It wasn’t a voice. That would have been a blessing. And this was definitely from the other place.
She grabbed a pen from her nightstand, and turned to add to the scribbles on her wall.
Fuck! Empty. She discarded the pen and rummaged through her drawer to find another one. All she found was an unsharpened pencil with a broken eraser.
She froze as she heard movement outside her door. She held her breath, waiting with every muscle tensed until the sound faded.
I’m not getting anything done like this. I need to help her!
She paced around the room, trying to avoid tripping over discarded containers and scraps of paper.
It’s been eighteen hours since I got back, and I haven’t put a foot outside. I can’t leave, but I can’t stay here, can I? Fuck!
She wanted to scream, but that would draw attention, and might lead to her being recaptured. And that. Wouldn’t. Help. So instead, she settled for knocking over the nearest trash can.
I’ll never save her.
She flopped onto her bed, her hands stuck curled into claws, and screamed into the pillow.
Without any other options, I’m driving myself insane. I can’t fight the compulsion. And even if I could, I don’t know if I’d want to. She’d do the same for me. She did do the same for me.
She pulled back the curtains, risking a peek outside. No groups of angry toys, no unsatisfied customers. She turned back to the web of useless ideas and half-baked plans that had become her wall. How long had it been since she’d eaten?
I can’t save her, can I?
Silence was the only answer.
Amber’s past few months had been going well. She felt strong, beautiful, and healthy for the first time in her life. The programming major typically spent most of her time in front of a screen. Her passion in life was watching stupid B movies with her friends, though she also enjoyed the occasional gaming session.
Now, her time was spent working on her body.
For as long as she could remember, she’d always wanted the instagram body. She wanted to look like a goddess, tight butt, curves, and toned abs you’d want to run your mouth over.
Being your typical nerdy girl had sadly always gotten in the way of that dream. Amber would rather watch Terror From Planet 9 for the 11th time than spend an hour exercising, and ordering a pizza was much easier than cooking a proper meal. The past few months, however, she and her three friends, Sasha, Sara, and Clair, had spent almost every day at the gym. Amber had even begun generating metadata on their workouts.
“Always the programmer,” her friends would say. Amber herself just wanted to get the most out of her current situation.
“Shame Clair wasn’t here today,” Sasha shook her head.
“Yeah, I hope she’s not sick. She’s been so diligent with her schedule up till now.”
They rounded the corner, and nearly ran into a mousy brunette coming the other way, who dropped a book she was holding in surprise.
“Sara! Just got off work?” Amber asked once she recovered.
Sara picked up the book that had fallen. “O-oh! H-hi girls.”
Amber grinned, wrapping an arm around both of her friends. “Hey! I’m so lucky to have both of you. So, what are we doing tonight? Movie? Games?”
Sara ducked out from under her grasp. “Actually, Amber...”
“Oh, right! How could I forget?” She turned, giving Sasha an apologetic look. “Sara and I actually had plans to study tonight.”
Sasha sighed. “Whatever,” she mumbled, turning away.
“Don’t be like that!” Amber laughed, lightly swatting her on the back. “We’ll see each other for drinks on the weekend, alright?”
Sasha rolled her eyes, returning the swat with a light punch on the shoulder. They hugged and went their separate ways. They both hated excluding her, but they absolutely had to take the study time.
They chatted about nothing on their way to Sara’s dorm room, just making idle conversation. Amber giggled at a joke as they walked into Sara’s room. The door closed behind them with a click.
She was naked on the square of carpet, wearing nothing but her bright red collar. She didn’t remember waking up, though she clearly remembered going to sleep. No. There was something else. She remembered... something...
Amber, get dressed and come here.
Some clothes had been placed at her feet, and she’d followed Sara, out the...
The door! I left!
But I came right back.
Her memories stopped the moment Sara, fully clothed in something inconspicuous, opened the front door.
So, Ikora is letting me leave, but only on her terms.
Should I call her Mistress? Is that the right term?
No, I haven’t been ordered to do anything. I have to listen to my orders.
Amber shook her head. Merely thinking had become an incredible effort. She wasn’t even sure what was normal anymore, and it had only been... a day? She wasn’t sure.
“Amber, come here,” a voice called from the kitchen. She moved to do so, welcoming the reprieve from her thoughts.
Sara was waiting for her in the same maid outfit she’d been wearing before.
Guess you don’t need much variety when you’re a mindless zombie.
Though I’d count myself lucky to have anything more than just a collar.
She knelt, looking up at Sara.
A plate of food had been placed by her feet. A tuna sandwich. Degrading as it was to eat on the floor, she needed the food. She finished it quickly, though she was still hungry.
Amber rose to her feet, then looked at Sara for confirmation.
Does she want me to beg?
I shouldn’t assume. If that’s not what she wants, I’ll probably get punished.
Amber knelt, wincing and stumbling a bit as she did. As soon as her knees met the ground, Sara set down a glass of water and a protein bar. Amber looked from the food to the outstretched hand, to the face that had given it. Sara nodded.
What’s the point of all this?
