Alice’s emotions were trapped in a never-ending vortex. She couldn’t comprehend what was going on around her, part of her didn’t want to comprehend it. She wanted to bury her head in the sand and pretend Gralla was the noble prince she had thought she was.
But Alice knew she couldn’t do that. If Gralla was doing something underhanded, she couldn’t date her in good faith, especially when those actions were directly harming Kim.
Alice kept her phone by her side at all times, waiting for the call to come. Gralla sent a couple of texts that Alice ignored, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to keep a civil tongue in her mouth. She put Gralla’s jacket out of sight, not even able to stand the sight of it.
Suddenly an idea hit her. That strange woman had been right, so maybe she knew more about the situation? Maybe she knew information that could help Alice take down Gralla and free Kim.
Alice started to search the net, hoping that she could find some way to track the woman down. Unfortunately, she didn’t have much to go on. It seemed that the press hadn’t picked the story up, in fact, none of the stories covering the convention even mentioned the event.
Alice sighed as she continued to type. There must be a way to track that woman down.
Anastasia chuckled to herself as the printer started to whirr. She was going to show the world exactly what was under their noses.
Sheet after sheet of paper started to come out of the printer as Anastasia giggled to herself. She quickly suppressed her giggle as she realized that she shouldn’t be drawing attention to herself in a public library.
Once the printer finished spitting out pages Anastasia grabbed them all and shoved them into her bag, her smile not fading for a second.
Anastasia then wandered out of the library, making her way back to her apartment, keen to get some rest.
“I think the best thing about Blissoplis is its weird little corners,” typed Laura. “If you want to find the weirdest machines from arcade history, then you’re sure to find them here.”
Her eyes were totally glazed as her hands tapped away at the keyboard in front of her. The room was a mass of different conversations but Laura couldn’t hear them, she was too focused on her task.
She blinked as she hit the return key a few times before starting to type again. “I think the best thing about Blissoplis is its weird little corners, if you want to find the best things from the arcade’s golden age or things that are so obscure that even the dark age forgot about them, then Blissoplis is the place to find them.”
In Laura’s head, she wasn’t in the basement of the arcade, she was a little pixel newscaster, talking to the camera as she bounced up and down, her voice nothing more than a little beep.
She waded through streets, smashing away evil little goblins with her fists. Every smash caused her score to go up, and the higher her score was, the better she felt.
After beating off a wave of goblins she grabbed a flashing pick-up off the floor. The pick-up instantly turned into words which Laura started to read to the camera.
Laura’s body typed quickly. “I think the best thing about Blissoplis is its weird little corners, you never know what gold you are going to find hidden in plain sight.”
“Interesting, interesting,” smiled Gralla, looking over Laura’s shoulders. “So many interesting ideas, I think this will be a wonderful script,” she said before wandering over to a computer at the side of the room.
She tapped in a password and pulled up a diagnostics screen, her eyes dancing over the statistics. “Wonderful, we’re getting through plenty of calls this month, at this rate I’ll have to put our price up.”
Alice let out a little sigh as she picked up her coffee. It was getting harder and harder to put on a happy face, to hide the sickening anxiety that filled her body.
She sipped the coffee as she walked towards her office. Doing her best to push her thoughts down so she could get something productive done. As she turned the corner she saw that there were posters everywhere.
As Alice walked closer she realized that there was only one poster repeated hundreds of times, stuck on every object that someone could feasibly stick a poster on.
“Warning!” Declared the posters in big bold type. “Blissoplis and “Gralla” are nothing more than fronts to steal your information and mind for the government! Resist and fight back! Save our city!”
Alice shook her head a little bit. This all seemed so crazy on the surface, yet if Kim was right then this was all true. Alice looked at some of the other people reading the posters, most were laughing, though one or two of them were taking photos, talking about it being viral marketing for some upcoming movie.
Alice wandered down the street, looking for a break in the crowd. As she walked she found a poster stuck to a wall near a dumpster. Alice took a chance and quickly pulled the poster down, folding it up and shoving it into her pocket in one smooth movement.
Pixel Laura continued to smash through the goblins, her personal theme tune bumping away as she went. As she continued to fight her way through, she acquired more and more paragraphs that she pushed together. She wasn’t sure why she had to combine these paragraphs, but if that was what she needed to do to progress, she would do it.
In the real world, her hands continued to type the words that came together whenever pixel Laura picked up an item, doing their best to keep with the thoughts as they flowed through Laura’s mind. “And remember if you liked this video, check back for the next part and come to visit Blissoplis yourself, it is a trip you will never forget,” typed Laura, drool trickling down her chin.
Alice paused the TV show. She had zoned out and missed half the plot and at this point, she couldn’t pull together the energy to bother to rewind it and try and start again. She sighed as she slumped backward and gazed up at the ceiling, doing her best to get her thoughts under control.
Suddenly her phone buzzed. Alice dived forward and fumbled to unlock her phone, only for her stomach to drop the second she saw the message.
“I need to meet Gralla,” said the message. Alice sighed as she read it over a couple of times. It was time. She didn’t want to do it, but she didn’t have a choice if she wanted to look at her reflection and not hate herself.
Alice grabbed her coat and her bag and started to walk towards Blissoplis, her anxiety making her body feel like it was full of shards of glass.
As she approached the building she took a deep breath. It was now or never. She pushed the door gently, only to find that it was unlocked.
Alice wandered through the lobby, the silence making her feel very uneasy. As she went to tap her pass on the card reader the door opened.
Alice walked into the arcade and found that it was totally dark. Every single light and every single machine was turned off. Alice could hear her heart pounding in her chest.
Suddenly a spotlight turned on, illuminating the balcony. Alice jumped from the shock, quickly looking around to see what was going on.
“Hello Alice,” Said Gralla’s voice, echoing around the empty arcade. Alice looked up at the balcony and saw Gralla standing there, a smirk on her face.
“Gralla, we need to talk,” said Alice, fishing within herself to pull up all of her courage.
“About Kim?” Smirked Gralla.
“Yes, how did you know?” Replied Alice, taking another deep breath.
“She told me you played with my noise box,” nodded Gralla. “I’m surprised it took you this long to turn up.”
“Gralla, whats going on?” Asked Alice softly.
“I’m doing what I need to do to survive,” replied Gralla, leaning on the balcony railing.
“So it’s true? You hypnotized her?”
“I did, yes,” nodded Gralla.
“So what, was that woman right?” Stuttered Alice, confused about how Gralla could be so calm about this conversation.
