobbly, uncertain, and entirely susceptible to her particular form of kryptonite. So there I stood, silent- a paltry shadow to anyone deserving of the allusion to superman. I tried to console myself with the fact that, as far as I knew, even Superman hadn't told Lois how he really felt until fairly recently. In most continuities, anyway.

The moment passed. She never finished the thought. "See you then, Benjamin." Then she hung up.

I considered trying to call her back. Especially after I got the machine running. But in the end I decided that time was on my side. She had already given me an opening that Thursday night. I could use that without looking desperate and take the opportunity to remove whatever obstacle was keeping us apart.

Which was why I had called Rachel. That was what she was for, after all. But, having told her to be responsible and not skip out on work just to scratch my itch, I was left with precious few options on how to spend the rest of my evening.

Which just about brings me back to where I started. "I suppose you're right," Rachel's voice said over the phone. "Still disappointing though. I'd enjoy an evening with you a lot more than some stupid special performance at the opera."

"That's my Rachel," I said, trying to force a smile into my voice. "Such a 'cultured' sex-slave."

"You know it, Master! Try to not have too much fun without me." She made a couple of kissing noises into the phone before we both hung up.

And that is how I ended up at a bar with Mike from work- talking about anything and everything I could think of other than my trouble with women. I couldn't exactly invite him over to my place given what was in the bedroom. Couldn't risk him recognizing it. To be honest, it was actually kind of a refreshing change of pace. Reminded me that if I was going to establish something resembling a normal life, with obvious points of exception of course, that I would need to cultivate a few regular friendships too. Or, at least as 'regular' as my developing paranoia over the machine would allow- I had to have some protections in place. I wasn't sure if Mike was going to be one of those, but I had to start somewhere.

He took a sip of his beer as a preamble to what I thought was going to be a comment about the college football game we had sort of been watching. I had been keeping up so far- I wasn't really into sports but I could fake it well enough to pass the time. "So, were you serious about helping my sister with the LSAT?" He asked, bringing the illusion of normalcy crashing down around me.

"Yeah, of course," I said, taking a good swig of my draft to cover the uncomfortable change of topic. I took a bit to go over my memory of Anna. She had certainly made an impression, both good and bad. "Why do you ask?"

"I thought she had given up on that dream. Guess I was wrong if one stray comment from a stranger, no offense-"

I shook my head in the universal bro-code gesture to indicate no offense was taken and he should continue his thought.

He nodded in understanding. "It's just, well- I haven't seen her get this worked up about something in a long time. I'd hate to see her get her hopes up and have it all be for nothing."

I smiled at him. "I thought you were her little brother."

He half smiled back, giving me a non-committal shrug. "Doesn't mean I can't still look out for her."

I let the silence draw out a moment, figuratively speaking of course- we were in a sports bar after all. I finished off the draft as if needing a small shot of courage before I continued. "Listen, Mike. I promise you I'm not pulling her leg. She gives me half a chance, and I'll guarantee she will ace that test."

He watched me for a few moments, as if trying to size me up. I didn't let it phase me. I had zero doubts of what my machine could do. Eventually he must have decided he liked what he saw. "Alright. If you're full of shit, at least you hide it well enough. Don't see why you're not running some sort of test prep company instead of sweeping floors if your system is that good though."

"Maybe I should be," I admitted- waiving down the bartender to get another draft. "Hard to patent or copyright a method though. If I tried to go big, some even bigger fish would just steal it and then I'd be back to sweeping floors."

"I guess," He admitted. There were obvious flaws in that argument, but he wasn't really looking to poke any holes in it. He just wanted to know I wasn't going to screw over his sister.

On that subject... "So, tell me more about your sister. Anna, right?"

"Why," He asked, grinning at me suspiciously. "I thought you already had a not-girlfriend. Looking to trade her in for an older model?"

"Rachel is a..." I paused, suddenly grasping for the right words. "Well, currently, she's a bit of a special case. Don't worry though- setting me up with your sister won't jeopardize your date with one of her friends." I smiled as I took another swig of my freshly filled beer.

Mike just grinned behind his drink. Evidently I had correctly judged his concern. "I'll remind you of that once my sister chews you up and spits you out like a used wad of gum. God knows she's had plenty of practice."

