So Candace had a goal, and some ideas how to put it into practice. She just wasn’t sure the Doctor would follow her lead – after all, he must know he was always right, too, mustn’t he? But if he was willing to accept improvisation and extra devotion from Lulu, wouldn’t he also be willing to accept it from her?
She wasn’t nearly as sure as she wanted to be. But the Doctor had some challenges upcoming, and she believed she had solutions. She just needed a chance to implement them…
As she walked across the campus quad dwelling on these questions, she noticed Lulu coming the other way, a slightly glassy expression on her face.
Instantly, she found herself giving the Doctor credit for an insight she hadn’t imagined he possessed. The low-cut, skimpier outfit he’d had Lulu choose helped her blend in on campus as a student, perhaps a mature student but someone who fitted in perfectly.
As they were about to pass, she put her hand out for Lulu’s arm, causing the other woman to stop.
She watched her blink several times as the glassiness cleared and she became aware of who specifically had stopped her. Do I look like that when I obey?
“I have an idea for the Doctor,” she said. “But I’ll need the office to myself for a while to achieve it.”
Lulu’s expression almost seemed to flicker several times, as she processed the idea, the purpose, and the obvious objection that this went against the Doctor.
“He’s sent me for some snacks,” she said eventually. “He’s dug in for the morning. But I could accompany him to lunch…”
Candace smiled. “That’s all I ask, truthfully,” she said.
Lulu nodded, then Candace saw her swallow as if pushing down an emotion. “I have to go,” she said. “I-“
Candace nodded. “Go, go.” She watched the other woman’s features glaze over again before she walked off.
That was… delicious. She imagined her own face, so familiar from the mirror, undergoing the same transformation…
She must have been stood still, staring off into space with a dreamy smile, for the best part of a minute in plain sight on campus. Coming back to herself with an effort, she shook her head and moved off back to the office.
Back in the office, she compulsively stripped down to her lingerie, folding the rest and setting it neatly on her desk beside the conditioning monitor, then slipped her lab coat back on to achieve the look the Doctor enjoyed the most. She felt herself rewarded for this when he flashed her a grin, but today he didn’t reach out and fondle her tits (as he liked to call them) the way he usually did. Was that Lulu? Had she sated him?
It almost didn’t matter. She had her duty to do, so she sat down, booted up her laptop, and went back to reviewing the design. Not that she was finding much she hadn’t caught yet; she’d never enjoyed this kind of precise focus before the brainwashing. She wasn’t convinced she’d been capable of it before.
So she was finding she had a clearer sense both of the wood and of each individual tree than she would usually find possible.
In theory, her part of the Doctor’s new design should work. But it was all subject to testing, and her original technological designs – the ones he’d set her to twist – had only ever undergone their first-wave testing on animals. Human trials had never been attempted. Her test subjects had been complex creatures, but they weren’t capable of self-reporting side effects, and some side effects could be harder to find.
Without having the equipment, would they know what was needed? Could they even know what was needed?
Frustrating – but there was some time, so far as she knew. The Doctor hadn’t said anything to make her think he’d completed his (obviously more complex, his being the superior intellect and him not having finished) part of the puzzle. Once he had, things would obviously have to move faster, whatever had to be done to hasten his goals.
She was beginning to believe supervillainy might not be outside his reach, although for the life of her she couldn’t imagine what was supposed to be bad about what he was doing.
Lulu returned not long afterward. Glancing up, she saw her fellow slave shrug out of her top and shimmy her skirt down her legs then cross to kneel beside the Doctor. He smiled at her, but kept his hands on his keyboard.
Perhaps two of them were enough to keep him fully satisfied as one alone hadn’t? It was too early to be sure, but she made a mental note. One never knew what the truth might turn out to be.
Unbeknownst to her, her expression had settled back into that happy glaze of obedience.
Candace looked up from her computer screen only when she heard her name spoken. “Yes, Doctor?”
The Doctor was at the door, Lulu close by him. “We’re going out for lunch,” he said. “Off-campus. You have work to do.”
That last statement definitely wasn’t a question. “Yes, Doctor.”
“I’ll make sure you get a doggy bag,” he said with a grin, his hand already on Lulu’s rear as they left. Candace smiled; Lulu was doing as she’d been asked, and doubtless loving every moment of it.
She turned back to her console. It was all fine, after all. She had plans for -
She had been commanded to do work, hadn’t she? The Doctor’s work. Not her own projects. Duly chastened, she turned her head automatically to the designs in front of her, beginning to review her work to date on reflex.
