Lucia awoke to intense pain in her head. She could feel that she was lying on a bed. She opened her eyes, seeing that she was lying on the same bed in the same room she’d been in earlier. Niarith was sitting on the bed, staring down at her. “Oh thank goodness, you’re awake!” she said suddenly, standing up. Only then did Lucia realize Niarith’s hand had been resting on top of her own. ”I was a bit worried that shot might’ve knocked you out for good. Sorry about that whole thing by the way, I just… I need to save these people. I’m the only one who can, and you’re the only one who can help me.” Lucia wanted to spit in her face, to tell her to go straight to the void, but she felt, deep in her mind, that she shouldn’t. That she should just forgive the unkindness and help. It was, after all, the right thing to do, and her hand had felt nice on hers.
“I.. understand. I understand why you had to do it. I… actually greatly respect the lengths you’re willing to go to for a people who have no relevance to you.”
Niarith looked surprised, but glad. “Thank you. I’m really sorry it came to that. I didn’t want it to. I just.. Really need your help. So, help me, please?”
Lucia nodded, then said “Yes. I’ll help you, Mirideth needs to be stopped.”
Niarith’s eyes welled up with tears, but none fell. “Thank you, Miss... Lucia. Thank you.”
“Okay, I just need to input the coordinates to Mirideth’s citadel, and we’ll be on our way. But we need to be prepared, this will be dangerous, combat is a possibility. I’ll have my pistol, which nothing in there is going to be equipped to handle. But you’re going to need a weapon. I know you prefer daggers, so I have this for you.” She pulled out a small, shining silver blade. The hilt was made of the same solid material as the wardrobe. There was a sliding switch on the side. Niarith switched it on, and a quiet buzz emanated from the blade. After a few seconds the blade began to glow with a green light. “This blade, when switched on, can immobilize an enemy by creating localised gravity fields around them, which will hold them in place until the generator in the hilt is switched off. It’ll be useful against armored corpses and the like.” Lucia took the blade and placed it into a sheath at her hip.
“That may be the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.” She said, astonished.
Niarith began speaking again as she walked toward the door, motioning for Lucia to follow. “As for Mirideth herself, hopefully we won’t come into contact with her, but if we do, we need some kind of countermeasure. That, is where this comes in.” They had crossed the hall to another room, one full of objects Lucia had no understanding of on shelves, tables, and the floor. Niarith reached up onto a shelf and pulled down a small box. She opened it and pulled out two U-shaped objects. She reached out and gently placed one over Lucia’s eyes, hooking it over her ears. Two cords pulled out from it and were placed over and in her ears. For a moment, Lucia could see nothing, and hear nothing. Then, Niarith flicked a switch, and Lucia’s vision returned, but it was.. altered.
There were no colors, no texture, just blackness, with white outlines of everything in her field of view. Her hearing returned as well, a strange metallic edge to all sounds. “I’m not sure what kind of tech she’s using for the mind manipulation, but this device should be able to block out most known emissions that can affect the brain” Niarith said, her voice sounded odd through the device’s filters. “If we’re wearing these, she shouldn’t be able to touch us that way. Unless she has some kind of long term nanotech. That stuff gets in your brain and just doesn’t come out without extensive surgery. It’s so rare it may as well not exist though, so we’ll be fine.” Niarith made her way across the room to a desk with drawers along its front. She opened a drawer and took out a folded bundle of cloth similar in color and composition to her own bodysuit. “Put this on, you’ll be better protected.
Lucia took the bodysuit and made her way back to her room. In the silence, Lucia heard the whispers of her Mistress clearly Do as you’re told. Obey. Serve Mistress. Lucia shook her head to try and clear her thoughts.
I’m NOT her plaything. I’m my own person. She can’t talk to me, she’s not even here. I’m going to help take that w- wi- HER down. She managed to quiet the whispers for a time, and did her best put on the bodysuit Niarith had given her. After quite some time she got the overly tight thing onto her body. Oh I loathe this thing. Lucia thought, as she looked herself over in the mirror. As she looked, she noticed something odd.
The mirror seemed to be leaking white mist… like in her dream. She looked up in slight panic to see Mirideth behind her in the mirror. She turned, drawing her dagger in the same motion, but no one was behind her. She looked back to the mirror, it was the same as it had been before. No mist, no Mirideth. Am I losing my mind? Is she really capable of manipulating me from a distance? What’s happening to me? Lucia thought, still panicked. She sat down on the bed, trying to calm herself down. "It’s okay. You’re still yourself. Niarith rescued you because you were. You’re you. You’re not her plaything. You’re not." She spoke aloud to herself, feeling the panic slowly subside.
The door to her room opened and Niarith entered. “I’ve set our course for Mirideth’s citadel. We’ll need to approach carefully so we don’t get spotted, so it’ll be awhile before we get there. We should be there by tomorrow morning. Are you okay?” She seemed to suddenly notice Lucia’s upset state.