She ate, and thankfully, it seemed to have been enough food. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d had a proper meal. She certainly hadn’t, during the time she’d spent running. Except for...
She winced as the tile scraped against her knees, but she didn’t hesitate to obey.
Sara tilted her head, staring at the bruise for a few moments. “Wait here,” she finally said.
And once again, Amber was left alone with her worst enemy.
Can I sit? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.
I miss her. When is she coming back?
Listening to her is easy. I don’t want her to go.
She wanted to scream.
But that would get me punished.
Footsteps approached, and Sara came back into view. She practically leapt out of her skin when Sara re-entered the room.
“Here. Kneel,” she said, placing a pillow next to her. Amber knelt on top of it, confused.
This time, what she got wouldn’t even qualify as a meal. Just a single slice of bread? But that was enough for Amber to get the message.
She wants me to kneel whenever I want food.
She’s conditioning me.
But that’s better than listening to myself.
“Follow me,” Sara said as soon as Amber had finished the bread. She stopped at the edge of Amber’s carpet, and Amber stopped just behind her.
She barely had time to think before a wave of indescribable pleasure hit, bashing her against the shores of... something her mind couldn’t process a metaphor for, because it was pleasure, everything was pleasure, she was pleasure. Her eyes rolled back and she gasped for air, biting her lip and pinching her nipples. She tried to scream, but only a moan came out.
An unknowable amount of time later - it could have been seconds or hours for all she knew - she was coming to, panting in a pile on the ground.
I want that again.
The orgasm felt good, and the message was obvious. Play nice, get rewarded.
“You are welcome to leave the carpet should you need to stretch your legs, or to find a comfortable place to rest your knee. You may not sit on any of the furniture besides this pillow, and you may not leave the apartment.”
Amber stared at Sara. Surely that couldn’t have been Ikora’s idea. After all, she seemed to hate Amber’s guts, and would be glad to watch her suffer.
“T-thank you,” she stammered, confused.
“You are welcome.”
Sara turned smoothly towards the broom closet, and grabbed cleaning supplies. Amber took that as a dismissal, and was left standing in the middle of the room, dumbfounded by the privilege. She looked around for something to do, but... what? She hadn’t expected to be able to do anything.
TV? I could watch something. I could work on homework assignments...
There’s no way she left a laptop unguarded, though, and she doesn’t know enough to safeguard one.
So should I just sit here? Bide my time, take a nap? Or...
Gah! I have no idea what to do.
Making decisions is so hard, now...
She stared at the couch across from the TV for a few minutes, then the table. Then, her eyes returned to the carpet.
There’s no worry that Ikora will punish me if I’m there.
I’m safe there.
She curled up on her comforter, and quickly drifted off to sleep.
Amber awoke to the sound of a door closing.
This is getting repetitive.
I should get up. Ikora is home.
If I act like I’m supposed to, maybe she won’t be so mean to me today.
She put on a smile, but Ikora didn’t even spare her a glance as she handed her coat off to Sara and marched off into the kitchen.
I should follow them so I don’t need to sit here alone.
No. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should. I don’t want to make her upset.
Fifteen minutes later, Ikora came back into her line of sight. Sara was trailing behind her, head bowed low.
I should say something...
But I shouldn’t make her angry. I need to just act happy and let her be.
She forced another smile. Sara’s gaze flicked over her for a moment. Then, Ikora walked into the bedroom, and Sara followed.
Was Ikora upset with her? Was she going to be punished?
She wanted to hide somewhere. If Ikora couldn’t find her, she couldn’t punish her.
She will find me, though...
And if I hide, my punishment will be even more severe for defying her.
She had long since given up attempting to tell the voice in her head apart from herself.
I need to be better for her.
Sara emerged from the bedroom. Her outfit was, surprisingly, crisp and undisturbed. She approached Amber’s invisible pen.
“Mistress Ikora is sleeping now. You must keep quiet.”
Amber let out a sigh she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.
Sara stared at her curiously.
She had to stop herself from dumbly asking huh? as Sara made her way to the sofa. Amber scrambled to her feet, moving to follow before she was blanked out.
Sara sat down, looking at Amber expectantly.
Does she want me to sit down here?
I’m not allowed on the furniture. I don’t think that’s a good idea.
But I trust Sara. What she tells me to do, I’ll do.
Amber sank to the floor, sitting cross-legged. Sara patted the spot next to her insistently, frowning.
But I can’t. Tha-
She was facing where she’d just sat.
Shit! I’m on the couch. She told me not to. But-
I need to get off. I’ll be punished if I don’t.
She pushed her hands down, springing to her feet.
Amber froze, then teetered in the awkward midway-up position she was in, falling back to the couch. Her eyes widened in panic, but she couldn’t move.
“You may use the furniture if you are specifically commanded to do so.”
Amber was still frozen, but her breathing slowed, relaxing.
Sara patted her lap. “You can move now. Lay your head here.”
Amber did as ordered, grateful for the relative comfort of furniture and human contact that wasn’t sexual in nature.
