Naked Like the Moon

by Jukebox

Tags: #cw:noncon #dom:female #f/f #f/m #multiple_partners #sub:female #sub:male #comic_book #magic #pov:top #puppet #puppeteer #superhero #telepathic_control #telepathy

Veena confronts Korina Psyche for the first time in this flashback tale.

The sunlight in Greece had a golden, flowing, almost tangible beauty like nowhere else on Earth. It poured down on the worn dirt path, baking the dust until it felt like brick beneath bare feet. It trickled in through the gaps between the leaves of the olive trees, turning each one into a cathedral of shadow that provided a welcome relief from the stifling summer heat. It radiated off the whitewashed buildings, making the tiny village of Elaiones gleam with an intensity so bright it was almost blinding. And it shone down on the long dark hair and glistening brown skin of Veena as she approached the centuries-old flagstones and began to walk toward the center of town.

She didn't look up or down, left or right, but she was nonetheless aware of the watchful eyes on her as she padded silently across the sun-warmed stone. She could sense the sentinels at every window, observing her with empty stares that belonged to them in appearance only, and she could feel the energies flowing through the air around her from the bodies in each house to the center of town. Veena wasn't a telepath herself, but you didn't live almost nine thousand years without picking up a little more awareness of the world than the average person. There was a subtle hint of shimmer everywhere, a sign of power at the heart of Elaiones that she couldn't ignore. Every once in a while, a tendril of it reached out for her, but Veena was confident in her magics. She knew they would stop any unwanted intrusion.

At least, any directed at her. The poor people in this town had already been very nearly hollowed out by the sustained application of telepathic pressure on their unprotected minds. How long had it been since they had a thought of their own? A week? Perhaps two? Not a long time when measured against the span of a human life, perhaps an eyeblink when held against the span of eternity, but far too long to be held without even the capacity to think for oneself. And Veena could tell there was yet more power still unexpended in the mind of their controller. The boundaries of this--this zone of will-deadening slavery--were those of Elaiones not because of a lack of strength, but because of a lack of vision. Even after years of education abroad, the owner of this ability still saw no farther than their tiny home.

Which meant that Veena had to be careful, she reminded herself as she got closer and closer to the heart of the telepathic storm that raged around her. The one thing she couldn't afford to do was educate her quarry about the potential scope of her dominion without giving her the moral framework needed to make ethical use of her power. She could simply decide to envelop the entire Earth in her control, numb the minds of every human being into blank, hollow servitude to her will. Civilization could not survive even a month of that kind of total emptiness, let alone the six or seven decades it might have to endure if Veena failed.

The stakes were high as she walked into the town hall and found a lithe, slender Greek woman sitting naked on a throne of living, breathing human bodies and masturbating as she watched a series of her empty puppets contorting and writhing in orgiastic bliss. "I don't know what you want," Korina Psyche snapped, the British accent she'd picked up during her education in England making her sound a bit like a caricature of an East End gangster in an old movie. "But you can fuck off, okay? This is my patch. Go find your own if you want."

Veena stepped delicately between the humping, grinding bodies all around her until she found a clear patch close enough to Korina to speak without shouting. She sat down cross-legged and unslung her namesake instrument, strumming a tune with an idle ease born of long practice. "Two years, Miss Psyche," she murmured, her voice cool and calm and elegant. "Two years you managed to rein in your power. What changed, mm? What made you decide these weren't people to you any longer? Because I felt the moment of your second birth from half a world away, and you weren't a monster then."

Korina tensed in shock as if she'd been slapped. For a moment, Veena thought the younger woman was going to order the mob to tear her limb from limb. But the power of the music was already weaving its spell around Korina's mind, walking her back from the precipice she'd brought herself to just enough to allow them to have a real and meaningful conversation. There was a subtlety to this kind of delicate control, a knack Veena had developed over the millennia. Too little, and Korina would simply deflect and project the immortal's probing questions. Too much, and she'd merely be a drone like all these others and that would only delay the day of reckoning that was bound to come when Korina's fury finally eclipsed her judgment completely.

