The eyes of such infamous figures as Brutefist, Disasterella, and Madame Mesmerize bored down on Lily Wright from a banner above the convention centre. ‘Welcome to DiaboliCon 2048’, it proudly announced to the sea of villains, minions, and fans alike. After taking a photo and writing something down, she tucked her trusty notebook into her coat and out of sight. The suspicious glare from a daunting-looking man wrapped in a dark purple cloak as she did so only served as confirmation that journalists were hardly welcome here.
The doors of the centre were staffed by an army of henchmen and women, all encased in the same clunky metal outfit, emblazoned with a cog on the front. Each had an antenna protruding from an earpiece that Lily could only assume burrowed deeper into their heads than they looked. The Mechanatrix’s army of augmented underlings put on an impressive display of security. “Welcome to DiaboliCon. Ticket?” a particularly tall one said in a robotic voice as Lily approached the front of the queue.
Lily pulled out her phone and pulled up her ticket. “Vanessa Pale,” she replied, her trusty pseudonym having served her well for years. “I’m with Doctor Demonic’s fan club.” This wasn’t a lie – She was technically a card-carrying member of perhaps the least popular supervillain’s club. It was enough to give her some credibility in her investigations, while also meaning she was less likely to be recognised than if she were in other groups.
“Hrmph. Didn’t know she still had one. Not sure she’s even here this year,” the cyborg grunted, a slight whirring coming from her eye as she glanced from the ticket to Lily’s face. “Stalls in the central area, panels in halls 1, 2 and 3. Madame Mesmerize’s main event on the show stage at four o’clock. Enjoy.”
“May I ask a few quest-“
“Keep. The line. Moving,” the woman placed a firm hand on Lily’s back and pushed her into the centre with inhuman strength.
Looking around, Lily was shocked to see just how busy it was. She had known DiaboliCon was popular, of course, but seeing it in person… Countless civilians, dressed in homemade outfits of their favourite baddies, henchmen wearing matching uniforms prowling around in groups, and villains of all sorts, walking, crawling, some even flying around the centre... She gritted her teeth, her blood boiling at the sight of the scum who terrorised the city, wandering free with swarms of adoring fans.
The busiest part of the convention was, of course, the booths where villains could meet their fans. Long, sprawling lines stretched up and down the hall for the most famous supervillains – Breathtaker, Delichous the Culinecromancer, TerrorEyes, and others. Spread around the rest of the section were a series of smaller booths, mostly for retired, lesser-known or local villains. Amongst these, however, one stood out – There was a crowd noticeably bigger than most.
Lily approached the crowd, standing on tiptoes to get a better look, and froze. As she peered through the audience, she could see a small stage set up. On a chair, grand enough to almost look like a throne, a young woman with black hair draped across her face sat with her legs up on the armrest, holding up a heavy-looking amulet. Wearing an elaborate red jacket with coattails almost long enough to reach the floor, and a top hat perched at a jaunty angle, Lily instantly recognised her. Mary Annette was a rising star amongst Metrocity’s villains and had been the focus of some of Lily’s fiercest reporting. “Just look at how shiny it is. This is the one I stole from a safety deposit box in…”
“Allwell’s Bank on 34th Street!” Lily couldn’t help herself crying out with a frown on her face. A story she had worked hard on reporting, and here the scoundrel who carried out the heist sat, boasting about it! She couldn’t restrain her journalistic outrage!
There was a moment’s silence as a few people turned. Mary’s eyes narrowed as she stared at Lily… and began kicking her feet in the air with glee. “Aha! Do you know all my crimes or something? What a superfan! Love itttttt! The rest of you! You should all adore me as much as her!” She pointed to Lily at the back of the crowd with a white-gloved finger. She was cocky. New villains always when they first got some wins under their belt, though more often than not, that attitude would be their downfall. Lily, for her part, tried to shrink down as much as she could, cursing herself for speaking up. Fortunately, the crowd quickly returned their focus to the stage. “Anway! I suppose that’s enough about all my loot, and I’m technically supposed to do some sort of Q&A, so... Any questions?”
Several hands shot up. “Eenie… Meenie… Miney… You!” She pointed to a man dressed in a tight-fitting catsuit with a mask covering his eyes. A small drone holding a microphone flew over and hovered in front of him.
