The Shadow Doctor Ch. 03byTehCorinthian©
Series disclaimer: This is not a love story. I'm interested in exploring the power dynamic behind mind control, and there is very little consent in this story. This story contains violence, rape, trauma, and abuse, and the protagonist is basically a sociopath. I understand that's not what a lot of readers are looking for, so consider this fair warning. That being said, if you're interested in a dark fantasy of sex and control set in a magical world loosely inspired by Wuxia stories, please enjoy.
Chapter notes: Thanks for waiting, everyone. Like I said, chapters will come a bit more slowly after the first two. I hope you enjoy seeing how Yelena reacts to the truth.
Tam let out a defeated sigh as he looked at Yelena sitting there, holding the piece of parchment before her in her bound hands. A quick check confirmed his error - the most recent command imprinted in her was the words "Stop fucking talking". He must have made it a rule without realizing it when he shouted at her in the stable. That certainly explained why she had only moaned and wailed while he fucked her ass instead of cursing at him.
He briefly considered if there was some lie he could concoct that would explain why words didn't come out when she opened her mouth, but anything he could think of would require a whole elaborate castle of lies. Better to just reveal the truth. He'd known this point would come eventually, and to be honest he was relieved.
"Yelena, I will give you back the ability to speak in a minute. Before I do, please sit down. I have some things to tell you, and I think you will want to be seated when you hear them."
Tam took the chair from behind his desk and carried it around so that he could sit facing the couch. Yelena was clearly terrified, but she made herself settle on the couch facing him. She obviously knew something was very wrong. He briefly considered a gentle way to phrase things then shrugged; there was no need to be cautious anymore.
"The spell I cast on you was much more than a compulsion to tell the truth. What actually happened was a completely different order of magnitude. By enchanting your chi, I now have complete and total control of your mind and body. The truth compulsion was simply the first command I gave you, as is your current inability to speak. I can command you do anything, and you will obey. When I told you that you would eventually come to accept your role as my slave, this moment was what I was referring to. You are literally and completely my slave, to a degree undreamt of in human history."
Yelena shook her head, tears welling in her eyes. Tam released her from the command for silence.
"You can speak again. I'm sure you have questions; ask as many as you wish without worrying about counting. The game of questions is pointless now."
"I don't believe you. It's impossible. You can't control someone else's mind."
"Clearly it is possible, as I have done it. I will prove it to you."
Tam reached out and tapped the silk binding her wrists, letting it fall to the floor.
"Stand up. Raise your hands above your head. Now extend them to the side. Put your hands back above your head. Turn around slowly. Hop on one foot. Sit back down. Don't move from your current position." With each spoken command, Tam added the mental push to make Yelena's body move, dancing like a puppet.
"Did your body do anything of those things by your command? No. It was mine. You cannot lift even a finger on your own while I command you to stay still. Do you need more proof? Slap yourself in the face, hard." Yelena did it, yelping in pain.
"Take your left index finger in your other hand. Bend it back until it hurts. If you need more proof, I can command you to break your own finger."
"No, please, don't break my finger. I believe you, I believe you. I don't understand, how is this possible?" Yelena began to hyperventilate, tears streaming down her cheeks, her body still unable to move from where he'd seated her without permission.
"Yelena! Don't faint. Calm down." Yelena's breathing slowed and the tension immediately flowed out of her posture. "How do you feel?"
"Confused. I should be terrified and I was a moment ago, but now I'm just rationally trying to understand what's going on. You just commanded me to be calm, didn't you? That must be why I'm not panicking anymore. It's not just making my body move without me telling me telling it to, you can actually change my emotional state too."
Yelena's eyes narrowed in concentration as she continued. "Can you change my thoughts as well? That would be horrible, I wouldn't be me anymore; that would be so much worse than just controlling my body. You've already done that though, haven't you? That explains why fucking you felt so incredible, even while you were hurting me and humiliating me. And why I feel so pleased whenever you praise me. If you weren't making me feel calm right now I'd be a wreck. I'm just sitting here, realizing how horrible my situation is, and I know that I should be curled up into a ball shaking and crying, but I can't feel that way, because that wouldn't be calm."
