Candace was smiling warmly when she hung up the phone.
“So,” she said. “I promised answers.
“I’m a brainwashed slave. And I am loving it.”
Angus looked at her in bafflement.
“You’re comparing the way you feel to what I’m saying and you’re wondering how I can be enjoying it,” she predicted. “But I’ve been being worked over a lot longer, Angus. My whole attitude has changed.
“Right now, taking your money? It’s great. In fact, I even suggested it. And watching you have to do what I was told to make you do is such a rush.” She grinned.
Angus’ expression didn’t quite reach angry. In the state he was in, he couldn’t break through to that level. “Why?”
“I haven’t really asked. I’m not sure I’d understand – I know the Doctor is smarter than I am.”
“Bimbeau?” His brow furrowed. “You always said he was bright, but I didn’t see anything to make me think he was on your level. And certainly this year you’ve not been impressed… until this.”
The idea she might be smarter than the Doctor kind of bounced off her thoughts. It didn’t make sense; she couldn’t make it fit into any sort of logic.
And yet she remembered saying what Angus repeated. It was just all things she hadn’t thought about since he twisted her mind.
“Well,” she said after a few moments of mental flailing, “he managed to convert me. So he has to be smarter.”
She liked that version. It made her smarter than Lulu, the Chancellor, and her down-to-earth businesslike husband.
Angus opened his mouth again and Candace firmly said “The Doctor is smarter than me, Angus.”
His mouth closed again, settling into a firm line.
“You deserve better than this, Candy,” Angus said gently. She felt her temper flare. The nerve of anyone who wasn’t the Doctor acting like they knew better than him!
(The fact she had decided against his orders several times, to better serve him, sailed past her attention without seeming relevant.)
“Don’t call me that,” she said firmly. “I’m not your Candy.” A wicked idea occurred; as so often in her new life, she acted on it without bothering to think it through. “I’m your Mistress.”
“Don’t give me that crap, Mistress,” he retorted, then flushed as he realised what he’d said.
“Don’t argue back,” she retorted. “You’re in no place to.”
His lips twitched, but didn’t open; as much as he clearly wanted to argue, he now couldn’t.
Which did make Candace smile. “There. We don’t need to be enemies here. You used to want to make me happy.”
She couldn’t read the expression on his face, but she didn’t like it. “Hey,” she said softly. “Want to see a magic trick?”
“…Where is this going?” he asked, equally quietly.
Candace smiled warmly and reached out, holding her hand over his crotch. “Rock hard,” she said, and snapped her fingers.
The sudden bulge was immediately visible. Angus frowned, but she ploughed on, cutting his speech off, getting ready to override him.
“Angus, you aren’t going to win. So… stop fighting.”
He blinked. A look of surprise crossed his face.
“Obedience is much better when you accept it,” she continued. “You want me. You want to obey me. They’re the same thing. Desire and submission are identical.”
This was, after all, the credo she had rationalised into existence over her own brainwashing.
His forehead creased with a frown, but then it smoothed again. His expressions shifting as how he thought about this was changed and tampered with was an absolute delight.
“In fact, Doctor Bimbeau taking over my mind is the best thing ever to happen to us,” she pressed on. “Now we both serve a true genius, a real visionary.”
Angus’ jaw worked once, and relaxed. The frown in his blue eyes cleared, like clouds passing after a storm.
Now that was the man she’d married. She slid herself along the desk, knocking the keyboard out of place – it clattered off the side to end up dangling by the drawers – so that she was sat directly in front of him, then leaned forward and kissed him.
He didn’t resist, but nor did he kiss back. He didn’t seem to have the agency to.
“We need to keep you under the influence for a while,” she purred. “So there’s no chance to trace the money in time.” Her hand reached out, gripping him through his trousers. “You’re going to come with me.”
She slid off the desk, breathing heavily. “Come on. We’ll take the Rolls. That has room for you to show me how obedient you are in the back.”
She hurried down to the garage, where she knew Lulu would now be waiting, the phone she’d been called on already discarded.
“You should count yourself lucky,” Bimbeau told Angus. “This is probably the most humane way to keep you from messing with the transfer.”
