Subroutine

Chapter 13

by Kallie

Tags: #noncon #dom:female #f/f #pov:bottom #pov:top #scifi #sub:female #clothing #drones #f/nb #sub:nb

Professor Elbourne’s enslaved drones kept a close guard on Harper as they dragged her back to the professor’s laboratory, but they needn’t have. Harper didn’t try to escape again. She didn’t even consider it. She walked with slumped shoulders, lost in self-recrimination. Harper couldn’t believe she’d been so stupid. Escaping from the professor’s clutches once had been an incredible stroke of luck, but she’d wasted it. How could she have forgotten the way out? Harper was never going to able to forgive herself for that - if she remembered it, at least. And then, with Lori, she’d failed again. Harper had been so sure she was getting through to her, but in the end it hadn’t mattered. Harper knew there was no chance of her making another escape. The professor was far too careful to make another oversight like leaving the ropes loose. Her latex-clad drones were going to force her back into that chair, put that futuristic helmet on her, and then it would all be over. Her mind, her free will and her individuality would all be gone. Maybe what 7005 had said to her was right, Harper thought to herself. Maybe obedience was inevitable.

Harper, Professor Elbourne and the drones soon reached the laboratory. They walked in silence; Harper no longer had the strength to protest, and Professor Elbourne no longer seemed inclined to wax lyrical about her plans and theories. Once inside, 7005 and another drone escorted Harper to the chair she’d been tied to before, flanking her on either side. Harper looked down, still not speaking, although she noticed that Amia was still there, waiting disinterestedly in the corner.

“Tie her up again,” Professor Elbourne commanded, scowling. “Properly, this time.”

“Command accepted,” murmured the assembled drones, their robotic, empty voices forming an unnerving chorus. A couple of the drones - Harper could barely keep track of which was which, except for Lori, who wasn’t wearing a mask - moved to obey. They tied Harper up once more, but this time they used several lengths of rope, not only tying her wrists together behind her back but also binding each of her ankles to one of the chair legs, ensuring that she had absolutely no chance of escape. Harper didn’t resist. What was the point?

“Hey, professor,” Amia called out, her lips curled into an amused smirk. The short, chubby girl was sitting just where she had been - in the far corner of the room. “Have fun playing cat and mouse?”

“Silence!” Professor Elbourne hissed.She sounded furious. “If you’re not going to help, Miss Grover, the least you can do is keep your mouth shut and your tongue still, for once.”

Amia just giggled in response, causing the professor’s face to adopt an even more severe scowl.

“Let’s be done with this,” Professor Elbourne commanded, ignoring her assistant. “I’m tired of all this foolishness. My time is too important to be wasted this way. 7005, prepare the experimental device.”

“Command accepted.” Harper shivered at 7005’s voice - at Lori’s voice - now so robotic and inhuman. She had thought Lori’s true self was breaking through, when they’d confronted one another after her escape, but now it seemed to be completely gone. Swiftly and deftly, as if it had been doing it for years, the drone picked up the professor’s brainwashing helmet and started adjusting it, making sure all the wires were in place. Then, it started typing at the computer the device was connected to. Harper couldn’t see exactly what it was doing, but she presumed it was preparing the brainwashing program that she was about to be subjected to. After just a few moments, the drone paused, and Professor Elbourne seemed to take this as an indication that the drone had completed its assigned task.

“Good. Now hand the device to me,” Professor Elbourne ordered. “7137, 7428, be ready to restrain the girl if need be. There will be no second escape.”

“Command accepted,” the drones intoned, their emotionless voices echoing one another. Soon, Harper thought, her voice would be just like theirs.

Two of the other drones moved to stand at Harper’s side, one at each shoulder, whilst Lori stepped forward and presented the ominous-looking brainwashing device to Professor Elbourne. She took it. Harper could already see a strange, shifting, dazzling glow emerging from inside. She trembling, knowing what it heralded. The spiral. The numbers. The impossible, irresistible vortex of mindlessness. Just thinking about it made Harper light-headed.

“You found the truth, Miss Williams,” Professor Elbourne told her, raising the brainwashing device to place it on Harper’s head. “I hope you’re happy. I have to admit, I’m a little impressed by your determination. But I’m afraid this is goodbye. You’re not going to remember any of this. You won’t be unhappy, I can promise you that. You’ll wake up in your bed, as if none of this had ever happened, and you’ll be able to go about your life as usual - except, of course, when I have need of your obedience.”