"My father died," she said, the words bubbling up through a throat thick with bile. "Lost my mum when I was just a little girl, and my dad... he sent me away for years, you know? Said it was to educate me, but even before I got my powers I knew the truth. I reminded him of too much pain. But still, I loved him, you know? We... we only had a few good years together, right at the end when his health was failing and he brought me home. I could ignore all these others for him."

She gestured, and one of the participants of the orgy jerked to his feet like a puppet on a string. "But the funeral--oh, god, you've never seen so much sanctimonious pity. Every single one of them, coming up to me and paying their respects and mouthing all their hollow bullshit about what a kind man he was and how much he meant to this town and how if I needed anything, anything at all to just let them know and they'd move heaven and earth to help me. Inside, though...."

Another puppet sprang to his feet speaking Korina's thoughts through his mouth with a harsh croak that made her accent sound even more coarse. "Nikos here was thinking a weak, vulnerable girl of eighteen would be easy to manipulate. He was already planning my wedding, my pregnancy, and the surrender of my family's fortune while he took my hands and mouthed bland platitudes about grief and loss. And Evangelos... his pious pity masked such deep contempt. He couldn't stop thinking about what a burden the poor little blind girl was going to be on the village, how much work they'd all have to put in caring for me even after my 'operation' had made sight a little bit easier for me. All their kindness, all their cheerfully saccharine words masked nothing but selfishness and greed. I'd put up with it for two years--how much longer was I supposed to endure it?"

Veena sighed. "This isn't a solution," she said, her voice weary and a little bit sad as she tried to persuade the young woman without having to resort to drastic measures. "I know that humans can be flawed, but simply robbing them of their humanity gives them no chances to learn or grow past their weaknesses. You can empty out every mind that touches yours, but all that does is leave you alone in a world that never changes. That's not a life, Korina. That's a tomb." Her fingers kept strumming away at the strings as she spoke, but she held off from putting too much pressure on Korina's will. Everything she said about Korina's victims was just as true of her, after all, and the young woman deserved a chance to learn from her mistakes. To force her into compliance now would leave her frozen forever with the mind of a monster, and Veena believed she could be more.

If she truly wanted to be. "Oh, come on!" Korina snapped, rising to her feet with her fists clenched and her brow furrowed in anger as she spoke with her own voice again. "Have you ever been inside one of these things? They're all the same, you know. Nothing but petty fears and unimportant worries and the constant desire to eat shit fuck to keep their bodies going. So I took a few hundred of them out of circulation. So what? There's billions more where that came from, and every one of them is just like every other. The names and details change, but that's all."

Veena's lips went thin. "I see you want to believe that," she said, her fingers moving to strum new chords as she changed the tune she was playing. "It's easier if you can pretend you're not doing anything wrong, isn't it? If you can think of them as no more than ants, unimpressive and undifferentiated. But perhaps you're not looking closely enough, Korina. Perhaps those details mean more than you imagine." The music became more complex, weaving a spell entirely unlike the usual songs of calming and receptiveness that Veena used to smooth the path to productive discussion. Korina's eyes went wide as she listened.

"W-what are you doing?" she asked, stumbling backwards only to be caught by the slaves she'd pressed into service as furniture. "What, what's happening to me?" The shimmer in the air around her, normally so faint as to be invisible, began to ripple and quake the very atmosphere into a haze of pure telepathic force. It flashed out in tendrils to every person in the town hall and far beyond. "What, I, I, what--"

"I'd hoped we wouldn't need a demonstration," Veena replied, as her strumming intensified and Korina's eyes went jet black. "But if you insist that there's nothing separating one sentience from another and no harm in treating them as interchangeable and disposable, then I feel it's my duty to ensure you can make an... informed decision. Fully informed." The music swelled and rose in complex harmonies and counter-harmonies no single mundane instrument could produce, but Veena's veena was anything but mundane. Its magic reached out, connected with Korina's telepathic powers, and amplified them to their utmost.