“Partially,” nodded Gralla. “Not right about everything, but all fiction has some truth buried in it.”
“Gralla, cut it out, I want a straight answer,” shouted Alice, her nerves getting the better of her. “What is going on?”
“Alice,” smiled Gralla. “I’ve been running a small company out of the arcade, I have to get my money somehow.”
“And that company involves hypnotizing people?” Blinked Alice, slightly confused about how weird this conversation was becoming.
“Of course, hypnotized people work harder and more effectively and they don’t complain,” smirked Gralla.
“That is so immoral!” Shouted Alice. “You can’t do that to people! How can you be so heartless!”
“I’m doing what I need to do to survive.”
“That is rubbish!” Shouted Alice. “How can you say something like that?”
“Alice sweetie,” sighed Gralla. “We’re living in a dystopia, I’m just the one being honest about it.”
“Gralla, that makes no sense! Why are you doing this? Why are you making people do this?”
“Alice, Alice,” smiled Gralla. “Why else would I run a business? Money. Then I can spend that money on pretty girls.”
Alice shuddered slightly as Gralla looked at her, the implication that she was one of the “pretty girls” made her feel dirty. “All of this for money Gralla? Really? You’re brainwashing people for money?”
“That is the issue with movies Alice. They told us that dystopias would be fun and exciting. That we would be running from robots or fighting aliens. It made everyone complacent, not able to see the evil right in front of them! No one is going to try and stop me unless I stick a death ray on the roof!”
Alice stood with her mouth hanging open. She couldn’t believe that Gralla was like this. How could she have fallen in love with someone so horrible? And how could Gralla be so blase about all of this?
“So,” started Alice. Her voice wavering a little bit. “That woman was right, you are horrible. What am I? Just a puppet you can play around with? To laugh at? Is that why you took me on a date? Just so you could laugh at me. Are you in my head as well?” Continued Alice, her voice rising into a scream.
Gralla took a few steps back, her expression wavering for a few seconds. “No, I couldn’t bring myself to hypnotize you.” She said before taking a deep breath. “I’m going to make you an offer I don’t make lightly, join me, Alice. We can do amazing things together, it can be me and you against the world!”
“Never!” Screamed Alice. “If you think I am as bitter as you then you obviously didn’t pay attention to a word I said!”
“No,” Interrupted Alice. “The Gralla I fell in love with, she might have been hurt in the past, she may have wanted to change everything about herself, she may have run away from being Myra or whoever she was. But she pushed forward and embraced a future, she didn’t become bitter and jaded, pushing herself into perpetual war with the world. And I’m not going to go the same way you have.”
“Please consider this decision, I can’t keep you safe if you are not with me.” Replied Gralla, her firm expression fading, revealing how worked up she was getting.
“I’ve considered.” Said Alice, her bottom lip wobbling. “I’ve considered that I was a fool for falling for pretty words and not seeing what you truly were. But I’m not going to stop until everyone knows what you are doing and Kim is back to normal.”
“You won’t be able to.” Said Gralla with a soft smirk.
“You think people are just going to let you do this once they know?”
“I’ve been running a disruptor,” grinned Gralla. “Anastasia has been screaming about the sky falling down for weeks now. Telling everyone about an alien invasion that only exists in her head. With a little bit of help from me and some choice graffiti, anyone who speaks up against me will be grouped together with her. And no one will believe a word they say.”
“You are behind that woman?” Gasped Alice, her eyes going wide. “She assaulted Kim!”
“I didn’t intend for that to happen,” said Gralla softly. “You changed my plan when you confronted her near the dumpster, I didn’t intend for you to get caught in her delusion.”
“What did you intend for Gralla?” Asked Alice, glaring at Gralla. Gralla remained silent for a few minutes, obviously considering her response.
“I intended for you to not get caught up in this, I wanted to keep you safe.”
“You did a terrible job of that!” Laughed Alice between sobs.
“I was hoping that we could be together, I’ve felt it since we first met,” started Gralla, only for Alice to interrupt once more.
“The second you harmed Kim, you made this my business, you got me involved. And playing me like a fool has not helped your case.”
“Shut up.” Said Alice firmly. “I’m going to stop you and there isn’t a thing you can do to stop me.” She continued as she turned around and stormed out of the arcade.
As Alice’s footsteps faded into a distant echo, Gralla let out a loud sigh, slumping forward and resting her head onto the cold metal railing.“I’ve really messed this up,” she mumbled.
She spent a while resting her head on the cool metal, hoping that Alice would come back. After a long painful silence, Gralla sighed and stood up. “Kim, come here.”
Kim slowly moved out of the shadows, her face totally devoid of emotion as she stared through Gralla. “Yes, Gralla.”
“Kim, what is Alice’s next move?”
“I don’t know,” said Kim instantly.
“What do you mean you don’t know?!” Shouted Gralla, her confused emotions becoming nothing but pure rage.
“I’ve never seen her like this,” replied Kim, oblivious to the anger in Gralla’s eyes.
“Well, you are going to help me fix it!” Screamed Gralla. “I need a way to win Alice back over and I need it now!”
Alice locked her apartment door before falling on to the bed, her fear, confusion, and anger washing over her body in long waves. She ground her palm into her forehead.
“So stupid, so so dumb,” shouted Alice. “How could you be so dumb to fall for a monster,” she said as the conversation with Gralla looped over and over in her head.
Suddenly a lightbulb went off in Alice’s head. Gralla has said that Anastasia had been the one spreading the conspiracy theories. Alice hadn’t known her name up until now.
Alice quickly ran to her computer and started to search. The city must be full of people called Anastasia but she might be able to at least make a shortlist.
Alice started to experiment with search terms, furiously scribbling notes every time she came across a new Anastasia. After a few hours of searching, she stumbled upon an article from the local paper. “City Hall team unveil new cycle path initiative,” it declared in bold type.
The article itself was mostly boring, the usual fluff the city put out in attempt to make itself look busy and productive. However, it featured a picture of a load of City Hall reps trying to look relatable in front of a bike. The caption listed them all by name, including an Anastasia Phillips.
Alice instantly recognized the woman’s face. It was the woman who had confronted Kim at the convention, it was the woman who had shouted at her at the back of the arcade. This was the Anastasia that Gralla was using to undermine all arguments against her.
Alice continued to furiously search online, wondering if she could find any more information on this woman. After a little bit of searching, Alice was able to pull up an address for the woman, it wasn’t that far away from where she lived. Alice considered her options for a little while, but very quickly she realized the only way she could bring Gralla down was to meet with this woman.