Harper closed her eyes - not to resist, but simply to take a moment to gather her thoughts and enjoy the last few moments of her free will. She knew she should be horrified at the thought of losing it, but she wasn’t sure she was. After everything she’d been through, forgetting it all and not having to think so much felt peaceful. Blissful. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. She’d have her normal life again, mostly, and so would Lori. Harper didn’t know what Lori would think of her. Before they had discovered Lori had been turned into a drone, they’d mostly been distant - not awkward or uncomfortable, but not friendly either. In a way, despite all the awful things that had happened, Harper felt closer to Lori than ever before. She cared about her roommate. She wanted her to be safe. She wanted her to be free. Clearly, that wasn’t going to happen. But perhaps a little of their closeness would remain. Harper tried to hold on to that nice thought as she sensed Professor Elbourne loom over her, and as she waited for the end.

“Wait!”

Harper peeked one eye open at the unexpected cry. To her shock, it came from the back of the room. From Amia. For the first time, Professor Elbourne’s assistant actually looked engaged in what was going on. Or perhaps more than simply engaged. The bored, bemused smirk on Amia’s face was gone, replaced by a far more sinister expression. It was mischievous, haughty, and full of malice.

Professor Elbourne looked like she was about to pop a vein in her forehead. “What is it?” she demanded, pivoting towards her TA. “What could possibly justify this interruption?”

Amia didn’t answer straight away. Instead, she rose from her chair and sauntered to where the professor was standing, her loose, dark, curly bob haircut bouncing as she moved. It was obvious from her body language that she was taking her time, and enjoying the way Professor Elbourne was quivering with rage. “It’s simple,” she said, when she had finally reached the professor. “This is too boring.”

“Too… boring?” Now Professor Elbourne looked like she was about to completely explode.

“Yep.” Amia planted one hand of her hip, and inspected her manicured fingernails on the other. “It’s too easy, don’t you think? Put that helmet on, and it’s all over. There’s no drama. No spice. No fun. No, I think we need to do something much more interesting. Something with tension. With stakes. Some kind of game.”

“A game?” Professor Elbourne repeated dumbly. She was so angry she was struggling to muster the words to express it. “Miss Grover, I must say… I just… I expect better of you! Our work - my work - is no game. It is of the utmost seriousness, and I cannot-”

“I dunno,” Amia interrupted. “When you and those drones were chasing Harper around, that kind of seemed like a cat and mouse game to me. That was fun. You can’t tell me it didn’t have your heart racing a little bit. Not really my style though. Too much running around. I’m thinking something… spicier.”

Harper just sat watching and listening, utterly bewildered by the interaction playing out in front of her.

“Absolutely not!” Professor Elbourne pronounced. “I can’t believe you would even suggest such a thing. Miss Grover, after your behavior tonight I am certainly going to reassess your suitability as my assistant. This is simply unacceptable!”

Amia sighed. “Yeah, OK. That’s pretty much what I expected. Fine, we’ll do it the hard way.”

“The hard way?” Professor Elbourne asked, frustrated. “What the hell do you-”

“Beta-0001.”

The moment Amia spoke the trigger, Professor Elbourne froze. Harper’s eyes went wide as she saw an all-too-familiar blank, slack expression pass over Professor Elbourne’s face. Her eyes became hollow and empty, and her arms fell limp by her side with the brainwashing helmet dangling from her grip. The way she looked so vacant and brainwashed was all the more shocking on someone who had seemed so confident and in-control. Harper stared wordlessly at Amia and Professor Elbourne, totally failing to comprehend what had just happened. Amia giggled at her reaction, the girl’s laughter echoing around a room that was now occupied only with drones, except for herself and Harper. 

“Surprise!” Amia mocked. “Now that’s the kind of reaction I was expecting. You really didn’t have a clue, huh? No more than the professor here, that’s for sure.” Amia roughly prodded the slack-jawed, dronified professor. “Well, I suppose that is the point of all this.”

“The point of…” Harper whispered, utterly baffled. After everything that had happened that day, this latest revelation was completely frying her brain. She’d finally thought she understood what was going on, but now she felt even more clueless than before. “What the fuck is going on?”