“Um… Hi… How did you beat the Masked Mathematician last year?”
Mary snorted. “With my powers, of course. What kind of question is that, dummy? You think all his smarts and calculations can do shit when can’t move to do anything about it? ‘course not! Next question!”
Hands shot up again, and Mary pointed to a man in a pinstripe suit. “Is Mary Annette your real name?”
She rolled her eyes. “Monumentally idiotic question. Not going to dignify it with an answer. Next question better be a good one!”
Hands rose once more, albeit fewer this time. After a moment, Lily raised her hand – this was as good a chance as any to get some information. Mary twirled her finger in the air until it landed on the reporter. “Would you look at that? My number one fan has a question!”
“How experienced are you with your powers?” Lily asked directly.
Mary sat up, pausing for a second as an impish grin crept across her face. She turned to the rest of the crowd. “You people want a demonstration?” The crowd cheered as the villainess stood up stretching her limbs. “Any volunteers?” Several people put their hands up, Lily amongst them. Mary frowned, however, apparently not satisfied. “What, a bunch of cowards are you? Where’s your enthusiasm?” She slowly tugged her gloves off, one finger at a time, before neatly placing them on her seat. Wriggling her fingers, she held them out in front of her in a claw-like fashion. “Now… I asked… Any volunteers?” Everyone held their breath for a second before she raised the index finger on her right hand.
Lily watched every person in the crowd yank their arm in the air and found it impossible to lower her own. “Much better! Just look how eager everyone is to see what it’s like at the end of my strings… How about… You?” She pointed to a woman holding a plushie shaped like some sort of shark-based villain Lily didn’t recognise. “And… Since you’re so eager to find out, what about you?” She pointed to Lily. The journalist felt her muscles give out, her body going limp, but she didn’t collapse. Instead, she felt herself held up by a force she couldn’t see.
Mary lifted her hands and pulled them inwards. The two women found themselves being lifted from the ground, much to the crowd’s amazement, and placed gently on the stage. “You see, my dear fans, villainy today is all about control…” She skilfully moved her fingers, each giving the slightest twitch, which was nevertheless enough to tug her ‘volunteers’ around using invisible strings. She made them dance around the stage, twirling like elegant ballerinas. “Sure, there’s still room for the sort of mass destruction someone like Disasterella can do, but what I do? Being able to tug at someone’s strings to make them do what you want them to do? That’s real power…”
The villainess pulled her hands together and Lily found herself face to face with the other woman. The strings pulled her forward, making the two bend in to kiss each other. Lily’s eyes widened as her lips pressed against the stranger’s. It was clumsy and inexact – Even a skilled puppeteer could only imitate human movements so perfectly, but it still left Lily’s cheeks right red in indignation while Mary laughed. “What’s the matter, superfan?” Mary leaned in and chuckled. “Finding it hard to let loose?” Lily felt the thread holding her being pulled taut. The villainess mimed hanging up Lily’s strings for a moment, gripping her cheeks and pulling them into a broad smile that was soon fixed into place. Mary stepped between the two of them and placed her hands around their waists, continuing to move her hands until both leaned in and kissed her on the cheek at the same time.
“You see? Just look at how happy they both are to be my wonderful puppets!” Mary yanked Lily inwards and pressed up against her ear, hissing through a grin of her own. “You want to know the extent of my powers, ‘superfan’?” Lily’s hands slowly crept up towards her own neck and held it lightly. Her eyes widened, fearing the admittedly flimsy ruse that she had fallen into was up. “I could make you snap yourself in two and you’d still be wearing the smile I put on your face. If that’s not power, I don’t know what is…” Lily’s hands lingered on her neck for a moment, feeling her skin brush against her fingers as she took a deep breath.
“Buuuut… I was told not to break any toys during the convention, so…” As the puppeteer trailed off, Lily found herself tumbling to the ground with a thud. Mary, apparently tired of her playthings already, stepped back over to the chair and pulled her gloves back on, carelessly discarding the two ‘volunteers’ in a pile on the floor as if their strings had been cut. “If you want to see that sort of action, well… Let’s just say I’ll be visiting the Metrocity Central Museum sometime next week.” Her wink was just about the least subtle thing Lily had ever seen.