Anastasia heard a knock on her door and froze. She quickly ducked down and started to creep into her kitchen, grabbing the bat she had been keeping there.
She slowly crept over to the door and looked through the peephole, only for her stomach to drop. The second alien was outside, the day had finally come where they were going to make their move.
She gripped the bat tightly as she swung the door open. “What are you doing here?” She growled as she pulled the bat backward.
Alice yelped as she saw the bat, quickly diving back against the opposite wall. “Don’t hit me, don’t hit me!” She begged as Anastasia glared at her.
“I’m not with her, I’m not with her,” said Alice, speaking quickly and tripping over her words as she did, desperate to get as much out as she could before Anastasia smashed her into powder.
“Then why are you here alien scum?” Growled Anastasia, not lowering the bat.
“I’m not an alien,” begged Alice. “I know Gralla is evil, I know she is brainwashing people! I want to help you take her down! She has my friend!”
“Why should I believe you,” replied Anastasia, her expression wavering for a moment. “How do I know you are not part of a trap”.
“Because,” said Alice, taking a breath. “If I was with her and this was a trap, why would I be cowering right now? Or come to your front door, rather than sneak in somehow?” Asked Alice, her mind racing as she tried to think of good arguments.
“You make a point,” grunted Anastasia.
“I’ll do anything to prove to you I’m human. You can keep me tied up, I just want to talk,” nodded Alice. “Talk and retain my kneecaps.”
Anastasia took a few steps forward and pressed the end of the bat into Alice’s throat. Alice started to shake and pant, her anxiety reaching a critical point.
“I’ll allow it, but you make one wrong move and I will cave your skull in,” said Anastasia firmly.
“Okay, okay,” nodded Alice. Anastasia moved behind her and pushed the bat into her back. Alice didn’t need to be told and quickly started to walk into the apartment, putting her hands up as she did.
Anastasia guided her to a chair and grabbed some rope out of a drawer before starting to bind Alice with it, keeping the bat in her one hand at all times. Alice used this time to look around Anastasia’s house. The place was a mess, there were books and articles about aliens and mind control scattered everywhere.
Once she had tied Alice in, Anastasia went and put the kettle on. At first, Alice was quite relieved, a cup of tea would be the perfect thing to soothe her rather frayed nerves.
However, these hopes were quickly shattered as Anastasia started to open various drawers and search through them, only to pull out a sewing kit. She opened it up and pulled out a long sewing needle and held it over the steam of the boiling kettle for a few minutes.
“Anastasia, what are you doing?” Asked Alice, her eyes going wide.
“Checking your blood,” said Anastasia, walking over to Alice and pricking her finger with the needle. Alice flinched and squeaked as the needle pricked her, a drop of blood forming on her finger.
Anastasia took the bloody needle and went back to the kitchen. Pulling out a small strip and dabbing the bloody needle onto it, before inserting the strip into a little machine.
Alice started to pant again, the pain from the needle making her very much aware of how badly this meeting could go if she wasn’t very careful with her actions and her words. After a few minutes, a beep from the machine pulled Alice back from her thoughts.
“Human,” nodded Anastasia as she grabbed a sticking plaster and walked over to Alice. “I’ll stop the bleeding if I get to pat you down.”
“Deal!” Nodded Alice furiously. Anastasia quickly got to work inspecting Alice’s clothes and emptying her pockets. Once Anastasia was sure that Alice had nothing on her but loose change and car keys she gently pressed the plaster onto Alice’s bleeding finger.
Once it was done Anastasia grabbed a chair and sat opposite Alice. “So, what did you want to talk about?”
Alice took a deep breath as she gradually calmed down, Anastasia seemed a lot less violent now and obviously believed that Alice wasn’t a direct threat.
“I want to talk about Gralla, you called her Myra. Why?”
“A whistleblower from inside her organization smuggled out some information before the alien crushed her free will, that information led me to her old school and her old business.” Explained Anastasia.
“Was the whistleblower the girl you confronted at Megacon? Kim?”
“It was, yes. I presume she is your friend, you seemed very protective of her.”
“She is,” nodded Alice. “And she is why I need to stop Gralla.”
“She did good work getting the information out, especially the blood,” nodded Anastasia.
“Blood?” Blinked Alice.
“Two vials of the alien’s blood, I had one tested and it is reptilian in nature.” Nodded Anastasia.
“When did you get the blood?”
“The whistle. I mean Kim. Smuggled it out to me at Megacon,” replied Anastasia.
“It’s fake. She doesn’t have blood like a lizard. It is actually lizard blood.” Replied Alice with a sigh. “Kim was already under her sway long before Megacon.”
“I saw a cut on her skin, she had lizard scales underneath it,” said Anastasia.
“Prosthetics. She is very good with them, she made the costume I was wearing at Megacon.”
“How can you be sure?”
“I’ve seen,” started Alice, only to stop as she tried to figure out how to phrase her statement. After a few seconds, she sighed and just blurted it all out. “I’ve seen all of her body, all of her parts are very much real and very much human.”
“Oh,” replied Anastasia, opening her mouth to respond, but quickly closing it.
“Anastasia,” said Alice softly. “I think she might be in your head.” Anastacia’s face dropped as the statement hit her.
“She is?” Blinked Anastasia.
“I mean, this doesn’t add up,” said Alice gently, doing her best to sound sympathetic and avoid angering Anastasia. “You seem logical, so it doesn’t seem like you to jump right to aliens. All of these books and articles are very new, had you ever considered the possibility of alien creatures on Earth before you met Gralla?”
Anastasia sat quietly for a few moments before shaking her head. “I hadn’t, you’re right.”
“And what evidence do you have for being an alien, aside from the stuff Kim gave you?” Asked Alice.
“Just the skin, I saw it and instantly jumped to an alien,” murmured Anastasia, putting her head into her hands. “She got to me. She’s in my brain,” she said as she pulled on her hair.
“Relax,” said Alice. She wanted to hug Anastasia, she knew how much of a shock it was to have your world turned upside down like this, however she didn’t want to pull out of the bonds, lest she scared the girl any further.
“Anastasia,” said Alice softly. “I need you to run me through when you met Gralla. Moment by moment, maybe we can work out what happened?”
“Yes,” nodded Anastasia. taking a deep breath as she thought back to the day. “So, we talked about the illegal posters for a while, then we went to set up a game. Frantic Panic she called it? And next thing I know I was in her office.”
