The next film to download was one of the ones Lisa had been considering buying individually; a movie called Downward Spiral.
As it opened, Lisa’s breath caught; Jasmine’s character in this one was an office worker of some description, but it appeared frankly astonishing that the simple white blouse and short black skirt could actually be so intensely sexual; no modifications, no plunging cleavage, not even particularly tight to the skin.
The opening shot was a simple thirty-second pan following Jasmine through an office – quite a busy office; later, when she’d seen it enough to take in more than simply Jasmine.
She had to watch that shot quite a few times before she could fully accept the effect Jasmine had on her. It’s not the outfit, she eventually decided; it was the way Jasmine wore it, the way she carried herself, and the sheer confidence she had in her own sexuality.
Lisa found herself wondering how to copy that kind of confidence, but she knew it was out of her reach. She felt she’d need to be a lot surer of herself before she could even try, and oh Lord, how these situations made her nervous.
Finally, she felt able to move into the film proper. Jasmine’s confident stride took her past an open office doorway; inside, the actor who’d played her eventual master in both prior films sat in a fine suit, facing the doorway, legs apart and pants around his ankles to accommodate the blonde knelt between his thighs, her head in his lap.
“I want her,” he says, and the shot changes, focusing now on the blonde’s pretty face, cherry-lipped mouth open and distorted by the cock she’s busy fellating, eyes empty – as good at the vacant, hypnotised glaze as Jasmine, Lisa thought wonderingly.
Without breaking rhythm, her lips loosen just enough to offer “Who, Master?”
Lisa smiled without thinking about it.
“I want her.”
True devotion, Lisa mused. To be set upon the pleasure of another, to have him demand someone else, and to simply seek to serve in that way too... true devotion. Why had she no one to devote herself to in that fashion?
Well, of course, that was ridiculous. No one could devote themselves to another to such an extent, so that only the other’s satisfaction mattered at all. And obviously, really, she wouldn’t want to.
Losing herself to that degree was... well, she’d always thought it was scary.
It just went to show how incredible Jasmine’s performances were, she thought, that now it seemed like quite a lovely way to be. Perhaps she could find someone who would allow her the odd day to be herself... although, of course, this was all very silly; she’d never be able to coax herself into that mindset anyway.
But when you watched something like this, it became so wonderfully tempting to pretend that true programmed submission was possible, even if you entered into that pretence for only a short, delicious while...
“I don’t know her name,” Master says thoughtfully. “The new girl. Redhead. Who is she?”
The blonde breaks, again, just long enough to respond. “I don’t know, Master.”
“Find out,” he says. And bring her to me... Soon, at any rate.”
This time there is no response but the blonde’s ongoing attentions. He settles back to enjoy them.
Lisa watched that sequence with... dedication, really, was the only word for it. There was something about it... You got the impression that, for the blonde, only one thing mattered, only one thing could matter. And it wasn’t her – it wasn’t even the cock in her mouth – it was the man the cock belonged to, the spell he held her under.
These women are incredible actresses. Wasted in porn, she thought. It seemed impossible that she should feel that way... but she made you think she did.
Finally, the Master came, and the blonde settled back on her haunches, cheeks bulging, eyes empty.
“Swallow,” came the command, and the blonde obeyed promptly, continuing to simply gaze blankly forward. Master leant forward again. “The redhead,” he said. “Find her name. Email the first instalment. Start her on the Spiral. Understand?”
“Good.” He rose, tucking his package away, and smiled. “I’ll let you get back to work,” he said.
The camera returned to the blonde’s empty expression as he stepped past her, clapping her on the shoulder in mock-support. She didn’t register it.
Then he snapped his fingers. The blonde blinked, animation returning to her features. She got slowly to her feet as the Master walked out of the door, settled into her office chair, and turned back to the computer. A slow pan revealed her name and position on the door:
Joan Walsh Managing Director
Lisa moaned again. Having the slave be the social superior was cliché, of course, but cliché for a reason – a good reason. It was, pure and simple, a hot idea.
At least to Lisa, anyway; she found herself, in her fantasies, wanting to be more than she was before she was taken... before she lost (surrendered) it all. The fall was much more wonderful when it was from a greater height. Perhaps, this time, with Downward Spiral, she wouldn’t want to copy Jasmine. She’d dream of being Joan Walsh.