"No, I, I--please stop," Korina whimpered, clutching her hands to her temples as the blackness in her eyes became a galaxy of infinite stars. "I can't, it's too much, they're all--they're all here in my head, I--please, it's too much!" Veena wished she could stop, but simply amplifying the power of a monster wasn't going to solve the problem of Korina's arrogance. Instead, the ageless woman turned up the gain on Korina's telepathy, making what would otherwise be a ceaseless din of mental voices into an infinite stream of individual signals that strained Korina's mind to its limits as she tried to process them all. On the astral plane, it looked like a vast and impassive crowd surrounding the naked woman, making her feel brutally and inescapably seen with their stares.

But all the minds on Earth were just one tiny tessellation of the grand and glorious mosaic of the universe, and Korina was discovering that now. Her perceptions grew to encompass the Eshyrian colony on Titan, the sentient plasma storms that inhabited the corona of the sun, rippling out in all directions until her thoughts were brushing the Oort cloud on either side and she discovered to her terrified astonishment that humans were but one of many life-forms inhabiting the solar system. "Oh dear god I never--" she gasped, her thoughts touching intellects that had never known the light of the sun and sentiences that only thought in numbers. Veena watched, her heart touched by remorse at Korina's every choked whimper but knowing that the process had to keep going now. Whether it saved or destroyed her.

Korina's intelligence was flung out further, connecting to hive-minds in far-flung solar systems and the vast, titanic intellects of sentient nebulae. and every single one of them crowded in on her until she could see their minds in every exacting detail, laid out as bare as the surface of the moon to an astronomer's telescope. And they all had hopes, and they all had fears, and they all had dreams and histories and laughter and every second millions of new lives came into existence and every second Korina's eyes streamed with fresh tears as millions more were snuffed out, and... and it was all there. The universe. The entire universe was inside her head, and Korina was just as naked and exposed to it as it was to her. And Veena watched her sob as she tried to take in the entire scope of it all at once.

She failed, of course. No organic brain could hold that much information, not even the hyper-evolved brain of the vanguard of human evolution. Korina Psyche passed out with her starscaped eyes wide open, staring vacantly ahead as the overspill of information left her virtually catatonic with sensory overload. When she returned--if she returned--all she would come away with was the vaguest sense of it all. Veena prayed that would be enough.

All around them, the crowd began to wake up, confused and frightened by the blank spot in their memory and their unexpectedly intimate situation. Veena changed her tune to a song that lulled them into peaceful relaxation--they'd already been through more than enough. They didn't need to suffer with the knowledge of what Korina made them do. The music calmed them, comforted them, and allowed them to drift gradually back to their homes and livelihoods. They might have a few bad dreams every now and again, but they'd gotten off lightly compared to what might have happened if Veena hadn't arrived.

One by one and two by two they wandered away, until the only people left were Veena and Korina, alone in the silence of the empty room, one lying flat on her back and the other waiting patiently to see if she would return from her astral sojourn or if she would simply curl up into the comfortable void of oblivion rather than face her newfound understanding of the universe. Veena knew which one she hoped it would be. But if she tried to control the outcome, it would defeat the entire purpose of the test.

And then finally Korina closed her eyelids and reopened them to reveal the milky-white cataracts that were her birthright. "I'm... so sorry," she gasped out, her voice a choking sob as she tried and failed to come to terms with her capacity for cruelty. Only Veena's music kept her tethered to any kind of a sense of hope for herself in the face of that brutal, inescapable self-knowledge. "I, I don't know how I can ever atone for this."

Veena took Korina's hand and lent her eyesight, allowing the nude woman to rise to her feet with dignity. "By making sure others don't make the same mistake you did," she said, her tones filled with such an infinite capacity for forgiveness that it almost made Korina want to weep all over again. "You're only the beginning of the next step in human evolution, Korina. There will be others like you, people who think they're alone in attaining unusual abilities and who have no idea what kind of good they can do in this world. You can teach them. You can give them the mentor you never had. And someday, they will be your legacy. Not this day."

Korina nodded. She wiped the tears from her eyes. And together, she and Veena went out to shape the world's destiny.


(If you enjoyed this story and want to see more like it, please think about heading to and becoming one of my patrons. For less than $5 a month, you can make sure that every single update contains a Jukebox story! Thank you in advance for your support.)

Show the comments section

Back to top

Register / Log In