Alice nodded and pondered for a few seconds. Suddenly a few pieces of the puzzle clicked together. “The machines!” She blurted.
“Is that what she is using?” Asked Anastasia.
“No no,” said Alice shaking her head. “Frantic Panic is a real game, I’ve heard of it. If it was the machines themselves then why isn’t everyone who turns up under her control?”
“How do we know they are not?” Asked Anastasia.
“Well,” started Alice only to gasp. “Because she didn’t hypnotize me.”
“How do you know that for sure?” Asked Anastasia, “if she had me running around without realizing it, surely she could have done it to you as well.”
“When I confronted her, she said she couldn’t bring herself to do it, it was the one time during that conversation she seemed to falter,” explained Alice. “But when we were at her apartment, she played a game with me and I passed out during it.”
“So she tried to hypnotize you,” nodded Anastasia.
“Right,” grimaced Alice, still not very comfortable with the revelation. “But why would she keep an inherently hypnotic game at her house? And she was good at the game, really good, to the point she must have played it a lot.”
“Right, right,” nodded Anastasia.
“I also didn’t get brainwashed either time I played Queen of Fighters against her. She was fantastic at those games and professed to love them, so it can’t be all the machines.”
“So you think she just uses the machines to distract people while she hypnotizes them?” Asked Anastasia, tapping a finger against her chin.
“Exactly,” said Alice before gasping again. “Which means she hypnotized Laura.”
“She is a writer for a retro games website, she came to Megacon. Gralla had her play a rare game. But she seemed really out of it most of the day.” Said Alice, racking her memories of the day. “And Gralla vanished to check stuff!”
“Yes, she went to check on the power a few times, but one time took way longer. In fact, she came out of the room with Laura!” Shouted Alice, almost tipping the chair over as she did.
Anastasia looked at Alice for a few moments. “You’re going to fall over if you keep jerking around like that,” she said gently, making it unclear if she was talking to Alice or talking to herself.
“Yeah, sorry,” replied Alice, still keen to not annoy her captor.
“I’ll untie you, but one wrong move and I will use the bat, okay?” Said Anastasia firmly. Alice nodded, very aware of who holds the power in situations like these.
Anastasia wandered over to Alice and gently undid the bonds, letting Alice move freely for the first time in nearly an hour. Alice slid down in the chair a little, stretching out each limb in turn as Anastasia returned to her chair, her right arm resting on the bat.
“The machines just being a tool would explain Laura,” murmured Alice as she continued to stretch.
“How so?” Replied Anastasia.
“Laura talked about doing a show with Gralla,” said Alice.
“She is going to try and hypnotize the world via video!” Shouted Anastasia.
“No, no,” Replied Alice, shaking her head. “She told me she does all of this for the money, the whole point of having you act the fool is so she can keep her head down.”
“So why make the show?”
“To get more people into the arcade, more people visiting means there are more people she can control,” said Alice before sighing. “I need to find out what her company is.”
“She has a company?” Asked Anastasia, getting up and wandering to a cupboard before returning with a large cardboard box.
“She said she ran a business out of the arcade, it is where she got her money from,” nodded Alice.
“Right, I found some information on an old company she used to run.” Smiled Anastasia, pulling out the documents about Universe Video and passing them to Alice.
“Universe Video, that makes a lot of sense. Every personal space she has is covered in movie posters,” nodded Alice.
“Her psychology degree also explains why she is so skilled at hypnotizing people,” continued Anastasia. “To the point, she had a few arguments with her professors.”
“How do you know this?” Asked Alice, narrowing her eyes.
“I did some searching, paid her old school a visit and went inside the video rental store.” Grinned Anastasia as she produced more letters and forms.
“How do we know she didn’t fake these as well?” Asked Alice, “she seems good at making things up.”
“If she had a school under her sway, then she wouldn’t be in the situation she is in now.” Argued Anastasia. “And the dates, the people, even the letterheads are all legit.”
“All fiction has some truth buried in it,” said Alice softly.
“A quote?” Asked Anastasia with confusion.
“From Gralla herself actually.” Grinned Alice. “All of this stuff has to be partially true, her whole cover is based on someone obsessing over her and misunderstanding her character. She made you act like the arcade’s theme was real, so if anyone ever called her on it, it would be easier to brush it off.”
“Because if I came up with an accusation out of nowhere, then people would question how I arrived at it,” blinked Anastasia, getting up and going to her computer.
“What are you doing?” Asked Alice.
“There was PMC mentioned in the one letter, I never thought to look into it, I was so keen to get the word out I never verified its existence.” Said Anastasia, furiously tapping away on her keyboard.
After a few minutes of typing, Anastasia shook her head. “White Circle PMC, formed in the early nineties, they have quite the rap sheet.”
“What do you mean?” Asked Alice softly.
“Worst of the worst, if something is evil they have their finger in it. Drug running, kidnapping, war for profit. They are not good people.” Replied Anastasia.
“Anastasia,” said Alice, an idea forming in her head. “Do you still have access to the city hall’s form database? I have an idea.”
Alice marched into Blissoplis. “I want to see Gralla.” She said to the woman at the front desk. The woman closed the wall for a few moments before opening it up again.
“Please go meet her in her office,” said the woman.
Alice walked through the arcade and up the stairs, each step made with a firm purpose. As she pushed into the office she saw Gralla sat at her desk.
“Alice, what do I owe the honor,” smiled Gralla.
“I’ve changed my mind.” Said Alice firmly. “I’m with you.”
Gralla blinked, doubt, confusion, and excitement forming on her face all at once. “Why the change? You seemed pretty certain when you left last time.”
“Becuase you are right. The world sucks, and I’ve got to put myself first.” Said Alice with a low growl.
“What happened?” Asked Gralla, standing up from her desk and wandering over to Alice.
“This!” Shouted Alice, pulling some paper with her bag and throwing it at Gralla. “I’m getting evicted because my landlord wants to flip my apartment! And I’m never going to find anything I can afford in this damn city!” Ranted Alice, obviously getting extremely worked up about it all.
Gralla opened up the crumpled paper and looked over it. Alice wasn’t lying, it was an official document giving her a month to leave her apartment. “I’m sorry, that’s terrible,” started Gralla, only to be cut off by Alice’s continued ranting.
“And I ask my boss for raise, but no, apparently there is no money for it, he can afford a new car, but apparently the company isn’t doing great, I keep that place afloat!” Screamed Alice.