Perhaps that would be... She smiled. No perhaps about it.
That would be wonderful.
Joan seemed to be going about her day normally; she spent a few quick clicks of time checking paperwork, then she rose and strode purposefully out of her office. Lisa half-smiled, watching her walk, enjoying the clash between the powerful businesswoman and the sultry, almost-slutty makeup she wore – something you couldn’t imagine a real M.D. sporting, certainly not during the day.
But that didn’t matter – she walked into the main cubicle area, took a look around, and her eyes fell on Jasmine – and instantly, her face went from animated and confident to still and empty.
Lisa watched as Joan’s expression, her very soul, seemed to snuff itself out in an instant. Only when it was gone did Lisa breathe again.
She took a few moments, then took a deep breath....
Menu (click) Playback (click) Frame-by-Frame
Lisa’s eyes closed, Joan’s submission etched into her mind. Her thighs slipped a little wider open, fingers frantic in reliving the descent into submission, into trance.
The orgasm was everything Sean’s attentions hadn’t been. It was perfect. It was right.
Much, much later, Lisa was ready to find what Joan had in store for Jasmine.
“Excuse me,” the blank, porcelain-faced exec said. “You’re new here, aren’t you? What’s your name?”
Jasmine – Jasmine’s character, Lisa forcibly reminded herself – looked up and blinked. “Uh... yeah,” she said, her voice holding a note of confusion. “I’m Rachel Keeley. You, uh, you interviewed me, remember?”
Joan’s face almost didn’t change at all as she simply said “thank you,” before turning and walking back toward her office. Jas – Rachel – looked around in bewilderment. “Is she OK?” she asked a nearby colleague, who nodded absently. “Walsh gets like that sometimes,” he explained. “She’s actually not the only one. I wouldn’t worry about it.”
Shaking her head slightly, Rachel turned back to her computer.
Lisa watched again, and marvelled. Joan – the actress playing Joan, she reminded herself – was so subtle in what she did. The first time, she thought she might have imagined it, but no – there was, just around the eyes, the faintest twitch as Rachel mentioned their prior meeting – a meeting Joan was obviously incapable of remembering while under her Master’s spell. And – had there been...?
Yes. Yes, there it was, the slightest widening of the eyes, almost subliminal in its invisibility. That...
Lisa paused the video, this time, and just stared.
How could an actress – however gifted, however talented, however instinctive – produce a reaction like that, a reaction that seemed impossible to create except by the subconscious? And if one could, why on Earth would they be in porn, rather than gunning for Oscar nominations?
It didn’t seem possible. But, of course, it had to be. Had to be. People didn’t really make porn about brainwashing with brainwashed people.
For a while, Lisa allowed herself to be distracted by the notion that they just might. She imagined herself a third woman on the set, standing unmoving, body bound up with words and commands as soft as silk and strong as steel, watching as Jasmine and the blonde ‘actress’ received commands, the script programmed into them, becoming their existence for a few moments, becoming all they could know for a short while, before the next personality was implanted, erasing Joan Walsh and Rachel Keeley...
That was the fantasy that played through her mind all night, expanding little by little. After a while she was not merely an ever-patient mannequin, but one of those whose world was replaced, whose personality would be rewritten for a worldwide audience’s cheap thrills, to make their master money...
The pettiness, the venality, of the motivation behind it made it seem all the better. All the more right and proper because all the more wrong, all the more inexcusable. The greatest falls made for the most wonderful fantasies.
Work that day saw Lisa looking at the male employees with the light of speculation in her eyes. It was silly, she told herself, obviously so, she told herself, but somehow, with Downward Spiral running through her mind, the idea of an office romance just seemed to make sense. So... who did the company have, who might suit her slowly-more-specific tastes?
There were only a few candidates who boasted both the attractiveness and the apparent dominance she wanted, but they were there... and they were tempting.
But were they tempted? Something in Lisa’s mind seemed to demand that they come to her, they take her over, rather than she go to them and offer herself. That... was self-evidently the wrong way round, to her, although she suspected she’d be hard put to justify that, if anyone asked her to.