Lily sat up. It was almost uncomfortable to be back in control of her own body again. She was surprised how much effort it took to move her own limbs around, how heavy her muscles were. It almost made her already miss the feeling of… She shook her head, trying to push the thought out of her mind. That was probably exactly how someone like Mary Annette got into people’s heads! Looking up, the villain was already back to boasting about the spoils of her latest exploits. Lily frowned. Despite her ordeal, she hadn’t exactly gotten much useful information out of her. At the very least, Lily made a mental note to warn the Museum so they could prepare for an attack.
Lily spent the next few hours wandering the centre. While the villains and henchmen are obviously reprehensible to her, and she still failed to see the appeal they had to so many fans, she found herself even more sickened by how many civilian vendors there were, taking advantage of the convention. Stalls for PR and marketing firms advertised services for building a stronger image, while other companies offered opportunities to merchandise their brand. One or two stalls even offered to help fans on the path to becoming villains themselves, either through machinery like the Mechanatrix, or chemicals or radiation, like Sewer Gator. Almost certainly merely a dangerous scam. From time to time, Lily would find a hidden corner to make some notes. She was already thinking about writing an in-depth exposé on the companies offering to collaborate with evildoers.
By the time the intercom announced that the main event of the day, hosted by Madame Mesmerize, was beginning soon, she was already tired of the place but reluctantly headed to the main show stage regardless. One last event and then she could head home early, she promised herself.
Lily settled into her assigned seat amongst the other fans. Admittedly, she was curious as to whether Madame Mesmerize’s legendary presence would meet expectations in person. The villainess had been perhaps the most infamous supervillain in the country for two decades now, with no signs of slowing – She had recently defeated such prestigious heroes as the Gilded Griffon and, Lily’s personal idol, Lady Lexicography, with ease.
“Oh, god… She’s so, so, so hot…” A group of young women behind Lily whispered to each other. “I met her one time when she made the Silver Saviour demolish City Hall… You had to be there, it was amazing! She shook my hand and everything!”
“I mean, she’s not really my type. But I have to admit, she has a certain… allure.”
“Trust me, if you had seen her in person, you’d get it. You’ll see!”
Gritting her teeth once more, Lily tried her best to drown out the sound of sycophantic fans. She pulled out her notebook and started to jot down the events of the day. She paused and looked around. At the far end of the audience, she could see the Mechanatrix, standing with her hands behind her back, sternly watching for security threats. Somewhere at the other end, she could see Mary Annette, her boots resting on the back of some displeased-looking low-level baddie. There were plenty of other familiar faces amongst them, but unusually, all of them sat at the periphery of the stage. Strange. Lily would have imagined the villains would get the best view, not the worst.
Lily was about to wave down an attendant, dressed in the uniform of a villain she didn’t recognise, to inquire about the seating, but the lights in the hall suddenly shut out. A spotlight flashed onto the centre of the stage and it began to fill with smoke. “Villainssss and villainessssesss…” hissed out a serpentine voice Lily recognised as belonging to the Whisperer. “Minionsss and underlingssss… Fanssss of evil everywhere… MADAMEEEEEE MESMERISSSSE!”
With a sudden flash, the arch-villainess appeared from the smoke to uproarious applause. Dressed in a dark purple jacket with sleeves long enough that they trailed behind her like a cape over latex opera gloves and hip-high boots, her outfit seemed to cross business formal with fetishwear. Her short, stark white hair seemed to stand out even more as the spotlight shone on her. She held a cane in her right hand, topped with an orb with a spiral twisting inside of it. And perhaps most notably, she wore a large pair of sunglasses, even in the dark of the hall.
The crowd began to applaud uproariously, and Lily joined in, not wanting to stand out. The villainess smiled at the crowd, raising one hand while leaning on the cane with the other as she basked in the attention. The applause seemed to go on and on. Just when Lily felt it would never end, Mesmerize lifted her cane and slammed it down with a deafening crack, everyone falling silent instantly.
“What a welcome from my wonderful, adoring fans. Every year, it warms my heart to see so many of you come to celebrate our community,” she grinned. “And just look how many of you there are! It’s DiaboliCon’s highest turnout ever, I’m told! But it’s not as if we were expecting our numbers to… drop!” The screens behind her flashed the word for a split second. Lily gripped the arms of her chair. She was almost expecting the whole audience to be dropped into a trance, for all of them to have been under Mesmerize’s influence already. From the gentle chuckle from the crowd, it seemed that they were in on the joke. Lily gave a little sigh of relief.