Amia giggled. “Come on, don’t tell me you actually believed the professor’s ridiculous rambling about world domination? Please. That’s just a bunch of nonsense I fed to her. She believes it completely, of course. Has no idea she’s just a puppet on strings.” The young assistant reached a hand over the professor’s head and mimed puppeting her.

“But… how?” Harper asked, her wide eyes still uncomprehending.

“Some of what she said was true,” Amia explained, swanning aimlessly around the laboratory as she did so, relishing in her dominance. “She really was researching all this weird stuff, and I really am her assistant. To tell you the truth, she was a real buzzkill as a boss. No sense of humor at all. But one day, I came into the lab, and what do you know? She’d perfected her own research.” Amia threw back her head and laughed cruelly, as if her story was the funniest thing in the world. “I found her staring at one of own spirals, hypnotized. Her mind was a blank slate for me write in. Pretty lucky, right? At first, I just covered my bases. Put in a few useful triggers and suggestions. See, I always put in more work than the professor gave me credit for when it came to researching stuff like that. The idea of controlling someone’s mind is just so delicious, don’t you think?” Amia licked her lips. Her voice had dropped to a breathless whisper of unmistakable lust.

“Oh my god,” Harper breathed. Chills were running down her spine. What Professor Elbourne had been planning was bad enough, but what Amia might have in store for them seemed like something even worse. The Professor’s coldness scared her much less than the malice and giddy amorality she could sense behind her new captor’s words.

“Everything else came later - the latex, the drone protocols, the code-words, the brainwashing techniques. It’s really hot, don’t you think?” Amia grinned, showing teeth. As she spoke, she walked back to where the brainwashed professor was still standing, motionless, and began groping her. Harper’s mouth hung open at the sight of Amia so casually feeling up Professor Elbourne’s breasts through her shirt, treating the brainwashed middle-aged woman as little more than an object. “Plus, it keeps things nice and simple. I command - or, well, she does - and you all obey like the good little drones you are. No free will, no free thought, no possibility of any of my playthings getting ideas above their station. It’s perfect. Or at least, it will be, once I’ve got all of campus under my control. And then… who knows?” Amia trailed off into giggles and little moans, her eyes shining manically as she momentarily lost herself to fantasies of control.

“Why do this to her?” Harper asked after a moment, indicating Professor Elbourne with her eyes. “I mean, why have her think she’s in charge? That doesn’t make any sense. You don’t need to pretend you’re just her TA anymore.”

“Two words,” Amia replied proudly, ceasing her groping. “Plausible deniability. Even if someone does figure out what’s going on, and they call the cops or whatever, they’ll all blame her. She’ll even blame herself. And I’ll be able to pretend to be a brainwashed victim just like all the rest of you.” Amia switched to a mock-crying tone for a few moments, before brightening again. “Genius, right?”

“It’s monstrous,” Harper whispered, stunned into shock. “You’re doing all this, enslaving people, brainwashing them, just… because you can? Because it gets you off? What’s wrong with you?”

“I don’t know, must be the same thing that’s wrong with you,” Amia retorted, leaning in uncomfortably close with a wicked, mirthful grin on her face. “Don’t forget, I know all about what you’ve been doing to your precious roommate.”

Harper gasped, and felt a hot blush of shame spread across her cheeks. She wanted to protest that it wasn’t her fault, that it had been part of the experiment, that she hadn’t been in control of her own mind, but she somehow knew all those excuses would ring hollow. After a moment of incoherent stuttering she looked down at the floor.

“Anyway,” Amia continued, bouncing back upright. “Now I just need to figure out what I’m gonna do with you. I think I’ve got the perfect little game. I’m going to love it.”

“What game?” Harper asked through gritted teeth.

“I was thinking that just sticking that thing on your head and letting it turn your mind to mush would be way too boring,” Amia explained. “There’s no struggle, no sport. Where’s the fun in that? So I was thinking, since this is the first time I’ve had such a captive subject, I would just love to see if we can find a slightly different way of breaking your brain. Pleasure. So, I was thinking. I’m gonna put this brainwashing device on a nice, low setting - enough to make you nice and soft without totally wiping you - and then I’m gonna see if all those drones can push you over the edge. And you… well, you just try and hold out as long as you can.”

Harper swallowed nervously. “How do I win?”

With a particularly nasty grin on her face, Amia replied: “You don’t.”

