"Where did you get these ideas?" Octavia sat at the table reading their messages over again, while Sebastian made them coffee. She was wearing a simple but formal black dress and shiny black shoes. With a thoughtful frown, she said: "It's intriguing but I don't quite know what to do with it yet."
He stood at the counter with a coffee cup in his hand, waiting for the coffee machine. He wore a crisp white shirt but no tie or jacket. "Permission to speak freely, Ma'am?" He asked tentatively.
She looked at him with a warm smile. "Permission granted. Please tell me your thoughts."
"After our last session, I watched the recent Captain America movies again on a free afternoon. Have you seen them?" He avoided her eyes, maybe he still thought she didn't know who he really was. Maybe he was embarrassed to bring up the story of a movie he had worked on to a dominatrix.
"I have!" Octavia grinned with glee. "I see now where one of those ideas came from."
"Well, the other idea is based on a storyline that didn't get a lot of attention in the movies, but much moreso in the comics. Bucky's brainwashing." He brought the coffee to the table and sat down as he spoke. "And after what we did last session, I wondered if we could…" His voice died away and he buried his face in his hands, too embarrassed to explain it.
She rubbed her hands together, glossing over his embarrassment to get on with the work she loved to do. "My dear, I would absolutely love to craft a dramatic scene where we play out a story from your geeky fantasies. I think I know exactly what to do now."
He sighed with relief and drank his coffee as she brought out the manila folder again, and placed it open in front of him.
"A new memory file?" He put down his coffee and quickly skimmed the text to confirm that it was as he remembered it.
"Tried and true." Octavia replied. "That's going to be very important. But I also want another prop. Show me your phone, please."
He got his phone out of his pocket and showed Octavia how he unlocked it with his thumb print.
"That's perfect." She came over to stand next to him. "Take a selfie of us together. Wait…" She opened up the top buttons of his shirt. "Ok, good."
Just before he took the picture, she leaned in close to kiss him on the cheek and it brought a wonderful smile to his face.
Pleased with herself, she sat back down and drank her coffee. "Now, keep that picture open on your phone, so that it's the first thing you see when you unlock it. Just for now."
He did what he was told and then placed the phone on the table next to the folder. "Thank you, Ma'am. I think I understand where you're going. Should I sign the file?"
"Please. And then get ready to start."
He sat down to read it carefully and then wrote 'Sebastian' on the dotted line. Full of anticipation, he quickly downed his coffee.
Octavia stood up and paced for a moment, thinking. Then she said: "When you're ready to begin, I want you to sit on a chair here in the middle of the room."
He put the chair in the indicated spot and sat down with his hands in his lap, looking up at her as she moved closer and loomed over him.
"You see, my dear…" Octavia started to speak in that dreamy voice. "When I think of the brainwashing that I've seen in comics and in scifi stories I liked, it was so much more than what we saw in the recent Captain America movies. It's so much more than saying a few magic words. Certainly, I liked the drama and the guilt Bucky struggled with. But I'm interested in the process, you see?"
She reached out and touched his stubbled jaw. He swallowed and silently blinked at her.
"In the stories I liked, there would be drugs to lower the subject's inhibitions, their ability to resist. That's something I look for in those stories, I want to see their willpower drained. I want to watch their defenses being stripped away until all that's left is a vulnerable, helpless subject, completely submissive and suggestible."
His cheeks flushed and his mouth opened as his breathing quickened. Her hand caressed up over his cheeks and covered his eyes.
"Close your eyes and picture it. Drugged and helpless, you were dragged away by people you don't remember and placed in this chair. And you've seen those stories as much as I have. It's not an ordinary chair, there's all this equipment. There's wires and lights and things that attach to your scalp and your temples and you don't understand any of it. It's too much. Maybe it's uncomfortable, maybe it aches as they turn on the machines and your mind instinctively tries to resist..."
She caressed his face as she spoke, and a moan escaped his lips.
"But you can't. The drugs have made it so you have no defenses. And these machines were designed to do one thing only and they can keep it up much longer than you could ever hope to resist. The lights keep blinking, the instruments keep on buzzing electricity against your skin, they keep on relentlessly churning away your will and eventually you surrender to it, helpless."
His head swayed under her touch. His breathing became heavier and there was a slump in his shoulders as his hands slipped off his lap and hung limply at his sides.
Octavia took a deep breath to control her excitement. "You're being brainwashed. These machines are just steadily chipping away at all your thoughts and your memories, wiping your mind until you're nothing but an empty, obedient subject, waiting for orders."
His eyelids fluttered, the white of his eyes momentarily visible. Twitches traveled over his skin and she stepped back to see it all. His chest rose and fell with his heavy breathing and a bulge grew in his crotch, straining against the fabric of his pants. But her eyes were drawn to the way his mouth hung open, and the way his lips and his tongue moved.
"Maybe not completely empty." She said softly. "Maybe there are words, repeating over and over in your mind, words that are part of this process, swirling around inside your empty head. Maybe it's because it's your voice saying those words. They're coming out of your mouth. You're just reinforcing your conditioning by repeating these words to yourself."
"Empty… Obedient… Brainwashed…" His lips trembled and his tongue was visible in the silence between the words he whispered. "Empty. Obedient. Brainwashed. Empty. Obedient. Brainwashed." He repeated it like a mantra.
She drew up next to him, her lips close to his ear so he would hear her clearly even as he continued to say those words. "And this feels so familiar, doesn't it? As if it's happened so many times before. As if you've done things, been to places in between, and then you were brought back here again to sit in this chair and everything was erased again."
