tagBDSMThe Cortex

The Cortex


Hi. I'm Linda Palmer, project lead for the Cyberdyne Cortex System. The Cortex system is a helmet that will add to the wearer's experience, and can be personalized to their specific needs or desires. When we get it perfected, we will really be the company motto - "Bringing tomorrow's Technology to Life".

Some blind people can see objects within a foot of their eyes. The Cortex projects real time video to the internal screen to give the wearer 20/20 vision. Just think of the possibilities of merging real time video, camera, and a hands free phone. Who needs two computer screens when you have the Cortex's full visual range to play with? Easily flick a map program onto the screen for reference while driving, then a street view picture of a house when nearing your destination? People hard of hearing could just increase the volume. Future upgrades can include automatically scanning license plates and cross-referencing them to a list of wanted criminals.

I had been wearing the Cortex all day at work for the past week, tweaking the settings. Suddenly the screen went black. I muttered under my breath about some hidden bug, and quickly rebooted the Cortex. The screen remained dark. My co-worker Peter was around the company for longer than I was, and he was a wizard with scripting. He would know what to do. I tried calling him on the Cortex's phone. The phone didn't work. I tried to take off the Cortex, but of course the self-tightening straps held the Cortex firmly around my head.

I got up and blindly felt my way out of my office, running my hands along the walls. Thankfully Peter's office was right next to mine. When I got there, I stepped in. "Um...Peter? I seem to be having a power problem with the Cortex. I tried re-booting, but it didn't power back on. Could I trouble you to plug me into safe mode so I can debug it?"

I waited a moment. And then another. I vaguely heard Joyce's voice behind me. The ear buds in my ears muffled her voice, but she was distinct enough to understand. "Can I help you with anything Linda?"

I was humbled as I realized that my plea for help was made to an empty office. I turned to face where I thought Joyce was. "Have you seen Peter?"

"I don't know, maybe he's at a meeting. Is he in today? Why don't you just call him with the Cyborg headset of yours?"

"There is a problem. Could you just text him?"

I wasn't sure if Joyce was chuckling. After a few moment, I wasn't sure if she texted him. Maybe she just walked off. I was literally and figuratively in the dark. I knew that without the electronics, my voice would be muted to others, and their voices would be muted to me. I followed the wall back to my office, and hoped that Joyce contacted Peter.

What was I going to do? I couldn't drive home like this! I sat helplessly in my darkness for I don't know how long. I had no sense of time. It must have been at least half an hour by now right? I think? Maybe it has only been 10 minutes. I didn't know.

Finally I heard Peter's voice. "Joyce said you wanted to see me. Is the IM and phone broken on the Cortex?"

I nodded. "I tried re-booting. Nothing changed. Can you plug in the diagnostic tool, and tell me what it says?"

I sat still, and felt him plugging the cord into the hood. He hit the power button to reboot the hood. He muttered "Oh. Um... hmmm..."

I instinctively looked toward where I thought he was, as if that would give me a clue. I continued to see nothing, and know nothing.

"It says 'This account has been hijacked. Send 1/2 of a bitcoin to the following account for the unlock code.'

I screamed "What? How can someone hijack the hood that is right on my head? I have it right on me! What the hell!"

"Half a bitcoin. That is..." I heard typing as he paused. "Over 500 bucks. Um...why don't we eat lunch and consider our options." After a pause, he continued. "I guess I'll get your lunch bag."

As he left the office for the nearby fridge, I realized that I never ate with the Cortex on before. It covered a lot of the mouth to allow translation without the interference of the native tongue and other design considerations.

I heard footsteps come into the office. I hoped it was Peter. I instinctively looked toward the noise, but all I saw was inky blackness. Thankfully I heard Peter's voice. "You know, you could at least say 'Thank you.'"

All at once, I realized how self-absorbed I was being. I was imposing on Peter to fix my problem, demanding that he stops work on his own program. I guiltily muttered a "Thank you Peter". I really owed him big time for any help he gave me.

"That's much better. Whenever I help you out, I would appreciate a thank you."

I felt around my lunch bag. I brought a sandwich and a yogurt, and a bottle of water. There was no way I could get a spoon of yogurt under the Cortex. The yogurt would wait. I ripped off small bits of sandwich and struggled to snake them into my mouth.

After I finished half of the sandwich, I got to my feet and felt my way to my credenza. I know that I had some straws in there, but I wasn't sure where. I blindly felt around the drawers. I was so close to the water, but I couldn't drink it! So close to a straw, but I couldn't see it! I designed this hood to block the light too well.

I had so many things in the drawers. I felt around at all of the items that collected in the bottom. I jerked back and jumped as I stabbed my finger on a push-pin.

Is there something you need help with?

I can't drink like this. I need a straw. I think I have one in this drawer.

I heard him rummaging around. Then a wrapped straw was placed in my hand. As I pulled it from his grasp, he asked "And what do you say?"

"Thank you Peter."

"Linda, you know that you can't pay the ransom. They have no reason to provide any unlock code. It only increases their risk of getting caught. They may only ask for more money and see if it works a second time. Besides that, you would be actively funding terrorist hackers.