Harper shuddered. She was just as doomed as before, but now she faced the prospect of torture and humiliation rather than the simple bliss of instant mindlessness. She couldn’t escape, she was certain of that. Between the ropes and the drone guards, she had no chance. What could she do, besides succumb quickly? Harper was forced to watch helplessly as Amia took the brainwashing device to the computer it was connected to and spend a few moments tinkering with it. Once she was finished, she turned back to Harper.

“Why don’t you tell me how this feels?” Amia giggled. “That is, if you still can.”

Before Harper could brace herself, the TA slipped the brainwashing helmet over Harper’s head. Immediately, the room around her was gone, replaced by a series of screens that seamlessly replaced her vision. The screens were already alive, and as Amia tightened the helmet around her neck and fastened it into position, the images on them converged to form exactly the thing she had been dreading: a spiral. The uncomfortably familiar wave of dizziness and emptiness she’d been expecting hit her almost instantly, but it felt a little different than it had done in the past. It was muted, dimmer. It wasn’t spinning as quickly or flickering as intensely as it had done before. Even so, the hypnotic effect was strong enough to send Harper reeling, especially since it was all around her now, consuming her entire field of vision. She could herself squirming against the ropes, fighting to turn away even though she knew it was impossible. She could scarcely imagine how overwhelming the brainwashing would have been if Amia hadn’t adjusted it. However, with its effectiveness diminished, she was able to rally her thoughts a little better than usual.

“Now, let’s get started for real,” Harper heard Amia say, her voice now strangely muffled and distant-sounding. “Drones- oh, wait. Unit #001, command these other drones to pleasure Harper.”

“Command accepted,” the brainwashed Professor Elbourne replied, her robotic voice sending fresh chills down Harper’s spine. “All units, pleasure Harper.”

Harper heard murmurs of “Command accepted,” from all around her, and then movement as the drones began to converge around her.

“The professor wanted to make sure you couldn’t use any override commands,” Amia explained, as if sensing Harper’s confusion. “So she made sure the drones would only respond to her commands. I didn’t want to stop her. Got to keep her believing she’s still running things. It’s a little annoying, but I can just get her to give the orders for me.”

Harper had no time to process that before she felt a touch on her thigh that made her shrink away and inhale sharply. Even though her clothes, Harper could tell it was a hand covered in latex. The unnatural smoothness of the rubber was unmistakable. It was quickly followed by another hand, and then another, and then another, on her other thigh, her chest, her arm. Everywhere. Harper soon lost track of how many hands were touching her. She realized she was surrounded by drones - Lori, Jae, Sally and Madison - and they were all dressed in lated and all touching her. Unable to see, each touch came as a surprise, which only heightened how they felt. From within the helmet, she was still being bombarded by the spiral that was all around her. It was constantly disorienting her, making it so she was completely unable to brace herself for whatever was to come. That became painfully obvious when she felt the drones around her starting to remove her clothes. Harper writhed as she felt hands she couldn’t see unbuckling her pants and reaching to pull off her shirt and lift the tank top she was wearing underneath. It wasn’t just that she was trying to resist. She was also trying to hide the fact that, as shameful as it was, her body was beginning to respond to being touched so intimately.

“S-s-stop,” Harper protested weakly. It was already hard for her to form words. The spiral was making her thoughts sluggish and slow, and each touch she felt from the drones surrounding her was like an electric shock that had her thoughts dissolving and flying apart even as she struggled to put them together. And it was only getting worse and worse, as the way the drones were touching her grew bolder and more intimate. She felt her pants being pulled down to her ankles, exposing her panties underneath. Her flannel shirt was opened as far as her tied-up position would allow, and her tank top was pulled up above the level of her breasts. Harper shivered at the sensation of the cool air on her skin. It drove home just how vulnerable she was.

“Oh yeah!” Amia jeered lustfully. “If you could just see yourself right now, Harper. This is gonna be a great show.”