“What a wonderful year it has been for villainy…” Mesmerize continued. “The illustrious heroes in our society have been in utter disarray since their leaders were taken out…” She paused a beat, motioning to herself with an implied ‘by yours truly’. “And nobody has managed to take their place yet. There are more aspiring antagonists out there than ever before. And thanks to the hard work of fans like all of you, more and more people are proud to admit that deep down, they simply crave the guidance of a firm hand that only a villain can give them. Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t that great?” Her lips curled into a sinister smile.
“Isn’t… That… Mesmerising?”
The screen flashed each word on the screen, the bright light against the otherwise dark hall making for an assault on the senses. Lily bolted up. Looking around at the rapt attention of the audience Mesmerize held, it was becoming evident where things were heading. She had no idea how Mesmerize brought people under her spell, but she would rather not find out than fall victim to it. She began to shuffle along the row towards the exit.
“And none of this would have been possible without the in-depth investigations of the Metrocity Gazette’s own villainy reporter, Lily Wright!” Lily froze as she found herself blinded by a spotlight that turned on her. Blinking as her eyes adjusted, she turned to the stage in shock. She would hardly be able to make out Mesmerize’s face were it not being displayed on both screens pointed at the crowd by now. “Oh, don’t look so surprised, Miss Wright. Did you think someone like you could slip in and out unnoticed? Mary Annette is an awfully big fan of your coverage of her – She recognised you the second she saw you and informed you were here. I must say, I’m a fan of your work myself. After all, it’s your reporting that keeps us on the front page almost every day. Why not come on up?”
“No, I…” Lily looked towards the exits. At each one stood a pair of Mechanatrix’s cyborgs. Meanwhile, the eyes of countless fans were on her. She had little choice. She sheepishly headed towards the stage, walking up the stairs until she stood looking up at Madame Mesmerize. She seemed taller in person, her presence feeling even larger still as the crowd watched for every little motion she made.
“As much of a service you’ve performed for us, inadvertently, of course… You do tend to be so very negative about villains…”
“That’s because I think you’re monsters who make life miser-…” Lily’s attempt at defiance was cut short as Mesmerize lifted the tip of her cane under her chin, pressing her jaw closed.
“Oh, I’m more than aware of what you think. Your coverage does little to hide it… Perhaps that’s exactly the problem… You… think too much…” She slowly reached out and ran her latex-clad hand over Lily’s cheek, the texture of her glove leaving Lily shivering involuntarily. “Perhaps it’s time for you to do a little less thinking of your own…” As Mesmerize pulled her hand back towards her own face, Lily yelped, trying to avert her gaze and wriggle away. She felt the iron grip of two of Mechanatrix’s minions grabbing her arms to hold her still, one taking hold of her hair and forcing her to look up. Mesmerize removed her glasses, tucking them into her jacket pocket.
No longer obscured, Lily caught a glimpse of the endless spiral that constantly twisted in Mesmerize’s eyes. Her mind cried out for her to slam her eyelids shut, to do anything to not let her in, but her body refused. Instead, she simply stared. “Aren’t they simply… mesmerising?” The villainess whispered in a voice that felt so very soothing. “Couldn’t you lose yourself in them for hours… days… for the rest of your life?” Lily couldn’t answer. She simply followed the spiral around and around, the sounds of Mesmerize’s voice beginning to echo over and over in her mind.
Mesmerize’s hand reached out once more gliding up the reporter’s cheek until it rested on her forehead. She simply held it there, unmoving, but for Lily, it felt as if her hand were pushing through her skull, elbow-deep, into the recesses of her mind. The villainess daintily took hold of the deepest thought she could find between her thumb and forefinger and gave it the lightest of tugs. As she started to pull, Lily felt her mind unravelling like a sweater. Every notion, every idea, every image gradually became drawn out into one long strand that began twisting around in the eternally spinning spiral that now enveloped her brain.