But no! Her idea was valid, and it’s not like - well, alright, the Doctor was always right, but he wasn’t - well, yes, he was smarter than her. But she had a hypothesis, and testing it was valid.
So she mustered her willpower and picked up the office phone before dialling a number she’d never called before.
Lulu dialled her phone and tucked it between her shoulder and her head, her hands busy fixing lunch almost on autopilot. The Doctor was… poking around her house, possibly. She’d lost awareness of him after receiving her orders; there was enough there to focus on.
“Hey, honey,” she said after getting an answer. “LIsten, you’re not going to like this, but you and I are no longer a thing.”
The reaction was loud enough that, jerking her ear away from the receiver, she nearly dropped the phone.
“There’s no need for that,” she said mildly. He really should be reasonable about this. If he was, it would make life much simpler for both of them.
She barely registered his reply. Some key words stuck in her mind, but the rest wasn’t relevant to the Doctor’s instructions and so it passed unrecognised.
“No, believe me, I’ve thought this through,” she said. She continued to process rather than listen to his lament, her attention purely on her duties to the Doctor.
“You’re not going to change my mind.” The few key words she noticed were getting louder. There was a strange rising desperation to them. It was a shame he didn’t understand that this was for the Doctor. There could be no objections to that. The Doctor was always right.
“Of course I have my reasons.” His voice was almost a shriek now.
“No, I won’t tell you. Because this isn’t up for discussion.”
She waited a few more moments. A key question the Doctor had given her specific instructions on flashed by.
“Another man?” She laughed. For the duration of the answer she truly believed the idea was absurd, and that total honesty of belief resonated through her reaction. “Of course not.”
It was only after that was done with that it was allowed to occur to her that, naturally, the Doctor counted as another man. As the worst fears of men in this situation – another man who was a better replacement, an improvement in every way.
“Look, I need to go,” she said. “I just wanted you to know. I couldn’t leave you not knowing.”
His voice became shrill with protest. “Goodbye,” she said, no longer listening even for key words, and hung up.
He called back almost immediately. She left her phone to ring through to voicemail, going instead to report to the Doctor, taking his lunch with her..
The Doctor pushed open the doors to his lab, Lulu following on his heels, and stopped dead in the doorway in shock.
The Chancellor was seated in Candace’s chair. His eyes were helplessly locked on Candace’s monitor, which she’d thoughtfully turned away from the door so anyone coming in wouldn’t fall into the programming.
His zip was open, and Candace’s head was bobbing up and down in his lap.
He was mumbling, over and over, his words half a drone: “She sucks my cock… must order his stock… she sucks my cock…”
It took more than a few moments for the Doctor to recover from the shock of it. To figure out what was happening. To realise Candace was using his equipment, his techniques.
To fight down a rising, frustrated anger about that.
Even then, it was baffling enough to him that he was frozen in place, staring. Lulu, unaware or uncaring of the implications, squeezed past him into the room and shut the door – probably, he would later acknowledge, the single best thing she could have done.
And Lulu then stood for a moment, looking the scene over… and calmly and coolly walked forward to stand behind the chair, turning to face the monitor.
The Doctor was only able to marshal his wits again when he saw Lulu’s expression, as cheerful as it was from her fulfilment, smooth out into undisputed, unthinking bliss.
Something about that resonated. He’d never intended for the subjects of his control to be happy; that had just made the coding easier. Seeing Lulu accept and self-reinforce was something he hadn’t expected.
He had to wonder if Candace would have exhibited the same behaviour, if he hadn’t programmed her regular refreshers in any case.
Too late to test now, of course. He’d have to remember to arrange a test with a later subject.
He took a couple of steps forward and collected his polarised, protective glasses, then on to his desk.
The office was still quiet, a steady slurping and a mumbled drone the only background sounds.
After ten minutes, it occurred to him that something was missing.
“Our guest seems to be getting better service than I am.”
“Oh! I’m sorry, Doctor.”
He heard genuine embarrassment in her voice as she broke off her gazing into the monitor and hurried to one of her accustomed places below his desk. The sound of his zip made him smile.
Although he was definitely going to have to get some Lucozade soon. Two slaves to play with was leaving him to push himself beyond his capacity. He didn’t want to do himself an injury, but sometimes he felt like he couldn’t help himself.