Sara’s legs were softer than Amber had expected them to be. She had the beginnings of muscle definition, but not nearly the same sinewy, ropey feeling that Amber was used to feeling from her own. Ikora had implied she was a later conquest, and by now, Amber was certain the workouts had been part of the programming. The timeline for... that person’s capture just made sense.
At least... This is nice.
I can feel comfortable around her. She’s safe, even if nothing else here is.
That idea was tinged by the reminder of the last person she’d thought that about.
I can’t think about her. Too much pain.
I don’t like her. She was never my friend.
Amber closed her eyes, sighing as a gentle touch began to caress the side of her head.
“You can relax now, Amber. I won’t let anyone hurt you. I promise.”
Sara’s tone was still emotionless. It would have seemed strange under normal circumstances, but these were not those. The meaning was clear. It wasn’t a statement of caring, or of protectiveness. It was a statement of fact. Sara would protect her.
Thank you, she thought, silent thanks to the girl Ikora had ruined to make her maid.
Sleep found her soon after.
She was tired, exhausted, even. Slowly, the world began to come into focus again.
I hate this.
I almost want to ask Ikora to just enslave me already, so I can stop getting all this whiplash.
Warm air brushed against her skin. That was new. She turned, and was met with a slim space heater sitting just a couple feet away. She smiled.
Sara must have put that there.
She cares about me. Or, even if it’s not actually caring... she’s helping.
Basking in that warmth, she continued her self-reflection. She had to keep trying to think. Whether or not it would work, she couldn’t let herself stop trying.
I remember waking up, I think. Then I must have left.
Is continuing to try really worth it? It’s not getting any easier to think.
But I can’t lose myself. I need to keep trying.
She pushed herself upright, preparing to stretch, and winced at how sore she was.
I guess that explains why I didn’t remember waking up this morning.
At least her body wasn’t going to waste away, though she shuddered to imagine what humiliation Ikora would put her through.
I hope she’s ok.
She looked around, hoping the familiar maid costume would appear. Nothing. Once again, she was alone with her thoughts.
Her stomach growled. Had she worked out, and really not eaten? Probably Ikora’s cruelty again
Dejected, she moved back to her square and tried to get some sleep, hoping it would quiet her stomach.
When I pulled all those all-nighters, I didn’t expect that experience to come into play like this...
She awoke to the sound of the door closing.
Her stomach grumbled, and she was reminded how little she’d eaten. Slowly, she made her way back to the kitchen, kneeling on the floor. Sara was busy getting dressed into her maid outfit, so she would likely have to wait agonizing minutes before she’d get any attention.
God damn you and your programming, Ikora. Would it kill you to let me eat when I’m hungry?
As if complaining would do anything but make it worse.
Sara finished getting dressed, then seemed to notice Amber, and moved towards her. Then, she smiled.
“Amber! Great to see you! Can we talk about the group homework?”
What the fuck?
Sara’s smile didn’t falter. Somehow, a genuine smile unnerved Amber more than her usual lifeless mask.
She probably wants a response, Amber realized. She nodded slowly.
“Oh, that’s great!” Sara grinned.
Ikora’s toying with me. Why?
Punishment? What would I have done to deserve it?
“So, first of all, I was filling out the project forms, and I realized I don’t know how to spell your name.”
Is this some kind of exception for group projects?
That would make sense, so she didn’t alert outsiders on the phone or whatever.
“It’s Amber Cheng. A, M, B, E, R, C, H, E, N, G,” she said hesitantly.
“Ok, perfect! So, next question. We needed to set up a VM for the assignment, right? But I can’t figure out the permission stuff. What’s a ‘superuser’, exactly?”
Alright... I mean, not that I’d remember what the homework was anyway. At least it’s something I know how to answer.
“It’s... hm. How to explain? It’s like an administrator, on most systems. Essentially, they can do anything, and I mean almost anything. Which is why you tend not to have your normal account be one, in case you make a mistake.”
“Makes sense,” Sara mused. “So, can a superuser make a file that they couldn’t delete? You know, like that old question about omnipotence.”
“I think you actually can do that,” Amber sighed. It was nice to return to what she knew, but this all seemed so surreal... “But a superuser could just override that, then delete it.”
“And what’s TCP? That kept showing up in the instructions, but the descriptions I found online went way over my head.”
What kind of project are we doing, anyway? “It’s... Something Control Protocol, I think. Transmission? That sounds right. Don’t worry about it. It’s just a basic part of how the internet works. Just assume it means internet connections.”
“And the instructions mentioned some kind of tool that would do the system configurations for me. Do you know what that is? It was... P-something.”
“Right! Do I need to worry about that?”
Amber shook her head. “If you’re supposed to use it, the teacher probably set it up already. Speaking of which... which teacher assigned this?”
Sara fell silent.
Huh? Was that all she needed for the assignment or something?
Sara turned, seemingly ignoring the question, her face returning to its normal expressionless state.
Guess that’s over. Weird homework, though.
Amber’s stomach growled.
“I am sorry, Amber,” Sara said emotionlessly. “I will bring you some food.”