"Empty. Obedient. Brainwashed." His eyes drifted open and stared vacantly at a corner of the ceiling as his voice became more steady and monotonous.
"So many times…" She said with a sigh. "You don't know how many times you've tried to escape anymore. You don't know how many things you've forgotten anymore. And it doesn't matter. You can't resist. You just end up here again."
"Empty. Obedient. Brainwashed."
Octavia stepped back and watched him sitting there. She clenched her hands together, suppressing an aroused shudder. Then she shook her head and forced herself to focus and move along.
"Until the machines are turned off." She said loud enough to interrupt his mantra. "It is done. The process is complete and you are stored in this room until you are needed."
He slumped in the chair, his eyes closing as his head sagged down until his chin rested on his chest. His hair obscured his face now but Octavia still stared at him with her eyes full of lust.
Then she cleared her throat and said. "Wake up, Sergeant. Stand up."
Immediately, he rose from the chair and stood with his hands behind his back. It reminded her of their first session together. His face was blank and his eyes were vacant, but he was clearly awake and ready to obey any orders she gave him.
"There you are!" She embraced and hugged him, making sure their bodies touched all the way from her knees up to her bosom. She ground her hip against the bulge in his crotch but there was no reaction whatsoever. He stared blankly ahead with his hands behind his back. He didn't even flinch when she started to kiss him.
She grabbed him by the chin as she kissed him more forcefully. Her other hand worked to open his shirt and expose the top he wore underneath it. She allowed herself this moment to express her arousal before she moved on to the more dramatic part of the scene.
And he just stood there. His eyes closed, so that was something. And his arms cooperated when she pulled the shirt off. He shrugged it off on the chair behind him and then his hands returned behind his back. As she touched his crotch, his erection was rockhard under her hand, but he didn't kiss her back and he didn't moan or even shudder.
Octavia backed away, her hands resting on his chest now. "Look at me. You don't recognise me?"
His eyes opened and turned to her, but there was no facial expression as he closed his mouth.
She feigned a worried look. "What have they done to you? Say something."
He blinked at her for a moment and then replied: "Something."
"You don't remember who you are?" She asked. "You don't remember who I am?"
He looked at her and then slowly shook his head.
She paused silently to give him a shocked look, before she started to grind against his body again. "Your body doesn't even remember me?" She said in her sultriest voice as she kissed his neck and groped his crotch.
Finally, she felt a tremble in his legs, his hips bucked against her. His breath hitched and his hands reached out, hesitant to touch her. She made her kiss hotter, determined to make a hickey as if she was a teenager making out with her boyfriend.
Then he pushed her away. There was a frown on his face. "Who are you?"
She stumbled dramatically as she backed up against the table. "Here." She said as she reached for the phone. "This will help you remember." And she handed it to him.
He blinked and looked at it as if he had never seen it before.
"It's your phone. Unlock it. It works with your thumb print. Look." She put her thumb on the pad to show that it wouldn't activate for her.
Frowning, he pressed his thumb against the pad and the screen came to life, showing that smiling selfie of them together. He stared at it with growing concern on his face.
"Do you remember now?" She asked as she touched his arm. "Anything? Just a vague recollection of our happy time together?"
His arm with the phone lowered as he looked at her again. "You're…" His voice trailed off as his eyes looked past her into the distance, as if he was trying to remember. He rubbed his forehead and narrowed his eyes as she sank down on the chair. "What did they do to me?" He dropped the phone on the floor and buried his face in his hands.
She crouched in front of the chair and looked up at him. "I'll help you remember."
He ran his hands through his hair and then gave her a helpless look. "I don't know what to do." He whispered.
His blue eyes had so much emotion in them in this moment, it almost broke her heart to say what she planned to say. "We'll get through this. You'll remember, you'll see."
She reached out and they embraced each other. He buried his face in her neck and she caressed his back.
"We'll get through this." She whispered to him. "As long as you don't say those words."
He froze in her arms. "What?"
"Those words you sometimes mumble in your sleep." Octavia tried to sound innocent. "You sometimes say them to yourself and then your eyes get all distant. As long as you don't do that, you'll be fine."
"Empty…" He muttered as he let go of her.
"You're saying it." She backed away to take a good look at him.
"Obedient. Brainwashed." He sat up straight in the chair as his eyes rolled up into his head. "Empty. Obedient. Brainwashed."
Octavia gasped at him. He sat there as if the past few minutes had never happened, as if she had just finished hypnotising him. Quietly, she crawled over to the chair and picked up the phone. The screen was still unlocked, showing that picture. She found the camera app and then recorded him sitting there, repeating those words to himself. Then she said loudly and clearly: "And then the machines are turned off."
He slumped in the chair as if he had been switched off himself. She stopped recording and put the phone down on the table. She picked up the memory file and walked back to him.
"Open your eyes, Sergeant." She held the document out to him. "Read this out to me."
"Yes, Sir." He took the page and started to read. At first his voice was dull and automatic. "This is my memory file. When I sign my name at the bottom of this page, all of my memories and my sense of reality are filed here. In case of hypnotic amnesia, altered mental ability or other memory loss, I only need to read this page again and my memories are returned…"
His voice trailed off and he gasped. He clutched his face and blinked heavily. "Octavia… That was amazing…"
She handed him the phone and showed him the little video she took. "Believe me, Sebastian. The pleasure was all mine."