Angus grimaced, and Bimbeau reflected that with slightly more care, he could have made his previous statement an order – and turned Angus into a happier hostage.
But he wasn’t quite willing to.
“Aren’t I going to vanish at the end of this?” Angus asked bitterly.
“Oh, no. No need. You won’t be telling the police. You won’t be chasing us yourself. I’ll see to that.” Bimbeau smiled tightly. Had he really once considered this man the model of a happy husband, sat in his library sharing his spirits, while their wives had enjoyed themselves elsewhere?
None of that suited the new Doctor Bimbeau he was working to create. None of that suited the man of power, who would have such a collection of obedient yes-women that he’d never be threatened by loss again.
Angus’ lips grew thin; whatever he wanted to say, he’d thought better of it. For a moment, Bimbeau considered demanding the insight, but dismissed it. It couldn’t be important enough. “Lulu,” he said instead, “show Angus to his quarters for the next few days.
“Of course, Doctor,” the freshly-buxom young conquest responded. “Go where she leads you and wait,” he told Angus, feeling a rush of arrogance and satisfaction as the bigger man turned to obey.
This was more like it. This was a world that would conform to his requirements.
Of course, to really get that, he’d need a location he had complete control over.
He hadn’t quite decided whether to find a cosy, upmarket village with decent local infrastructure to turn into his very own Stepford or to acquire an island where he could be lord of a domain nobody else would register.
Bimbeau was vaguely considering inviting Candace to break the deadlock on that one. She wouldn’t have to know she was making the decisions. He could make her believe she was simple reinforcing a decision already made.
He turned to his helplessly submissive scientist. He’d stopped thinking of her as obedient, necessarily – but she was certainly submissive to his will, even if occasionally she’d take a slightly-surprising initiative.
Offering her husband and his money up to him had come as a complete surprise. He was pretty confident his poker face had carried him through the confusion, of course, but still – he hadn’t seen that coming.
She was sharp and pro-active in a way Lulu hadn’t been even before he modified her…
Which was the kind of train of thought where, as he looked Candace up and down, he couldn’t help but start planning her own new look. He definitely needed a harem, he decided; a bevy of beauties with different looks and styles. A woman for every mood.
He beckoned Candace toward him with a grin, and she responded, slinking over with a rolling strut she’d never had before her conditioning had begun, smiling a lazy, proud smile full of desire, full of need, a smile that answered his own grin with delight.
He reached up to her from his chair, and without any further instruction she stooped to kiss him. She was passionate, delighted. In love, or programmed, but perhaps best of all, it didn’t matter. Couldn’t matter. She was his.
His hands were all over her, and she melted into his arms, straddling his lap to grind against him.
She’d be so perfect once she was changed.
They’d had to move, of course; there wasn’t room for the equipment in Bimbeau’s home or Lulu’s, not fully set up. And especially not with the generator it had been hooked into. But once they had Angus’ money to play with, there was enough to take up temporary ‘residence’ in a newly-built, not yet inhabited warehouse.
The Doctor had laughed at the idea, calling it the exact opposite of the traditional abandoned warehouse. But, as he said, a long-term base of operations would need careful sourcing, and until then they were in a hurry. And as he also said, any evidence of their presence would be destroyed when the new owners moved in.
This was a temporary stop, he said, while they dealt with a couple of things that needed to be done.
Lulu had firmly adopted the lab-coat-over-lacy-lingerie look whenever the Doctor was working. Like Candace, she’d realised how much more he reacted to lab coats in that scenario. And that gave her an advantage over Candace at the moment, as Candace was naked; nothing to augment, nothing to titillate, just on display exactly as she was.
Waiting for her turn on the table.
Angus had been strapped down without being stripped off, which was a first for the table, but then the Doctor apparently only intended to change his mind. Lulu made the last adjustments to the way the tiara sat on his temples - it hadn’t really been designed with the assumption it would be used on men - then stepped back and nodded to the Doctor.
She was a good student and assistant not she had true devotion to a worthy Master as her motivation.