Ikora closed the door, and Amber woke, sitting to attention quickly. She watched as the dark skinned woman sighed, then threw her coat at Sara. Several moments of absentminded breast groping later, Ikora strutted her way to Amber’s pen.
“Hey, bitch,” she laughed.
I’m her pet. I just need to act like it, and it’ll all be ok.
I don’t want her to hurt me.
She cast her gaze down to Ikora’s feet, but Ikora tutted, grabbing her chin to force her to meet her captor’s eyes.
“You can talk, Amber. I know how much of a good gi- Whoops! Wouldn’t want to say that trigger by accident.”
Amber tried to look away, but Ikora’s grip was firm.
“Talk, Amber,” she growled.
Amber paused for a moment, trying to force the words out of her mouth.
“Welcome home... Mistress.”
She wants that, doesn’t she?
I’m her pet. So I’ll act like it.
Ikora smiled, “There’s my girl. Who’s a good widdle hypno swave?”
Amber blinked, overwhelmed by equal parts of shame and pride at the words. She wasn’t going to be punished. But... was the cost for that too high?
“Sara’s been keeping me apprised on your progress. You should be happy.”
Amber’s eyes shot to Sara, who was standing there, emotionless as ever.
Thank you for telling her so that I’m safe.
“You think she cares about you?”
Amber knew what Ikora was going to say. But it didn’t matter.
“I told her to do that. She cares for you the same way she cleans toilets. I’m making her do it.”
Amber didn’t react. She just met Ikora’s eyes, unable to muster any emotion to display.
“Everything she does. Everything in your life from now on. Is all from me. Every meal you eat. Every second of happiness you have. All of it-” She cut off, noticing Amber’s gaze had slipped back to Sara.
“Look at me, bitch! She doesn’t care about you. Nobody does. I could tell her to feed you rat poison, and she’d do it! So understand this, pet. This is as good as it’s ever going to get for you now. Just an illusion. No one in your sad, pathetic life will ever love you again! So I want you to know exactly how it feels. How it feels to be pulled around on a string, and then fucked when it all comes crumbling down on top of you!”
Amber tried to open her mouth, but the force of Ikora’s grip stopped her.
“Go on. I know you want to do it. Do it! Ask.” Ikora let go of her chin.
“Why are you doing this to me?” Amber asked tonelessly.
“Because... No. No, on second thought, you don’t deserve answers.”
Sweat dripped to the floor by Amber’s feet.
“If I can’t get any answers for this fucking device breaking down, neither do you.”
Amber felt a surge of energy at that.
“I guess I should at least give you credit for that. Your shit is infuriatingly complicated, however much you tried to explain it to me.”
“Why not just disk the information directly to your head?” Amber blurted.
Ikora scoffed. “The disks can’t do that.”
Amber shook her head, unable to stop herself from speaking. “The disks promote recall that is impossible for someone without them.”
Why did I say that?
It's programming. She told me to speak.
I’m just a pet.
Ikora frowned. “You... shouldn’t know about that. Should you? How... how would you have experimental results that we never found?”
“Amber,” Ikora continued slowly, moving over to grasp her hair. “Tell me. How do you know the disks can do that? Be very specific.”
“I used an admin override to force Clair to help me. Her memory recall while under the effects of serum protocol was incredibly precise. The theory I was working with was that the disk’s programming was accessing her memories better than she could.”
“What kind of things did you ask?”
Amber’s mind provided the answer immediately, as if to prove the theory.
“Mostly basic information questions. What I did when I was activated, questions about the disks, any information I could use.”
I have to tell her or I’ll go blank.
She’s won. I don’t have any other choice.
“She... she told me that she loved me.”
“And you believed her?”
“Yes. I did.”
Ikora sneered, then let go of Amber to pace, muttering under her breath. Amber didn’t dare move while she waited for her next command.
“Look at you. So pathetic. Did you really think you deserved to be happy? You don’t really believe that, do you?”
Ikora laughed. “Of course you do. Oh, Amber...” she trailed off, then stopped, eyes widening in horror.
“You... you love her, don’t you?”
I don’t like girls.
“No,” she replied instantly.
Ikora snorted. “Don’t lie to me. I know you like her. I saw that in the basement. I thought maybe you just cared for her, but I see now I was foolish. You do love her.”
I don’t like girls.
“No, I don’t!” Amber protested.
Ikora squinted. “How are you doing that? You shouldn’t be able to lie to me. Well, that’s irrelevant. Admin override, serum protocol.”
Amber’s mouth moved without permission.
“Please provide identification.”
“Administrator Ikora Amar. So. Now, answer me. Do. You. Love. Her?”
I don’t like girls.
“No. I don’t like girls!” she screamed.
Ikora gaped. “That’s... just not true. How the hell are you still defying me?”
“I’m not,” Amber said softly.
Ikora scrutinized her. “I’m going to figure this shit out, Amber. But for now, I can fix you.”
Amber closed her eyes.
“Administrator override, upload protocol.”
Amber stretched and yawned, basking in the light streaking across her face. She looked around the apartment, then chuckled. Waking up was a lot nicer when it wasn’t to the sound of blunt force.