She blinked and paused for breath, still unnaturally calm.
"Um, could you let me stop bending my finger please? It's really quite painful." Her tone was as calm as if she was asking him for a bit of honey in her tea.
"Of course; make yourself comfortable on the couch. Your current behavior is fascinating; the command to be calm seems to be helping you process things rapidly. You've correctly deduced most of the situation, a few minor details aside. You really are amazingly intelligent for a barbarian."
Yelena gingerly shifted on the couch so that her weight was on her hip, tucking her legs beneath her and leaning on the arm of the couch. She flexed the finger he'd had her hurt, gently massaging the joint.
"Thank you. Sitting like that hurt; you really did a number on my ass last night. I hate you for this, you know. The fact that I just felt pleased when you told me I was intelligent is almost worse than being raped and beaten in some ways."
"I admit I lost control last night. I'm not proud of it. If it reassures you, I do not foresee needing physical violence to control you again. You are taking this rather well, even with the command to be calm."
Yelena shrugged. "Without the command I think I'd be a wreck. But it's also kind of a relief to know. I thought I was losing my mind, but it's actually you tampering with it. The truth is worse than I ever could have imagined, but it's good to finally have some idea what's going on."
"I'm sure you have questions. Go ahead and ask them."
"Yes, a million questions. Are there any limits to this? Is there anything you can't make me do or feel?"
"Not in the way you might think. I've tested the spell on animals, and they killed themselves or their children on command. There is no reason to assume you would react any differently to such a command; the differences between a human and an animal are just an increased level of complexity. No one has ever found evidence of a soul or some such thing when cutting a human open. So, none of the rules that normally govern your behavior would apply if they opposed a command from me."
Tam felt himself warm to the subject; this was the first time he'd ever been able to discuss his spell with anyone, and it felt amazing. If only the girl had enough of a scholarly background to truly understand what he'd done. He continued, resisting the temptation to discuss chi theory, sticking to practical answers to her question.
"There are limits to my control, mainly the limits of the human body. If I commanded you to fly like a bird, you would not grow wings and launch from the ground. Beyond obvious things like that, I am very curious to find out if there are other limits to what I can do with you. You are the fourth person I have done this to, but you are the only one who has lived more than a few hours afterwards. Su Wen killed the other three. You are quite valuable to me, so rest assured that I will be very careful to avoid breaking you in the testing."
"That opens up a whole new line of questions, but I'll stay focused on the most important ones for now. I'd very much like to know two things next: what have you already done to change me, and what are you planning to do with me now that I know? Even with this enforced calm, I'm screaming in my head at the thought of you toying with my thoughts and turning me into someone else."
"I suppose it won't hurt anything to tell you. Let's start with what I've already done. I suppose we can generally classify the commands I give you in two fashions. First, there are immediate commands, like when I made you dance around a moment before. Those commands last only until you complete them. Second, there are deeper commands, which I suppose we could call rules for you to live by. Each of those stays with you until I explicitly remove or alter it, like when I commanded you to stop talking. The spell lets me visualize them. Give me a moment and I'll summarize them for you."
Yelena nodded. She looked a bit haunted even through her unnatural calm.
"First, the commands you were already aware of. Complete honesty, answer questions you are asked fully, respond in the language they were asked. As far as anyone beyond you and me knows, those are the only compulsions you are under. Second, there are some basic commands I put in place after I purchased you and brought you here. You cannot physically harm me or my servants, guests, or patients. If you had tried to brain me with that stool when I first released you from the cage, you would have found your effort as ineffectual as when you tried to punch or kick me last night. There is also a rule that you cannot leave my manor, and you cannot free yourself through suicide or mutilate yourself in an attempt to spite me."