“O-oh. Yeah I’m fine. It’s just… hard. Not being able to go home, ‘yknow?”
Niarith sat next to her on the bed. “Ah, I understand. I’m sorry. I wish things could be different. I wish you could just go back to your old life, but… you can’t. And I’m to blame for that. If there’s anything I can do to make up for it, just tell me. For shooting you too. I… feel bad about all of it.”
Lucia looked concerned and tried to tell Niarith about the whispers, the dream, but the words just wouldn’t come out. Lucia felt other things, and found herself entirely unable to stop herself from speaking “You.. could kiss me. I… I’ve wanted to thank you for rescuing me. For saving me from a life of mindless servitude… and.. you’re very beautiful…” She drew closer to Niarith with every word.
“Uhhhmm… I.. I uhm..” Niarith said, not moving, but looking very nervous. Lucia leaned ever closer, her hand drifting onto Niarith’s thigh. “L- M-miss Carlena… This is.. i-inappropriate.” Lucia pressed a finger to Niarith’s lips. “Shhhh. Don’t worry about it, just let me take care of you.” She whispered. Niarith was too shocked to reply, as Lucia climbed onto and straddled her lap. Lucia pushed her shoulders, forcing Niarith to lie back on the bed. Lucia followed her motion, pressing against her. “Miss Carlena.. I… we can’t do this…” Lucia didn’t answer, instead kissing Niarith, deeply, passionately. Niarith resisted for a moment, then gave in, returning the kiss.
They continued this way for a while, heated, intense kissing, slowly turning to groping, stripping, fucking. Lucia wasn’t in control anymore, she couldn’t have stopped even if she wanted to. She just let her body do what it was doing, no thought given to the consequences. The only thing in her mind was the heat, the need, the passion. Nothing else mattered. And then, as quickly as it had begun, it ended, and Lucia nearly instantly fell into sleep.
She was in the misty void again, immobile, naked, vulnerable. Out of the mist appeared Mirideth. “Well done, Plaything. Listening to your body, your needs.”
“You.. you really are manipulating me, aren’t you?”
Mirideth laughed. “Of course I am, Plaything. I assure you, I am not a hallucination, nor a dream. I am reaching out to your consciousness with mine. The magic of the voi-”
Lucia interrupted “Save it. I know what you’re doing isn’t magic.”
Mirideth looked shocked. “Oh? How very interesting. I suppose that Primitive Territory Enforcement Officer has been busy telling you so many things, hasn’t she?” Lucia remained silent, glaring at Mirideth. “Tell me what she’s told you, Plaything.” The words spilled from Lucias’s mouth like a waterfall, unstoppable. She told Mirideth everything Niarith had told her.
“Good girl. This is very useful information. Not long now until you come back to me. I’ll be waiting.” The dream faded away, and Lucia awoke.
“About time you woke up.” Niarith said, from her position next to her in bed. “Cute how you passed out like that. I.. never expected this to happen, but… I like it. I like you. I… I like us.”
Lucia realized she could no longer control her body. It felt as if she were paralysed, but her mouth began to move “I like it too. I like you too. I was so nervous, but the way you just melted like that.. I feel like you’ve been thinking about it for a while.” She wasn’t sure whether those words had been her own thoughts, or something Mirideth had created. She hoped they were hers, she wanted them to be.
Niarith blushed, covered her face with the blanket and said “M-maybe. You’re so pretty, and… I don’t get a lot of human contact with my job and.. I just… I really like you. I tried to stay professional, I tried to keep myself rational, but.. I just.. Want this… you… us. I want it.” Lucia screamed inside her head, trying everything she could to tell Niarith what was happening, but she was no longer in control of her body. “I want this too, Niarith.” She kissed her again, stood up, and got dressed, Niarith followed.
“We’ll be arriving soon, we should get ready. This.. is gonna be a tough mission. But.. I know we’ll get it done, together.” She reached over and held Lucia’s hand in hers. “Together.” Lucia said, only partially unwillingly. She couldn’t deny that Niarith’s desire and care for her felt good. Perhaps she could see herself with Niarith… if she could wrest herself free of Mirideth’s control. They got their weaponry, the devices, everything they’d need. Almost as soon as they were equipped, the ship shuddered to a stop. They had arrived.
The hatch Lucia had so recently been thrown into hissed open, and Niarith and Lucia made their way down it. They had stopped above another tower, similar to the one they’d previously escaped from. The top of the tower was deserted, and through her altered vision Lucia could see the white outlines of thralls and corpses patrolling the walls below. “Don’t worry,” Niarith said “They can't see or hear the ship. Stealth technology, hides it from view and masks its sound from a certain distance away. If they had tech, they could see through it, but Mirideth seems committed to the illusion that she’s using magic, so she equips her guards with local weaponry and equipment.” Lucia nodded and they continued into the wooden hatch atop the tower.