She stepped out once again at lunch, heading to a cosmetics stall in the mall. Joan’s not-quite-too-slutty-for-work look was designed for a blonde, not a strawberry redhead, but elements of it could still be used, she was sure...
Before leaving the mall she paused in front of a display of Wonderbras, looking them up and down. Her breasts were hardly small, but she’d been watching Jasmine at such close quarters for some weeks now... perhaps what she had to offer could be, well, augmented.
She dithered there for a while, but decided to see what the makeup would do before she took further measures. There was, after all, no reason not to be proud of her body, and disguising it like that seemed almost like accepting defeat.
And, really, there was a very important difference between taking inspiration from someone’s look to make yourself more attractive and trying to mirror their altered-for-porno body. Very important.
Monday night Lisa went to a movie with some of her friends. Nothing particularly special; a good bit of popcorn fare, suitable for killing a couple of hours. Lisa found herself watching the various stars’ eyes, magnified so many times, for the kind of swift, subliminal shifts Joan had exhibited, watching for minutiae to the extent that she lost track of the formulaic plot.
She didn’t find what she was looking for anywhere. So... did that mean Rebecca (as Joan’s actress turned out to be called) was brainwashed herself, as her ridiculous fantasies had it, or simply an absurdly good actress for such low-rent work?
To help her decide, at home she poured herself a generous glass of red wine and opened up Downward Spiral again. It was, she told herself, simply a matter of having the time and the fresh memory to make a comparison. It certainly wasn’t a need to watch her films as steadily as possible.
Rachel seemed concerned for a few moments, but the film swiftly splitscreened. A still-blank Joan settled back in front of her computer, opening up an email and addressing it to firstname.lastname@example.org, then dragging an attachment from a desktop folder into the email Joan clicked Send, then seemed almost to shiver, eyes rolling back in her head as she experienced what looked like a silent orgasm before animation returned to her features.
The implication, as the splitscreen ended with the sound of an email chime at Rachel’s station, was clear; Joan had been rewarded for obedience before her conscious self reawoke.
Rachel, meanwhile, clicked on the email, and something expanded to fill her screen. There was a neat bit of camera trickery next; a blur of pulsing, captivating spirals, the screen’s display, was mapped against a too-clear-to-be-real ‘reflection’ of Rachel’s expression as she watched, beginning with shock, then moving swiftly through surprise, puzzlement, confusion, interest, and eventually, her face slackening, arriving at a blank, expressionless lack of emotion.
The first time Lisa watched this, she didn’t even register Rachel’s face. What happened – she deduced only vaguely, later, from the haziest of memories – was that as the spiral filled the screen she started, almost without realising it, to imagine that it was there to enthral her, to picture herself going under, to imagine what it would be like to submit...
And as she did so, breath catching in her throat, she truly began to savour the moment. Without consciously thinking about it, her eager fingers returned to work, caressing her clit with the same kind of slow, deliberate, deliciously drowsy spiral that the screen showed her.
So intent was she, it seemed, that she managed to blank most of the actual details. All she remembered was shaping the words “Yes, Master,” with her lips, as if trying them on for size – she didn’t say them aloud, she was almost confident – as she neared her peak. Perhaps she’d said something else – perhaps even the catchphrase that had so helped Jasmine capture her attention, “I’m going to help you brainwash me,” but, well, she didn’t think she had. (But wasn’t it nice to imagine she might have done?)
Only on later viewings did she see Jasmine’s face reflected in the screen. Lisa saw her reactions, watched her own fantasies represented, saw Jasmine – Rachel – lost in the moment, transformed into Lisa’s dream self.
She wasn’t sure which was better.
Rachel simply sat motionless, staring blankly into the vortex inside her computer screen. The co-worker who’d shrugged off her concerns about Joan started to grin, rising from his chair, and stepped across to where she sat, resting a hand on her shoulder for a second.
On receiving no response his grin got wider. Carefully looking away from the screen, he let his hands wander, caressing Rachel’s curves with gusto while the entranced redhead simply remained lost in the monitor’s siren glow.
“Nice,” he murmured. “But seriously, honey, you need to know something.”