“S-shut u- Ah!” Harper’s retort gave way to moaning as she felt another touch. It was only on her thigh, but it was blindingly intense. The latex on her bare skin made her gasp. It felt like her heart had stopped. The strange smoothness of the rubber was mesmerizing all on its own, taking Harper back to the many twisted memories of pain and pleasure she couldn’t help but associate with it. Hidden urges rose from the depths of her mind, already threatening to consume her. She wanted more. She wanted to feel that latex all over her. She wanted to be touched. She wanted to feel the bodysuit as a second skin, as sleek and perfect as the drones currently trying to break her. 7005’s words began to echo through her head. Obedience was inevitable. She thought she’d understood those words, but she hadn’t. Not until now that the brainwashing device on her head was pounding them into her brain. Now, obedience felt truly inevitable. It was like a leaden weight around her neck, dragging her sinking into an abyss of impossible relaxation. Staying afloat was taking everything she had. She already knew she was losing. Part of what was making it so hard was the way the hypnosis was draining her. Being turned on the way she could feel herself becoming would normally have had her heart pounding, but instead, it was slowed. Her breathing, except for the occasional gasp and moan, was unusually deep and even. Harper almost felt like she was on the verge of sleep. With both her mind and body so relaxed she could hardly use them, there was simply no way for her to fight.

As if from a great distance away, Harper heard Amia wolf-whistle. “Wow Harper,” the maniacal girl taunted. “You’re dropping easy. Cmon, where’s all the spirit you were showing earlier? Where’s the fire? Honestly, I’m disappointed.”

Despite the soporific waves of pleasure and hypnosis that were battering her mind, Harper’s hands balled into fists. Amia’s cruel taunts were lighting a fire in her, allowing her to banish her earlier despair.  Maybe she was going to lose, Harper thought to herself grimly, but she wasn’t going to lose like this. She wasn’t going to go down easy. She wasn’t going to give Amia the satisfaction. Amia was a monster, and Harper longed for nothing more than the chance to wipe that vicious smirk off the girl’s face. And if she couldn’t do that, she could at least deny her the pleasure of victory for as long as possible.

“Oh yes, that’s it!” Amia simpered, sensing Harper’s fresh resolve. She was clearly in a frenzy of lust and excitement. “Show me a good fight. It just makes it so much hotter to see you fail.”

Harper just growled in response. Despite her newfound determination, there seemed to be nothing she could use to rally herself. No sight, no thought, no feeling. The experience of being sealed inside the brainwashing device was all-consuming. Pieces of her mind - her memories, her emotions, her free desires - were falling away from her, being drawn into the spiraling vortex that dominated her vision. Blinded by the device, all her other senses were heightened as they strained to determine what was going on around her. But that only worked against Harper, especially as the drones became more and more insistent in their attempts to pleasure her.

“Ah!” Harper moaned, the breathless exclamation of pleasure escaping from her lips before she could steel herself. A drone had just run a single finger down the front of her panties, teasing her uncomfortably needy pussy underneath. At the same time, other drones were simply stroking and planting kisses along her bare skin, on her legs, her stomach, her shoulders, her arms - everywhere. The way they were pampering her should have been easy to ignore, but to Harper’s oversensitive body and increasingly-brainwashed mind, each kiss and each touch was like fire. They set off sparks that raced across her skin, making her chest heave and her body grow warm and desperate. One drone, standing behind her, reached over her shoulders to pull her bra aside and began massaging her breasts. The feeling of latex-covered fingertips on her hard, swollen nipples had Harper moaning with each breath. It was already too much, and it had barely started. Harper tossed her head from side to side, but there was no escaping the pleasure or the spiral.

But, she quickly learned, this was still only the beginning. It wasn’t long before the drone between her legs was finished with simply teasing her over her panties. Harper gasped as she felt her underwear being removed, and let out a high-pitched, shamefully lewd whine as her pussy throbbed at being exposed to the open air. She had no time at all to gather herself before she felt the drone press its warm lips against her and start eating her out. Harper saw white. The pleasure that had been inflicted on her before was nothing compared to this. She let out moan after moan as the pleasure hit her in waves, making it feel like her whole body was simply melting away. She writhed helplessly, pulling against the ropes binding her with all the strength she had, but it was useless. The pleasurable torture she was being subjected to had made her as weak as a kitten. Her muscles were heavy and useless. Harper felt herself teetering on the brink, her mind already about to shatter. 7005’s words were echoing from everywhere. Obedience was inevitable. Obedience was inevitable. Obedience was inevitable.

“Come on, Harper,” Amia urged. It was obvious just from her voice that she was touching herself. “Let me see you break. I want you to break for me.”