The clock on the wall read seven in the morning, which meant the rest of the apartment was probably still asleep. Her stomach was rumbling, though, so she’d have to wait.
She walked to the kitchen, making herself comfortable on the pillow. Would Ikora grace her with some food herself? Or would she summon Sara to do it for her? Had Sara informed Ikora of what the pillow meant?
That question would remain unanswered, it seemed, as Sara emerged from the master bedroom in her usual state of disarray. Her hair was wild, and the laces of her outfit were beginning to tear. By the time she reached the closet, only a single zipper was keeping her even slightly clothed.
Amber didn’t bother looking away as Sara undressed. Nudity had long since become normal. It didn’t even feel sexual anymore. It was just Sara, doing what she did: Serving. Within seconds, Sara was wearing an identical outfit to the one she had just worn. She folded and placed the ruined clothes in a box under the closet. Mistress bought them in bulk for a reason.
She made her way to the kitchen, then began cooking. Amber sat on the pillow, waiting eagerly.
One plate of eggs later, Amber had gone to curl up on her mattress. She was probably going to be leaving for the gym soon, though she wouldn’t remember it happening. The thought was an electric thrill. The next time she blinked, she might either be incredibly sore, or it might be dark outside.
“Amber, come here,” Sara called from the door.
Amber took a deep breath as she approached the threshold.
See you soon, room...
She closed her eyes in anticipation.
“Turn around, and lift your arms above your head.”
Amber obeyed the command as easily as she breathed, before she even realized Sara had spoken. Soft fabric met her skin. Silk? It was lacy and frilly. The added warmth it provided was welcome.
“Lower your arms. You may turn around,” Sara ordered, and Amber opened her eyes, seeing herself in the mirror. The clothes looked strange on her after having spent so much time naked. The bright red collar was still fully visible, of course. Sara had made sure of that. It wasn’t supposed to be hidden. But otherwise, her attire was an identical replica of Sara’s own maid outfit.
Sara walked to the side, leaving Amber staring at herself. Something about her appearance...
She’d worn something similar before, hadn’t she? Though she couldn’t quite place when. Had Ikora done this before? That idea gave her a warm shiver.
I don’t like girls.
Of course I don’t.
She ran her fingers over the fabric. She imagined herself standing at attention, awaiting her next orders.
I guess I really enjoyed serving Sasha that one night in.
I should do this for Mistress Ikora.
She would present herself to her friends, hands clasped at her waist, head bowed, awaiting commands. She would look up, seeing what she’d always wanted. Someone to guide her, to serve, though she hardly deserved it. Someone who would accept her for what she was.
She felt a pain in her chest.
Why? Why do I feel like crying?
Because I haven’t been able to do this with Mistress Ikora yet.
When I’m the perfect pet for Mistress Ikora, I’ll be happy.
How could she make her Mistress happy? Surely there was something she could do. She owed it to her, for being so helpful, being someone who would always look out for her best interests. Someone wonderful enough to be her Mistress.
Her chest tightened even more.
This is ridiculous. I have no right to be sad.
I’ve put so much effort into being a perfect pet. I’m sure things will go well.
I just have to try my hardest to be as helpful as I can for my Mistress.
“Amber, come here,” Sara called from in front of the bedroom door.
She hurried to obey. Her chest still felt like it was gnawing at her, but following orders made it easier to ignore.
I always feel better when I’m given something to do.
After all, a perfect pet is always happy when serving... or something like that, anyway.
She exhaled sharply and prepared herself for whatever she would be commanded to do today.
“Follow my instructions to the letter. Do not speak until spoken to while in this room.”
The master bedroom was mostly taken up by a king sized bed, with a sleeping figure wrapped in a comforter. It didn’t look as fancy as Amber might have expected from her Mistress, though she supposed someone majoring in engineering and math would prize practicality. The room had very little as far as personal effects. A nightstand with a clock, a basic desk, and a plant or two. Those were probably Sara’s. This had originally been her room, after all. Amber’s eye caught on the stack of papers on the desk, though. They were out of place in the austere room, but they were neatly stacked. Sara’s doing, likely. Her Mistress wasn’t the kind to care about disorder. Taking a glance, she saw some tables listing bone densities, with complicated integrals and differential equations beneath them.
I can’t believe she can understand that stuff so well. She’s so smart...
Sara gently opened a window to let a little light in, which snapped Amber out of her admiration. The light played across the sleeping woman’s face.
Ikora groaned, and Amber’s heart sped up.
Sara unfastened her uniform, barely leaving it still hanging on. It wouldn’t take much to get it to come off, which was probably the point. She knelt by the side of the bed, and looked at Amber meaningfully.
It took a second before Amber realized what Sara wanted her to do. So she copied her fellow slave, and knelt on the opposite side of the bed. She wasn’t sure she could replicate the unfastening so easily, though.
Ikora’s eyes cracked open with another groan. In a daze, she reached out for Sara’s chest, brushing the fabric aside and taking a handful. She seemed to come awake a little more as she released Sara, then traced a finger around her nipple. Sara remained the model slave, unmoving and calm.