Gralla grabbed Alice and hugged her tight. Alice broke down, starting to cry on Gralla’s shoulder. “It’s okay,” whispered Gralla, rubbing Alice’s hair as she did. “It is going to be okay, I’ll keep you safe.”
“You will?” Asked Alice between sobs.
“I promise.” Nodded Gralla.
“We need to look out for each other,” whispered Alice.
“Yes we do, we need to keep ourselves safe.” Added Gralla.
Alice and Gralla stood in the embrace for several minutes, Alice’s tears fading into sniffling as she slowly pulled herself together.
Alice pulled her head off Gralla’s shoulder and looked her right in the eyes. “I’m sorry I was so pig-headed, I hope you’ll forgive me. I’ve missed you a lot.”
“I’ve missed you too,” smiled Gralla. “You don’t need to ask, I understand I should have explained this to you earlier, letting you stumble on it all was silly of me,” she nodded.
“It’s me and you against the world, right?” Asked Alice softly, her bottom lip starting to wobble once more.
“And we are going to win, no one can stop us,” smiled Gralla, rubbing Alice’s cheek softly and leaning in to kiss her.
Gralla gently guided Alice to the couch and held her tight, rubbing her back softly as she cooed, a wide smile forming on her face as she continued to caress Alice.
After a short while, Gralla looked down at Alice. “So, do you want to see my little secret?” She said gently.
“You trust me enough?” Asked Alice, her voice wavering a little.
“I trust you with the world,” nodded Gralla. “I’ve hidden too much from you, it was unfair to expect you to love me if I wasn’t honest,” smiled Gralla.
“Okay,” nodded Alice. Gralla gently helped Alice get up before guiding her into the service elevator, inserting her key into the slot as she did.
“Another floor?” Asked Alice, leaning against Gralla as the elevator started to descend.
“The nerve center of my operation is totally out of sight,” smiled Gralla. She opened the doors and wandered out into the room.
Alice’s eyes went wide as she was hit by the sights and sounds of the place. It was gigantic and full of girls. Each one was staring at a computer, working diligently away.
“This is amazing,” gasped Alice. “So it’s a call center?”
“Well spotted!” Nodded Gralla, “we take all sorts of calls, but mostly tech support stuff at the moment.”
“How did you get all these girls?” Asked Alice, waving her hand in front of one of them.
“Mostly catch them when they are playing games. It is why I started the walk around thing. I also designed the place to have plenty of blind corners, so I can easily get people one on one,” smiled Gralla.
Alice wandered over to Laura and smiled to herself. “You’ve got Laura as well! She did need taking down a peg or two.” Said Alice, gently running her fingers through Larua’s hair.
“Well she was pretty key to my plan,” nodded Gralla.
“What is she doing?” Asked Alice as she looked at Laura’s screen. “Seems to be re-writing the same stuff over and over.”
“Oh that,” giggled Gralla. “I’m going to use her for promotional reasons, the more people I can get the visit, the more potential workers I have. Right now she is typing scripts over and over, refining them each time. Think of it like a neural network.”
“You are so clever,” grinned Alice, watching as Gralla blushed a little.
“I’m just me,” chuckled Gralla. “But obviously it took a while to control these many people. Can’t be too obvious else people would get suspicious.”
“Right, right,” nodded Alice. “How did you learn to do all this? Or is it a superpower?”
“I wish I had superpowers,” giggled Gralla, waving Alice over to the diagnostics screen. “I studied psychology for years, ended up working on some pretty neat projects on how to induce trances via mechanical methods.” She said before stopping herself.
“What? Something you don’t want to talk about?” Asked Alice.
“Just, a tender spot.” Sighed Gralla.
“Tell me,” smiled Alice moving closer. “Don’t hide from me.”
“Right,” nodded Gralla. “Well,” she said as she took a deep breath. “My school didn’t support my research. So I went solo, working on it in my own time. A military organization offered to fund me if I gave them some of my research. But well, they screwed me, they stole most of my papers, shut down my old business and then gave me a fraction of what I was owed, all while blacklisting me from everywhere they could.”
“I’m so sorry,” replied Alice, staring at Gralla with wide eyes.
“And they left the threat of coming back,” sighed Gralla gently. “So I blocked people out, if I treated people as objects then I never had to worry about getting hurt. Then you came along and I just had no idea how to act.”
“That really sucks,” said Alice gently, wrapping her arms around Gralla. “That really really sucks.”
“Yeah,” said Gralla before she pulled Alice closer. “Actually, no, it doesn’t suck.” She said, a small smile forming on her face. “The money became Blissoplis. And Blissoplis brought me to you. Jokes on them, I filled the research full of intentional errors anyway.”
“That is a really positive way of looking at it,” smiled Alice.
“I can’t take the credit for it,” grinned Gralla. “I’ve been bouncing off Kim a lot.”
“Kim is very helpful, she has helped me through a lot,” nodded Alice.
“She helped me realize you were right, I got lost in my own hype and swallowed up in my own bitterness. I let the past rule my present.” Explained Gralla softly, rubbing Alice’s back as she did. “I’m not a bad person, I just got so used to lashing out, that it became my reflex.”
Alice reached up and kissed Gralla on the lips. “You being truthful means a lot to me.”
“Thank you,” nodded Gralla. “I was honest the other day, I never meant for you to get mixed up in all of this, I really didn’t. Everything started to go wrong and I thought the only way to protect you was to take control of you.”
“I understand,” replied Alice. “Why don’t we go play some games? Cool off after all the heavy emotions?”
“Sure,” grinned Gralla, guiding Alice into the elevator and up to her workshop. “What do you want to play?”
“How about a driving game?” Asked Alice, looking around the room. “I would love to cruise around the world with a pretty girl at my side.”
“Accelerate USA?” Responded Gralla, pointing to a machine on the far side of the room. Alice looked at the machine and smirked to herself, it has two bucket seats in front of two very realistic looking steering wheels.
“Perfect!” Giggled Alice, skipping over to the machine and taking off her bag, putting it just behind the seats, her smile fading for a moment before she forced it back onto her face.
Gralla walked over and pressed the button on the machine before sitting down in the other seat, watching as the scene shifted to a road in the middle of the desert.
“Three, two, one! Go!” Shouted a voice from the machine as both girls slammed the accelerator down, starting to weave their cars through the virtual traffic.
The girls played for a few minutes before Gralla broke the silence. “Would you like to go on a road trip, Alice?” Said, Gralla, as she did a powerslide around a corner.
“It would be pretty fun, drive to the ocean, see the water stretching to the horizon,” Smiled Alice, doing her best to catch up.