Bimbeau threw the console’s big switch and waited for background noise to rise to the point he was sure the modificatory field was now in full effect. Candace was already mentally kicking around ideas on how to reduce that. Maybe even speed up boot time.
It wasn’t her field, of course. She might just need to recruit the Doctor an engineer, if she could find one attractive enough that he’d approve.
Her attention started to wander as she mapped out plans for disappearing an engineer without causing a fuss, but it snapped back when the Doctor began to speak.
“You’re not going to call the police.”
There was a notable pause as Angus mustered his will against the tiara’s effect. Candace held her breath; resistance was something it hadn’t had to deal with before. Could it overcome?
“I’m not going to call the police,” Angus said, almost grudgingly. Candace felt herself relax.
“You’re not going to look for us.”
“I’m not going to look for you.”
“You’re not going to hire anyone to look for us. Or let anyone else hire anyone to do it.”
“I’m not going to hire anyone to look for us. Or let anyone else hire anyone to do it.”
“You’re not going to leave France for a week, or call home in that time.”
There was another pause. Candace’s head was spinning too. This was new to her.
“I’m… not going to leave France for a week.” Candace played it back through in her head, but she was sure that it was a statement, not a question. The questions were all hers. She waited. “I won’t call home in that time.”
Bimbeau smiled. “The moment we’re done here, you’re going to get in Lulu’s car, then board the Eurostar for Paris. When you return, you’ll be amnesiac for a week.”
The worst seemed to be past. Angus echoed the rest of his words, and Candace watched her husband’s mind adjust, on the monitors, as the programming sank in firmly. She wasn’t sure she liked not knowing the Doctor’s plans, though - that might have to be something she cajoled the Doctor into changing.
She’d rather be part of the planning, even if the end result was less-
She cut that thought off hurriedly, embarrassed by herself. She knew it was true, but like many guilty minds, she felt that by not thinking about it she could avoid her own guilt and disappointment.
The Doctor administered a few other directions, nothing significant - honestly petty in some cases. After a pause, he turned to Candace, his expression thoughtful. “I feel like I should be gloating here,” he said. “Do you think I should be gloating here?”
She took his pleasure and his comfort seriously, so she gave this some thought.
“Only if it will make you happier, Doctor,” she said at length. “He’s just as much at your control either way. Aren’t you?” she asked her husband.
She could almost feel his frustration at admitting “Yes.” It seemed to drag out of him.
Candace smiled slightly. “So would you enjoy it, Doctor?”
He pursed his lips. “Not enough,” he said. “Something to work on.”
“Maybe it’s for the audience, Doctor,” she suggested. “But you do own us both.”
He smiled, an amused but genuine smile that probably shouldn’t have made her heart leap.
“So I do,” he said.
Lulu had escorted Angus to the car. A printout with Eurostar tickets had been waiting for him.
So the Rolls would likely be found, two days after her daughter had likely raised the alarm, outside St Pancras. And he would surface a week after that in Paris, where he’d have been living without funds.
It was, she reflected, probably for the best that she didn’t need to worry about her family.
But it was also for the best that Angus was leaving without any idea of their own plans. The Doctor’s instructions seemed watertight, but she was still worried that something might be buried in there which could backfire. Angus had seemed to give up so easily the first time.
She was delighted to set herself on the table for the Doctor, and tried not to let herself think about how Lulu had known his plans and she hadn’t.
It was probably simply that she was good enough for grunt work, or tasks she might memorise, but no more.
He stood over her, about to strap her in. She could see him hesitate, read his expression well enough to realise he’d just had an idea.
Her arms and legs already lay in line with the restraints, her body against the table’s contact points.
Bimbeau smiled. “You’re locked in place,” he told her. “You can’t move. Not until you’re told to.”
She wanted to acknowledge his command as she should. To tell him what she thought. But she couldn’t move. The moan that escaped didn’t carry the meaning she wanted, but it gave him the confirmation it was looking for.
She was again surprised by just how firmly she’d been locked down, held into place. Another example of how deeply her mind had twisted into its new shape, it’s new role.
She’d squirm with pleasure if she could.
He set the tiara into place on her head. She waited for it to power up, for a tingle to freeze her thoughts into place, ready to be remoulded.