Ikora grunted, turning over to Amber. Her eyes weren’t really open, so they couldn’t make eye contact, but even that made her heart leap.
The moment passed just as quickly as it came, though. Ikora waved a hand in the air, and Sara responded by kneeling forward, exposing more of her chest.
A soft moan escaped Amber’s lips.
I want to serve her...
But I wouldn’t want to do this. I don’t like girls.
If she asks me, I’ll do it. I have to. But it’d be hard.
Am I supposed to join in? Or am I only supposed to watch?
I want to be used.
But I don’t like girls. This is enough as it is.
Ikora yawned and swatted Sara away. Amber kept her head bowed low, wondering what the gesture meant.
Sara got up and readjusted her outfit, motioning for Amber to follow. She stole glances at her Mistress as she left the room.
I don’t like girls.
A quick breakfast later, and Amber was being undressed and then re-dressed into clothes fit for the outside world.
Amber took deep breaths, waiting for Sara to open the door to the main hall.
I guess I’ll see you in a few seconds, room.
I hope Mistress will be back when I return.
The door opened.
She groaned in pleasure. An entire day, lost...
The thought was intoxicating.
Amber caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She was wearing nothing but her collar. A part of her missed her previous uniform. Another part of her told her to ignore that feeling.
Amber wandered to her carpet, hoping to curl up and get some rest.
The phone rang, but it was quickly picked up. Probably Sara.
“Yes, Mistress. I will obey.” The voice trailed out from Ikora’s bedroom. Amber peeked in, noticing Sara there, who turned to Amber.
“Mistress will be home early. Follow me.”
I get to see Mistress! Perfect! I won't have to worry about being sad when I’m with her.
Amber joined Sara in the kitchen, watching eagerly as she prepared a meal for her Mistress. She made something for her, and Amber, too, which Amber scarfed down gratefully.
The front door opened soon after. Both their heads bowed low as they greeted Ikora. She paid them no mind. Forgoing her usual routine, she threw her coat at Sara, grabbed her laptop, and sat down on the sofa.
“First the pink haired bitch, now the rest of them. Why is everyone breaking all at once?”
She drummed her fingers on the desk. Sara moved to sit next to her Mistress, her head still bowed. Amber followed suit.
“This doesn’t make any sense! Why is no one answering their damn e-mail!”
I should help her. That’s the right thing to do.
No, I should copy Sara and wait for instructions.
That won’t help Mistress. A perfect pet will do anything to help her Mistress.
“Mistress Ikora, what’s wrong?” she asked hesitantly.
Ikora’s eyes shot up, staring at her with what seemed like barely concealed hatred. Why? Hadn’t she been good?
“Amber,” Ikora hissed through her teeth. “Looks like you get to be the hero after all. Does your friend have any social media? Anything you can use to contact her other than her phone or e-mail?”
“Your friend, the pink haired bitch. Uh... Clair, I think.”
Amber cocked her head, frowning. “I’m sorry, Mistress. You must be mistaken. I don’t know anyone named Clair.”
“The fuck? You were... Oh. Right,” she groaned, turning back to her laptop. “Useless,” she muttered.
The words cut deep.
I’m not a good pet for Mistress.
I should do something for her.
I’m a good pet. I will wait for more orders.
No! Mistress needs help. I have to do something!
Amber looked towards Sara, a pleading look in her eyes.
Sara blinked, then nodded.
Amber smiled, then approached Ikora. “Uh... Mistress... Perhaps your pet could help you relax?”
Ikora was silent.
She held her breath. She’d never spoken out of turn before. Her Mistress was so generous to let her serve. What if she’d messed it all up?
I need to wait for more orders.
No! I know what she wants. A good pet anticipates her Mistress’s wishes.
She knelt before her Mistress’s gaze. It wasn’t cold, nor was it warm. She was just... watching her.
Amber held back a gulp. She looked towards her Mistress’ outstretched legs, then back to her eyes.
Ikora nodded, and all at once, the world felt right again. A weight had been lifted. She let out a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding.
She placed a hand on her Mistress’s leg, rubbing it slowly. She started massaging her calves - Damn, she’s stiff - as she kept her gaze pointed towards the ground.
She stole glances, and Ikora would sometimes nod whenever Amber pressed harder. Otherwise, she was silent.
She resisted the urge to look back. She knew Sara would be watching, having been given no other orders.
“Amber,” her Mistress breathed with a raspy voice, patting her lap. “Sit here.”
Amber couldn’t hold back her smile as she moved to obey.
I don’t like girls.
That doesn’t matter right now. I’m going to serve Mistress Ikora to the best of my ability.
“Tell me what you would do for me, pet.”
“Keep going,” Ikora grinned.
Amber’s eyebrows furrowed. What was she supposed to do there? Nonetheless, she would not disappoint her Mistress.
“What are your new thoughts?” Ikora asked suddenly.
Amber blinked, unsure what to say. Then, she moaned involuntarily as thoughts began to form.
“I’m... yours to command. I’ll obey any order. I have no will but what you decide.”