He was firmly surrounded by Lulu’s eager mouth before he spoke again.
“Oh, and Candace? Good work.”
“Fnk oo Mffer…” At least, that was what he thought she was saying. Sometimes it was hard to tell.
He went back to refining his designs and commenting his code (which he did, he told himself, so Candace would better understand what her duty was, even though he’d stopped bothering to check her work – it was reliably excellent). Behind him he heard the desperate moan of Candace’s captive as he spilled over the brink, mind neatly and effectively ruined for some time to come.
This felt like the point of no return, Candace told herself. The device the Doctor had wanted had been built, the one she’d been privileged to design for him. It only needed testing.
And that was why Lulu was lying on it.
The device itself was raised metal slab, about seven feet long by four across, with restraints built in to strap its victims down. Punched into the slab at intervals of about one inch were small recessed holes. Electrodes ran from the holes, with a complex system of wires beneath, along with a series of vats each containing a different biochemical solution.
At one end of the slab there was a thin rubber strip, not dissimilar to a hairband or tiara, which had a much denser collection of electrodes built in. The strip itself was attached to the device by a short, thick cable, and had restraint clips of its own, currently holding it firm against Lulu’s forehead.
Off to one side at this end of the slab was a hefty trolley-mounted computer, with multiple cable sets running from the slab into the computer itself. This was, at least if they’d handled it correctly, the control system.
Lulu was strapped in nude, ready to be experimented on. She had smiled and sighed contentedly as Candace had fastened the restraints at her wrists. Candace had smiled in turn.
She wasn’t jealous, of course. Why should she be jealous that the Doctor had chosen to change Lulu first? Doctor Bimbeau was always right. His decision was right.
All the same, Candace did imagine what it would be like. She understood Lulu’s contentment.
The Doctor had changed their minds to better serve him. It was so natural that he should change their bodies, too.
The more she thought about this, the more excited she became. Desire warred with the butterflies in her stomach; the combination was dizzying.
The Doctor made one last check of the wiring and flipped the heavy switch to one side of his computer console. It couldn’t be done with just one finger; it took the pressure of his palm pushing up on it. There was a clunk as it fell into its new place. With the clunk came a deep, low hum as electricity filled the machine.
Candace held her breath. Either the wiring was correct, or Lulu would be in serious trouble.
But Lulu didn’t react. There didn’t seem to be any trouble. And Candace could see the shadows on the Doctor’s face change as the screen below him sprang into bright, vibrant life, bathing him in a soft cathode-green glow.
She saw him let out his own held breath, and she followed suit.
The Doctor looked up at her and grinned, suddenly boyish in his delight. She smiled in return. She was programmed to, of course, but this one felt genuine, even from the inside. It was their triumph.
No, of course not. How presumptuous of her. It was the Doctor’s triumph.
The fact she’d done a lot of the work – solved most of the harder problems – was – no. No, she mustn’t think like this.
She wandered around to a position where she could see the screen, Lulu, and the Doctor. The screen was showing a scan of Lulu’s brain activity. A single perfectly steady wave pattern traced across, the same every time.
Meanwhile, the Doctor took a deep breath. “Can you hear me?”
The wave showed no change to its pattern. Lulu wasn’t thinking. Nonetheless she answered “Yes, Doctor.”
Candace was the only witness to the Doctor’s impulsive, wild grin, to the two hands that clenched into fists and punched the air. Then he looked across at her, grinning, and a moment of confusion flickered across his face before he hastily covered for it.
Candace almost pointed out that it was just as reasonable that there was some error in the scanners, but the Doctor was always right, so she chose not to express doubts.
Besides, this was her project too, and behind her impassive, blank expression and half-glazed eyes, she could feel euphoria bubbling up, filling her real self, not her programmed self. The pride of a scientist seeing proof in the field, of a hypothesis tested and found to work.
It was something of a gut feeling. Naturally, she couldn’t be sure yet that it was working. But her instincts said it was.
“Alright, then,” the Doctor murmured, trying to pitch his voice low enough that he wouldn’t accidentally confuse Lulu. He made an adjustment at his console, and the device’s hum took on a lower, more intense pitch.
“You must obey Doctor Bimbeau,” he said simply, his eyes on the monitor. Candace saw him visibly relax a fraction of a second before Lulu spoke again.
“I must obey Doctor Bimbeau,” she said. On the monitor screen, the readouts had shifted while she spoke, but had now settled back into their mindless, unthinking paused values – except not quite.