Lily looked up, realising that a few seconds, maybe even minutes had passed. The cyborgs were no longer holding her and Mesmerize was no longer standing before her. She had turned to the crowd of fans in front of the stage, basking in the audience’s attention as they stared deep into her eyes too, heads rapidly emptying of coherent thought. The enormous screens behind her only added to the effect, making the black and white whirlpool seem inescapable. With none of the resistance that Lily had, the eager fans of villainy had been already reduced to a swarm of willing, empty-headed minions, perfectly prepared to do Mesmerize’s bidding.
But even as the villainess faced away from her, the spiral that she had placed in Lily’s head continued to twist and spin and turn and swirl, over and over and over. She still felt those latex-clad hands tightly squeezing her brain. The sound of the villainess’s voice repeated over and over, asking just how mesmerising her eyes were.
“So… Very…” Lily mumbled, much to the villainess’s apparent amusement.
Mesmerize turned back over her shoulder, looking at the hollowed-out woman with her mouth agape. “Oh? Is it finally sinking in, intrepid reporter? Are you realising that my gaze will never leave that head of yours for the rest of your living days?” She chuckled, every word booming in Lily’s head as if it were being shouted inside a cave. The question was too much for her to consider. Mesmerize placed a hand on her shoulder and firmly pushed her to her knees. “Tell me. What do you think of villains?”
Lily opened her mouth to speak. “Villains are… are...” She trailed off. She knew she must have some sort of opinion about them, but the thought eluded her, dancing around the spiral in her brain that was leaving her so very confused.
Mesmerize grinned and finished Lily’s sentence for her. “Hot. Villains are hot, aren’t they? Say it. Villains are…”
“Villains are sexy. Villains turn you on.”
“Villains are… sexy… Villains… turn me on…”
“Villains are sexy. Villains turn you on.”
Was that right? Is that what she thought? Lily didn’t care. The thought was the one piece of driftwood in the whirlpool in her head. She had no choice but to grab on. “Villains are hot… Villains are sexy… Villains turn me on…” She repeated to herself. The amused laughing from the evildoers in periphery of the audience, sitting outside of the gaze that had so very easily taken over the rest of the crowd’s minds, did nothing to make Lily question herself. She hardly remembered she was in front of a crowd at all. She was too busy realising she was kneeling before the most notorious villainess around, and more importantly, just how aroused that was making her. Her squirming made it obvious to all who were watching.
Lily let out a whimper as she felt the tip of a cane pressing firmly between her legs, slowly rubbing up and down the crotch of her jeans. “Look at you. Soaking wet already…” Mesmerize slid the cane down the front of them, slowly pushing them down until Lily was left utterly exposed. “I can’t imagine how a villainy reporter gets any work done like this. Do you sit in your office masturbating all day, Miss Wright? Did you get into journalism as part of some sick little fetish?” Lily helplessly panted as the cane slowly ran between her lower lips. Mesmerize dragged it up torturously slow, eventually coming to tap against the journalist’s clit a few times.
“No, I… I got into journalism because…” Again, all memories of why were gone, swirling down the drain in the middle of the spiral.
“Because of your pathetic little villain fetish.” Mesmerize finished the thought for her.
“Because of… my pathetic little villain fetish…” Lily moaned. Without thinking, she wrapped her arms around the cane, gripping it tight as she desperately tried to hump against it, looking up at the villainess. “Because I wanted to spend all day thinking about villains…”
Mesmerize chuckled at the pitiful display before her. “Oh, sweet thing… You could have always just become someone’s henchwoman or minion if you wanted it so badly…” She pulled her cane away from Lily, much to her vocal disappointment, lifting it to the girl’s mouth. “Clean.” She ordered, and the reporter gladly obliged. She took the cane into her mouth and twirled her tongue around it, cleaning the taste of herself off of it. Mesmerize slowly pushed it deeper until Lily’s eyes started watering, gagging gently, but making no attempt to pull away.
“Still…” Mesmerize slowly withdrew the cane from the girl’s mouth, trailing saliva along her lips. “I suppose if you’re already a journalist, we can find ways to make use of you, can’t we?” She lifted her short skirt. Lily began to whimper with sheer need as she saw Mesmerize’s perfect pussy, neatly topped with a well-kept tuft of white hair. She went to move her head forward, but a latex-clad hand held her apart for a moment longer. “But for now, you do what you’re told, and all those perverted desires of yours will be fulfilled. Not that you’re capable of much else anymore…”
Lily desperately nodded, staring up into the twisting whirlpool eyes looking back down at her. “Yes, Mistress Mesmerize…” The villainess grinned and let go, allowing the journalist to bury her face deep between her thighs. Mesmerize leant on her cane with one hand and ran her fingers through the girl’s hair with the other. She bit her lip while her new toy began licking at her folds with the enthusiasm of a woman achieving her lifelong dream, for as far as Lily knew, that’s what it was. The fingers closed, taking a fistful of hair in their grip.