“Yes.” No inflection. No weight. No stress. Barely audible. And still, somehow, the most important thing in the scene.
“No bras at work, babe,” he chuckled, already walking away by the time she spoke again, the same word, the same simple acceptance.
As he left, her hands moved for the first time since the spiral had begun to strobe, rising to unbutton her blouse, shrug it off, and unfasten her bra, letting it fall from her fingers which, themselves, fell lifeless to hang beside her.
“Seriously, honey, you need to know something.”
Wednesday morning, Lisa slipped out of bed – eventually – showered, breakfasted, and dressed for work.
She paused just before she left, checking out her reflection in the mirror. Adjusting the curve of her blouse slightly, she nodded. Going without a bra... it definitely seemed to work, definitely seemed a better look.
Rachel sat where she was for a solid three minutes after her co-worker left before Joan returned, glassy-eyed once more, holding in her hand an iPod with a pair of hefty headphones, the kind designed to shut out all other noise. Settling them around Rachel’s head, she hit Play.
Rachel’s expression didn’t waver; Joan, in contrast, shuddered with ecstasy once again, personality returning to her features in the wake of her reward. Blinking in puzzlement, she walked away.
Greg asked her out! Two days of the completed new look, and already Lisa had proof it worked for her. This was going to be fantastic.
The hypnotic strobe flickered to a halt, and ended, showing just the email window. Rachel sat motionless for another few seconds. Then orgasm hit – seemingly uncontrollable, a screaming explosion of programmed bliss – and, by the end of it, her face had emotion once again.
She took her headphones off, blinking, a little confused, and rose.
What followed was almost an exact repeat of her original walk through the office, except this time, she was topless – and showed no sign of noticing.
Joan was waiting as Rachel passed her doorway, hand out. Rachel’s hand rose in response, depositing the iPod in her hand as she continued her walk.
Joan sighed. “Blouse, Rachel,” she called, turning back. Rachel glanced over her shoulder, seemingly confused. “What?... Oh. Sure.” But she didn’t break stride.
Lying in bed afterward, Lisa reconsidered. Greg was... not what she wanted.
She couldn’t escape the belief that just a few months ago, Greg would either have been just perfect, or maybe just a little too... dominant? But that wasn’t quite right. He was... he took charge, but he was...
She shook her head, gave up. Whatever it was that was wrong... it wasn’t wrong with Greg.
So... was something wrong with her?
Was... was what she was watching changing her, maybe not for the better?
She bit her lip thoughtfully, rolled over. She hoped not.
She wasn’t sure she could do without Jasmine. She was sure she didn’t want to.
Rachel’s face lost its bewilderment and its identity when Master snapped his fingers. She simply stood, letting him do whatever he wanted with her, until he gave her her orders, bringing her to a certain level of easy, obedient life, dancing to his tune.
It was, Lisa thought, everything Greg couldn’t give her. It was perfect, exquisite, the way things should be.
Why was it, she wondered grumpily, that such devotion was only available in people’s fantasies?
Devotion. Yes, she decided, that was the word, that was what had been missing from Greg; not that he wasn’t dominant, just as she was hoping, but... he couldn’t accept her fading away into nothing but devotion. He couldn’t accept her letting everything but him go, letting only him matter.
She could understand that, Lisa told herself. It wasn’t easy. Heck... she didn’t really want it herself, not for real, not as more than a fantasy.
But that fantasy was what she’d wanted to indulge.
Lisa went back to the fantasy she’d had earlier, the dream that the films were designed for brainwashing. For that to work, she thought, they’d each have to teach her something different, each have to build on the others.
So... could the fantasy hold? If Jenny’s descent came first...
Well, Jenny broke free, and in doing so, she fell again, taking her friend with her. So Jenny would teach you not to resist.
Kimba? A little harder, but Kimba was happy in her place, contented. Kimba brought emotion to obedience, and all of it was good. Kimba would teach you to love not to resist.
And Rachel... Rachel, and Joan, between them, taught devotion, selfless negation of everything but the Master, no jealousy, no objections, no will.
Lisa breathed out, happy to find her fantasy could continue.
She wondered what would come next, how it would hold up.
She wondered what else Jasmine could teach her.