“We could do it.” Nodded Gralla as she continued to focus on the game.
“You have the arcade to look after,” said Alice, gasping a little bit as she overtook Gralla.
“Actually, I was thinking of packing it in,” said Gralla softly. “Making it legit.”
“Why?” Asked Alice.
“Because I can’t exactly settle down with someone if I am constantly looking over my shoulder to maintain my cover.” Replied Gralla, quickly moving the wheel back and forth. “I need to move on from my bitterness at the world.”
“Right,” nodded Alice, tears pricking at her eyes. “I’m sorry Gralla.”
“Sorry?” Asked Gralla, confusion in her voice. In one flowing movement, Alice dove out of the seat and into her bag, pulling out several lengths of rope and wrapping them around Gralla and the chair, binding her tightly.
Gralla wiggled in the chair, trying to work out just what was going on. “Alice what are you doing?” She said as she felt cold metal on her wrist.
“I’m sorry,” said Alice again, clicking the other cuff onto part of the seat. “I,” started Alice, only for Gralla to interrupt.
“I get it.” She said firmly. “You don’t need to apologize.”
“I just,” stuttered Alice, the realization of the situation hitting her.
“What are you planning to do?” Asked Gralla softly.
“I didn’t think this far ahead, I was going to tie you up and then make you free Kim, and then. I don’t know. I just don’t know.” Mumbled Alice.
“I’ll let her go,” nodded Gralla.
“But, I can’t just let you go. Gralla, I care about you, and what you said today I understand, but I’m not sure I can trust you. You’ve hurt so many people.”
“I know I have.” Replied Gralla. “I know it and I feel stupid for not realizing it earlier. But that doesn’t mean I can avoid punishment for my actions.”
“I can’t hurt you,” whimpered Alice. “I just can’t. Why didn’t I think of this before?”
“Emotions are a strange thing. Take your time Alice. I won’t try and escape. I owe you that at the very least.”
Alice slumped back against the wall, slowly sliding down it until she was sat on the cold concrete floor. She stared at Gralla, her mind full of conflicting thoughts and emotions. She had got so lost in this rollercoaster that she hadn’t planned out an ending.
After a long period of silence, Gralla spoke up. “Alice,” she said gently. “May I make a suggestion.”
“What?” Replied Alice, holding her head in her hands.
“If I was to give you a chance to make the rules. A chance to make sure that I wouldn’t stray down this path again, would you take it?”
“I,” stuttered Alice. “It depends on the method.”
“Go to the storage cabinet, pull the back out, it isn’t attached to anything.” Explained Gralla.
Alice nodded and walked over to the cabinet, pulling the metal sheet forward to reveal a small hidden compartment. She reached into the darkness and pulled out a small ring binder.
“What is this?” She said gently, opening it up.
“It is a variation on the Hexiblus machine’s code. It is a way to induce trance without there needing to be a third party. Use it on me.”
“What?!” Replied Alice, her eyes going wide with shock.
“I want to change, I want to be the person who makes you happy, so, I’ll let you make the rules.” Said Gralla, her tone firm and serious. “If you want me to go far away and never return, then so be it. If you want me to burn this place to the ground. I’ll do it. I just want to do right by you, even if it is only one time.”
“I,” stuttered Alice.
“Take your time. Everything is in that binder.” Replied Gralla.
Alice sat on the table and started to read the information in the binder. Most of it went right over her head, but she was able to pick up the basics.
The light patterns on the screen would force the brain into a more suggestible state. Unlike previous versions of the code it had less reliance on movement and thus the person didn’t need to play it, they just had to look at the screen.
After a period of time, the person watching would be totally open to suggestion from either the machine or another person, to the point the suggestions could override deeply held beliefs.
Alice sighed and looked at Gralla. Could she really go through with this? How could be sure it wasn’t some horrible trick? How could she be sure of anything anymore?
Alice sighed again as she pondered. However much she hated to admit it, she wanted to give Gralla a second chance. Her crush made her biased, but at the same time much worse people got a chance at atoning for their mistakes, so why not Gralla?
Alice nodded to herself and took a deep breath. She pushed off the table and walked to the Hexiblous machine and started to flip the dipswitches to the positions illustrated in the binder.
Once it was ready she walked over to Gralla. “I want you to come with me.”
“Okay,” nodded Gralla. “Tell me what to do, I’m not going to try anything.”
“Right,” said Alice, undoing the one handcuff and attaching it to her wrist. She then slowly started to remove the ropes from Gralla’s body.
Once Gralla was untied Alice led her over to the Hexiblous machine, handcuffing her to the joystick. Gralla remained true to her word, not resisting Alice.
“Test Build. Do not proceed.” Flashed the screen as Gralla looked at it. Alice reached over and hit the start button before backing off, her heart pounding in her chest.
Instantly the screen broke out into a mass of chromatic flashing colors, scanning across the screen at a furious speed.
Gralla started to take long, deep breaths, she knew exactly how this worked and was determined to do anything to help it along. The colors made her eyes tingle and her brain start to feel fuzzy, it was almost like the colors were filling her every sense. She could see them, she could hear them, she could taste them, she was trapped in a beautiful ball of color.
The screen flickered rapidly, showing lots of different images, almost like the machine was cycling through different games.
At first, it was a spaceship flying through a long trench, dashing left and right to avoid large shimmering balls, before morphing into a hexagon, flipping around, attaching itself to various little stars as moved.
Gralla gazed at the colors, her whole world starting to spin around her. Despite knowing exactly what was going to happen she still felt a sense of wonder at the images, her mind slipping further and further away from her as the colors invaded her senses more and more.
Her eyes followed the objects on the screen left and right, her eyelids growing heavier and heavier with each movement, she could feel her muscles growing limp, almost as if she was sliding out of her body and becoming one with the colors.
The image on the screen changed from the hexagon to a pixel snake dashing around to collect dots, moving from the left to the right and then back again, each dot making the snake shimmer more and more intensely.
Gralla’s mouth fell open as the colors came faster and faster, each one seemed brighter and more intense. Each one pushed deeper and deeper into her mind, forcing out her thoughts, the colors were invading and Gralla was more than happy to open the doors wide to them.
The screen switched once more to an image of a ball bouncing off a paddle. The ball flashed and glimmered as it moved, bouncing off the bat every few second. Soon more and more balls started to appear, filling the screen with a whole multitude of colors. Gralla continued to flow into them, becoming one with the colors. She had no body and no mind, she was just in with the colors, dancing over the screen without a care in the world.