"Suicide or mutilation hadn't occurred to me yet. It's disturbing that you considered those possibilities already."
"I simply tried to imagine what measures I would consider if I were you. I do not think I would commit suicide, but I do not know exactly how distressing it would feel to be in your position, so I could not rule it out."
"I don't think I would either, but I'm still trying to adjust to the scope of what's happened to me. You said those were the basic safeguards."
"Yes, there are a few more commands, though not as many as you might think. You're correct that there is a rule that you will be pleased when I praise you, and another that you feel a sense of sexual arousal whenever my cock is inside you. You may not wish to hear this, but that command is simply an encouragement to your body's natural responses - when you were on top last night, I was actually using a command to hold you back from orgasm until I released you. And of course the final rule you are currently bound to is the one to be calm. Aside from that, I haven't tampered with you too much, though I have raised your arousal level a few times while I was enjoying your body, to make it more satisfying for me."
"What about when you had me locked in the cage for the afternoon? You definitely didn't have your dick inside me then."
"Ah, yes. The command to not orgasm was in place then, and I commanded you to remember an orgasm from the previous night whenever you thought about me. I thought it would be amusing, though the effect was greater than I had expected. Oh, and it is up to you whether or not you believe me, but your response when Ho Tien attended you in the cage during that time was your own. It may have been keyed by your heightened arousal and frustration, but I never commanded you to be aroused by being watched or humiliated."
"I'm not sure if I believe you about that or not. It seems odd that you would be so open about everything else you've done to me and lie about that, but you're also clearly devious and you've demonstrated you're only interested in what's best for you, not me."
"I don't deny that. I wouldn't have enslaved you if I was interested in your well-being. You can take comfort in the fact that I wish you to be in good health, mentally and physically, to ensure that you are a useful tool in my hand." Tam gave her what he hoped was a reassuring smile.
"Do you have any idea how disturbing this is? You're so nonchalant, talking about altering my mind in all these different ways. I'm the one who's under a magical compulsion to be calm, but you're just clinical about this. Do you even feel emotions beyond anger and lust? Any normal person would be overcome with guilt at what you've done to me."
Tam shrugged. "I've never bothered myself with guilt. I act in my own best interest. Everyone else should do so as well; it doesn't benefit me to look out for others. As far as emotions go, I do feel them; I've noticed that others seem to either feel them more strongly, or be more easily swayed by their emotions, but I can only control minds, not read them, so I can't say how valid that impression is."
"I'll take your word for it. What are you going to do to me now that I'm just your helpless doll? Well, now that I know it; I suppose I've been your puppet since you completed your spell even if I thought I was just your captive." Yelena seemed to have something more to add, but she held back and waited for him to answer.
"My primary plan is to use you as a test subject. As I said, you're the first person to live more than a few hours after I took control. Even better, you're also legally my property; no one will interfere with me doing whatever I want with you, as long as I'm discreet. As I said, the only practical limits I'm aware of are your physical limitations and my imagination, but all of that is untested theory. What happens if I command you to physical exertion until you pass out? What are your actual physical limitations, not the ones you self-impose because you get tired and your muscles burn? What happens if I give you two contradicting commands? How do you respond to complex commands? There are a million aspects of this that are only theory and if I am going to use this spell to gain influence and power in the wider world, I need to know how to wield it like a scalpel, not a cudgel."
Yelena's face paled as Tam warmed to the subject. He paused for a moment. "I suppose you weren't asking about the theory that much. I apologize, I've been dreaming about this opportunity for years. I suppose you're more interested in how this will affect you."
"Yes. I'm worried about being in pain, and I'm worried about being fucked and degraded and starved, all the things you've done to me already and how much worse it will get. But mostly I find myself terrified about losing my identity, my mind, whatever makes me, well, me."