I didn't let his warning phase me. "Like you said, we're about the same age. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders. How about you let me worry about what happens to the gum after she's done with it, eh?"

"Right, you're only into her for her mind. Next you'll be telling me your interest is entirely altruistic. Then I'll know you're full of shit. She may be my sister, but I'm not blind. Hard to miss how many men have tripped over themselves trying to get her attention." He said, shaking his head before he waved over the bartender once more to get a refill of his own. The poor man hadn't gone very far, so it was a quick round trip. "It's your funeral. And you're covering the tab too. Do that and I'll put in a good word for you- let her know you were serious."

"Michael, my man- you drive a hard bargain." I told him. "It's a pleasure doing business with you."

"It's Mike," He corrected me. "Only my mother and my sister call me Michael. And don't make it all weird once she's through with you. I'd hate to lose another friend to that big ball of angst."

"I'll do my best, Mike." I said, honestly. "I'll do my best." It wasn't hard to change the subject after that, but thoughts of Anna- and what I planned to do to her- were constantly rising up to distract me. I think he could tell I was a bit off, or maybe it was just getting late for him. I didn't know him well enough to say at the time.

As promised, I covered the tab and we parted ways. I heard from Anna the very next day.

"Alright, I'm here. You have exactly one hour to prove I am not wasting my time." She had arrived at my apartment 'straight from work' and was straight to business, just as her text had warned me nearly an hour before. Even so, the combination of her sharp and tactless opening in juxtaposition to her incredible look had given me pause. She took advantage of the moment of silence to take a few chews on her gum before continuing. "And do try to keep this professional. I get enough people leering at me while I'm at work as it is. I am not dressed like this for your pleasure."

"Of course," I said, motioning for her to come. I took the opportunity to do a quick inspection as she passed by. Her pants were made of a long and sleek fabric that flowed down her legs in a manner that almost looked like a skirt. Were it not for the thigh gap between her legs, highlighting how good a shape she kept herself in, I might not have noticed the difference until she sat down. As she moved, a pair of shiny black high-heeled shoes played peek-abo from beneath the edge of her hem. Her top was cross between a polo and a simple white short sleeved dress shirt with a feminine cut, completely lacking in buttons on the front and a thin black folded-over collar for accent.

Her sharp Italian features and dark brown eyes were framed by long dark brown hair, a color that reminded me of Rachel's. It curled gently as it flowed down well past her shoulders to rest on a pair of modestly size but very pert breasts. Not that I had long to consider them without risking my own air of professionalism.

All told it was a testament to the conservative dress code of a professional and successful law-office. It may not have had a plunging neckline, or any neckline to speak of really, but it still only barely hid what I was sure to be an incredible body beneath it. I could easily see why she would be so defensive. It must have been hard to dress professionally and not still seem provocative- no matter what she was wearing.

"An hour isn't much, but I think it will be enough to prove my system works." I told her as I shut the door behind me and followed her in. "This way."

"I'll be the judge of that," She said, emitting a sharp crack as she popped another bubble inside her mouth and followed me into the bedroom. "And I'll warn you that I have a friend from the office expecting a call from me in an hour with specific instructions to call the police if I fail to check in."

I bristled a bit at the implication of her threat. I couldn't really blame her though. "A perfectly reasonable precaution," I assured her. "I am well aware that my apartment is not in that well-to-do of a neighborhood and-"

"An impression not vastly improved by the fact that the first thing you do is lead me to your bedroom." She said curtly, snapping another bubble and sending shivers up my spine- not the good kind. Like the way the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard does for some, just shorter and sharper. The look of derision on her face only deepened when she got a good look at the machine. "Is this... your foolproof learning method?"

"I'll admit, it's not that much to look at. That's why I need a few successful applications of it in order to get the funding for-"

"I knew this was a waste of my time," She said, waving off my excuse with a flick of her wrist as she turned to leave- striding purposefully towards the door.

"No, wait, I used it myself. I can prove it, at least provisionally." I called out to her, grasping the same research papers I had memorized and used to convince Maggie on that first night. Thankfully, my memory of them was still as sharp as ever- I had double checked just to make sure. It had been a few weeks since I had used the machine to memorize them. That was a good sign regarding the longevity of the rest of the trainings I had done. Constantly reinforcing any changes in each subject every few weeks would have severely limited its use moving forward. "And I can back it up with a bit of cash as well to sweeten the deal."