Alice watched as the colors reflected in Gralla’s eyes, her unease getting replaced with wonder at this machine. Gralla was obviously very clever to come up with something like this.
After a while, the screen went black as Gralla slumped forward, drool trickling out of her mouth. Alice stepped forward a little. “Gralla, can you hear me?” She asked softly.
“I can hear you,” said Gralla gently.
“I want you to listen to me,” said Alice firmly. “I’m going to lay some ground rules and I want you to follow them.”
“Yes,” slurred Gralla softly.
“You are to let everyone go. No more brainwashing people, Kim, Anastasia, everyone working for you, they all need to be let go.”
“Let go,” mumbled Gralla.
“And I want you to go legit, okay?” Added Alice.
“Yes,” nodded Gralla, letting the world burrow into her mind.
“No more tricks, no more traps, no more enslaving people. We don’t need to fight the world, we just need to be the best we can be, understand?” Continued Alice.
“I understand,” nodded Gralla.
“Good, good,” Smiled Alice, wrapping her arms around Gralla and continuing to talk.
Anastasia towards her door, keen to see just who was knocking on it. She looked through the peephole only to see Alice on the other side.
“Did it work?” Asked Anastasia as she threw the door opened and pulled Alice inside.
“Yes, I got the information and I made a decision,” smiled Alice.
“So?” Asked Anastasia, obviously getting excited. “How do we bring her down? What’s your decision?”
“Well, I don’t think you are going to like it,” shrugged Alice, pulling her phone out of her pocket. “Let’s get frantic!” Shouted a voice as Anastasia’s eyes glazed over.
“What is happening,” Replied Anastasia, her voice trailing away to nothing as she spoke, her whole body stiffening.
“Anastasia, you did very well, but I think we can both accept your alien obsession doesn’t make any sense, in fact, you realize that you got far too into a joke between friends,” explained Alice softly. “It was just a joke, it is our fault for not telling you it was a joke earlier.”
“Joke,” slurred Anastasia, swaying on the spot as she did.
“Yes, but its okay, in fact, we want to make it up to you and take those books off of your hands,” smiled Alice as she stepped further into the house. “In fact, we’re going to buy them off you, because this has been a silly hobby, it is like having a goth phase as a teenager, you just fall out of it and totally forget it was a thing,” continued Alice as she picked up the books.
“Silly hobby,” nodded Anastasia.
“Though this does mean that we need to be dealt with,” continued Alice, gathering up everything she could find. “We broke the law with all these posters and as a dutiful employee of the city, you need to make sure such things don’t happen again.”
“Broke the law,” nodded Gralla.
“The evidence you need is on your table. All ready for you to fill in the forms,” nodded Alice, placing a manila folder onto the table. “Why don’t you come and fill them out.”
“Okay,” slurred Anastasia, walking over to table.
“Wonderful,” smiled Alice. “Just work and forget Anastasia, this has all been too silly to be anything but a dream.”
“Dream,” nodded Anastasia, robotically starting to fill in forms as Alice wandered out of the apartment.
Alice let out a heavy sigh as she wandered back into the arcade, watching as a line of girls walked past her with glassy eyes. She slowly made her way to the office only to see Kim and Laura sat blankly on the couch.
“Last two,” smiled Gralla. “I’ve paid the rest for their time and set up a phone number so we can act as a reference. To them, this was nothing more than an internship.”
“Good, good,” nodded Alice. “You are okay with this?”
“I am eager to make things right,” smiled Gralla in response, her voice going slightly monotone for a moment.
“So, Laura,” continued Alice, walking over to the couch.
“I think she is easy,” nodded Gralla. “She spent the last few days working on a pilot script. But the money has fallen through so there won’t be a pilot. I’m sure it isn’t the first time she has had it happen.”
“Perfect,” smiled Alice. “Though do make sure she still likes us when it is done. She might come in useful in the future.”
“Oh?” Replied Gralla raising an eyebrow.
“I mean as a friend, not a brainwashed slave,” chuckled Alice. “Who else are we going to play old games with?”
“I’ve tried, Kim is always terrible at games,” laughed Alice, ruffling Kim’s hair as she did. “Though do leave Laura’s trigger intact.”
“Why?” Asked Gralla softly.
“Just in case the other parts of the plan go wrong, we might need her as a character witness, we’ll remove it in a few months,” said Alice firmly.
“Okay, I’ll do that,” replied Gralla.
“As for Kim, I would likely to deal with her on my own if you don’t mind?”
“Of course, Laura, follow me,” commanded Gralla as she led Laura into another room.
Kim blinked as she opened her eyes her body stretching as she tried to piece together exactly where she was. Suddenly, she saw Alice sitting next to her.
“Alice?” Mumbled Kim. “What’s going on?”
“Kim,” Said Alice, taking a deep breath. “You have been in, well I got us involved in some terrible stuff and I’m sorry.”
Kim blinked again as memories flooded into her head. Memories of serving Gralla and selling Alice out, memories of that little spaceship and its annoying noise, days of staring out from behind a mask.
Kim growled, “I will not let her get away with this!” She shouted, pushing herself off the couch. However, before she could move further Alice gently pushed Kim back down.
“You don’t need to do that,” said Alice gently. “She wasn’t in her right mind, but you helped her see the error of her ways.” Continued Alice. “I know this is strange, but please try and remember.”
Kim stared at Alice with disbelief but caved in, sitting back down and trying to sort the memories that were flowing through her mind at high speed.
Slowly but surely she recalled Gralla talking to her, crying at her. Begging her for tips on how to impress Alice and how to make her less upset. Kim recalled her answers, the same advice she would give to anyone else, “Be open, trust her, don’t let your past rule your present.”
“You were really helpful,” smiled Alice, interrupting Kim’s thoughts. “Like you have always been to me.”
“Yeah,” nodded Kim, taking a deep breath. “She seemed pretty upset, but are you sure you can trust her? Alice, she is involved in some bad stuff.”
“I know, I know,” nodded Alice. “I might be making a terrible mistake, but I couldn’t think of any other way.”
“And you’re in love,” replied Kim. “I’ve not seen you like this since High School. And none of those relationships went well.”
“I know, I know,” nodded Alice once more. “But I have a plan. In case I am wrong. I want to ask you a favor. As a friend.” Replied Alice softly.
“What is it?” Asked Kim, her voice wobbling slightly.
“Give her a second chance. But, if this happens again, if it all gets out of control. Me or her. Bring us down.” Said Alice gently, placing a USB drive in Kim’s hand and closing her fingers around it.
