Angela lifted the helmet from her head and sighed.
She walked out and checked the system monitors connected to Janice’s helmet. The neuroprogramming module was functioning within normal parameters. Janice’s rejection of the Scylla of lesbian lovemaking with Angela was being leveraged into acceptance, even craving, for the Charybdis of submission to Bill’s taste for domination and bondage.
She could pull up a monitor screen that would show her exactly what Janice was seeing and hearing, but she didn’t need to, or particularly want to. The physiological and cortical-activity indicators were clear enough.
Damn it, this was the sixth one in a row. She usually got about one in three.
She couldn’t begrudge Bill his good fortune; he was too good a friend for that, and her dry spell wasn’t his fault. Hell, he’d even finished softening Janice up for the grand finale, then stood aside to give her the first shot at her.
She resolved to put a good face on it. It wouldn’t do her any good to put a damper on Bill’s evening.
Janice’s hips began to gyrate. For some reason, sexual thrusting and orgasm were among the few virtual-world actions that carried over into real-world bodily responses. Angela grinned as she recalled how they had discovered that, and Bill made sure to have a change of underwear on hand after that first session.
Finally, Janice settled back into the couch. The VR generator closed down, and the system proceeded to the final step, replacing her memories with a nondescript tour of a fairly good but unspectacular audiovisual-only VR environment. Her new desire would remain; however. Upon awakening, she would feel a sudden impulse to proposition Bill and agree to whatever kinky flourishes he suggested, thinking that the urge had spontaneously come over her out of nowhere.
She undid the straps around Janice’s arms and legs and hid them away, leaving Bill the pleasure of re-attaching them.
Bill had now removed his own helmet and was standing by Janice’s couch, waiting. She would be ready for his real-world pleasure in another minute or so.
Angela said, “Have fun,” and let herself out.
* * *
Angela spent the next afternoon in the lab, working on further tweaks to the system. Bill arrived at about five o’clock, carrying a bag of Chinese takeout. It was small consolation to Angela that Bill, having received the latest payoff from their invention, had footed the bill for dinner.
“I think you almost had her,” Bill remarked as he put the food down on the biggest empty table space he could find. “She seemed to need a lot of reassurance of her heterosexuality.” He winked.
“Lucky you,” Angela deadpanned. She started digging into her kung pao chicken.
“Any new ideas on how to tilt the odds a bit closer to equal?” Despite his teasing, Bill was quite sincere in that question, both as a scientist and as a friend. He’d made a few adjustments himself last November that had seemed to help Angela’s odds a bit, but their sample size was still too small to confirm that.
“I’m running some correlations between about a dozen variables in the system program and the subject readings. None of it looks too promising, though.”
Bill’s impish streak piped up. “Maybe it would help if we tried recruiting subjects from the Women’s Studies department.” Angela thwacked him over the head with a chopstick. He continued, “Especially if we recruit the ones that spell “womyn” with a ‘Y’.” Angela raised the chopstick again, and they both cracked up giggling.
After a moment, Bill pushed his chair back, out of chopstick range. “Don’t worry. I’ll bet that next time you’ll get it licked.”
He was out of chopstick-swinging range, but not chopstick-throwing range.