I whimpered and bowed my head. I knew he was right, but I had to get the Cortex unlocked! But it wasn't my choice - I couldn't see to pay them even if I wanted to. What was I going to do? I couldn't even drive home!

We chatted over lunch. Not only did I need to have the Cortex taken off, but I also needed a lot of discretion. If it became public knowledge that the Cortex was hijacked so quickly, my pride and joy program that I hoped would lead to a promotion would get me forced into a dead-end job. I pleaded with Peter to look at the locking script and see if he could hack into it. He said that it would take a while, but he finally agreed to the challenge.

After lunch, we moved to his office. He told me not to disturb him, so I sat quietly in my darkness, a prisoner of my own creation - the Cortex. I quickly lost track of time. I'm not sure if I dozed off. What might have been an hour could just as easily have been five with no visual or sound references.

Peter finally spoke up. "Well, it's quitting time. We can't leave you alone, so why don't you sleep on my couch?

I had no choice but to accept. "Thank you Peter." I was totally unprepared to be blind, even in my own house.

I clung onto his arm for dear life as he led me out to his car. He could have walked me right into a post or door, and I would have had no idea it was coming.

At home, Peter plugged the Cortex into his home computer. "I set up a brute-force method to try to hack into it. It will take a while, but it is worth a shot."

"Thank you Peter. I'm so sorry, and I hate to impose like this. I'm sure we'll find a way to get it off. Damn hackers..."

At some point, he left. I felt around, and found that I had about a body length of movement without unplugging the cord. I laid down. Hours passed. I didn't want to bother Peter, he needed some relaxation time, and I needed his help.

Peter shook me awake. "It's late. I'll guide you to the couch. I have an oversized T-shirt that should work as a nightgown for you."

"OK. Thank you Peter." He guided me to the couch. I felt around and found the T-shirt and some fleece blankets.

Peter called out "Lights out, and I'm headed upstairs. See you in the morning!"

I sat down on the couch for a few minutes. It had been a long day. I slowly changed into Peter's T-shirt, and got under the blankets.

I woke up a zillion times, never knowing if it was midnight or time to get up. I was horrifically disoriented and dared not wander from the couch in this unfamiliar house.

Eventually I felt Peter's hand gently tapping on the Cortex. "Time to wake up. You can change here, I'll be back in 20 minutes.

I felt around, getting my clothing and getting changed relatively quickly. There are some things to be said for wearing the Cortex. No need to think of jewelry or makeup. No need to do my hair.

Peter took me back to work. I felt so utterly helpless and dependent on him for everything. I was so incredibly self-conscious! I was totally blind and wearing yesterday's clothes! I held onto Peters sleeve as he walked through the corridors. I was so grateful for his help in this whole affair. It was a blessing when he finally guided me to sit in my own office chair. I said "Thank You Peter." He plugged the Cortex to the diagnostic computer and started typing.

After a few minutes, I heard a hiss coming from the Cortex! Sound! I heard Peter's voice through the Cortex's earbuds, the first clear sound I heard in the past 24 hours. It sounded like he was speaking into a microphone as he said "I got a bit of the control back. I'll have it play some music for you. It'll be a lot better than listening to me typing. I'll need to connect you directly to the server to hack the rest open."

He walked me through the hallways. I was once again desperately clinging onto his arm, afraid of being abandoned in my darkness. I was listening to some tunes, and couldn't really hear anything else, which might have been for the best. Peter guided me into a room, and then positioned me where he wanted me. Peter's voice interrupted the music. "The cord is a bit short. Kneel down right here."

I carefully knelt down with a grateful "Thank you Peter." I felt guilty that my issue was taking him away from his own project. Peter was so great to help me out. Without him, I would be helplessly trapped. Peter plugged the Cortex into the server and got to work as I enjoyed his selection of music.

Meanwhile, outside the Cortex...

Peter finished giving his presentation to the Board of Directors "The Slave Module locks the Cortex on the 'Slave'. The 'Master' has the ability to change what the 'Slave' sees and hears, bending their perception of reality. Sex sells, so people will love the Cortex and the Slave Module add-on.

Linda doesn't even know you are here. She thinks I'm working hard trying to hack my way into the Cortex to wrest control from some malware program. Just imagine the kinky scenarios that can be written for it. A "Master" could be standing right in front of the "Slave" when she's changing, and the Slave would have no idea." Peter paused and smiled at that before continuing.

You see how well Linda has been transformed after under 24 hours. She thanked me, and has been kneeling patiently in place during the entire presentation. Can I keep her locked in the slave Cortex for a while longer? I have so many possibilities I would like to try!

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by Anonymous

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by Anonymous04/21/18

should have kept going!

it was obvious where the story was going from the start but it felt like it just sort of abruptly stopped after all the build up. i think it would've really benefitted from being a bit longer

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by Anonymous04/13/18

Intriguing and prmising...

but it should be at nonconsensual...

I would really love to read about further functions and perks of the cortex at bending Lindas will.

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by Anonymous04/12/18

Intriguing, but...

technically speaking, probably should be in non-consent. Still, I hope there's more

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