Receiving that command with the device set to imprint had actively adjusted the baseline of her brain and how she thought.
If hypnotic commands were new software for the human brain, the Tiara allowed the Doctor to adjust the firmware, changing the baseline from which her mind operated.
And if Candace and the Doctor were right, that change should be permanent in a way the screens hadn’t been. And irresistible once fully imprinted, because indistinguishable from the subject’s own thought.
It wasn’t right for a scientist to experiment on themselves, but her current programming was deep enough and strong enough that she was looking forward to finding out how the imprinting would feel for herself. Just seeing Lulu change made her want to sit down, spread her legs, and enjoy herself as she watched – but, of course, she hadn’t been told to.
So she didn’t.
The Doctor nodded, checking the readings again. “Doctor Bimbeau’s needs are more important than yours.”
Again Candace watched her mind change with the new ideas even before Lulu responded. “Doctor Bimbeau’s needs are more important than mine.”
“So far so good,” he said.
“So far so good,” Lulu echoed. Startled, the Doctor realised his slip and laughed, which thankfully was not followed by more repetition.
He looked across to Candace and jerked his head. Obediently she moved closer to him, stooping slightly so they could more easily whisper.
Bimbeau took the opportunity to trail a finger down her sternum, following the curve of one breast back out. She shivered deliciously, programmed as she was to find his touch wonderful.
“Command imprinting works,” he said softly. “I think we test memories next.”
She was delighted that she was included in the ‘we’. Privately, the part of her which knew as undeniable, doctrinal fact that Doctor Bimbeau was her intellectual superior thought he shouldn’t offer her that courtesy, and at the back of her mind she thought he’d got carried away alone.
He was in control, he’d told her of his plan to go into supervillainy – giving her credit had to be just a slip.
“Changing them?” she added quietly. “Adding? Or…”
She was hoping to see them deleted, she admitted to herself. And she wondered if asking that way would work, but she only had to wonder for a few moments. He grinned, and she knew that either she’d nudged him into it, or that had been his plan from the start.
He turned back to the device, and she could see him contemplating.
“Lulu’s not exactly contributing to our scientific efforts,” he murmured.
“No, Doctor,” she agreed.
“She’s essentially physical labour,” he added.
“And your fucktoy,” Candace said. She heard a saccharine sweetness to her tone. There had definitely been some jealousy there.
This probably wasn’t a healthy way to express it.
The Doctor nodded, considering that addition nothing more than a genuine contribution. The cattiness of it went right by him. He didn’t need to pay attention to that kind of thing when it came to his slaves, she supposed.
She probably shouldn’t take advantage of that.
“Still, she’s got some skills,” he muttered. “But she might retain… hm.”
“We should find out,” Candace practically cooed. She hadn’t been told to, but she found herself reaching out, running her hand over his chest before resting it just below his shoulder.
She saw him preen from the attention. His eyes darted back and forth for a couple of moments. He was thinking about something, but whatever it was, it didn’t throw off his decision.
“Right,” he agreed, then made some more adjustments on the console. He twisted a dial across from its original position to another, marked with masking tape and the word BLANK?
They were far beyond initial calibration tests now.
He raised his voice again. “Lulu, do you remember Lucy?”
“Yes, Doctor. I remember her.”
“Who was she?”
“She was me, before I found my purpose. She opposed your happiness. She was a fool.”
Candace was, privately, quite approving of all this editorialising. She had to concede that working for – well, being the slave of – the Doctor was much more interesting than most days at the university. Though there had always been a genius or two who stood out, making most years worthwhile.
“Lucy never existed,” the Doctor informed her. “You remember nothing before entering my service.”
There was a noticeable pause. Candace spent the time looking at the monitor, trying to gauge how well this was going.
There was so much mental activity, enough that Candace would normally interpret the readout as an epileptic seizure; neurons firing everywhere, every pathway in the brain packed to overload. Was Lulu going to –
Little by little, the activity died away. It came in four or five distinct phases. When it was done, Candace was reminded of a computer running a mass file deletion; unusably busy for a while, then gradually freeing up more and more resources as they got closer to success.
“I… Yes, Doctor.” Lulu’s voice was so close to completely emotionless that Candace couldn’t read whatever emotional resonance there was with any confidence. Regret? Surprise? Something else?