The Doctor settled himself at the console and started working back through the activation checks. She made a note to make sure some kind of standby got added. If they were going to process enough people for the Doctor’s ambitions, they’d need to make this simpler and quicker.
The hum of the machine changed tone, and something lit in her head, numbness crackling across her brain.
Everything that was currently Candace was focused on what she felt. It still wasn’t much. She was a core, and everything around that core was mutable. Changable. And, she knew, about to be changed.
She thought from the way she tingled that her core could change, too. She wondered what that might feel like,
It seemed like a long time before the Doctor spoke. Maybe her time perception was off. Maybe he was trying to decide how he wanted her. When he did speak, he went in strong immediately, with a major change. Or at least a full confirmation.
“I am your Master.”
“You are… Master,” she responded. It was so basic, so automatic, to confirm that it cut through even his orders. She hadn’t done that. The idea must have come from him.
“You are my willing slave,” he continued.
“I am your willing slave, Master,” Candace breathed excitedly. She could feel it? That strange tingle across her head was uprooting thoughts and ideas, pushing them into new shapes, and she could actually feel herself changing.
It was a change she’d been looking forward to, even wanting, since… when?
It must have been early in her treatment. Since… yes. Since Lucy became Lulu. Since she’d pushed her own idea for the Doctor’s future and he’d accepted. That was when she’d found herself committed, not knowing the changes that were coming for her.
And not regretting a single one.
“Your overriding goals are my pleasure and my comfort.”
“My overriding goals are your pleasure and your comfort.”
Wait. Hadn’t that always been true? Candace wasn’t sure why he’d bother saying something so obvious. His pleasure and comfort had been her goal since they’d met. Her own priorities were nothing in comparison.
“You’re going to help me take over a place in the world.”
“I’m going to help you take over a place in the world.”
That was oddly reassuring. He’d had such purpose when he first started to change and shape her. She’d worried that with two women at his side, he might decide to stop - especially with all the work it had taken to stay ahead of the law.
But she was programmed already to want him to conquer and to take.
She wanted to smile, but her body wouldn’t move.
There was another pause as the Doctor settled on the words he wanted to bind into her brain. “You want my goals even more than I do,” was his eventual choice. It was a revelation; this one she actually felt hit her. She felt her very core twist and change.
“I… want your goals… unh… even more… than you do… Master.”
Every command seemed to removed more of the occasional voice of conscience from her old self. Every command reinforced her chosen path and removed the parts that made her struggle against it. It was bliss; absolute bliss.
She didn’t even notice the pause this time as she basked in her perfecting self. But then:
“You’ll be proud to carry my child.”
The words spilled out of her while she was still mentally frozen, considering their meaning: “I’ll be proud to carry your child.”
Suddenly the scope of the Doctor’s vision was clearer. He wanted a place in the world to himself. He wanted power. He wanted a dynasty.
Maybe his goal of supervillainy wasn’t so far off anyway.
But that was great. If the Doctor wanted to be a supervillain, she’d walk through fire to make sure it happened.
And evidently, he wanted a genius heir.
She would serve at his side, and their son would inherit the world that they created.
She moaned blissfully through lips that wouldn’t open without prompting.
“You belong to me,” the Doctor told her. She’d already known, but feeling it as part of her programming?
“I belong to you, Master.”
“You’re my property.”
“I’m your property, Master.”
That was probably all of it, she thought. Unless he did with her as he had with Lulu, and erased her memory of ever having been anyone else. She waited, holding her breath, expecting memories of her old life to fully vanish with his words at any moment.
With a start, she felt his hands on her body. Stroking her. Fondling her. Groping her.
It seemed as if having her naked on the table, with no one watching, had pushed the Doctor into temptation.
Or… or, she slowly realised, he was revisiting her and getting a sense of her curves before he changed them. His hands were on her breasts; her programming had her wildly aroused and blissful just because it was his touch, but he wasn’t doing more than getting a sense of how big she felt in his hands.
With her measurements mentally tabulated, he went back to the console. Lying there, still unable to move, she heard him switch the power up ready for physical alteration and enhancement.