“It is a big ask,” said Kim softly. “But I’ll do it. For you.”
“Thank you,” smiled Alice, hugging Kim tightly.
Anastasia marched into the arcade, several police officers behind her. To her surprise, the place was full of people in suits. Anastasia approached one and tapped him on the shoulder.
“I need to talk to the manager,” she said firmly.
“The manager of the arcade?” Said the man. “Good luck. She fled the country apparently. “Paid us to auction the place off. Guess she didn’t want to foreclose on it.”
Anastasia groaned. “Typical criminals,” she said as she shook her head.
“Something I ought to know?” Asked the man.
“I’m from city hall, we have come to shut this place down due to it breaking a lot of local ordinances,” replied Anastasia as she opened up a folder. “Littering, advertising, bill posting, light pollution, noise pollution, failure to recycle, the list is endless.”
“Well, seems she beat you to it.” Nodded the man before shrugging. “I can’t help you I’m afraid. No forwarding address.”
Suddenly the doors of the arcade burst open as Alice stepped inside, a woman in a suit only a couple of steps behind.
“How much is the owner asking for it?” Smirked Alice.
“Well the price isn’t set yet,” said the woman, obviously out of breath.
“Well set a price and I’ll buy it, here and now,” nodded Alice.
“Madam,” Interrupted Anastasia. “If you want to run this place as a business, you will need to apply for permits first.”
“Permits? I don’t give a damn about the building, I want the contents. Do you know how hard it is to find arcade machines these days?” Asked Alice.
“I don’t, I’m not into video games,” replied Anastasia firmly.
“Well, this place is a goldmine. I’ll likely sell the land to a contractor, get some nice condos on this lot, don’t you think?”
“You can’t just bulldoze a building,” started Anastasia, only to be interrupted again.
“Ain’t my problem, that’s the contractor’s issue once I get these machines out of here!” Whooped Alice.
“You seem familiar,” mumbled Anastasia, only for Alice to wink at her.
“I do make an impression.”
Anastasia cringed a little before shaking her head. “You do. Well, we shall be on our way. Please have your contractor call us before they get any work done.” She said as she pushed a card into Alice’s hands.
“Oh I will,” she giggled.
First, there were a few hints of smoke, then flames started to pour out of the windows of the concrete box. Within minutes the whole structure was covered in fire, smoke rising up into the sky in a huge cloud, little chunks of burning paper dancing around the sky like little fireflies.
Gralla leaned up against the car and watched with a soft smile on her face. “Old VCRs can be quite the fire hazard if left unattended,” she chuckled, listening to the sounds of cracking wood and warping metal. “Pity I’m such a heavy sleeper.”
Gralla climbed back into the car and pushed the accelerator down and drove off into the dark desert, a grin on her face the whole way. As she looked back in the rear-view mirror she pondered for a few seconds. “Time for a change,” she mumbled.
Alice looked out across the room. The design had taken a few months to get sorted, but it looked absolutely perfect. The whole place was themed like a fantasy castle, complete with stained glass windows and large tapestries hanging from the walls.
The place was also jammed full of arcade machines as far as the eye could see, each and every one on full display, allowing visitors to see what machine was where without having to search around.
Alice let out a soft sigh, it was utterly perfect, more than she could have ever dreamed of. “Welcome to the Pixel Stronghold!” Shouted Alice, letting the words echo around the empty room.
“Long may it reign,” came a soft voice from behind her. Alice spun around on her heel, only to see Gralla. Gralla was clad in an ornate footman’s uniform that accentuated all of her curves and her hair was a soft shade of red that matched the details of the coat perfectly.
“Your hair,” gasped Alice.
“A fresh start,” nodded Gralla. “Myra Palmer, at your service my Queen.”
“You are such a dork,” smiled Alice, running up to Myra and holding her tight. “But I love you for it.”
Myra hugged Alice tight, only to gasp as Alice pushed her against the wall, slowly starting to nuzzle her neck.
“Hey,” shouted Kim, causing Alice and Myra to jump.
“Oh hey!” Blushed Alice softly.
“Bad time?” Chuckled Kim.
“No, no, it’s fine,” replied Alice, pulling on her collar.
“You were right,” said Kim. “Two weird dudes in suits came to the apartment today, asking around about stuff.”
“Did they find anything?” Asked Alice.
“Of course not I’ve lived there for months,” winked Kim. “I certainly don’t mind the swap, Gralla’s apartment is bigger than mine.”
“Umm,” started Myra, her voice wobbling slightly. “It’s Myra, but I glad you like the apartment. The lease is price fixed for a couple of years. I doubt those men will bother you again though.”
“No worse than the religious nuts who used to go door to door,” smiled Kim. “Pleased to meet you, Myra, Alice a quick word please?”
“Sure,” nodded Alice, quickly skipping over to Kim, who led her outside.
“So, they were asking a lot about a fire at a video store a few states over?” She said gently, looking around as she did.
“Ah,” nodded Alice. “That’s where she went. I think that was her plan for a fresh start.”
“That’s all I need to know,” nodded Kim. “They can’t get anything out of me if I don’t know it,” she said with a smile.
“Want to come in and play some games?” Asked Alice. “We don’t open until tomorrow.”
“I’m good,” replied Kim. “I think you and Myra want to get better acquainted anyhow.”
Alice blushed and walked back into the arcade and smiled at Myra. “Well Myra,” she said as she grabbed the girl by the waist. “I think it is time for you to get hit stunned.”
Myra went stiff as her eyes glazed over, a line of drool instantly starting to trickle down her cheek. “Your wish is my command,” she said gently as Alice squirmed a little.
“To the couch, now,” replied Alice firmly, quickly walking on ahead so she could push Myra down onto the couch. Alice started to kiss and caress Myra, gently sliding her pants down as she did.
Myra gradually came to, only to be hit by a sudden wave of pleasure that made her cry out. “Oh god, Alice!” She screamed as she felt Alice’s tongue lap gently between her legs. “Alice I love you!” She screamed as she started to pant.
Myra’s moans continue to grow louder and louder as she clawed at the couch, her whole body trembling as her eyes rolled up into her head, her whole body exploding into pleasure as she let out a low guttural scream before going limp.
“I love you too,” smiled Alice, curling up around Myra.
“We’re going to do this right?” Asked Myra gently, burying her head on Alice’s shoulder.
“It is me and you all the way,” replied Alice, kissing Myra as she did.