“You’ve never known what it is to have free will,” the Doctor continued. Lulu whimpered slightly just at the idea, although thankfully she didn’t think he noticed.
“I’ve never known what it is to have free will,” Lulu agreed, her voice still that almost-automatic monotone.
Candace saw the Doctor adjust his position on his chair, parting his legs. One hand moved away from the controls to paw at himself through his trousers.
So she wasn’t the only one finding this far more arousing than she should be. That was a relief.
The Doctor shot her another glance, grinning. She smiled back, despite not having any order to. For a moment, she felt like two equals conspiring together, gleeful together.
“Lulu is your only self,” the Doctor said. “And Lulu is mine.”
“Yes, Doctor,” Lulu said, as Candace watched her mind shift again on the monitor. She bit down on her lip to keep from making a sound and distracting the Doctor.
He grinned broadly. “That’s perfect,” he said. “Alright.”
There was another pause, this one not coming from Lulu but from the Doctor. He took a deep breath, then threw a heavy switch with a loud clank.
The other features of the table were - or should be - engaged. This was why Lulu has been nude when she was strapped in.
The physical manipulation systems Candace had been set to design.
The monitor’s display blacked out for a few moments. Then, as the table clunked loudly – the equipment beneath finally slotting into a new position, electromagnets warming up – the screen came back to life, this time black and green. Very basic, very bland, the word SCANNING lit up the screen and repeated several times.
Lulu lay blank and motionless below her restraints as, little by little, a wireframe model of her physique slowly blinked into life on the monitor screen.
There was a lot of physical mapping and processing going on. She had recommended to the Doctor that as little as possible be spared for graphical display. The Doctor had looked over their projected power use figures, sucked in air thoughtfully, then nodded, telling her it was a good idea.
At the end of the day, a lot of the processing coming up would be involved in making necessary calculations. As those were all simply required to prevent these cosmetic changes from being either lethal or even unhealthy, they didn’t need showing; a person might make errors in calculations that could break the process entirely.
Once the wireframe was complete, the SCANNING notification vanished. Candace and the Doctor waited – she as patiently as the slave she now considered herself, he with visibly frustrated, twitching impatience – for the frame to update with as many points of modification as the system could cope.
Candace then turned her attention entirely to Lulu. At the console, she knew, the Doctor would be selecting modification points then painstakingly adjusting them. But with the steady, somehow fuzzy hum of the table, his adjustments should be reflected three or four seconds later in Lulu’s body.
As she had expected, the Doctor attended to Lulu’s chest first. It was a strange thing to watch – the shape of her breasts, as well as the size, initially varied significantly, but after ten seconds or so Candace heard a quiet mutter of “ahhhh…” and, from watching a much smoother, more distributed reshaping and expansion, deduced that the Doctor had finally worked out how to use her curve-mapping keyboard commands.
There was a brief flicker of the room’s lights as the hum took on a new intensity. Candace began to wonder if their minimum power adjustments hadn’t gone far enough.
Lulu’s chest was now almost twice the size it had been before, going from modest for her build to striking for it. Candace heard the Doctor whistle appreciatively, then double-click something. The hum became a whine as the system readjusted, and Lulu’s new bounty began to firm up, defying gravity to sit as perkily as a much smaller pair of breasts might do.
Candace wondered if she should be jealous or not. She wondered if the Doctor, when he changed her, would push himself further.
She wondered if he might be goaded into it.
Now Lulu appeared to slowly thrust her hips forward into the air. Puzzled, Candace looked across to the Doctor, who was grinning delightedly into his screen, then back to Lulu. The whine of the device was joined by a low juddering, and the lights flickered again.
Perhaps it was the change in the quality of the shadows that helped Candace realise that Lulu hadn’t thrust anything. Instead, a rounder, firmer rear end had created a brief optical illusion.
This was the combined fruit of their work. This was the goal to which her life’s work had been perverted by a deranged genius.
She couldn’t help but marvel. As the Doctor threw a switch and the Tiara’s background noise slowly died away, Candace let out a moan of aroused envy.
Sheepishly, she glanced across to the Doctor to see if he’d heard. The grin that met her glance told her he most certainly had.
But the system was being powered down…
She heard the machine shut off and swallowed back her disappointment. One quick try, perhaps.
“No other tests, Doctor?”
“Not yet,” he said. “Our old boss needs priming to take the fall first. It’s time to make our exit.”
“Yes, Doctor,” said Candace, and Lulu, in something close to unison.