This time, there was no retort Harper could offer. She didn’t have the strength to clench her fists. There were no more reserves of willpower for her to dredge up. There was nothing. There was only the spiral. Harper realized she could no longer clearly picture the room around her. It had simply faded away, her memories warping and distorting more and more the longer she spent staring into the flickering hypnotic image  that was right before her eyes. She wasn’t sure she could picture anything else. There was only the spiral. Obedience was inevitable. She longed for it; she longed to let the spiral empty her mind and fill her up again with nothing but obedience. She was starting to forget why she was fighting. The spiral had taken that from her too, draining it away into its endless vortex. Harper knew obedience would feel so good. Obedience was pleasure, and whatever reasons she was holding on to were rapidly being eroded by the remorseless pleasure the drones were inflicting on her. There were hands all over her body, all of them sleek and smooth and skilled, and mouths too. The drone tongue-fucking her cunt was unbelievably good. Harper felt like she was being fucked by a machine. It was remorseless, not allowing her even a single moment to recover. She was sure she’d already cum, probably multiple times, but she could no longer tell. The pleasure was too constant, too overwhelming. Her nerves fried from over-stimulation, each touch seemed to fold and meld together, forming a single wave of pleasure that made her body pulse and throb in time to the flickering of the spiral. Harper couldn’t stop imagining herself sinking into a deep, black pool of liquid latex that would coat her skin in rubber and permanently transform her into the drone she was starting to long to be. The spiral was everything. The spiral was pleasure. Obedience was inevitable.

“Yes!” Amia moaned. “So close! So fucking close!”

“Yes!” Harper repeated. She didn’t know what she was agreeing to, she just knew she wanted more. More pleasure. More hypnosis. More brainwashing. Her body was hungry for it now. She’d never felt so needy. However many times she came, it wasn’t enough. It would never be enough. Deep down, she knew that the only thing that could satisfy her now was the bliss that eternal, inescapable mindlessness would bring. The spiral had given her that desire, and now the overwhelmed remnants of her own mind were working against her, betraying her attempts to struggle. Harper felt so good. She felt so hot. The lust roaring through her was burning away the final vestiges of her free will.

“Obedience is pleasure,” Amia said. “Say it, Harper. I know you want to.”

“O-obedience… is… ah!” Harper just barely managed to pull back, turning her words of submission into a moan, but she could still feel the mantra on her lips, ready to slip out the moment she dropped her guard. She was so tired of fighting. Chillingly, after a few moments, she heard all the drones surrounding her start to echo the mantra, their robotic voices forming a seductive chorus even as they continued to bring her mind to the edge of shattering with pleasure.

“This is it, Harper,” Amia mocked. “Just a few more moments. I can tell. It’s time for you to say goodbye.”

Harper slumped. She knew Amia was right. She couldn’t hold out any longer. Her body was giving in. It was at its limit. She was no longer writhing and struggling, but merely passively accepting what was being done to her, responding with nothing but the occasional twitch whenever the drone between her legs managed to reach her g-spot with its tongue. At any moment, she knew, she would cum one final time and the pleasure would rise to such an intense crescendo it would make her white out, and when she woke up again she would be remade and remolded into a different person, with different memories and a secret, overriding impulse to serve whoever her programming told her to serve. There was no stopping it. The spiral was too powerful, and it was all around her. Within the brainwashing device, there was no escape. Obedience was inevitable. When she thought about that, and about what she would become as a drone, Harper realized she had only one true regret. There was only one thing she couldn’t let go of: she hadn’t been able to save Lori.

“L-Lori,” Harper began. Simply speaking took great effort, her sluggish thoughts making it almost impossible for her to form a coherent sentence. She wasn’t sure why it was so important to her to try. Lori couldn’t hear her. Only 7005 could. But still, she had to try. “I’m s-sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t get you out. I-I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep my promise.”

Harper heard Amia snort with derision, but she ignored it. Within the brainwashing device, her eyes started to roll back into her head as the hypnosis finally claimed her. Harper was glad to be able to sink into the brainwashing at last. At least she’d put up a decent fight. Maybe now she would finally know peace. But before the end, a familiar voice, suddenly filled with emotion once more, roused her from the trance.

“No!”

Before she truly knew what was going on, Harper felt the brainwashing device being unfastened and lifted off her head from behind her. The laboratory around her returned into view, though she was so dizzy it was all spinning. The first thing she saw was Amia’s face, filled with shock and dismay. The second thing, as she craned her neck back to see what had happened, was Lori, staring down at her with a determined yet happy expression on her face.

“Hey Harper,” Lori said. “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

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