Lily’s mind was utterly lost, lust so thick and heavy in her skull that it almost obscured the spiral still enveloping her every thought. The scent, the taste, the warmth made for a potent combination. It was enough to drone out the whooping and wolf whistles of the villains in the audience, enjoying the utter humiliation and degradation of a formerly staunchly anti-villain journalist. To her, however, it wasn’t humiliation or degradation. To be on her knees, pleasing this woman, a woman gifted with powers greater than a mere civilian like her could ever have, it was an honour, it was worship, it was a dream come true.
Mesmerize’s grip on her cane tightened and she held Lily’s face firmly between her legs. Her thighs tensed, and the hypnotised reporter knew she was close. Her tongue worked upwards, soon twirling around the villainess’ clit. Mesmerize closed her eyes and let out a low moan as she climaxed against her new toy’s face. She pushed firmly against her, smearing her wetness all over. As her orgasm gradually came to a close, her chest rose and fell, panting, “Not your first time, I see…” She let go of Lily and slowly pushed her onto her back with her foot. “Well, good, obedient, hypnotised girls get rewarded.”
Mesmerize placed one of her boots onto Lily – Not applying all her pressure, but enough to make her feel pinned. She slowly lifted her cane and pushed it against her soaking-wet hole, sliding it in. As she started to fuck her with it, she pulled out her sunglasses. She put them back on, shielding the world from her threatening gaze once more. “Now, what you eager up-and-coming villains have been waiting for…” She turned to the villains who had been watching her display. She motioned to the fans in the audience, who had been sitting with vacant expressions this whole time, empty-headed and drooling. “The first ten rows are mine. The rest, you’re free to take as you please. Obedient minions are so hard to find, but I assure you, those under my spell will be perfectly compliant. Never let it be said I’m not generous.” Looking down at the girl writhing in pleasure beneath her heel, she chuckled. “Not this one, though. This one is mine… And I have big plans for her…”
The eyes of such infamous figures as Mary Annette, Disasterella, and Madame Mesmerize bored down on Gabby Tyler from a banner above the convention centre. She sighed. It had been an awful year for the city, with villains taking win after win. And yet ever since her former colleague Miss Wright’s promotion to editor of the Metrocity Gazette following Mr. Coburn’s mysterious disappearance, there had been a distinct shift in the editorial position of the paper. “Perhaps villains,” Wright had told her team upon taking over, “aren’t as bad as they seem. It’s our duty as the press to give them the fair and balanced hearing they’ve been denied for so long.”
In fact, these days, Wright herself seemed like a completely different person from the determined reporter who had got into journalism to follow the footsteps of her hero, Lady Lexicography. Gabby could have sworn that on more than one occasion, she had heard moaning coming from the editor’s office after dropping off her draft of a story – And only when the story had been about the latest crimes of some masked evildoer.
Gabby’s in-depth and fiercely critical story on the rapid induction of a particularly cruel baddie, Mary Annette, into the ranks of supervillainy had been rejected last month. That had been the last straw – She had told her editor just what she really thought of the paper’s new direction and quit on the spot. Who read papers in 2049 anyway? She would go independent and write the sorts of stories she knew needed to be covered, the first of which would be whatever happened each year at the convention centre that stood before her.
Gabby fumbled with her bag as she approached the entrance. Heavily armed cyborgs stood watch for security, but those checking tickets seemed to be normal humans, albeit dressed in tight-fitting latex with a spiral logo on their chests. As she pulled out her phone, she glanced over at the next queue – No, not normal humans… There was something off about them, an emptiness in their eyes. “Next!” A voice called, and Gabby realised the line had moved as she had been staring. She pulled up her ticket on her phone and prepared to show it to the ticket inspector, but she froze as she saw their face.
“Welcome to DiaboliCon 2049!” said Lily Wright, a vacant smile across her face. “May I see your ticket?”