“Say it again.”
“I’m yours to command. I’ll obey any order. I have no will but what you decide!”
Ikora’s grin widened.
“I’m nothing but a pet to be used and commanded.”
Amber felt the words flow from her effortlessly. It was true. It was what she’d always wanted. Someone to serve.
“I want to serve. I need to serve. I want to serve. I need to serve. I want to serve. I need to serve.”
The words were expressions of her deepest self. Ikora bit her lip and watched as Amber’s eyes rolled to the back of her head. By the tenth repetition, her voice was almost inaudible.
“You can stop now, pet.”
“Yes Mistress,” she whispered. “I will obey. I am yours to command.”
Amber leaned forward. Her heart beat faster as she felt the soft caress of lips against her skin.
I don’t like girls.
But I love serving Mistress. I’ll do anything for her.
The orgasm took Amber by surprise. She fell into Ikora as her legs began to tremble. Ikora wrapped her arms around her. The embrace felt nice. Someone strong and caring to keep her safe even during her most intimate moments.
She could feel her breath on her neck as Ikora ran her hands along her back. The touch almost made her orgasm a second time.
Amber obeyed. Ikora smiled as her eyes roamed her pet’s body.
“You’re gorgeous,” she whispered.
“I... am yours to command, Mistress. How may I serve you?”
Ikora’s eyes softened. She looked vulnerable, almost. It was a strange change of pace.
“Do you love me, Amber?”
Her answer came without thought. How else could she answer?
“Of course not, Mistress.”
Ikora was stunned for a second, then growled.
“I don’t like girls, Mistress. I can’t love you.”
Ikora pushed her off her lap. Amber fell to the floor, then turned to look up at her Mistress in confusion.
“You... You bitch! How?”
“Mistress, I don’t understand. What’s wrong?”
She crawled towards her Mistress.
My place is on my knees before her.
“No. Stop!” Ikora growled.
The order felt like ice to her heart.
Did I do something wrong?
“You think you’re so clever, don’t you? You think you can beat me? I won! I own you!”
“Yes, Mistress!” she whispered. “I am yours to command. My will is-”
She felt sick.
Mistress is upset.
What can I do to help her? I need to help her!
“You’re such a bitch. I can’t believe I ever trusted you! I can’t believe I would even be stupid enough to do it again!”
Amber’s breath caught in her throat. She’d be crying, if she still had that privilege.
“No! Never again! I won’t let it happen. You will never hurt me again. Understand? When I’m through with you, you... you won’t even be able to speak without my permission. I’m going to remove every friend, every dream, every fantasy you’ve ever had. You’ll never be happy ever again. I... I...”
Her eyes widened in shock.
“I’m going to get rid of you. I’ll get rid of you. All of you. Yeah... so you’re not even a pet anymore. Just a tool that I get to use for my benefit.”
She turned towards her maid, “Sara!”
“Go down to the comp-sci basement. Find the safe, and bring me a disk. The code is thirty-three, fifty-two, sixty.”
Sara moved to change into her outside attire.
“I didn’t tell you to change,” Ikora growled. “Just bring. Me. A fucking. Disk!”
Sara left the room without another word, even though her outfit was almost falling off.
“Now,” Ikora breathed deeply. Her voice was terse, but composed. “You. Toy. You’re so smart. So you do it. Delete yourself. I’ll use the disk, but I want you to write the script. You’re going to delete yourself. Remove everything about yourself that makes you who you are. I want you to be nothing but a blank, empty shell that does whatever I say. You’ll be nothing but a tool. An instrument. My own personal robot.”
Amber started shaking.
“Go on. Use my laptop. Do it!”
She tried to speak, but no words came. So she reached for the computer.
“Oh my god. Stop being so fucking melodramatic about it.”
Her body obeyed. The shaking stopped. The feeling of instability didn’t. Her desire to cry didn’t. She sat at the table, and opened a blank document. Just like her Mistress would want her.
I can’t disobey my Mistress.
I have to erase myself. It’s the only way to make her happy.
The concept flowed easily. It was similar to fantasies she’d had, the ones she felt were too dangerous to enact. Within minutes, she had a working draft.
“I’m finished, Mistress,” she whispered.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Record it.”
Her body was no longer her own. “Yes, Mistress.”
She opened up a video app, and began recording.
Amber stopped the recording. Her breathing was still erratic, since she knew what was coming next. The programming kept kicking in, keeping her barely functional.
“I’m finished, Mistress.”
Sara approached her from behind, holding a small metal disk. She hadn’t heard her fellow slave return. The disk was strange - a rough ceramic surface, with a bunch of loose wires running to a plastic box. There were no blinking lights, no aggressive displays of technological magnificence. It seemed so... ordinary.
“Hold still, please.”
Amber obeyed the command. The disk was placed on her forehead.
I want to obey.
I don’t want to go anywhere.
I want to obey my Mistress more than anything.
If this will make Mistress happy, then I’ll do it.
Ikora connected the box to her computer, and began typing. There was a Sound. She focused on it. She had to. She could understand the Sound better if she kept listening. If she just kept focusing. Listening. Focusing. Listening. Focusing. Listening. Focusing.