Yelena took a moment to pick her next words. "Being Yelena Alexovna, helpless victim, is terrifying. But not being Yelena Alexovna anymore, whatever that means, is the worst thing I can imagine right now and it sounds like that's my future. Last week I would have thought that being enslaved and raped was the worst thing possible, but confronted with loss of myself, it seems trivial in comparison."
"I suspect you only say that because you've never experienced real physical suffering. Have you ever watched someone undergo real, prolonged torture? After a certain level of pain, a human mind breaks down. Nothing matters except making the pain stop."
"Please don't torture me." Yelena's eyes were wide, her muscles tensing. The magical command to be calm was still holding, but it was being tested.
"I apologize, Yelena. I'm discussing this as an intellectual curiosity; I should have remembered that this is a very real concern for you. Don't worry; I have no plans to torture you. Let me go ahead and finish answering your question about my plans." Tam shifted position in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees as he leaned forward, fingers steepled.
"Let's talk about the physical first, as that's easier. I have no intention of doing anything that will cause you permanent physical damage. Some of the tests I conduct will leave you in pain, but inflicting permanent damage reduces my options. Think of your body as a tool at my disposal; breaking the tool does me no good. As far as sex and humiliation goes, everyone outside this room thinks you are my pleasure slave. It suits my interests to maintain that illusion, both as a disguise and for my own personal pleasure. The exact details need to be worked out, but your daily life will mostly consist of the same duties as any other bed slave. You'll fuck me, bathe me, dress me, serve my meals, and help out around the house just like any other slave in your position."
"Now for the mental aspects, the part you say you are most frightened of. I will make changes to your mind, because the mental aspects are key to many of the experiments I want to perform. However, most of those changes will be temporary; I'll try something out, then remove it and make you tell me what it was like. You have a useful intelligence and insight, and you know your own mind better than anyone else. I'll value that perspective as I experiment. I'm sure I'll make some permanent changes in your personality if they seem useful, but I'll be careful to keep them minimized. I've seen patients where the human mind has broken; many times it's impossible to cure. I will do everything I can to make sure you do not become one of those cases."
Yelena studied him carefully as he spoke. She opened her mouth when he finished, then paused, carefully considering her words before she finally spoke. "May I have a minute to silently consider what you've said?"
"Of course. Take whatever time you need, I'm sure this is a lot to process."
"Thank you." Yelena closed her eyes, her brow creased in thought. Tam watched her patiently. After a few minutes she opened her eyes and spoke again.
"So, this is what you meant by realizing the reality of my slavery. Thank you very much for the order to be calm, I don't think I could have handled this without it. But I'd like you to release me from the command please."
"Are you going to lose control of yourself if I do? I assume this has been a very traumatic conversation for you. Do not underestimate the buffer the command is providing."
"I don't know. I think I have the motivation to control myself right now, but you're right, I don't know how much the command is helping. Maybe give me a minute or two to try and collect myself when the emotions come back, and if I can't handle it you can just command me again?"
"Very well. If you become violent or abusive, you will lose the grace period."
After Yelena nodded in confirmation, Tam erased the command. She let out a gasp and instinctively huddled into herself. Tears sprang from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks and she let out a low moan. Tam waited and watched. Yelena huddled on the couch crying for a minute, but then she began to visibly master herself. Her shoulders straightened with an effort, and she choked back her sobs slowly. Faster than he would have thought possible, she straightened up, wiping her tears away with her sleeve. When she looked at him, her eyes were red in her bruised face, but her gaze was clear.
"I have something I need to do."
Tam raised an eyebrow at her.
Yelena pulled her feet out from under her and rearranged herself so that she was kneeling on the couch, her head lowered and hands on her knees. "Master, your slave would like to beg you for a favor. In order to do so properly, she has two requests she must make first. May she make them?"
Tam was puzzled, but curious. "She may."
"Your slave requests that she be given permission to leave the couch. She does not know if making herself comfortable on the couch was a 'rule' or just an ordinary non-magical instruction, but she does not wish to displease her master by testing."