This stopped her where my previous assertions had failed. Just as I had hoped.

She half turned, looking back at me over her shoulder. The look on her face casting doubt and declaring judgement simultaneously. "Do you think I need your money?" She asked, derision mixed with contempt in her voice- how lovely. Add that to the details Mike had mentioned and I was developing a recipe for this particular woman that was nowhere near 'sugar and spice' not to mention 'everything nice'. But that was part of the package- and why I had graciously accepted her willingness to give me a chance when she had called to 'provisionally' accept my offer.

She might have been hot- but I was more interested in how far, and how quickly I could push her than I was in her looks. Okay, if I'm being honest, her looks didn't hurt. Not in the slightest. I had already fantasized about what it would be like to watch her strip naked and wrap her lips around my cock. If what she was hiding underneath all of that professional office attire was anywhere near the reality then I would have little to complain about. Except maybe the size of her breasts, but if all went well I could use that to test another measure of my control as well.

I held up three hundred-dollar bills, fanning them out so it would be easy to count them. I knew full well she didn't need the money. For all I knew that wouldn't even be enough to buy another pair of shoes. The point wasn't to tempt her with the cash, but to directly attack her pride. A very useful suggestion I had picked up when I spoke with Rachel about my plans earlier that afternoon before I even knew she was going to accept. Fortune favors the prepared, or so they say.

"She sounds almost perfect," Rachel had said over the phone. The subject hadn't come up over lunch- I guess I had been too distracted. "Short term gains with a lot of long term potential. Look at you go, Master."

"I'm glad you approve," I said with only the smallest hint of wounded pride at her jab.

"I approve of anything that means you are able to live a long and happy life- especially if that means less time sweeping floors and more time fucking me and anyone else you decide to warp into another slave to serve beside me." She had said, smoothing down any ruffled feathers and teasing my cock with her voice at the same time before getting back to business. "Are you sure it's worth the risk, though? What if she walks away- you don't have any leverage on her to keep her there until after she's already gone through the training. Even worse if she can't get in the zone and remembers the fragments."

"I know, that's why I wanted to talk to you about it," I assured her. "As for the fragments, I've already made a few adjustments to the programing so that she won't see any of the dangerous ones until she's well inside the zone where she won't be able to notice them. I got the idea from you, actually."

"Aaah," Rachel had said with a little too much understanding in her voice- as if the comment had explained more than a simple upgrade. She moved on before I could pick up on it though, purring her pleasure at my compliment. "You don't have to butter me up to get anything out of me, Master. But I do love that you try anyway."

"Just giving credit where credit is due. I'll be sure to let you suck my cock later as reward."

"You say the sweetest things. Maybe I could do that to celebrate once you've got her on the machine. But seriously. You need to be careful with this one." She had warned me again. "I don't like anything that puts you at risk unless we're pretty sure of the outcome."

"You just want to watch her during her training. And I'll take any suggestions you could give that could help make sure things turnout in our favor."

"Guilty as charged, but as you wish. From what you've told me, she's willing to bite on a cold offer for help. That means she's desperate. The fact she's trying so hard as a paralegal after her repeated failures means she's too proud to just give up and pick a different career path. Why not use that against her."

"Pride goeth before a fall. Got it. Anything else?" I asked, wanting as much help as I could get.

"That depends, Master. You said she had a nice car, right? So she has money. You need to have a more believable backstory for this one. You can't just be offering out of the goodness of your heart. That just means you're trying to get into her pants- she'll see right through that. You have to ask for money. Or offer to pay her for the reference."

"Why not both?" I had said to Rachel. That was the reason I had told Anna over the phone that I would expect payment and a reference if it was successful. All to help build my 'business'. And also the reason I was now waving money she didn't need in Anna's face with one hand while holding out the research articles in the other. The implication of a bribe tickled her pride from both ends

"Take it, or don't. I'll earn it back, and then some- after you've tried my device. Here," I said, pushing the articles into her hands while keeping the cash in the other to prod her. "It won't be definitive- you could always just say I memorized them before, so I'll give you three chances to stump me. Pick a paragraph and a line, from anywhere. I'll give it to you- verbatim."

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