The strange absence around the edge of her senses receded as the energy twisting her mind died down, power redirected to the other contact points.
Her skin was afire, energy pouring along it, and her nerves tingling with the power of the machine.
She wondered if she would be able to feel the change, to notice-
Well. That answered that.
She was swelling. As with Lulu, he’d started with her chest, and she could feel it being urged to grow, being compelled to take shape. Her skin tightened gently, becoming firmer as her breasts grew – she wasn’t sure how much, but they sat unfamiliarly now. The weight of them had changed, but not much yet.
If Lulu’s experience was any indication, Candace would be ravenous soon, as her body desperately chased the building blocks it needed to support the change.
At least this time they’d prepared a feast in advance. The line, often joked about, was ‘it all goes straight to my waist’. In this case, straight to her chest, tingling with pleasure as nerve endings sang in her skin.
When her chest settled, she peered down, as best she could from a head kept in place by command. Could she see her nipples without tilting her head? It might be her imagination, but she thought so.
When she was standing again, she would certainly be able to.
Her posture began to change despite herself, after that, as her rear was expanded and shaped. She’d already seen the Doctor’s delight in fondling a big butt after Lulu’s ‘upgrade’. Imagining him taking the same pleasure in her, coupled with the pleasure she was programmed to take in him, felt almost overwhelming. But she could bear it – for the Doctor she could bear anything.
She wasn’t sure, but she felt like she might have longer legs – which would surely need her to eat even more to support. But if the Doctor wanted her with longer, shapelier legs, then so be it.
She wished she could see herself, or that the Doctor would give her some feedback. He was probably too intent on his screen at that moment.
She heard the bass hum of the table cease. She felt the throb of its active machines idle away to nothing. And she did not move.
In the near-silence, the Doctor approached. He stood over her, looking down across her physique from above her head.
Then he stooped, his lips meeting hers. She was unresponsive. He tutted to himself. “Right, right,” he chuckled. “Kiss back, you.”
Well. She had an order to follow. She could move to do that. She smiled into his mouth. “Yes, Master,” she murmured, then opened her mouth to an eager kiss.
Just as Lulu had, she would have some hoops to jump through before she had a reasonable wardrobe again. Running an errand, Candace had had to resort to a baggy hoodie (which was no longer baggy) and a long skirt with hasty modifications to contain her.
She consoled herself that if she ran across anyone who knew her, they wouldn’t be able to believe either the change or the fashion choice.
It was almost begun, now. She, Doctor Bimbeau, and Lulu, were all about to walk away from their home town and their home nation. Once in Spain, they would be transferring to new passports, secured through a ‘legitimate businessman’ who was almost comically delighted that the girl who’d rejected him in school was now his devoted lover.
Candace felt, privately, that even in his most eager moments, the Doctor showed a dignity that their helper had lacked.
But that experience had set her thinking. The Doctor had identified a need for passports, and figured out who could help. She’d worked out what he wanted that they could supply. And she and Lulu, working together, had enthralled the poor woman, brought her to the table, and reprogrammed her.
There were other items that would need securing before they left, and Candace had taken it upon herself to get them.
A satellite phone. Some unusual security. And a cellphone belonging to a local ‘facilitator’ for what the newspapers still insisted was the fledgling realm of superhuman crime.
Doctor Bimbeau had told her his goal was to try his hand at supervillainy. And, devoted to his goals as she was, Candace was determined that he would make a success of it.
If they started out as suppliers to others, that was fine. It would provide them with the money they needed to establish themselves.
She was confident in her collection, now. She was ready for them to leave Scotland.
Even allowing for time spent checking they weren’t trailed and for some less-than-legal parts of their travel plan, in a week they would be on an island, bought for them through a law firm with Angus’ money.
It wasn’t’ a high value island. Perhaps three miles across at its widest point, it was largely undeveloped – just a couple of buildings – and it had seen volcanic activity in the past thirty years. But that had kept it in their price range.
Candace smiled to herself. She looked forward to the Doctor’s reaction to a tan on her new body.
She looked forward to the commands she knew she’d be given.