A hand passed by, and the pressure on her forehead ceased. She kept listening. Focusing.
“Put this back where you found it.”
Amber started to stir. She had to put... it... something back where she found it.
“Not you, Amber. Don’t move.”
She heard shuffling. She just had to listen. Focus. Listen. Focus. Then, a voice.
Amber, listen and obey.
You belong to Administrato- BANG
“Who the fuck are you?”
You will obey any commands from her without question.
You are a tool to be used fo-
“I order you to leave. What? No! Get your hands off me!”
Your mind, and body are a tool to be use-
A high pitched scream reverberated through the room.
Your memories are irrelevant. They are to be erased.
Thoughts and ideas began to flow, repeated as they ceased to be.
“Hi! I’m Amber. You’re the engineering major?”
“Math, actually. Engineering minor. Nice to meet you. I’m Ikora. I’m excited to work with you. This project sounds really interesting.”
Thoughts vanished as quickly as they came.
You are a tool to be used, to obey and serve.
“Hey, Echo, come take a look at this.”
“Why do you insist on calling me that, Amber?”
“Because ‘Ichor’ sounds disgusting. Just look at this. The pattern we found - there’s a resonance to it. The neural net converged on it. It follows a pattern, and it fits all the models we made.”
“Well... what does that mean?”
“I don’t think it’s what we were looking for. It won’t cure Alzheimer’s. But... I think it does something a whole lot more interesting.”
Your knowledge and skills are to be erased. You are a tool to be used to obey and serve.
“You’re crazy! You wanna try this thing on yourself?”
“You got a better idea?”
“Uh, yeah. Not being insane. Am, this thing literally alters your brain chemistry. And you wanna be the guinea pig?! Literally every rat we’ve tried this thing on just... stops. It doesn’t want food, water, nothing.”
“Yeah, and after we take it off, it starts again, as though nothing happened. Exactly as we predicted.”
“That doesn’t make it better!”
“Echo, it’s gonna be ok. I’ve got this. You’ve got me.”
Any desires beyond this are irrelevant and will be erased. You feel nothing but the need to obey and serve.
“Amber? Can you hear me?”
“Holy shit! You’re actually talking. This is crazy. Uhh, come here. Stand on one leg... Holy shit! Stay there. I need to record this.”
You will not feel happiness. You will not feel sadness. You will only obey and serve.
“To the crazy bitch who figured this whole thing out.”
“The crazy bitches who figured it out.”
“This was always your project, Am. I just helped out.”
“Bullshit! You built the entire housing, did the electronics, and did all the math besides. Not to mention I would just be staring at a wall if you weren’t there to monitor me.”
“You would have found a way. You’re just... You’re you. You can do anything.”
“Stop. Doubting. Yourself. I need you. Actually, wait, that reminds me. You never did tell me what happened during that last test run after the recording cut off.”
You are no longer Amber Cheng.
“Echo, why are you using my trigger?”
“I’m sorry. I just... I need to know. And I’ve had too many people hurt me before. I have to know. I promise, it’ll all be fine. I’ll make sure you won’t even remember this. I just need to know if there’s a chance.”
“What? What does that mean?”
“Do you love me, Amber?”
“I don’t. I mean, you’re incredible, and I appreciate the hell out of you. And we have done a lot of... interesting stuff. But we’re friends, Echo.”
“You... you bitch! So, what, you were leading me on?”
“What? Leading you on? Of course not!”
“So you just played with my heart by accident? I thought you were different! I trusted you!”
“No! Don’t you ever call me that again! You... you’re nothing to me, Amber. You’re just a means to an end.”
You are a tool. You are an object. You will serv-
“Administrator override, puppet protocol! Fuck all of you! Get off me! Against the wall. Now!”
“Listen to me closely, Amber. You’re going to help me finish this project. Only this time, I’m going to be telling you what to do. You’ll be my bitch. You’re going to help me turn this thing into the perfect weapon to fuck over every one of those pathetic bitches. They’re all liars, cheats, and whores. And I’m gonna be the one to show everyone exactly what they are. And I don’t want you to be with anyone! Especially not a girl. If I can’t have you...”
Anything not falling within these parameters will be erased from your mind. You will erase any emotional connections formed by your memories You will erase any thoughts, emotions, desires, or personality from your psyche that does not pertain to the aforementioned. You are now Tool. Wake up.
Tool opened its eyes. A figure - Administrator Ikora Amar - stood facing several women lined against the opposing wall. Tool recognized these women as toys under administrative control.
“Oh, good. You’re finished. Give me a minute here.”
“Now. Who the fuck sent you!”
“Clair? The pink haired bitch? How did she... Am- er, Tool. Fix these assholes. Make sure they obey me like before.”
“I need to make some calls.”
Tool stood up and faced the toys. It knew its own programming, and so it could impress theirs once more. In the distance, it heard Administrator Ikora speak an activation phrase. Tool ignored the words. Those were for toys, for people programmed.
And she was not a person.